Daily Archive: October 12, 2017



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Coming in at number 3, Ref is the best way to make sure your breakdown resembles the Ivy League caliber you constantly strive for

We’ve all been there at one time or another: It’s your ninth hour in Butler, you have three midterms this week and you just feel the overall need to let your stress out in the form of light tears and subtle screams. As far as coping mechanisms go, it’s one of the healthier ones, so Bwog Staff Writer Megan Wylie left her cozy cubby on the 4th floor in search of the best location in times of crisis. 

7. 5th Floor Reading Rooms

The glass doors and lack of personal space in these rooms make this resemble a pitiful zoo. All anyone needs to do is walk out of the elevator and you’re met with awkward eye contact from a girl in your NSOP group three years ago. 2/10

6. The Stacks

Although the stacks would be the obvious place to hide out from your TA returning from a smoke break outside, don’t be so easily fooled. Yes, it’s quiet; yes, it’s secluded; yes it’s dark, but it’s only a matter of time before the solitary confinement of Stacks level 8 gets to you and you start hallucinating said TA winking at you from the next bookshelf over. 3.5/10

5. Islamic Studies Room/East Asian Studies Room/Graduate Reading Rooms

While the nice views and cozy nature provide a guise of a safe place to cry, it has its limits.  First, the smallness works against you and your voice will amplify, leading to a lot of confused faces glaring at you when you scream “I should have gone to Cornell!” Second, the fact that it closes at 11 is a major drawback—Everyone knows Butler breakdowns are to be conducted between the hours of 1AM and 4 AM. 5/10

4.  209

209 is like the classic Columbia student: a little studious, a little testy and a little fun. As far as study spots go, it’s a pretty good one–as long as you don’t sneeze too loudly. In times of crisis, however, 209 is too public for my liking. Plus, you risk a significantly awkward interaction if you’re sitting at a two-person table.  6.5/10

3. Ref/301

Ref can go either way. The chandeliers and tall ceilings can be scholastically daunting, and the sound of silence with a touch of whispered gossip is enough to break those of us on our sixth cup of copy in the midst of a thesis induced psychosis. Due to its size, you’re safe to run to the stairway if you’re near the entrance, but if you’re in one of the back rows, you better hope you’re not walking down the aisle of your social funeral. 7/10

2. ButCaf

I don’t know how anybody can do anything but a group project in ButCaf, but who am I to judge. The cafeteria-esque vibe provides an impressive amount of noise muffling, and the access to a giant cookie is unparalleled. All in all, it’s a solidly mediocre place for a 3 am cry and subsequent chocolate binge. 8/10

1. 403

A bastion of hope in the endless black hole that is Butler Library. The cubbies are an anti-social studier’s dream and provide ample privacy for when you need to take a recovery break to watch Law & Order: SVU. The fourth floor is like the beautiful love child of Ref and the 6th Floor Reading rooms, creating a pristine melange of sociality, quiet, and calmness. 10/10

Honorary Mentions:


Honestly, it goes without saying, but unless you want forty hipsters with wire-rimmed glasses shooting you death glares from behind their copy of The Brothers Karamazov. -0.5/10


Not technically a library room per se, but the staircases should be valued no less as a prime breakdown getaway. The dim lighting, accessibility, and sound isolation is a true blessing. I will admit it’s not the comfiest, but it’s truly the best if you need a quick recovery scream in between assignments.  14/10



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Family weekend is upon us! That means that for many (read: freshmen), our lovely parents will be on campus, ready to mingle and pay for food. You may be wondering, how can I show my parents how much I’ve grown as an adult and wow them with both my ease of navigating my new life and how confident I am now (and how well I rock my Columbia t-shirts that I haven’t washed since I got them)? With a detailed itinerary, that’s how! Here are some ideas for what to do with your different types of parents.

The Sporty Parent

What this weekend feels like, in a picture.

They say that they’re here to see you, but really they just want to watch the Homecoming game and wear face paint. Stop by the Columbia bookstore and let their school pride go wild, and see if they’ll buy you another planner that you’ll promise not to lose. Take them to Mel’s for lunch, and actually get a burger. Consider checking out the volleyball and hockey games Friday night to warm them up for the football game at 1:30 on Saturday. Watch a movie: it’s warm and you can get a lot of snacks. My current recommendation is Battle of the Sexes, and there are a bunch of theaters nearby.

