THE INCANDESCENT ISSUE
Dear Reader, Who would have thought that this is the place we’d be in a year? We’ve baked bread, cut our bangs, spent hours watching everything on every streaming platform, and continuously invented and contributed to the infinite vacuum that encapsulates TikTok dances. Many of us even attended school, whether it be online or in person. We’ve really done it all this past year. While we’re trying to move past all that, it still seems as though we’re in the thick of everything. The number of cases, as well as the accompanying death toll, fluctuates around the world, and we’re still under strict restrictions to keep us and others safe. There is, however, a difference: with the rollout of vaccines, there is a sliver of a warm, encouraging light shining down on us. The weather is getting warmer and we can smell hope in the air — something that has been missing from our lives for a long time. For this issue, Atlas wanted to focus on that warm feeling. This past year has been so dark and bleak, but we wanted to look at how far we’ve come with a brighter lens. Use Atlas’s Incandescent Issue to foster hope and growth within you as the world continues to shape into something that we’ve all been waiting for. The pandemic has changed us all by forcing us to look at life in a new light; while the future isn’t entirely clear, it is radiant and dazzling. Xx, Anna Moon Editor-in-Chief
illustration by Sopie Droster
Holy crap, this year has been tough. I’m not going to sit here and type out an exhaustive list of reasons that have already been talked about to death, but I will say that nothing about these last two semesters has come easily. Because of all of this, I can say I’m eternally proud of and grateful for all of the members of Atlas who have stuck through what I may fondly call “adjustment pains” and have continued to produce such amazing content. You have taken what will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the most difficult years of your lives and chose to create through it-- making you not only amazing artists, but stronger people. We chose the Incandescent Issue for a number of reasons, most being pretty obvious. We are all tired of reclining in the discomfort of isolation and uncertainty, and chose to direct our focus on the rebirth of spring, the tide of social changes affecting both Emerson and the nation at large, and of course, the nearing end of the pandemic. Creatively, we found the best way to ensure safety of all of our team this semester was to assist in the production of independent content submissions, rather than organize larger on-set gatherings, and we think this resulted in a really beautiful variety of artistic styles and creations which you can see throughout the issue. I really hope you enjoy what we’ve put together, and I can’t wait to see what next semester brings :) Stella Drews-Sheldon Creative Director
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Staff Editor-in-Cheif: Anna Moon Managing Editor: Marianna Poletti Reyes Creative Director: Stella Drews-Sheldon Editors: Molly Goodrich, MaryCatherine Neal, Abgigail Amato, Katherine Powers, Anna Moon, Marianna Poletti Reyes Photo Director: Kaitlyn Joyner Design Director: Kristen Cawog Art Director: Natasha Arnowitz Fashion Director: Olivia Cigliano Editorial Director: Grace Cosgrove Beauty Director: Morgan Holly Staff Writers: Amanda Winters, Grace Rispoli, Julia Brukx, Erin Renzi, Madison Browning, Athena Nassar, Matigan Grace Holloway, Kaitlyn Joyner, Skyler Johnson, Melody Smith Copy Editors: Charlotte Drummond, Becca Letts, Amaury Basora, Emma Shachochis, Caja Leshinger Visuals: Thaler Bishop, Elaine Tantra, Yongze Wang, Ian Hamilton, Graham Wheeler-Nelson,
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Globe Drawing The Line Between Appreciation and Appropriation By Amanda Winters // Page 8 Bursting My Lone Tree Bubble By Maddie Browning // Page 14 Health The Floor: My New Happy Place By Julia Brukx // Page 18 Sitting Still Is Moving Forward By Melody Smith // Page 20 On Learning To Love My Hair By Mattie Holloway // Page 26 City Builings By Skyler Johnson // Page 32 Takeout Food By Athena Nassar // Page 36 Boston Creators By Grace Rispoli // Page 40 Style Buy The Lingerie... For Yourself By Erin Renzi // Page 48 The Mystical And The Nostalgic By Kaitlyn Joyner // Page 54 Campus Affiliated With Creativity By Claire Fairtlough // Page 62 Crafting An Income With Creativity By Jess Ferguson // Page 68 5 | Atlas
DRAWING the LINE Between Appreciation & Appropriation by Amanda Winters
IS a thin line between appreciating and THERE appropriating other cultures. Many people participate in beauty and cultural trends that do not belong to their own culture. While this may seem like adoration and appreciation of these different cultures, it can actually be disrespectful and harmful to these communities. This can be exemplified by non-Black people getting Black hairstyles such as braids and twists, non-Indian people receiving henna for aesthetic purposes or nonAsian people participating in the fox eye trend. Despite this, there are still many respectful ways to explore other cultures that are not your own. Cultural appropriation can be defined as one participating in beauty or cultural trends from another culture and taking credit for said practice. This differs from cultural appreciation, which is the act of participating in another culture that is different from your own in a respectful manner. Many BIPOC students at Emerson have much to say on this topic. While some believe the line between appropriation and appreciation of a culture is clear cut and apparent, others believe there is more nuance to the issue. According to freshman visual and media arts major Jeanie Thompson, “The line between appropriation versus appreciation is pretty evident and visible. I think people appreciate culture when in some way what they’re doing is repaying the community and has reparations for the community. I went to a tattoo artist who gave 40 percent off Black customers and 20 percent other POC. I think you need to repay the community and educate yourself.” Journalism major, ‘24, Aricka Croxton also added, “The
Furthermore, when asked whether or not people of a different culture are allowed to participate in another culture’s practices, several BIPOC students provided similar responses. “I think that it’s okay to participate in another culture’s practices or beauty standards if you are invited into it,” says freshman media studies visual media and arts major Maya Freeman. Freeman’s words voiced the same sentiment of other interviewees. “I think the most important thing is if you are being invited in to participate in a culture instead of taking it as your own and profiting or benefiting from it.” Many interviewees were also asked their opinions on how their cultures have been appropriated and why it is wrong. One of the most commonly appropriated aspects of Black culture is hair. “I would suggest that a person who is not of African descent not wear them because it’s not for your hair type,” explained Croxton. “My hair type can hold braids. Yours cannot. If you want to appreciate, acknowledge how beautiful they are, but not get them, because it will harm your hair. Just because it looks good on another Thompson had a very similar view on hair. “I think to an extent, participating in another culture’s practices is okay. I don’t think people should be getting braids not meant for your hair texture,” she explains, though she did recommend a possible solution to those with an appreciation for Black hairstyles. “I think there are other ways to do it. You can go to someone who is Black and get white hair done instead. Support local businesses that don’t exploit their background or identity.”
