By Emily Payne
When signing up for a chocolate tour, you might anticipate loads of chocolate and a bombardment of shameless brand promotions. You hit a bunch of retailers, meet their owners and listen to their spiels. Right?
Well, that’s not the South End chocolate tour, a two and a half hour walking tour around the historic South End. But believe me, this is a good thing. It wasn’t a tour. It was an experience.
I approached the meeting point and first stop of the tour, Code 10, a bakery and café on Washington Street, to a petite Dutch woman smiling and holding nine small paper bags. This was our lovely tour guide, Veronique.
The bag held an outline of the tour stops, a bag of pretzels to cleanse the palette and compliment the sweetness overload we were about to endure and a baggie for extras (thank God). One rule existed: no leftovers.
These tours are surprisingly often run by retired corporate men and women, Veronique tells us, who have a passion for well-made chocolate purveyed by “beans to bar” chocolate dealers, or places that follow their chocolate beans from the plantations right into your hands. Similar to a coffee-aficionado’s repulsion to instant coffee, these people know quality chocolate and won’t settle for the vending machine.
It became clear that this tour wasn’t exclusively about the brands or makers themselves. It was about the art of chocolate making.
After the slightly awkward introductions of our small group, we dove into the first sampling at Code 10: the “chocolate orgasm.” Upon tasting, the noises let loose by the group did this name justice. It was a piece of fudge-y brownie heaven. Seconds were offered and graciously accepted.
Next stop: the Flour Bakery, at 1595 Washington St., which is soon opening a fourth location and whose owner, Joanne Chang, authored the recipe book titled “Flour.” After biting into the Oreo cookie handed to me, I was again pleasantly surprised.
This was no typical Oreo cookie. In fact, it wasn’t an Oreo at all. It was two dense, purely chocolate cookies, with the perfect amount of crispness, sandwiching a center of vanilla frosting. Naturally, I devoured that whole thing without hesitation.
Wasting no time, we headed over to Tremont 647, the stop for the truly daring. In the beautifully-lit bar area we were greeted with nine place settings, each presenting chocolate bacon and almond squares, coupled with a creamy peanut butter and jelly vodka drink. That’s right, bacon and chocolate. Interesting, to say the least. My plate was left with only a small bite eaten.
An entirely different setting, and Veronique’s personal favorite, was Chocolee Chocolates, at 23 Dartmouth St. In a tiny, lit corner of a building, we were met with a warm fried chocolate beignet. One bite into the crispy, powdered dough shell and melted chocolate spilled all over my hands. It was worth the mess.
By this point, though, I had to start utilizing the baggie.
Veronique informed us that typical processed chocolate, such as Hershey’s milk chocolate, actually contains the minimum amount of cocoa required to be considered a chocolate bar, which is 10 percent. The rest of it? Basically milk and sugar.
The South End Chocolate Tour, though, gave us the real deal. These chocolates—so heavy, rich and delicious—made us astonishingly full.
Unfortunately, as Lindsay Bender, a College of Communication junior, reflected, “All of the chocolate we had was very rich and sometimes clashed with the chocolate previous.”
The rest of the tour became a blur. Not to downgrade the quality of the chocolates or charm of the storefronts: Appleton Cafe, Pico, Felicity Sweets, the Gracie Finn Gift Store, and finally the South End Buttery, which ended the tour with a classic German chocolate cupcake. But our stomachs simply could not handle it.
“You have to be a die hard chocolate lover to be able to make it through this entire tour,” Lindsay said.
Fear not, though, because of the glorious invention of the doggy bag. Also, the consumption of chocolate is not the only highlight. Lindsay’s favorite part about it: “finding new mom & pop shops that I will definitely go back to.”
So I politely declined offers of chocolate gelato and saved some goodies for later: an interesting pepper truffle and a bite of coconut bar. Fortunately, there was more to enjoy than just the chocolate, such as the leisurely walk through Boston’s South End, our neighbor, which many Boston University students rarely get the chance to explore.
With treats to share and more chocolate knowledge than I can remember, I left the South End Tour. Would I recommend it? Yes, but you have been warned. This tour is for the true chocoholics. A stomachache virtually guaranteed.
