Beyond the Books

Your Guide to student life

Monday, Oct. 12, 2015 11:18 p.m.

Taste of D.C. creates community around foond

Taste of D.C. filled five blocks of Pennsylvania Avenue with live music, games and plenty of food from all over the city this past weekend.

More than 50,000 people came to snack and sip on some of D.C.’s most iconic dishes and drinks. Visitors could choose from classics like Ben’s Chili Bowl and newcomers like District Doughnut.

“Taste of D.C. definitely fosters a sense of community just in terms of everybody being brought together through food,” said Meaghan Kirby, an intern for Taste of D.C.

Video by Matthew Ley

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Actress Freida Pinto spoke at the Milken Institute School of Public Health on Friday. Samira Uddin | Hatchet Photographer

Actress Freida Pinto spoke at the Milken Institute School of Public Health on Friday. Samira Uddin | Hatchet Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Danielle Zukoff.

About 100 people filled an auditorium at the Milken Institute School of Public Health on Friday to see a screening of the film “Girl Rising,” followed by a discussion with actress Freida Pinto, an ambassador to the Girl Rising global campaign that produced the film. The movie highlights the stories of nine girls from different developing countries like Ethiopia, India and Peru.

At the event, which commemorates the upcoming International Day of the Girl on Oct. 11, Pinto discussed the importance of providing education for girls around the world.

Lynn Goldman, the dean of the public health school, called the movement and film a “global phenomenon” that shows “how fundamental education is when it comes to empowering girls.”

1. Giving girls a voice
Pinto recalled visiting a classroom in Ethiopia two years ago, where a girl sitting in the front row thanked Pinto for the visit, but added that she had missed her chemistry exam to see Pinto and that she wished Pinto had come on a different day.

Pinto said that although she was taken aback by the comment at first, she realized that “education is giving you the voice you really need to have.”

“We shouldn’t underestimate the power of voices,” Pinto said. “When we come together, things actually do happen.”

2. Using social media to make a change
During the discussion, Pinto asked audience members to pull out their phones and snap selfies. In the captions, Pinto told them to write something they had learned in school and promote the photos with the hashtags “#62MillionGirlsDon’tHaveThatChance” and “#LetGirlsLearn.” First Lady Michelle Obama also participated in the hashtag push.

Pinto said that using social media as a platform to speak out about issues creates a “sense of solidarity that we’re all going to do this together in some way or another.”

“Social media is the fastest, most effective way to say what you want really quick and hopefully the person on the other end will listen,” she said.

3. The power of storytelling
Martha Adams, the film’s chief creative officer who spoke at the screening, said that by focusing on human stories, “Girl Rising” adds a layer to empathy to statistics about issues that girls face.

Adams worked directly with the girls in the film, who she called “revolutionaries” and said she was “fortunate to sit next to girls who knew how to read, write and say no to early marriage.”

“A powerful story helps break down barriers and encourages people to treat these girls as their own daughters,” she said. “It makes them global citizens.”

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Customers can dine on empanadas, ropa vieja and alfajores at Sophie’s Cuban Cuisine on 19th and M streets.  ”It’s very typical, traditional Cuban food,” said Carlos DiLaudo, general manager.

The restaurant, which opened October 2013,  is currently the chain’s only location outside of New York City.


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Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015 10:15 p.m.

Panhellenic Association bid day

GW’s 10 sororities welcomed their new members Tuesday evening on the National Mall.

“It feels awesome to see all these women now placed with chapters that could influence the rest of their lives,” Mollie Bowman, president of the Panhellenic Association, said.

Video by Ashley Le

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Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015 2:17 p.m.

Autism Speaks hosts walk on National Mall

On Saturday, the national autism advocacy organization Autism Speaks hosted their 15th annual “Walk Now for Autism Speaks” on the National Mall. The event was organized to fundraise and spread awareness about autism.

“It’s a great opportunity for families that are affected by autism to come together and realize that they’re not alone,” Kate Johnson, senior policy coordinator at Autism Speaks, said.

Video by Randala Abraham and Keren Carrion

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Crystel Sylvester

One professor wants to highlight women’s music at the Textile Museum.

Bonnie Morris, an adjunct women’s studies professor, led a seminar at the museum Wednesday where she discussed a history of women’s music and its important in women’s rights movements.