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appropriate the features of Black people that we’re put down for and yet they’re praised for it. How are you gonna put me down for the shape of my nose and lips and get surgery to get it? People wanna be a different skin color but don’t wanna deal with the consequences of it.” “Kylie’s whole lip thing gets on my nerves,” added journalism major, ‘24, Jordan Owens. “You can have these Black features, but you have to be white; they’re not acceptable on Black people, but it’s cute on white people.” Another aspect of Black culture that is often appropriated is the fashion. Many modern fashion trends originated, or gained popularity among the Black community, but have been commodified by white culture as of recent, especially beauty standards such as big hoops, low rise jeans, long acrylic nails and the Y2K fashion movement as a whole. “People took from Black women and rebranded it. Clothing items that are used for religious styles like scarves are socially acceptable on the Kardashians, whereas Muslim women get killed and assaulted regularly for wearing them.” In terms of Indian culture, one thing Dutta is passionate about is the gentrification of yoga. Upon hearing the term yoga, the first image that comes to mind for many is that of a white SoCal mom. However, this is far from yoga’s true origins. “My grandma, 70 years old, does it,” says Dutta. “We learned it from our family; it’s a spiritual thing. It’s
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Bursting My Lone Tree Bubble By Maddie Browning
I grew up in Lone Tree, Colorado — a rich, conservative, predominantly white suburb. According to Data USA, 74.7 percent of residents are white, and the median household income is $115,746. Many of the students at my high school followed their parents beliefs and didn’t even consider another way of thinking. They would go to their parents’ alma maters for college, major in business, work in the same high paying executive positions, and grow up to be just like them. And nothing would change. They would continue to vote for people who furthered their agenda, not taking the time to consider everyone else they left behind. My parents taught me to understand both sides of an argument before forming my own opinion — a stark difference from many of the people around me. Most of my peers weren’t exposed to different perspectives and never actively searched for them. They were complicit in their ignorance of the world outside of their suburban bubble. I remember one day, when I was at my friend’s house during a gathering with a couple of families, and I heard two moms talking about the gender pay gap. One of them said, “I don’t get it. If women want equal pay, why don’t they just ask for it?” as if she had just solved the problem spanning generations. I almost gasped. The other woman agreed, and they moved on to talking about their kids’ soccer game. They were stay-at-home moms who didn’t have to work a day in their lives, so they never considered what the world was like for women not in their privileged position. In an environment of one overwhelming way of thinking, how could any other perspective possibly emerge? The world I lived in remained an endless cycle of white privilege, sexism, racism, and classism. I needed to escape. I knew from a young age that I needed to get out of my hometown as soon as possible. So when I began searching for colleges, I looked at Emerson, which is a little over 1,700 miles away from Lone Tree. Moving to Boston and attending Emerson was a breath of fresh air. I met so many people who were willing to
“In an environment of one overwhelming way of thinking, how could any other perspective possibly emerge?” I think there is something special about groups of people from all over the world working together on creative projects here at Emerson. Everyone is able to bring new ideas and perspectives to their work to create something incredible, making sure no one is left behind in the process. I have seen students post open auditions for films they are creating on their Instagram stories to prioritize BIPOC and LGBTQ actors, unlike standard practices of much of the film industry. Emerson students want to combat the structural issues in our society, and that starts with dealing with the ones built into this school. Emerson is still a bubble, like my hometown, but in a different way. It is more accepting and open to new ideas, but even still, it’s nowhere close to where it needs to be. Students who continue to fight for what they believe in and share their stories are the people who are going to make a real difference in this world. They are what makes Emerson special.
The floor: By: Julia Brukx
It’s been a really long day. Hours upon hours spent shuffling from bed to desk in order to create some kind of difference between work and rest, only to be done with the day and feel no sense of relief. It’s 4 p.m. and already dark outside, microwaved food is getting old, and the assignments are piling up. The bed stands ready, warm and inviting with pillows and blankets already broken in from a full day of doing homework upon them. But instead, you choose to lie on the floor. The hard, barely carpeted, stomped upon and lovely floor. If you were a student in 2020, you probably felt an increase of stress, due to school, the pandemic, or life in general. Double masks and variants, gubernatorial scandals, a feeling of helplessness: there’s a lot going on, little of it that we can control, and it’s piling on with school and other responsibilities, such as work and family. Arlee Christian, a freshman at the University of Virginia, says, “Everything weighs down on me a lot more than it used to; I have very few outlets for all of my energy and thoughts.” Additionally, in many ways, it feels at times that
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we are expected to live a post-COVID life in a still-COVID world. Jobs still need to be done, deadlines still need to be met and online school is a difficult rhythm to fall into. Christian says, “I am more likely to miss or forget assignments because of the online nature of all my classes. I don’t usually ever want to go to class because everything feels repetitive.” And because the entire freshman class was not able to close out high school normally, being in college still feels strange at times, like we’ve slipped under the radar and somehow ended up at the next chapter before the last one ended. Emerson College freshman Aisling McDermott describes it being, “so hard to get back on track after not being in school for half a year.” When a schedule that would normally consist of darting from building to building with commutes and interactions with other students is replaced by deciding whether it is worth it to move from the bed to the desk for class, moving onto the floor can be the only change during long days indoors. Escapes of early quarantine, like walks around the neighborhood, have been replaced by ice-covered roads and cabin fever; it seems that we’ve even come full circle, moving from romanticizing a life before COVID to missing whipped coffee and Tiger King. McDermott describes
largely unmissed is the commute. With school and work now online for many people, there is less time spent moving from place to place, no popping on a podcast or a favorite playlist while walking or driving to work. There is no physical barrier between work and life, no time in between where you’re not expected to do anything but move. Most days, when I finish class, I just close the tab and continue with more homework. There is no time spent in between just doing nothing. It is hard to work, hard to even look at your phone, but nothing is expected of you on the floor. It’s a place to just be, and can serve as a barrier between two tasks or two parts of the day. There are plenty of places to sit — admittedly fewer now, since we can’t go anywhere, but it remains a primary purpose of desks, beds and couches. Lying on the floor is a rejection, a tiny act of rebellion to the expected. Entire industries exist to provide comfortable places to rest, and ignoring that is a way of shouting, “I can exist without you!” And since we can’t resort to usual escapes, such as parties or travel, lying on the floor may be the best we can do for now.
