Nostalgia Week | Toys “Were” Us

Just last week, Toys “R” Us announced that it would be closing its U.S. stores, and I genuinely felt sad about this — sadder than I did when my parents told ten-year-old me we would no longer be going to Blockbuster on Saturdays for our weekend movie nights (until a year and a half ago, I actually kept a Blockbuster membership card in my wallet). Perhaps this especially wistful reaction is due to the fact that not three blocks from my paternal grandparents’ house is a shopping plaza, at which there used to be a Toys “R” Us location. Whenever my parents would drop my younger brother and me off at our grandparents’ place, we’d frequently ask our grandma to bring us to Toys “R” Us. We didn’t always go there with the intention of getting our grandma to buy us something — sometimes, just bringing home the catalogue to pore over was enough for us. However, there were times when we’d stay in the store for hours as we figured out how to use different toys, and despite her best efforts, our grandma would occasionally lose track of us.

TRAVELIN’ WITH JACQUELINE | From “WHOA” to “NO”: My Youtube History

Like any sleep-deprived college student earning a degree in Procrastination, I often convince myself I need a study break, only to find myself panicking two hours later because I spent too much time (1) reading about the endless antics of well-dressed but not-so-well-behaved Lapo Elkann (decadent heir to the Fiat fortune), (2) browsing the sale sections of online clothing retailers that shall remain unnamed (for the safety of your wallet) or (3) poring over the exceptional articles written by the Blogs section. However, as of late, I’ve noticed that I’ve been reining in those study breaks pretty well, so that the most they’ve gone on for is maybe half an hour. My secret: grossing myself out. Now, while celebrity gossip and consumerist values–but never The Cornell Daily Sun–may inspire revulsion, the disgust I speak of is…bodily. Such study breaks will usually begin with my watching what I call a “WHOA” video (something that mesmerizes me) and end with my seeing a “NO” video (something I find so detesting I voluntarily return to my homework).

TRAVELIN’ WITH JACQUELINE | Say Hello to My Little Friend (Confessions of a Pin Collector)

I’m not sure when I got my first pin, but the earliest documented proof I could find of me wearing a pin is from May 14, 2000. In the picture, my parents are conducting a mini-photoshoot at home with my older sister and two-year-old self, and you can see a tiny pair of red sunglasses pinned to the top of my pink cardigan:

To this day, I still have and frequently wear that red sunglasses pin, but it’s fair to say that my pin collection has since expanded. While most people probably have a couple of pins lying around—be they from Greek life, student clubs or travels—my pin count is currently 62, and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Although I’ve seen a few other pinheads around campus, the majority of Cornellians have yet to appreciate pins for what they are. So, in honor of my hobby, I am dedicating this article to (the merits of) pin collecting!

FOOD WEEK | Ithaca’s Secret Menus

While Cornell is known for its superb dining hall food, Ithaca has many of its own culinary gems, one of which is Louie’s Lunch Truck. A favorite among Cornellians, Louie’s is that place you go to when you’ve got those late night or post-partying greasy food cravings. But did you know that Louie’s has a secret menu? Technically, you’re not even supposed to talk about Louie’s Secret Menu, but the fries you see below were simply too good to keep to myself. And while I won’t be telling you how to find the secret menu (which is how I’m making up for even telling y’all about it in the first place), I’ll give you two clues: you can either (1) use your imagination and intuitively guess where or how it’s hidden or (2) try Google.


Thus far in my twenty-year tenure on this planet, I’ve traveled to quite a few places–within the United States, I’ve been to Portland (Oregon), Reno, Yosemite, Las Vegas, Niagara Falls, New York City, Boston, and Atlanta. Internationally, I’ve been to France, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Germany, Austria, Italy, and Taiwan. However, there are a still a few places I’d really like to spend some time in before I kick the bucket, so I’ve gone through my own travel bucket list and condensed it to five travel destinations that may not immediately pop into one’s head. Vietnam

Traveling throughout Taiwan, where my mother spent most of her childhood before immigrating to the United States, was an unforgettable experience for me because it not only helped me to understand why she had such pride in where she came from but also allowed me to learn about my ethnic background. As a result, I’ve made it one of my life goals to travel to the other countries to which I owe my cultural heritage: China, Laos, and Vietnam, but if I had to choose one, it’d definitely be Vietnam.

