ISSUE 20, FEBRUARY 2010
an official harvard college student publication
the valentineâ€™s day mini-issue
INSIDE: gift ideas, date ideas, a voice crush, sex ed, and more...
2 FEBRUARY the voice President, Editor In Chief, Alisha Ramos ‘12 Executive Editor, Liyun Jin ‘12 Features Director, Qichen Zhang ‘12 Voiceover Director, Sara Plana ‘12 Lifestyle Director, Suzanna Bobadilla ‘13 The Dish Director Emeritus, Charlotte Austin ‘11 Web Director, Ingrid Pierre ‘12 Associate Web Directors Kathleen French ‘13 Graham Simpson ‘13 Director of Photography, Emily Xie ‘12 Associate Director of Photography, Grace Sun ‘13 Photo Board Comp Director, Sasha Mironov ‘13 Associate Photographers Nikki Anderson ‘10 Sasha Mironov ‘13 Staff Writers Bonnie Cao ‘12 Crystal Coser ‘12 Kathleen French ‘13 Liyun Jin ‘12 John Paul Jones ‘12 Molly O’Donnell ‘12 Ingrid Pierre ‘12 Bella Wang ‘12 Henry Woodward-Fisher ‘12 New Initiatives Director, Simone Zhang ‘12 Design Director, Melissa Wong ‘12 Social Director, Katie McNicol ‘12 IT Chair, Ben Berman ‘12 Business Board Co-Directors Brian Shen ‘11 Margarita Krivitski ‘11
the voice LETTER FROM THE EDITOR:
Love, Love, Love, We Want Your Love
don’t really remember how I spent Valentine’s Day last year. I’m pretty sure I spent most of the day avoiding the Square like the plague--middle-aged men with flustered looks and bouquets in hand were flittering here and there, God bless them--and hibernating in my room, Gchatting with friends about how annoying the holiday was. This of course had nothing to do with the fact that I was recovering from a severely broken heart (or so I thought at the time). Not at all. I posted an anti-Valentine’s Day song on my blog (“Never Gonna Happen” by Lily Allen, in case you’re curious). Yeah, I had become one of those girls--the girl so embittered by unrequited love that she shunned every couple in sight and wanted to throw up at the stupid sight of stupid men carrying around a bunch of stupid roses. But that was then! One year later and my love (or like) is still very much unrequited (or nonexistent), yet I’m not so bitter anymore. As Harvard FML constantly reminds us, none of us really have the whole relationship thing down. I mean, do they even exist here? We’re all just really awkward girls and boys who attempt to interact with one another and it all ends up being a huge failure (see: isawyouharvard.com). But I digress. Valentine’s Day should not just be for show-
ing your lover some, uh, love, but also for showing your friends and family (and maybe strangers too...?) how much you love them too! Send them flowers, gifts, a thoughtful card, candy, whatever...to show that you care. This issue is dedicated to both factions of the Harvard student body: those lucky and normal enough to find partners, and those who are normal enough not to. From fancy date restaurant ideas to picking out that special gift for your lover/would-be lover/person-you-stalk to ideas for singe ladies (and men), this miniissue covers it all. The issue also covers a love so much more important and meaningful than any other love: the love that is required to take a moment and reach out to help those who are in need in Haiti. Sara Plana does a wonderful job covering the Harvard for Haiti initiative, and I hope the entire Harvard community decides to help in any way they can. On another note, I’d like to announce that The Voice is gearing up for its Spring Comp. If you like what we do or if you’re curious as to what we’re all about, stop by our Comp Meetings this week, and show us some love! Because we love you.
Alisha Ramos ‘12 president, editor-in-chief
Table of Contents FRONT MATTER
Letter from the Editor, p. 2 Calendar of Events, p. 3
See the lucky winner of our February Makeover Contest, p. 9
Anne Hathaway’s snowy Hasty Pudding parade, p. 16
Sex Toys, p. 5-6 Top 10 Gifts for Your Significant Other, p. 11-12
V-Day Makeover at Carriage House, p. 9-10
Voice Crushes, p. 8 Guffawed Graffiti, p. 13 Top 10 Date Spots and Ideas in Cambridge and Boston, p. 14
ISSUE 20, FEBRUARY 2010
Un-FYL, p. 4 Single-d Out, p. 7
Woman of the Year, p. 16
see our website at thehvoice.com for past issues
Upcoming Events in February February 11
Harvard Cancer Society Valentine's Day Date Auction Tommy Doyle's 6:30PM-10:00PM The Vagina Monologues at Harvard College Agassiz Theater 8:00PM-10:00PM Harvard Thinks Big Sanders Theater 8:00PM-10:00PM
Voice Comp Meeting #2 Bullitt Room, Quincy House 1:00PM
Frankly My Dear, I Don't Give a Jam Sanders Theater 8:00PM-10:00PM
Harvard for Haiti Benefit Concert Sanders Theater 7:00PM-9:00PM
Voice Comp Meeting #1 Holworthy Common Room 8:00PM-9:00PM
Senior Night at the Hasty Pudding Show "Commie Dearest" New College Theater 8:00PM-10:30PM
Women's Basketball v. Brown University "Pink Zone" - raising breast cancer awareness Lavietes Pavilion 6:00PM
Best of Harvard FML: “The best part about Super Bowl Sunday is the HUDS menu. FML”
ISSUE 20, JANUARY 2010
-iquette Edition by Molly O’Donnell ‘12
The Situation (not of Jersey Shore fame): “I was lying in bed with my boyfriend. His ex-girlfriend called. He picked up. FML” - Harvard FML
ny “ex situation” can be awkward, especially when she’s wrecking your night from 500 miles away. Get mad? You’re psychotic. Ignore it? You become the ex. How to find the happy medium and avoid becoming the nagging girlfriend? The Voice is here to help.
