p.4 EOTW: Orly Greenberg
April 18, 2018 | 34st.com
p.9 Community Acupuncture
p.23 Build Your Own Formal Date
dinner with a side of rowdy Penn kids
APRIL 18, 2018 Nick Joyner, Editor–in–Chief Remi Lederman, Managing Editor Angela Huang, Audience Engagement Director Annabelle Williams, Assignments Editor Autumn Powell, Media Director 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 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
3 WORD ON THE STREET I'm Ready to Take Off My Penn Face
EOTW: Orly Greenberg, Troy Harris
Fling, Movie Soundtracks
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, Morgan McKeever, Teagan Aguirre, Joy Lee, Olivia Mukherjee, Efe Ayhan
Acupunture, Pier Yoga, Beauty Hacks
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
12 FEATURE BYOs
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
LOL 15 FILM & TV
Cinemug, Aardvark, Westworld
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
"I'm going to be a marketing intern for a company that makes fetish diapers for old men." ©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.
6 Balloons, WWI Exhibit, Lea Chen
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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Just recently, I was told how unusual my housing situation is. I was confused. Was it the dead squirrel situation? No, couldn't be. She's long since rotted away and my house now smells of saccharine Bundt cake. They were referring to the length of time I've spent living with the same housemates. When I came to Penn, I had no idea what I was diving into. More specifically, I did not know about the cool— kid pressure to move off campus during your sophomore year. So lo and behold, I had to explain to my mom in my freshman October—just two months after I had moved into the Quad—that I needed to sign a lease and I needed to sign it fast. An unnamed cigarette–smoking fraternity was trying to take the newly on the market property, and we wee freshmen were determined to run our form into the Campus Apartments office before they did. We beat them by fifteen minutes. From then on, the house on [redacted] was ours for the taking. I moved in with two of my NSO friends—including a literal Day One—and a friend who I met so early in the year that he was basically included in the former category. Everyone said I was taking the mother of all risks, that I'd end up dealing with their dirty dishes and irregular nocturnal habits, that I'd slowly grow to resent them as our relationship grew poisonous. That I'd "Initial Here" on a junior year lease so fast I wouldn't remembner that I had lived in such squalor. There is truth here. It's more than common to rotate between two or three different off–campus apartments during your upperclassmen years. People change, relationships reconfigure, and sometimes you learn to hate each other's habits. And their guts. But they were wrong in my case. Here I am a rising junior, living in the same ol' room in the same ol' house with the same ol' housemates. And I am grateful for that and them, that we've stayed so close since the August of 2015 when we were stumbling all over each other on Spruce Street. We've changed and grown and gotten more petty with each other. People are still shocked when I tell them that I haven't moved yet. But they don't know how good I've got it. I've been blessed with the gift of domestic stability, even though my level of cleanliness far surpasses that of my roommates. But alas, I've learned to be less uptight. I'm thankful for my living situation and the people that I share in it with. And I'm still glad we haven't stopped passive–aggressively texting each other in the house group chat. That's the only regularity I think I'll ever know at this school, and I can't wait for another year of that.
WORD ON THE STREET
word on the
KEEPING MY UKRAINIAN HERITAGE ALIVE AT PENN Loving my culture despite political corruption and invasion Maria Kowalchuk
When I was eight years old, my brother and I introduced our great uncle to the wonderful world of Harry Potter. As the opening credits came on the screen, we babbled a mile a minute, trying to explain everything about Voldemort, magic, and spells. Suddenly, our uncle cut us off, exclaiming, “that’s ours” in Ukrainian and gesturing towards the screen. He was referring to the Harry Potter theme song. This was one of my great uncle's favorite phrases, and one that has lived in our family far after his passing. We tried to explain that no, this was not a Ukrainian melody, that an American named John Williams had composed this for a British film. But he insisted and pulled an old Ukrainian record from the basement. Sure enough, it was eerily similar to the Harry Potter theme. I guess it was “ours” after all. Years later, my brother and I huddled around the computer screen, comparing flight times and frequent flyer miles, trying to find the cheapest, fastest route to Kyiv. My mother walked in, told us we were crazy, and that we were under no circumstances allowed to go to the capital of Ukraine during the Euromaidan revolution. As I watched the destruction and the violence, my reflex was to go join the fight. I was only 15 years old, but I was desperate to face the enemy along with my people. My parents and I were born in the U.S. and I have visited Ukraine only once when I was twelve. Despite this, I have always identified myself as 100% Ukrainian. I became acutely aware of this fact when I went abroad to Australia last spring. In Australia, identifying myself
Catherine Liang | Illustrator
as American was simply a matter of geographic location, but it certainly didn’t paint the full picture of who I was. Most of you don’t know much about Ukraine. You probably know it is a country in Eastern Europe, and you probably remember seeing a lot of headlines a few years back about Russia invading Ukraine. Maybe something about Crimea. After spending every Saturday of my childhood in Ukrainian school, learning about history and culture and grammar, I know a more complex story. Although Ukraine has only been an independent nation since 1991, it has had a rich, unique culture for centuries. Throughout history, Ukraine has been constantly invaded and conquered, ruled by foreign tsars, warriors, and noble lords. Nevertheless, the Ukrainian spirit united its people. People were arrested for speaking Ukrainian, sent to concentration camps for practicing Ukrainian Catholicism, and mysteriously disappeared when they tried to
preserve Ukrainian traditions. Intellectuals were murdered and assimilation was forced at threat of death. Today, the same problems persist. Ukraine is continuing to struggle through political corruption and invasion. Ukraine constantly struggles to free itself from Russian influence and remain independent. It’s a bit of a miracle that I am able to call myself Ukrainian. My grandparents were able to escape during World War II, come to America, and preserve the traditions here while they were being blocked by the Soviet Union. When people ask me about being Ukrainian, it is hard to explain exactly what that means to me. Truly, my culture has impacted every aspect of my life. The first words out of my mouth, the first language I understood. The way my conversations with my family slip effortlessly between English and Ukrainian. The summers spent at Ukrainian scout camp, learning survival skills and making the best friends
of my life. The debutante ball that officially inducted me into Ukrainian society. The necklace of the tryzub, the national symbol of Ukraine, that I wear on my neck 24/7. The pyrohy (pierogis) and kovbasa (sausage) that I made for dinner last night. As I grew into life at Penn, my Ukrainian heritage became more and more foreign to me. I was no longer surrounded by a family who spoke Ukrainian around the house, a mother who baked Ukrainian recipes, or a community of Ukrainian activists. For the first time, it was up to me to figure out how my culture would factor into my life. My freshman year was a juggling act. While I worked hard to establish my identity here at Penn, I had to work equally hard to preserve the Ukrainian influence on my daily life. I would call my parents just to practice the language out of fear that it would start to fade. When I felt lost, I would listen to Ukrainian music to give myself a piece of home. The past two summers,
I chose to go back to my Ukrainian scout camp and continue to be a counselor and leader. I was able to design a three–week long, 24/7 program to teach kids valuable skills that help them grow in maturity, independence, and love for Ukraine. It was impossible to explain to people at Penn that I saw this as a valuable use of my summer. I was taking on the role of so much more than a “camp counselor,” and I felt so proud of what I was able to accomplish. Yet most people didn’t care to hear much about it. Instead, I saw the brief pity in their eyes that I hadn’t landed an internship at some fancy company. It’s easy to forget where you come from sometimes. In this Penn bubble that we all live in, it’s hard to imagine having to fight for something as simple as speaking your native language. It’s hard to remember that people are struggling and dying on the other side of the world when you don’t see it in the headlines every day. It’s hard to justify why you cared so much about the grade on your math midterm, when your entire heritage is at stake. And so I will continue to be stubborn. I will keep explaining that no, Ukraine is not a part of Russia. I will let my dad call and tell me about whatever he read in the news that day. I will smile whenever I see a tryzub sticker on someone’s car. I will spend hours cooking with my mom so that we can enjoy all 12 traditional courses on Christmas Eve. I will take this culture that has shaped every part of who I am and ensure that it never dies. For those who fought, who died, who disappeared, so that I might call myself a Ukrainian today—I at least owe them that much.
