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NYU’s Daily Student Newspaper

washington square news Vol. 41, No. 1

SUNDAY, AUGUST 26, 2012

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WSN exclusive: An American in London FULL STORY on PG. 6, 7

New program brings athletes across borders By Mary Jane Dumankaya The NYU Men’s varsity basketball team recently traveled to Italy, kick-starting the university’s new program, TeamNYUGlobal Initiative: Education, Service and Sport. The pilot initiative, launched earlier this summer, will allow varsity athletes to serve as NYU ambassadors and travel to a foreign country to volunteer at local organizations, conduct a clinic for their sports, play local teams and do a little sightseeing. The team traveled to Rome, Venice, Milan and Florence on their 10-day trip in August. Prior to the trip, the athletes took Italian culture and language classes that the program provides in partnership with the NYU Director of Language Programs

GLOBAL continued on PG. 5

Final phase of Bobst renovations to finish this year By Gentry BroWN and Tatiana Baez After three phases of construction, Bobst Library is scheduled to be fully functioning by the end of the fall semester. According to manager of Development Communications Sally Cummings, the Bobst renovation began to create a more student-friendly environment to accommodate the growing demand for space. Phase 1, which ended in 2004, focused on creating the two lower levels and updated the main floor. In Phase 2, which lasted about six months in 2010, transformed floors four and five into Research Commons (built with graduate students in mind) by adding seats, individual spaces and outlets to become more laptop-friendly. NYU spokesman John Beckman said Bobst began Phase 3 of the project in May. The seven-month renovation includes extending the Research Commons to the sixth floor so when it is completed it will be similar to the fourth and fifth floors.

It also started a three-month renovation to replace the plexiglass barriers that line the building, which will finish by Labor Day if all goes according to schedule. “We are [also] replacing the old Plexiglas panels around the atrium with beautiful new lattice patterned panels,” said Carol Mandel, dean of Division of Libraries. “The atrium project is the reason for all the barriers on every floor as this construction affects all floors above the main floor.” Beckman added that the replacement of the barriers with aluminum screens will allow the university to address the challenges of solving practical safety issues in the atrium and also enhance its quality and character. Steinhardt sophomore Jenny Kaufman said she believes the renovations will bring positive results to the NYU community. “Bobst seems a little dated in general, so any improvements are worthwhile in my eyes,” Kaufman said. “Considering

House and home defined at Kimmel By Nicola Pring

The current exhibition at the small gallery on the eighth floor of the Kimmel Center for University Life explores a big concept: the difference between house and home. The exhibition, “House: Home,”

presented at the Kimmel Galleries, comprises works of different media by artists from across the country. “The show is all about different interpretations of domestic spaces and what that means from person to person and place to place,”

said Pamela Jean Tinnen, who co-curated the exhibition and works as full-time curator for the gallery. Though the Kimmel Galleries generally devote their exhibition space to NYU student or alumni work, “House: Home” exclusively features artistry from individuals who are unaffiliated with the university. “Kimmel is sort of this neutral space,” Tinnen said. “We have the flexibility to do different things because we are sort of the nexus of the campus.” The exhibition includes works including photography, video, painting and sculpture. The show is presented minimally, aided only by stark walls and natural light.

COURTESY OF KIMMEL GALLERIES

Simple objects explore concepts of domestic space.

HOUSE continued on PG. 8

KRISTINA BOGOS/WSN

Bobst lobby still evinces signs of summer construction. how much traffic that building takes in, it’s definitely a good idea to try to make it a nicer place to be.” But CAS junior Ashlan Correria, who took summer classes, said the renovations

BOBST continued on PG. 4

‘Sleepwalk’ keeps audiences wide awake By Jeremy Grossman Mike Birbiglia, the writer, director and star of the semi-autobiographical film “Sleepwalk With Me,” shines with such an unpretentious glow of likability that it’s easy to see why he is so wellreceived as a comedian. While comedians like Daniel Tosh and Dane Cook rely on jokes about abuse and national tragedies to earn a quick laugh, Birbiglia proves comedians do not need to be crude to be good at their jobs. For that reason, “Sleepwalk” is a strong, witty film that makes the most of Birbiglia’s many talents. “Sleepwalk” is based on

Birbiglia’s own life, though in the film he plays a man named Matt Pandamiglio. Pandamiglio cannot escape his dead-end job bartending at a comedy club, where he serves and watches comedians, only dreaming of joining them on stage. Unfortunately, he is not very funny. To make matters worse, his girlfriend, Abby (Lauren Ambrose), is pressuring him to commit to a future that does not interest him. Pandamiglio’s dissatisfaction with his life suddenly becomes more complicated when he develops REM sleep behavior disorder, a type of sleepwalking so extreme

SLEEPWALK continued on PG. 10


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Washington Square news | SUNDAY, AUGUST 26, 2012 | nyunews.com

on the side

Compiled by the

WSN staff

LETTER FROM

THE EDITOR AMANDA RANDONE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Washington Square News Editor-in-Chief AMANDA RANDONE Managing Editor

JAEWON KANG Web Managing Editor

Amy Zhang Deputy Managing Editor

Emily Yang

Dear Incoming Freshmen,

Assistant Managing Editors

Coming to NYU and knowing what to expect out of your college experience is like planning out your 16 Handles order before you even get there. That’s just not how it works at a school as expansive and diverse as NYU. While you may intend on ordering a mango-flavored frozen yogurt topped with fresh fruit, just one glimpse at the chocolate brownie bite topping might be so enticing, your original plan is transformed into something almost unrecognizable. I came to NYU as a political science major. Now, I’m the editor-in-chief of the newspaper, doublemajoring in journalism and French. For me, the chocolate brownie bites came in the form of an oncampus publication I couldn’t resist. For you, it might be the opportunity to play on a real quidditch team, or to spend an entire year abroad in the Middle East. Whatever it may be, plan to come here without a plan. Bring your passions, your ideas and a willingness to be inspired. The power of this campus to motivate you is one of the treasures of being part of the NYU community. As the energy of this urban environment moves you, let it take you in new directions. That’s how I ended up here, writing this letter to you. That’s how one of our former editors got a byline on an NBC documentary while still in school. That’s how one of my Tisch friends landed an audition for the Broadway show “Hair.” Making the decision to matriculate at NYU is accepting a new role as both student and explorer. Sharing a campus with the world’s greatest city leaves you with the burden of possibility. Explore. You may not be able to do it all, but you can do whatever you want. The other day, on an impromptu uptown adventure, I encountered an art dealer selling his work out of a truck on the Upper West Side. One canvas had bold, red graffiti letters, which came to life and jumped out at me. “Dream bigger,” it said. When contemplating what to say to all incoming NYU freshmen, that message came to life again. Dream bigger, because you are on your way to the city that allows for it.

Hanqing Chen DANIEL HINTON Creative Director

MERYLL PREPOSI senior staff

university Gentry Brown city/state Tony Chau arts Stefan Melnyk features Nicola Pring multimedia James Kelleher special issues Kristina Bogos copy Jordan Melendrez senior editors Hannah

Borenstein, Julie DeVito, Bridgette Doran, Jonathon Dornbush, MAXimilÍano DURÓN, Cole Riley

deputy staff

university Tatiana Baez city/state Kayana Jean-Philippe,

Claire Zajdel books/theater Clio McConnell film Jeremy Grossman entertainment SamAntha Rullo music Joshua Johnson features Katya Barannik beauty & style Hilary Presley dining Lavya Yalamanchi special issues ESHA RAY sports Mary Jane Dumankaya, Sebastien Van Heyningen multimedia Gloria Lee, Jonathan Tan foreign correspondent

Richard Zhang social media agent

Nicole Gartside

opinion page opinion editor

Atticus Brigham

Don’t underestimate the challenge of being an academic adventurer in New York City. It’s not easy, and at times you may be overwhelmed or lost. That doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in the sugary toppings. You will be able to navigate your way through any obstacles just in time for the real world. Until then, continue to dream and enjoy not knowing where you will wake up. With thousands of courses available to you and more global campuses than you count, anticipate a path that goes in every direction but straight.

deputy opinion editor

Chris DiNardo

advertising business manager

REBECCA RIBEIRO sales manager

Stefanie Yotka circulation manager

Chelsea Gold

university sales coordinator

Kaitlyn O’Brien sales representatives

Ellen McQueen, Melissa Ynegas sales ASSOCIATE

Gloria Lee

circulation assistants

Omid Golmohammadi, Max Kane

advising editorial adviser

keith leighty

WSN FALL 2012 MAnaging team

About WSN: Washington Square News (ISSN 15499389) is the student newspaper of New York University. WSN is published Monday through Thursday during NYU’s academic year, except for university holidays, vacations and exam periods. Corrections: WSN is committed to accurate reporting. When we make errors, we do our best to correct them as quickly as possible. If you believe we have erred, contact managing editor Jaewon Kang atmanaging@nyunews.com or at212.998.4302.

