Friday, October 31, 2014

The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Last Minute Halloween Costumes

by Clara Butler

Procrastinated on your midterms AND your Halloween costume? Have no fear because I’ve rounded up five, easy Halloween costumes that you can put together before your Halloween plans tonight.

Wednesday Addams's characteristic frown
Wednesday Addams

This outfit consists of two things: a black dress with a white collar and braids. Now, finding a black dress with a white collar might not be the easiest thing in the world but you can a) layer a white collared shirt underneath a black dress to create the same effect or b) make a collar out of white printer paper. I love this costume because if you’re frowning all night, you can just say that you’re in character!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Cultural Appropriation in Halloween Costumes

by Gaby Marraro

Cultural appropriation is never acceptable.
With Halloween quickly approaching, many of us are scrambling to come up with a funny, clever costume that is sure to get some positive attention. And while it’s easy to get sucked into the mindset that all costumes are worn in harmless fun, I’ve recently become much more aware of the cultural appropriation that seems to emerge around this holiday, and I ask that anyone reading this does the same.

I took a trip to Ricky’s the other day, the beauty supply store that turns into a costume shop for Halloween. Among the slew of sexy prisoners and skin-tight cat suits (a whole other problematic aspect of costumes into which I won’t delve now), I was taken aback by the wide variety of culturally specific costumes. Among these were “Mexican Señorita”, a geisha wig, a “Ghetto Fab Wig”, “Native American Princess”, and jewels meant to be worn as bindis. While this is something I wouldn’t have given a second thought a few years ago, I now understand that these costumes aren’t funny, nor are they flattering or respectful in any sense towards the cultures they are appropriating. By dressing up as a person of any race, you are creating a negative stigma towards it in its entirety, and just because it is Halloween, it is not excusable. In all cases, those clothes have a special historical significance for that culture, and to use it as a fashion statement or as a joke is to act upon ignorance. By making a culture “sexy”, you are fetishizing it, mocking its traditions and expressions, and ignoring what it truly means to be a person of that race.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Cheap Eats in Morningside Heights

by Erin Low

Hungry yet? We are.
If you’re planning to bum around campus over Fall Break and are totally reliant on Dining Services for your daily meals and endless supply of banana chips and Nutella, perhaps you haven’t considered how you’re going to feed yourself once the dining halls close.

Whether you’re not prepared to cook your own meals (i.e. you’re a lazy, dependent first-year student like myself), or you actually want to take advantage of Fall Break by checking out places to eat beyond our dining halls, here is a list of places that can satisfy your cravings at reasonable prices. If you’re serious about being lazy, some of these places also deliver, so be sure to check out their websites, or try finding them on GrubHub or Seamless.

Note that Columbia and Barnard’s dining halls close slightly before Fall Break, with John Jay closing on Thursday, October 30 at 8pm, Ferris on Friday, October 31 at 2pm, and Hewitt on Friday, October 31 at 3pm.

Dig Inn Seasonal Market
2884 Broadway, between 112th and 113th Streets
Monday-Sunday, 11am-10pm
Dig Inn is committed to preparing fresh, local produce in healthy and innovative ways. You can choose to have one of their platters, which consists of a protein and 2 side dishes or one of their many sandwiches and salads.

Westside Market
2840 Broadway, between 109th and 110th Streets
Open 24 hours
This local grocery store has an extensive salad bar and deli. While you’re there, you can stock up on snacks for munching on as you hole yourself in your room over break.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

QuAM Movie Rec: 5 Movies With Queer People of Color as Leads

by Katherine Aliano Ruiz

In recent years, representation for LGBTQA characters in mass media has certainly increased but is still sadly dismal. GLAAD's annual report on LGBTQA representation shows that of the 102 films released by major studios in 2013, only 17 of them included LGBTQA characters. Moreover, the majority of the LGBTQA characters in the films were minor roles or offensive representations of the community. GLAAD counted a total of 25 LGBTQA characters spread out in those 17 films. What is interesting--and very important--to note is that of the 25 characters presented, 19 were white while only 3 were African American, 2 were Asian, and 1 was Latino. Additionally, more than half of the films favored representing gay men over lesbians, bisexual individuals and transgender individuals. There were no portrayals of asexual individuals at all.