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EGO EGO OF OF THE THE WEEK WEEK
Street caught up with former Editor–In–Chief Orly Greenberg after several blissful, email–free months. Here's everything you need to know about Orly's tenure and more. Street: What was your favorite part of being on Street? OG: I think it’s honestly working on things that really mattered to me. Because I think it’s a really rare opportunity to go to a school of 10,000 and try to foster stories from that many people. I think that’s a huge privilege just to be able to try your hardest to represent that and give people an outlet. That was just very rewarding. I miss it. Street: On that note then, what do you miss most about being Editor–In–Chief? OG: Not the emails. I honestly think I miss a lot, because I miss a lot about the learning curve. I think being Editor–In–Chief is a really unique position where you’re leading a lot of people and you’re managing a lot of people and it’s such a weird opportunity to be able to be in charge of that and to kind of be able to learn with people. I miss that, constantly being challenged and constantly
having to deal with shit. Do I miss that actually? I don’t think I miss that! Street: What are you most proud of during your time at Street, and your time as Editor–In–Chief? OG: I think probably the Assault Issue. I think if you had asked me last semester it would have been [cutting] the Roundup, but I think that Street’s just changed so much since then that it almost doesn’t feel relevant anymore. I think the Assault Issue. I literally couldn’t even talk about that without mentioning Dani [Blum, Street’s former Managing Editor] who was just so phenomenal during that time, but I think it felt really good to be an outlet that people trusted with their personal stories and their sensitive vulnerable stories, especially. Street: Was there a part of Street that you liked the least? OG: Everything that we do is very tangible and if you have
an issue with it, well, there’s someone to contact! That was definitely the hardest part: just learning how to be an effective leader and balancing between taking things personally. It’s weird because it’s my favorite and least favorite part. Emotionally, it was very difficult, but I think I needed that kind of thing. Street: Why did you want to be Editor–In–Chief in the first place? OG: I just don’t believe in doing things halfheartedly, and I loved Street, and I just saw a tangible change that I wanted to make, and I think that if you love something and you want to be that change, you gotta go all in. And that’s just who I am as a person. Which is why for me, yeah 40 hours a week sucked and yeah it was really hard, but I personally would not have been satisfied unless I was giving 100% everything that I had to this one thing that I loved.
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FAILED YOUR FINAL? do a kegstand
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LIGHTNING ROUND Street: What should every Penn student do before they graduate? OG: I think everyone should try to go to as many shows as they can. Even if you don’t have friends in them. Everyone is so talented! Street: What was your first AIM name? OG: It was omg3711, but before you print that and embarrass me, O.M.G. are my initials. Street: What is one song that you know all the words to? OG: I have a theory that everyone is born knowing the lyrics to Bohemian Rhapsody. I think I could probably do a one man show of Hamilton by myself. I actually think I could do it. Street: What was your favorite Street icebreaker that you ever did? OG: Well, I know what the worst one was. I really liked what fictional character are you, but I also like people describing the way that they see themselves, but like, in literature. Street: So…what fictional character are you?
OG: I would like to say Peggy Olson from Mad Men, but I don’t think I have the guts that she has, or the fashion. Street: And…what was the worst icebreaker? OG: Probably where you lost your virginity. That’s a bad one. People’s eyes widened in fear. Street: Two types of people at Penn… OG: There’s people who complain about there not being enough opportunity at Penn, and then there’s people who take advantage of all the opportunities that really are at Penn. Or I think there’s also people who have emailed me really mean things about Street, and there’s people who haven’t, God bless their literal souls. Street: And you are… OG: I’d like to think I took advantage of opportunities at Penn. There’s just so many good things here, like really good things, and I think I'm fundamentally just a different person because I came here, and I think for the better, honestly. I’d like to think I took advantage of the opportunities here!
Helping Troy Harris Heal His Son, His Family, and His Community A Beloved Hillel cook is finding hope for the future after his son was shot. BY Caroline Riise Anyone who knows Hillel cook Troy Harris can speak to his infectious positive energy, an aura that is evident even upon first meeting him. After working at Hillel for over 17 years, Harris has become a well–known figure among Penn students and has a strong passion for his job, which he describes as a way to meet people “from all different walks of life” by starting a conversation with anyone and everyone who walks in the door. When I arrived at Hillel last Saturday to interview him, he greeted me with a big smile and handshake and asked me how my day was going. No one, upon first glance, would guess that this man was going through a personal crisis. The afternoon of February 15 was as normal as ever to Harris. On his way home from Hillel, he ran into his son, Azir, two blocks away from his house in South Philly. Azir told him he was going to go get something to eat, so Harris sent him off with some money for food and then went home to relax after a long day. Soon after walking through his front door he received a call saying that Azir, along with his two friends, had been shot. “I just lost it, man, I really lost it,” Harris says. He rushed out of his home to find Azir being lifted off the ground by medics, unresponsive. “It’s hard, it was hard to see,” he says. “It plays over and over in my head. Even though my son is still here with us, it plays over and over in my head. That moment, just that second.” Azir was taken to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center to be treated and survived the shooting, but the effects of the event have had an enormous impact on his and the rest of the Harris family’s life.
At just 17 years old, he is indefinitely confined to a wheelchair and has experienced more emotional injury than most people experience in a lifetime. “That trauma took a lot out of my son,” Harris says, adding that Azir has been losing sleep for more than two weeks because of the nightmares he consistently endures. “It’s a road, man. I never thought I would live this. I’ve seen a lot of my friends get killed, a lot of my friends have been through tragedies, but I never thought it would really hit home.” Azir and his two friends were planning on working for Harris’ entrepreneurial food truck business, Grassroots, during the upcoming summer. Grassroots, a project that has been five years in the making, was crafted by Harris and fellow Hillel worker Kareem Wallace with the intention of pulling at–risk youth in West Philadelphia off the streets and into the kitchen by employing a young cohort to help run a vegetarian food truck across the city. The project, which Harris hopes will inspire young people to get involved in the restaurant industry, was scheduled for kick– off in mid–May, but this start date has been effectively canceled given the circumstances. Instead of investing in his promising new business, Harris now has to find sufficient funding to cover Azir’s medical bills. The cruel irony of it all, Harris tells me, is how the negative effects of living in his neighborhood, the same effects that he was trying to prevent with the Grassroots project, could come around to harm his own family and hinder the project from moving forward. “They know how much tension is in the community,” Harris says of Azir and his friends,
"so any escape they were going to get, this was gonna give it to them,” he says. “Our food truck was gonna do on–the–road catering, so that was really saving them from not being in the neighborhood so much. They were really looking forward to that.” Several members of the Penn community have reached out to help Harris and his family during this difficult time. Michelle Lyu (W ‘19) has been close to Harris ever since her freshman year.