Her first step was donating an album called “Oregon Mountains” by musician Woody Simmons to the museum. Simmons was also present at the talk and Morris played one of her tracks for the audience.

To illustrate the issues the women’s music movement touched upon, Morris played other tapes by artists like 1940s jazz singers Trixie Smith and the International Sweethearts of Rhythm, as well as modern singers like Faith Nolan.

She said that in the 1970s, the movement changed the women’s music scene at a time when women were only used in bands for their images and appearances.

“What pissed off feminists during the anti-war movement was that women were still being objectified,” Morris said.

She saod that every time period of women’s music has been integral in women’s history and that it has mainly been a subculture ignored by mainstream media.

Morris has written 11 books, with another called “The Disappearing L,” coming in August 2016. She teaches introduction to women’s studies and several other women’s studies classes at GW and Georgetown University.

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This post was written by Hatchet reporters Regina Park and Crystel Sylvester

Hip-hop and classical music are coming together at the Kennedy Center next month.

Rapper Kendrick Lamar is set to perform a collaboration with the National Symphony Orchestra live at a one-off concert on Oct. 20, The Washington Post reported Monday.

Lamar and the NSO Pops will perform classical remixes of hits from Lamar’s acclaimed third studio album, “To Pimp a Butterfly”, which was released last March. The album contains hits like “King Kunta,” “Alright” and “Wesley’s Theory.”

A Compton, Calif. native, Lamar is also known for his collaborations with famous artists and verses on popular tracks like Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” and “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons.

Although this will be the rapper’s first collaboration with the NSO, the orchestra has performed with several other artists before, including Phish’s lead singer Trey Anastasio. Last year, rapper Nas performed a setlist that inlcuded his hit “Illmatic” with the orchestra at the same venue.

Tickets will go on sale to Kennedy Center members this Tuesday at 10 a.m. and will open to the general public Wednesday at 10 a.m. Prices start at $35, with the best seats going for $99.

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Drake pumped up the crowd at Landmark Festival on Saturday. Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Drake pumped up the crowd at Landmark Festival on Saturday. Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Staff Photographer

From Coachella to Lollapalooza, some summer music festivals have become an event where talented artists are overshadowed by obnoxious, and often underage, crowds.

But perhaps because Landmark Festival, which made its debut this Saturday and Sunday, stood for a cause, the crowd seemed more tame. Alongside the flower-crown-and-flannel-wearing millennials were young couples pushing strollers and even a few guests that appeared to be the same age my own parents.

Over two overcast days, Landmark brought together about 40 artists with ticket proceeds going toward the Trust for the National Mall, a nonprofit partner of the National Park Service devoted to preserving the Mall.

Some booths around the festival grounds at West Potomac Park allowed guests to take trash bags that they could use to clean up littered beer cans; they could return the full bags at the end of the day to receive prizes. Other vague appeals to activists in the crowd included the “What do you march for?” wall on which guests scribbled down causes and issues that inspired them – everything from “women’s rights” to “dad bods.”

But it was clear that most people just came for the music.

Drake, Saturday night’s first headliner, captivated the crowd with his powerful stage presence. After a day of running around the festival grounds, I didn’t think I had it in me to withstand the tightly packed horde of high schoolers surrounding his stage for two hours. But as soon as the Canadian rapper hit the stage, I miraculously found the energy to sing and dance to every song on the setlist.

Drake didn’t miss a beat as he breezed through a repertoire of his most popular songs and verses, both old and new – from “Headlines” to “Hotline Bling” and “Back to Back,” his latest diss track against rapper Meek Mill. Some of the onstage gimmicks – like fireworks, excessive airhorns that punctuated each song and his (probably) insincere declarations that this performance was his favorite one yet – were harmless, but grew tiresome after a while. He also apologized, on behalf of God, for the rain. Thanks, Drake.

The Strokes, led by front man Julian Casablancas, headlined Landmark Festival. Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Staff Photographer

The Strokes, led by front man Julian Casablancas, headlined Landmark Festival. Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Closing out the festival on Sunday night, The Strokes lived up to everything you’d expect from a headliner, rocking out with powerful vocals and guitar solos on classics like “Hard to Explain” and “Last Nite.” In between tracks, frontman Julian Casablancas – who was inexplicably sporting sunglasses at 9 p.m. – provided entertaining (albeit mumbly) banter with the audience. The performance wasn’t reserved but it definitely wasn’t over-the-top. The band arrived on stage more than 15 minutes late and left the stage about 10 minutes early, without responding to audience chants for an encore.