GOT AN EVENT? EMAIL US AT AGENDA@NYUNEWS.COM OR TWEET US @NYUNEWS. GOT SOMETHING TO SHARE? EMAIL US AT TIPS@NYUNEWS.COM.

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Expansion plan shaken, not scrapped By Amy Zhang

August 9, 2010: NYU’s plan to expand campus by 6 million square feet is presented for the first time to Community Board 2.

2010

January 2012: NYU officially begins the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) review process that involves approval from the Commnunity Board, the Borough President, the Planning Commission and the City Council.

February 2012: Manhattan Community Board 2 issues a non-binding resolution recommending against approval of NYU Core plan of NYU 2031.

April 2012: Negotiations with Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer whittles down the plan by 16 percent.

July 17, 2012: After negotiations with neighborhood representative, Councilwoman Margaret Chin, and a 17 percent reduction, the City Council Land Use Committee votes 19-1 in favor of the plan.

July 25, 2012: After a final overnight reduction of 26 percent, the final full City Council votes 44-1 in favor of NYU 2031 plan.

2012

OPPONENTS High-rises would curtain off the community outside of NYU to the planned open space. During the approximated 19 years, construction around the superblocks will create debris and increase noise and pollution into surrounding residential neighborhoods, most of which are faculty homes. The $6 million budget is a financial risk to the university and its students. Without a substantial endowment, the only income source for the university is student tuition or a decrease in funding student debt.

After nearly two years of discussion and concessions, NYU 2031 — the university’s plan to increase its campus by six million square feet by 2031 — has been given the green light. In late July, NYU jumped its final civic hurdle when a downgraded, but nevertheless substantial, plan passed a crucial City Council vote 44 to 1. Marked by expansive press coverage, vitriol and its share of memes, NYU 2031, frequently called the Sexton Plan after NYU President John Sexton, is an 18-yearlong expansion project with a budget between $4 billion and $6 billion. The entire plan targets four areas of the city: Governor’s Island, downtown Brooklyn, NYU’s health corridor adjacent to the NYU Langone Medical Center and NYU’s core in Washington Square Village, the site of the city’s most vehement debate over the last year. During a city council hearing in June, Sexton argued that “space at a school like NYU translates into talent.” But in the Greenwich Village, a neighborhood filled with veteran not-in-my-backyard advocates, the university found angry protestors. Disputes revolved around public

green space, student debt, frivolous spending, invasion of historic districts and construction noise and pollution. The project’s most controversial construction centered on two super blocks located directly south of NYU’s Stern School of Business and Bobst Library. An almost overnight compromise before the City Council vote in July forced the university to reduce and shift the density and footprint of planned high-rises and concede to more open space access by widening entrances into inner gardens. Its largest planned building on the superblock, known as the Zipper building for its peculiar shape, shrank by 70,000 square feet and the planned Mercer building was reduced to four stories. The final approved gross square footage was 26 percent less than NYU’s original plan. Among a hodgepodge of other renovations and restorations, the final plan for the core will add a total of four new buildings, three of which are high-rises, and extensive below grade construction beneath the current Washington Square Village complexes for a total of 1.9 million square feet. Construction is expected to start in 2014. But for residents of 350 of the 1,296 units in the Wash-

ARGUMENTS VS.

PUBLIC GREEN SPACE

CONSTRUCTION NOISE

FUNDING

ington Square Village complex on the northern superblock, the fight is not over. In what is expected to be the first of a long line of litigation, residents sued the university for violating their rights by planning to destroy a two-acre park on the superblock and in the process eliminate a required service to tenants, according to DNAinfo. In response, NYU spokesman Philip Lentz said NYU strongly disagreed with the arguments presented in the lawsuit WSV Green Neighbors v. NYU. “[NYU] will vigorously defend its plan to create new academic facilities, student dormitories, faculty housing and improved public space as approved by the City Planning Commission and the City Council after a thorough and rigorous public review process,” Lentz said. According to a letter from Sexton, though NYU is the most populous private university with over 50,000 students, it has approximately half the square footage per student of Columbia, onequarter of Harvard and less than a fifth of Yale. The span of NYU’s campus is currently 15 million square feet. Amy Zhang is web managing editor. Email her at azhang@nyunews.com.

NYU The university has agreed to remain flexible with the community and has established an independent oversight group to manage open space concerns. NYU has agreed to work with residents directly facing construction sites to install noise proof windows and extra filters on air conditioning units. The university has worked to minimize the costs of building. Expanding onto the superblocks, land owned by NYU, will cost less than building on leased city land.

Bloomberg introduces ban on large sweet drink sales By Kayana Jean-Philippe

To battle New York City’s rising obesity rates, Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed a ban on sugary drinks larger than 16 fluid ounces. Under the proposed ban, which was formally submitted to the New York City Board of Health in June, these drinks would no longer be sold in self-service cups or containers at restaurants, fast-food chains, delis, food trucks, movie theatres or sports arenas. If the Board approves the ban with a vote on Sept. 13, the law would go into effect six months thereafter. Despite the mayor’s intent of decreasing the overweight population, Elliot Hoff, a spokesman of New Yorkers for Beverage Choices, described the proposed ban as “completely arbitrary.” “[The ban] won’t work,” he said. “There’s no evidence that banning drinks over 16 ounces will do anything to decrease [the] obesity rate. We believe that New Yorkers and everyone should have the choice of what and how

much they eat and drink.” According to professor of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health Marion Nestle, a 16-ounce soda was at one time an appropriate serving for two or three people and contains roughly 10 percent of a person’s daily caloric needs. “Sodas have calories and no other nutrients,” Nestle said. “People who habitually consume sugary drinks are more likely to be overweight.” But Samantha Levine, NYC Department of Health spokesperson, said the ban does not obstruct a person’s freedom of choice. “Under this proposal, a person can choose to drink or buy as much of a beverage as they choose,” Levine said. “The proposal simply limits the maximum size of sugary drink containers.” The restaurant industry is also concerned about the negative economic effects the ban may trigger, said Sue Hensley, a spokesperson for the National Restaurant Association — an association representing more than

380,000 restaurant businesses. “It unfairly targets the restaurant industry,” Hensley said. “Convenience stores are not impacted at all. This creates an uneven playing field for businesses.” The ban would not apply to alcoholic beverages, diet sodas, unsweetened coffees and teas, fruit or vegetable juices without added sugar or large beverages sold in grocery stores. It also would not limit businesses to offer free refills. However, Emanuel Remilus, a College of Nursing alumnus and a medical assistant at SoHo Pediatrics, believes that although the ban is not enough to end the obesity epidemic, it is a step in the right direction. “The ban brings the obesity issue to light,” he said. “And maybe this will reinvigorate people to talk about the topic more and educate more people, and overtime, I believe that we can see a change.” Kayana Jean-Philippe is a deputy city/state editor. Email her at kjeanphilippe@nyunews.com.


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Washington Square news | SUNDAY, AUGUST 26, 2012 | nyunews.com

REMEMBERING

WELCOME WEEK

By Tatiana Baez With hundreds of events going on around campus and in the city, Welcome Week may seem overwhelming. Don’t worry. NYU students shared their favorite moments from past Welcome Weeks and offer advice on making it the best it can be.

“Get out of your dorm room. There’s a whole city out there to be explored. Some of the NYU events are pretty cool, and even if they aren’t, there’s always the chance to meet other students. But freshmen shouldn’t feel restricted to the events, as there’s a whole city out there to explore. We get to go to school in Greenwich Village, so take the time to explore it. There’s always something to eat, no matter the time.” — Jenn Kim, CAS senior

“Decide ahead of time how you want to set the tone for your NYU career. If you want to write for the school paper, find out who the editors are. If you want to run for a hall council position, seek out existing hall council members. It’s equally important to make connections with upperclassmen during this week as it is with other freshmen.” — Olivia Baackes, Gallatin senior

“My most memorable experience from Welcome Week as an incoming freshman was the Reality Show at the Presidential Welcome. I just remember hearing about it before ... and expecting a mediocre skit. But when I saw the cast come out and watched the first number, I remembered that NYU is a school famous for its theater programs and that ... some of the people I was watching would be performing on Broadway some day.” — Rebecca Belkin, Silver junior

“My best advice about Welcome Week is that you should make it pertain to you. That way, you’ll really experience it, instead of having information thrown at you. I liked the activities and all, but the best memory I have from Welcome Week was going to the IFC movie theater with my new soon-to-be-classmates and hanging out afterwards.” ­— Kenneth Kriheli, Tisch sophomore

Tatiana Baez is deputy university editor. Email her at tbaez@nyunews.com.