When he told her what had happened to Azir, she felt compelled to start an online fundraiser to help cover the costs of care and rehabilitation that Harris’ salary alone could not. Within just a week, the sum of more than 300 donations—many of which came from Penn professors and students—provided over $10,000 towards their $20,000 goal. Harris’ hope for his son and for his family’s future has by no means dissipated. He is opti-
Photo courtesy of Michelle Lyu
mistic about Azir’s rehabilitation and is still inspired to pursue the Grassroots project to put an end to the cycle of violence within his community. “Once you don’t have hope in yourself that’s when all hope is gone, so I have enough hope to take on the force that’s coming at me,” he says. “The clock don’t stop for nobody. The clock of life, the clock of doing anything. So I’m keeping up with the time.”
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Spring Fling 2018 Brought Throwback Hits to Penn Park Despite some initial disappointment about the lineup, the Fling concert proved to be an exciting rollercoaster of a night. Sammy Gordon
The final hurrah of Fling 2018 was filled with polar opposites: CupcakKe and The All–American Rejects, sweltering heat and freezing winds, flashing lights and a fog–enveloped setting sun. Despite the low praise for this year’s lineup of Sage the Gemini, JoJo, CupcakKe and the All–American Rejects, a combination of sentimentalism and secondhand Coachella hype made this night a memorable one. As I got into line at 6:45 p.m., I was shocked by how few people showed up early for the
festival. After being scanned in by a very kind security guard, I walked up to the very front of the enormous white platform SPEC had set up for the event and took my perch mere feet from the stage. CupcakKe was the first performance of the night, and a good choice for that spot. She riled up the crowd (maybe not in the most appropriate manner) and let them know that she had a “very horny set prepared for [us]” before singing her hits like “Deepthroat,” “LGBT” and “Duck Duck Goose.” She walked off the stage and thanked us for our time, then returned a few
minutes later for an encore. The 20–year–old Chicago–born rapper seemed almost surprised at how well the crowd knew her lyrics. I was lucky enough to make eye contact with her several times as she feigned orgasms and flashed the audience. Sage performed next. He, too, gave us his hits, with “Gas Pedal” and “Red Nose,” making the crowd jump and scream as the sun began to set, trains rolled by, and a cold front entered Penn Park. He rapped his verse in Flo Rida’s “GDFR” and hopped down to the ground in front of the crowd, visiting with some of his fans while his DJ played selections of his biggest songs from
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the past year. Sage said repeatedly that he “came all the way from the Bay Area to party with [us]” and, at times, seemed annoyed that more people didn’t know his lyrics. But in the end he still left our legs and arms tired, and ready for JoJo’s slow jams. Jojo’s songs were, on average, the least recognizable for most of the crowd. Regardless, her popular throwbacks “Moving On” and “Leave (Get Out)” brought everyone back to their middle school days (anyone else remember her in RV or Aquamarine?). She made sure to show off her vocals with a series of belting runs and whistle notes, making it hard for non–fans to deny her talent. During her set, the temperature also plummeted (as the The All– American Rejects brought up later with some subtle shade) and she was sure to take advantage of the violent winds in the absence of on–stage fans. She was less powerful during her more recent songs, which most of the crowd had never heard. Like the rest, the night’s final act gave us a mix of throw-
backs and newer pieces. The All–American Rejects delivered an energetic, angsty rock set full of falling mic stands and head– banging. The members are now in their thirties, but it was hard to tell given the amount of sprinting and high notes from lead singer Tyson Ritter. It was hard not to start thrashing around to hits like “Move Along” and “Dirty Little Secret.” The few members of their cult–like following, who made themselves obvious in the crowd, sang along word–for– word to even their more recent songs. After leaving the stage, the band returned to chants of their hit “Gives You Hell,” and had full command over the crowd for the last few minutes of Fling. I was ultimately surprised by the night—the general lack of excitement for the lineup in the weeks leading up to Fling contrasted drastically to the thrill that everyone felt in person at the concert. Regardless of who’s performing, there are few things better than hearing live music as the sun sets over the Philly skyline. Taking part in a 44–year–old Penn tradition is cool, too. Photos by Chase Sutton
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5 Movie Soundtracks Everyone Should Listen To
We all know that the music makes the movie
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An entertaining screenplay, excellent acting, and well–done 4004 chestnut street | (215) 386-1941 cinematography are all necessary for a great movie. But one more piece is required to elevate Exp. 4/11/12 Exp. 2/23/12 one to a masterpiece: a fantastic For Fast Delivery Call 215-386-1941 soundtrack. Since the inception of film, sound has been integral to creating a mood that seeps into the audience like a mesmerizing potion. Without scores, motion pictures would be a dull affair. That being said, a few stand out above the rest. So, here are a few recommendastudent discount with I.D. | order online @ newdehliweb.com | closed mondays Exp.2/23/12 4/11/12 Exp. tions for soundtracks that everyone should listen to:
film music and a must–listen for everyone.
Starting off the list is the haunting and riveting Interstellar, composed by the legendary Hans Zimmer. With hypnotic use of organs that mesh neatly with countless woodwind and Exp.2/23/12 4/11/12 Exp. string instruments, you almost feel like an astronaut journeying into a terrifying unknown 215-386-1941 without guarantee of safe return.
Unlike the previous entries on the list, The Godfather is relatively minimalist in its use of orchestra and jazz band. Director Francis Ford Coppola’s choice of composer Nino Rota and conductor Carlo Savina (both Italian) for a mafia classic was an outstanding decision, as their background allowed them to bring authenticity to the music.
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The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001–2003)
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It’s impossible to separate the three Lord of the Rings films from one another: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King all share overwhelmingly similar instrumentation that includes countless leitmotifs based on the locations and characters appearing on the screen. Composed largely by Howard Shore, the scores are arguably the greatest work in the history of
Blade Runner (1982)
From the instant the “Main Title” theme kicks in, the dystopian and futuristic atmosphere of Blade Runner becomes apparent. Although he won the Academy Award for Best Original Score the previous year for Chariots of Fire, this movie is Vangelis at his finest—innovating with a synthesizer and vocal arrangements to generate an incredibly unique soundscape that fits the novel concept behind the film’s setting.
The Godfather (1972)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Lastly, we have our most innovative selection in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Director Stanley Kubrick chose to discard the score created by composer Alex North and use a soundtrack made of classical symphonies and modernistic compositions, and it worked wonderfully. The music of 2001: A Space Odyssey is a landmark work that everyone should listen to.