First off, consider that his answering the phone is definitely a little weird. In a survey of over 225 Harvard students, 182 wouldn’t have answered the call. Consensus seems to be that it’s perfectly normal to chat with your ex a couple times a month or even once or twice a week (not counting the 11 percent who responded that they “hate the bastard”). However, picking up when he’s in bed with you borders on some seriously insensitive territory.
Good news for you: Of those who would pick up, only 8 percent still like their ex and 11 percent are admittedly just insensitive. The vast majority of people are still friendly with their ex or indiscriminately answer the phone.
Bad news for him: When respondents were asked how they would feel if the tables were turned, 50 percent would think that their significant other liked the ex and 21 percent would think that he or she just didn’t care. So what seems like “Hello?” to him might come across as “Hey babay” to you when you’re awkwardly waiting for his ex to get a life/hang up the phone.
What to Do: For the Ladies: Tell him that you’re really not feeling the late-night phone calls. If he wants to talk to his ex, normal business hours seem appropriate. It’s fine that they’re still friends, but not so much when she’s interrupting some of the best alone time a couple has. If you really suspect a problem, ask how he feels about her calling so late or why he picked up—who knows? It might have been just a misunderstanding. If not, there are 28 people who would like you to dump him and move on. (They don’t play.)
For the Gents: Try to pry yourself away from your blackberry. We know it’s hard, but leaving it on your desk for the night would show her that you care about her feelings and less about your drunk-dialing ex. Or if you’re really too bored with your current gal to need someone else to chat with… well that’s a problem you should probably deal with ASAP.
Put briefly, stow all electronics safely in your carry-on luggage… and please, don’t be that guy.
ISSUE 20, FEBRUARY 2010
D E X E S
e ... m s a y o G T s i x h e at T y a l Part 3: S P n a Two C
by Lena Chen ‘10 and Christine Yu (MIT)
exually adventurous as I am, I managed to talk a partner into trying out a vibrating cock ring. From his initial hesitation, I should’ve known better. All the literature out there talks up the benefits for both partners. Guys get the sensation and satisfaction of extending their orgasm, whereas girls get effortless clitoral and g-spot orgasms. Maybe our cock ring was broken, but my partner and I spent 45 minutes of going at it before realizing that we were both faking it. If anything, the toy just drowned out our phony moans with its annoying buzz. Since then, I’ve avoided toys for two. They’re supposed to add adventure and sensation to the bedroom, but they don’t all work for every couple. Part of the problem is that many couples’ toys only come in once size. Attention toymakers: Vaginas aren’t all alike. Then again, most couples’ toys can also be used solo. Guys can rock the cock ring on their own, and devices such as the WeVibe are pleasureable even without a partner. Thus, they’re a great investment even if you’re single. Beyond toys, body supplies like sensual massage oils and powders, or chocolate body paint stimulate extra your other senses in the bedroom. You could use these products solo as well, but that would be depressing. With Valentine’s Day approaching, reviews for couples’ products seemed appropriate. After my cock ring incident, I’ve learned not to use men as my guinea pigs, so I tested the products (except for the massage oils) by myself. Lena, though, tested them with her partner. --Christine
CHRISTINE: The Tuyo ($64.99), upon first glance, doesn’t look like a sex toy; it looks a futuristic pod gadget. Big Teaze is a company known for its “sillier” designs, such as the I Rub My Duckie. However, they created a line called B3 for those who like their toys to be more sophisticated. Lena and I previously reviewed the Onye, and the Tuyo is part of the same collection. Both came in beautiful satin-lined boxes, and in both cases, I Design: D wanted to like the product because of the packaging. But the Tuyo shares Efficacy: C the same flaw with the Onye: It has one clicker that cycles through the different speeds, and it’s impossible to backtrack. Even though the eight speeds feel pleasant, the circular toy’s radius seem too great for comfortable use, with or without a helper. LENA: Enclosed in a satin-covered case, the Tuyo doesn’t disappoint when it comes to presentation — but that doesn’t make the device look any less like a pool ball. Luckily, it doesn’t feel like one. Lightweight and equipped with three speeds and five vibration patterns, the Tuyo is a buzzing ball that fits as easily on a palm as on a vagina. When I tried out the toy on my own, I found the Tuyo easy to handle by rolling it with my palm. But when it came to getting me off, the Tuyo just couldn’t finish the job on its own. Design: B Though it is technically suitable for couples, the Tuyo doesn’t feel as Efficacy: Bcomfortable when two are playing. Try as we might, my partner and I couldn’t find a way to cradle the Tuyo between his testicles without him getting ticklish. Though I’m open-minded, there’s only so much you can do with a flawed concept. This is the first spherical sex toy I’ve ever tried, and sadly, I think it’s going to be the last.