Incoming students to video blog their way through freshmen year By Gentry Brown “NYU has been my dream school since I was in seventh grade,” Tisch freshman Sveta Pyntikova said. This is an introduction usually exchanged during Welcome Week, but the Class of 2016 is ahead of the game — Pyntikova and some of her classmates have taken their college journeys to the web before they have even set foot on campus. This year, freshmen from the College of Arts and Science; the Liberal Studies Program; the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development; the Stern School of Business and the Tisch School of the Arts will be broadcasting their hopes, dreams and fears about their experience on YouTube. This student-organized effort originated from incoming Tisch freshman Luke Winter, who created the T16 ­— a group of 16 Tisch freshman who plan to video blog their first year at NYU. Winter, an acting major from suburban

Ohio, always wanted to begin his own vlog but was looking for the right concept. “Finally, the idea came to me to film my life in New York.” he said. “Going to NYU is something that’s special about me that people may enjoy watching.” After Winter posted in the Tisch Class of 2016 Facebook group asking for volunteers, T16 was born with 16 representing the year of their anticipated graduation. On July 12, the T16 vlogging team posted their first video on their YouTube channel called thetisch16, and they have been updating their channel ever since. Other freshman schools followed suit with their vlogging channels. The T16 has spurred the formation of similar vlogging channels, including the Faces of Founders stream specializing in the freshman dorm. CAS16 member, Jack Sterne views the vlogs more as a personal diary. “They’re fun, they’re interesting, they give an honest perspective to a cool time in our lives,” he said. “I’m sure when I’m get-

ting married, at the rehearsal dinner when my friends roast me, they’ll show some of these videos.” The project has also caught the attention of upperclassmen who saw a big change in the incoming student experience. “Going into my freshman year I remember watching maybe one video, but it was less personal because it was scripted and gave me very basic information,” CAS sophomore Cindy Pi said. “It’s interesting to see social media take on such a big role this year.” Marc Wais, vice director of Student Affairs, sees the project as another way to form tight-knit communities within the university. “I think this can have a positive effect of making NYU more personable and shrinking the psychological size of this place,” he said. Gentry Brown is university editor. Email her at gbrown@nyunews.com.

BOBST continued from PG. 1

Bobst to complete last phase of construction renovation caused problems for her studies. “I felt that the renovations made it more difficult to get around the library simply because they did not allow you to cut through the middle, so it added […] to my walking time,” Correria said. Mandel, however, said the projects will overall benefit students and increase their use of Bobst. “We also know there is a downside to this; as Bobst becomes a more popular place to study it becomes more crowded,” Mandel added. “With each phase of renovation, we move more lesser-used books to off-site storage and try to create as many additional seats as we can fit.” Gentry Brown is university editor. Tatiana Baez is deputy university editor. Email them at university@nyunews.com.

Election 2012 continues to gain momentum throughout summer By Tony Chau As the two presidential campaigns rev up their engines and hit the home stretch, WSN reflects back on what has transpired over the summer. Tuesday, May 29 Presidential candidate Mitt Romney wins the Texas primary and 152 of its delegates, pushing him past the 1,144 threshold necessary to unofficially clinch the GOP nomination. Friday, June 15 President Barack Obama announces an immigration policy change without consulting with Congress. Under the new policy, illegal immigrants who came to the United States before the age of 16 and are currently under 30, received or are in the

process of receiving a high school degree or served in the military will be granted a twoyear deportation deferral — if they have been law-abiding citizens for five consecutive years. Romney declined to comment on whether he would reverse the order if elected president. Thursday, June 28 The Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision to uphold the individual mandate of Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Under what has become increasingly known as Obamacare, individuals would be required to either have health insurance by 2014 or be taxed. Republicans lashed out at Chief Justice John Roberts, a traditionally conservative judge who sided with the liberals on this issue. Romney immediately vowed to repeal the bill if elected president.

Friday, July 20 Both the Obama and Romney campaigns pull political advertisements from Aurora, Colorado, in the wake of the deadly massacre at the premiere of the summer blockbuster film “The Dark Knight Rises.” July 2012 The Romney campaign outraises the Obama campaign $101 million to $75 million, marking the third consecutive month that the Republican Party raised more money than the incumbent president. Saturday, Aug. 11 Romney ends months of speculation by announcing that Paul Ryan, a congressman from Wisconsin who garnered national attention with his federal budget plan, would be his vice president. As

chairman of the House Budget Committee, Ryan has a budget plan that includes reducing spending, as well as decreasing the corporate tax rate to 25 percent. Wednesday, Aug. 15 A judge in Pennsylvania upholds a law that requires voters to present government-issued IDs at the polls, thus becoming a microcosm of other voter ID-related battles raging in various states. Democrats argue that these strict laws target and restrict minority and low-income voting, as those eligible voters are less likely to have the required identification. Republicans argue that the laws protect the integrity of voting. Tony Chau is city/state editor. Email him at tchau@nyunews.com.


nyunews.com | SUNDAY, AUGUST 26, 2012 | Washington Square news

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SPORTS

edited by THE WSN STAFF SPORTS@nyunews.com GLOBAL continued from PG. 1

University launches pilot initiative to bring sportsmanship and philanthropy overseas and the Department of Italian Studies. The trip took 18 months of planning by the Department of Athletics, Division of Student Affairs and the Office of the Provost. Every varsity athlete can expect to go on a trip once throughout their four years through this program. According to the NCAA rules, the trips can only be taken during breaks in the year. Additionally, the sport must be in season in the global site for the competition aspect of the program to be played. “I’m very happy the university is supporting it,” said Christopher Bledsoe, director of Athletics, Intramurals and Recreation. “It is an absolutely unique program and NYU is uniquely positioned to do it with its global network.” The basketball team was accompanied by NYU Athletics coaches and staff, as well as their Italian instructors on the trip. In Rome, their first stop, the team played the All-Star Italy team. The Violets played a close game, ending the first half 3825, but failed to capture the match and lost 71-65 in the end. But Rome was not all about basketball. The team had time to visit the Vatican, the Colisseum, the Roman Forum and St. Peter’s Basillica, getting the opportunity to undertake extensive language and culture instruction and apply their knowledge during their travels. “We have really taken advantage of being in another country together whether it’s going out to amazing Italian dinners, exploring cities on bikes and segways, or touring some of the most famous places in the world,” Stern senior Cory Stockmal said. Cory’s brother and Stern senior, Kyle Stockmal, said he thought the highlight of the trip was one of their community service projects at Camp Dynamo, a cost-free camp for terminally ill children under 18. The Violets volunteered their time by helping clean up the grounds, then they had lunch, played games and danced with the children. “They were so happy to see us, and it made it really special,”

VIA TUMBLR

The NYU basketball team enjoyed sightseeing in Italy, including the Piazza San Marco in Venice. Kyle said. On Aug. 20, the Violets played the Pallacanestro Firenze team in Florence, and Coach Joe Nesci conducted an afternoon clinic for 50 Italian coaches and local teens. NYU has partnered with the International School of Florence and the Comune di Firenze to orchestrate this clinic as well as other clinics when the other varsity teams visit Florence in the future. The team also toured the NYU Florence, which has a new program with Camp Dynamo, where students studying abroad at the La Pietra campus can volunteer. While in Venice, the Violets played Tosoni Basket Villafranca

on Aug. 22. The last leg of the tour was in Lake Como, near the northern border of Italy. The Violets played Interperformance Selezione on their last day in Italy on Aug. 23. Cory had a positive outlook on the future of the team as a result of the trip. “I think we’re creating very tight bonds that will really improve our team chemistry and our performance this season,” he said. Mary Jane Dumankaya is a deputy sports editor. Email her at mdumankaya@nyunews.com.


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Washington Square news | SUNDAY, AUGUST 26, 2012 | nyunews.com

WSN EXCLUSIVE: AN AMERICAN IN LONDON

THE 2012 OLYMPICS By Stacy Shirk

Though I got to know London while studying abroad there this past spring, it was a completely different city when my family touched down on July 25. The first major change I encountered was Olympic Lane, which ran all through the city from Heathrow to the Olympic Park and beyond. Meant only for official Olympic vehicles, it managed to cause traffic for anyone else. While it took my family over an hour to get to the Soho Hotel, where we stayed for two weeks, we were lucky enough to use the Olympic Lane for the Opening Ceremony on July 27.

