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Spring Break! The Manhattan Edition

Cristina Romano, staff blogger

Has exam week left you completely exhausted? Well, have no fear; spring break is officially three days away! However, if your spring break plans do not involve islands with warm, tropical beaches and palm trees but instead involve the island of Manhattan, here are some ideas on how to spend your week (besides sleeping, of course!)

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day (Even if you are not Irish!): Head over to the East Side on Thursday, March 17th to be a part of a New York tradition that has been taking place since 1762. The parade, which starts at 11 a.m. on 44th St., heads uptown on 5th Avenue and ends at 86th St around 5 p.m. According to the official parade website, the best viewing spots are above 66th St, in order to avoid the crowds, or on the steps of the Met to see the marchers disband at the end of the day.

See a live talk show taping (without leaving the neighborhood!): One of the beauties of FCLC is that you can walk out the doors of McMahon, and be within a short walking distance to the set of three talk shows. Why not take advantage of not having an 8:30 class and be a part of a live studio audience?

  • The Wendy Williams Show (tapes M-F at 10 a.m.): Head down to 433 W. 53rd St (between 9th and 10th) no later than 8:30 a.m. to be considered for standby tickets to see Wendy Williams! Even though it is still early in the morning, the energy on the Wendy Williams set will be sure to wake you up!
  • Live with Regis and Kelly (tapes M-F at 9 a.m.): Head to the corner of 67th and Columbus Ave. as early as 7:30 a.m. to receive a standby number. While admission is not guaranteed, the earlier you arrive to the studio, the better your chances are of being a part of the studio audience!
  • The View (tapes M-R at 11 a.m.): Head behind Lincoln Center to 320 W. 66th St (at West End Ave.) between 8-9 a.m. to receive a standby number from a View Audience Associate who knows, you may be lucky and get to be a part of the studio audience!

Yes, you can still go ice skating! Even though it is March, Trump-Wollman Rink (located near 59th and 6th ave.) is still open until the end of the month! Beat the crowds, and head over there on a weekday during the daytime hours, while everyone else is still in school. The rink is open Mon – Tues from 10 a.m.- 2:30 p.m., Wed-Thu from 10 a.m- 10 p.m. as well as Fri-Sat 10 a.m- 11 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m-9 p.m. For more information about hours or skate rentals, visit the Central Park website.

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Categories: Entertainment, Lifestyle

“Where there is woman, there is magic.” Ntozake Shange at Brooklyn Museum

February 15, 2011 Leave a comment

Monique John

Blogger Monique John poses with Micaela Angela Davis, Ntozake Shange's interviewer.

Walking in the biting cold on the evening of Feb. 10, I sped down the Eastern Parkway and across the expansive courtyard entrance to the Brooklyn Museum’s Thursday @ 7 series, on my way to see Ntozake Shange, the award-winning playwright and author of the choreopoem, For Colored Girls Who Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf. She spoke about her writings and read from her latest work, Some Sing, Some Cry.

Shange’s For Colored Girls is a profound piece of literature, as its collection of monologues describing black women’s experiences of abortion, domestic violence, relationships, and self-love has inspired countless figures in the theatre world, and touched the minds and hearts of generations of black women since it was written in 1975. I was curious to meet the woman who so beautifully intertwined pain and hope for the future of colored girls in America and eluded the spotlight when the film version of her play created a media craze last fall.

As she entered the stage, I could see why her interviewer, Michaela Angela Davis, a renowned cultural critic and writer, had dubbed Shange “the priestess of the feminist movement.” Her dress had swirls of colors like tangerine, mustard, and olive dragged with a small trail across the floor and her emerald green eye shadow glimmered across her amber-colored skin. Each piece of jewelry she wore looked like it came from a different part of the world. As Shange began to speak, I was shocked by the drawl in her voice; I later learned that her voice became deep and slow after she suffered a series of strokes since 2004. But Shange soon told the crowd that she doesn’t let her sickness keep her from her work, and her warmth and energy still filled the hall.

