A Day in the Bean

BY ERIN POWERS // MAY 8, 2012 // 

Yes, the title of my blog may be “Night in the Bean,” but summer is upon us and for many college students that can only mean one thing: day drinking. Sure, Boston at night is always a good time, but who doesn’t like an ice cold Harpoon by the Charles on a sunny day?

Hey, as long it’s after noon, it is considered socially acceptable in the summertime. Now, imagine spending an afternoon in June in the Bean without spending your entire paycheck. In this economy, it is hard to do, but I know a couple places that can make it possible.

One of my favorite daytime stops when traipsing through the streets of Boston is the Sam Adam’s brewery. Our city is the home of the best concoction of hops, barley, wheat and water (aka, beer) this side of the Atlantic and we should embrace this. The brewery, located in Jamaica Plain, is only a short drive from Curry. But regardless of its proximity, I would suggest public transportation or a designated driver for this trip, as your group will get to try a variety of the brews.

The tour is just long enough to keep you entertained until the free beer at the end, and with a good tour guide the energy is great. If you’ve ever wondered what dry hops taste like, (mildly disgusting, in my opinion) you can find out here, as well as the various grains that make up the beer’s classic taste. And the tour does a great job of sharing the history of the famous brewery without boring you to death. The best part: it’s always free. So, if you don’t like free beer then this isn’t the place for you.

Another great summer location is Boston’s famous Hatch Memorial Shell. The performance center is known for its history and more importantly it’s free concerts. One event in particular that I would recommend is Boston’s annual EarthFest. The radio station 92.9 FM sponsors the festival, and with bands like Eve 6, Third Eye Blind, and Spin Doctors set to perform, this year’s main stage is already looking stacked.

Aside from the good music, you can also be supporting our environment, as the festival will have numerous exhibits and environmental installations to check out. What could be better than enjoying a live performance while feeling “green” at the same time? Once again, the best part about this festival is that it is free. This year’s EarthFest is coming up on May 19 and performances on the main stage are set to begin at 11:30 a.m. Check out the Hatch Shell’s Web site for their full schedule of free shows this summer.

If you were just looking to take a stroll, then I would say head over to the Commons for a picnic or take a hike on one of the trails at Middlesex Fells. The Long Wharf is another beloved summer spot in the city. I would recommend The Landing restaurant to anyone who is looking for a cocktail by the harbor. Your drink will most likely be served in a plastic fish bowl the size of your head, though, so be prepared to literally “drink like a fish.” No, it’s not free to get one of these bowls of booze—that would be reality in a perfect world, but the prices are extremely low, the location makes up for the cost and, overall, it’s a worthwhile outing.

Many of us have caught spring fever by this time of the year, and although we will be heading out to the beach in just a few weeks, we must not forget about the city. Free does exist if you look close enough, and if you can’t find something free, there are places to go where you won’t spend more than $25 for a good time. The city is full of hidden gems for both the night crawler and the day drinker; you won’t be disappointed in what you find.

Forever Young

BY NICK IRONSIDE // MAY 4, 2012 // 

One takes sandwich orders at the register. Another picks up the yellow Post-it note/order slip and starts putting turkey, provolone cheese and tomato on white bread. The third is wiping down tables.

Although they’re usually on their feet, preparing and organizing food or cleaning the seating area, there’s an ever-present smile on each of the three ladies who run the Hafer Café. They love their jobs and enjoy talking with students.

The trio will ask about classes, the weather and if a customer’s day is going well. Being around people is why Irene Whooten, 65, enjoys working at Curry. Joan Bukuras, 81, feels younger when around students. And Barbara Burke, 72, who opens the Café at 7:30 each morning, says she’s fascinated by many of the people she serves. None of the women attended college themselves.

The ladies of the Hafer Cafe—from left, Irene Whooten, Joan Bukuras and Barbara Burke—make it their job to greet all customers with a smile, because it’s those customers who bring a smile to their faces.  // PHOTO BY NICK IRONSIDE

“I like it here,” says Burke. “You get to meet different students.”