By Katie Doyle, Food Editor
Fortunately for Boston herbivores, there are over seven vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants in the city. My Thai, located on 3 Beach St., is one of them. I went to My Thai last week – camera in hand – and was pleasantly surprised to find a delicious vegan bistro in Chinatown. Watch this video to get a sense of My Thai’s serene ambiance and mouth-watering food.
By Heather Goldin, Staff Writer
College is an exciting place, and besides the intriguing academics at Boston University to keep us occupied, college students usually find themselves searching for what to do on the weekend. For the 21 and over students, the weekend usually entails a drinking excursion of sorts. But for those of us who have not yet reached this age of elation, it hard to imagine that the city of Boston has other options. When most of the city is in fact college students, and a fair amount of students are underage, you should not be surprised to discover the number of possibilities for the underage college student.
Yes, I know exactly what you are thinking. Haven’t I already read about the most popular weekend excursions that Boston has to offer? It’s true that the most popular 18 and over clubs are just a Google search away. By now you must have heard of Club Rise, one of the most popular clubs on the weekends. Club Rise, named for the uplifting music and upbeat club-goers, features late night fun all weekend long (for a $20 entry fee). Another frequently talked about club is Machine, 18 and over on Friday nights. The club is known for being Boston’s only all gay club, and with a $15 cover charge this is a fun way to spend your Friday night with friends.
Why limit your night to the clubs? Sometimes a forgotten right of passage for the 18 and over crowd is the hookah bar, one kind of bar that you don’t have to be 21 for. The Nile Lounge is close by in Allston, and they claim to be one of the best Hookah bars in Boston. Open from three in the afternoon to two in the morning Thursday through Saturday, this is a great way to wind down from a busy week.
Tired of missing music performances because they are playing in 21 and over bars only? Check out some bigger venues accessible to all ages. House of Blues Boston, Hatch Memorial Shell and the Paradise Rock Club are just a few of the biggest venues to go to, and they all feature both local and big name bands. Prices vary depending on the show.
Coolidge Corner: @fter Midnite
Are late night movies your kind of Friday night? The Coolidge Corner Theater offers midnight showings on select Friday and Saturday nights, running with the theme of thrill and weird, among other things. Major bonus points here because for the few freshmen that are still 17, and are still experiencing the recently allowed joy of R-rated movies. And fun fact, you can purchase tickets in advance online to reserve a seat. You can check out the show times for @fter Midnite here.
Hopefully you can use this introductory list to solve your weekend planning issues, at least until you actually turn 21. Still looking to feed your weekend cravings? Check out this great website I discovered called “The Knurd.” This site is full of great things to do “without the hangover” as their site proudly proclaims.
By Hilary Ribons, Staff Writer
Sharing living space with other people is bound to stir up some occasional conflict. The most common point of contention arises between those who like quiet, and those who don’t.
I’m sure you all have heard of the philosophy work hard, play harder. Never was this philosophy put to practice more than in college. In my opinion, it is everyone’s right to make whatever kind of noise they choose Thursday night through Saturday night. Even if it is annoying, just let it happen. If you try to ask people to be quiet, you will most likely either get laughed at or quickly gain a reputation of being annoying, and whoever it is most likely will not listen to you anyways. But college is not conducive to sleep, and you should pick your battles. This isn’t one of them.
There’s bound to be general noise when you share the same building with a lot of people. So when does it cross the line? When does noise go from being acceptable to downright rude? Despite that I think that noise should just be generally accepted in dorms, I’ve compiled a list of who I consider to be the worst offenders. These are people who forget (or simply don’t care) that they live very close to a lot of other people. Every dorm has one…or a few:
The 24/7 partier:
This is the person who lives upstairs/down the hall/ next door with the massive sound system and a pension for pounding house music. On the weekend, his/her room is absolutely awesome to visit. On the weekdays, however, this person becomes the bane of existence for everyone who plans on getting anything done. There is apparently only one volume for this sound system: loud. David Guetta is his or her study soundtrack of choice. This person also hates headphones. You can’t quite get the base-bumping effect that way.