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place Julia Brukx 19 | Atlas
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Still is Moving
Forward By Melody Smith
“If you’re going to make progress, you need to be moving forward. It may take some energy, but you constantly need to be pushing yourself into the next phase of improvement. If you’re going to get stronger, you can’t skip workouts. If you want to grow, you need to challenge yourself. If you work now, you can play later.” Growing up, that’s what I’ve always been told by my parents, teachers, TV commercials and social media. I see inspiring pictures, articles and comments that all shout “get up and go!” After receiving survey responses from a group of my peers, I realized that I was not the only one getting this message. I posed the vague question: what are your guilty pleasures? Responses were incredibly varied, ranging from “reality TV” to “junk food” to “sitting in bed all day.” A common theme in many of these answers is that they are associated with “laziness” or stagnancy in life. Tiffany Ni, a very active Emerson first-year student shared with me her experiences with self care. She explained how she does many different projects at once. She is very ambitious and enjoys tackling many different types of work including photography, producing, and fashion marketing to explore her interests. To relieve stress during difficult times, she mentions that one of the most crucial skills is to be able to “realize when you’re being burned out.” I used to think that I failed on days where I didn’t go
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more productive. Logically, I thought that the more hours spent working meant that I was being more productive with my time. In reality, these common habits are not only self destructive, but counterintuitive. According to The Wellbeing Thesis, taking relaxing breaks from strenuous activity can help to “facilitate recovery.” So while you may be working for less time, you’ll find yourself working more productively after taking a break to do something that you enjoy. Whether it be physical, mental, or spiritual, it’s important to give yourself a rest.Take a moment to pause and do something that you enjoy, and not only will you be doing something that makes you happy, but in doing so, you’ll be making yourself more productive in the long run. If it’s taking a break from intellectually stimulating content, go ahead and watch reality TV. If it’s going to be a warm, comfortable moment on a bustling day, have a doughnut. If you want to sit in bed and relax, then simply sit in bed and relax. People should not feel guilty for enjoying themselves. Ni described mornings where she wakes up incredibly stressed out, dreading her workload—mornings which we can all relate to. On mornings like this, she decides to set aside time for herself. Activities like spontaneous outings with friends, taking a night to relax on her own, or simply ordering herself a large coffee allows her to take a break from her bustling ambitions. She emphasized how she remembers to remind herself that “it’s biologically acceptable to feel tired,” because she is a living being that needs rest. It can be easy to get caught up in a workload and forget to take a second and absorb the rest that you require. Often in people’s personal growth journeys, they forget that it’s okay to not constantly move forward. Sitting still and doing nothing is still growing. It’s important to do things that make you happy. You owe it to yourself to enjoy a part of life that you have control over — not just as a reward for hard work, but as something you are entitled to as a human being. In whatever journey you’re facing, remember to take moments and enjoy yourself.
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photos by Kaitlyn Joyner, design by Julia Brukx
“You owe it to yourself to enjoy a part of life that you have control over — not just as a reward for hard work, but as something you are entitled to as a human being. In whatever journey you’re facing, remember to take moments and enjoy yourself.”
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By: Mattie Holloway
On Learning to Love My Hair My mom sat me down in front of the TV every Sunday night with a towel draped around my neck — protecting my shoulders from my freshly washed curls. While we watched America’s Next Top Model for the next few hours, she would pick through my hair with a comb and a good amount of leave-in conditioner. I dreaded Sundays and the pain that came from detangling knots and sectioning; I even resented my mom a little bit for putting me through it. The weekly routine made me hate my hair. There was a disconnect between me and what sat on my head. It wasn’t until middle school that I was able to detangle my hair on my own. I picked out my own brush at the convenience store — it was dark green with Ariel from The Little Mermaid on the back. I spent an hour in the shower lathering my hair with conditioner and brushing through until my hair felt like my hair. It was one of the first times I ever felt independent. My hair, some-
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I’m still protective of my hair. It signaled my independence and my connection to Black culture. Haircare plays a key role in the Black community. “If you want your hair to be healthy, the person who does it needs to love your hair and actually care for it…you have to actually put love into the work you’re doing,” says Tayla Dixon, a sophomore business of creative enterprises major at Emerson. Dixon’s mother, Erika Sanders, owns the hair salon Special E FX in Dorchester, Massachusetts. The job involves standing for hours and a lot of hand cramps. Most of Sanders’ clients are members of the community and people she’s formed relationships with. Hair is personal and so is the business. “A lot of people don’t trust other people to do their hair,” says Dixon. It’s a feature Black women have constantly been told to fix
“If you want your hair to be healthy, the person who does it needs to love your hair and care for it.” about themselves in order to look “neat” or “clean.” The process of doing one’s hair and accepting one’s hair is a dedication. Dixon admits that she’s still learning to love her hair. She grew up getting perms from her mom before deciding to wear her hair natural. She grew up with the stigma that her natural 4C hair looked “unkept” from her parents and the media. Growing up, most Black women Dixon and I saw in the media wore their hair straight, or if they did wear their natural hair, they had a looser hair type — like Zendaya in Shake it Up or Raven-Symoné in That’s So Raven. Tight curls were not accepted by the beauty or professional standards.
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Dixon believes this is because of the beauty standard set for women to have stick-straight hair. Even White women with wavy or slightly textured hair feel the pressure to straighten it. Natural hair and protective hairstyles are often viewed as unprofessional, and the natural movement still has a lot of work to do before they’re normalized. Actresses like Amandla Stenberg, journalist Elaine Welteroth and musician Solange all push for the acceptance of natural hair and emphasize the emotional value Black hair holds. In her song “Don’t Touch My Hair,” Solange refers to her hair as her soul and her crown. She describes her hair journey saying, “You know this hair is my shit, rode the ride, I gave it time. But this hair is mine.” My relationship with my hair has changed and evolved over time. I still change the way I routinely do my hair. Like a relationship with an old friend evolves as you both grow and struggle, my
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“For some people, hair strengthens the relationship between them and their community. For me, it’s strengthened the relationship I have with myself.” relationship with my hair is constantly changing. I cut bangs for the first time a little over a year ago and dyed (and undyed) my hair blonde a few times in the past ten months. I used to sit down with my mom in front of the TV every Sunday; I now sit myself down on wash days, running leave-in through my curls and finger coil. For some people, hair strengthens the relationship between them and their community. For me, it’s strengthened the relationship I have with myself. The movement to embrace natural hair is a movement to embrace Black beauty and the community and history it brings with it. Young Black women shouldn’t have to question whether their hair is pretty enough, and Black women in the workplace shouldn’t have to question whether their hair is professional enough. The journey to loving and appreciating one’s hair is a beautiful one, but hopefully, as beauty standards become more inclusive, the journey will be a shorter one.