photos by David Templeton “15 degrees, 4:30 AM, shuttle launch cancelled. FML”
ISSUE 20, JANUARY 2010
CHRISTINE: The We-Vibe presents the option of both internal and external stimulation for solo or partner use. The first edition ($130) offers two speeds, but the second edition ($85-$95) gives you nine. It’s controlled by two grooves in the top center, by pushing the left groove, it gives one speed; to stop it, push the right groove, and vice versa. This allows the user to control the speeds easily, which is ideal for couples play. It’s great for solo use as it allows for hands-free stimulation of two regions. However, the biggest issue I have with the We-Vibe is that for Design: B such a pricey toy, it seems incredibly Efficacy: B flimsy. The company gives you a carrying case that seems like an eyeglass hardcase. I don’t believe I’ve ever been afraid that I’d break a sex toy. LENA: One of the only toys on the market designed especially for couples, the We-Vibe performs equally well in mutual and solo play. Despite its diminutive size, the We-Vibe delivers powerful vibrations, and remains flexible enough to be used alongside penetrative intercourse. One end can be inserted inside the vagina while the other provides external stimulation. While the mechanics of solo enjoyment are pretty self-explanatory, using the We-Vibe with a partner takes some getting used to. There’s definitely enough room down there to fit two, but since orifices vary by size, this toy may be better suited for those with roomier openings. As a petite Asian gal, I didn’t think the We-Vibe felt uncomfortable, but the constant Design: B+ readjusting was a bit annoying. The We-Vibe is also rechargeable, Efficacy: B but unfortunately, my first-generation toy only survived a few sessions before I broke the charging mechanism. I have high hopes for the newest version.
Kama Sutra body oils and paints
CHRISTINE: Kama Sutra markets products that aren’t just for lovemaking. Instead, many of their products focus on bodily intimacy, like massages and other foreplay events. They all come with a glorious scent, and they’re incredibly well-made. Their Oils of Love (14.99) work exceptionally well for back massages, along with their Honey Dust Body Powder (22.99). I wish, though, that their oils were packaged better. You just get a bottle with a cork, which can lead to messy re-openings. Their Honey Dust Body Powder comes with a feather, which makes application easier, and it comes packaged within a plastic bag and then satin pouch to prevent mess. Their Lover’s Body Paint (11.99) is tasty, and it comes in three flavors: milk chocolate, dark chocolate raspberry, and rich caramel. (Though I admit I refuse to mix food and sex because of the mess.) Their Body Soufflé ($17.99) is Overall: A rich, luxurious lotion that smells delectable. These products are somewhat difficult to find, and ordering them online seems to be the way to go, as I haven’t seen any of these in sex shops around Boston.
t to à la mode!
n From at Lamo
15% OFF of all services 33 Church Street (2nd Floor, above Starbucks)
Harvard Square ISSUE 20, FEBRUARY 2010
LENA: If you’re going to incorporate food into your bedroom routine, then be prepared to shell out a little extra for quality products. This isn’t one area where you’ll want to cut corners. Kama Sutra is one line of intimacy products that won’t make your nether regions break out in a mysterious rash, but the price point is a bit higher than Cool Whip (or whatever it is that people put on their bodies during sex). Kama Sutra’s Body Soufflé, a decadent massage cream, comes in a variety of yummy-sounding flavors (vanilla, chocolate, mint, and strawberry), though it smells much better than it tastes. If you don’t have a back to rub, it can also double as an extra moisturizing lotion. The Oils of Love and the Honey Dust Overall: ABody Powder, my favorite product, are also great for massage, though the former has no warming properties. The latter is created from actual honey and has a pleasant sweet taste without being sticky.
by Suzanna Bobadilla ‘13
ell, it’s come around again. The excessive amount of red hearts, cut-out Cupids, and saccharine and sappy cards can get a little frustrating, to put it lightly, if you’re single. It’s easy DO: Call a family member or close friend that you haven’t spoke to in a while. Chances are they won’t be asking to dig yourself into a hole of selfany questions that would quickly bring you back into pity-land and they’ll be touched that you thought of them. Yeah, Valentine’s pity, but trying to jump back Day isn’t usually thought of as a time to declare your love for mom, but surprise her. To be honest, if this is your best option, it might be good out is easier said than karma. done. Here are some suggestions to keep you Consumption: Considerations: sane. DON’T: Call, text, email, Facebook, Skype, smoke signal, candy gram, or sky-write your ex-significant other. Seriously. Don’t. Unlike other holidays, Valentine’s Day doesn’t leave a lot of room for “just friends” well wishing. If you really want to see how your ex-flame is doing without dredging up unpleasant memories, wait a few days.