The lazy musician:
This is that music major that for some reason cannot book a practice room. But that shouldn’t mean that it becomes okay to practice clarinet/cello/guitar/drum set/operatic vocals in your room. The musician has a talent for being able to tell right when your face is about to hit the pillow (or your textbook) and picking up his/her instrument right at that very second. Often, the lazy musicians are less frequent offenders than the 24/7 partiers, but are offenders nonetheless.
The noisy neighbor:
Some people are just loud by nature. Happy, sad, angry, joyous, whatever. It doesn’t matter what emotion it is, it is always expressed very vocally. This is the person you might be a little embarrassed to see in the hall because you know things about their lives that you really don’t want to know, but had to overhear by sheer force of volume.
This person lives somewhere above you. You’ve probably never actually met them. Most of the time it sounds like they are hosting a Zumba workshop in their room. When they walk, it sounds like they have barbells attached to their feet. They are also very fond of dropping things on the floor, repeatedly. Usually they start moving around in the evening hours, conveniently around the time that you realize you should probably get your homework done.
I usually give people about 15 minutes before I think about telling them to stop. Most of the time, the noise stops on its own. But sometimes it requires intervention. Over the years, I’ve mastered the art of telling people to be quiet without seeming rude.
By Katie Doyle, Food Editor
“Every reason that a person is vegetarian is a great reason to go vegan,” said Rachel Atcheson, a College of Arts and Sciences senior.
Rachel is also an animal rights activist, and accordingly, a vegan. So is Graham Boswell, a College of Fine Arts junior, who has been a vegan for six years now.
When I sat down in the George Sherman Union to interview Atcheson and Boswell, my intention was to write a story about veganism: its pros and its cons, how it’s perceived both on the inside and out and its cultural significance. And, with the information I gleaned from our interview—such as how most meat eaters will consume roughly 30 animals a year, 29 1/3 of which are chicken; how the average omnivore eats close to 200 fish per year; how being part of a strong community is extremely helpful in staying vegan—I probably could have written that piece.
But, I had no idea our interview would have such personal consequences.
While both students weren’t actively trying to persuade me to go vegan—as animal rights advocates, they are inherently armed with a hefty load of facts, figures and details about the modern food industry—the sheer passion of their argument inevitably resonated with me, a long-time vegetarian, but also a long-time animal lover, who grew up around kittens and puppies, horses and pigs and to this day just has to stop and pet every dog walking by on the street.
The thing is, I always used to say that I was a vegetarian not necessarily because of ethical reasons, but because I simply didn’t like meat. After all, one of the reasons I gave up meat was because I found myself having to coat my chicken tenders in so much ketchup to disguise its texture and hide the flesh. I wasn’t sure why it bothered me so much, but I shrugged it off as simply, well, not liking meat. After talking with the two of them, though, I think I may have been wrong; maybe there was more to it.
“So, if you take some of the main reasons people are vegetarian – they don’t want to harm animals – well, factory farming, the way our modern agriculture is now, you harm animals that are within the production line when you’re vegetarian,” Atcheson said.
“For instance, you think maybe you’re not killing an animal vegetarian when you’re a vegetarian, but the fact is, because of our egg industry, little baby male chicks, sadly, get ground up alive, and that’s to get eggs,” she said.
Boswell explained that because male chicks can’t produce eggs, and aren’t bred to produce meat, they are ground up, suffocated or otherwise disposed of as soon as they’re hatched.
“If you really don’t want to harm animals, look at where your eggs and dairy are coming from, because sadly there is no cruelty-free eggs or dairy out there,” Atcheson said.
It’s a hard pill to swallow, and when I went home to research the startling reality of the dairy and egg industry, I could barely watch the behind-the-scenes videos on YouTube or listen to the graphic descriptions of animal cruelty taking places in those factory farms.
Truth be told, I felt sick. And it got me thinking. While I’ve thought about going vegan before—I rarely eat eggs on their own, occasionally substitute soy for dairy without any issues and don’t have a particular craving for cheese—I was worried about the alleged inconvenience and cost of a vegan diet. Still, though, I was interested. And, as a writer, I thought it would be just the perfect process to document.