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photos by Graham Wheeler-Nelson, illustrations & design by Chloe Williams
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was a seedy parking garage or a bare strip of dirt is now a massive, beautiful skyscraper that you can see for miles.”
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B U I L D I N G S
If you’ve been anywhere around Boston recently, you’ve probably seen a crane or two. Buildings are popping up all over. What once was a seedy parking garage or a bare strip of dirt is now a massive, beautiful skyscraper that you can see for miles. Boston hasn’t always had these large structures. The city used to be well known for keeping with the colonial architecture, where the tallest building would be a church steeple. In the later half of the 20th century this all changed, with many of Boston’s most well-known skyscrapers being built, including 200 Clarendon and the Prudential Center. Now, with an increased demand for being close to the city, new buildings are popping up in order to satisfy demand. Ink Block Ink Block is one of Boston’s newest communities, which has been developed from what was once an unremarkable strip of land with office spaces and a hotel or two. It used to be the site of the Boston Herald before they switched their location, hence the name. It’s located in the South End near the Massachusetts turnpike and contains numerous amenities, including a Whole Foods and plenty of places to eat and shop. There are two new buildings being built there, including 321 Harrison Avenue, and 7Ink, located at 217 Albany Street. The first is to be an office tower sitting atop a previously built garage. The amenities will include “...signature outdoor space including an outdoor roof terrace, fitness center, on-site covered parking, full-service food and catering, and a private shuttle to and from North and South Stations.” According to the developer’s website, 7Ink is to be Boston’s first co-living building, which essentially means it’s a very fancy dorm room without the college. It features a private, fully furnished bedroom, but all other amenities are shared, including the complimentary Wi-FI and premium cable. The building also comes with towel services, cookware and weekly housekeeping. Building is estimated to be completed in March of 2022. Seaport Another up-and-coming Boston neighborhood is Seaport. It used to be a parking lot and has turned into an urban center. There are a few new buildings being built. MassMutual has decided to build an office here, which is expected to cost $240 million dollars.
By Skyler Johnson
While this may not be exciting on its own, it is when you look at the interesting architecture of the building to be built, which will be a fully glass, ovular building near The Institute of Contemporary Art. It will certainly be a sight to behold once construction has been completed, which is expected to be in late 2021. Another interesting development is Seaport’s Block L4 which will allow for 81,000 gross square feet of retail space, encompassing two floors of the 17-floor building. It’s expected to be completed within the next few months. Skyscrapers If you think 17 floors is a lot, wait until you hear about what’s going down at 1 Congress Street, where a 44 floor building is being built. It will offer beautiful views of the city and will surely be a landmark due to its size and unique, wavy shape. According to the neighborhood’s website, “Rising to 600 feet, the 1 million squarefoot tower will offer unrivaled views and unparalleled visibility across the Boston skyline.” When it’s completed, you’ll be able to see it from miles away. The building will also include an acre-long landscaped terrace and a three story lobby. In the West End District, construction is underway for a new 44-story residential building at 35 Lomasney Way, which will contain 470 apartments on top of what was once the Garden Garage. The building is estimated to be completed later this year. In the Back Bay district, there will be a 31-story building at 40 Trinity Place which will become the luxury hotel chain Raffles’ North American location. It will contain 154 hotel rooms and 146 apartments. Raffles is known for the creation of the Singapore Sling in its original Singapore location in 1915 and for its 24 hour butler service. In Bay Village, a 19 story tower at 212 Stuart Street will feature 130 luxury rental apartments. Of course, these buildings have their drawbacks. All of these buildings are primarily for high income patrons, having little to no care for Boston’s lower income residences. 212 Stuart street has allocated eleven apartments for “affordable” hous-
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ing, but these residences make up less than ten percent of the overall residences in that location. Revitalizations There are several iconic Boston locations that are getting serious upgrades. One Post Office Square in the financial district is being redesigned from a bland concrete building to an all-glass marvel with seven additional outdoor spaces. According to the building’s website, “The transformation will feature floor-to-ceiling glass, public-facing retail, an array of elevated amenities to nurture the mind and body.” Boston’s iconic South Station, which will soon include a 51-story mixed use tower in its Air Rights project. This has been in development for years. According to the website, “The new outdoor concourse area will increase in size by 67% for an improved experience for passengers and people passing through the station.” The bus terminal is being increased by 50 percent. There will also be a bike storage room. The Air Rights project is expected to be completed in 2025. Climate Obviously while all of these buildings are lovely in theory, there could be harm to the environment as a result of these buildings going up. The reality is somewhat complicated. Ultimately, considering almost all of these buildings were once parking garages, Boston residents have lost a number of places to park. This is good for the environment, as it discourages the use of automobiles which are very harmful to the environment. Conclusion Boston’s going to get many updates in the near future. For a city that’s spent most of its history rooted in the past, it’ll be interesting to see how these changes will impact the community moving forward. In a time where we’re not going anywhere, it’s nice to think that at some point we can explore a city that’ll be just a little different from the one before the pandemic. But, of course, that does come at the expense of the environment and of lower income people. Only time will tell what fortunes and misfortunes these towers will bring.
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Takeout Food By Athena Nassar
With the rise of the pandemic, dining has gone from making toasts at a round table and sharing an intimate moment with your closest friends to sitting alone in your kitchen on a Friday night. Although we may not be able to have all of the company that we desire, eating good food is a little luxury that we can still enjoy, especially if we’re aware of all the local gems. Although we may not be able to go out to eat with a group of friends during this time, local restaurants are doing everything in their power to safely bring the dining experience to us. The restaurant industry has been hit hard by COVID-19, but restaurants that have switched to primarily doing takeout orders have managed to stay afloat. As a college student, I know it can be tempting to fall into the routine of ordering pizza every night, but here is a list of takeout restaurants in the Boston area with vibrant, ethnic dishes that are just as reasonably priced as a box of pizza: Vejigantes (Puerto Rican), Vaanga (Indian street food), Pai Kin Kao (Thai), Black Seed Cafe & Grill (Middle Eastern), Genki Ya (Japanese), Lucy Ethiopian Cafe, Beneventos (Italian), and P&R (Jamaican). If you’re willing to splurge or are celebrating a
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“While these restaurants still managed to remain open, the majority of them had to reduce their staff by
at least 50 percent
special occasion, Ostra, an upscale restaurant that specializes in Mediterranean cuisine, is also a delicious option. While these restaurants still managed to remain open, the majority of them had to reduce their staff by at least 50 percent, and some restaurants had to suffer a much larger cut according to Food & Wine Magazine. When I asked an employee at Genki Ya about the severity of these cuts, she admitted that Genki Ya went from 40 employees to a measly eight. As a result of the pandemic, restaurants have lost well over eight million employees, and that number is on an upward trend. Even restaurants like Genki Ya that have shifted to solely takeout have been greatly impacted. These numbers from the restaurant industry alone are equivalent to the amount of jobs lost in the 2007-2009 Great Recession.