ALL COURTESY OF STACY SHIRK LOGO VIA FLICKR

The opening ceremonies Starting off our trip with the Opening Ceremony was maybe the most incredible vacation experience of my life. We only managed to get the tickets the day before. Luckily, my parents managed to secure the tickets, which came with an Olympic vehicle for the journey there and a sit down dinner right before the show. Seated at our table was a man from Hong Kong and two couples, one from London and the other from Singapore. It was amazing to meet and share a bond with people from all over the world before this historic event in such a friendly and multinational environment. We had a delicious dinner and eventually made our way past a display of old torches into Olympic Stadium — a daunting structure — which was absolute chaos. We hurriedly found our seats as it started to rain. The Opening Ceremony was mind-blowing, beginning with the fly over of fighter jets spewing red, white and blue smoke. They brought out several people to warm up the crowd as actors dressed like 18th Century peasants filled the grassy stage in front of us. My favorite pre-show performer was Frank Turner, a British folk singer with a gorgeous voice. We were given a tutorial of how to move lights positioned in front of every seat, so the television audience would see a light show in the stands. I still don’t know what that looked like on TV, but it looked pretty cool from the other side of the stadium. We had “Mechanicals” in every aisle – performers who led the audience in the light show and activities like tossing a giant beach ball and moving pieces of blue silk down over the crowd. I assume the name was a nod to Shakespeare, just as Kenneth Branagh’s speech from “The Tempest” honored the prolific writer. While I heard some backlash from Brits complaining that the Opening Ceremony was too liberal, multicultural and critical of England’s development as a nation, I thought it was beautiful and actually showed respect and admiration for the country. Danny Boyle venerated the accomplishments of Great Britain, especially in industry, literature, music and pop culture. My personal favorite moments were Kenneth Branagh’s monologue (I’m a Shakespeare buff), J.K. Rowling’s reading (I may have teared up when they announced her) and getting to sing along with Paul McCartney as he belted out “Hey Jude.” The whole night was an experience I will never, ever forget. easing into the games The next day we eased into the games with Table Tennis. The matches were held in the ExCel North Arena, a much smaller venue, with four games going on at a time. My fam-


nyunews.com | SUNDAY, AUGUST 26, 2012 | Washington Square news

ily sat right behind American phenom Ariel Hsing as she beat China, although both of them qualified for the finals later that day. NBC broadcast our smiling faces, and our friends at home took screen shots. It was exciting to know that we could be seen as representatives of our fellow Americans watching at home. We became very spirited after that, buying official Team USA gear from the shop at the Team USA House. Americans were very patriotic all around, no matter who was competing. It was really heartwarming to see our flag at nearly every event, and to meet people in the streets of London who would call out “USA!” when they saw our outfits. It made me proud of our country and its people. I just wish I had been in the States to see the events I couldn’t attend in person – obviously, they have the BBC in the UK, and therefore it was all British newscasters interviewing British athletes. If there wasn’t a Brit on the medal stand, they didn’t show the ceremony, and the only American athlete they interviewed was Michael Phelps. That was the one thing I missed. A day of swimming On July 29 my sisters and I went to Swimming at the Aquatics Centre, praying we would see Michael Phelps. Though he did not compete in that series of events, we did spot him later in the games. Swimming was incredibly fun, especially because there were a lot of British athletes competing. The British audience was remarkably spirited, making each event with a British competitor more entertaining just because of the cheering. There were so many Brits in the audience at almost every event; you couldn’t help cheering along with them. And there was never any tension at the games; everyone showed their support and held off from bashing one another. It was an easygoing, fun atmosphere. experiencing the ups and downs of the games For several events we could only get three tickets, so there had to be some negotiating between family members. This was especially frustrating when we saw how many empty seats there were at each event. This problem was later solved by giving the seats to students and members of the armed forces, who were easily spotted in blocks of camouflage. In fact, security around Olympic Park was managed by members of the Armed Forces, all in uniform. It was airport stylesecurity to the extreme; no liquids or gels allowed inside. Though it added about 15 minutes of travel, I felt very safe. I went sightseeing while my dad and sisters saw Diving. We also saw Women’s Basketball, Great Britain versus Canada, and though Great Britain lost it was quite entertaining to be at such a close game (they lost by eight points in the final minutes). The only trouble with Basketball is that the arena, though inside Olympic Park, was an hour walk away from the entrance. The Park was so large; it took forever to get from one side to the other, so we often had to allow extra time to get to each event. We also set aside a time to visit the Coca-Cola Beatbox: a red, instrumental structure where you could walk all around and hear noises of the games, such as breathing, water splashing, and feet running. It was a fun activity, with spectacular views at the top. Later on, we saw the preliminaries of Track and Field and Beach Volleyball, both of which were very intense. I saw the first female athlete from Qatar injure herself at the very beginning of her race and sit down defeated, right in front of me. It’s that kind of tragedy contrasted with the victories of someone like Jessica Ennis, a Team GB member who outperformed every other athlete to an astonishing degree, that truly make the Olympics so outstanding. It’s a stage where the entire world performs and competes. the pre-games Before each Olympic event, there’s a pre-show to get the audience going. At Beach Volleyball they had dancers and a D.J., at swimming they play montages and do audience interviews, and at gymnastics they had gymnasts performing a sort of dance routine followed by displays on each apparatus. This was followed by the video they played before every Olympic event, a montage of past Olympics footage set to the official song of the Olympics, “Survival” by Muse. If you haven’t seen that video, look it up on YouTube immediately. It’s amazing.

Beach Volleyball was probably the lightest event we went to, complete with bikini-clad dancers and a DJ. The arena was outside the Olympic Park in the center of London, and much smaller than the others. However, as entertaining as it might have been for us, it was all concentration for the athletes. american domination My two favorite events were seeing Michael Phelps swim and the Women’s Gymnastics Team Final. We got to see Michael Phelps swim the qualifications round of the 100-meter butterfly, and though he didn’t win, he was spectacular to watch. The way his body moves is astounding; he really looks like a fish in the water, so sinuous and so fast. But the most striking moment was right after his heat, when Ryan Lochte was swimming in his own round. We looked across the arena and Michael Phelps was standing alone in a corner, watching his supposed rival get a better score than him. He looked so vulnerable in that moment, it was incredible and shocking to see who we now know as the most successful Olympian of all time experiencing nerves, maybe even doubt. It seemed like no one noticed him, and as soon as Lochte finished, Phelps retreated back into the inner realms of the arena. The Women’s Artistic Gymnastics final was, along with the Opening Ceremony, the highlight of my Olympics trip. Again, we had only three tickets, so my sisters and I went to the separate venue and were surprised to see how small everything looked. I discovered that at the Olympics, pretty much everything is smaller than it appears on TV. Of course, this made the competition even more impressive, to see just how compact the gymnasts had to make their bodies and how much movement they had to pack into the small spaces. They announced that the balance beam is the same width as a smart phone, which officially made me nervous. Finally, the gymnasts entered: two teams per apparatus per round. It was at times difficult to watch because there was so much going on at once. However, we got to see the American athletes triumph again and again on each apparatus. They were paired with Russia on the vault, the balance beam, the uneven bars, and finally on the floor, and we were neck-and-neck. Gabrielle Douglas on the uneven bars was truly a marvel, as was McKayla Maroney’s near perfect vault. The Russians were first on the floor exercise, the final rotation of the event, with everything on the line. They were doing fairly well with a few slip-ups, and world champion Ksenia Afanasyeva was set to finish. She was beautiful and powerful; I was little anxious about our chances. But in her last move, Afanasyeva fell onto her knees, then her face, and rolled onto her back. Her teammates gasped in horror and almost immediately started crying. My sisters and I watched her leave the floor, and as her coach met her, she burst into tears. As much as I wanted Team USA to win, it was heartbreaking to watch her and her teammates, their dreams crushed and unable to escape the hordes of cameras. the legacy of the olympics But, the Olympic Games must go on. Team USA took the floor and rocked it. We were seated a row down from Jordyn Wieber’s sisters, who were so nervous they were clutching each other, barely breathing but simultaneously screaming. The gymnasts were breathtaking, and Aly Raisman performing to Hava Nagila as the closer was incredibly meaningful in light of the 40th anniversary of the Munich massacre. This whole event held much personal significance for me, as the first Olympics I really remember watching were the 1996 Games in Atlanta, when the Magnificent Seven were the first ever USA team champions. This year, the Fab Five were the second, and I feel lucky and honored to have witnessed them win. And then to stand there, hand over heart, singing the national anthem as our flag was raised to the sky — it was a moment I will be telling my grandchildren about, I’m sure. The Olympics were an incredible experience for me and my family, the kind of trip that comes around once in a lifetime. I will forever be grateful to my parents for giving us this trip, and to the athletes and the International Olympic Committee, who made it so memorable. The motto for London 2012 was “inspire a generation,” and they certainly succeeded. Stacy Shirk is a contributing writer. Email her at sports@nyunews.com.

