APRIL APRIL11, 11,2018 2018 Nick Joyner, Editor–in–Chief Remi Lederman, Managing Editor Angela Huang, Audience Engagement Director Annabelle Williams, Assignments Editor Autumn Powell, Media Director
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Haley Weiss, Word on the Street Editor Jamie Gobreski, Word on the Street Editor Emily Schwartz, Ego Editor Zoe Albano–Oritt, Music Editor Julia Bell, Senior Features Editor Sabrina Qiao, Special Features Editor Colin Lodewick, Long–Term Features Editor Dalton DeStefano, Developing Features Editor Lily Snider, Style Editor Catalina Dragoi, Film & TV Editor Sherry Tseng, Arts Editor Daniel Bulpitt, Lastpage Editor Ha Tran, Photo Editor Danny Rubin, Video Editor Lea Eisenstein, Copy Director Chris Muracca, Print Director
EOTW: Kayvon Asemani, Kenny Goldsmith
Ego Beats: Valentina Escudero, Sami Canaan, Caroline Riise, Caroline Curran, Maryanne Koussa Music Beats: Paul Litwin, Amy Marcus, Arjun Swaminathan, Isabella Fertel, Holden Caplan, Chris Troop, Natalia Joseph
Best Study Music, Hayley Kiyoko, Abusive Rappers
Features Staff: Emily Rush, Angie Lin, Sharon Christner, Annika Iyer, Emily Cieslak, Naomi Elegant Style Beats: Liz Kim, Frankie Reitmeyer, Molly Hessel Film & TV Beats: Ana West, Avneet Randhawa, Bella Essex, Zovinar Khrimian Arts Beats: Sophie Burkholder, Lizzy Lemieux, Margaret Zhang, Xinyi Wan Design Editors: Lucy Ferry, Gillian Diebold, Ben Zhao, Christine Lam, Alana Shukovsky, Efe Ayhan, Morgan McKeever, Teagan Aguirre, Katie Waltman, Joy Lee Lastpage Beat: Eliana Doft Staff Writers: Sophie Xi, Cass Phanord, Tamara Gelband, Jennifer Cullen, Isabella Simonetti, Shinyoung Noh, Emma Moore, Anna Callahan, Sammy Gordon, Sydney Gelman, Charlotte Bausch, Jacob Winick, Alix Steerman, Sara Merican Illustrators: Jessi Olarsch, Brad Hong, Anne Marie Grudem, Reese Berman, Judy Choi, Carly Ryan, Saranya Sampath, Catherine Liang, Anne Chen
Meal Kit Services, Boozy Activities
Drag Queens, Franklin's Table
Staff Photographers: Dayz Terry, Virginia Rodowsky, Christina Piasecki, Bill He, Avalon Morrell, Emma Boey, David Zhou Video Staff: Megan Kyne, Jean Chapiro, Anab Aidid, Abdul Sohu Copy Editors: Kira Horowitz, Kate Poole, Anna Waldzinska, Serena Miniter, Sarah Poss, Amber Auslander, Kimberly Batista, Riley Wagner, Morgan Potts Sofia Price, Analytics Editor Cole Bauer, Senior Marketing Associate Marketing Associates: Lauren Donato, Chae Hahn, Brittany Levy, McKay Norton, Hanniel Dizon, Carly Shoulberg, Merry Gu, Paige Fishman
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Love, Simon, John Krasinksi
Unless otherwise noted, all photos are by Dayz Terry, Virginia Rodowsky, Ha Tran, and Christina Piasecki. Contacting 34th Street Magazine: If you have questions, comments, complaints or letters to the editor, email Nick Joyner, Editor–in– Chief, at email@example.com. You can also call us at (215) 422–4640. www.34st.com
Adel Wu, Annenberg Mural
"DaAaAAaaAaAAaAaaAaaAaAAaAaAaaAaaAady" ©2018 34th Street Magazine, The Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. No part may be reproduced in whole or in part without the express, written consent of the editors (but I bet we will give you the a–okay.) All rights reserved. 34th Street Magazine is published by The Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc., 4015 Walnut St., Philadelphia, Pa., 19104, every Wednesday.
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Fling Drinking Games 2
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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR This letter is supposed to be about Fling, huh? Is that what y'all want? Well good. Because that's what I was gonna make it about anyways. Here's the thing: Fling isn't that serious. I'm not gonna pretend like that's novel information, but it's something I feel the constant need to remind myself. Didn't get tickets to the Magical Pool Party? Don't worry. As I move towards becoming a busted, crotchety senior, I am prone to reflecting on the ghosts of Flings past. I mean, I've only been to the one in my freshman spring since I missed the festivities last year for reasons out of my control. Still, by my measure, Fling seems to have changed a lot. There seem to be an overwhelming amount of paid–for, ticketed, wristbanded, and otherwise partially restricted events as compared to previous years. In a typical Penn fashion, we've moved towards further social segmentation, at least in terms of the more prominent events. Doors are closing instead of opening. I appreciate Spring Fling for what it is: widespread immoral buffoonery. Celebration of the warm weather. Bonding amongst extracurricular organizations. And the like. Fling is the single time each year when nearly every Penn student drops their commitments to come together with their fellow classmates. In theory, it provides us with the time to reconnect with all the friends we've been to busy to see, to pop off (metaphorically) when things are heating up the most. I appreciate the brunches, pregames, midday breaks, and other intimate events that Fling brings, much more than the parties themselves. The in–betweens are so much more memorable. If I've gained any wisdom during my time as a Quaker, it's that it's important to appreciate the things you can neither plan nor control. It's a great exercise in patience–building. It's taught me to be more appreciative of smaller things. I believe it was CupcaKke who said "Life is about the journey, not the destination." It was that, or something about "***** in a ****** *** ****, you ********."
WORD ON THE STREET
word on the
FROM NIGHTMARE MILITARY MARCHES TO ALL-NIGHTERS IN VP What it's like to be a twenty-year-old freshman who served in the army before coming to Penn. Gabe Low
On an average day, promptly at 5:00 a.m. we stood at attention by our beds awaiting instruction. By 5:15, we had already changed into uniform, shaved, polished our shoes, brushed our teeth, and made our beds. After 35 minutes allotted for prayer, bathroom, and a breakfast that consisted of cucumbers, hard boiled eggs, chocolate pudding and bread we were ready to start the day’s activities. We jumped right into rifle training, physical conditioning and Krav Maga, or hand–to–hand combat. Following dinner, we engaged in fortification construction, combat first aid, stealth maneuvering and camouflage adornment. Our day culminated in a speed march in full gear through desert and mountainous terrain that concluded just in time for sunrise. That was how I spent the last two years serving as a combat soldier in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). Throughout my gap years, I looked forward to assuming my role as a student in an American university. I was excited to solve new problems and enroll in classes that would challenge me intellectually. I traded in my automatic rifle for a crisp Herschel backpack and acclimated to the weight of introductory econ and psychology textbooks instead of ammunition. The trek from the Hillel dining hall to DRL for my 1 p.m. Calculus II class couldn’t be more different than my nightlong military marches as long as the Philly marathon in the Judean desert. I attacked writing seminar assignments with the same passion and fer-
Catherine Liang | Illustrator
vor as I had in my army manuscript. As I transitioned from combat infantry soldier to twenty– year–old freshman, I struggled to relate to my peers. As I unloaded the car on the first day of NSO, I immediately realized that succeeding here, similar to the army, revolves around understanding my position within the collective. Although fundamentally different, both battlefields presented to me and to those around me mental challenges and difficult truths. My two– year combat tour forced me to push my internal and external limits and enabled me to handle endless physical demands. Here, in the academic arena, people are consumed with course selection, GPAs and OCR. Meanwhile, 11:59 p.m. essay submissions in the Moelis Grand Reading room with snacks from Mark’s Café are a huge upgrade to my all–night-
ers in armored vehicles with limited rations of canned tuna, olives, and rice wrapped in grape leaves. Close calls in the field taught me to continuously see life’s daily blessings despite rejections from esteemed extracurricular activities and upon receiving less–than–satisfactory grades. While the army may have given me the perspective to adequately manage life’s challenges, socially, I was less prepared. Two years older than most freshmen, I immediately felt out of place. I constantly found myself explaining how “I am the age of a junior,” but I am currently “just a freshman.” Juniors already had their friends and freshmen couldn’t relate to my peculiar situation. To make matters worse, I live in a single. Instead of having a buddy to accompany me at the numerous NSO and Greek Life events, I showed up alone hoping to find a familiar face.
Originally, the idea of a single and the freedom of having my own space appealed to me. I had been deprived of privacy for the past two years while living with dozens of bunkmates in the army. Little did I know how beneficial a built–in first– day friend would be. In addition to my social troubles, I found myself struggling academically as well. After all, it had been over two and a half years since I physically sat down to complete work for a class. I spent dozens of hours on MyMathLab reteaching myself the difference between integrating and finding a derivative. It took me days before I was finished writing an outline for a chapter of writing sem. I had to take every possible econ practice test I could get my hands on to remind myself what a timed test felt like. Similarly, during army training, I broke down during my first physical exam. I had
to complete a timed obstacle course, and when I reached the six–meter rope I had to scale, I failed miserably. It was only after hours of repetition and training that I successfully conquered it. The army gave me the preparation and resilience I now carry into my education. In college, it can be exceedingly easy to underperform or struggle with time management. College is often a messy academic, social, and extracurricular juggling act. But after living on a military routine for two years, I have developed a sense of self–discipline and temporal awareness that has enabled me to flourish at Penn. For the eight months of basic training, I lived by the minutes as I completed scores of odd tasks on a fixed schedule for my superiors. I perfected polishing my shoes, shaving, cleaning, and shooting drills through repetition and practice. I slept for around five hours in 30– minute increments and survived solely on non–perishable foods without utensils. The army equipped me with a heightened appreciation for freedom and responsibility. At Penn, with limited class time and consistent late starts to the day, I am successfully able to make my bed, spend an hour lifting at Pottruck, and complete assignments in a timely fashion. I am able to take advantage of every waking second to review for exams, enjoy meals with friends, and engage with the West Philly community through tutoring. I exercise the freedom to eat whatever and whenever I desire. And the best part of all, I never get less than six hours of sleep.
