Category Archives: Off Campus

Sakura Matsuri Cherry BlossomFestival

Has the recent weather been bringing you down? Looking for something to get back into that Spring vibe? Look no further than the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens! This weekend, April 29th-30th is the annual Cherry Blossom Festival – Sakura Matsuri!

When

April 29th-30th 6am-10pm

Where

The Brooklyn Botanical Gardens (990 Washington Ave, Brooklyn)

What

60+ events and performances celebrating traditional and contemporary Japanese culture.

Activities and events include

  • Flea Market
  • Japanese Tea Room
  • Art Gallery
  • Music
  • Cosplay
  • Samurai Sword Masters
  • Dance Parties

Tickets

Day passes are just $25 for students. Click here to get them.

This is a limited time event at one of the most picturesque places in all of New York, so get out there!

Photo Credit: Blanca Begert

First time at a Passover Seder

This last week was Passover and I was gifted with the opportunity to enjoy my first ever Passover Seder with some friends. Having surprisingly never come into contact with any Jewish families before in my life, I knew absolutely nothing about this holiday, but I can sure say I learned a lot.

Passover is a Jewish holiday which commemorates the liberation of the Jews from Egypt and lasts either seven or eight days (depending on your branch of Judaism). Passover Seder is a traditional feast lead by a Jewish text called the Haggadah which divides the night into 15 parts. These 15 sections of the meal include such things as: blessing of the food, retelling of the Exodus, the ceremonial breaking of matzah (unleavened bread), eating maror (bitter herbs), eating the main course, reciting the Hallel, and the conclusion of the meal.

Every part of the meal has symbolic importance behind it. The dipping of karpas (a variety of vegetables) in salt water represents the tears of the Jews during their slavery in Egypt. Exclusively matzah bread (unleavened bread) is allowed at a Passover Seder to honor the fact that the freed Israelites were in such a hurry to leave Egypt that they were unable to wait for bread to rise. It was amazing getting to hear the story of the freed Israelites and even hear my friend and his family sing and read Hebrew script as part of the ceremony of Passover Seder.

I am so thankful that I had the chance to experience a different culture like that for the first time, and I hope I only continue learning about other cultures. Have you ever learned something about a culture you didn’t know anything about?

Mariano’s Survival Guide: LA-NYC

Being bi-coastal has it’s pros and cons. Winter Break is ironically a breeze, but Summer Break sure does bring on the heat when it comes to bringing everything back home. Here are a couple of tips I recommend if you’re far, far, away from NYC.

1. Get a storage unit:

Manhattan Mini Storage has great deals for students. Getting a unit will save your live come summertime when you are left to travel with ALL of your belongings back home on a 6-hour flight, say bye to that extra luggage fee.

2. Change the way you pack:

Simply organizing your things differently will help you stuff some more things into your luggage. Start with shoes at the bottom and work your way up the body. Keep clothes ROLLED not folded and make sure all of your liquids on carry-on are not over 3.4oz!

3. Prepare for the weather back home:

New York has bi-polar weather, just like it’s counterpart Los Angeles, however, when it blazing hot here it can be a rain-fest over there, and vice-versa! Keep up with the weather updates when travelling and try to wear easy layers on flights to ensure weather protection!

Restaurant Spotlight: Roti

Being constantly on the go, it is nice to find new fast casual restaurants that are in the area!  I came across Roti Modern Mediterranean, or Roti for short, on Instagram and I knew that I had to go and give them a try!  With 2 locations located in Manhattan, 100 Maiden Lane and 142 E 43rd, and locations throughout the east coast and Chicago, Roti is quickly growing, with new stores likely to open nationwide.

Similarly to Chipotle, you can customize your meal from your base of rice, salad, or pita (bonus: they have gluten free pita), then choosing your protein from falafel to chicken kabobs to salmon, there are options for everyone.  Then comes the fun part of picking all of your toppings and sauces.  A mediterranean restaurant isn’t complete without hummus and Roti has you covered there!  For people who are very mindful about what they are eating, they have a nutrition calculator online so you can plan out or see what you’re fueling your body with!  I opted for the salad with chicken kabob, fresh vegetables, and red S’hug sauce.  After one visit, I am hooked and I am looking forward to returning!  For more info, visit http://roti.com/

Happy eating!

Ashley

Bowery Ballroom & Irving Plaza Review

It has been months since I have gone to a concert, and I am so incredibly glad that I have finally broken that drought. Recently, K. Flay, one of my favorite musicians ever, had a show at the Bowery Ballroom.

The Bowery Ballroom is an amazing venue, with tickets averaging out to $22 (after the processing fee!) it makes concerts much more budget friendly, and with a walk under 10 minutes from the N or the Q, it is easy to get to. Sold out shows are never painfully packed, and for someone who hates mosh-pits, this is a welcomed relief. No matter where you stand, you are practically guaranteed a great view, and with an amazing light show every night, the only thing that changes is the artist, which they have an amazing taste for. From pop artist like The Griswolds, to indie hip-hop like K. Flay, to a much more retro sounding Tennis, the Bowery Ballroom has an amazing line-up no matter when you go.

Photo courtesy: Katie Rich @richlkatie

This last Friday I was lucky enough to snag tickets for Hippo Campus at the Irving Plaza, and I can say without a doubt that it was the best concert I’ve ever been to.

Tickets at Irving Plaza are a bit more expensive, coming out around $40, but the extra money is worth it. Located right next to Union Square, Irving Plaza is a much bigger venue than Bowery Ballroom, meaning there will be a lot more energy from the crowd and it will feel much more like an actual concert rather than a gig. The stage is larger so the bands have a larger set up and the standing room for the audience goes much farther back and has a second floor where the bar is located. You have to get there a bit earlier to get a good spot, but besides that there’s really no negatives about the venue.

With countless concerts out there in NY, there is a lot to experience, but I hope this will put these venues on the map for you!