Movies and TV have grown slightly comfortable with depicting queer characters over the years, but the focus has more often than not been on white, able-bodied, gay men. It is important to recognize that misogyny, racism and ableism affect people within the LGBTQ community and deeply impacts who gets to be represented in media. Major networks and film studios need to push for  more encompassing and inclusive representations of queer characters and depart from the notion that white gay men are the only members of the community.

In honor of Queer Awareness Month, here is a movie list of 5 films that are not only amazing and have queer characters as their protagonists, but also feature queer women of color, and one film that features a queer man of color with a disability. Here's to a happy QuAM and a hope that positive representation improves with every year!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Event Review: GenderFuck

by Gaby Marraro

GendeRevolution is creating safe spaces on campus.
Last Friday, I attended an even sponsored by Columbia University’s club GendeRevolution called GenderFuck. It was a trans, queer, body-positive, underwear dance party hosted in Lerner. The dress code was completely-clothing optional, as long as everyone was wearing underwear, and anyone who is a part of the LQBTQ community, including allies, were welcome to attend. Its purpose was to promote a positive space free from any and all discrimination related to sexuality and body-type. There were students dressed in drag, bras, underwear, and everything in between.

When I first learned about the event, I wasn’t sure what to expect or if I would be comfortable enough to reveal so much of myself to such a large group of strangers. But I was comforted by the positive and even more welcoming description, so I decided to ask a couple of friends to go along with me. Upon entering, every participant was asked to read and sign a list of ground rules about respecting all gender identities and expressions, not taking pictures, and the importance of comfort and consent. After that, I headed to the free clothes check and took off everything I was comfortable with.

Friday, October 24, 2014

How to Do New York in a Day

by Tori Fourman

There's a lot to see and do in the city that never sleeps.
Last weekend, two of my harebrained friends from back home in Indiana decided it would be a good idea to road-trip out to New York City for a three day weekend. However, starting from Indiana, their drive was roughly eleven hours long. This meant that two days out of their three day weekend were spent driving. Being their only contact here, I decided they were going to see and do as much of the city as they possibly could in one day. Loved ones unfamiliar with New York will show up for a short trip, and you, being a dutiful daughter/niece/cousin/friend, will find yourself trying to give them a full experience of the wonderful-ness that is New York City. Here’s how to make that happen in one day.

Supplies needed: Metro card, good walking shoes, money for food, your NSOP bracelet (kidding), and a cheerful attitude.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Where to Eat When Your Parents Come to Town: Part Two

by Zoe Baker-Peng

Last February, we published the previous part to this series on ‘Where to Eat When Your Parents Come to Town’. While looking up Hewitt’s dinner menu can be extraordinarily exciting (what will it be tonight?!), sometimes it’s a relief to eat outside of campus confines and venture out into one of the world’s greatest culinary capitals. New York City offers a plethora of cuisines and dining experiences and while you can, of course, get delicious food at affordable prices, sometimes delectable dishes remain positioned in a higher price range. Since Parents’ Weekend approaches, and you may be lucky enough to have your folks visiting and offering to take you to dinner, here are some more restaurant recommendations to pique your interest and taste buds.


A new take on pigs in blankets
Alder’s chic and modern interior still manages to feel cozy and inviting, and lends itself perfectly to Chef Wylie Dufresne’s aim of producing “a modern interpretation of a public house”. Aged wooden boards line the ceiling and exposed white bricks run the length of the wall, furthering the charming atmosphere created by a low buzz of voices when the restaurant is full and the large glass window that offers scenes of busy New York outside. The mix of modern and rustic décor is echoed in both the concept behind and the presentation of the food. Dufresne, and executive chef Jon Bignelli, rework pub classics such as pigs in blankets and French onion soup, as well as produce innovative dishes such as their ‘Rye Pasta’. The Rye Pasta is a gustatory delight – the rye flavor is wonderfully distinct and its pairing with shaved pastrami and pasta is an intriguing take on the classic New York deli pastrami on rye. ‘Pigs in a Blanket’ uses the traditional concept of sausages wrapped in a type of pastry dough, but defines itself with the unusual use of Chinese sausage as well as sweet chili sauce and Japanese mustard. The result is delightful; be sure to try these when you dine here. The ‘French Onion Soup Rings’ are both humorous and tasty: large fried onion rings (think gourmet style) arrive at your table, drizzled with a thick, sumptuous onion gravy. All of the dishes on the menu are enticing and inventive, although portion sizes tend to run on the smaller size. I recommend ordering several dishes for the table to share or at least two for yourself, if you’re feeling hungry.

