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Heading Home for the Holidays

It’s that time of year again where college students all around the world are heading home for the holidays.

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It’s that time of year again where college students all around the world are heading home for the holidays. At Hofstra University especially, the students cannot wait for finals to be over with, so that they can pack up their suitcases and head home as soon as possible.

All of my friends and I have agreed that we’re the last of our friends to arrive home. “My friends wanted to have a Christmas party the other night, but since I wasn’t home, they had to hold off,” Lauren Lauder said.

Some students on campus were able to leave early because they had all of their finals earlier in the week. My roommate was gone by evening on Sat. Dec. 17, and my suitemate was also gone at 5 in the morning on the 18th. I will still be on campus until Dec. 21st at 11 at night.

My friends from universities across the United States have already made it home and settled back in. They have been texting me pictures of them curled up with their pets back home, or group pictures of them all together out for late night hot chocolate.

During this time of year holidays are happening all of the time and whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan or something else, there is always joy to find in the air. People just can’t wait to get home to their families and to get into the holiday season, but the transportation is the only drawback.

Some of us college students have to catch airplanes, trains, buses, or cars to head home for the holidays. It is no easy trek either this time of year because all of the unpredictable winter storms have been causing delays everywhere for students during this holiday travel season.

AAA predicts that this holiday season will be recording breaking in numbers. They estimate that more than 103 million Americans will travel this holiday season.  In just 2014, that estimated number was at 98.6 million.

Many of the early travelers will be college students as they head back home, while the later ones will be families and friends traveling to one another for celebration.

I know most college students just want to get out of their university as soon as possible. The semester was hard enough and finals week was even more stressful and all these students can’t wait for is to get home to their own bed. A good month long break is something all of us college students deserve from time to time.

To find out what it is like for college students, specifically Hofstra students, to have to pack up their lives for five weeks and head home be sure to check out this video.

Also, find out what many college students can’t wait to do once they finally arrive home.

Happy holidays to everyone!

New York City’s New Museum

New York City’s New Museum has become a hot spot for young contemporary artists.

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New York City’s New Museum has become a hot spot for young contemporary artists. I was lucky enough to get a free trip to the museum with a couple of friends. The building’s unique architecture adds to the museum’s modern feel.

This museum is all about how digital technology plays into artwork. It shows that artwork is not just about paint and canvas anymore, but instead shows how everyday items and some lights turn what we all know as art into something new.

The most popular exhibit on display at the moment is Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist’s Pixel Forest. This display mixes digital aspects of nature with technology. You are able to walk through the display of lights, or lay down on the giant pillows and look up towards the story being told on the corner walls.

If you wish to see this exhibit, hurry there because this will only be on display until Jan. 15, 2017.

The New Museum has also started a mini exhibit on the seventh floor of the building called the micro-museum. The micro-museum is the called the museum of the future. The plan is to have these displays that are no larger than a vending machine on exhibit in places such as the DMV, or the waiting room of hospitals.

The micro-museum named, The Smallest Mollusk Museum, is on display at the New Museum. It tells the natural history of snails with eight sculptures, five videos, 3 optical allusions within it, and a huge hologram on the bottom.

These were created in hopes of keeping the idea of museums alive in the future as people turn more to technology and less to places such as an art museum. By putting them in common areas such as the waiting room of a doctor’s office, or in the corner of a less populated restaurant, it will allow for the public to retrieve information without travelling from their every day route.

The New Museum definitely knows how to mix the art world with the technology world. I went to the museum with someone that is more into contemporary film, and the idea that you don’t need words to tell a story, and they found this museum to be absolutely amazing.

Nothing in this museum is what the older generation would truly consider art, so it is interesting to see how modern artists have broke the boundaries of the art world in order to tell a story in new and exciting ways.

If you are ever in New York City make sure to stop by the New Museum and see what is on display. I can confidently say that you will not be disappointed.

 

 

NYC Veterans Day Parade on 5th Avenue

This was the 97th annual NYC Veterans Day Parade.

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If you were anywhere in New York City on Friday Nov. 11 you probably heard about the Veterans Day Parade happening on 5th Avenue.

Being completely truthful, I did not know it was occurring until I was stuck in the midst of it. My class and I were heading to an auction house down from 5th Avenue when it occurred to our professor that she just walked us into the center of the Veterans Day Parade.