TRAVELIN’ WITH JACQUELINE | Another 7 Things You Probably Didn’t Know about Cornell

Since you readers seemed to enjoy my first article on this topic so much, I’ve come back with a second installment to this series with just as interesting and spooky factoids! Here we go:

1) Whispering Bench

When I was doing research for my other article last semester, I stumbled onto a thread on College Confidential, in which there was mention of a “whispering bench near Goldwin Smith.” However, after scouring the internet, I could not find any other website or article that referenced this bench! Thus, with camera in hand, I roamed the perimeters of Goldwin Smith Hall and eventually found what I believed to be the aforementioned feature on the right side of Goldwin Smith if you’re facing it from the Arts Quad. Unfortunately, this was during late March–when snow and slush covered every outdoor surface–and I didn’t bring a friend to test out the whispering capabilities of the bench, so I decided to set it aside for this article. At last, at the start of this semester, I dragged my apartment-mate Gabbi to Goldwin Smith and we tested and proved that the bench in question was, in fact, the whispering bench!

TRAVELIN’ WITH JACQUELINE | The Summer of Love Experience

Before the contemporary hipster existed, there was the hippie of the 1960s. (Ironically, the term “hippie” was derived from the word “hipster,” which referred to the jazz cats of the 1940s.) Perhaps the most notable year for any hippie is 1967, whenduring which the Summer of Love took place in San Francisco. Hippies from around the country arrived in Haight-Ashbury and the adjacent Golden Gate Park, which, as I write this piece, is hosting the Outside Lands Festival for the weekend. Because this summer—the summer of 2017—marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Summer of Love, the city of San Francisco has been heavily promoting what has been (if you will, my fellow Warriors fans) dubbed the Summer of Love Experience, much of which revolves around a special (if not once-in-a-lifetime) exhibit of the same name from the de Young Museum, which is opportunely located in Golden Gate Park. And so, on this installment of Travelin’ with Jacqueline, we shall be traveling to not only to another place but toalso another time.

TRAVELIN’ WITH JACQUELINE | Soundtrack to My Freshman Year

This entire summer, I’ve been dreading the day that Fall 2017 starts because it will signal the beginning of the second half of my college experience. As I’m honing in on exactly what I should do at the start of this second half, I’ve been reminiscing and reconsidering all the things I did at the start of the first half, by which I mean: freshman year. And so, I’ve decided to create a “greatest hits” article of my starkest memories from freshman year. Now, there’s really no rhyme or reason to my recollections, but I’m hoping you all will find at least one of them interesting if not entertaining! Track 1: “Dirty Laundry” by Carrie Underwood

So I’m still not sure how long parents usually stay in Ithaca when sending off their newborn Cornellians, but my parents stayed for a week to eat and hike around Ithaca after they moved me in.

TRAVELIN’ WITH JACQUELINE | Spring Break NYC – Part 2: Museums

As a college student, it’s important to be aware and take advantage of the student discounts that places like clothing companies, restaurants and especially museums offer, because it’s going to be more than forty years until you can get a senior discount…forty-plus years of dreary adulthood in which you are expected to pay full price for everything—the horror! Seriously though, it’s always nice to save some money, so I whenever I go to a museum, I have my Cornell ID ready. During Spring Break I visited three museums, all of which offered student discounts, but I will only relate my experiences at two of them—the Museum of Sex and the Guggenheim.  
233 5th Avenue, NY, NY 10016
5 / 5 stars
On Saturday, after brunching at Friedman’s, James and I decided to walk to the Museum of Sex, which is a great place to visit if you don’t find the other huge art museums in town as appealing, hate the crowds that typically occupy spaces in such museums or just want to explore the history of sex. The first floor of the museum currently has an exhibition called “Night Fever,” which is about the disco scene in the United States, especially New York City, during the 1960s.

TRAVELIN’ WITH JACQUELINE | Spring Break NYC – Part 1: Food

Like most Cornellians, I find that during the school year, amidst all the prelims and deadlines, it can be hard to set aside some time to treat myself and take things slow, which is why I decided to indulge in food, museums, and strolling around when I spent my Spring Break in New York City. I won’t be writing about every experience I had – only the ones I found to be interesting and fun. Originally, I was going to dedicate just one article to Spring Break, but I’ve decided to split the piece into two parts (one on food and another on museums), since there were too many highlights!  

132 West 31st Street, NY, NY 10001
4 / 5 stars

Since I arrived in NYC on Friday night, I was able to spend the entirety of Saturday with one of my best friends from high school, James! We met up in the morning and got brunch at one of the Friedman’s in Midtown.