“It’s just forming new habits and getting rid of the old habits,” Boswell said. “I remember distinctly getting a glass of milk and a candy bar at my grandmother’s house because that’s what she always had, and it was sort of like comfort food, and that was just what I was in the habit of doing, and I had to stop myself and remember the commitment I had made. Now I have new habits, and new comfort foods.”
Boswell, who since going vegan has attained a healthy weight and even recently ran half-marathon, added that he has never been healthier. They both explained how a whole food, plant-based diet comprised of beans, nuts, tofu, tempeh, lentils and the like is not only packed with protein and nutrients, but can be surprisingly affordable, especially if bought in bulk.
So, I thought, maybe it would easy for me—a vegetarian who already loved to cook—to go vegan. But what about an omnivore, who loves meat and cheese?
Undoubtedly, the transition from a vegetarian’s perspective is certainly different from an omnivore’s. So, I enlisted the help of my girlfriend, and there it commenced: we would “go vegan,” or eliminate dairy, eggs and all animal byproducts, from our diets.
Over the next two weeks, I’m going to write about our transition in this blog: just how different it is from vegetarianism, and especially from eating meat; the cost and convenience; and ultimately, how we felt mentally and physically after saying goodbye to animal products once and for all.
By Maya Devereaux, Staff Writer
Although Obama’s 2008 inauguration was almost four years ago, I will never forget sitting in my tenth grade biology class watching the event take place on live television. I have a sharp memory my classmates’ reactions: the boy to my left was staring on almost with tears in his eyes, the girl sitting to my right was sleeping with her head down on the desk.
These observations have frequently come to mind recently, whenever I hear talk about the election around campus. So this made me curious about students here at Boston University. What are their opinions on voting this upcoming November?
I spoke with various students across campus and found that many of them plan on voting. Of those who said they will not be voting, many gave reasons relating to eligibility.
“I’m not a citizen,” said College of Arts and Sciences freshman Kelly Chen, “maybe if I were, I would vote though.” Another popular answer involved not being of age in time to vote.
When asked about the reasons why some students vote for certain candidates, School of Management senior Jinelle Pecson said, “half of them are following the news and have legitimate reasons to vote for a candidate, while the other half goes with what the environment says.”
Aman Sharma, a sophomore in CAS, brought up a good point and said, “a majority of young people are swayed by their parents.”
But does who you affiliate yourself with always have a correlation with who your parents affiliate themselves with?
“The ones who know why they’re voting for their candidate of choice will definitely have a good reason for doing so,” said Benjamin Wildman, a CAS freshman.
Whether or not students have a reason for voting for a specific candidate, there is definitely a ton of awareness on campus about voting in the upcoming election. Students mention hearing many discussions about voting, even if it’s just over a joke about a certain candidate.
With 40 days until election day, the time left for registering to vote is dwindling down. As I anxiously await the arrival of my absentee ballot in the mail, I hope that many others across campus are, too.
By Jasmine Ferrell, Staff Writer
Who is a hipster? Among other things, someone who appreciates vinyl, are masters at discovering obscure bands and love flannel and cut-off shorts. Where do they thrive? Apparently Allston-Brighton, as Forbes just ranked the area 18th on its “Best Hipster Neighborhoods” list.
When attempting to find the local “hipster haunts” in Allston-Brighton, it doesn’t take much effort. There’s an abundance of cafes, ethnic restaurants, taverns and bars.
Let’s start off with a look at the retail end of hipster life. There is the always standard Goodwill for thrifty finds. Not to be over-shadowed though is the more localized Urban Renewals, a warehouse of a thrift store. The system is a bit different as it’s a smaller operation: cash only and no dressing rooms, but with all of the possible merchandise a hipster could build a wardrobe enviable by any other hip street walker.
The small basement shop of In Your Ear Records has records, cassette tapes, movies, CDs and accessories in unimaginable numbers. I have absolutely no idea how the staff manages such a behemoth of an inventory, but hours could be spent in happy pursuit of that one great musical find.
Of course sometimes the old boom box or record player just isn’t enough, and you need a live concert. Countless bars double as music venues providing that intimate atmosphere. One bar to consider is Great Scott, known for its indie rock/alternative concerts besides its other popular weekly events.