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According to The Center for Hospitality Research at Cornell, the cost of employee turnover averages at around $5,864 per person. The majority of this cost accounts for recruiting, training, and productivity loss. With this shift in employment, there has also been a shift in what customers are expecting when they order from takeout restaurants. In these unprecedented times, customers are craving familiarity. Since they are spending the bulk of the day in their homes, customers are more inclined to order comfort foods that they can eat in the comfort of their own beds or while watching TV in their living rooms. In an interview with an employee at Pai Kin Kao, the employee revealed that stir fry noodles and pad thai are the most in-demand dishes of the pandemic. Being that I now spend most of my time in my college dorm, I find myself ordering pad thai two or sometimes three times a month. Similarly, in a recent interview with the restaurant
“In addition to under-
going twice as many inspections, takeout restaurant employees have also limited themselves to getting takeout as an alternative to going out.”
manager at Vaanga, he disclosed that the most popular dishes on their menu are the chicken combos, which consist of chicken marinated in spices and jasmine rice. In order to survive this pandemic, I can confidently say that customers, including myself, are turning to foods that give them a full, satisfactory feeling: slow-cooked chicken, noodles, rice, potatoes, creamy soups, pies, and so on. So what’s stopping customers from making home-cooked meals? What are some of the steps that these restaurants are taking to reassure customers that it’s safe to still order food from their restaurant? In addition to undergoing twice as many inspections, takeout restaurant employees have also limited themselves to getting takeout as an alternative to going out. As reported by an employee at Genki Ya, “the life of a staff member is now work then home, work then home, and repeat.” Even with their staff ’s extreme change in lifestyle, Genki Ya has still lost a big portion of their clientele. In attempting to please worried customers, Genki Ya and other takeout restaurants have lost the business of their worldly customers. These clients are often traveling from afar and searching for a place to dine in. Being that Genki Ya has transferred from providing 24/7 dine-in service to solely takeout, that dine-in experience that certain customers are searching for isn’t something that they can offer at the moment. Although the restaurant industry has been the hardest hit industry by COVID-19, lovers of flavorful, multicultural food, can still find ways to support them and get them through the worst pandemic since the Spanish flu of 1918. When we’re craving chicken curry, pad thai, rice and beans, bolognese, or any other cuisine, there are still an abundance of restaurants that we can turn to in the Boston area to satiate this hunger.
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I first encountered Essmaa Litim at a slam poetry contest in the Boston Common last fall. She performed a piece titled “Televised Genocide,” speaking on the digitally recorded murders of Black people in America. Her passionate, consuming and riveting words in both this and her subsequent piece won her the competition. We began our FaceTime conversation by recounting that day. It was my first exposure to slam poetry, but by no means Litim’s first time performing. After graduating from Bentley University in 2018 with a degree in marketing and a minor in law, Litim obtained a nine-to-five job at Tripadvisor. She detailed to me finishing poems at work and the first tiring step in her desire to perform at the now-closed Cantab Lounge’s open mic nights on Wednesdays. “Not every Wednesday, but on Wednesdays, I would go; my friends would come after work, and it’s a bar, and the underground
By Grace Rispoli
is the poetry slam,” said Litim. “l do the poetry slam and like halfway through it you hear jazz music, like live music from upstairs, and that was just the most captivating feeling that I experienced.” Litim quit her job in December 2019, understanding such a trajectory would not be able to fulfill her. In January 2020, she briefly started at a program teaching English in Thailand before the COVID-19 pandemic sent her home. Though she returned to Boston without a job, she had the security of living at home. And so, Litim was no longer attempting to finish poems at work, dealing with a commute or only allotting open mic nights for her passions. Instead, she wrote a novel. “This was my dream. I remember talking to my director at Tripadvisor, and I told her that my dream was to write a book,” said Litim. “And a year later, I’m doing it. And being able to do that, like I had the time to do it...I feel like COVID, in a weird way, was like a reset in
my life, and I think that it allowed me to really hone in on what was important to me.” When I asked Litim about her inspirations, she dug deep, uncovering the influence that music had on her poems. Litim noted that she is not a singer, but the words of songs are no different from those of poetry. Litim’s upcoming novel, while a different style of writing, is an extension of her art, driven by the same motivations. “I love writing, and writing in a very beautiful way has been something that I loved to do, making it rhyme, making it sound good. I’m a very opinionated person, as you can probably tell by the type of poetry that you probably heard. I love making how I feel and how opinionated I am on social issues; I want that to sound good. I want people to hear it and feel that energy, you know…especially because there are people whose voices aren’t heard,” said Litim. “And they can’t, they don’t speak, or they can’t speak, or they’re silenced or they’re afraid to speak, and I have no problem with speaking. So for me, I want poetry to be an outlet to educate others, or I want people to hear a poem I wrote and say, ‘I learned something from that,’ and I want it to be captivating so it’s more of like a story that I’m telling, and it’s interesting.” Nicole Ortega, a junior professional music and songwriting major at Berklee College of Music, writes and sings words that come from emotions within, flowing naturally in a feeling she described as “right.” Ortega intends for people to relate to her music, crafting words that can be interpreted by anyone’s individual mind. “I want people to feel safe and comfortable and at the same time, you know, enjoy themselves with it, whatever it is...not dwelling on it,” said Ortega. “Just kind of enjoying the feeling and letting go, and just being you and just accepting what it is and feeling safe and feeling like you.” Ortega pursued Berklee, knowing the need she had for a musical career; however, she had never been surrounded by so many others similarly entranced by music. The environment she finds herself in now has affected her drastically, altering the way she sees the world around her. When Ortega travels home now, she misses those she encircles herself with at Berklee, who immerse themselves in music and feel it
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the way she does. What is it like to exist within such a community? “Kind of like walking into a candy store. You’re like a seven-year-old little kid, and you’re walking into a candy store, and you’re like, ‘holy shit, there’s so much fucking candy,’” said Ortega. “‘I want to eat this forever and ever and ever.’ It’s like that feeling, I think.” Max Lin, a sophomore business of creative enterprises major at Emerson College, discovered his love of filmmaking in high school. On his instagram, @xamnil, Lin posts short-form video content, including a series called “Experimenting,” which Lin referred to as “his baby.” “Experimenting No. 1” was created during a time when his brother borrowed and took his hard drive to college, stripping Lin of all footage for editing. The project consists of anything Lin could find on his computer to create. “I wanted to edit something...not because I need to, but because I’m genuinely, like, this is what I do for fun, and also,