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EGO EGO OF OF THE THE WEEK WEEK
MAJOR | Management
Finance Initiative Community Project, Wharton Council, Wharton Undergraduate Cohort System, Turner Social Impact Society, Friars, Civic Scholar
After he stood us up to give a TED Talk, Kayvon Asemani made time to talk about music, Penn, and his favorite Superheroes. Here's what he had to say: 34th Street Magazine: What have you been up to lately? Kayvon Asemani: It's been crazy. So, I did a TED Talk at TEDxPenn and that was cool. Last Tuesday, I was recognized by Forbes, so I was in the Forbes list of the most outstanding business school undergrads 2018. It was curated by Poets&Quants, which is the premier business school publication. That was dope. Last Wednesday, I did a guest appearance with Eleven, a band that was formed by two students at Penn. They were opening for Aminé, but I did a little surprise appearance there. Also, I got to emcee the Senior Reception by the Wharton Council, and that's another thing I’m in. And then, this past Sunday, I had emceed the Wharton 5k event, which is a race raising money for Minding Your Mind—that's a health organization. Pretty cool. Through the Finance Initiative Community Project, I teach. So, I manage my teaching team and we'll be teaching— every semester is a different school— and this semester we teach on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This coming Saturday, I have a set for Fling, so I have to get ready for that. That's the stuff that's keeping me busy. Street: So, you sound very busy. How do you make time for everything? KA: Philosophically, I manage because my mentality of it is that it all goes hand in hand. What I’m working on at school really makes me better at managing what I have to do creatively and vice versa. I'd also say that, more tactically, my routine is kind of tight. You got to be adaptable. You can't just always go by a schedule. So, that's how I do it. Street: Well, thank you for 4
finding the time to schedule me in. KA: Don't worry, it's all in the calendar. Street: You said you gave a TED Talk recently. You also had one in Norway. What were those about? KA: The whole idea there was they wanted me to talk about my story, where I come from, because that was the appeal for me to come there. The reason why a lot of people like to hear me talk is because, you know, I'm an orphan, and despite the fact that I came from a difficult place, I still do a lot of cool things and people like that. They want to know how I do it. I also talked about how this was only possible because there were the players involved to help me, so that's why we should invest in each other. Then, this past Saturday was more about, I kind of alluded to it earlier, but like the mental clarity. It was about achieving happiness through mental clarity. All that means is like, the main points of it being comparing yourself less to other people; so making it less about what's relative, wanting less for yourself, and creating more for the world around you. Street: What kind of music do you make? KA: I rap, so that's kind of where the attention I got really started. When I got to Penn, one of the big things I wanted was to be a music artist. I didn’t think I’d get in, nobody really thought I'd get in, but I shot for Wharton because I wanted to understand the business side of music. So yeah, the type of music that I make is hip–hop. I rap. These days, hip–hop has evolved to be more melodic, so how you really define that with hip–hop is really up to you. I guess to
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anyone that is interested, you could just say I’m a music artist at this point, more than just a rapper. Again, I talk about a lot of things. I basically disguise deeper messages about ongoing social issues into music that people will listen to regardless of whether or not they care about those social issues. Street: So, how would you say all of these experiences affected your time at Penn? KA: I think they made Penn a more incredible experience than I could've imagined. I knew that Penn was great, and I knew Penn was a dream to even get here. I knew there were a lot of resources, but I feel like you could see them all on a list, and you could see people here and be as amazed as I was, but the next level to really appreciate the place is to experience all the things that it has to offer. Street: What movie would you say best describes your personality? KA: The Rush Hour series. Maybe Rush Hour 2. They're all the same thing. I love them. I think the combination of Chris Tucker all over the place was really funny, trying to figure it out, with Jackie Chan trying to be serious, but, you know, still trying to be a good teammate to Chris Tucker—both of them is me. Street: What's been your favorite memory from college? KA: It is a tie between two concerts that I had this year: one where I was opening for Waka Flaka Flame, and the other one, which was a little bit later, was just my show. It felt like I was the host of a party and I was like curating a good time, and sure, I was rapping my own music, but halfway through the concert, I jumped in the crowd and played
KAYVON ASEMANI Autumn Powell | Media Director
other music, like Cardi B, and stuff like that. I was just dancing to it and bringing people onto the stage. It really captured the essence of what I’ve been trying to do with my music. It's just that, I don’t get all in the spotlight just to glorify myself or just be this guy, because I think that's really empty. I do it because I feel like, if you need me to be on stage to inspire you or to prove to you that kids who come from nothing can be something, then I'll gladly be that person. But at the same time, if anybody else can be that person, please do. I want to support them. Street: What's been your least favorite thing about Penn? KA: At times, there are cer-
tain crowds that are really superficial, really exclusive. It's really impressive in the first place to get here, but then, there are all these groups that silo themselves off. You know, to be involved in this organization, you need to be all these things, and if you're not, they don’t want to hang out with you. The type of culture, if you're not in the in–group, then you're out.The other thing is that I feel like when people get caught up in their circles, they stay in that bubble. Street: What are your plans for your last Spring Fling? KA: More than anything, I want to shut it down, give a good show, and consciously think about the people I’m hanging out with because this is going to be my last Spring Fling.
LIGHTNING ROUND Street: Guilty pleasure? KA: Eating chocolate. I've been on this whole thing—gym every day, trying to eat healthy—but I can't stay away from chocolate. Chocolate or Honey Bunches of Oats, I eat a lot of those. Street: Celebrity crush? KA: There are so many. The first person that comes to mind—my celebrity crush is definitely Rihanna. No disrespect
to anybody else, I just really love Rihanna. Street: There are two types of people at Penn? KA: People who love Kayvon and people who don’t. Street: And you are... KA: I love Kayvon. I really do, big fan. (Ed note: same though.) Street: Your first AIM name? KA: It was reymysteriois4real. Rey Mysterio was a WWE wrestler.
Kenneth Goldsmith: One of Penn's Quirkiest, Most Loved Professors
Credit: Articulate with Jim Cotter
He teaches a class on wasting time, yet hanging out with this professor is anything but that. By Valentia Escudero
Imagine going to class for three hours a week in the Writing Center, not having any homework due, and not knowing what to expect at all. The only thing you know is that you will be using your laptop and surfing the web with your classmates and your professor—definitely not something you would do in a typical class. There’s a class like that at Penn, and not just in your dreams. It’s called Wasting Time on the Internet (ENGL 111), taught by Kenneth Goldsmith, and it’s just one of the many iconic classes Goldsmith teaches at Penn. “It becomes a communal experience, surfing the web together,” Goldsmith explains. “We make up games, we have no agenda. For instance, we Skyped each other one time, all in the same room. Just these very stupid, basic things you do on the Internet that you don’t really think about, but what happens when you do them as a group? It becomes very social, almost a flash mob.” To those who would reply that they’ve never thought about it that way, Goldsmith would respond, “Well, that’s the idea of
school, to make you think about things differently.” Goldsmith wears a tie, snipped in half carelessly, and a purposely patched up suit. In the late '80s, before teaching at Penn, Goldsmith was a sculptor. He sculpted books. “I started putting words on them and ultimately became more interested in the words than in the sculptures. Now I may be going back to it. I miss it.” He’s written several books over the course of roughly 20 years, and he’s “answered his questions” in his own writing. Goldsmith is known for the unorthodox classes he teaches. One was called Uncreative Writing, which requires that students be wholly unoriginal in their work. In other words, they must plagiarize everything. Their first assignment: go home and retype five pages of something that already exists in the world—anything. Once in class, Goldsmith asks why everyone chose what they did, and this is where the magic happens. “And suddenly, everyone’s got a great reason. And you realize that by the choice of what they showed you, their writing was
autobiographical. They all had a relationship to a text and a story to go with it. So in a sense it’s very creative but not through conventional outlets.” Cutting and pasting, Goldsmith proves, can very well be a way of writing and creating on its own. Goldsmith’s favorite class is a year–long seminar he teaches called Writing Through Art and Culture (ENGL 165), in conjunction with the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Students spend one year working with an artist, calling on them as a source of inspiration. It’s offered every other year, and it’s one of the major reasons why Goldsmith became a professor at Penn in the first place. Al Filreis, Faculty Director of the Kelly Writers House, invited him to become a fellow and teach this class (formerly with the Institute of Contemporary Art) in 2004. At the time, Goldsmith had never taught a class before. Asked whether he does anything differently now, he calmly says, “I never prepare for a class. The energy just flows. I kind of direct the energy. I open up the space for possibilities and things to happen.”