Why I Tried Community Acupuncture Low commitment and low cost for a high reward
As someone who has had a whole host of various health issues growing up, I was always on the lookout for ways to make myself feel better. Although many people look to Western medicine and what we might consider “normal doctors” to heal their ailments, there are also a lot of other, more holistic options. Cupping, a therapy to alleviate pain, diet changes, and yoga are among some of the most popular options for non–traditional healing. Another popular option is acupuncture, though it’s not for the squeamish or weak of spirit. During my final few years of high school, I was introduced to acupuncture as a way to treat some of the health problems I was having. I thought it was total BS the first time I went— because honestly, how could a bunch of needles stuck in me change anything? I was totally wrong: they change a whole lot. In my first session, my acupuncturist asked if I had bad asthma, which I do. She went ahead and placed the needles in the spots that would apparently treat it. At first I didn’t feel anything, but the next day I coughed up so much crap I felt like an 85–year–old man. After a month of acupuncture therapy, I felt tangible results. However, I didn’t continue for much longer because it is incredibly expensive. A group in Philadelphia is trying to change that though. Healing Arts is a wellness center that has all the alternative medicine treatments you might need—chiropractic, acupuncture, tai chi, massage and more. They are most well–known for their acupuncture, specifically for their fertility acupuncture (though we college students might not need that...). They have many locations all over the Philadelphia area, but their location closest to Penn is different. This location is for community
acupuncture. Acupuncture is usually in a private room with a single acupuncturist, which can be extremely expensive. Community acupuncture is in a large room with multiple people at once, each separated with screens so that you cannot see one another. Since they can have multiple people at once, Healing Arts is able to charge less per client. When I first approached Healing Arts in Rittenhouse (20th and Walnut) there was a sign on the door that instructed patrons to please be silent. Once I opened the door, I found out why. Their waiting room is connected to their therapy area. The waiting area is simple with small statues and a bamboo rug, and a shoe rack in which to put your shoes immediately upon entry. The receptionist doubled as the acupuncturist—further reducing the costs of each job—and ushered me quietly back into the therapy area. I was shown to one of the message tables in the back that was surrounded by a rice paper room divider. The dimly lit room had about seven tables, each surrounded by a room divider, and was playing music softly. As my acupuncturist came over, she asked me if I had been having any health issues and what had brought me in. On this specific day it was that time of the month, so I had horrific cramping. She said that she would work on that along with any other PMS symptoms I might be having. She then began to put the needles in—it doesn’t hurt as much as you think it would. I took calculated breaths throughout the process, which helped to calm me, while she put needles in my feet, arms, ears, and even my face. After all of the needles were put in I was offered a blanket and told to relax for about 30 minutes. I actually fell asleep, I was so relaxed and calm. If anything,
this session allowed me to relax and focus on myself and my breathing instead of all of the things that I had to do. It was meditative. Towards the end of my 30–minute waiting period, another client came in and was talking to the practitioner, which made me lose my meditative state slightly, but I was quickly able to regain it. As for the health benefits themselves, I was instructed that I would need to come back al-
most weekly in order to receive the full benefits and really begin to see a difference in my health. From my previous experience with acupuncture I understood this to be very true, as the longer I went the better I felt. Overall, I may have preferred to have been in a private room, but that also makes the treatment much more expensive. I love acupuncture, and really do believe in the benefits, so I'm inclined to return here. This
treatment was also even cheaper than the acupuncture offered at student health, which runs for $60 for a 60–minute session. Though Healing Arts is about 45 minutes, it only cost me $35 with their student discount. So if you have been wanting to try acupuncture, it's a great place to start. To all you acupuncture amateurs, I encourage you to give this a try—it’s low commitment, low cost, and (if consistent) highly rewarding.
Penn Association of Senior & Emeritus Faculty Annual Spring Lecture 2018
Kathleen Hall Jamieson Elizabeth Ware Packard Professor of Communication Director, Annenberg Public Policy Center
HOW RUSSIAN HACKERS AND TROLLS EXPLOITED U.S. MEDIA IN 2016 3:30 p.m. Thursday, April 19, 2018 Agora, Annenberg Public Policy Center 202 S. 36th Street, Philadelphia, PA Wine and Cheese Reception to follow. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
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Yoga on the Pier Returns for Another Year Learn how to downward dog without spending a dollar Molly Hessel Reese Berman | Illustrator
Yoga on the Pier aims to be yoga for the people. Available during morning, evening, and twilight hours every day of the week, the program located on Race Street Pier offers a more inclusive yoga experience. It has no online reservations, no class price, and no roof. It is open to all, not just those clad in Lululemon. The class was created by yoga instructor Malik Wilson after he often felt like the “elephant in the room." As a
black male “with muscles," he describes himself as an atypical member of the yoga community. “If I rolled my mat out in a class, I am the least likely person you think would be the teacher. I am not the stereotype.” When he founded Yoga on the Pier five years ago, he hoped to be able to reach a more diverse community with his classes. “I was frustrated with the studio I was teaching. It didn’t seem like an in-
clusive studio for everyone. I built Yoga on the Pier to be the opposite of what I had experienced.” Now, his program has grown greatly from its inception as a small, private Facebook group. Yoga at the Pier attracted members of many different communities in Philadelphia, not just those wealthy enough to afford yoga classes. In particular, he has noticed a following from the different Philadelphia–area
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universities. Beyond the college kids, the program is frequented by many different ethnic groups in Philadelphia, especially those from nearby Chinatown. “Asian [students] come in groups where only the younger person might speak English, and they are there translating the classes.” Malik also noticed a higher number of men attending his class than he saw at his old studio. “People ask, 'Why don’t more men do yoga?' It is 60:40 men–to–women at any time here.” Since the class is available to people of all experience levels and learning is an important aspect of the class. “It is not a yoga studio where you can holler poses that are familiar to you. You have to teach instead of just being an instructor. You are also an ambassador of the practice.” Since the classes are donation–based, teachers must rely on their students to support Yoga on the Pier. But for Malik, yoga isn’t about the money. It has been a constant part of his life for the last 15 years. He was first exposed to it while learning martial arts, and he has used it as a way to connect to what he calls the “new Philly." “When I had to come back to Philly after ten years, there was a different Philly, and I was kind of concerned about how I would make it here," he
said. "I looked at my life and thought, 'What is always going to be present or has been present?' And yoga was one of the things that came up. I used yoga to integrate back into the city I had grown up with.” Although also featured in local Philadelphia news outlets, Yoga on the Pier has gained national recognition. During the Democratic National Convention last year, it was featured in the New York Times as one of the top activities to do in Philadelphia. This media attention has helped his program become a famous attraction in Philadelphia as a place for both locals and tourists alike. While many people find out about Yoga on the Pier from its growing media presence, Malik credits the success of the program to word of mouth and luck. “It wound up being the people who would walk on the pier would eventually become students. A lot of people who would be running across Ben Franklin Bridge, they would look down, and it drew their interest. It grew from there.” Yoga on the Pier will return this season on April 28, just in time for destressing during finals. For those who aren’t staying on campus this summer, the classes run well into fall semester, ending in November. For more information and for class times, visit delawareriverwaterfront.com.
BEAUTY HACKS FOR THE HEAT
The weather forecast predicts showers (of compliments). Molly Hessel
Jessi Olarsch| Illustrator
Spring is for spending all day in the sun, whether it be studying on College Green or dining al fresco. However, a look in the mirror by mid–afternoon might leave you horrified: your makeup is melted off, your eyeliner is smeared, and your hair is frizzy. The heat and humidity are not kind to our hair and makeup, or our wallets, for that matter. When you are already spending a fortune on a foundation that promises to erase your pores, make you glow like a newborn baby, and fix all ailments, that shit better last all day. Yet, not all products do. Here are all the ways to preserve your beauty look— no restroom touch–ups required. And if your makeup arsenal has already done a number on your budget after a long year of beauty, rest easy knowing these products are all under $20.
1. Make your Blow Out Last
A blowout from Drybar is Center City costs $45 dollars— and for those of us who are not talented and dedicated enough to do it ourselves, it costs a lot of money and time. With a little extra care and dry shampoo, that blowout can give you a bang for your (literal or figurative) buck and last all fling weekend. Bastiste Dry Shampoo, costing under $10, is a cult favorite. The cherry scent will zap any sign of grease and keep hair bouncy through the next day. Divided over a three–day wild weekend, this amounts to under $20 a day for the Dryer lover and roughly $3 a day for the homemade hero.
2. Bake Your Face
Baking your face with trans-
lucent powder is a beauty hack used by Kim Kardashian to make her foundation last from day to night. With millions of people constantly “keeping up” with her, Kim is guaranteed to always look fresh in the LA heat. So, the makeup trick must have some credibility. Kim’s professional makeup artists Mario Dedivanovic swears by cult–favorite Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder ($38). A dupe of the product, e.l.f. High Definition Power, can be purchased for only $6.
