Category Archives: Off Campus

We All Scream for Ice Cream

With this crazy summer heat and the non air conditioned subway cars, sometimes all we need to cool down is some delicious ice cream.  There are two places here in New York that have a special place in my heart.

Chloe’s Fruit: (E 17th St between 5th and Broadway) Being health conscious but also ALWAYS craving ice cream, Chloe’s truly saves the day for me.  Their soft serve is gluten, dairy, and fat free and absolutely delicious.  The dark chocolate and banana flavors are my favorite and there’s no way possible that you can leave there without getting peanut butter drizzle on top.  I can’t wait to try their newly added breakfast items!

Chloe's Fruit Soft Serve

Chloe’s Fruit Soft Serve

Big Gay Ice Cream: (West Village – Grove St and 7th Ave, East Village – E 7th and Avenue A) What started as an ice cream truck has turned into a character of NYC.  I’ve only been once but the next time I’m feeling a cheat meal, I’ll definitely go there.  I got the Rocky Roadhouse when I went for the first time and I’m very thankful that they have GLUTEN FREE CONES!  I highly recommend that you look at the menu online in advanced because it can get busy on a hot summer day.

Big Gay Ice Cream Rocky Roadhouse

Big Gay Ice Cream Rocky Roadhouse

Ashley

Restaurant Review – Hu Kitchen

New York is known for its great food.  You could spend your entire life going from place to place trying out every food that New York has to offer.  Unfortunately, if you’re like me and have a ton of food sensitivities, my food exploration adventure gets cut a little short.  Thankfully, more restaurants offer gluten free options and you will often come across places like Hu Kitchen (78 5th Ave (14th and 5th).  Hu Kitchen’s menu is entirely gluten free and the ingredients are truly fresh and you can taste it.  The atmosphere of the place alone is incredible (see photo below).  It is very inviting with some of the nicest people working there.  I can guarantee that you will not be disappointed if you try any of their chocolate bars or their almond banana smoothie.  The next time you have a lunch break, be sure to stop by and give it a try.  You can thank me later.

Hu Kitchen interior

Hu Benny breakfast

Hu Benny at Hu Kitchen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ashley

Notes From the 6 Train: Finding Work That Fills Up You

I’m really enjoying my internship with the Laundromat Project. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of helping out my artist, Elvira Clayton, at the Harlem Art’s Festival. We were in the kid’s corner, where we had a live drummer, with an accompanying (evolving) drum circle. We also had materials to make mini djembes for anyone to take home to continue the music at home!

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Despite the challenging weather we experienced at the Harlem’s Art Festival, there was an incredible turnout at our table. And I know why.

The drums.

It brought together every community member possible. Little kids wandered over, with their older siblings and parents following close behind. At one point, an elder, master drummer even stopped by to play for a bit.

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That’s when I remembered, why drums are so enticing. I never forget this fact, but it’s moments like this that reaffirm, usually more passionately than before, that powerful nature of the drum. It’s an obvious reminder of our humanity, as it mirrors the sound of our shared heartbeats. This is even more poignant when there’s a troupe of drums. Strangers who didn’t even exchange names, were connected, if only for a moment, by playing together.

Not only do drums remind of us our shared humanity, but creates the perfect catalyst for community building. Everyone wants to touch the drum, beat and feel the rhythm of the drum. Even the shyest and most hesitant of passerby’s found themselves enraptured in the majestic nature of the drum circle.

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As my graduation swiftly approaches, I am paying attention to work that fills me up, makes me feel whole, and this community engaging work does it for sure. That’s what I plan on doing after I graduate.

All Things Color, Love & Fashion,
Ayanna Lane

Apartment Update

So I have officially been living in my new apartment for about a month and a half and I’m in love.  I was skeptical at first and I was nervous about coming back to New York after being home for a week but I’ve fallen back into the swing of things and all is well.  I have some advice as far as apartment planning and the things I did right and the things I did wrong.