THE BEST AND WORST OF

THE OLYMPICS By Mary Jane Dumankaya and Sebastien Van Heyningen

BEST Women in the Olympics The 2012 Summer Olympics marks the first time that every country has sent a female athlete to compete. Qatar, Saudia Arabia and Brunei, which did not previously allow women to compete, succumbed to pressure by the International Olympics Committee and changed their policies. Both Brunei and Qatar had female flag bearers in the opening ceremony. Muslim athletes were also allowed to compete in hijabs. Saudia Arabian judo fighter Wojdan Shaherkani may have lost in less than two minutes to Puerto Rican Melissa Mojica, but she was able to compete with a modified hijab, showing fellow Muslim women that it is possible to compete without sacrificing religious beliefs. The Olympics were a defining moment for female athletes and a step in the right direction. Independent Olympic Athletes During the Opening Ceremonies, you may have seen a few athletes not representing any nation. This year, four athletes competed as Independent Olympic Athletes, not representing any nation that is a member of a National Olympic Committee. Three of the athletes were from the Netherlands Antilles, a country whose committee was dissolved when it joined the Netherlands. The fourth athlete was Guor Marial, who was born in South Sudan and qualified for the Olympics with a marathon time of 2:14:13. Sudan offered him a chance to compete for them, but he refused to do so as he had lost eight of his siblings in the Second Sudanese Civil War, and he himself had refuged from the country. The newly independent South Sudan does not have a national committee and was able to compete as an IOA.

WORST Robbed of a Medal During the women’s fencing individual epee semi-finals, South Korean Shin A-Lam was in a sudden death match against Germany’s Britta Heidemann. With a second remaining, Shin had scored two double-touches becoming the priority holder, meaning that she would win if Heidemann did not score. Heidemann ended up scoring two double-touches and won the semi-final because of a time-keeping error. Heidemann was given extra time to score because the timing mechanism did not start correctly. Shin and her coaches challenged the decision. For over an hour, she waited, sobbing until the officials returned to say that she had lost. She was finally escorted off by security as she received a standing ovation. Though she was given a special consolation medal from the International Fencing Federation, she was still robbed of her chance at a gold or silver medal. NBC’s coverage of the Olympics For those watching the Olympics in the United States, the Games consisted of tape delays, spoiled results and a complete focus on American superstars. Because of the six-hour time difference between London and the East Coast, NBC decided to show the most popular events of the Olympics at primetime, hours after the rest of the world had learned of the results. The decision to edit and alter the events also drew much criticism, as NBC chose to air a Ryan Seacrest interview rather than the Opening Ceremony’s tribute to the victims of London terrorist attacks. While an estimated two billion people worldwide watched Usain Bolt win the 100m race in 9.63 seconds, Americans did not, as NBC chose to save the race for prime time to make revenue off of commercials. NBC has a lot to learn from BBC on the Olympics coverage.

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FEATURES HOUSE continued from PG. 1

Kimmel exhibit addresses difference between house and home Co-curator Laura K. Higgins and director for the Andrew Edlin Gallery in the Meatpacking District said she was initially a major advocate for transforming the space completely. “[Tinnen] really opened up my eyes to the possibility of letting the artworks accomplish that transformation,” Higgins said. “That is, to step back and trust the strength and integrity of the artworks and a carefully considered installation.” The exhibition includes work by Brooklyn-based painter Hannah Kasper. Kasper created miniature paintings depicting interiors and placed them in small boxes, which can be viewed through peepholes behind a curtain. “‘House’ is a structure and status, something that is physically built but can decompose,” Kasper said about the concept of her work and the exhibition. “‘Home’ is more subjective, a place for memories that can live on even when not physically in the place.” Artist Kristin Nason created three human-sized figures out of familiar domestic objects, which are part of a series called “Decoy.” Nason used materials such as chairs, fake plants and suitcases to fashion the decoys. “My process is one of hasty collection and fabrication to create human scale objects,” Nason said. “I bind these materials together into figurative forms to create decoys in gestures of substitution.” Aside from Nason’s decoys, most of the pieces in the exhibition lack figures, and instead depict empty rooms. The curators said the unoccupied spaces evoke ideas of change and uneasiness. “There’s a sense of urgency and change in the city right now,” Higgins said. “It’s the end of August and it’s restless. We wanted to contribute to and energize that air of change. I think the show is on the cusp of a renewed spirit among NYU students and the neighborhood.” The exhibition is free and open to the public, and will be on display through Sept. 10. Nicola Pring is features editor. Email her at npring@nyunews.com.

Gallatin alum explores alternate world in avant-garde novel

By Kristina Bogos

Imagine a novel set in an alternate reality, written in a stream of consciousness style that tells dark and humorous tales of characters who struggle with their sexuality or Alist societal problems. “Catastrophically Consequential,” written by novelist and performance artist Stephen C. Bird, combines these aspects into a dark, avant-garde literary work. A 1992 graduate of the Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a concentration in World Literature, Bird began his literary career in 2009 when he wrote and self-published “Hideous Exuberance,” the prequel to “Catastrophically Consequential.” He classifies his latest book as “adult, experimental, fantasy, fiction, satire and novella.” It is a work composed of characters that travel through time and are likely to show up in your own dreams. “There may or may not be any character or plot development because characters develop to a certain point, but they might drop out for no reason and then reappear later,” Bird said. “There’s no regular continuity in terms of time. Within one chapter the character could be in the present day, and then suddenly fly to 900 years later.” Populating Bird’s pages are gay teenage boys, suicidal trust fund girls and Jersey princesses of punk rock, to name a few. He describes

Courtesy of Stephen C. Bird

his characters as “reserved, imbalanced and mental illness-involved people,” with female characters commanding a stronger presence. Suicidal rich girl Cindy Cipro, whose tale began in his first novel, faces masochism and tragedy. Other characters, like gay teenager Djzheemi Sparks, battle depression while trying to salvage friendships. Because the characters’ stories are set in an alternate reality, their situations are far from normal. “The stories are inner monologues that are going on inside the characters’ heads that I write out,” Bird

said. “The main thing about my writing is that it’s non-linear, it’s written in stream of consciousness and it’s surreal. I’m also a visual writer.” Bird, who has a background in performance art, wrote his novel with a visual mindset. Having produced films off-Broadway in downtown Manhattan since the late ’90s, Bird was inspired by his one-man, open-mic comedy shows and converted his monologues into character narratives. His writing process is unique: he collects notes from his sets, packs them in FedEx envelopes and reorders them to tell a story. “I cut and paste a lot,” Bird said. “There is definitely a collage aspect to my writing.” Jennifer Miller, an author and performance artist known as Rev Jen, met Bird over 15 years ago when he performed at Miller’s open-mic comedy shows. “[Bird’s novels] are written in stream of consciousness style that very few writers would be brave enough to write in today,” Miller said. “By selfpublishing, he has circumvented the need to conform to what publishing industries want and has given himself a lot of artistic freedom. Even though [the characters] are dark and twisted, you get the idea the author had a great deal of fun which is also something that seems to be missing from literature today.” Kristina Bogos is special issues editor. Email her at kbogos@nyunews.com.

Transform your dorm to feel more like home

By Nicola Pring

Moving away from home and into a dorm room for the first time can be daunting. You’ve just packed your bags and traded in home-cooked meals, childhood belongings and the comfort of your own room for a small space with blank walls and a brand new room-

mate. But there is no need to panic. Here are a few tips to make your new home away from home feel a little more like the real thing.

Go shopping Though it may seem like a waste of time and money to decorate a temporary space, transforming your dorm into a comfortable envi-

ronment is an important factor in creating a positive college experience. Line your walls with pictures of friends and family, magazine cut-outs, posters, maps or small paintings. Be sure to check out the annual Back to School Poster Sale at the Kimmel Center for University Life, beginning on Sept. 13.

Leave it at home Though NYU residence halls boast larger rooms than many other schools, space is still limited. Bring only what you need to make you comfortable and leave the rest at home — too many extra belongings will make your room seem smaller. If you need extra room for storage, place bed raisers underneath your bed to maximize your space. Light it up Most dorm rooms have one florescent overhead light and smaller lights attached to each desk. Add ambient lighting to your room to make the environment homier. Consider purchasing a standing lamp or an additional desk lamp, or hang rope lights on the walls or around the windows.

RACHEL KAPLAN/WSN

Add bright lighting and decorations for a room worthy of friendly visits.

Have a seat Though you will not be able to bring chairs or couches into your room, you can add extra seating to make the space more inviting.