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3. Perfect Primer
Before applying your makeup, it's key to prep the skin with the right product. Revlon PhotoReady has a primer for every problem, like brightening for post–alcohol dullness and color–correcting for sunburns. The product is formulated to make skin more photogenic for picture perfect makeup all day. Ideal for walking to downtown and back. For around $13, you will save money by not having to reapply makeup for the rest of the day.
4. Holding Hairspray
No hairstyle can withstand humidity, especially in Philadelphia. But the right hairspray can keep tresses tamed until a hairbrush is within reach. L'Oréal Paris Elnett Satin hairspray ($12) has been around for decades, and for good reason: the ultra–fine mist holds hair in place without the sticky feeling. Armed with these four tricks, you'll be ready to conquer the spring heat just in time for summer. And with price tags like that, there's nothing holding you back.
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F E AT U R E
F E AT U R E
Dinner with a Side of 30 Rowdy Penn Kids At Philly BYOs, Penn students push profits up but drive other diners away. by Naomi Elegant
TCustomers he windows of Iztaccihuatl were blacked out. who wanted to pick up food were in-
Malaysian BYO restaurant in Chinatown, note a shift in clientele on the weekends. Non–Penn patrons will avoid their restaurants on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, the most popular times for Penn BYOs. Kevin calls it a “vicious cycle.” “Our student clientele makes up most of the weekend, but the reason why our regular clientele is so low is because they’re scared of the students,” he says. John says business is particularly hurt in the summertime, when most Penn students are gone but Iztaccihuatl’s reputation as a raucous college hangout still remains. The money he makes from student BYOs, though, is enough to offset that loss. He says Penn BYOs have even helped advertise Iztaccihuatl’s potential as an event space—someone recently rented it out for a wedding. He’s certainly not worried. “If I have a customer that doesn’t mind the loud music and drunk people running around, the dancing and shots, the college kids, they can sit down,” he says. “If they don’t like it I don’t care. They can get out.” Kevin is a little more cautious. He says that Banana Leaf is now trying to limit BYO party sizes to a maximum of around 40 people. “We’re strict, but at the same time we try not to be a buzzkill,” Kevin says.
structed to call when they got there: don’t come in, we’ll bring it out to you. The Penn fraternity renting out the Mexican BYO ("Bring Your Own" alcoholic beverage) restaurant for the night told manager John Lewis that apart from him, no one was allowed inside. For an extra $500 on top of the $1,800–2,000 the frat shelled out to rent the place, John agreed. But, he said, he had to know why. The answer? “They had, like, five strippers walking around naked in here,” John laughs. As an extra caution, John pasted a sign on the door of the restaurant: “EXOTIC DANCERS INSIDE.” “I had to do that just in case a girl came in. She may get offended,” he explains. John has worked at Iztaccihuatl for five and a half years, more or less since it opened. Since then, he’s become a quasi–legendary figure in the world of Penn student BYO parties. John drinks with students; knows Greek organizations well enough to refer to them by their letters; and was offered to be an honorary member of four separate fraternities (he politely declined, saying he didn’t want to be biased towards one particular group). He even makes MERT jokes. He says he has “a blast at the parties” that Penn students throw in his restaurant. He hands off the aux cord, flicks on the strobe, sets up “shotgun stations” and beer pong tables, and joins in on the fun. “If you remember anything, you didn't drink enough,” John announces. He elaborates on his role in the revelry, describing the “man shot” (“basically an eight ounce shot of tequila”), the tabletop dancing, the noise. It’s a little hard to imagine such de-
bauchery, though, when you see Iztaccihuatl at 3:00 p.m. on a Tuesday. The cavernous space is devoid of customers, apart from a couple picking quietly at tortilla chips in the corner of the room. A soccer match rages on the television; a distant generator hums from the kitchen, whose doors sway half open. The owner’s daughter sits at the bar counter, playing on an iPad. At one of the many empty tables, John talks about the week he had to replace the toilet seats seven times because drunk Penn students kept breaking them. “I don’t even care about the toilet seats at this point. But it was really annoying to keep changing them every day,” he laughs. “It’s profitable, the party, so that’s no problem.” Toilet seats aside, he has a particular soft spot for Penn students. “I actually kind of love it because Penn students, when they want something, they’ll pay for it. If they break something, they pay for it,” he says. “Guess what. If you’re willing to pay for it, I’ll give you whatever you want.” The BYO is a signature characteristic of Philadelphia restaurants that arises out of a quirk in Pennsylvania state law. Many restaurants can’t afford expensive liquor licenses—which can cost as much as $500,000—but it remains perfectly legal for patrons to bring their own alcohol to restaurants. It’s ideal for smaller restaurants because they save a lot of money. It’s also ideal for college students, as oftentimes BYO restaurants will not check IDs, and many, like Banana Leaf, don’t have corkage fees either. Although John welcomes the students who frequent Iztaccihuatl, he has had to adapt his business for them. In turn, he’s seen a change in the way other customers interact with the restaurant. Both John and Kevin B., a manager at Banana Leaf, a
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"Vomit is not a dealbreaker, as long as it’s cordonedoff in the students’ zone, away from other patrons. "
Kevin says that while regular customers do complain about too–rowdy Penn students, most will still come to eat—just not on the weekends. He is only really bothered by objections from parents who say they won’t bring their children to Banana Leaf because the Penn BYO parties are a “bad influence.” When he hears these complaints, Kevin thinks of his own sister, who’s 20 years younger and still a child. “I’m more of a parent to her than a big brother. I do take her here every once in a while for dinner and she sees the same thing, and I’m like, I wish I could stop it, but at the same time that’s our clientele,” he says. “There’s only so much we can do to limit it.” Though he only started working at Banana Leaf last fall, restaurant supervisor Hengky T. has become quickly accustomed to the rituals of Penn student BYO parties. “The drunk students, they will throw up everywhere, and then they throw the food everywhere and they break the glasses and the plates,” Hengky says, quite placidly. They throw up in the restaurant? “Yes. But in their own territory,” Hengky clarifies. Vomit is not a dealbreaker, as long as it’s cordoned-off in the students’ zone, away from other patrons. Hengky adds that he’s never had to kick a Penn student out
of the restaurant for being too drunk. At Iztaccihuatl, vomit is not grounds for expulsion either. John only has one rule: clean it up yourself. “I don’t pick up the throw up. The students do,” John declares. “Look, you’re not a five–year– old. I don’t care if you throw up. I’m not gonna kick you out if you throw up. I’m really not.” He prefers an approach based on rehabilitation rather than punishment. “If you were really drunk, I’d rather you sit down at the table, take a breather real quick and get your head together, rather than just throw you out the door, you know,” he explains. “I don’t wanna MERT somebody.” Even John, though, concedes that he’s had to call an ambulance for drunk students a couple times. “You just kinda put ‘em in the corner, you watch ‘em, and the ambulance comes and you just put the blazer back on again,” he says. Perhaps recollecting a blackout student in need of sartorial assistance, he starts chuckling. “I’m dead serious.” “Yeah. I’ve seen all that,” Jesse Liu (C '18) confirms. “It’s horrible what Penn kids do.” Jesse transferred to Penn his sophomore year from Cornell, where BYO parties were not a staple. In the last two and a half years, he estimates that he’s attended “20 or 30,” and loves