I just love doing it,” said Lin. “I was like, wow, I feel empty inside because I haven’t touched Adobe Premiere in like a week.” Lin is now on “Experimenting No. 14,” following his philosophy of each video being either different or better than the last. Lin’s major is driven by his goal of owning a company and creating music videos, which he views as professional-level “Experimenting” videos. Lin is drawn to their form of storytelling and capacity for creativity. He has begun a start-up called GÜM, with the tagline “flavor that sticks,” stemming from the concept of wanting his content to stay with a person. “I don’t want someone to ever watch one of my videos and just be like, ‘oh yeah, that was cool, swipe.’ I want somebody to watch it and be like, ‘woah, remember when Max made this video? Like, it did the cool little eye thing or whatever?’” said Lin. “See, that’s the cool stuff to me, because you get to inspire people and they just randomly think about it, and then it’ll foster some sort of feeling within you.” For Jack Isacke, a junior visual media arts major at Emerson College, creating found its way to the forefront of his mind after arriving at Emerson, a hub for artistic minds. Isacke described his freshman year suitemates encouraging him to purchase tools such as a film camera and a keyboard. One of Isacke’s most recent projects was a music video for a song his friend Mackenzie Morris wrote and performed. Isacke noted the impact he and Morris’s friendship had on him artistically. “He alone was one of the big reasons I started getting into stuff more, ’cause finding someone else who also can’t stop thinking about making art all the time is really cool. ’Cause then you can talk to someone about it, and make stuff with them, and make music together, shoot his photos for him,” said Isacke. Out of all the outlets Isacke has used to create, he has found film photography to be the most fervently interesting form of art. Initially, Isacke said he questioned what the hell he was doing while working
with film photography, confused about the time and energy it consumed. “The reason I kept doing it was because it drew me in so much,” recalled Isacke. Especially now, when you can have all these super nice, fancy cameras, and like, even your phone shoots crazy photos: you can go out and take like a thousand, right, and then you pick the best one for Instagram or whatever, and you can edit it and all that stuff. Film was the first time where I was like, wow. I really have to — like, it costs money to get a roll, and I wanna save — I have to choose exactly what I want, and you have to pick the exact moment and then you do it, and then it’s like that, it’s gone, and you don’t see it until you then go through the process of developing and scanning. And I think that...I love it, that slow process, I love that. That slow process is really therapeutic for me, it’s like my favorite thing to do, I think, to just be in that process.” As a child, drawing was the only thing oil painter Masha Keryan could sit still for. After graduating from Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2016, she spent time worrying about backup plans if her art didn’t work out. In the summer of 2019, after turning 24, Keryan leaped into art full time. “I am a strong believer in purpose, that everybody comes here with a certain purpose. And that purpose does not have to be this specific talent,” said Keryan. “So from that perspective, I think we’re all born with natural inclinations to contribute to our purpose. A lot of times we don’t realize it, and we just go with a path that’s given to us; or, you know, our environment, like, okay, go to college, get this job’” Andres Giraldo, similar to Keryan, is both a Massachusetts College of Art and Design alumnus and an oil painter. In addition to his passion for painting, Giraldo also enjoys salsa dancing. His love of both was fostered through their presence in his childhood. Giraldo prepared himself for the life of a struggling artist with some dancing on the side; however, he found himself successfully co-owning a dance studio, Salsa Y Control, with painting being put to the side instead. With his newfound time amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, he began to paint again.
“The good thing about being an artist is it trains you never to give up, because your art is like that: the creativity never ends,” said Giraldo. Giraldo’s artistic oil strokes are often inspired by salsa dancing, as his two artistic passions feed into one another. I found his colorful, lively images on the Instagram account he began for his paintings in January, @andresgiraldoart. In terms of dance, Giraldo has attained his dream of owning his own studio. In terms of painting, he is excited to reconnect with the community of all kinds of artists. “I love talking to artists. I love being around people that love art and can support art in a way...it’s such a, you know—brings people together. You can see different peoples’ creative minds, you can see peoples’ inspirations, expressions,” said Giraldo. For this piece, I focused on those with creative, artistic passions. I am not a painter, a videographer, a photographer, a musician, or a dancer. But I, similar to Litim, have fallen in love with making words sound beautiful. I am not a poet nor a performer, but I feel the cadence of words when I put my pen on paper or my fingers on a keyboard. I chose my subjects because their art sparks something in my brain, because I identify myself as a creator, because I identify words as art. The story I wanted to tell was of passion, yet it is less about passion than it is about those whose passion drives them to this vein of art and creation.
Buy the Lingerie...
Give a girl a matching bra and panty set, and she can take on the world. Well, that’s how I felt anyway, as I looked in the mirror admiring my new powder blue bra and panties from Victoria’s Secret. Up until this moment, I never really put much thought into my undergarments; I usually just bought bras and thongs from Aerie that I thought were cute and comfortable. If I found a thong to match the bra I was wearing, great; if not, no big deal. Men certainly didn’t notice and, at the time, neither did I. But after looking at myself in the mirror, I couldn’t remember a time where I felt more sexy, confident, or comfortable. Once you feel beautiful and have confidence, you tend to think you are worthy and start to love your own body without the need for validation from others. If someone is seeking to feel more confident with their appearance, the first things they will generally gravitate towards are makeup, a new hairstyle, or trendy clothing. These are all great, and
for yourself. By Erin Renzi
Representation of all types of bodies in the media have definitely paved the way for more self love. Lingerie stores such as Savage X Fenty and Aerie have begun to diversify their models in recent years. Only seeing tall and thin models in magazines and billboards can make self love difficult, because not many people have a body that looks like a supermodel’s. Seeing shorter bodies, curvier bodies, plus sized bodies, bodies with cellulite, and bodies with stretch marks modeling undergarments can help show many women that they too can rock a sexy pair of panties or a lacy bra. While we definitely have more work when it comes to seeing models who represent all body types, this is a step in the right direction. However, many lingerie companies still perpetuate the idea that sexy undergarments have to be worn for someone else. As a former sales associate for Victoria’s Secret, I noticed that ad campaigns and new lines of lingerie were pushed out during the holiday season and Valentine’s Day, with the idea that wearing fancy
lingerie can be a great gift for your sexual partner. There’s no denying that putting on a lace bodysuit or a brand new bra and panty set for your partner to see in bed is fun, and can even make you feel more confident. But there’s no reason you can’t purchase lingerie to wear under your clothes when you know no one will see them. Loving your body while wearing a hot set of bra and panties for yourself will only help to grow your confidence and sense of self love. Boudoir photoshoots in professional studios and even one’s own bedroom have become popularized through social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok. Oftentimes, these pictures are gifted to a sexual partner or posted online for
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It’s important now more than ever to dress and feel sexy for yourself. Due to the pandemic, it’s no secret that many of our normal routines have been put on hold: the dating scene looks quite different, getting dinner with friends doesn’t happen as often, and parties have come to a halt. Most people are working remotely, and so getting dressed to go to the office may not be necessary. Because of this, it’s really easy to wear clothes that are comfortable, not necessarily clothes you feel particularly confident or beautiful in. There’s no need to feel uncomfortable while working or attending classes from home, but trust me, throw on a matching bra and thong under your lounge clothes, and you will instantly feel more sexy and appreciative of your body. Because we live in such a hypersexualized society, harmful stereotypes come with wearing lingerie. A young woman might choose to wear a thong or lace panties because of their comfort and practicality, but it is viewed as inherently sexual. Even if a woman is wearing lingerie as an act of self love and as a means of embracing her own sexuality, people may view it as a means of her trying to increase her sex appeal. I believe that the only way to combat this narrative is to continuously discuss how wearing lingerie can help encourage one to love themself more. I am not saying putting on fancy lingerie will eliminate all of the insecurities you may have or make you love every part of your body right away. There are many days that I struggle to feel confident in my own skin; working on loving your body is a never-ending journey. Some days I feel
The Mystical & the nostalgic.