“Can writing be unoriginal and still be moving? In a time in which language is copied and pasted, how can writing respond? How can writing poetry and novels be contemporary in a world that’s all language?” Goldsmith asks. “So I came to the end of my investigation fairly recently.” Despite these questions, he will continue to teach, as he believes it keeps him above water. Next semester he’s teaching a class called The Art of Writing Badly (ENGL 111). The intention is to break writing rules to their most extreme and come up with new types of writing. Examples include short stories composed entirely of run on sentences inspired by James Joyce or writing with intentionally misspelled words. “Through error, we can probably express things that are better said than when done correctly,” Goldsmith says. Right now, he’s working on writing the history of UbuWeb, where he is the founding editor. Ubu, as he calls it, is a 22–year– long project of online copying and distributing materials of the avant–garde, for free. It began as a site for things like concrete
poetry and visual poetry and has since become a space for all things avant–garde. Ubu is actually older than Google. “When I first saw the Internet in 1995, I and many others realized that there was crazy potential there. I thought, ‘What a great place for art to be.’” Goldsmith later embarked on a mission to print out the Internet—and he did. “We got the whole thing in a giant pile in Mexico City,” he remarks proudly. As an artist, he cites artists like Basquiat and Haring as inspirations. “One great thing about being an artist is that you’re alone and you have your own ideas. You can make your own time and do things with your hands, you take naps in the middle of the day, play hookie, drink wine in the middle of the day, all that stuff.” That lifestyle isn't one many Penn students foresee for themselves. When asked, Goldsmith tries to define success. He pauses for a moment, staring into space. “Success is being loved. Artists more than anyone have a need to be loved. And even if artists appear to be antisocial, in the end, they want your approval. We want to show other people that we’re worthy of living such a privileged life.” At Penn, it can often be difficult to reconnect with aspects of yourself that aren’t going to develop a resume or that aren’t considered marketable. Meeting Goldsmith is refreshing. Inspiring. He restores confidence in art and in pursuing what you love. “It’s a room of potential, of free space,” Goldsmith says. “Let’s see where it goes.”
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PHILLY’S HOTTEST LOCATION FOR PRIVATE PARTIES
What you should listen to when writing that paper Arjun Swaminathan When getting in the zone for a grind session, one thing is always a must: some high quality music to put you in the mood to crank out that six–page paper you didn’t start until the night before it was due. The choice of genre varies among individuals, but a few stand above the rest. Street decided to rank the best types of study music:
Classical Music There is a certain magic to these pieces, composed during a time before technology and the use of synthetic instruments. You can let a buoyant song like Mozart’s "Sonata in C Major" envelop your brain as you derive the stoichiometric equation for the redox reaction, jotting down the answer to the tune of the crescendo. Want to focus while proving the invertible matrix theorem? Beethoven’s "Moonlight Sonata" is for you, as its orchestral movements increase in speed and intensity as you approach the solution in the same manner. Classical music manages to be light on the ears and continues to be enjoyable, providing an excellent ambient background noise for homework.
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A relative newcomer to the game, lo–fi hip–hop is a unique breed. It’s not hip–hop in the traditional sense—the music is largely devoid of vo-
cals outside of perhaps a few short sampled lines. Characterized by mellow sounds and occasional distortion (i.e. low–fidelity sound quality), the style is minimalist and outstanding for studying. All of the numerous livestreams of lo–fi hip hop on YouTube provide a soothing emotional vibe that clears the mind of irrelevant fluff. My personal favorite is the “Chill Gaming/ Study Beats” stream, a fantastic choice when you need to finish that 50–page reading. If you’ve not experienced it before, you should check it out ASAP.
Electronic House Music The absolute pinnacle of study music, electronic house is a gift to this generation of college students. As Kygo’s tropical tour–de–forces and Porter Robinson’s synth–driven masterpieces paint sonic portraits in your ears, the calculations for the net present value of the investment become much clearer. Unlike the other entries in this ranking, electronic house can be more jarring to the ears, but it works in a manner that drowns out all other sound and truly eliminates everything around you besides the beat and the homework. More than appreciating the music, you come to enjoy the act of studying itself. That’s why this genre comes in first. Honorable mentions: Jazz, soft rock, folk music.
Hayley Kiyoko's "Expectations" Delivers for Queer Women and Pop Music Hayley Kiyoko demands that queer women be given a seat at the table in her debut album
If you know me, then you probably know that I'm not very soft–spoken about my queerness. Neither is Hayley Kiyoko. Her fans refer to her as "Lesbian Jesus," and her music videos always feature a female romantic interest. The artwork of her debut album Expectations, released March 30, features Kiyoko sitting in a chair while gazing at a naked woman whose back is to the camera. Kiyoko's position suggests lust; her head tilts to the side, jacket falling off her shoulder while she makes no effort to pull it back up, transfixed by the woman in front of her. The art is a metaphor for the album itself. In an interview with Jill Gutowitz for them., Kiyoko says, "That would normally be a guy sitting in that chair ... I'm putting myself in these positions, but it's always going to be different because I am a woman." And she's right. Though lesbians and straight men are both interested in women, the politics of love, sex, and relationships are completely different
BY Zoe Albano-Oritt
also chasing Yes, she's commandeering minutes. The one feature on men ("Curi- the male gaze, but more impor- the album goes to Kehlani on ous"); want- tantly, she's commandeering "What I Need." This is all too ing a girl to male confidence. Never be- fitting, given Kehlani's sexual be sure that fore has a woman in pop mu- fluidity, and her willingness to she wants to sic been so vocal about loving sing about her female love inbe with her other women Demi Lovato's terests without abandon. Lisso she can most recent album only hints tening to the album is like a come out at queerness, and Katy Perry's fresh breath of air; it gave me and they can "I Kissed a Girl" is the defini- something that I didn't even be a public tion of queerbaiting. Kiyoko's know I needed. And for those item ("What album comes at a time when saying that it's unrelatable beI Need"); queer female representation cause they can't imagine beexcruciating desperately needs it, and not ing a woman singing about other women, I say, too bad, yet thrilling just in music. Not only is Hayley Kiyoko welcome to my life. Perhaps nights spent with a best finally bringing queer women Kiyoko says it best, albeit in friend, get- the representation we deserve, reference to her music videos: Carly Ryan | Illustrator ting so close but she's bringing it in such "People think it's a concept. for both categories of people. to her but a lovely way. Kiyoko's voice People are like, 'Oh, we've In Kiyoko's album, as in its art- not being able to touch her is soft yet powerful, and the already seen a music video work, the male gaze becomes or vocalize anything you're production is simultaneously about two girls,' and it's like, the lesbian gaze, as she assumes thinking or feeling because tight and dreamy. The songs cool, I've seen a video about a role traditionally reserved for what if she's not queer and it's flow smoothly between each a girl and a guy literally my a man. She goes about this on all in your head and oh God, other, breathing, restricting, entire life, 4 bajillion times. its most basic level in "Wanna why am I even thinking this and then loosening up for a So why is mine a concept and Be Missed," singing "I wanna ("Sleepover")? cohesive sound across all 48 yours a reality?" be missed like every night/I wanna be kissed like it's the last time/Say you can't eat, can't PENN 4040 Locust Street | 215-243-9999 sleep, can't breathe without DREXEL 3438-48 Lancaster Ave | 215-921-5804 me." The next–straightest song ramenbarphilly.com on the album comes in its final ラーメン ラ メン バ バー track, "Let it Be," where Kiyoko laments the ending of a relationship. That's about where the comparison with straight male musicians ends, though. Every other song on the album contains so much more depth than simply flipping the script of straight man versus lesbian—to say that she's simLUNCH Mon – Fri: 11:30am – 3:00pm HAPPY HOUR ply queering what straight men Sat – Sun: 12:00pm – 3:00pm Mon – Fri: 4:30pm – 6:30pm have been singing about for Sat – Sun: 9:00pm – 11:00pm (drink specials only) BAR 11:30am – 10:00pm decades is doing Kiyoko a severe disservice. Many songs on $4 Appetizers (excluding certain dishes) DINNER Mon – Sat: 4:30pm – 10:00pm the album concern themselves $4 Drafts & Well Drinks Sun: 4:30pm – 9:00pm with nuanced feelings that any $5 Wines & Sake Bombs queer woman is all too familiar $6 Specialty Cocktails with; girls playing with your $1 off all other alcoholic drinks head and leading you on while
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Don't Listen to Abusive Rappers Supporting their music means actively ignoring their horrendous actions and the harm done to victims The dilemma in listening to controversial rappers has been a hot topic for the past couple weeks. Noisey, Vice’s music blog, published an article on the topic, and renowned music vlogger Anthony Fantano gave his personal thoughts on the issue in a recent YouTube video. The general consensus: by listening to controversial artists, you are thereby helping them avoid the consequences of their actions, so it's best not to listen to them at all. Though critics like Fantano have helped spotlight the conversation, they tread rather lightly. It's this ‘lightness’ that prompts a new standard for listeners to adhere to: if you're a true defender of the sexually abused, you cannot promote the music of the
abuser. Abuse is nothing new to the music industry. Artists have been accused of sexual misconduct since record companies became monster entities. John Lennon, David Bowie, and countless other music "Gods" are well known for strong rumors of domestic abuse. However, as these issues were not as prevalent in the media 60 years ago, these cases got swept under the rug. Now, even when listeners are well aware of the fact that legends like James Brown were repeated offenders of domestic abuse, it doesn't seem to faze the general public. Some may argue: if these artists have passed away, is listening to their music truly harming anyone? While they cannot face
Holden Caplan trial from the grave, these artists were abusers and avoided consequences due to their societal status. Artists of today are no different. Here's a list of current chart–toppers who have faced a criminal charge related to sexual or domestic assault: Kodak Black: Charges of criminal sexual conduct and sexual assault XXXtentacion: Domestic abuse of girlfriend Famous Dex: Domestic abuse of girlfriend NBA Youngboy: Domestic abuse of girlfriend 6ix9ine: Pedophilia charges These artists aren't on the fringes of music. Rather, they're
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some of the most popular current rappers. These charges did not just pop up in the past couple weeks. Many of these charges have existed for years during their rise to fame. Some may even consider them part of the reason the musicians were brought into the spotlight, as controversy leads to heavy publicity. These aren’t just one– time "mistakes," but repeated offenses, and this is only what was caught on camera. Despite widespread information on these rappers' charges of sexual abuse, they have dodged punishment—a clear benefit of their fame. Fame created by the millions of uncaring listeners who would rather have some bangers than see these people behind bars. Continuing to support these artists not only economically and socially provides for them, but discredits the abused. Think of all the women out there too afraid to say anything due to the fear of fan hate. When looking at the Chris Brown fanbase, even today, he has fans defending his beating of Rihanna just because they are infatuated with his singing, looks, and dance moves. How are women supposed to push their cases forward while living in a constant fear of death threats and social media chastisement? How does one look for support from friends when they too will face the same fate? In the end, many opt to do nothing out of hope-
Jessi Olarsch | Illustrator
lessness. Anthony Fantano stated in his controversial video, “Consuming the art of someone who has done something awful doesn’t directly hurt anyone.” He could not be any more wrong. Consuming their art is directly hurting those abused by those artists by forcing them to view their abuser's continual rise of fame. In supporting these artists, fans are allowing them to avoid consequences for their actions and most likely continue to inflict those same abuses on other victims. In the end, it's a strictly moral issue. Listeners have complete freedom over what they choose to listen to. However, if you are an advocate for the abused, it is rather ironic for you to support these artists. There is clear evidence that these artists have committed the abuse and continue to glorify it through song. If you want to see legitimate change in all industries that mark up a person as untouchable, you cannot continue to listen to these artists. The money in their pockets is a direct consequence of your support. Even if they make great music, it is your job as a member of a society against sexual and domestic abuse to do what you can to discredit their ability. Take a stance; don’t listen to abusive rappers.