DON’T: Eat an entire box of chocolates by yourself. If you were feeling bad before you untied that ribbon, I can promise you that looking at that empty box is only going to bloat that feeling. DO: Pop that lid, swallow your selfishness, and share with your friends. Also, playing the always popular “Find the Grossest Type of Chocolate” game is a perennial hit.
DON’T: Wait until the last minute to talk to your roommates about their plans for the night. Just because you’re single doesn’t mean they will be by the end of the night. DO: If they have someone special that they are thinking about inviting back to your room, find out if you are going to be sexiled before anyone leaves. Be accommodating, but stand your ground. Yes, it is your space, but don’t spoil your roommate’s night. That’s also not classy.
Calendar: DON’T: Answer any invitations to go on a date with a time stamp of after 9 p.m. College times do run about an hour later than those times beyond our bubble, but if that person really wanted to have a great night with you, they should have figured things out earlier. In other words, say no to booty calls. It’s not classy. DO: Make your own plans! If a bunch of your friends don’t have candlelit dinner plans, organize a group outing. Take a break from HUDS and have a movie night with takeout. Dress up, jump on the T, and head into Boston. Whatever you do, don’t stay in. Being passive and waiting for someone to call is stressful and more often than not leads to disappointment. Being pro-active will get you out of your lonely dorm room and help distract you from the single life.
And finally: DON’T: Take V-Day too seriously. We’ve all been there when it seems like all those cutesy plush animals are staring you down and the flowers in other people’s romancin’ hands are sinister-looking, but it’s only one day of the year. Before you know it, it’ll be February 15th and we can celebrate Susan B. Anthony’s birthday in style. DO: Survive it. In the process, you might realize some people you care about and who care about you. (We all know bitterness brings Harvard kids together.)
“Seeing that the dormcrew people signed as “Squirtle and Weedle” after cleaning our bathroom was the best part of my day. Seriously. FML” ISSUE
20, JANUARY 2010
8 THE DISH
the voice ““the sensitive one”
February's Voice Crush:
Harvard for Haiti by Sara Plana ‘12
aving an outdated winter schedule replaced with a semester that seemed crunched for time, Harvard undergrads rejoiced once the finals period madness concluded. During long, grueling hours clocked at Lamont or brutal dining hall group p-set sessions, we couldn’t think of anything beyond the Square. But when disaster struck in Haiti on January 12th of the new year, it didn’t take long for some of these same stressed students, who had for so long been absorbed by the demands of exam life, to step up for something—and someone—outside themselves. Armed with their organizational capabilities, students in groups like the Harvard Undergraduate Global Health Forum, Harvard Global Health and AIDS Coalition, Harvard Global Health Review, and Human Rights Advocates began contacting each other through an influx of emails in the hopes of pulling together to help their Haitian brothers. But Harvard College was not the only Harvard institution spurred into action. In fact, Cecil Haverkamp, Research Coordinator at the School of Public Health and founder of Student Alliance for Global Health at Harvard (SAGHAH)—an umbrella organization that oversees most of the global health-related groups in all Harvard institutions—as well as Kennedy School student Hummy Song and the current president of SAGHAH, Michael Hadley, were among those responsible for amassing such quick, efficient, and enthusiastic support. “It's a really diverse group that under normal circumstances would not engage or even know of each other despite shared interests in global health and development issues, but now are rallying around Haiti and the search for what we as a community and institution can do in support,” Haverkamp said. Their common interest and sense of urgency, as Michael Henderson ’11, co-editor-in-chief of the Global Health Review, mentioned, eased their ability to work together in a timely fashion, and allowed them to bypass logistical problems and turn their attention to the nitty gritty. For the diverse members of Harvard for Haiti, shopping period was not limited only to the hustle and bustle of class experimentation. Instead, this time was crucial for coordinating efforts on campus. After weeks of J-term planning on the internet, their plans had finally come to fruition, first with a supply drive (donations are being sent to Faith and Love in Action: faithandloveinaction.org), followed shortly by an Uno’s pizza-sponsored fundraiser, and culminating in a widely-supported benefit concert organized by Harvard students and the Office of Fine Arts to be held in Sanders Theatre on February 12. Its purpose will be to showcase Haitian culture and bring Harvard’s collective mind back to the suffering island. According to Nataliya Nedzhvetskaya ’13, aside from the more important goals of raising funds and donations for immediate effort on the ground in Haiti, one specific mission “is keeping Haiti in the minds of the Harvard community after the media buzz has died down.”