Each lady hails from Boston. Bukuras grew up in Boston’s South End, while Burke lived in Dorchester during her childhood and Whooten spent the beginning of her life in Hyde Park. They all currently live in the area and say they work at Curry—they’re employed by the college’s food services provider Sodexo—because the commute is “convenient.”

Yet, clearly it’s more than that. Behind the trademark smile of Burke, the efficiency of Whooten and the soft-spoken nature of Bukuras is a sincere kindness. They don’t just serve customers. Rather, they joke with students. They truly know the faculty. They respect the often-unheralded staffers.

On a personal level, Whooten and Burke also share a love of animals. “I would have a hundred cats if I could,” Whooten says with a laugh. She owns three Maine Coon cats—Whiskers, Tara and Clohe— while Burke loves dogs. “I have a chocolate lab named Chloe,” she says beaming.

In this regard, Bukuras stands apart. “I’ve always been afraid of them,” she says of cats and dogs. “I think it’s how I was brought up.”

Bukuras says she has stayed close to her Lebanese father’s roots, cooking Mediterranean food in her free time. She has also traveled throughout Europe, enjoying trips to Greece, Italy, Turkey, England and France.

Whooten and Bukuras, both widows, joined Sodexo within the last eight years and are great-grandmothers. Burke, who celebrates her 50th wedding anniversary on May 5, has been working at Curry for 30 years.

“It was just that room back then,” says Burke, motioning toward the small room that houses the F’Real milkshake machine, kitchen and cash register. “They didn’t have this (seating area) when I started working here.”

Burke came to Curry after spending some time as a secretary at the John Hancock insurance company, but found the work “boring.” Before joining Sodexo, Whooten mainly worked in Milton, although her food services experience can be traced back to her first job out of high school: at a McDonald’s in Hyde Park. During the summer, Whooten usually works for Sodexo in the Student Center. Burke does, too, while Bukuras will sometimes take the summers off.

Whooten says she has always liked working around food because it creates more opportunities to interact with people. “I’m a very sociable person,” she says.

It’s almost a requirement for the job, whether serving students or sharing small working quarters with one other.

Says Burke, “I couldn’t ask for better co-workers.”

Release Your Stress

BY VANESSA KELLY // MAY 4, 2012 // 

Finals are approaching and stress levels have shot up a ton. We are pulling all nighters and spending most of our time in our room or the library studying our butt off. Sleep is the last opinion, and it’s getting to be a problem.

Girls, don’t worry about dressing to impress, it’s time to de-stress. There are many ways to be comfy and still look cute—Curry boys know you are stressed with work because they are, too—and here are three good places to start:

1. Wear yoga pants. But it’s cute if you wear a fitted tank or V-neck with a cute, colorful fitted hoodie with them so you feel both cute and comfy. We all know that every Curry girl owns a pair of yoga pants. Another way to be comfy and cute is to wear a pair of skinny jeans and simple plain neutral colored t-shirt or a patterned V-neck shirt. I suggest you add a pattern or colorful scarf to the outfit. It will give you a cute accessory to look forward to and will compliment your face.

PHOTO BY WINNOND/FREEDIGITALPHOTOS.NET

2. Girls feel gross when they just wear sweats all day—mostly because they are self conscious of their hair and face. But a few quick do’s can solve those bad hair days. The easiest solution is a braid. A French braid is ideal because it’s out of your face and keeps your hair intact. French braids are the tights of braids, so those loose strands won’t be a bother. If you’re not into the French look, another opinion is the fish tail. The fish tail is cute and unique and even though you think it’s just a hairstyle to get off my face, others will be impress that you had the time to do it. Lastly, if you have done the braid look too many times this week, tie your hair back in a low bun. It’s simple and sophisticated.

3. Stop worrying, you look beautiful. I know you feel naked when you leave your dorm without make up on. I also know how it feels when you don’t want to look like your putting too much makeup on because you have that many zits. So, on your study break, grab some of your friends and have a mini spa night. It doesn’t have to be that long, but it will be a great way for all of you to relax and clear up your skin at the same time.