The dialogue between Shange and Davis was rich and insightful. They started by discussing Some Sing, Some Cry, a book Shange wrote with her sister, Ifa Bayeza, that chronicles the lives of seven generations of black women connected to one another by music. In addition to talking about Shange’s literary works, she and Davis discussed urgent issues for black women today in unemployment, the need for blacks to partake in the feminist movement, and their thoughts on the political protests in Egypt. Their conversation was one that should have been heard by more than the ninety people sitting in the hall of the museum, as it was a frank exchange of ideas on how black women can improve themselves and their status in society.

Interested in checking out the Brooklyn Museum’s Thursdays @ 7 series yourself? Go to next month’s meeting; Lorna Simpson, artist and photographer, will be talking about her latest book, Gathered, and the history of women’s strive for beauty and desirability in the media with Deborah “Deb” Willis of the Tisch School at New York University. Find out more at: http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/

Categories: Entertainment, Lifestyle

“Carbon Nation” Offers Solutions, But Fails to Captivate a Nation

February 9, 2011 Leave a comment

Katie Lockhart, assistant arts editor

The filmmakers behind “Carbon Nation,” a self-titled “climate change solutions movie,” don’t even care whether audiences believe humans are at fault for climate change. They’re more interested in the people working to stem the effects. Yet, while director Peter Byck offers good ideas on how to cut carbon emissions, he doesn’t offer much in terms of cinematic quality, entertainment value or a level of inspiration that would drive people to change their energy consumptions habits.

The film focuses on the idea that we must rid Earth of 16 terra-watts of carbon dioxide and “promote cleaner energy in the U.S.” For 82 minutes, Byck jumps between interesting individuals who are doing their part to reduce carbon emissions. Cliff Etheridge is a quirky, one-armed rancher who is making a fortune off wind farms in Texas. Van Jones is not only empowering residents of low-income California
neighborhoods by helping to create jobs installing residential solar panels, but also helping them reduce their carbon footprint. The green
go-getters highlighted in the film are quite remarkable, but the film in general is not. The picture quality of the on-camera interviews and
computer-animated videos may remind viewers of a health class video shot in the early 1990s.

Regardless, the underlying message is what’s most important. As the New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman eloquently puts it in the
film, “Green baby, is the new red white and blue!”

“Carbon Nation” is playing at Cinema Village in New York City beginning Feb. 11. Click here for more info.

Categories: Entertainment, Lifestyle

How Not to Get Hustled: The Psychic Edition

January 26, 2011 6 comments

Malaya V. Saldana

NYC is a city of students, artists, dreamers; and in this case a city of hustlers and those who get hustled. The city is not what it was when I was a child, in terms of crime. Times Square today is Disney Land compared to the red-district it was when I was in a kid; yet, even the most street smart New Yorker can get hustled. I know I have been–several times.

Here’s how to tell if you’re being hustled by a psychic, I only know from several interesting personal anecdotes. The most interesting one has to do with: Fordham, eggs, Romania, exorcism, a baby black snake, $40, hand-holding and a lack of inhibition on my part.

Psychics seem to have an affinity for me. They pick me out of a bustling crowd, stop me and start rewinding, fast-forwarding through what they envision about my life. Usually it’s that I have “a benevolent aura/a good soul/an ability to help the world/ you are a psychic too/a history of woe” and an endless string of obscurity.

Signs you’re being hustled:

  1. You are approached. People don’t go out of their way for anything for free. There’s an ulterior motive. Trust me.
  2. They say very vague things about your life that could be true about anybody. You are kind, you feel unappreciated, you are in conflict with someone, etc. It may seem appealing at first and intriguing, but think, “Can this be applied to the majority of humanity?”
  3. They stare into your eyes, and hold your hands. Trying to make a personal connection.
  4. Sayings like, “I never usually stop people/ you called out to me/ I want to do this for you not me.” Trying to make you feel special, the chosen one.
  5. Most importantly this is the usual bait & switch tactic to guarantee you’ll pay for a reading or spiritual advice.
    1. They start out with observations: aura, personality type.
    2. Move on to great things about you and your future (things you want to hear compliments) Trying to gain your favor.
    3. A fatal, detrimental upcoming event in the far or near future that they are ‘sorry’ to tell you about. Instilling of fear.
    4. Say that they want to help save you from this fate and it is their spiritual mission to save you from it. And that’ll cost you.