ISSUE 20, FEBRUARY 2010
After all, it’s sometimes dangerously easy to get trapped in the Harvard bubble, and to be ignorant of current events outside our comfortable Boston surroundings. Unfortunately, with a catastrophe like the one in Haiti, no one can afford to turn the other cheek. Hummy Song sees Harvard for Haiti as a crucial step in this direction. “We will be working to cement Harvard's commitment to Haiti, and to sustain awareness and student efforts over the coming weeks, months, and possibly years,” she said. Be on the lookout for upcoming events from this conglomeration of Harvard groups, and in the meantime, it can’t hurt to get involved. Cash is a much-needed commodity—you can check out a UC-sponsored Harvard for Haiti donation link, to be email-blasted about later—and support is just a click away at the convenient Harvard for Haiti Facebook group. In short, there isn’t any way you can’t help out. Plus, compassion and dedication are traits bound to impress the folks at home, and it should go without saying that Harvard for Haiti doesn’t lack either. So go right ahead, get as caught up in this as you want; Mama Voice approves.
graphic by Melissa Wong ‘12
Carriage House Makeover
photos and article by Bonnie Cao ‘12
ith a new year, a new semester, and Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it only seems fitting that a makeover revealing a new you be thrown into the mix as well. The Voice teamed up with the Carriage House Salon in Harvard Square, in our Valentine’s Day Makeover Contest, offering the lovely ladies on campus the chance to uncover their inner fierce, complete with a haircut, color, and makeup service valued at $200. Nominations streamed in, and from them rose our winner – Caroline Lowe ‘12. Caroline is a sophomore in Leverett House, concentrating in Folklore and Mythology – and that refers just as much to her academic pursuits as it did to her daily beauty regimen. “I got up, got dressed, brushed my hair, and sometimes did something with it … like put it in a ponytail,” says Lowe. After being offered tea, water, and a magazine, Lowe discussed her makeover with stylist extraordinaire Roberta Siamboulis. “I don’t really know much about make up or haircuts or anything of that kind,” Lowe admitted, so she entrusted most of the decision-making to Roberta. Having always kept her hair parted straight down the middle, Caroline requested simply for “something different,” finally agreeing on a more stylized haircut, some eyebrow shaping, and daytime makeup – perfect for her 1 o’clock class. Step one of Lowe’s Valentine’s Day makeover was the eyebrow shaping. Despite expecting the experience to be painful, Caroline described it
more as “like ripping off a band aid.” The plucking and tweezing that followed was a different story. Regardless, Lowe decided that it was overall “actually a decent experience,” and that she’d consider it again. Next came the haircut. After getting her hair washed, Lowemoved over to the barber chair, where Roberta began to work her magic – her selfproclaimed “favorite part.” Roberta first gave Lowe side bangs, snipping off a portion and angling it in the front. Next came layers, which Roberta subtly placed throughout so as to highlight Lowe’s natural highlights. After blow-drying the hair with the deft quickness of a round-brush and hairdryer-wielding cheetah, Lowe’s hair was both light and glossy, shining even in the warm lighting of the Carriage House Salon. After the haircut, Roberta twisted Lowe’s hair into a pseudo-bun, as she prepared for the final phase of the makeover – the makeup. She began by defining Lowe’s newly plucked eyebrows, darkening them with some dark brown eyeshadow, and lightly tracing them back to make them appear longer, and to enhance their new shape. Next, Roberta used a cosmetic sponge to apply a layer of foundation onto Lowe’s face, creating a subtle glow and flawless complexion. Then Roberta moved onto Lowe’s eyes, first putting on a layer of off-white eyeshadow, followed by dark reddish brown eyeshadow. As she
“I got up, got dressed, brushed my hair, and sometimes did something with it … like put it in a ponytail,” says Lowe.
Our favorite Carriage House Salon beauty expert Roberta gives some tips.
“I just got emotional watching clips of the Spice Girls reunion tour on youtube. FML ”
ISSUE 20, JANUARY 2010
the voice applied the darker eyeshadow with a small brush, Robert reminded us to always apply eye makeup from the outside corners of the eyes, and moving inward, to avoid having the eyeshadow look too heavy towards the inner portion of the eye. And to transform this daytime look to nighttime party makeup, Roberta recommended that all you need to do is apply a little bit of darker eyeshadow to the upper outer corners of the eyes – and voila! Our lucky winner would be ready for a night on the town! To finish up, Roberta applied blush to the apples of Lowe’s cheeks, and blended outwards, giving her a warm glow on an otherwise overcast day. The last step was to apply mascara to the lashes – “lots of mascara.” And with one last swipe from Roberta’s magical tube, Lowe’s makeover transformation was complete. “I love it – I love everything!” she exclaimed, as she analyzed her reflection. “I almost didn’t recognize myself,” she admitted. “It was like it was my body and my clothes from the neck down, but with someone else’s head,” she laughed.