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Are Meal Kit Delivery Services for You? A closer look at the meal prep trend, happening in home kitchens near you Liz Kim
ten enough. “In theory it’s really nice, but it wasn’t something I was willing to pay for. I had to block out a time for when I was going to cook a whole meal,” she said. “I liked the Ha Tran | Photographer food, but it was To entice future customers, too much work and too much most meal kit companies offer a money to be something I’d regufree or discounted trial. Mikayla larly do.” Joseph (N '20) got a box with Rebeca Maia (C ’18) was also two meals in it for her free trial gifted a free Blue Apron box from Blue Apron. She apprecifrom a friend, who received $10 ated that she didn’t have to go off when she subscribed for the grocery shopping, but the main service. She used it for a month issue was that she didn’t cook ofbefore cancelling, noting that the friend and her roommate had both ended up cancelling their plans after a short period of time as well. She wanted to try it out for the educational experience of being introduced to recipes and cooking tips. She admits that some of the recipes she received weren’t necessarily in line with her personal tastes, and basic protein offerings like chicken and steak became “repetitive in Philly Mag Top 50 Bar & Restaurant 2017 ! the ways you could cook them.” She wasn’t sure how to handle 20th & Lombard (just over bridge) the protein, as the boxes didn’t come with freezing instructions 2 Happy Hours Nightly or information on how long the ingredients would be good for. “I would have to freeze the protein because I got it on Saturdays and RESERVE YOUR EVENT IN ADVANCE usually didn’t feel like cooking it on the same day that I got it. It would be this whole ordeal,” she said, citing the difficulties of juggling plans with friends on nights that she’d been preparing to cook. “It honestly ended up becoming more of a chore of
Cooking can be a complicated affair as a college student. Not all of us are in line to be the next Gordon Ramsay, so deciding on recipes and buying all of the ingredients can exhaust the typical student. This is all before one can even think of spending the next half–hour to an hour actually putting the meal together. Meal kit delivery services have been designed to eradicate the first two steps in the cooking process. Their purpose is to create convenience for their busy customers without sacrificing the quality of a home–cooked meal by delivering fresh ingredients, portioned according to the accompanying recipes, to your doorstep every week.
Companies that offer them include Blue Apron, HelloFresh, Plated, Sun Basket, Green Chef, and more. They vary in number of recipe options, types of subscription plans, price for a two–person box with three meals a week, and shipping costs. Sun Basket offers “Paleo, Lean & Clean, Gluten–free, Vegetarian and Vegan options.” Green Chef takes it an extra step with a keto– friendly plan.
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sorts,” she said. However, because “all the recipes require little things,” Rebecca realized that the small portion sizes incentivized her to cook more often—it was unlikely that she would cook the recipes without the meal kit service: "[I was] not trying to get a whole bottle of red wine vinegar to use every once in a while.” She did learn how to make sauces, and thinks that she could possibly recreate the recipes in the future. Of course, one’s experience with a meal subscription service will depend on numerous factors. For example, a single serving might work for an average person, but not for someone who runs marathons as a hobby. Plus, the recipes often work best with two people cooking— and not everyone has a personal sous chef. Another person helping in the kitchen definitely cuts down the cooking time. The step–by–step recipes don't often take into account the extra time that an inexperienced chef will take to chop the vegetables or clean the counters. That prep and clean–up time, plus the amount of time one has to set aside to cook, is probably not the ideal equation for someone who may already be struggling to grab a sandwich between classes and clubs. But as these services generally offer three meals (with two to four servings each) per week, it’s not impossible to balance three home–cooked dinners with four dinners spent out with friends or on–the–go. With the variety of meal plans offered by different companies, it should be easy to find one that’ll suit your lifestyle and tastes. Domesticity and adulthood, here we come.
The Best BoozY Activites around Philly By Molly Hessel
Drinking at a bar is overrated. Try these alcoholic festivities instead Drinking at a bar? Boring. In the midst of the mid–semester slump, you might have grown tired of countless nights spent at the same campus watering holes. Instead, spice up your weekend plans with one of these boozy activities around Philadelphia. Ranging from athletic workouts to pampering spa treatments, everything is more fun with a little liquor.
1. Fishtown Beer Runners Once a week, runners and brew enthusiasts come together in the name of science. The group started in 2007 when a study showed evidence that beer can rehydrate after exercise just as well as water. Test the theory
for yourself by joining them at 7 p.m. on Thursdays. Participants can meet either at Palmer Park or City Hall to run anywhere from two to six miles and end at a designated tavern. Cost: Free (plus cost of alcohol)
2. Nail Bar Nail Bar, located in Rittenhouse, knows how to pamper their customers. The salon offers both waxing and nail treatments, each including a complementary glass of wine or champagne. At only $15 for a basic manicure, students get an additional 10% off when they show a student ID. Cost: $15–$30
2229 Spruce St. 215-735-7357
3. The Clay Studio If you love painting while drunk at Painting with a Twist, try pottery while drunk at The Clay Studio near Old City. At their Friday night “Date Night” event, both couples and singles are welcome to a romantic night of learning how to use their hands (on a pottery wheel). The cost to register includes beer, wine, and light snacks in addition to the cost of supplies. Cost: $35
4. Keystone Mini–Golf For less than the cost of a BYOB dinner, bring your Tues - Thurs 4 - 10pm Sun 4 - 10pm Fri - Sat 4 - 11pm
Located on the corner of Spruce & 23rd for 22 years Philadelphia’s first authentic all wood-fired brick oven pizza
own alcohol to this mini– golf and arcade spot in Kensington. While the golf course is small, taking only 30 minutes to complete, that means there's more time for drinking afterwards. Just don’t go after a few shots. Cost: $12 for one adult
5. Philadelphia Museum of Art
Enjoy a night of culture every Friday with art and live music at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The event is free after cost of admission, and features hors d'oeuvre, and cocktails from Starr Catering. Muse about the meaning of famous masterpieces with the help of a little alcohol. Cost: $14 with valid student ID
Live music • Film • Dance • Theater Art Education • Community
Free Workshop! Real Budgeting for Real Work April 9 @ 6:00 PM Vision Driven Consulting has teamed up with The Rotunda to bring resources & capacity-building workshops to self-producing artists/ musicians, arts organization staff and event curators in all disciplines. Refreshments provided. No sign-up necessary.
Healing & Feeling night of short films (Free admission) April 12 @ 8:00 PM The screening will include a brief Q&A with filmmakers: Maya Yu Zhang (My Sister Swallowed the Zoo), BARETEETH & Aiden Un (No Promised Land), Zein Nakhoda (Grounded While Walls Fall), Hilary Brashear (Squirrel Hill Falls), Alli Logout (Lucid Noon Sunset Blush), Alexa Karolinski & Ingo Niermann (Army of Love), Lasse Långström (Who Will F*ck Daddy?)
Juan Garces, B.E.E.P. and Mikronesia pres by Event Horizon Series (Free admission) April 13 @ 8:00 PM Juan Garces is an experimental and improvisational musician, using synthesizers, sequencers, live looping, and a laptop to take his listeners on a unique, imaginative journey.
International Roundearth Society Party with Timbala, Sylvia Platypus and Hawk Tubley & the Ozymandians April 12 @ 8:00 PM BagpipesFAO presents three live bands: Timbila, Sylvia Platypus, Hawk Tubley & the Ozymandians. Buy tickets online.
Hand-made daily with the freshest ingredients Gluten-free and soy cheese pizza available!
As an alcohol-free/smoke-free venue, The Rotunda provides an invaluable social alternative for all ages.