Address: 157 Second Avenue (between 9th and 10th streets), NYC, 10003
Phone: 212-539-1900
Reservations: Recommended but not necessarily essential
Price: $$$, price range ~$31-60 per person.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Rocking Out to “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”

By Morgan Wu

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve most likely heard talk of a Broadway show in which Neil Patrick Harris portrays a transgender woman and rock star named Hedwig (not the owl). What you didn’t hear is that the Tony-Award-winning musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch is about so much more than that.

Make sure to check out Michael C. Hall's
performance as Hedwig! 
Hedwig (portrayed by The Book of Mormon original cast member Andrew Rannells until October 12th) is an “internationally ignored song stylist” from East Berlin, whose botched sex-change operation left her with an “angry inch.” Although rabid Neil Patrick Harris fans may be disappointed to hear that Harris departed the production in late August, I am pleased to report that Rannells was a revelation, more than living up to the high standard set by his predecessor. Supported by a scrappy six-member band–the Angry Inch–Rannells as Hedwig manages to strut, sweat, and leap through the production and make it look easy. He disappears into the role of Hedwig until the woman strutting around the stage was a completely separate entity from the television and Broadway star–and not just because of Hedwig’s enormous blond wig. A fellow audience member even commented at the stage door post-show, “I kept forgetting it was Andrew underneath those costumes.”

The show is staged as a “one-night-only” concert performed on the set of the fictional Hurt Locker: The Musical. Throughout the show, Hedwig keeps up a steady rapport with the audience, expounding upon the events that led her to move from Germany to America, and recounting how she came to be “internationally ignored.”

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pump Up Your Fall Wardrobe!

by Clara Butler

Once the outside temperatures start to fall back down and the homework seems to pile up, it’s easy to grab the closest items that smell (somewhat) clean and leave that resting bitch face on in case anyone tries to give you shit for it. But instead of sweats, why not treat yourself to a few fall items that will carry your winter wardrobe out of the dumps and into the very chic light? These trending styles will transform your morning routine from an angsty eye-roll to pure excitement.

Too hot? Unzip that sweater from J. Crew!
Side-Zip Sweaters

I have seen these everywhere recently and I really support this trend. Not only is it a great way to revamp the classic winter sweater, it gives a little NYC edge to those brisk nights. Also, sweaters with zippers are a one-piece outfit maker (the embellishments add so much that all you have to do is pull it onno jewelry or thought needed)! But I think my absolute favorite feature of this trend is that if you're wearing a super cute top underneath, or you are overheating because Milbank has suddenly turned into a sauna, all you have to do is unzip your sweater to get a little cross-ventilation going. Fashionable yet very, very functional.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Why John Oliver is the Broadcast Journalist of Your Dreams

by Laura K. Garrison

John Oliver shines on his own show.
You probably first remember seeing John Oliver as the Harry Potter-lookalike correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Between his adorable British accent, adorable British mannerisms, and adorable dimply smile, Oliver was a favorite on the popular fake news show. When Jon Stewart briefly left The Daily Show in 2013 to direct Rosewater, his first film to be released on November 7, Oliver stepped in to helm the show for eight weeks. And while reviews of Oliver’s hosting of The Daily Show were mixed, he’s certainly hit his stride as the star of HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

After watching its premiere in April, Last Week Tonight became a necessary staple of my weekly television-watching. Smart, funny, and appropriately profanity-laden, Oliver strikes a balance between borrowing from his experiences at The Daily Show and pushing fake news to its hysterical - and poignant - best. Like its Comedy Central predecessors The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, Last Week Tonight is a half hour-long show broken down into segments like a typical network news program. Oliver focuses heavily on international affairs, ridicules the abysmal state of broadcast journalism, and covers lesser known issues that aren’t receiving the media attention they deserve.