Schedule your own makeover: Carriage House www.carriagehousesalon.com 33 Church Street Cambridge, MA 02138-3715
Did you know you can put blush on your neck? Neither did we.
PSSSST.... DID YOU KNOW? With the success of Harvard FML, many other Web 2.0, user-generated websites are springing up left and right. I Saw You Harvard is one good example of how our petty Harvard lives are being exhibited on the interwebs. But did you know that harvardtextsfromlastnight. com exists? The problem is, the website says that it is “coming soon.” Really? If you know anything about this, give us a holler at firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to know if this is the real deal or not. Until that website actually goes live, we can always occupy ourselves with the original textsfromlastnight. com. Here’s one that features Harvard: “i just heard one Asian kid say to another, “i bet if i could get into Harvard i could get laid all the time, my brother lost his virginity the first night there.” Uhh, right. Kid needs a reality check, or a more honest brother. photo by Grace Sun ‘13
ISSUE 20, FEBRUARY 2010
Gifts for Your Significant Other photo courtesy of Urban Outfitters Direct
by Kathleen French ‘13
alentine’s Day is tricky for gifts. There are those that are simply ambivalent towards the holiday, others outright hostile—but given corporate America’s ingenious scheme to make everyone go out for dinner, buy gratuitous chocolate for someone else (or yourself…just saying), and watch movies like 2010’s feature flick Valentine’s Day, starring every famous person and their mother, the holiday has become somewhat obligatory. Most people’s main concerns when buying a gift for their significant other are: Is this too much? Is this too little? Will he/she like this? Does this make me look over-the-top? Well, hopefully this guide can help you along in your search. It’s always best to start off with the ABSOLUTELY NOTS:
CARDINAL NO’S Nothing says, “I know nothing about you” like a gift card. Sure, it’s an easy gift—and it makes shopping for someone who is impossible to shop for even easier. Yet, it’s a cop out. It’s the cop-out of all Valentine’s Day cop-outs. The only time this is remotely acceptable is if you did something super romantic and the gift card is somehow attached to that. Then, it’s excusable. Sort of. This gift card “no” extends to what I like to call homemade life coupons, a.k.a. “free hug from me,” or “dinner on me.” Really, never do that. Ever.
$$$ CAN’T GO WRONGS A meaningful letter. I don’t care what anyone says, but there is nothing better than having something heartfelt to keep and look back on. Even post-break up. Call it nostalgia Sunday with pints of ice cream.
Urban Outfitters’ “Love Note Necklace” ($18.00)
THE GIRLFRIEND I think it’s relatively safe to say that most girls enjoy an element of surprise and romance. So, buying the most expensive piece of jewelry you can find—though maybe that’s up your girlfriend’s alley—isn’t a necessity. Flowers, however, are. It’s cute. It’s charming. And the only way you can get out of it is by pulling a “Love Actually,” and standing at her door with cue cards that say something like “to me you are perfect.” Sometimes we all might start to feel like we’re getting trapped in the campus bubble so going out is a great option—venture into Boston! I hear it’s huge! Now, if you’re looking for a material gift, then it gets a little trickier. Does your girlfriend often wear jewelry or earrings? If the answer is no, then buying her some is probably not a good idea. It comes down to how well you know her. Quirky can be awesome—customizing a pair of Nikes that say Happy Valentines Day— that’s legit. Women are tricky; keep that in mind. Gifts run the gamut from jeweled accessories, a night out alone, or a gift that only the two of you would ever understand.
“There’s a Half Asian club at Harvard and I have never thought to scope out the members. FML”
ISSUE 20, JANUARY 2010
THE BOYFRIEND Some guys may dread Valentines Day. Granted it’s a relatively high-pressure situation if you’re trying to impress someone—or perhaps some guys dislike the gushy expectations of some Valentines Day outings. With that in mind, a gift on Valentine’s Day for a boyfriend who’s not necessarily enthusiastic about Valentine’s Day ought to be practical. Simply put, guys love getting gifts during the year that they would ask for on their birthday or during the holidays. That means no extremely expensive ballpoint pens or a coffee-table book chalk-full of pictures of people in love. Practicality. First thing that comes to mind? Everyday wear. Hats are timeless, so you may want to consider giving him an upgrade. Lids and City Sports all sell sports caps at reasonable prices. Sports, however, may be a bit tired. Why not try to make things more stylish? The store CNCPTS less than a mile from the Yard (37 Brattle Street) sells a large variety of caps that are bound to make anyone look like they ought to be rewarded for dressing well.
Classy Nikes by Stefan Janoski.