When our physical reality feels limited, we tend to crave escape into realms of freedom, creativity, exploration and perhaps even magic. Consuming media and certain art forms can often provide us with the ability to mentally transcend reality and temporarily relieve the limits placed upon us by external forces, lending us a hand in understanding ourselves. Despite how its mundanity can feel as if it will drone on forever, the current state of reality has led our generation to incorporate the surreal and the wistful into our self-expression. We can bring these fantasies into our realities without necessarily needing to immerse ourselves in novels, books, movies or video games; dressing ourselves like we do characters and avatars is a way of experiencing fantasy through a wearable creative lens. The world of fashion has begun to blossom further with a longing for the fantastical, the dramatic, the elegant and the dreamy. Social media has made visible, magical offshoots of style such as fairy or elf inspired fashion, Regency era outfits and clothing reminiscent of nostalgia for the early 2000s. From hyperpop and pink outfits to woodland grunge, the lines between fashion and costume have begun to blur, leading to a wider range of style possibilities with more hyper-specific associations. One particular example is the famous “Strawberry Dress” by designer Lirika Matoshi, which took the internet by storm during the spring and summer months of 2020. Elf ears, fairy wings, ear cuffs and flowy long skirts paired with leg warmers and faux fur lined jackets invoke the enchanted forests of fantasy worlds. With 235,000 followers, TikTok user @darciadele dons iridescent green fairy wings in many of her videos paired with elf ears and garments in green, white and brown hues. Similarly, cottagecore style focuses on flowy dresses, florals, gingham, peasant tops, wicker accessories and vintage earrings. Lauren, @enchanted_noir on Tiktok, embodies a cottagecore fairy by donning beautiful, airy pieces. These styles conjure daydreams By kaitlyn joyner
Rather than turning to fantasy worlds for a sense of wonder, some have found comfort in the nostalgia of Rococo and classical fashion. Elegant corsets, slips and gowns also take the stage as some prefer to embrace their dreams of the Renaissance and Regency eras. This fascination can perhaps be traced to the popularity of both Bridgerton and Portrait of a Lady on Fire. However, key staples, such as corsets, are being integrated into a variety of styles, such as grunge. Tiktok user Lianee Calvo, @b4kuh0e5, is just one of many individuals to put an alternative twist on a typically prim and proper clothing piece using layering and accessories. Calvo can be seen pairing corsets with a cheetah print coat and earmuffs, putting a 2000’s esque remix on a period staple. Nostalgia is not limited to distant eras and ballgowns; many people have been drawn back to 90s and early 2000s fashion. Especially in quarantine, many young people have regressed to styles that are reminiscent of their childhood, a time when things may have felt far simpler and brighter. Low rise pants have made a comeback in some capacity, to many people’s dismay and oth-
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In terms of adhering to any one aesthetic, many people have begun to dabble in multiple, specific styles rather than limiting themselves to one sole form of expression. Dressing in all pink one day doesn’t mean you can’t embrace more grunge styles the next. For example, Morris embraces not only Lolita fashion, but cottagecore, dark academia, classical goth and grunge. In fact, most people don’t align strictly with one subculture of fashion on any given day. Mixing and matching is encouraged, and low rise jeans can be paired with corsets, despite how rigid the lines might feel. There is joy to be found in inhabiting different possibilities and quite literally wearing your visions. This experience can be cathartic for those grappling with gender identity and expression, especially for those who are trans, non-binary or questioning. To find fluidity or magic in clothing is a beautiful way for anyone to begin to navigate their self-expression and identity. The ability to experiment with style is not something to be taken for granted. Capitalism rules the fashion industry today, and because the brands that make our clothes have capitalist interests, the clothes that they create and market are often clothes that uphold the very standards we all seek escape from. “I think that, under modern day global capitalism, a lot of people feel completely burnt out and disconnected from their appearance and the things they put on their body,” Morris states. “The idea of dressing in a way that creates a sense of wonder and joy is such a radical change from that, and I’m really glad that it’s getting a cultural moment. Like, if you don’t dress like a fairy princess when you feel like it, when will you get to do so otherwise?”
We have begun to reconnect with our inner child, tapping into our imagination in ways that allow us to redefine ourselves and the limits placed on us. Self-exploration through different settings, eras and possibilities of magic have broken down boundaries and worries of appearing too gaudy. And, embracing childlike wonder can allow us to create fantasy worlds for ourselves to bring about a sense of otherworldliness as the world grows stranger around us. There is comfort, bliss, freedom and
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Crafting an Income with Creativity Many of us have likely taken up new hobbies since the start of the pandemic, but some students took this to the next level. It should come as no surprise that at a creative-centric school like Emerson, some students channel their talent into a form of extra income. Last year, over 4.4 million new businesses were created, a 26.9 percent increase from 2019, according to data from the U.S. Business Formation Statistics. So while some students were confined to their homes, people like Tayla Dixon and Eryn McCallum were creating their own small businesses. Dixon, a jewelry maker, began creating at the beginning of the pandemic. She started out by making waist beads and other pieces for herself. Eventually, after realizing she had extra supplies, she created a Depop page (@okok_tay) last semester to sell some of her pieces. Her clients are primarily Emerson students. Dixon makes waist beads, earrings, necklaces, bracelets and anklets with primarily crystals and beads.