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them. “It’s fun and it’s a great way to save money for alcohol,” he says. Anjali Berdia (C '21) says she has “mixed feelings” about Penn’s BYO culture. Anjali thinks BYO culture is an added bonus to campus social life that other colleges might not have, and allows for a wider range of clubs to host social events. “Like, Penn Dems isn’t going to have a frat party, you know?” Anjali says. But Anjali admits that BYOs can also be “expensive." At Iztaccihuatl, it’s $20 per person just to get in the door—regardless of dietary or drinking restrictions. A Banana Leaf BYO will cost each person at least $18, and groups over 20 must opt for a set menu. These restrictions, put in place after the advent of student BYOs, are inflexible. “Eat, don’t eat, mother died, religious holiday, I really don’t care,” says John. “You wanna come in past that little foyer, $20. ‘I just wanna go say hi for two minutes.’ Cost you $20.” Alcohol adds a further cost, as does transportation, usually in the form of Uber rides. Banana Leaf and Iztaccihuatl do not have corkage fees, which Kevin says is becoming relatively rare among Philadelphia BYO restaurants. These prices can be exclusionary for some Penn students. Malkia Okech (C '19) usually
avoids BYOs because of the financial strain. The last one she attended was in the fall of her sophomore year. This semester, after joining a new club, she decided to join them for a BYO at Banana Leaf. Flipping through the restaurant menu, she settled on a $7 soup. Then, she found out about the cover fee. The group was small enough that they didn’t have to go with the set menu, but restaurant policy dictated they still had to order food worth a minimum of $18 per person. “How am I going to spend eighteen dollars?” Malkia remembers asking the club’s finance chair. She was wondering how she’d be able to afford it. “Oh, if you don’t think you can make the $18,” he said, “Just order two of the same dish.” Malkia had no choice but to spend over double what she’d budgeted for the evening. On the way back to campus, she says, all she could think about was “How I was gonna get out of paying the guy for the Uber there.” “I came into the BYO with an open mind, since I haven’t been to one in so long and hoped to meet some new people,” Malkia says. “But I left hopeless and reminded of why I avoided them in the first place. People who come from high–income homes live in a totally different world, one I can’t even understand or
start to pretend to.” To ensure that these BYOs are financially viable for the restaurants, they were forced to institute the flat fee to avoid losing money from student BYO parties. Kevin remembers how students would come in groups of 20, order maybe one appetizer between them, and drink. Now, any group over 20 people has to order the set menu, which costs a minimum of $18 per head. While it’s helped with business, Hengky notes that a different kind of waste can still abound. “We get the food all ready, it’s like family style for them to eat, and then sometimes they bring beer or alcohol, so many are drunk already [and] they don’t eat the food too much,” he says. During Kevin’s time at Banana Leaf, the restaurant has also started a new policy where reservations for over 30 people require down payments, after numerous no–shows. “It actually happened last night, I think it was Penn—the reservation was for 60 people. We prepared for 60. Twenty came in,” Kevin says. The no–shows mean firstly that there’s 60 people worth of food going to waste, and that the restaurant loses 60 potential customers who might have come to eat. Still, Kevin emphasizes, “We love you guys.” “We’re trying to keep a balance,” Kevin says. “Our boss and our owner is very understanding. You’re in college, you wanna have fun. We understand that and we try to accommodate that as much as possible. But at the end of the day we’re a business as well—we need to keep things fair for us, too.”
Naomi Elegant is a junior from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia studying History. She is a Features Staff Writer for Street and a Graduate Student & Alumni Beat for the DP.
FILM & TV
Cinemug is Philly's Coffee and Film Paradise
Emma Boey | Photographer
How the extinction of movie rental shops gave birth to South Philly’s hidden cinephile cafe Ana West
CineMug is nestled away on Broad Street in South Philly, unassuming and under the radar. The café, which blends coffee, movie rentals, and community, is one of the city’s hidden treasures. If you’re sick of Starbucks or the Van Pelt basement and want a new place to study outside of the Penn bubble, you would be hard– pressed to find a more inviting and artsy space. On the way to CineMug, my subway car is pleasantly empty: there are a few eager fans in Phillies jerseys and
sleepy–looking professionals riding home from work, but most of the orange–backed seats are empty. I’m tempted to stretch out a little after a long day of trekking around campus, but it’s not that long of a ride: CineMug is right off of the Tasker–Morris stop on the Broad Street Line. The storefront is draped in black velvet curtains—like a theater, unassumingly nestled among the vibrant chaos of Broad Street. There are a few typical Philly coffee shop touches—jazz over the speakers and day–old Dottie’s Donuts behind the counter—but the main thing that catches your eye when you walk in
are the wall–to–ceiling movie posters. I spot the posters for some of my favorites, like Casablanca and Pan’s Labyrinth, as well as plenty that I don’t recognize. According to owner Dan Creskoff, that is very much intentional. “It’s a look I always liked, the sort of ... subway plastered with posters look,” he says. “I went through hundreds of titles, and tried to pick posters that were mostly different than the normal American release." Many are foreign language films from different countries or are just different, odd images that you don’t normally see on movie posters. "And then a couple iconic ones, that you just have to have,” he adds with a smile. The philosophy on C i n e M u g ’s decor extends to its in–house movie selection. The shop also has a collection of rental movies in the back, with a selection geared towards “art films, cult movies, and foreign films.” They hold screenings in the store every so often, showing films with a similar bent as their library. Creskoff is an avowed fan of the art–house– feel. If you’re not into that, though, fear not. CineMug is no hub of elitism; it’s all about creating a comfortable space to celebrate cinema. The idea to open CineMug was born when the rental store Creskoff was working at shut its doors. “One thing I noticed is a lot of people would come and hang out and talk to us for, you know, half an hour, an hour,” he said, and cited a desire to keep those kinds of con-
versations going as the catalyst for opening CineMug. He had no experience working in food before, but coffee and conversation seemed like an good combination. It’s late when I visit, though, and the chatter has died down. The seating area is small, and except for the eclectic mix of tunes playing, the store is surprisingly quiet for a coffee shop in the city. The few patrons sip their drinks and type away at laptops or read, with the view from their seats looking out onto the neighborhood—which is an important part of Cinemug’s story. Creskoff tells me that he grew up outside of Philadelphia, and “fell in love with the city” while he was a student studying film at Temple. When he decided to open CineMug, staying in Philly was never in question. The only thing to figure out was where in the city it would be. He looked all over, but when it eventually came down to Fishtown or South Philly, he had to pick the latter thanks to the explosion of arts and culture in the the neighborhood in recent years. And what about the film community? I ask him if it exists in Philadelphia, and he says yes. “But one thing that I think is a little sad is that it’s very splintered. It does feel like a lot of people don’t know each other, and it does feel like there’s a lot of things going on, but not a cohesive scene. I try to be helpful and connect people,” he says. From keeping movie–themed magazines on CineMug’s bookshelf, to exhibiting Twin Peaks inspired art on the walls, I can see the evidence of that all around. As we’re wrapping up, he asks me why I came out to write about CineMug. “I always think, West Philly ... it’s so far, it’s across a river, people aren’t going to come.” I reassure him that it was worth the trip out—and it very much is.
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FILM & TV
‘Aardvark’ is Unique in its Incompetence
If the stellar cast doesn’t convince you, the prospect of seeing the most absurd cinematic chaos in recent memory should.
