“Psyched for Fling?!”
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“Psyched for Fling?!”
Penn Abroad started flirting with my friends and me halfway through sophomore year. Though I didn’t have a burning desire to go abroad, backpacking through Europe seemed way more appealing than backpacking down Locust, so I decided to look into my options.
Street: You describe your genre as “Windows Down, Speakers Up,” but if you had to assign your music an actual genre, what would it be? (Ed. Note: The HeyDaze were formerly Hey Day.)
Out of the 10,000 undergraduate students at Penn, 17 participate in the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps, or NROTC. In addition to a normal Penn curriculum, NROTC participants—or “midshipmen,” as they’re called—undergo a rigorous program that will help them prepare for mandatory service in the United States Navy and Marine Corps.
If you think pumpkin spice is autumn’s only seasonal flavor, Chip Roman would be happy to show you the fall menu for his new restaurant, The Treemont. Located a stone’s throw from bustling Avenue of the Arts, the latest addition to the Roman Restaurant Group (Blackfish, Ela, Mica) boasts a full bar and a menu of small and large plates that change not just with the weather, but nearly every day.
What do Rosie O’Donnell’s return to "The View" and Derek Jeter’s final baseball game have in common? Very little. They are, however, two recent events that have triggered the selection of today’s Netflix Pick of the Week: Penny Marshall’s 1992 film “A League of Their Own.” Set in the suburbs of Chicago during World War II, the dramedy follows the creation of the All–American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL), a female softball league founded to keep America’s favorite pastime alive while over 500 Major League Baseball players fought overseas.
I know what you’re thinking: any animated musical film that is not Disney is simply not worth watching. Allow me to introduce you to the exception to that rule: 20th Century Fox’s Anastasia. Based on the urban legend that Grand Duchess Anastasia of Russia, the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II, survived the execution of her family, Anastasia introduces a softer side to an otherwise gruesome story without skimping too much on the history. This may be a children’s film, but that doesn’t mean it won’t help you study for your Russian Short Stories midterm (maybe).
Welcome home. A lot has changed since we submitted our last assignments, had our bags checked at Van Pelt and used our final Dining Dollars on overpriced salsa at Gourmet Grocer. We mourn the loss of ratchet University City staples. We strut along newly opened sidewalks. We tap our PennCards. But in an age of change, Street is here to help. Whether you’re student or faculty, jock or NARP, aspiring class president or actual university president (@AmyG), turn the page and find out what to expect from Fall 2014.
Ryan Gosling is going to be a dad, and what better way to say “Mazel Tov!” than to watch one of his lesser-known yet extremely riveting roles. New this month on Netflix is The Believer, a 2001 independent film that stars Gosling as Daniel Balint, a former Yeshiva student who now lives as a fanatical Neo-Nazi. Despite his religious upbringing in the Jewish faith, Danny hungrily supports fascism and anti-Semitism, even going so far as to call for the murder of all Jews in the world. When he is not attending fascist meetings and camp retreats, Danny is instigating fights and arguments with the races and religions he deems inferior; one particularly painful scene shows Danny and his fellow Neo-Nazis taunting the owner and patrons of a Jewish deli.
June is Pride Month, but parades, picnics and symposiums aren’t the only way to celebrate and commemorate. Within Netflix’s vast and amazing documentary collection is How to Survive a Plague, a stunning, heart–rending look at the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States. Directed by David France, an investigative journalist who covered AIDS from its beginnings, the documentary focuses on the efforts of advocacy group ACT UP to gain respect and recognition from the government. Nearly all of the film is comprised of archived footage from ACT UP’s town meetings, protests and achievements, as well as interviews with the group’s founders. France went through over 700 hours of footage from over 30 contributing sources to assemble the film, which covers a nine-year period (starting in 1987) of AIDS activism in New York City. As with any film about AIDS, How to Survive a Plague offers its fair share of heartbreak. There are stories that are too painful to hear, scenes that are too upsetting to fully process. Perhaps the most gut-wrenching part of the film is just watching several strong, vibrant, passionate men become hollow, emotionless skeletons as the minutes tick by and the disease progresses. But, ultimately, How to Survive a Plague is not a tragedy. ACT UP’s history is both fascinating and inspiring to watch, especially with France’s use of uncensored footage. The group’s leaders and participants are fearless and tenacious in their struggles against an apathetic government, turning them from social pariahs into heroes of social justice. It is because of them that we now live in a world where an HIV diagnosis is no longer a death sentence, where same-sex marriage is legal in 19 states, where LGBT Pride has its own month, its own neighborhoods and its own Broadway Playbills. Because of them, we survived the plague.