  1. You don’t have to buy all your furniture at once.  When you are making that trek out to IKEA for the first time to get all of your furniture, get the essentials such as a bed and a place to put things like clothes and a TV.  You don’t need a couch and a table and chairs right away.  If you wait a little while, you’ll have more money in your pocket and it’ll be less of a financial burden.
  2. Buy toilet paper and paper towel in bulk.  No one wants to make a special trip to buy several rolls of toilet paper or paper towel, so see if your parents or someone that is helping you move can bring a good ol trusty pack from Costco or Target.
  3. Why didn’t I buy a vacuum?!  I am in desperate need of one, especially being on hardwood floors.  You don’t think you need it, but you do.  Dust galore.
  4. A good roommate will make or break your apartment experience.  I am thankful enough to live with one of my best friends and I couldn’t be happier.  We already know how each other live and we don’t have to tiptoe around each other to try to live normally.  We are like minded in our organizational habits and our lifestyles.  A good roommate truly makes all the difference.
  5. Ask questions ahead of time.  How do you pay for rent each month?  If there is an issue with the apartment do I call the super or outside maintenance and how much will it cost?  When will the rent checks be cashed each month?  How will I know if you received my payment?

Hope this helps you on your apartment adventures!
Ashley

Conquering the LIRR

For those of you who aren’t from Long Island and the idea of walking into Penn Station with an end destination but no idea how to get there, I’m here to help.  This past weekend I took the LIRR for the FIRST time to go to my best friend’s bridal shower.  I was absolutely terrified, especially because I had to transfer trains at Jamaica which before coming to New York, I thought only existed in the Caribbean…

So the biggest help will be your friends that are from Long Island.  They will give you the best advice as to how to take on the train system.

  1. Figure out where you’re going
  2. Use the LIRR Trip Planner to see what trains you need to take http://lirr42.mta.info/
  3. When you arrive in Penn, follow the signs to the LIRR.  You have the option to use the ticket window to buy your tickets, the ticket machine similar to refilling your MetroCard, buying the tickets online, or buying them on the train (more expensive).
  4. Tickets will vary in price depending on the day and time that you are traveling, which you can view on the trip planner.  You can purchase single ride, round trip, monthly passes and several other options
  5. Once you purchase your ticket, you will look up at the big screen that tells you what time your train is arriving and what track it is on.  If you followed step #2, you will know what train you are taking.  Anywhere from 4-12 minutes prior to departure, the screen will notify you of what train your track is on and you as well as 50+ other people will all rush in the same direction.  Follow their lead if you are going on that train!
  6. If you have to transfer at Jamaica, the connection train will always be across the track upon arrival or a few minutes later.  If you are not taking the connection train, then you must go and find your train.  Ask the people around you as well as employees.  They know best!
  7. While on the train the conductor will come around and hole punch your ticket and return it to you depending on the type of ticket that you have and your destination.  Be sure that if you are on a round trip, don’t lose your ticket coming back to the city!

That pretty much covers it!  Good luck on the LIRR!

Ashley

Notes From The 6 Train: The Laundromat Project

In my last post I mentioned that I have a summer internship as an artist assistance, but I want to talk more about the organization that I’m working with. The name is the Laundromat project and it’s mission is exactly what it sounds likes, doing cool stuff in laundromats. The entire premise of this non-profit is to make art more accessible for those whom it may not be for, such as those who live in low income and working class neighborhoods. This is done by bringing act and interactive exhibits to laundromats & other community spaces.

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I am super excited to be working with this organization because it’s work I fully believe in. Accessibility to art (film, dance, writing and poetry for me) has made such a huge impact in my understanding of the world and my existence within it. Creating art has healed me in ways that would impossible otherwise, and has connected me with people and communities that have changed my life.

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But it started because I was exposed to it. Whereas, for many people living in lower income and working class neighborhoods, art is this esoteric or even nonexistence force that exists for other people besides themselves, or exclusively the wealthy. So I look forward to bringing to connecting and building through art. I am also looking forward to working such talented artists, who do this important work.

This is going to be a good summer. I can feel it.

All Things Color, Love & Fashion,
Ayanna Lane

Fun in the Sun – June

Each month, I’ll break down some of the top events happening for the month in NYC.  Here are some of the events that I’m looking forward to:

June 1st – Taste of Times Square: Some of the top : in the city ready to serve you with tastes from around the world! More info

June 11th – BINGO in Bryant Park: Need I say more?  More info

June 13th – The Games: An event in motion – literally.  Games and events all day long to get you up and active.  Participate with friends or meet people there!  Want to participate?  More info

June 20th – Mermaid Parade: People channeling their inner Little Mermaid on Coney Island.  What a juxtaposition! More info

June 21st – Solstice in Times Square: Yoga sponsored by Athleta in the middle of Times Square.  What a sight! More info