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As drag enters the mainstream, the heels come out at Penn | BY DALTON DESTEFANO A towering figure in a full–length, tan fur coat and white go–go boots saunters on stage. Peering at the crowd through strands of his blonde wig, John Holmes (C ‘18) lip syncs to a number from the musical Chicago. He slowly spins around on stage and mimes the lyrics of the song to periodic shrieks of encouragement, exaggerating his every movement with drama and panache. As he luxuriates on a chair on stage with the tatters and rips in his fur coat fully visible, the recorded voice of Catherine Zeta–Jones wails, “Whatever happened to class?” The rest of the show follows. An oversized belt cinches a stark white jumpsuit. Teased–out blonde wigs with dark roots are poofed up as frizzy as possible. Bodycon dresses and six–inch platform heels go emulate femininity—to a caricature at points. Queens perform pop hits, sashaying across the stage while hitting splits and death drops during the crescendos. Screams and cheers follow each performer—there are over a hundred people in the room, but feels like a gathering of friends. This is the Penn Drag Show, an event hosted every year by the Penn Queer Student Alliance (QSA) where a few queens dress up and lip sync to a boisterous crowd of friends. The most recent show took place on March 23, closing out QPenn Week, Penn’s annual LGBTQ cultural week on campus. This is where Penn’s rarely–visible drag community comes together as a whole—both fans and participants. Some may only dress up for Penn’s drag show, some perform local gigs in Philadelphia, and others dress in drag to go out at Penn. However, for all of these students, drag is a way to play with the concept of gender and explore their own identities in a way that Penn’s professional atmosphere does not allow for. John, one of the two hosts of the Penn Drag Show, has been involved with the show for the past two years. However, those who’ve been to the show might know him better as D’Genni Raight, his drag persona playing on the word ‘degenerate.’ John acknowledges that encouragement from his friends and the low–stakes, friendly atmosphere of the show made it much less daunting to put on a wig and perform in drag for the first time. “It’s kind of ‘come as you are’—there’s no one way to do drag,” John said. “Whatever you decide to go up on stage and do, people are going to 1 2 3 4 T H S T R E E T M A G A Z I N E A P R I L 1 1 , 2 01 8
cheer for you.” Contemporary drag has its roots in New York City ball culture. In post– Stonewall NYC, queer individuals would group into “houses” and compete in categories such as vogueing and “realness” (looking as traditionally feminine as possible). The first queens were often gay or transgender people of color, and their influence hasn’t left the drag stage. In particular, contemporary drag has been popularized by the reality competition RuPaul’s Drag Race, which has allowed drag to enter the mainstream since its 2009 premiere. Drag Race, now in its tenth season, took home three Emmys last year and has featured guest stars as prolific as Nancy Pelosi and Lady Gaga. Beyond its impressive ratings, the show has popularized various phrases and traditions that date back the ball scene over four decades ago. The undeniable entertainment of the show has particularly drawn in younger queer people, giving them a chance to learn about their own history. Jessa Lingel, an Assistant Professor at the Annenberg School, has studied Brooklyn drag queens, among other countercultural groups. She points out that drag has a way of connecting younger people to queer history, which is rarely given mainstream attention or taught in school curriculums. She describes contemporary drag as, “a desire to retain queerness as something directly opposed to the ‘normal.’” In this way, drag at Penn allows students to express their creative sides that don’t fit into a preprofessional blazer. Lingel agrees. “It would make a lot of sense for students to want to use drag as a way of managing the uptightness at Penn and the professionalism at Penn and the normative push towards upper class lifestyles.” Despite enthusiasm for the yearly drag show, however, there is scarcely a regular “drag scene” here on campus. Individuals looking for broader exposure to drag must instead venture downtown into the vibrant Philadelphia drag scene. From drag club meccas like ICandy (a club at which the owner was recently recorded using the n–word) and Voyeur to rowdy bars like Bob and Barbara’s, Philly houses one of the most diverse drag communities in the country. These venues feature drag legends and ingenues—oftentimes new queens that were encouraged by fellow queens to pick up a wig. Josef Hoenzsch (E ‘17), who uses they/them pronouns, is one of the few Penn students to make a name for themselves as a queen. Under the
Ethan Wu | Photographer name “Annie De Beers,” Josef gradually became a “medium–sized fish in a huge pond” of the Philadelphia drag scene. One night, the host of the weekly show at Bob and Barbara’s, NYC icon Lisa Lisa, picked Josef out of the crowd and asked them to perform. Josef began his drag career by emulating Kesha. In their first performance, they lip synced to “Blow” while wearing a black off–the–shoulder dress, six–and–a–half inch heels, and a bra stuffed with socks. “I was very into trashy drag,” they explain. After this performance, Josef began networking with other bars and drag queens. Amidst pursuing a Bachelor’s and Master's degree in Engineering, they performed up to six or seven times a month. Josef cites times when they would get out of class just one hour before they had to be on stage. “I learned to beat a face in under 20 minutes.” (Ed. note: to “beat a face” means to do one’s makeup; no physical harm involved.) Beyond Philly drag shows downtown, there are other ways to take part in drag at Penn apart from the annual show. John describes occasionally dressing up for social events in varying degrees of makeup, women’s clothing, and wigs, something he feels more comfortable doing after having performed at the drag show. Josef used drag to explore their own relationship with gender. Drag encouraged Josef to continue presenting in a way that felt true to their own gender identity even when they were offstage. “This wasn’t something that was just restricted to when I was performing,” Josef said. “It became this thing where I was like … I’m gonna wear my six–and–a–half inch heels strutting down Locust Walk with hair down to my ass and gorgeous fishnets.” While drag can be a exploration of gender identity for some, it can solely
be a fun hobby for others. This is the case for Tyler Dullinger (W ‘20) ally feminine clothing. Is it “drag” if a cisgender heterosexual man puts on a and Jason Knies (C ‘20), two friends who were drawn to dressing up in dress to perform a scene? Some would argue that “true” drag requires some women’s clothing as kids, but decided to officially drag themselves up after sort of intention beyond solely dressing up. For some, drag is meant to be becoming hardcore fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race. They both performed in a caricature that comments on gender roles through subversion. While this past drag show by lip syncing to “M.I.L.F. $” by Fergie in tight ban- Mask and Wig’s productions are not meant to be conventional “drag” dage dresses and platforms. The crowd exploded into a frenzy of applause shows, individual performers can embrace the act of dressing up as “drag,” and yells as the queens peppered the infectious pop beat with countless while others view it as solely wearing a costume. suggestive dance moves. “There are cast members that really know how to do their makeup and Both Tyler and Jason use drag to access a more confident, glamorous know how to pad themselves … it’s kind of individualized,” Zeeshan adds. While drag may appear to be liberating, tensions in the queer comside of themselves. Tyler made his first foray into drag in high school, where he dressed up for Halloween as Britney Spears from her ...Baby munity exist regarding the inevitable transphobia drag produces. Some members of the queer community, even One More Time music video. “It was a sickening look,” he adds. (Ed. note: “sickening” is drag icon RuPaul himself, have been aca good thing.) cused of exhibiting transphobia within the world of drag. Josef brings up the inComing from a “pretty conservative” sensitive remarks that trans individuals boarding school, Tyler explains that he often receive in queer spaces. “Many of dressed up in drag that Halloween for shock my trans friends do not step foot in ‘gay value as a way to completely subvert traditional norms. bars.’ If you are a trans woman...you’re Jason also found his drag roots in imitattreated like a drag queen,” he explains. With these issues, it’s apparent that ing celebrities, dressing up as Kesha, whom he was “obsessed” with, when he was nine. the drag scene may not be welcoming for everyone. When cisgender gay men “I wore a wife beater that I used a sharpie break out a leotard and a blonde wig to put the Kesha dollar sign on … and then I and lip sync on stage, they are lauded for think I wore jean shorts that I borrowed from being bold, fierce, and breaking norms. my sister, fishnet leggings … there was no However, when transgender or gender makeup, though—maybe lipstick, but that nonconforming individuals dress up the was it.” same way, they are often bombarded With their coiffed blonde hair, nipped–in with prejudiced judgements, even withwaists, and shimmering bedazzled bodysuits, in the progressive ‘haven’ of a gay bar. female pop stars are the starting point for many fledgling drag queens. What starts out Josef Hoenzsch dressed as Annie de Beers Josef attests to being called transphobic as a mere costume emulating a certain celebPhoto provided by Josef Hoenzsch slurs at bars, and emphasizes that this behavior is far from an anomaly—it’s alrity can soon grow into a fully fleshed–out, individualized drag most the norm. persona. On the other side of the coin, drag can also be criticized for promot“I just find females to be so glamorous … I always found it very alluring what some would call a mockery of femininity, or a willingness to ing,” Jason explains. Both Jason and Tyler have since dressed up to attend Drag–Con, a drag indulge in sexist stereotypes. Drag queens often cherry–pick the elements convention organized by RuPaul. Drag Race encourages them to dress up of femininity they deem desirable, which can enforce the idea that the ideal in drag to emulate their favorite queens from the show. Both of them per- “woman” should possess certain qualities. formed for the first time in Penn’s drag show, and express interest in doing Lingel expresses occasional frustration with drag’s enforcement of genmore in the future. Drag imbues them with a certain confidence that they dered stereotypes after having attended various drag shows as a part of her studies. “Sometimes it does get really tedious to see femininity portrayed don’t find anywhere else. Tyler has also experimented with drag off–stage. “I’ve gone to McDon- this way [at drag shows] … like, why do you have to portray us as sluts or ald’s in a wig and heels before and had the cashier be like ‘did you lose a dumb or as super [materialistic]?” she asks. “You’re playing into some of dare?’ and I’m like ‘no, this is just me being sickening getting my McNug- the worst parts of patriarchy when you do that kind of essentialism.” gets.” Like all subversive social movements, drag can be occasionally misguidJason explains that drag brings out a more outgoing version of himself. ed. From its inherent politicization to its tattered wigs and messy jump– “I don’t feel like a different person. I just feel like an amplified version of splits, drag will always be a rough–around–the–edges act of self–expression myself,” Jason says. “Everything I’m doing is very extra, a lot of confidence that stands in opposition to what has been considered “normal” in society where I probably shouldn’t have any because I look busted.” for hundreds of years. Tyler chimes in, “There’s a magic that happens when you put on a pair Through all this, Josef maintains that drag was invaluable to their perof heels.” sonal growth, arguing that it encompasses all forms of self–expression: Theater can complicate the definition of drag on campus. As an all– masculinity, femininity, neither, both, trashiness, glamour. They laugh, male musical comedy troupe, the Mask and Wig Club often features men “It’s also nice to go to a bar, not pay cover, get free drinks, and leave with dressed as women in their sketches or musical numbers, raising of the more money than you came with. Not many people get to say that.” question of what qualifies as “drag.” Chairman Zeeshan Mallick (C ‘18) wouldn’t categorize the perfor- Dalton DeStefano is a sophomances as “drag shows,” maintaining that the group’s use of drag is more a more studying Communication from Montville, New Jersey. He is the Develtheatrical tool than a vehicle for self–expression. This introduces the fine line between drag and simply wearing tradition- oping Features Editor for 34th Street. A P R I L 1 1 , 2 01 8 3 4 T H S T R E E T M A G A Z I N E 1 3
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The Ivory Tower is Built On Eight Dollar Smoothies Alana Shukovsky | Design Editor
“I bought a hamburger, a lousy round hamburger about this size. For nine dollars.” Linda Harris makes a tiny circle with her hands. She emphasizes, “It looked like a McDonald’s hamburger.” She had recently visited KQ Burger, a vendor in the new Franklin’s Table food court at 34th and Walnut Streets. Harris has been employed at Penn’s Institute of Contemporary Art for 15 years, working Wednesday to Sunday and commuting via bus from her home in North Philadelphia. She saw Moravian Food Court—whose vendors included Taco Bell, Quiznos, and Nom Nom Ramen—get cut in half in 2008 when the CVS moved to 3401 Walnut. And then, she saw it replaced completely by Franklin’s Table Food Hall this year. “The prices are lousy,” is all she has to say about the most recent manifestation of the 30–year–old food court.