Buy a beanbag chair or several floor cushions so your friends have a place to sit when they come to visit. Sleep well Dorm mattresses are uncomfortable. Make your bed a place you can relax by adding a mattress pad or memory foam. Some mattress pads can be pricey; look for sales at stores like Target and Walmart and on websites like overstock.com. Bring your old comforter or blanket to put on your bed — the familiar furnishing will remind you of home. Shop sales You don’t have to break the bank to make your room look great. Many big-box chain stores offer discounts on dorm and backto-school essentials like sheets, towels and school supplies. Be sure to stop at Bed Bath & Beyond on Sixth Avenue in Chelsea on Aug. 26 for the store’s Ninth Annual Shopping Event. From 10 a.m. until midnight, free shuttles will take students and parents from NYU residence halls to Bed Bath & Beyond, where students will receive a 10 percent discount on their entire purchase. Nicola Pring is features editor. Email her at npring@nyunews.com.


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edited by NICOLA PRING FEATURES@nyunews.com

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Fabulous farewells to the summer season By Katya Barannik

Summer is coming to an end, and fall is rapidly approaching. Here are five ways to escape reality and soak up the last few rays of summer. People’s Pop (East Seventh Street and First Avenue) is open seven days a week (weather permitting) from 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 5 to 11 p.m. on Friday; 12 to 11 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

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to Rockaway Park-Beach 116th St. (If riding on the subway for more than an hour scares you, just listen to The Ramones’ hit “Rockaway Beach” while you travel.) 4. Get wild at a block party

2. Appreciate some artwork

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5. 1. Freshen up with a pop

2. 1. via FLICKR 2. via nopsa.hiit.fi 3. VIA FLICKR 4. courtesy of Barry Solow 5. VIA FLICKR

There’s no better way to cool down than slurping up an ice-cold popsicle. People’s Pops, which serves fresh, local fruit popsicles and shaved ice, is a summer staple in the East Village. Using seasonal fruits like strawberries and rhubarb, this intriguing shop’s ice pop recipes are far from boring or processed. Past flavors have included rhubarb and ginger and raspberry basil. Popsicle season is slowly coming to an end, so be sure to pop on by.

More than eight decades ago, in the early years of the Great Depression, an outdoor art exhibition in Washington Square Park was held to help struggling artists. Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning were among the few who propped up their paintings in hopes of scrounging up enough money to pay their rent. Today, more than 100 artisans — including painters, photographers, jewelers and glassblowers — exhibit their work. From Washington Square East at 3rd Street to University Place at 12th Street. Sept. 1 to 3 and Sept. 8 to 9, noon to 6 p.m. 3. Catch some waves Surfer dudes and beach babes rejoice. Rockaway Beach, one of the few city beaches that allows surfing, is the place to catch some waves or to just soak up some rays. With restaurants like Rippers and Rockaway Taco filling up the boardwalk, it’s no wonder the popularity of the beach is on the rise. Check it out for yourself before bikini season transitions to sweater season. How to get there: Take the A train to Broad Channel, transfer to the S

Each year, Astor Place transforms into street fair. With over 100 international and American foods vendors, artisans, art dealers, jewelry designers and antique collectors filling up the streets, the event is block party heaven. In addition to the artisan market, there will be multiple cultural and corporate exhibitions on display, as well as several live bands. Sept. 1 on Astor Place from Broadway to Lafayette St. 5. Watch a movie down by the river What could be better than enjoying the Manhattan skyline at sunset while watching a movie? Brooklyn Bridge Park is in its 13th season hosting “Movies With a View,” and their last film, which will be selected by public vote, will be screened this Thursday, Aug. 30. Movies this summer have included “Slumdog Millionaire” and “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Movie begins at sunset at Pier 1 Harbor View Lawn, Brooklyn. Katya Barranik is deputy features editor. Email her at kbarannik@nyunews.com.

Popular NYU a cappella group to release live CD By Nicola Pring The song begins with a single voice beatboxing a steady sound. Slowly, a chorus of sounds emerges and a soloist’s voice soars over the music. The noises blend together to create a raw, powerful sound — completely unaided by instruments. This is what can be heard on “The NYU N’harmonics LIVE at Joe’s Pub 2012,” the first-ever live-recorded album by the NYU a cappella group, the NYU N’harmonics, that is expected to be released on Aug. 29. The album features 10 live-recorded tracks – eight from the N’harmonics annual spring concert at Joe’s Pub, plus two bonus tracks. N’harmonics president, Tisch senior Zachary Infante, said he believes the album differs from the group’s 2010 fullymastered studio album, “Balls to the Wall,” as it captures the natural sound the N’harmonics strive to produce. “The decision to put out a live CD was based on our need to have our songs represented in a way that is most truthfully us,” Infante said. “We wanted to put our real voices out there without any of the technical changes a studio can do.” The record represents the N’harmonics’ soulful sound with unique arrangements across several genres including rock, blues, pop and funk with songs like Led Zeppelin’s “Ramble On,” Janelle Monae’s “Cold War” and The Allman Brothers’ “Whipping Post.” N’harmonics vice president, Tisch senior Andrew Martin,

VIA FACEBOOK

The N’harmonics are expected to release their live-recorded album at the end of this month. edited and produced the album. Despite some issues with the balance of sound due to a limited number of microphones at the concert, Martin was able to produce clear, balanced tracks. “A problem I personally always find with a cappella CDs is the overwhelming use of auto-tune,” Martin said. “I think what’s amazing about our group is the way the individual grains of our voices meld together to make a powerful, soul-

ful group sound. Our CD captures the magic that occurred [at the concert].” The N’harmonics plan to use their new album to expand their NYU fan base. The group is promoting themselves using social media. N’harmonics business manager and webmaster, Tisch sophomore Angela Sclafani, recently created a new N’harmonics website and Facebook fan page. “It’s great to be able to connect to students this easily,” Sclafani said. “What’s been even better is the great response we’re getting. We’re so happy to be able to reach [NYU students] via social media so that we can reach them in person at our shows.” The N’harmonics hope to reach new freshman at their shows during Welcome Week, which include the NYU Welcome Week A Cappella Show on Aug. 27, a collaborative performance with sketch comedy group, Hammerkatz NYU, on Aug. 29 and an additional performance in the Third Avenue North residence hall courtyard on Sept. 1. The group also hopes to recruit new members at their Sept. 7 and 8 auditions. The N’harmonics plan to record and produce a second studio album this spring. “I can’t wait to see the layers our new members add, and get started on our next CD,” Martin said. “Keep an eye out for us, we aren’t going anywhere.” Nicola Pring is features editor. Email her at npring@nyunews.com.


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ARTS

Lapine and Sondheim deliver an enchanting tale with ‘Into the Woods’

SLEEPWALK continued from PG. 1

Stand-up comedian delivers laughs in ‘Sleepwalk’ that he jumps out of a window. The scene may sound goofy, if not for the fact that it is based on Birbiglia’s real-life leap out of a window while sleepwalking. Though it plays a major role in the film, Pandamiglio’s dangerous sleepwalking habit is not the most interesting story element. Rather, his desperate struggle to make a career out of comedy is what provides “Sleepwalk’s” captivating and insightful look into a business that is actually quite depressing behind its mask of laughter. “Sleepwalk” might be a truly remarkable film if it were a full-out drama instead of comedy-drama. Nonetheless, “Sleepwalk” is a film about comedy, and it embraces this notion. The film features cameos from notable comedians like Kristen Schaal (“30 Rock”) and Alex Karpovsky (“Girls”). They are all entertaining, but none can match Birbiglia. He brings an honesty and sincerity to Pandamiglio’s character so that when he heckles a member of the audience during one of his first stand-up gigs, he apologizes immediately. When a group of college students compliment Pandamiglio after a particularly drab performance, the audience feels happy for him. “Sleepwalk” aims for more than laughs. It hopes to inspire, and it greatly succeeds. The film spends too much time on its least compelling ideas — like Matt’s sleepwalking and his romantic relationship — but at least they all combine to create a world that is so enjoyable and unlike anything that Daniel Tosh and Dane Cook could ever dream to accomplish. Jeremy Grossman is film editor. Email him at jgrossman@nyunews.com.

