Hello there, my fellow Cornellians! As you will have already noticed, this week’s edition of my blog will not cover any sites or events around Ithaca. Due to how busy I’ve been as well as my longing for warmer, sunnier weather, I’m jumping back to the West Coast – more specifically my hometown of San Francisco! As much as I wish I had flown back home this past weekend, all the photos in this blogpost are ones I took this past summer, during which my high school friends and I decided to do as many touristy activities around San Francisco as possible. This silly challenge was conceived after we returned from freshman year of college and realized we had never done most of the things for which San Francisco is famous.


Couch potato that I am, I surprised myself this past February Break by actually going outside and doing something active: hiking! Along with a few other residents of Bethe House, I trekked through the scenery of Roy H. Park Preserve, a Finger Lakes Land Trust Preserve that is a twenty-minute drive from West Campus. We arrived at 11:30 A.M. this past Sunday, which – as those of you who remained on-campus will remember – was an unusually warm fifty-seven degrees Fahrenheit, a temperature that made for quite the pleasant hike. Upon parking the car in the preserve’s parking lot, we immediately saw the following signs:

As depicted in the photo above, we started out on the Baldwin Tract, one of two parts of the preserve that is slightly closer to campus. The other part is a beautiful boardwalk located five minutes down the road which we would visit later.

TRAVELIN’ WITH JACQUELINE | Portland – Part 2: Winter

As you all know, this week’s blog post will be focused on the winter portion of my trip to Portland, Oregon this past mid-December. For the sake of not being repetitive, I will gloss over the minutiae of how I arrived at the train station and boarded the train because the schedule was almost exactly the same, with the exception of my parents and I deciding to leave for Portland on a Friday as opposed to a Saturday. Unlike my first trip to Portland, I took so many more photos of the scenery the second time around because it was more stunning. Most of the ride mostly resembled what you see above–brown-green hills with slush near the tracks–but a third of the ride made me feel like one of those professional photographers that only shoots in black and white because the landscape was covered with snow as far as the eye could see:

I wish I could convey to y’all the elevation at which these photos were taken and the extent to which the snow covered all that land, but since (1) I have practically no idea how to take good photos, (2) the train was moving so quickly and (3) you have no idea how challenging it is to attempt to eliminate your reflection from a photo, these pictures will have to suffice. After the train had descended from the mountains back to civilization, we were getting closer to Portland.

TRAVELIN’ WITH JACQUELINE | Portland – Part 1: Summer


This past August and December, my parents and I traveled to Portland, Oregon, where we ate like kings, dressed to kill and took a myriad of photos like the tourists we were. Due to this last fact, I am dividing my account of our Portland adventures into two blog posts–one about our summer exploits, and another about our winter shenanigans. The summer weather in Portland is very pleasant and reminds me of San Francisco: either sunny or overcast, but never hot. But before I get into what we actually did in Portland, I should tell you how we got there. In late June, my parents were talking about how they wanted to take Amtrak somewhere, anywhere really, to see beautiful landscapes while relaxing on a train.


From Tuesday to Saturday last week, Punkfest Cornell took place throughout Ithaca, and included panel discussions (one of which featured members of Pussy Riot), live band and spoken word performances, an opening reception in Kroch and a film screening at Cornell Cinema. Unfortunately, I was incredibly busy last week, so I was only able to attend the aforementioned opening reception, but I have a feeling that would have been the event I enjoyed most anyway. The reception was celebrating the launch of Punkfest Cornell: Anarchy in the Archives, a new exhibition from the Cornell University Library Rare and Manuscript Collections in the Kroch Library within Olin Library. As you can see from the image below, the exhibit will be on display in the Hirshland Exhibition Gallery until May 19, 2017, so you have plenty of time to mosey on down there. Admission, of course, is free.

TRAVELIN’ WITH JACQUELINE | Insectapalooza & Nabokov’s Butterflies


As I mentioned in my last blog post, I attended Insectapalooza this past Saturday at Comstock Hall, where I witnessed the good, the bad and the ugly. However, before I delve into my experience, I’ll get the formal stuff out of the way: admission was $3 per person and free for kids aged three and younger. I’ve also attached photos of two sides of a handout from Insectapalooza to show everything the event offered:


I’ll start off with the bad and the ugly, which is the first event I visited—Bug Innards. This exhibit featured a cockroach that had been cut open and spread out for a few hours but was still alive due to a constant dripping supply of water mixed with what I think was sugar. Grody!


Like most people, I don’t find insects particularly interesting, but I thought I’d attend a West Campus-scheduled Cornell Insect Collection Tour on Sunday, September 25 with my SA Erin! The Cornell University Insect Collection is located in Comstock Hall and is one of the world’s biggest insect collections. As you will see from the myriad photos that are to follow, I really enjoyed myself. I saw so many beautiful insects and learned about methods of insect preservation. One of the first organisms we were shown was water bugs!


Hello, all you beautiful people! I hope prelims, papers, projects and just life in general are all going well for you this week, but if they haven’t been, I’ve got the perfect momentary escape for you—San Francisco! I’ve lived in San Francisco my entire life, and only after spending my freshman year in Ithaca did I come to appreciate my hometown and how integral it has been to my identity, be it through my Asian heritage or my liberal views. Be that as it may, upon further reflection, I realized that I never took time to explore what my city has to offer, so when I returned to San Francisco this past summer, I made it my mission to do all the touristy things I never did. I definitely accomplished my personal goal because I ended up:

ascending the Filbert Street steps to Coit Tower;
visiting the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), the Contemporary Jewish Museum and the Legion of Honor;
discovering the Stow Lake waterfall in Golden Gate Park;
traversing the Golden Gate Bridge; and
wandering around Fisherman’s Wharf.


This week, I bring you all another event I attended through the charity of West Campus: Kitchen Theatre’s new play, Hand to God. For those of you (most of us), who aren’t familiar with this company, Kitchen Theatre is an organization in downtown Ithaca that performs plays in a small ninety-nine seat theater. Here’s an external view of Kitchen Theater, which you may recognize if you frequently ramble around the Commons:

I found this to be pretty cool because the smaller capacity ensures that everyone gets a good view of what’s happening onstage and produces a more informal atmosphere. Furthermore, before the play begins, the audience can help itself to an array of food that is provided by the company, an arrangement that encourages people to socialize with each other. You’re also actually allowed to bring the food into the theater with you, so you can chew while you view.


I didn’t expect to be so excited about living on West Campus this year, but boy, am I enjoying its perks! This past Saturday, August 27, two charter bus-fulls of us West Campus students went to Niagara Falls for a ridiculously low price of $15 each(price of transportation, boat tickets and breakfast included). Now, I don’t know how much all of this would usually cost, but here are the ticket prices:

Yes, people, the boat tickets alone were worth $18.25 per adult…which means this trip isn’t going to be that affordable for most of you unless you have your own car or live on West Campus next year and sign up for this steal. And yes, that brochure is sticking out from the back pocket of a stranger’s pair of jeans under a poncho. Hehe.