* Wash your face, then dab honey (right from the jar) all over and relax for 15 minutes. It smells good and it’s a great antioxidant. Your skin will be baby-soft, and it reduces redness, too. I was amazed when I tried it.

* Wash your face, then dab plain, unflavored yogurt all over. It’s a natural source of alpha hydroxyl acid. Your pores will disappear.

*Before washing your hair, massage jojoba oil into your scalp, put on a cap, and then relax for 15 minutes. Jojoba removes build-up from your scalp, prevents dandruff, and conditions your hair.

Release some stress with your friends! You will all do well on your exams, but you need to relax or you will be very uptight and will probably freak out on stupid things. Do yourself a favor: relax!

(The Style Strategy by Nina Garcia, HarperCollins Publishers published in 2010 in New York, NY)

The 90s Again, One Meme at a Time

BY SEBASTIAN HUMBERT // MAY 4, 2012 //

While some college students are enjoying the start of finals, others have given up, relying on thick pillows, the fetal position and memories of better (elementary school) days. Which brings me to 90s nostalgia.

Arguably, the best part of the Internet is the ability to go back in time. Whether you use that power to take harmless note of what your ex-girlfriend did last weekend or to watch Daria re-runs is your choice. Though, here, I’ll be writing about the latter.

It’s important to have a healthy, constant stream of 90s nostalgia on all social media fronts, and the following will help you accomplish that.

The 90s on Tumblr!
“The 90s Were All That,” a popular Facebook fan page, also has a Tumblr page worth mentioning. But there are a couple others that are better. Imremembering.com is one, but F***yeah1990s.tumblr.com is way better. It provides everything you need to know about the 90s.

The 90s on Facebook!
While Facebook is third—behind Tumblr and Twitter—when it comes to 90s content, it is first in 90’s video. The 90’s Were All That fan page has full-length episodes from popular 90s Nickelodeon shows like “Are You Afraid of the Dark” and “AAHHH! Real Monsters.” The Daria fan page is OK when it comes to video. The team behind the page regularly posts new full-length episodes. If you don’t have time for that, though, check out the Saved By The Bell fan page. It hardly has video, but the amazine quotes are constant.

The 90s on Twitter!
First off, Twitter is awesome because you can keep tabs on all of your idols, such as Melissa Joan Hart (omg) or Pete and Pete (both of them). Sadly, Sarah Michelle Gellar, aka Buffy from “Buffy, The Vampire Slayer,” aka the reason for life circa 1998, does not have an account. Also, besides popular hashtags like #why90srock, Twitter has a couple of great 90s-focused accounts. 90’s Girl Problems is way more popular than 90’s guy and 90’s boy problems, but they are all worth following.

The 90s on You Tube!
Too many, but these two are a good start:

The Last Dance

BY BRITTANY JENNINGS // MAY 2, 2012 //

The Annual Dance Performances will be held this Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. in the Keith Auditorium at Curry College. Admission is free, but you need to arrive early to get a great seat.

At the end of each spring semester the Department of Fine and Applied Arts presents a dance performance with students enrolled in dance courses, such as Classical Ballet II, Introduction to Jazz, Modern I, Introduction to Choreography, and Dance Performance.

PHOTO COURTESY OF CURRY COLLEGE

This event gives students the opportunity to make the transition from classroom to stage and provides an exciting and productive experience. For seniors and those with a minor in dance, this performance represents the culmination of four years of study.

This year, Modern I, Introduction to Choreography and Dance Performance will be exhibiting the work they have choreographed throughout the spring semester. If you are enrolled in either Modern I, Introduction to Choreography, or Ballet II, you are eligible to enroll in Dance Performance.

As someone who has been dancing since I was 3, I’ve continued to dance throughout college. This is a great experience to learn to choreograph dance pieces. The dance program is very diverse. Every dancer comes from a different dancing background and has studied various styles—modern, Irish step, salsa, ballet, tap and jazz—prior to attending Curry.

Also, the dancers who have focused on a different type of dance have stepped out of their comfort zones by learning new dance styles and techniques. The dances that are in the show have been choreographed by Curry students enrolled in the dance classes.