When the food court opened, The Philadelphia Inquirer noted that Franklin’s Table “soars higher” than the Moravian Food Court’s “plebeian choices.” And it’s true: the food court now is home to seven decidedly more upscale options, described as “high–quality, small–format food and beverage operators” in a Penn press release. They represent “local Philly success stories,” according to Ed Datz, Penn’s Executive Director of Real Estate. But the word “plebeian” has a strong connotation: that the old food court was catering to the wrong clientele, a more common and less affluent one. Harris, who used to frequent the Quiznos in the old food court, represents a population distinctly separate from the one that frequents the new space. Brooke Behrbaum (E ‘19), a Franklin’s Table regular who stops by once or twice a week, notes that Franklin’s Table “is more tailored toward the
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student population” than the old food court. Laughing, she adds, “It’s more bougie.” Maryam Khojasteh, a third–year PhD student in City and Regional Planning at PennDesign, agrees that Franklin’s table seems more exclusive. To her, the court seems to cater “to the undergraduate population here who has disposable income.” For members of the Penn community not included in that population, whose backgrounds don’t necessarily coincide with the school’s Ivy League image of success and wealth, the food court represents another example of elitism on a campus that’s already difficult to penetrate. The New York Times recently reported that at Penn, more students come “from the top 1 percent of the income scale than from the entire bottom 60 percent.” “As someone coming from a low–income background, I don’t need to drop $10 per meal to feel satisfied. I don’t
Franklin’s Table and the Decline of Affordable Food Colin Lodewick at Penn need fancy food to feel satisfied,” asserts Lyndsi Burcham (C ‘19). “I literally just need to be satiated.” Lyndsi, a first generation, low–income student who serves on the board of Penn First, finds Franklin’s Table “super isolating for low–income students on a campus that’s already isolating for low–income students.” The transformation of the food court at 34th and Walnut into the chic, upscale space that Lyndsi finds unwelcoming and exclusive isn’t surprising. It’s part of a larger narrative of the University of Pennsylvania as an entity in West Philadelphia. “What’s going on with the food court is one little piece of the whole West Philadelphia development plan that the University embraces,” explains Mark Frazier Lloyd, the University Archivist. Lloyd co–wrote the book Becoming Penn: The Pragmatic American University, detailing how Penn evolved
into the university it is today, along with John Puckett, a Professor of Education in Penn’s Graduate School of Education at Penn. The two authors cite Judith Rodin’s ten year–long presidency between 1994 and 2004 as transformative in terms of Penn’s relationship to the city. They note that Rodin’s leadership helped put in place “a multipronged strategy called the West Philadelphia Initiatives, which established, finally, a compatible neighborhood for the University.” Penn’s environs seemed dangerous and derelict 25 years ago, and for the administration, that needed to change. Part of these changes included adding more retail spaces for money–spending Penn students. “We wanted to add more amenities and street vibrancy,” notes Datz. Franklin’s Table reflects a continuation of Penn’s retail strategy, one that embraces the “changing realities” of the consumer market. The Franklin’s Table press release
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"They Have explicitly turned it from a place that was filled with predominantly low-income people of color, and have changed it into this hub of one expensive restaurant after another." notes that the renovation fits squarely within a “national trend” characterized by transforming “dated” food courts into “dynamic food hall experiences.” Considering this transformation, Lyndsi accepts that “a lot of students really want that aesthetic.” It’s that image that primarily causes the feelings of isolation that she and other first generation, low–income students feel. “We don’t feel that it’s elitist,” asserts Datz, though. Noting the variety of food options now available in Franklin’s Table, he says, “I think we’ve actually expanded the diversity.” Anea Moore (C ‘19) isn’t so sure. “They genuinely think the food court is accessible, but it’s not,” she says about Franklin’s Table. “Diversity does not mean accessibility.” Anea, who grew up between Southwest and West Philadelphia, fondly remembers going to the old Moravian Food Court with her mother during the beginning of her time at Penn. “It was a really blended space before.” Given her background as a Philadelphia native, Anea sees the renovated food court as one piece of Penn’s history
in West Philadelphia. Despite growing up so close to campus, Penn’s elite image created an ideological distance. “I can count the number of times I had stepped foot on Penn’s campus in the first 18 years of my life on one hand,” she states. She says, that her family and members of her neighborhood also view Penn as “a blocked–off space.” Her background still affects how she moves through Penn, even though she now calls it home. After hearing about Franklin’s Table’s high prices and exclusive atmosphere from friends, she said to herself: “‘Well, no point in me going there.’” Franklin’s Table is part of a larger retail web Penn is weaving. Earlier this year, flags appeared on street lamps up and down Walnut advertising ShopPenn, a new branding initiative seeking to consolidate the retail experience around campus. On the ShopPenn website, there’s a listing of nearly every dining establishment on and around Penn’s campus from 34th to 40th Streets. Every vendor housed inside Franklin’s Table is listed along with retailers like Dunkin Donuts, House of Our Own Books,
and Saxbys. Along with a short description of each endorsed establishment, ShopPenn offers insight into prices, providing a scale from one to four dollar signs. All besides Little Baby’s Ice Cream and The Juice Merchant, which have two dollar signs, are labeled with one dollar sign. There’s no price information for DK Sushi. These seemingly arbitrary price signifiers don’t reflect the reality of all students on campus. “We already have so many high–end options on campus,” states Lyndsi. She cites spaces like Sweetgreen and Honeygrow—dining options that cater toward a largely student clientele. Honeygrow is included on the ShopPenn site, and is granted the lowest possible price rating of one dollar sign out of four. “There’s like, a socially gratifying feeling going to these places and showing that you can. And because that’s something that the rest of my population doesn’t get to experience,” Lyndsi adds, “it’s just really isolating.” With 25.9% of its citizens living beneath the poverty line, Philadelphia is the poor-
est major city in the United States. Any project Penn undertakes that involves its uncertain borders with the larger city is inherently complicated by the contrast between the unimaginably wealthy institution and its city marked by massive wealth disparities. Lyndsi would generally say that universities are not responsible for carefully crafting themselves to align with their larger settings. She hesitates, and says: “but then, the reason I would say yes with Penn is that they have gentrified and gentrified and gentrified West Philly for years now, and they have explicitly turned it from a place that was filled with predominantly low–income people of color, and have changed it into this hub of one expensive restaurant after another after another that’s not accessible to West Philly residents, nor is it accessible to low–income students who are here.” “And for that reason I think it is their responsibility,” she affirms. “Certainly there are a lot of people who are not affiliated with Penn going through 34th and Walnut,” muses Dominic Vitiello, Assistant Professor of City Plan-
ning and Urban Studies. He also notes that Penn’s retail is more community–oriented near 40th Street, where campus and the rest of West Philadelphia blend. Harris also mentions 40th Street when she talks about getting food around Penn’s campus. “You have to go down to 40th Street if you want some real food, Fresh Grocer—they have real food.” During Harris’ 30–minute lunch break, she does one of three things: walk down 36th Street to Axis Pizza, up the block to Wawa, or down Walnut to the CVS next to Franklin’s Table. Her break is so short that she’s unable to walk to 40th Street and back in time for the “real food” she would ideally buy. She says, “By the time I go down there, my lunch over.” She adds, laughing, “I can just walk out the door and my lunch over.”
Colin Lodewick is a junior studying English from Woodbridge, Connecticut. He is the Long-Term Features Editor for 34th Street.