Another vital part of the hipster life: food. Cafes are a must in hipster life, and just like bars, Allston is far from a shortage of these. Cafenation is a café and creperie with the expected coffee shop ambiance and any hipster would love their Nutella crepes. Feeling productive in the morning and want some breakfast food? Twin Donuts provides an ample supply of homemade breakfast goods at an incredible price.
This list could go on, because if there is one thing hipsters excel at, it’s finding the best secrets in any market. Whether you’re looking for a new vintage shop, an insult to the posh clubs of New York, or a solid spot to judge facial hair, sometimes it doesn’t hurt to follow the “in” (or is it “out”) crowd.
By Marie Goldstein, Staff Writer
One of the best things about Boston is the nature that is nestled within the city. As Boston University students, we should all get out there and take advantage of these secret grassy getaways.
This is BU favorite, and the most well known nature spot on campus. Whether students are looking for a place to do some homework, hang out with friends, or throw a Frisbee, this is the place to go. Whenever the weather permits, it is common to see girls in bikinis laying on the incline, while listening to the cars driving by and the “waves” of the Charles River. Students frequently catch a glimpse of fraternity men painting the Greek rock. Placed along beautiful Bay State Road, I would say this is definitely a place to make memories during your years at BU.
The COM Lawn:
Another popular destination on a sunny day is the grassy lawn in front of the College of Communication. With the sound of the fountain and the soft spray hitting your face with every gust of wind, this feels like paradise when students are trying to get work done or just hang out in between classes. Bring a towel to lay on the grass or snag a seat on one of the many stone benches around the fountain and walkway.
West campus is definitely greener than most parts of the BU campus. The patches of grass serve as great places to lay out in a bikini, watch the soccer and lacrosse games or to get some studying done. However, because of all the people who live in Rich, Sleeper and Claflin Halls, as well as in StuVi1 and StuVi2, you better get there early on nice sunny days before it gets packed.
This park is hidden within South campus and Brookline. This park is a favorite for Brookline families and students that live in the area. The rolling green grass and Hall’s Pond make it hard to believe it’s still in Boston. This is the perfect place to walk a dog or have a picnic with friends on the weekends.
Charles River Esplanade:
Although most commonly used for its running trails, the Esplanade is one of Boston’s prime nature locations because of the location next to the beautiful Charles River. Watch the sailboats go by from the grass, while chatting with a friend on a bench or on the docks that line the riverbanks.
By Seline Jung, Staff Writer
I rounded up a compilation of who I thought were the best and worst dressed at the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards last night. If you didn’t get a chance to watch last night, scroll through the pictures and critique these red carpet fashions.
– Giuliana Rancic in Ramona Cerveza: Rancic played it safe Sunday night, but there’s a reason it’s called “classic.” The color, modern silhouette, thigh-high slit and belt all work together beautifully.
– Ginnifer Goodwin in Monique Lhuillier: This one might throw some people off, but the dress is so on-trend, and Goodwin’s pixie cut makes the look a perfect mix of sweet and vogue.
– Julianne Moore in Dior Couture: The mustard-canary yellow is so fresh and new, and makes Moore’s auburn hair pop.
– Kristen Wiig in Balenciaga: Wiig looks like she just stepped out of a boudoir — amongst all the other fussy, tight, couture-y dresses, Wiig looked relaxed and lovely.
– Julianne Hough in Georges Hobeika: The color and bottom detailing are stunning; I don’t think I’ve ever seen a couture dress in this ice-teal blue before. Hough looks like she just came back from a haute couture beach wedding.
– Lena Dunham in Prada: This could have worked if the dress was short or if it was sleeveless. Or both. But the simultaneous cap sleeves, floor length and high neck does not flatter Dunham.
– January Jones in Zac Posen: Messy, messy, messy. Paired with her intense smokey eyes and slicked-back hair, Jones just doesn’t look like herself.
– Christina Hendricks in Christian Siriano: Never mind that she’s busting out of the top, the dress looks cheap and color doesn’t do any favors for Hendricks’ porcelain skin and fire-red hair.