Alt-j’s performance drew one of the biggest crowds of the weekend, but the band lacked the stage presence that makes concerts memorable. Even during fast-paced songs like “Left Hand Free,” the band remained stiff and motionless. Performing at the same time on the other side of the park, English folk singer George Ezra played a much more lively and intimate set, which included his soulful radio hit “Budapest” and a crowd-pleasing cover of Macy Gray’s “I Try.”

Some of the smaller, lesser-known bands offered the most memorable performances. On Saturday afternoon, The Mowgli’s were all smiles, bouncing around stage at a down-to-earth performance of feel-good love songs like “Whatever Forever” and “Say It, Just Say It.” On Sunday evening, CHVRCHES’ synthetic beats, accompanied by lead singer Lauren Mayberry’s sweet vocals, were electrifying.

The D.C. Eats food tents, curated by chef Jose Andres, attracted some of the largest crowds at the festival, offering

CHVRCHES drew one of the bigger crowds at the weekend's Landmark Festival. Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Staff Photographer

CHVRCHES drew one of the bigger crowds at the weekend’s Landmark Festival. Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Staff Photographer

everything from sushi to vegetable-infused lemonade. I decided to skip the more popular vendors like Shake Shack and Ben’s Chili Bowl, and instead headed over to the tent for Duke’s Grocery, an East London-style eatery in Dupont Circle. The $9 “posh” BLT sandwich – with avocado and garlic aioli – and $8 corn-on-the-cob – with tangy cotija cheese, spicy sauce and cilantro – were pricey but satisfying takes on two classics.

Because of Landmark’s toned-down take on activism, anyone seeking a crowd that was passionate about saving the world should have probably taken the trip to New York for the weekend to catch Global Citizens Fest. And die-hard festival-goers expecting to rave came to the wrong place. But for everyone in between who just wanted to enjoy the music, Landmark made a promising start as a new tradition for D.C. residents.

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Updated: Sept. 28, 2015 at 11:25 a.m.

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Marissa Kirshenbaum

On Saturday night, beneath white tents and twinkling lights in University Yard, dozens of alumni didn’t just gather to hear live music and have their portraits drawn by a caricaturist.

The main event was the Taste of GW festival, which brought together 16 food vendors and alumni to share refreshments from their various restaurants.

For seven years, the food festival has brought exposure to local establishments run by alumni. Lauren Walinsky, a member of the alumni relations staff, helped plan the event along with other Alumni Weekend festivities, said that a lot of thought goes into setting up Taste of GW.

“We work on it all year long to get the right vendors and the right events so that it represents the diversity of the alumni,” she said.

Some of these vendors include campus favorites like Tonic, a joint known for its tater tots just a few blocks from Thurston Hall. Among the other vendors were Hot Chocolat, a French-style bakery that sells artisan chocolates, and Potomac Pizza, a Maryland pizzeria chain that offers a Mexican pizza, loaded with refried beans, salsa and guacamole.

One business, Comic Cupcakes, was launched by two recent alumni who combined their loves of comic books and baked goods.

Another bake shop, CakeLove was started by law school graduate and former attorney, Warren Brown, who ditched courtroom discussion to pursue his love of baking. Brown, who makes everything from scratch, doesn’t just concoct regular cupcakes – instead he offers cake in a jar.

Brown said his customers would tell him they wanted two things in particular: “portability and cream cheese frosting.”

He added that he hopes to expand to a Foggy Bottom location one day.

“After the first year we started pushing it heavily and now, about two years in we’re getting a distribution chance,” he said.

This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that Lauren Wallinsky is an alumna. She is a member of the alumni relations staff. We regret this error.

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Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015 9:50 a.m.

Allied in Pride hosts gender-neutral speed dating

On Tuesday, Allied in Pride hosted “gender-neutral speed dating,” one of their most popular annual events, which creates a safe, non-discriminatory environment for queer individuals to socialize and meet new people within the LGBT community. The event took on the typical format of speed dating while incorporating a Tinder-like system for matching the attendees.

“It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s only for dating, it’s also for making new friends,” said Vice President of Allied in Pride Gaby Fabre. “We’re just open to everyone.”

Video by Jake Amorelli and Randy Santana Hidalgo

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