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Where, 'Love, Simon' Went Wrong Why the 'revolutionary' movie didn't do enough for LGBTQ representation
Saranya Sampath | Illustrator
Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably seen your feeds filling with overwhelmingly positive reviews of Love, Simon. No one needs me to tell them that Love, Simon is a good movie. So before I switch things up by delving into this not–completely positive critique, I want to point out that it was major for the LGBTQ community. Seeing queer teens be normal, awkward, and lonely is IMPORTANT. Humanizing us in that context is vital, and that’s what Love, Simon did. But alas, no movie can be perfect, and Love, Simon is no exception. For starters, there were several missed chances to explore queerness in society on a deeper level. I found the movie a little … shallow. Simon is supposed
to be a normal kid “except [he] has this one huge secret.” The concept of “normal–ness” is flawed on a fundamental level; it perpetuates the idea that being gay is an abnormality. That isn’t the message our queer youth need. Quite the opposite, actually. That message, in the form of a voiceover, seems to directly conflict with what the film aimed to do. Then there’s Abby, who, honestly, confuses me as a character. She makes comments about how, at her old school, conflicts were settled with knife fights—it seemed like that was meant to code her coming from a poorer background. The odd thing is that when we see Simon pick her up before school, she comes out of the double doors
of this GIGANTIC house. Poor–kid–inexplicably–living– in–a–huge–house cliche. This was a major missed opportunity to explore poverty in high school, or at the very least, take a deeper dive into how poverty shapes families and how families shape people. While we’re talking about Abby, let’s talk about all of Simon’s friends. I want to say that they suck. They really suck. I’m not sure what was being aimed for with their reaction. If the goal was to demonstrate how hard coming out is regardless of who you’re coming out to, the meaning got completely muddled. It almost seems as though the movie wants us to think that the three of them are justified in completely abandoning Simon.
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And all of that is supposed to be solved by some smiles and an invite to the carnival? Stop. No. Their reaction wasn’t justified at all. Simon was in an impossible situation. Having someone out you to the entirety of your school is WAY worse than any embarrassing secret. Being outed can ruin someone’s life. That happening on terms that aren’t your own is horrifying. His friends, people who are supposed to love and support him, shouldn’t have abandoned him that way. They should have sought understanding. We see Simon SO angry and lonely, and on some level we’re supposed to believe he deserves that? I think the hell not. I would have done the same exact things in his position, and the movie does a criminally bad job showing us that the way his friends reacted wasn’t okay. The way the film chose to resolve that conflict makes light of the entire situation. They completely shunned him for days and they don’t even have a full–fledged conversation about it. The message that this sends to queer youth isn’t positive. Simon was the one who needed to forgive them, not the other way around. Speaking of the wrong message, why did Leah have to be in love with Simon? It was a completely unnecessary plot point that served only to play into some harmful stereotypes. It is not a queer person’s responsibility to know when their straight friends are catch-
ing feelings. It’s just not. Leah is being incredibly inconsiderate by blaming Simon for HER feelings. It’s emotionally abusive to make someone responsible for your feelings in that way. She had a right to take distance if she needed it, but she didn’t have a right to blame Simon for things he had no control over. The message here seems to just discourage people from forming meaningful emotional bonds with non–queer folks. Honestly, we gays are scared enough of that happening already for it to be reinforced in film form. The last thing that left a bad taste in my mouth was the ending. The gay kiss was cute. I’m not going to tell you it wasn’t. The issue, though, was that it had to happen in front of a huge crowd of people. It made gayness performative in an extremely uncomfortable way. Being out in high school, and I know this first–hand, is actually so incredibly terrifying. Your relationship becomes a spectacle. Straight people think that they have a right to our narratives. They think that our lives are novelties meant for their entertainment and consumption. All this being said, I didn’t dislike Love, Simon. It was a good movie that did as many things right as it did wrong. And the mere fact that it exists opens the door for other creatives with more diverse perspectives, to do a better job with all of these issues. I’m hoping Love, Simon is a start to something bigger.
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34TH STREET Magazine December 1, 2011 34TH STREET Magazine December 1, 2011 34TH STREET Magazine December 1, 2011
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Meet University City's Trendiest New Food Truck What happens when burrito meets spring roll? Magic Frankie Reitmeyer On a rainy Wednesday, a group of students, business people, and faculty members huddled under the awning of Paper Mill, a new food truck at 34th and Market Streets. It’s hard to miss the large, pastel–colored truck that stands out against the glass and concrete of Drexel’s campus. Straight from Sydney, Australia, owner Alex Sher-
ack brought food truck to Philly after falling in love with a Philly girl and moving here. Instead of parking on beaches, the truck is now a University City regular on weekdays. Paper Mill serves “spurritos,” which are spring roll burritos. These are fresh, Asian–inspired burritos in a rice paper wrapper that provides a lighter take on
a traditional burrito. The truck also offers a variety of noodle bowls and banh mi. It has two chalkboards with brightly written menus that include things like Thai chicken and sesame tofu, a vegan option. This truck is very multicultural, with Australian roots, too, and is fairly new to Philadelphia. “Our food is fun and fresh, and that's definitely the vibe Photos provided by Paper Mill
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that we want to go for and it’s reflected in our food,” says Alex. We tried the pineapple fiesta spurrito with pork and added avocado (which costs extra, sad!). We opted for the spicy option, which is when the cooks add jalapeño and sriracha to the dish. This spurrito ran us $10, but, conveniently, they take Venmo. Going in, we didn't know how we would feel about this burrito fusion as others (read: sushi burrito) have flopped, but we ended up loving it. The spiciness was cooled by the fresh mixed greens and avocado while the pork was tender and full of flavor. There was some rice inside but not enough to make the burrito heavy, so you easily avoid that dreaded post–burrito food baby. Included was a pineapple salsa that paired well with the
pork, a classic flavor combo. Further, it's sweetness balanced the jalapeños. The rice paper wrapper also provided a novel freshness that is lacking in more traditional burritos. As we devoured this in class, everyone around us inquired as to what we were eating because of how good it smelled—the group of students now has plans for an outing to the truck this Friday after class. Up next on our to–try list is one of Sherack's personal favorites: the vegan sesame garlic tofu spurrito (that was a mouthful, but our mouth is watering). If you want to switch up your food truck game or if you’re bored with your regular old spring rolls and burritos, pop over to Drexel’s campus to grab their lovechild, the spurrito. We'll certainly be going back soon.
I TRIED—AND FAILED—TO GET A PIZZA AT
Pizzeria Beddia IN ITS FINAL WEEK
Forty pies a day, at least a three-hour wait; may the odds be ever in your favor
It’s one day before the acclaimed Fishtown restaurant Pizzeria Beddia will be closing down. Their five–year rent is up. There's a line of 35 people that's wrapped around the corner; I can't even see the entrance. It’s clear they've come prepared to be camp out on the sidewalk for a while. A few people are huddled beneath a bright red canopy tent, their makeshift shelter against the afternoon drizzle. Others stand by, a beer in one hand and an umbrella in the other. A copy of Catch–22 lies abandoned on a fold–up chair. Any unknowing passerby would assume that the queue was for a small concert venue—definitely not a restaurant. But Pizzeria Beddia isn’t—or wasn’t—just an eatery. Open from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, the owner and chef, Joe Beddia, would make only 40 pies, all 16–inch New York–style pizzas, a day. And due to their popularity, heightened by Bon Appetit’s glowing reviews, the process of getting one became a daily spectacle. You couldn’t just call in to order, because they didn’t have a phone. People usually began to line up at around 2 p.m., before the man himself even arrived. On this day, the day before closing, people were waiting outside the door since 8:30 a.m. But the waiting doesn't end once you order your pizza— most people were given a time to come back to pick their order up, which could be as late as 10 p.m. As for myself? I arrived at around 3 p.m., armed with an umbrella and a fully charged
phone, eager to see if the pizza was worth the wait. I never found out. The door opened a few minutes before 5:30 p.m. and the first half of the line slowly made their way inside. The second half, myself included, jealously watched the people who had already placed their orders stroll confidently out, supposedly just to come back later to pick up their pizzas. The cut–off ended up being at least ten people in front of me. I never stood a chance. But at least I wasn’t alone in my misery. It was the second time that the woman behind me, a grad student at Penn, had failed to get a pizza. Last time, Asja Radja had “gotten pretty close to the front and then they ran out.” She had heard about Pizzeria Beddia from Bon Appetit magazine. This time around, she and a friend were already in the area when they saw the line outside the restaurant. They joined the line on a whim, hoping to make up for their previous failed venture. Despite my pizza–less future, I wandered into the restaurant. The location, which was cash– only, wasn’t much to look at. The space itself was small and cramped, with a standing table for people to hang around and wait if they wished. Two customers, locals Luke Zeller and Zeke Richardson, were drinking beers at the table, waiting for their orders. They had been around 12th in line, but “were 15, 16, 17, and 18 in terms of pizzas.” Zeller dropped Richardson off at 11:15 a.m. and then joined
him in the afternoon. Both “wanted to give [Pizzeria Beddia] a try before it was gone.” During the six–hour wait, the two friends got to know the other people in line. “We met a couple of emergency physicians, some people further downwards were teachers, and we just chatted with people about their lives. At some point it started raining, so we had to put away all our tech and it was a nice moment where this forced community of the pizza–starved made us meet people,” said Richardson. Zeller commented, “It was an interesting group because there
Liz Kim | Photographer
were lots of different people coming together for a common cause.” He and Richardson recognized that what they were doing was “a weird thing to do.” He added, “We knew it was strange going in, spending this much time waiting for a couple pizzas, but we went for it.” They drove by the day before, but the line had been around the corner, and so they resolved to get to the pizzeria as early as possible on its second–to–last day. They had never tried the pizza before, but the other people in line reaffirmed that it was exceptional. “I was surprised,” said Rich-
ardson, “I thought people were going to be like, I’m just doing it for the show, but like, one guy has been coming here every week for the last two years. He said, ‘I know it’s a longer line, but hey, I gotta have my pizza.' That’s pretty impressive.” Unfortunately, Pizzeria Beddia has closed ... for now. Beddia has plans to open up a new, larger location in Fishtown, with seating for 100 and a bar. But don’t expect to be able to try one of “America’s best” pizzas until at least the end of 2018. Even then, you might have to prepare yourself for a wait.