Cat Dragoi A schizophrenic character is not one that most of us can identify with, but there is still
one scene in Aardvark that I found relatable. After Josh’s (Zachary Quinto, in the main
role) therapist fails to do her job—and fails so hard that it would be almost comical if
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her job wasn’t facilitating the treatment of mental illnesses—he gets up furiously and shouts “You charge for this?” voicing my exact thoughts on what I had been watching for an hour. At that point, Aardvark— kitschy, slow, incoherent, and laughably absurd—had already been past the point of redemption for a while. I would have recreated this scene in the movie theater— hoping for a refund, perhaps—had I not watched the film in bed. But storming out of my own room would have been as pointless as Aardvark itself. It would have also produced precisely the same dramatic effect: none. Aardvark is the story of Josh, a man who seeks help from Emily (Jenny Slate), a therapist he had found online, after he hears that his brother Craig (Jon Hamm), a famous actor, is back in town after years of absence. It’s clear from the start that Josh is terribly unstable. He is seemingly haunted by his brother, with whom he hadn’t been in contact for
a long time. He only ever sees him on TV as the characters he plays. His therapist seems unfazed, and at times, it seems like the roles are inversed: Josh takes advantage of Emily’s main weakness—loneliness— and toys with her mind, while Emily breaks down, shudders a bit too frequently, and speaks in a shaky voice. What’s not clear is whether or not director and writer Brian Shoaf is aware of the fact that Emily is entirely incompetent—in which case, the purpose of his choice remains vague. Indeed, Emily’s loneliness is used as a plot device when she starts having what looks like unexciting sex with the otherwise dashing Craig, whose bed she jumps into almost immediately after meeting him. Her shudders turn into giggles and the puffiness around her eyes is gone—which would be exciting if the quality of her work improved. It’s not that Josh makes it hard for her to realize that he needs help immediately: he tells her about all of the drugs he’s prescribed
FILM & TV
for a variety of conditions, and also confesses to hallucinating. At times, Josh becomes aggressive, and his outbursts should have been a massive red flag for anyone paying attention. But Emily’s questions—from the basic “Does that bother you?” to the almost scarily inefficient “How do you feel about that?”—are uninspired to the point that they are concerning. Predictably, Josh ends up in a hospital, and thankfully the diagnosis seems clear to the doctors on duty: severe schizophrenia. Josh is on so many different medications that even a painkiller might be too much for him to handle, and when Emily is asked why she hasn’t done anything to help her patient, she feels offended and starts screaming at the doctor. Though the movie seems to aim for the thought–provoking, puzzle–like psychological subgenre, all it manages to do is serve as a reminder not to look up therapists on Yelp. The melodramatic atmosphere doesn’t help either and, too often, Aardvark’s multiple plot lines, film school–level shooting style, and kitschy editing (that looks like it was done in iMovie) make it reminiscent of a soap opera—which wouldn’t necessarily be bothersome if Aardvark had been marketed as such. The motif of the aardvark is the movie’s wannabe artsy element, but remains ambiguous. And the multiple intermezzos in which the animal is shown seem to serve one purpose only: giving the audience a break from the cinematic mess they’re witnessing. Perhaps that is ultimately its purpose, in which case Brian Shoaf deserves some credit for his thoughtfulness, if nothing else. Rating: 1/5 Aardvark is currently showing at Ritz at the Bourse. Check showtimes and buy tickets here.
A sophisticated yet relaxed hotel in the heart of University City, The Study sets new expectations for comfort and service.
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FILM & TV
After ending on a cliffhanger in December 2016, Westworld is finally returning to HBO for its highly anticipated second season on April 22. The part science–fiction epic, part Western garnered attention during its first season due to its remarkable quality and thought–proving subject matter. To recap, Westworld season one followed several storylines, each involving or revolving around advanced humanoid robots called “hosts,” equipped with incredibly fine–tuned ar-
tificial intelligence. Within the confines of Westworld, a playground for the rich and powerful, the hosts can inflict no harm, whereas they themselves can be destroyed. Between its complex narrative structure, top–notch performances, and a gripping thematic look at human consciousness, Westworld is a show not to be missed. In the year and a half since the season one finale, I have not hesitated to recommend the series to everyone and anyone—it has
universal appeal. Myself and other fans of the show have also had time to speculate about what’s next for the series. Due to the long–form episodes, Westworld’s first season had ample time for world–building, and to develop characters that will return in the second season— albeit in very different roles, given the monumental events of the season one finale. Any predictions for season two are going to require some context from its predecessor, and so,
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SPOILER ALERT: what should fans expect from the next chapter of this sci-fi Western?
Preparing for 'Westworld' Season Two
naturally, there will be spoilers ahead. As in season one, Westworld’s latest iteration will be set both inside the epic landscape of the theme park, as well as in the vast network of futuristic halls and glass–walled rooms of the corporate and development facility adjacent to the park. Except now, as was revealed at the end of the first season, programming changes have given hosts the freedom to attack the human beings that once puppeteered them. It is unlikely that season two will go easier on the HBO–brand violence and gore that was abundant in the first season. It was speculated that the “war” between the hosts and human beings both alluded to at the end of season one and in trailers for the upcoming season would crowd out the series’ philosophical elements. However, by and large, this appears not to be the case. Westworld without its philosophical discourse just wouldn’t be itself. At the end of season one, not only were there major story arcs that remain open–ended, but character arcs remained unfinished as well. As momentum mounted during the final few episodes of the first season, several main characters, particularly those who were hosts, had arrived at a kind of tipping point. The decisions they make early in season two, given the rapidly rising stakes, will likely set the course of the series as order turns to chaos.
It is evident from trailers that gorgeous production design, cinematography, and costuming will reinforce Westworld’s status as a show of virtually unmatched visual splendor. Meanwhile, one could only hope season two preserves the ambiguities and clever storytelling tricks that made the first season a feast for fan–theory enthusiasts. One of those theories was of the possible expansion of the story into other theme parks, which has since been confirmed. In addition to the vast open spaces of the American West, part of season two will set in ShogunWorld, a park modeled after feudal Japan. Although it has not yet arrived on the air for audiences at home, Westworld’s second season has had a good start in terms of critical reception, standing at a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. As a fan of its first season, my hope for Westworld is that its philosophical themes maintain their footing, while the pure entertainment elements of the show—its beauty and violence—are as striking as they were at the opening of the series. In any case, for many of us, it has been some time since we’ve revisited the television epic that is Westworld, given the year–and–a– half–long wait for season two. Unsurprisingly, our expectations are high, and we can only hope that season two can meet them with substance beyond dazzling visuals.