Even if we tried to walk it would have been crazy, so we decided to stop and watch it instead. I had realized that this parade meant a lot to one of my friends who were on the trip with me. Her father is in the military and for her not to be home with him on that day was a bit heartbreaking for her, but she felt as if she was celebrating him from afar.

“It’s hard not being home with him today, but with him always being away for work, we’ve learned to find the positive in everything,” Issy Lang stated at the parade.

This was the 97th annual NYC Veterans Day Parade on 5th Avenue.

“This is one of the best ways to pay tribute to the ones who served,” a parade-goer expressed.

This whole parade had begun with a memorial ceremony that morning at Madison Square Garden. After that is when the parade moved to 5th Avenue and 26th Street.

“We have to honor them in every way,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said during the memorial ceremony. “Not just on Veterans Day, but every day of the year.”

I had been standing there from the time that the motorcyclists came out to the moment the last family member walked with a serviceman/servicewoman.

The U.S. Coast Guard was the featured service unit for this year’s parade.

This year’s parade commemorated the 15th anniversary of 9/11 with special recognition for Afghanistan, Iraq and the other 9/11 veterans and first responders.

Music was played by the New York Police Department, children walked with their serving family member, and the streets were filled with joy as everyone made their way down.

My favorite part had to be when the family members walked with their serving family member, because it just reminded you of how many people actually do serve, and how close they can be to home. I even had a tear in my eye at that moment.

As the parade closed out in the section of 5th Avenue that I was in it was safe to say that for someone who wasn’t supposed to initially attend the parade, it was one of the best things I could have done on Veterans Day.

You could literally feel the emotions in the crowd as some kids wore their parent’s tags, women and men remembered loved ones who fought, and people cheering on the veterans for their service.

The best thing was when servicemen and servicewoman would completely acknowledge the cheers and you would see a huge grin paint upon their face. That is when you know that your country truly does appreciate every action you take to keep us safe.

The parade finished on 53rd Street and 5th Avenue. More than 250 groups, marching bands, floats, military vehicles, veterans and 20,000 participants took part.

Make sure to come out next year to the 98th annual NYC Veterans Day Parade.

Follow the link below to hear some of the heartwarming things children of veterans had to say to me on Nov. 11.

NYC’s Veterans Day Parade

Election Night Elevated Quickly

For the first time in my life, I truly fear for the future of our country.

Early in the evening you could see people all around campus, and even all over the world watching live coverage of the outcomes of the 2016 election.

While most of my house were either in the lounge together watching it, or even in my suite’s common room, I was sadly stuck in my room watching the coverage from a stream on my laptop while studying for a huge final.

Either way, you could hear the cheers, groans, and words of despair as each state declared where majority ruled in the election. Pennsylvania, my home state, was a state of controversy for most of the night; a state that first showed up blue on the FiveThirtyEight election map and on CNN’s live coverage showing Democrat Hillary Clinton had won majority. Within the next few hours, and my 12:30 at night, Pennsylvania’s color had turned to red and it was now a Trump tackled state.

Sadly, I had to get up at 6 in the morning, so I wound up falling asleep right before the results were given. Although, I did not wake up to my alarm this morning, but instead woke up to the sounds of tweets pouring in and texts being sent to me.

Let’s just say I was not too happy about the winning candidate. While I know a lot of people that are for Republican Donald Trump, I for one, was not. He stood against many things I believed in such as him wanting to defund Planned Parenthood, his opposition to nationwide marriage equality, and his opinions on women’s rights.

I was not at first even thinking about my after college years with this election, but I was instead trying to figure out which candidate would be the most helpful within the next four years I am in college. We always have to look ahead, and ahead of me were the next four most stressful and unpredictable years of my life. I knew Clinton’s views lined up more with mine, so I felt comfortable with her as a candidate. Trump on the other hand always made me feel as if I had to be on my toes not knowing when he would tread on me next.

The election is over and Republican Donald Trump is now our new President of the United States. It really is crazy to think about, but I guess it will just have to be something that we all come to accept over the next four years, or at least we work our hardest to recreate a nation that already is in trouble.

For the first time in my life, I truly fear for the future of our country. I’m not saying Trump is awful, but what I am saying is that the next four years are going to be quite unpredictable.