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Ultimate Halloween Movie List

by Clarke Wheeler

October is an exciting month for many reasons, among them being the beginning of sweater weather, the changing colors of leaves, and the delicious hot drinks that suddenly appear. But without a doubt, the main reason October is so exciting is Halloween, arguably one of the most important days of the year. Preparation for Halloween shouldn’t be limited to brainstorming costume ideas; watching Halloween movies is an essential part of the October experience. Here is a categorized list of some of the best movies to get you in the spirit (Those that are on Netflix are labeled). Enjoy!

High School

The Craft (R) (1996) 

This 90’s movie is a horrifying twist on the classic “new girl at school” story. The new girl joins a trio of high school witches, and things quickly get out of hand. Watch for Fairuza Balk’s amazingly disturbing performance.

Donnie Darko (R) (2001)
 – Netflix 

This isn’t Easter, but there’s a bunny rabbit involved. In fact, Donnie is manipulated by a large bunny rabbit, Frank, to commit a number of crimes. A series of violent events happen over the course of October, and culminate around Halloween. This supernatural thriller received mixed reviews upon its release, but has since garnered a cult following. Check out this film starring Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, and Drew Barrymore.

Scream (R) (1996) – Netflix

Have you ever wondered if your life was actually movie? In this film, characters find themselves living in a horror movie as a murderer terrorizes their small town. The first in the Scream trilogy, this movie received several awards and nominations, as well as a largely positive critical and box office response. Make sure to check out a young Drew Barrymore in this classic.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Practicing a Little Self-Love

by Gaby Marraro

Getting off campus and reading a nice book
in a coffee shop could be just what you need
With midterm season upon us, it is easy to let the stress of academic, extracurricular, and personal commitments overwhelm us. It is so important to set aside time to practice some simple self-care rituals to ease the stress. Here are a few things I like to do when everything seems too much to handle.

1. Take a nice, long shower, and enjoy every second of it. Promise yourself to clear your mind for those 20 minutes. Commit yourself to feeling the beautiful warmth of the water and the refreshment that comes from feeling clean and new.

2. Eat a meal alone, and be proud of it. There is no shame in eating alone in a dining hall. Take one day to grab dinner by yourself. Go at your own pace, go for that dessert you might not have let yourself have had you been surrounded by people, and enjoy the time you’ve allowed yourself to reset and relax.

3. Start a journal. People have always told me how healing journaling can be, but I never listened until a few months ago. Since I started writing on a regular basis, I’ve felt such a release. There are things that are hard to say out loud, even to a best friend, and a journal is a place where you can be totally unrestricted without judgment.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Review of Broadway’s “Lady Day”

By Clarke Wheeler

Audra McDonald is now the only actor or actress
to win all four acting categories at the Tony Awards. 
The moment Tony Award-winning actress and singer Audra McDonald walks onstage as Billie Holiday, AKA “Lady Day”, you feel as though you have been transported to a different time and place—specifically, to a small bar in South Philadelphia in 1959. For an hour and a half, you are transfixed with McDonald’s impossibly accurate vocal imitation of Holiday, the wonderful musical accompaniment, and the story of Holiday’s tumultuous and celebrated life. “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill”, which ran from April 13th to October 5th, earned Audra McDonald her sixth Tony Award; she now has more Tony Awards than any other actor or actress. After seeing the performance for myself, I am not surprised by this accomplishment.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Saturday Night Live Turns 40

by Tori Fourman

How excited are you for the 40th season of SNL?
I’ve been a fan of SNL forever, so I was more than excited when the show kicked off its 40th season on Saturday, September 27 with Andy from Parks and Rec, Chris Pratt, the star(lord) of Guardians of the Galaxy, and musical guest Ariana Grande. The show underwent some significant changes this summer, and while the premiere wasnt totally spectacular, I think it showed promise for this upcoming season.

First off, we noticed a change in announcer. Don Pardo, announcer for all but one season of SNL since 1975, passed away in August. He was replaced by former cast member Darrell Hammond. Hammond did alright as announcer, though I found the change initially unsettling.
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