If you aren’t already knee-deep in Season 2 of OITNB, then you need to sort out your priorities immediately. After twelve months of perpetual agony (is Pennsatuky dead? Will Larry move on?), Piper, Red and the Litchfield Ladies are back and more fabulous than ever. There will be drama. There will be girl-on-girl action. There will be amazing Taystee quotes such as “So I'm sittin' there, barbeque sauce on my titties, and I'm like, "What the fuck? Again?" And with all thirteen episodes available for streaming (plus all of Season 1 for the newbs), there really is no excuse not to waste an entire weekend binge-watching the whole thing. For those of you unfamiliar with OITNB, I’ll shake my head sadly and briefly explain it. This Netflix Original Series centers on Piper Chapman, a typical girl-next-door whose experimental college years come back to bite her in her tight, Pilates-shaped butt. She is sent to complete a short sentence at Litchfield, a minimum-security women’s prison in upstate New York, where her blonde hair and manicured toenails stick out like a sour thumb among the jail’s colorful inmates. The series, created by Jenji Kohan, is actually based on real WASP-turned-convict Piper Kerman and her incarceration for laundering money for a drug operation. This is one based-on-a-true-story that won’t actually have you rolling your eyes a la Lifetime. My friend once said that he wouldn’t mind being imprisoned at Litchfield because it seemed “like camp.” Of course, he is mostly delusional. But he is right about one thing: OITNB makes prison, if anything, a cesspool of entertainment. So strip your clothes, bend your knees, spread your cheeks and press play.
There are two reasons why I’m looking forward to March 31st: it’s my 21st birthday, and it’s the series premiere of CBS’s new sitcom, “Friends With Better Lives.” With “How I Met Your Mother” coming to a close and Pottruck’s limited supply of “Friends” episodes quickly diminishing, I need a new group of dysfunctional friends to be jealous of. Former “Friends” producer Dana Klein seems to have the answer with “FWBL,” starring James Van Der Beek, Brooklyn Decker and the hilarious Zoe Lister–Jones.
[media-credit name="Julia Liebergall" align="alignleft" width="300"][/media-credit] August 1247 S. 13th Street (215)468–5926 Price: $$$ Don’t miss: Artichoke hearts Skip: Farfalle pasta Maryann Brancaccio and Maria Vanni’s partnership thrives both in and out of the kitchen. Over 10 years ago, the couple opened up August, a quaint bistro in South Philly that serves up Italian cuisine with a modern flair. Named for the month in which they met, August owes its culinary expertise to Brancaccio, a professional chef, and its warm, eclectic design to Vanni. Soft lighting and earthy tones make the small space feel even more intimate, as does the large open kitchen in the back. We started our meal with two delicious appetizers. The first was a bowl of artichoke hearts ($10), sauteed with sundried tomatoes, white beans, spinach and just the right amount of olive oil. Colorful, tangy and light, it was a great opening dish for what we assumed would be a heavy Italian meal. As only a recent seafood enthusiast, I was nervous to try our second dish, the pan–seared scallops ($12), but after the first savory bite, I was hooked. The scallops, served on a bed of leafy greens, packed a slight crunch on the outside but were tender and juicy on the inside. [media-credit name="Julia Liebergall" align="alignright" width="300"][/media-credit] As our waitress refilled our wine glasses, Vanni brought us our entrees from the open kitchen. Satisfied with our scallops, I passed on the seafood–heavy pasta dishes and opted for the roasted chicken ($17). The presentation of the chicken, served alongside a soft white pile of mashed potatoes and a heap of sauteed zucchini, was gorgeous; Brancaccio even pointed out the best angle for my photographs. Unfortunately, the dish lacked a punching flavor, and I found myself neglecting the chicken for the more palatable sides. Similarly, my date’s farfalle pasta ($20) fell flat in the taste department. The dish’s jumbo lump crab, sundried tomatoes and porcini mushrooms were dominated by a rather tasteless heavy cream sauce. We were also disappointed to find out that, despite its authentic Italian cooking methods, August does not offer homemade pasta. [media-credit name="Julia Liebergall" id=6720 align="alignleft" width="300"][/media-credit] On the owners’ recommendation, we tried the homemade banana bread pudding ($7.50) for dessert. Served in a warm ramekin with a healthy helping of vanilla ice cream, the pudding was sweet and savory, offering a decadent mix of banana, chocolate chips and crispy Italian bread. We washed it down with a shooter of ginger liquor, gifted to us and the other diners by Brancaccio in honor of her upcoming 65th birthday. South Philly is lucky to have a neighborhood bistro like August, where the ingredients are fresh and the atmosphere is warm. But if you’re north of Pine Street and across the Schuylkill, it may not be worth the schlep.
The scene opens with a chilling picture of a wounded man, alone in a bar, handling the now–empty glass that has been set before him. He sets it down and stands to leave, only to walk backwards from his barstool. The waitress in the foreground also walks backwards, as do the passers–by on the streets outside. The events, we realize, are taking place in reverse, played before a haunting a capella score that anticipates our protagonist’s anguish.
Peter Pan (1953)
[Please see ed. note at bottom of post]
Stephen Daldry bravely approaches the still-sensitive topic of 9/11 in “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.” The story follows 11-year-old Oskar Schell as he tries to make sense of what he calls “the worst day.” The precocious, young actor (Thomas Horn) gives perhaps the brightest performance in the film despite his powerhouse costars, Oscar winners Sandra Bullock and Tom Hanks.
Directing cheesy holiday flicks seems to be a continuous phase for 77-year-old Gary Marshall, who follows last year’s box-office flop Valentine’s Day with another ensemble feature film. New Year’s Eve hopelessly tries to follow several New Yorkers on their quests to find love and fulfillment before the end of the year. Of course, their lives will ultimately connect in a sloppy, predictable way in the film’s closing minutes.
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