The sophomore business of creative enterprises major had never made jewelry prior to quarantine, but it came naturally to her. “I’m a pretty crafty person,” Dixon said. “When I was younger, I would go on YouTube and find little projects, like making slime or making little polymer clay sculptures.”” The shop is not Dixon’s main priority, so she mainly focuses on marketing through Instagram stories and encouraging her friends to do the same. Because her main demographic is Emerson students, she says it’s easy for her to deliver the products to students on campus. Going forward, Dixon hopes to expand her product line. “I started thinking about making rings. I saw someone who made clay rings that were trending, and I think that’d be so fun to make, and I have some clay already,” she said. Junior journalism student Eryn McCallum found inspiration for her necklace business during a meeting for Protesting Oppression with Educational Reform
(POWER), where Director of Student Accessibility Services Diane Paxton said she was making pillowcases as holiday gifts. McCallum thought that creating homemade gifts was more sentimental and less expensive than buying store-bought gifts. When thinking of what she could make, McCallum was also inspired by her friend Jalyn Cox’s jewelry brand Raw Intention. McCallum had crystals already, so she began making wire-wrapped crystal necklaces in December for gifts and selling them in late January. Since McCallum began selling her necklaces through her Instagram page (@necklacesbyeryn), she’s had a variety of customers, including her friends at Emerson, her friends from home in Chicago and even people she hasn’t talked to since high school. One challenge she’s encountered so far is finding the right price for her products, as she found she was not charging enough at the beginning. “When I first started, I was only charging $10 per neck-
Having a creative team has made communication smoother, which has led to a stronger line of communication between staff members. Malicdem emphasized that the focus in creating for PieFace is someone showing their interest: “It’s the most important thing. It’s important to have dedication. I’m super grateful because everyone so far has been really open for collaboration.” Malicdem remarked that PieFace is flexible to the needs of the staff, since when it comes down to it, PieFace is for fun. “It’s a place for Emerson students to express what they value, as we’re all just trying to figure out what we want to do with our life.”
Malicdem has an extremely unique voice in her writing. When reading her articles, you can tell it’s her, even though you may not necessarily know her. When I asked her about this, she remarked that she had actually heard this before from her professors. She usually is asked who her literary and journalistic inspirations are, and never knows how to answer. She doesn’t really have any hard-hitting journalistic inspirations, revealing that her writing style developed through musicians and how they express their feelings through songwriting. Malicdem, just like so many Emerson students, is a force to be reckoned with. Her unique artistic expressions all emphasize her personal voice in a multitude of formats. Her talent, creativity and passion are truly exemplified in her writing.
“Malicdem, just like so many Emerson students, is a force to be reckoned with.”
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Another medium that I explored was Fettucine, a zine created by Noah Schulte and Christine Park. According to their website, Fettucine is “a multi-platform artistic zine focused on giving a voice to our generation. Through editorials, photoshoots, and dorm-ready pasta recipes, we hope to express the unique experiences and perspectives of our friends and peers.” The general idea of Fettucine is to “create a space to let creatives do their thing,” and that’s exactly what they do. Fettucine explores a multitude of themes through mediums such as poetry, prose and photography. Fettucine creates a space for all creatives, especially Emerson students. Park, co-founder of Fettucine, noted that the inspiration behind its inception was having a sudden urge to create a writing platform. Park explained, “At first it was an urge to create a political opinion website of sorts, but that was swept under the rug for a bit. And when quarantine happened, Noah and I decided to bring back the idea of Fettucine, but make it into something that would be a way for us to express ourselves creatively instead of limiting ourselves to one specific topic.” Something that you notice right away when stumbling across Fettucine is the aesthetic. Park mentioned that aesthetics are something that she’s extremely passionate about, and enjoys having the creative freedom to make what she wants, when she wants it.
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“With running your own publication, you take on a lot more responsibility than what you expected, and doing everything from planning photoshoot dates or publishing stories or laying out the zine in general can be exhausting and rewarding at the same time,” Park said. Park would define Fettucine as “one of a kind.” She recalled that when she bought the domain for their website, she misspelled “fettuccine,” typing “fettucine” instead. “I honestly think it adds to the charm of the whole publication. It’s not necessarily put together in the sense that everything looks the same: we want anyone to create anything they desire without putting a limit on their creative freedom. We do things from FaceTime photoshoots to writing about sports media to publishing poem after poem. We encourage all sorts of creativity, and I think this limitless aspect of the zine really adds to the overall charm. As for the future? Who knows. But for now, we’re just having fun running it.” There’s truly a creative place for everyone, inside and outside of Emerson. The choice to create a publication outside of Emerson is a riskier one. Having to create your own budget, seeking out staff and guest writers and deciding on what the ultimate aesthetic and purpose of your work is a massive responsibility. However, being independent from Emerson has its own advantages. In having their own publication, creatives can truly be free. They won’t be representing Emerson College, they’ll be representing themselves as artists. With the association to Emerson gone, possible pressures and fears dissipate. It’s possible that pieces that are created outside of Emerson are more reminiscent of the student experience than ones published by Emerson-supported clubs. Either way, both PieFace and Fettucine are beautifully crafted mediums of artistic expression, that work towards capturing the inner workings of a student’s voice.
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“When I first started, I was only charging $10 per necklace, and I realized that wasn’t really yielding me any profit, so I was kind of making a ton of necklaces for a cheaper price because I felt bad, like I didn’t want to increase my prices, and I didn’t think my skills were good enough yet,” she said. “I had to have a lot of pep talks from a lot of friends who were like, ‘You can charge as much as you want, Eryn, people will buy it.’” Like Dixon, McCallum has plans to expand her range of products, since her main focus now is necklaces. “A lot of people have asked me if I make earrings, and I also get asked if I make anklets and rings, so I want to start making those,” McCallum said. “It’s definitely not going to be necklaces only because there’s demand for other stuff.” Since her shop is temporarily closed to restock products, McCallum hopes that with the reboot, the brand will expand. She’s also considering selling through a website like Etsy to increase her reach. At Emerson, everyone has a creative side that sets them apart from others. So if you have a talent or passion, consider creating your own small business. After all, the Dunkin’ coffees won’t pay for themselves.
illustration by Sophie Droster
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illustration by Natasha Arnowitz