VIA GOTHAMIST.com

“Woods’” child narrator adds a fairytale spin to the show. By Leora Rosenberg To celebrate their 50th anniversary season, The Public Theater presents “Into The Woods,” staged at Central Park’s outdoor Delacorte Theater. The Public Theater’s open-air plays — part of their Shakespeare in the Park initiative — are a favorite New York summer tradition, and tickets are free to anybody willing to stand in line the day of the show. “Into the Woods,” a collaboration between James Lapine and musical theater legend Stephen Sondheim, follows a witch, a modern infertile couple as they enter the forest to have their wishes granted and other well-known fairy tale characters. All goes well, and they end the first act with a celebratory number titled “Ever After.” Though the show’s beginning is funny and buoyed by Sondheim’s lyrical genius, the real drama begins after

Catch up on the best of TV with Netflix Instant By Samantha Rullo

VIA IMDB.COM

“Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad” Both the ’60s advertising agency and suburban meth dealer dramas receive constant acclaim from critics and viewers alike. They also feature powerful themes and remarkably complex character development. These aspects are appreciated even when watching the show constantly over less time, which gives the Netflix experience an advantage over conventional weekly installments. It is also convenient that both shows start their seasons during the summer, so once you have caught up on Netflix, you can go home and continue with the newer episodes as they air.

intermission when the euphoria has faded and everyone realizes they are not as happy as they expected they would be. The characters struggle with the selfish rationalizations they have made, and the second act turns gruesome, which The Public Theater omitted from their family-friendly production staged on Aug. 22. With their fairy-tale plot lines finished, the cast feeds the narrator to a giant, and all bets are off the table. The Public Theater’s reputation stands on its tradition of staging free plays with major actors as past shows have starred Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Denzel Washington. Amy Adams enacts a memorable Baker’s Wife, and two-time Tony Award-winner Donna Murphy is noteworthy as the Witch, whose insecurities and motherhood overshadow her role as the villain. In an unusual but not unprecedented decision, directors Timothy Sheader and Liam Steel cast a child as the narrator. (Jack Broderick and Noah Radcliff alternate performances.) With a younger story teller, the show’s thematic focus is illuminated, and audiences are reminded that children absorb the lessons their parents unintentionally impart. Though the narrator’s final re-entry into the plot seems slightly forced, the poignant moment in which the narrator tries to convince the adults around him that they are supposed to be living happily ever after justifies this modification. They are not convinced, of course, but audience members who like a hefty dose of moral complexity will likely be pleased with the ending. “Into the Woods” runs through Sept. 1. Tickets are free and distributed, two per person, at The Delacorte Theater in Central Park the day of the show. The Public Theater will also offer free tickets for each performance through their Virtual Ticketing lottery, which can be accessed at shakespeareinthepark.org. Leora Rosenberg is a staff writer. Email her at theater@nyunews.com.

Of everything that students carefully purchase and pack for college, TVs are often overlooked. But that does not mean you should have to miss out on the best TV shows. Many of the programs are available on the Netflix Instant Queue, which allows students to follow their favorite shows when they are away from home and without spending half of their budget on a TV. Here are some of the best shows Netflix has to offer; they are perfect for those nights of procrastination or when you just need something to watch.

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“Arrested Development” It is worth buying a Netflix subscription just to watch “Arrested Development.” Often cited as one of the greatest TV comedies of all time, the documentary-style show following Orange County’s most ridiculous family was canceled after only three seasons in 2006. Fortunately, the cast, which includes Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and Michael Cera, has started filming episodes for a new season to be released exclusively on Netflix, which allegedly will lead to a film. Until then, the three seasons that do exist will keep you more than occupied. “Arrested Development” is a show so clever that fans can find more jokes with each viewing, and they never get old.

VIA IMDB.COM

“White Collar” One of USA’s seemingly interchangeable shows “White Collar” is a great choice for those who are just turning to Netflix occasionally when they have some free time instead of having self-created marathons. This summer procedural is very entertaining largely because of the delightful Matt Bomer, who stars as a former art forger and thief who helps the FBI catch other whitecollar criminals. While there are recurring plotlines, the episodes are easily enjoyable in one episode at a time because of its usual format of one investigation per episode. Think along the lines of “Law & Order,” but with a better looking cast, less depressing crimes and much more humor.

Samantha Rullo is entertainment editor. Email her at srullo@nyunews.com.

VIA IMDB.COM

“Heroes,” Season 1 Saddled with an awful reputation, “Heroes” admittedly collapsed on itself but not until the second season. The show about ordinary people with superpowers is actually very good for the first season. The number of characters had not grown too large to maintain yet, and their powers were exciting. The show would fit right in with the recent onslaught of comic book movies — some creative imagery and a unique format. With its mysteries and, of course, its famous tagline, “Save the cheerleader, save the world,” “Heroes” had a great start. Just pretend it is a mini series and ignore what was produced after, and it will be well worth the time.


nyunews.com | SUNDAY, AUGUST 26, 2012 | Washington Square news

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edited by STEFAN MELNYK ARTS@nyunews.com

Listen to this summer’s hidden musical gems you might have missed

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This past summer was inundated with excellent releases from high profile artists like Fiona Apple and Frank Ocean. But while you were obsessing over those albums, there may have been a few exceptional releases that may have slipped through the cracks. Here are some albums the WSN arts staff has compiled that may have gone under the radar:

1. “Slaughterhouse” by Ty Segall Band Ty Segall’s newest project, the Ty Segall Band, released its debut album “Slaughterhouse” for all garage/punk/noise rock enthusiasts. The opening track “Death” greets the listener with dissonance and distortion — almost how one might imagine death — prepping for the album’s cacophonous sounds. Known for his experimentation, Segall saturates “Slaughterhouse” with feedback, heavy guitar riffs, wailing dissonance and, quite often, bouncy melodies that complement the underlying noisy distortion, especially on “The Tongue” and “Tell Me What’s Inside Your Heart.” – Matt Levine 2. “Even On The Worst Nights” by Mixtapes In a genre oversaturated with similar sounding bands, Ohio pop-punk quartet Mixtapes is a breath of fresh air. The band, which features dual male and female lead vocals, released its newest album “Even On The Worst Nights” to much acclaim. The songs on the album are not the most technical, nor are they the most impressive lyrically. In fact, they are all pretty straightforward. But that is what makes this album so appealing: Mixtapes make you forget

about everyday problems — like uncertainty about the future — by turning them into passionately uncomplicated songs that are fun to sing along to. — Rebecca Kovach 3. “Tracer” by Teengirl Fantasy As electronic dance music gains more and more popularity, artists are finding new ways to make their music more distinctive. In their sophomore album “Tracer,” electronic duo Teengirl Fantasy accomplishes such a feat. Each track establishes its own identity, formed by the various eccentric sounds that flow from their synthesizers. Sounds like the pulsating drum kicks in “End” or the soft sidechaining used in “Timeline” help give the album a more ethereal and light feel. Where most electronic music becomes monotonous, “Tracer” extends the boundaries of the genre. ­ — Kemet Douge 4. “Electra Heart” by Marina and the Diamonds Marina and the Diamonds’ “Electra Heart” makes the claim that pop music has to be without substance. The sophomore effort

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of 26-year-old Marina Diamandis, “Electra Heart” is brimming over with infectious dance tracks and provocative verses. Diamandis talent is apparent in every song as she switches with impressive ease between sweet sopranos and guttural growls. The album is written from the perspective of Diamandis’s current alter ego, the eponymously dubbed Electra Heart, who combines the ultra-feminine sensuality of a ’50s pin-up with the delicious overconfidence of Kanye West. — Alexandria Ethridge

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5. “A Collection of Rarities and Previously Unreleased Material” by John Maus John Maus has become defined by his wellresearched pop aesthetic with a darker edge: synths become icy, Maus’ deep voice feels far away and his moods echo the ’80s without feeling nostalgic. With works dating back as far as 1999, “A Collection of Rarities and Previously Unreleased Material” houses the dark effect that fans have become addicted to. From the genuine sentiment of “Bennington” to the eerie cries of “Angel in the Night” to the lo-fidelity, floating melodies of “Fish with Broken Dreams,” Maus’s precision and intellect radiates throughout this collection. — Mary Kinney

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PHOTOS VIA WIKIPEDIA

Finish off the summer with the season’s hottest games By Jonathon Dornbush The lazy summer days are not the ideal time to stay indoors, consumed with the biggest game releases. Still, a number of amazing titles have been released since the end of the last school year, and here is a handful that should not be missed.

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1. Darksiders II “Darksiders II” provides an epic adventure in a war between angels and demons. 2. “Fieldrunners 2 Fieldrunners 2” will keep you glued to your iPhone for hours. 3. Sound Shapes. “Sound Shapes” delivers an amazing soundtrack with classic gameplay. PHOTOS VIA IGN.com

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1. “Darksiders II” — A sequel to the often-overlooked 2010 gem, “Darksiders II” is everything a fan could want from the newer installment. With improved combat and exploration, a new loot system and a deeper attention to story, this epic follow-up delivers the changes the franchise deserved. Playing as Death, a horseman of the Apocalypse, the player fights the forces of heaven and hell to avenge his fellow horseman, War.

games is equally impressive because of its vast amount of content and amusing art style. The focus of “Fieldrunners 2,” like any other tower defense title, is preventing hordes of enemies from reaching the player’s home base through the use of tactical towers. The game is beautifully animated and provides an amusing way to pass time. 3. “Sound Shapes” — What do Beck, Deadmau5 and “Super Mario Bros.” have in common? They have all inspired the fantastic Sony platformer “Sound Shapes.” The title plays like a traditional “Mario” game, as players move a small colored blob from left to right, jumping at platforms and collecting coins. “Sound Shapes” displays its brilliance in the integration of its soundtrack with the visuals and gameplay.