If you’re really looking to go for it then a nice watch is a truly great gift. Of course there are labels that sell outrageously expensive watches so unless you’re really in this relationship for the long-haul and have a pretty penny to spend, then perhaps look at Rolex or Cartier. Yet, not everyone has a few grand to drop. At www.overstock.com you can get a great, timeless, and classy watch. The Invicta Pro Diver Men’s Automatic Steel Watch runs for $73.99…and it’s waterproof. It snows a lot here.
Concepts--it’s right here in the Square!
photo courtesy of Overstock.com
photo courtesy of Liberty Boardshop
If you are in the mood for splurging, though, you can never go wrong with awesome kicks. One of the hottest new releases in the shoe world in 2009 came from Nike. These shoes from Stefan Janoski blend the topsider motif with the skater motif in a brilliant way. www.libertyboardshop.com sells multiple styles of the shoe starting at $70.00
What time is it? Time to buy a sexy new watch for your boo. Duh.
photo courtesy of Concepts
THE ALMOST BOYFRIEND/GIRLFRIEND The principal fear here is looking as though you are trying to hard—or a fear that you are perhaps more/less interested in the other person. With this in mind, then there’s no need to go over-board. Actually, if you’re not even dating, getting a gift for your significant other might be kind of excessive. No reason why one of you treating the other to dinner or a movie would be strange, though. It’s best to not play up Valentine’s Day in this situation like it’s your wedding announcement in the New York Times. That means no scavenger hunts. You know who you are.
THE TF YOU’RE IN LOVE WITH An apple. You can never go wrong with an apple. Wrapped in a love letter OF COURSE.
ISSUE 20, FEBRUARY 2010
THE DISH 13
Guffawed Graffiti A Portrait of Vandalism at Harvard
by Ricardo Ramirez Garcia-Rojas ‘13
ote: It is in no way or matter my intent to praise or encourage when one sees that a student’s urge to correct the problems of the world follows him even the act of graffiti or its creators. By definition, the act of defacing a property with when sitting at the john. For example, next to the water-conservation-awareness plaque graffiti without the owner’s consent is considered vandalism. Vandalism can be adorning the library toilet, a vigilante vandal sprung to the rescue with his pen when he punishable by law. My purpose is simply to expose Harvard’s underground world of graffiti. saw a fundamental mistake in advertising. On the plaque, it indicates that if one pulls up, All forms of graffiti in this article will be typed in the same grammatical style as which they the toilet will dispense 1.1 gallons of water during the flush – marked by one drop next to were written. the handle. However, if one pulls down, 1.6 gallons of water will be dispensed – marked by I am in one of the large upstairs study rooms in Cabot Library. I chose three drops. The vigilante vandal’s response is an arrow pointing to the handle this room in hopes that the expansive windows will let in little rays of sunand a complaint: “Then why does the lever have 1 water drop and three on the shine--little rays of hope to shine on my seemingly condemned existence. bottom. I believe it would be more appropriate to have two on top.” A not“ApparentHarvard FML for some reason is not working. What can I do to lift my so-supportive vandal came back with: “Nerd.” Nevertheless, a concerned spirits? supporter came to the vigilante vandal’s side: “No he’s right.” ly, not only does I turn my aching head and see on a bulletin board next to me, These Harvard vandals not only solve problems, but also ask Harvard have its own drawn in light pencil, some graffiti. Could this taboo of an art be deep, inquisitive questions like, “What should we do with the 4 milthe magical ingredient to cheer me up? I get closer to read it—and type of majors (concen- lion illegal immigrants in the U.S.? Massive deportation is too exit cheers me up. pensive,” and “Biggie or PAC?” and even “Who invented heaven?” trations) and TAs (TFs), It’s a drawing of a big "platapus." The creature looks like a cross Astoundingly, for almost every question this interactive commubetween a fat alligator and a hot dog. Next to the "platapus" the artnity provides at least one equally deep response: “Since heaven is but Harvard University ist has written: "I am a platapus!" Aw. As a response, someone threw subjective, then you did.” also features its own out the insult: "more like fattypus." Ouch. The comeback: "you're a Not to say that the philosophic tone of some of Harvard’s vanjerk -- its not fat." dalism is what defines it as “Harvard graffiti.” The element that makes brand of graffiti.” Dear reader, please take a moment to process the ridiculousness of this vandalism Harvard graffiti is the mere fact that most of the utterly that interaction. ridiculous stuff you find inscribed on the stalls is what only a stereotypiApparently, not only does Harvard have its own type of majors (concally nerdy Harvard student would get. Jokes like: “Youre mama is so fat, she centrations) and TAs (TFs), but Harvard University also features its own brand of spans [correction] 17 – abstract vector space [correction] ∞ – Hilbert space [corgraffiti. Sure, one does encounter a few collections of carefully depicted penises, vaginas, rection] she can’t be embedded in n for any value of n….” and “boobies” like those found at any “sketch” gas station restroom, but words like “baStatements like “feel the rhythm/feel the rhyme/it’s bobsled time,” are what characterdassery,” sketches of heroes like “bong-man,” who “sez: Time for a study break!” as well as a ize Harvard graffiti. Some may not like it: “Harvard undergrads are pretentious little imlot of surprisingly grammatically correct thoughts are really what give essence to the world mature sacks of waste.” But someone will always come with a pen and a comeback: “HAHA, of Harvard graffiti. he said waste.” Harvard is known for churning out world leaders. This stereotype really comes to life Makes you proud to be a Harvard student, doesn’t it?