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'6 Balloons' Is a Gritty Story of Addiction and Love Netflix's new indie film shows how drug dependence complicates family bonds. How do we end up enabling the bad behaviors of the people we love the most? This is the central question behind 6 Balloons—a new Netflix original movie, starring Dave Franco and Abbi Jacobson (of Broad
City), that explores the devastating effects that one man’s heroin addiction has on his sister. 6 Balloons follows one day in the life of Katie (played by Jacobson). She is spending her day trying to prepare a surprise party
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his infant daughter Ella. She realizes that Seth has relapsed into heroin usage, and immediately drives him to a detox facility. For a number of personal and financial reasons, though, they are unable to check him in, and Katie spends the rest of the night trying to figure out how to keep her brother clean and safe—and finds that she can’t do both. It is Jacobson that carries the weight of the film on her shoulders. She is able to make the transition from comedy to gritty indie drama more readily than Dave Franco, who delivers a competent performance but can’t completely commit to not being, well, Dave Franco. While not portraying the addict, Jacobson’s Katie is the true focus and emotional center of film. If you have only ever seen her play the irreverent and messy Abbi Abrams on Broad City, the impact of her transformation into a tightly wound 30–something– year–old with her life in perfect order will be much greater. Katie is a confident control freak who will re–roll her friend’s pigs in a blanket if they’re not tight enough, and she ends up emotionally destroyed by her inability to either save her junkie brother or to let him go. There are many places where the minimalist script and storyline leave things out—for instance, we never learn how Seth started using heroin, or how his family found out. It again falls to Jacobson and her fellow actors to carry the emotional weight of the story. In this regard, Jacobson’s experience in comedy serves her well in a dramatic setting—she makes everyone that she performs with better. The decision to make Seth a single
Brad Hong | Illustrator
father is never explained in the script and could have easily felt like a cheap ploy for sympathy—but Jacobson shows a tenderness in scenes with Ella that makes the choice work. Likewise, Jacobson lends a feeling of authenticity to her conversations with Franco—floating seamlessly from joking to fighting and back again—that anyone with a brother or sister will recognize. Some of the narrative techniques that 6 Balloons uses work better than others. The competing narration of a GPS pointing the way to a detox center (for Seth), and a self help audiobook that heavily leans on a trite and underdeveloped metaphor for drowning (for Katie), are annoying to the point of detracting from the story. However, other juxtapositions work brilliantly—an overhead shot where Katie changes Ella’s diaper while Seth injects in the bathroom stall next to them is impossible to look away from. At one hour and 15 minutes, 6 Balloons is too short and sparse to delve in deeply with its material and make any larger commentary on the opioid crisis in the United States: a scene where the white Jacobson walks through an alley to buy for her brother, in which she is the only wealthy, white person, is striking but goes unremarked upon. However, in the time that it has, 6 Balloons delivers a tight, emotional story of the destructive powers of addiction and the ways in which love can—and can’t—save us.
Looking Back at Penn's Involvement in WWI
The "Life During Wartime" exhibit in Van Pelt document's the war effort on campus and abroad. Sophie Burkholder
As campus and political climate shift, Penn is reconsidering its role in history with initiatives such as the Penn Slavery Project. Similarly, Penn is now examining its involvement, both positive and negative, in World War I in an exhibit in Van Pelt Library. From now until August 3, the Kamin Gallery of the first floor in VP is exhibiting Life During Wartime: Penn at Home and Abroad During the Great War, which highlights the experience of Penn faculty, students, and alumni during the war. On its opening on April 5, the library hosted a symposium to introduce the subject matter. With artifacts and facsimiles from the Kislak Center, this collection of art and writing provides evidence of the social and political climate at Penn during the war. Several of the pieces demonstrate the fervor to support the war effort in any way they could. A whole display of posters, large and small, point towards an undying support of the war. “The Red Cross COUNTS on YOU,” one reads. “Buy Liberty Bonds today for liberty today, tomorrow, and forever!” urges another. The exhibit also includes letters and sheet music of old wartime songs with similar messages, but the emphasis is clearly on the image. As one information plaque reads: “...images caught the eye, captured the imaginations, and challenged the perspectives of soldiers and civilians.” A little less than a century ago, these were the images and phrases that were flyered on locust and posted up in Houston Hall.
But beyond the propaganda, Life During Wartime also features drawings from firsthand experiences at the front. There are drawings and photographs by George Matthews Harding, a Philadelphia–born artist, architect, and an associate professor of Fine Arts at Penn. Stationed at Penn’s Hospital Base #20 of Chateau–Thierry, Harding witnessed some of the heaviest fighting of the war, as is clearly shown in his sketches of the scenes. Letters from R. Tait McKenzie, Penn’s first physical education professor, and Robert Dechert, Penn alumnus 1916, also document Penn’s involvement in the war. While the two both advocated for what they called “military preparedness,” they weren’t necessarily representative of the views on the war throughout the entire Penn community. Letters and articles give firsthand accounts of discrimination against minorities, as well as strong anti–German sentiments that spread wide over both the campus and the city. Life During Wartime is an exhibit that tells Penn’s version of the story we’ve all heard in our American history classes from high school. The point of the display is not in its novelty, but rather in its purpose of commemoration and reconsideration. The themes of this exhibition are nothing particularly new, but it is an important reminder to learn from history. While you're at Van Pelt this finals season, take a break from the stress–fueled Penn bubble to learn about a time long gone, but still very much relevant.
Megan Kyne | Photographer
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Artist Spotlight: Wharton Junior and Fashion Designer Lea Chen Lovelea is revolutionizing apparel customization. Finding the perfect outfit is never easy. You might think you've found that tee you've been looking for, but then you turn it around. There’s a weird cut–out the shape of some asymmetrical polygon or an oddly placed lace square in the center of the back. If it weren’t for that one little part, the tee would’ve been perfect. That’s where Lea Chen (W ’19) comes in. Her clothing company Lovelea is providing a new platform for creativity and customized apparel. The idea behind Lovelea is simple. Put any design on any piece of apparel, whether it be a tee, sweatshirt, or sticker, among others options. Then, order your item for a fixed cost at no mini-
mum volume. In the first years following its inception, each piece of clothing was handmade. The initial goal of handcrafting each individual piece was to guarantee quality and diligence, to give the feeling of a unique piece. Just how a store–bought cake will never taste the same as your grandmother’s homemade recipe, you can always tell the difference when something is made with love. Hence, the name Lovelea. Though Lea has since switched to another manufacturing process to handle larger orders, the quality has by no means changed. The love is not gone, but it has changed in the way it's expressed. Concentrating in marketing
and management on the entrepreneurship and innovation track, Lea founded the company, or project, as she prefers to call it, the winter break of her freshman year. She says the project is “more of a learning opportunity for me and allows me to take risks.” Having always had an interest in the retail and fashion industry throughout high school, she took her first leap into the field with a class in Fashion Entrepreneurship at the Fashion Institute of Technology. There, she was exposed to what it took to build a brand and name for yourself from the ground up. She used all that she learned and built her brand around love. Her business card reads: “graphic
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Photo courtesy of Lea Chen
clothing made with love for lovely people.” While the manufacturing has changed, the love now comes from the concept. Since its beginning, the line has expanded across the nation, shipping to places as far as Hawaii. Because of this expansion, the mission of love isn’t just for the consumers, but on the tangible social impact that comes with this growing influence. A portion of profits go to organizations combatting mental health stigma and supporting LGBTQ communities. It’s perhaps no coincidence, then, that a large number of Lea's collaborators, including independent graphic artists in and out of Philly, consist of minority women. The idea of the line also came from her own Wharton Passion Project. While working with fourth graders in a local West Philly school with limited access to the arts, s h e asked every kid to draw their hopes a n d dreams. From there, she turned their drawings into t–shirts, turning their hopes into a form of reality. That is the mission of Lovelea.
At the heart of the entire line is the customization aspect, which is a testament to Lea’s commitment to innovation. Lea is also the curator of Popstart, a startup for startups. Essentially, it’s a market for physical startups to sell their items, designed in such a way that the experience mirrors that of a flea market. Inspired by Artists & Fleas, a multi–merchant marketplace selling artisan goods, any walk through a Popstart experience is a walk through a multi–merchant marketplace. Just recently, it hosted its biggest pop–up at the TEDxPenn conference, bringing a number of vendors from around Philadelphia together. The goal is to make innovation possible and accessible. In the past, it’s also worked with Penn Fashion Collective to put together a retail startup pop– up on campus, sourcing vendors such as Strut for Scoliosis, PATOS Shoes, and the never–old Squirrels Without Morality. Between Lovelea Clothing and Popstart, Lea is driving creativity and sparking innovation—all with love. Enter 10STREET for any purchase on www.loveleaclothing.com for 10% off.
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Georgia Ray | Design Associate A P R I L 1 8 , 2 01 8 3 4 T H S T R E E T M A G A Z I N E 2 3
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