The game includes a gorgeous and varied aesthetic that brings to life the expansive grasslands, Gothic castles and underground dungeons players will explore. With satisfying puzzles, platforming and action sequences, “Darksiders II” is a grand adventure that is not to be missed. Check out the Arts blog, The Highlighter, at wsnhighlighter.com for a full review.

Enemies and obstacles behave based on each level’s music, all of which have been composed by a varied group of artists. For example, platforms will become deadly to mirror the change in Beck’s lyrics, or dangerous enemies in a Deadmau5 challenge add to the percussion track. All aspects come together to create an absorbing experience.

2. “Fieldrunners 2” — This sequel to one of the most addictive iPhone

Jonathon Dornbush is a senior editor. Email him at jdornbush@nyunews.com.


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Washington Square news | SUNDAY, AUGUST 26, 2012 | nyunews.com

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nyunews.com | SUNDAY, AUGUST 26, 2012 | Washington Square news

opinion

edited by ATTICUS BRIGHAM opinion@nyunews.com

Civil Rights staff editorial

Gay rights opponents slip backwards By Ben Miller It started as a short conversation. A friend of a friend saying, “I just registered Republican.” I stared away and gritted my teeth, and not just because my politics are somewhere to the left of Barney Frank. There’s a lot of young people now, at the Stern School of Business, who call themselves Republicans but are quick to distance themselves from their party’s positions on gay rights and race. “Well, I’m an economic conservative,” they say. “I’m totally for equality, but I just think the Republicans have the right economic answers.” Several of these people — many of them my friends ­— posted their Chick-­fil-­A Appreciation Day pictures on Facebook, smiling in front of the chain’s trademark posters of cows. What gay rights are about, fundamentally, is whether our society will accept gay people as human beings. What’s at stake for me in any discussion or debate about gay rights is whether I walk away from the discussion between myself and the other individual with the agreement that I am fully human. There is essentially no argument against gay rights that doesn’t begin with the belief that gay

people are not equal to straight people in some way. While a majority of Americans are coming around to the view that gay people are just that — people ­— a majority of American institutions of power still do not operate on that assumption. The Republican Party and Chick­-fil-­A are two of those organizations. The Republican Party (starting with Reagan, who believed AIDS victims were “getting what they deserved”) has spent 20 years and millions of dollars demonizing people like me in political attack advertisements: using me and people like me as a threat issue with which to win elections. Chick­-fil-­A has donated large sums of money to organizations that seek to heal or fix gay men and women (organizations that work to deny gay marriage rights in the United States and promote Kill the Gays bills in Africa). If you are a registered Republican, and/or posing next to a greasy chicken sandwich on Facebook, you’re making one of two statements to me. Either you don’t think that I’m fully human and therefore I shouldn’t have rights similar to your own or, even if you think I deserve equal rights, those tax cuts (or chicken sandwiches) are more important. That your waffle fries and

your belief that Wall Street should remain essentially unregulated are more important than the rights of Janice Langbehn, a Seattle woman who was forbidden to be with her dying wife for eight hours because a Florida hospital was not permitted by state law to give Langbehn visitation rights. The Republican Party, and the recipients of Chick­-fil-­A’s contributions, fought for that law to stay on the books and still fight to put it back there. In 50 years, we’ll look back on this debate through the hindsight of history. We’ll still be fighting, but we’ll be able to pause and remember the heroes of this phase of our movement. The people who registered Republican and posed for their Chick­-fil-­A Appreciation Day pictures will be remembered as those who vacillated on or opposed one of the defining human rights issues of our time. People who are genuinely committed to gay equality shouldn’t ally themselves with organizations that seek to deny gay rights. And people who aren’t should look inside and ask: Are my gay friends human? That’s the only question that needs answering. Ben Miller is a staff columnist. Email him at opinion@nyunews.com.

Gun control

Gun regulation reform needs urgent reform By Maria Michalos WASHINGTON, D.C. — I’m shaken and confused, unnerved and overwhelmed. My emotions are running wild like a child recognizing his ability to run, fast and fearless, for the first time. It is the feeling that arises when I turn on the morning news, blearyeyed and not yet alert, only to discover that another mass shooting has occurred. Millions of people like myself awoke to the tragic news, which began our day with the knowledge of a real-life American horror story. While a huge fan base awaited the summer premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises,” no one could have imagined the disastrous events that ensued: No one could have foreseen a gunman opening fire in a crowded movie theater. Together as a nation we mourn for the lives taken from the dreadful Colorado shooting. Our hearts are heavy. Our hope for humanity is sauntering on the verge of collapse. When public spaces — the movies — become targets for arbitrary shootings, as responsible citizens we must question our gun control policies. If

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only theatergoers had also been armed on that fateful day, maybe they would have been safer (a pro-gun advocates reasoning). This isn’t the time, Democrats and Republicans have decided, after extending their condolences and prayers to ruined families. But this is an excuse of the worst kind when the nation is rife with political aspirations and apathy. It is paralyzing and condemning: holding us hostage to a past we cannot change and preventing us from taking action to change our future. If we do not get behind stricter gun control by demanding that our representatives take a good look at the direction we are headed, then the shooting sprees will never cease. The number of homicides will only continue to escalate. I’ve tried to understand and to make sense of gun control policy as is, but the overwhelming images of brutal violence that continue to plague our nation resurface: Columbine, Virginia Tech, Tucson, Colorado, Wisconsin, Texas A&M, among a plethora of arbitrary shootings we will never hear of. Names of many victims will remain unknown — their faces will not re-

peatedly flash through our minds. We must not continue the ignorance and avoidance of gun control. If now is not the time, when will be the time? President Barack Obama said he would consider new parameters for gun safety after the 2011 Tucson shooting left representative Gabrielle Giffords with a bullet lodged in her brain. Yet, in the wake of the Colorado disaster there is no mention of improvement. With an election just around the corner, a serious discourse does not appear likely. It is a heavy notion to consider ­­— one with vast implications and uncertain consequences. The madmen will not stop and the bullets being sold and bought won’t either. As citizens we must make some noise. Challenge conventionality. How many tears shed, hearts shattered and people lost will it take? The rest of the developed world seems to get it. We are stragglers, the last in perhaps the only race that will ever matter. Time is ticking, and we cannot afford to lose. Maria Michalos is a staff columnist. Email her at opinion@nyunews.com.

Ed Board anticipates semester of lively discourse

The WSN Editorial Board is filled with energetic and capable writers who are dedicated to sharing their informed opinions with the NYU family. Student-run and student-produced, we strive to deliver our readers with stimulating content and fresh perspectives on topical issues. We look forward to delivering editorials and individual columns that may either affirm or challenge your beliefs. Printed Monday through Thursday, with additional content to be published on our new website throughout the week, WSN continues to be NYU’s paper of record and the go-to spot for all NYU news. From the upcoming presidential election and capital gains taxes to the NYU 2031 expansion and new Shanghai campus, the WSN Editorial Board will cover a variety of local, national and international topics. We will do so with speed, transparency and precision. We write about what happens as history unfolds and make many of the resources available for our audiences to draw their own conclusions. Though we are a part of the university community, we do not confine ourselves to navel gazing or clap trap. We tackle issues as they arise and advocate for action where it is needed. In doing so, we make no claim to be representative of the larger NYU community. The Board does hold its finger out in the wind to see which way it blows. And while we do not aim to blow readers away, we are sure to give you a good literary gust now and then. That said, we warmly welcome all kinds of political, social and religious responses. While we will not hesitate to take a divisive stand on controversial issues, we also recognize that, as students, we have much to learn and must allow room to develop our opinions. We are open to the powers of persuasion, but will remain tempered by confidence in our information and collective intellectual acumen.

Email the WSN Editorial Board at editboard@nyunews.com. EDITORIAL BOARD: Atticus Brigham (Chair), Chris DiNardo (Co-Chair), Nathaniel Chumley, Christopher Drake, Sanchay Jain, Jessica Littman, Peter Murphy, Raquel Woodruff, and Richard Zhang.

Send mail to: 838 Broadway, Fifth Floor New York, NY 10003 or email: opinion@nyunews.com WSN welcomes letters to the editor, opinion pieces and articles relevant to the NYU community, or in response to articles. Letters should be less than 150 words. All submissions must be typed or emailed and must include the author’s name, address and phone number. Members of the NYU community must include a year and school or job title.

WSN does not print unsigned letters or editorials. WSN reserves the right to reject any submission and edit accepted submissions in any and all ways. With the exception of the staff editorial, opinions expressed on the editorial pages are not necessarily those of WSN, and our publication of opinions is not an endorsement of them.


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Washington Square News August 26, 2012

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