FCLC Freshman on “American Idol” Gets Dumped On By Judges

January 20, 2011 1 comment

Matt Surrusco
Arts and Culture Co-Editor

“And now, the end is near,” sang Chris Cordeiro, FCLC ’14, in his tone
deaf rendition of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.” Cordeiro auditioned for
the current season of “American Idol,” which aired Jan. 19. Following
Cordeiro singing the first lines, veteran “Idol” judge Randy Jackson
said to newcomer Jennifer Lopez, “Yes it is,” referring to the end of
Cordeiro’s audition.

Cordeiro, 18, from North Arlington, NJ, did not move on to the next
round in the competition but he did manage to give Fordham College at
Lincoln Center a shoutout. Besides his musical aspirations, Cordeiro
said he hopes to become an Eagle Scout soon. His intro spot on “Idol”
included a short clip of a public awareness video he created for his
Eagle Scout project in which he reminds drivers not to text while
operating an automobile.

The two-night season premiere of “American Idol” continues tonight at
8 p.m. ET on Fox.

Chris Cordeiro American Idol Audition:

Legos Aren’t Just Child’s Play

December 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Cristina Romano

Photo: "Cracking Up", one of thirteen sculptures that is featured in Nathan Sawaya's unique Chelsea exhibit. (Courtesy of agora-gallery.com)

Admit it: you still love playing with Legos. Apparently so does Nathan Sawaya, who has created an art exhibit consisting entirely of Lego sculptures. Entitled “RED: The LEGO Brick Sculpture of Nathan Sawaya”, this unique exhibit runs through December 14th at the Agora Gallery in Chelsea, and features thirteen life-size art pieces made entirely out of the iconic toy.

Sawaya, a New York-based artist, works primarily with the little plastic bricks and has over 1.5 million of them in his art studio, according to his website. This particular exhibit also contains over a million Legos, which are formed together to address “the issue of self through symbolism to express his surrealistic ideology” according to the Agora Gallery. The sculptures show a transformation of emotions – for example, one particular sculpture, called “Kissing” shows a red Lego sculpture kissing, while another one in the same exhibit called “Trapped” features a red Lego man seemingly trying to get out of a box. Each sculpture in the exhibit works together seamlessly to show the versatility of human emotions – and of Legos themselves.

The Agora Gallery, which is located on 530 W. 25th St, can be easily accessed by taking the C train from Columbus Circle to the 23rd St. stop and walking a few blocks. The gallery is open Tuesday-Saturday from 11 a.m – 6 p.m. While you are not obligated to buy anything while viewing the pieces, the sculptures are on sale – that is, if you have a couple thousand to spend.

“Jazz” up your Traditional Holiday Season!

December 7, 2010 Leave a comment

Cristina Romano

Are you tired of your usual holiday traditions, but still want to manage to get into the holiday spirit? From December 9th-11th Jazz at Lincoln Center is presenting their annual tradition of the Red Hot Holiday Stomp at the Rose Theater (located on the 5th floor of the Time Warner Center) with a jazzy twist on all of your favorite holiday songs.

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lkl8dlHDGso&feature=channel]
A preview of the fun to expect from this year’s Red Hot Holiday Stomp! (video from Jazz at Lincoln Center’s on YouTube)

Led by musician Wycliffe Gordon on the trombone and tuba, the show features a talented orchestra that promises to excite audiences by jazzing up holiday classics (New Orleans style!) to get them fully ready for December 25th.

Gordon said in an article on PlaybillArts, “people just relate to that time being a time of the year that you’re going to be getting together with family and friends—everybody looks forward to getting off work and kids look forward to getting out of school. In general, it’s just a time to celebrate. Some people prepare for it all year.” So, think of this as the perfect opportunity to escape from all those projects and final exams for a while and truly enjoy what the neighborhood has to offer to lift your spirits and get you in a complete holiday state of mind!

Shows start at 8 p.m, (except on Sunday when there is a special 2 p.m matinee), and tickets for the Holiday Stomp start at around $20-$30. For more information, or to order tickets, visit the Red Hot Holiday Stomp page on the Jazz at Lincoln Center website.