Cornell has some great off-campus programs to offer, one of them being Cornell in Washington. This program offers students the opportunity to live, study and work in Washington, D.C., which means you get to kill three birds with one stone by earning Cornell credits, getting work experience and touristing. My schedule in DC for this semester involves working full-time Monday to Wednesday and then taking classes on Thursdays and Fridays on the first floor of the dorm. Once all my homework assignments and readings are done, I’m left with a lot of free time on my hands. Unlike Ithaca, where my friends and I always complain about not having enough hangout spots, there is always something going on every day in DC, so you don’t have to scratch your head and dig through the snow to find something fun to do.
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.
As fall break rapidly approached last semester, my friends and I were faced with the single greatest recurring struggle of our generation: where to spend those four precious days of freedom. Most of us could simply go home, sure, but where was the fun in that? Montreal promised an international adventure, a foreign language and a discount drinking age of 18. So we loaded our bags into the spacious trunk of my VW Beetle and set off toward the City of Saints. A note: the streets of Montreal were not meant for easy driving.
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.
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.
As our Uber weaved its way through the busy streets of Rio de Janeiro, the signs of the recent Olympic Games were littered everywhere. Although the banners had been taken down a month prior, logos announcing “Rio 2016” were still stamped across roads; huge signs strung across souvenir shops boasted their Games-themed merchandise; freshly-painted murals covered building walls. Along one line of storefronts, a series of circus-style paintings illustrated the Games—Athens, Beijing, London, Rio and, finally, Tokyo.
After five years of preparation and over 500,000 visitors, you’d think the city would be ready for a break. But the citizens of Rio are used to the spotlight, and it seems like they barely have time to take a breath before plunging into their next world spectacle: the annual Carnival.
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.
If you’re ever riding a train in Japan’s Tottori prefecture, you might be lucky enough to ride the “Conan Train.” Which, as it happens, is exactly the same as a regular train, except for the fact that the outside is a giant advertisement for the “Conan” anime (that’s “Case Closed” in America). Why, you might ask, is there such an over-the-top advertisement for an anime in the middle of Japan’s least populous prefecture? Surely the advertisement would reach more people in Tokyo? As it happens, Tottori prefecture is the home of Gosho Aoyama, the author and illustrator of the Conan manga. Thus, it’s not that someone is advertising the anime or manga.
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!
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.