June 23rd-28th – Pride Week: One of the most celebrated events of the summer.  It’s incredible to see a city come together. More info

All Summer – Bryant Park Shakespeare: Various Shakespearean plays performed in the park!  More info

All Summer – HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival: Movies every Monday in Bryant Park starting June 22nd!  Pull up a chair and enjoy in the summer sunset.  More info

All Summer – GMA Concert Series: The biggest names in the music industry performing in the heart of Manhattan in Central Park.  More info

-Ashley

Goals for the Summer

Now that the school year has officially ended, it’s time to look ahead towards brighter days!  I’m staying in the city this summer and interning.  I was only able to see my family and be at home for 9 days and now I won’t see them until winter break.  It’s going to be really tough but I just have to focus on school and interning and bettering myself.  With that in mind, I figured I’d share some of my goals for this summer!

  1. Have a successful internship and learn from my experiences.
  2. Explore New York City!  I have a massive list of places that I want to see, restaurants that I want to try, and fun locations to visit.
  3. Step outside of my comfort zone whether it’s at my internship, a new food, or just in everyday life.
  4. Continue to stay active and improve my health.
  5. Relax and have fun.  This one is going to be very difficult for me, which I know sounds weird.  I spend my entire year completely focused 24/7, rarely spending time away from my desk or photo studio, so now is the time.
  6. Educate myself.  There are plenty of skills that are applicable to my major but I am not allowed to take as part of my curriculum here at FIT.  So I am going to be using FIT’s resources and lynda.com – an online video portal with hundreds of videos that teach you about your desired topic.  I’m going to educate myself on Adobe Software such as InDesign and Illustrator as well as marketing strategies and how they’re applicable to photography.

What are some of your summer goals?

Ashley

Notes From the 6 Train: Implementing Grace (When Life Changes Without Your Permission)

I just returned from Boston where I attended my best friend’s graduation. Look how beautiful she looked!

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I am beyond proud of my her, she’s essentially my sister, as I’ve known her since we went to kindergarten together. She’s not just good-looking, but also incredibly intelligent & passionate. This fall she will continue her education at Berkeley to get her Phd.

I was slated to graduate this May, but as I am a transfer student, I was set back by just a semester. So I will be graduating in the fall (yay!). For a while, I was quite upset that I wasn’t graduating “on time.” I felt like I was failure, and was ashamed about telling people, as there is stigma about graduating “late” (which I’m not sure what that means since there are significant amount of students who graduate undergrad in more than 4 years.)

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But, as mentioned before, not only am I “okay,” with the fact that I have a remaining semester, but I am thankful for it. There are programs, people and things I would am able to do that are necessary for (that have and will continue to mold my life) if I graduated this May. This was certainly about a bigger plan, divine order if you will.

This, learning to deal with unforeseen circumstances with grace, is one of the most important lessons I’m learning, which has been spearheaded by college events. If I hadn’t, I would have been at my soul sister’s graduation reeling with hidden jealously and disappointment. However, knowing, confidently that both of our paths are leading us to passionate,full lives of magic and love, I was able to be in present and overwhelming proud with a heart of joy.

Sometimes, we set plans and things change. And that’s okay. A quote I heard recently and identified with a lot is “we make plans & God laughs,” that’s life. Let go of the reins and enjoy the ride.

All Things Color, Love & Fashion,
Ayanna Lane

How to Celebrate Finals…#MadSqEats

If you are reading this, hopefully that means you are not procrastinating and that you are actually DONE WITH FINALS!  First off, CONGRATULATIONS!  You made it through!  While many people have different ways of celebrating something, I celebrate with food, so today I went down in 80 degree weather to Madison Square Park for Madison Square Eats.  For those of you who have never been or never heard of Madison Square Eats, it takes place every year and about 20 food vendors set up booths in the park.  You can have everything from hand rolled sushi to a soft pretzel to tacos.  The world is your oyster (they probably have oysters too…).  It is such a fun atmosphere to be in especially when celebrating the end of something.  I got myself some gluten free spring rolls from Two Tablespoons and a Perfect 10 cookie from Momofuku Milk Bar, both healthy options.  For more information head to http://urbanspacenyc.com/mad-sq-eats/.  Eat up and enjoy!  Happy end of the semester!

Madison Square Eats - Karlie's Kookie Madison Square Eats - Two Tablespoons

Ashley