New York City Is The Place To Be Anytime Of Year

These streets will make you feel brand new…

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This past weekend my friend and I decided to go into New York City. While there, we realized just how unpredictable Times Square can be.

We arrived in the city around 4 in the afternoon after we had spent the morning in Brooklyn, NY. Brooklyn and Manhattan are very different, but we realized quickly that in Times Square there is always something to do.

We had both been to Times Square before, but never really explored on our own, so it was nice to take the day and do so. Since we had went on Halloweekend there were events going on from day to night.

Some of these events included Halloween street art, costume contests on sidewalks, kids and adults shopping in their Halloween costumes, and my favorite part, Halloween inspired food lining the streets.

There were advertisements everywhere for Webster Hall’s Halloween Party on Oct. 31. You could hear the chatter in anticipation for this event.

In our exploration, we found an amazing Five Guys restaurant at 252 W. 42nd St. in New York, NY. This place is packed to the point where you can hardly find a seat, but even if you have to stand in a corner and enjoy your food, it is worth it.

Earlier in the evening we explored a few stores and did a bit of shopping. We hadn’t realized how large the stores were until we were inside. Forever21 is four stories high, but the main level is above ground with the rest below ground level. It was safe to say, we were both surprised about that.

We spent quite a few hours just walking around. This amused us the most. The people dressed in costumes as their jobs and looking for tips were amusing. While this was amusing they have a tendency to harass passersby and my friend and I, just so happened to be one that they decided to target. After a long few moments of trying to get away, we made our way over to the center of Times Square, or as most people know it as the place where the ball drops on New Year’s.

That had always been one of my favorite places in the world. To actually be there, at night, for the first time was like a dream come true. I had never really explored the city before; it was more just there and I had never visited.

By the end of the night before we had to catch our train something peculiar had happened. When you think New York City, you think new, spontaneous, and modern, but at that moment it wasn’t. There was a horse and buggy crossing the street that caused a bit more of a traffic jam than usual. That moment was a first for me. I never thought I would see that in the middle of Times Square.

If I can recommend one place for you to make sure you visit, it would be New York City. I can go on about all of the spectacular things I experienced this weekend, but by the time you go and visit, I can guarantee that all different events will be going on. New York City is unpredictable and that’s the best thing about visiting it.

New York City is meant to be an ever-changing city and this weekend most definitely proved that to me.

 

Is It Really Autumn At Wave Hill?

Autumn has definitely reached Wave Hill, but its slow cascading of extra color is a backdrop to the already beautifully gardened grounds.

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It is almost hard to believe that it is autumn at Wave Hill in the Bronx, NY. Along the historical district leading up to the compound you can see the fiery leaves on the trees, but once you pass through the gates, it looks like the colors of spring never left.

Wave Hill is a public garden and cultural center that is open to the public for a small fee, but they also offer annual memberships.

On the day that I went it was pouring rain, so not as many people were around, but I asked if many people come to visit, and the ticket man said many people come through every day, especially when the fresh bloom of plants begin.

I did not know what I was truly expecting at Wave Hill, but this was definitely not it. I thought most of the plants would be wilting or dead this time of year, and the chilly weather would cause problems, but these flowers were as vibrant and alive as ever.

Autumn was definitely in the Bronx that day as we were wrapped in coats and gloves, but the flowers gave a warm feel to the otherwise dreary day. Their vibrant colors shown through the gloom and lined the paths in an encompassing feel of warmth.

Just looking at the flowers it is hard to believe that it is actually autumn in Wave Hill. The colors trick you, the plants liveliness make you second guess yourself, and the greenhouses help you enter another atmosphere allowing you to experience even more of the non-autumn feel at Wave Hill.

The entire attraction is a work of art that you enter and it feels more like you are entering a photograph, and that is how I picture Wave Hill. Of course Wave Hill still encounters all four seasons, but the plants trick you into thinking that most of the time it is spring. It was odd to see all of the colors as they were in the grounds, but even odder to exit out of Wave Hill and see just how autumn is effecting the outer parts of the arboretum.

It is fascinating what Wave Hill is capable of. Horticulturists bring the art of gardening year round at Wave Hill and seeing this all first hand made me see that autumn is not going to be affecting it any time soon.

Autumn has definitely reached Wave Hill, but if anything its slow cascading of extra color is playing as a backdrop to the already beautifully gardened grounds.