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I’ve already mentioned, he was very handsome. Being so completely igCall John unpacks this very spooky and very nored made for a pretty common situation. 215.662.0802 painful couple of teenThe first time someone ghost- my very handsome crush had aged months. My takeon ed me, there wasn’t a term for it. unexpectedly deleted me aways from the experience were Email I was a senior in high school and Facebook and wouldn’t respond that I was disposable, and that
I should be grateful for any amount of attention a man was willing to give me. This turned out to not be the healthiest attitude to enter college with! I spent the next few years seeking validation from whomever would agree to sex and asking for second and third dates whether I wanted them or not. Along the way, I was ghosted plenty more times. During my junior year, I was ghosted yet again, after I confronted my then–crush about a less than consensual hook up. He told me we could talk about it when he got back from a weekend trip to New York. I just wanted to talk it out for closure's sake, and told him he could reach out to me when he got back. He didn’t. This confused my understanding of ghosters. I had previously come to accept that if I were being ghosted, it was because of some incompatibility or flaw on my part. But this time, I was pretty confident that he had messed up, not me. I realized he was ghosting me because he was unwilling to deal with the consequences of his actions, which is pretty pathetic. This realization gave me power I had never felt before. I was,
and remain, convinced that all ghosting stems from some social ineptitude. Most ghosters fear the act of rejecting much more than the ghosted fear being rejected, and it leads to an uncomfortable silence that’s nastier than both. I pity them, really. Since then, my approach to being ghosted has dramatically changed. I don’t take it lying down. I double and triple text. A full four months after the aforementioned ghoster had his weekend in New York, I sent him a simple, “^back from ny yet??” I knew he wouldn’t respond, but it served as a reminder to both of us that I had no reason to be embarrassed about what happened. I even started confronting my ghosters at parties. Believe it or not, that tactic has led to some of my most valued friendships. I encourage everyone to stop ghosting before it starts. If you find yourself uninterested in a date or hookup that wants to see you again, do the both of you a favor and politely, and directly, let them know how you feel. If you do find yourself among the ghosted, just remember that you are powerful, and the ghosters are exceedingly weak.
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Dan Mattingly Assistant Professor of Political Science, Yale University Thursday, April 12, 2018 4:30PM Stiteler Hall B21
Meet Freshman Adel Wu: Artist, Engineer, and Advocate She's illustrated children's books and sold her own art on Society6.
Elizabeth Lemieux Virginia Rodowsky | Photographer
On Adel Wu’s (E ‘21) Instagram are pictures of coffee cups, sushi, and burritos. The typical iPhone snapshots. Maybe to preserve the memory of a meal. Maybe just to put it on her Snapstory. But at closer look, these pictures are not pictures. They’re drawings, drawings with colored pencils that have garnered Adel over 8,000 Instagram followers. While many of her drawings are of photorealistic objects in that they mirror (nearly perfectly) the real and the three–dimensional, the majority are portraits of people, many of whom she finds by browsing through famous Instagram pages. Some are not complete, with the face fully filled in and hair detectable only by its bare outline. Given her trademark of photorealism, it’s almost as if it’s a printed photo atop a drawing. This style—one of adherence to reality—comes directly from childhood art lessons. Having started drawing at a young age, her pieces were largely copies of masterpieces. Using oil paint and graphite, she copied each curvature and the shading to match the target work. Art, then, wasn’t necessarily a passion so much as it was a routine. By high school, the lessons stopped and she was finally freed from the confines of textbook art. That summer, she found her preferred medium: colored pencils. "I can just sit down and get lost in a drawing,” says Adel. "Once I start … I don’t drink
and I don’t eat. It’s so relaxing.” For her, drawing is just for fun; a “stress–reliever” and a “form of self–expression,” she calls it. And yet, such a view of the hobby has wielded a much larger influence. In her junior year of high school, Adel illustrated children’s books targeted towards American– born Chinese children who wanted to learn Chinese. The books themselves were part of a larger series sold as a 30–book package. Inside, the drawings were simple, depicting unicorns flying over rainbows and tiny figures seemingly dancing on clouds. Apart from the books, her art has also been featured on Society6, where they’ve come to life in the form of anything ranging from canvas prints to iPhone cases to laptop sleeves. If anything, Adel is the perfect example of the old saying “Choose a job you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” Even so, there’s still so much more to be seen in Adel’s path. Now a digital media design (DMD) major, her art has evolved to take a more digital and graphic approach. For her, she sees animation in the future. “I saw Kung Fu Panda 3 and I was really wowed by the animation for some reason, and I was like ‘Wow! I really want to contribute to making films and pictures,'” she laughs. “I actually wrote my Penn essay on it!” It’s funny even, how her art has transformed from a perfectly realistic representation of the
world to a completely fictional one. Nonetheless, at the end of the day, no matter how far she strays from reality, she’s grounded by her knowledge of the power of art. Given that she uses photographers from Instagram as a point of inspiration, she says, “I think implicit bias is from the bias of photographers to shoot certain types of bodies. So I’m not even exposed to photographs of the kind of people I
want to see.” What she wants is to be “an advocate of increasing cultural awareness and diversity.” And it’s clear in what she does outside of her classes. Serving on the Asian Pacific American Heritage Week (APAWH) Board and a member of Women in Computer Science (WICS), there is a never–ending desire to transfer her values into her art. “Your art reflects you as a person,” she says, “and I want
art to reflect my background, too.” It’s why she draws what she does. It’s why she’s a member of Pan–Asian Dance Troupe, joining out of a desire to “maintain [her] cultural roots and showcase to others its beauty,” and Hype (though this was more for an interest in the dance form itself, not the cultural reasons). It’s why her art has amassed such a following. "Versatile" is the word to characterize Adel.
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Uncovering Sam Maitin's 'Celebration' Mural in Annenberg Learn about the famous Penn alumnus behind the artwork Xinyi Wan Virginia Rodowsky | Photographer
ent colors. “The real business of art to me is to play with form, shape, and color,” he said in a 1999 interview. For him, art was “this joy of just putting color, texture, and shape together in an experimental way.” The bright colors and playful forms convey this happiness and joy Maitin felt at the time of its creation. Appearing on this year’s holiday card from the dean of Annenberg, it’s described as an “ongoing celebration of the friendship, vision, and spirit for the entire Annenberg community.” But what makes this piece specifically relevant to Penn, as opposed to all the other murals and paintings in Penn’s art collection, is the artist itself. A Philadelphia native, Exp.2/23/12 4/11/12 Exp. Maitin was a Penn alum, having graduated with a Bachelor For Fast Delivery Call 215-386-1941 of Fine Arts. His time at Penn began as a moonlighting experience as a night student in 4004 chestnut street | (215) 386-1941 1945 when he was just 16. At the time, he was attending the Exp.2/23/12 4/11/12 Exp. Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Arts (now the For Fast Delivery Call 215-386-1941 University of the Arts). Upon graduation, he quickly established himself as an internationally renowned artist, his works reaching big names such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the student discount with I.D. | order online @ newdehliweb.com | closed mondays Smithsonian Institution in Exp.2/23/12 4/11/12 Exp.
Tucked between the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts and Charles Addams Fine Arts Hall is the Annenberg School for Communication, one of the more heavily traversed spots on campus. While most Penn students have been inside, few notice the multihued, 17–component mural spanning the east wall of the school’s lobby. It’s Sam Maitin’s (C '51) "Celebration." Commissioned by Walter and Leonore Annenberg for the school in 1975, the mural
is, at first glance, mere colorful shapes. One looks like a raindrop. Another, a saxophone. Above, a squirming worm. Together, they seem like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that don’t quite seem to fit. Against the white wall, the fire–engine reds, vivid greens, and vibrant purples demand attention, drawing the eye to its simple, almost childlike manner. “I try to nurture the child in me—the innocence, the curiosity, the originality, the exultant primitivism,” Maitin told the Gazette in
1987. “I wanted the color to be in three dimensions.” The beauty behind "Celebration" is precisely this primitivism. It’s not a piece attempting to imitate or copy anything nor is it trying to capture something real. The colors, shapes, and forms are not a means to portray something else, but are the end in themselves. His pure and whimsical nature is also communicated through the unusual shapes of each of the 17 pieces and the seemingly arbitrary subdivision of the shapes into differ-
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For Fast Delivery Call 215-386-1941
Washington, D.C., and the Tate Gallery in London. In between his time as an artist, Maitin also taught at Annenberg from 1965 to 1972, serving as the head of the Visual Graphics Communication Laboratory. Besides "Celebration" in his home school, he has also contributed artworks to the School of Arts and Sciences, the Wharton School, and the Dental School, and the Christian Association on campus over the years. His versatility also showed in the range of mediums he worked in. He specialized in silkscreen prints, paintings, and sculptures, but was best known for his public art. Between posters for bus shelters, murals for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and paintings for the Christian Association, all of it is meant to be accessible. “What I hate is this whole elitist concept of art, that it’s something precious and ethereal, when art is actually part of life,” he told the Gazette in the same 1987 interview. Next time you rush through the lobby to the lecture halls of Annenberg, take five seconds to absorb the colors and shapes of "Celebration." What can seem so simple at first glance may actually hold an entirely new way of seeing.
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