– Glenn Close: Close could have gone for a more classic, refined, simple look but she chose an overcomplicated mess.
– Kathy Griffin in Oscar de la Renta: The awkward thing here is the lone plastic bangle on Griffin’s arm. Other than that, the dress looks really messy in the back, and halter tops are quite dated.
Yes or no?
– Zosia Mamet in Bihbu Mahopatra: I appreciate that it’s fashion-forward and edgy, but at the same time there’s too much going on; the patterned sheer bottom seems random.
– Hayden Panettiere in Marchesa: The dress looks like it might be lovely without the thick blue gauze wrapped around her.
– Nicole Kidman in Antonio Berardi: The blue embroidered bodice is absolutely beautiful, but the dress stops short at an awkward length
– Heidi Klum in Alexandre Vauthier: The only reason this dress gets a pass is because a supermodel is wearing it. If it was anyone else, it’d look like a cheap prom outfit.
All photos are courtesy of E! Online.
By Ryan R.H. Galindo, Staff Writer
My government teacher in high school once told me that politics is never “black and white.” Rather, it’s more about the “gray” in between. Upon hearing those words, I realized that they pretty much summarized what I thought about the complicated world of politics. There are stances in both the Democratic and Republican parties that appeal to me, but at the end of the day, I am neither completely blue nor completely red.
Despite being purple, I looked forward to the day I would finally be eligible to vote. Yep, I was very excited last January when I turned 18. Moving to Boston in the midst of the presidential election was no less exciting. However, being that my permanent residence is on the island of Guam, a U.S. territory, I am not allowed the privilege to vote for president despite holding American citizenship.
I’m sure Boston is a very politically-charged city; yet, I haven’t seen many campaigns going around, especially on campus (save for that recent Elizabeth Warren campaign recently held at Morse). Or maybe I just don’t see them or I’m not around when they happen. But I do see a lot of Obama-Biden stickers and a couple of Romney-Ryan stickers scattered around. There’s even a Ron Paul placard on one of the windows of Warren Towers. Just this past Monday night, Boston University’s College Democrats had a table set up outside West Dining Hall, pursuing students to register to vote.
Whatever the case, I wanted to know if other students felt the same way—if they felt that the political atmosphere is becoming more apparent and heavy now that election day is inching closer and what they think of the effectiveness of campaigns.
Although College of Communication sophomore Reena Mangubat doesn’t notice any increase in political activity in terms of campaigning, she believes that even if there was, it would be unlikely for her to change her views.
“I don’t think it would affect me much to stop because I’m too busy to stop and listen to what people have to say,” Mangubat said. “It’s not that I’m apathetic. I read the news and keep up with it, so I’m politically aware.”
Mangubat, also a resident of Guam, is disappointed with her ineligibility to vote and is quite annoyed when people who have the power to vote don’t exercise that right.
“Speaking from someone who doesn’t have the right to vote but is an American citizen, I’m really jealous that some people have this opportunity and aren’t taking advantage of it,” she said.
Another COM sophomore Adrienne Todela said that while there are barely any political campaigns or events happening on campus, she thinks that they will increase as soon as the presidential debates roll in; and she’s excited.
“I usually listen to both sides – Democrat and Republican – to get a balance of what each party’s stance on the issues,” said Todela, who will be casting a vote for president this year. “I believe that although voting is a right and not a responsibility…I do not recommend voting with your eyes closed on the issues. If you want to vote, go do research, watch campaign rallies, watch the conventions, go to each campaign’s social media sites, and many other things.”
Like Mangubat and Todela, fellow COM peer Jun Tsuboike is not easily swayed by campaigns and deems them ineffective.
“I definitely think there is sort of that ‘pulling people to your side’ effect, but it’s rather unfortunate. You can’t really look at a slogan on a poster or a commercial and decide who you want to support,” he says.
“I think campaigns are great at getting people interested in politics, especially for the elections that are coming up, but it’s ultimately my own research and conversation with other people that determines my political stance,” said Tsuboike.
It seems that campaigns are only effective to some extent and that the only way to determine your political perspective is with introspection and personal scrutiny of one’s values. And I couldn’t agree more.
Red, blue or purple? You decide.