thehvoice.com the website.
verynoice.com the blog.
harvardfml.com you know. “Awkward virgin freshman boys. FML ”
ISSUE 20, JANUARY 2010
14 THE DISH
Top 10 Date Restaurants in the Square Or:Where to Take Your Beau or Ladyfriend on This Loveliest of Days
by Crystal Coser ‘12
10. Crema Cafe
5. L.A. Burdick
A bustling building filled with caffeine-addicted students of all ages, Crema is the true manifestation of all you could ever hope for in a cafe. A first date here screams, “You’re cute, and I need yummy food fast.” Try the Crema Grilled Chicken with sliced avocado and salty cotija cheese-corn spread to keep things flavorful even if your date is bland.
Boys must understand one thing: a French macaron is the key to any girl’s heart. At least, it most certainly is to mine. Burdick is one of the few places in the Square that sells such sacred sweets. Not only will you find macarons, but you can also find every cacao aphrodisiac in the book. Indulge in lusciously rich hot chocolate, and make your date swoon.
4. Legal Sea Foods
9. Arrow Street Crepes With about five tables, Arrow Street Crepes is a much more intimate venue for a first lunch date. This typically quiet restaurant allows for easy conversation over thin pancakes stuffed with a myriad of mouthwatering fillings. Crepe-eating may be your best acte d’amour of the day.
Ah college. That wonderful intermediary between childhood and real life. Legal Sea Foods in Harvard Square reflects this mix in its diners. Lucky college students and CEO’s alike feast on unbelievably fresh seafood cooked to perfection. Show your maturity by picking Legal, and show your good taste by starting your meal with the best crab cake around.
3. UpStairs on the Square
8. Finale Finale may actually deserve a much higher ranking, but major brownie points must be subtracted for a painful lack of date-restaurant originality. Although each individual dessert is fabulous, definitely opt for the shareable plates, as seductive spoon-feeding is always in order. The Fantasia with a strawberry tart with mascarpone mousse, peach chardonnay torte, white chocolate flower petals, lemon Bavarian cream, chocolate basket, orange crème caramel, and cinnamon rice pudding with mango sorbet never fails to make me squeal with delight.
UpStairs on the Square’s playful decor and impossibly dim lighting make for what will surely be a dreamy evening. A well-balanced, seasonal menu makes decision making impossible. Sharing, and possibly booth cuddling, is certainly in order.
7. Algiers Cafe
Harvest has racked up a hefty number of accolades, including Best New Chef, Mary Dumont by Food and Wine magazine and Best Date Ever by the girl or boy of your choice. With its serene atmosphere tucked away off of a tiny pathway, you’ll really feel like you’ve escaped the stresses of school for an evening. The menu is a true celebration of the New England “harvest,” and every dish deserves individual praise.
Want to seem cultured? Intellectual? A real Harvard hipster? Tiny tables and a very anti-mass market coffee house appeal make for a great way to really get to know your date. Slightly sweet, the Viennese coffee is the perfect compliment to what will surely be life-changing conversation.
6. Cambridge 1 Charcoal-fired, crusty pizza with grown-up toppings makes Cambridge 1 a great place to satisfy both you and your date. The simple interior and simple food keeps the focus on your date. Go for the pizza with grilled steak, cherry tomatoes, Gorgonzola, and arugula to really get your toes curling.
ISSUE 20, FEBRUARY 2010
Chef Jody Adams has transformed Rialto to make it the ultimate date restaurant in Harvard Square. With sheer curtains, curving banquets, and a calming color palette, Rialto exudes what can only be described as a heavenly atmosphere. The food only amplifies this ambiance to the hundred millionth power. Focused on Italian regional cuisine, the menu inspires excessive mouth-watering. As the dishes are seasonal, the menu changes quickly, so do order your favorites as long as you can get them. The disappearance of fig fritters from Rialto’s menu is nothing less than a travesty.
COMP THE VOICE. Thursday Feb 11 @ 8pm Holworthy Common Room Saturday Feb 13 @ 1pm Bullitt Room - Quincy House Can’t make it to the Comp Meetings? Email email@example.com.
“I just got mistaken for a hobo. By another hobo. FML ”
ISSUE 20, JANUARY 2010
PHOTO ESSAY 16
Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year Parade photos by Sasha Mironov â€˜13
ISSUE 20, JANUARY 2010
A Valentine's Day mini-issue