The Hipster Parent

Their natural gravitation is toward Brooklyn, but they’ll make the trek to see you. Take them to brunch at the adorable spot Kitchenette on 125th and Amsterdam. Order the pancakes and take in the brightly colored walls and 1950s vibe. If you’re not feeling going to the game, take a trip south and check out Smorgasbord for some high quality food-festival eats! Soak in the thrift shops and views. On the way back uptown, make the pilgrimage to the Strand bookstore and get lost in the advertised 18 miles of bookshelves. Just make sure not to buy anything too mainstream.

The Touristy Parent

Yes, you’ll go with them to Times Square. Maybe even the Statue of Liberty. Take the excuse of your parents being here and let them drag you to all the sights of New York you were too lazy/didn’t have enough time to visit yet. But also, here’s your time to show your parents how well you’re adapting at how much of a local™ you are. Fight your way through the crowds at the High Line, and take them to your favorite stall in the Chelsea Market. Wake up early and show them Absolute Bagels and make up a story about how you discovered one of the best bagel shops in Manhattan on your own (bring cash). If they want to walk through Central Park, make sure to go at sunset when the light is nicest and you might walk through some roller-blading dance parties.

The Artsy Parent

They love art and they’ve come to the right place. While they might not see the beauty in the Rick and Morty poster on the wall of your John Jay single, there’s other art to be seen. Take them to an exhibit featuring some Frank Lloyd Wright works happening now at the Columbia art gallery (did you know Columbia had an art gallery?) on the Manhattanville campus at 125th. If you’re really not feeling art, let them look around on their own while you get a couple of runs in on the climbing wall. Take them to the Met and a show on Broadway if you can swing the tickets. For food, try Sylvia’s on 127th. It’s a little bit of a walk, but it’s a Harlem staple, and has been the center of the soul food community in New York since the 60s. Famous patrons include Barack Obama and Nelson Mandela (drop this knowledge on them over a plate of fried chicken). Take them on a gallery walk in TriBeCa, stop for coffee at Kaffe 1668, and maybe a treat at the nearby Dominique Ansel bakery.

The Tired Parent

They’re overwhelmed by work and New York, and so are you. For a low key weekend, stick around campus. Get a latte at Joe’s and watch the busy Broadway street below as you sip in peace. Check out Mill’s Korean for a nice bibimbap. Let your parents choose from a list of classes to attend while you crank out your lab report. Watch the sunset together in Riverside Park, and get pastries and tea at the Hungarian Pastry shop. The next morning, grab brunch at Flat Top, which is less busy than Community, and has delicious omelets. Give them your tour of campus, omitting the places where you go to cry. If you’re feeling up for it, go on a historical tour of MoHi and check out the nearby tomb of Ulysses S. Grant and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine (which is gorgeous and I definitely recommend visiting) before finishing off with some giant cookies at the Levain bakery. Keep it a chill weekend, with plenty of time for catching up and coffee breaks.
So there you go! If you can, in between your Homecoming darties, do some fun stuff with your parents. Not only will they love you forever, but they’ll most likely pay for everything.



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Ricky Wolff CC ’17 (i.e. he graduated last spring), last seen in front of Carman Hall. He was meant to spend 12 hours at Hungarian Pastry Shop and write a Bwog article about it but never did.

We’ve all seen those alums who hang around campus despite the fact that they literally fucking graduated. We’ve had those semi-awkward conversations: “Hey! Good to see you! Didn’t you graduate, though…?” “Yeah! I’m still here though! Haha!” Bwog investigated: why do alums hang around after literally graduating? 

One might be inclined to think that once we graduate and escape the stressful gaze of beloved Alma Mater, we would never want to come back to this little stressful nook in Morningside Heights. Apparently, that is not the case. Every alum standing in line at 1020 after they receive their $280k diploma, eating yet another Hungarian pastry, or smoking the millionth cigarette in front of Butler has a different reason for sticking around, and we gathered a few of these stories by awkwardly confronting alumni that we thought we’d never see again. (People who decided to go to more school at Columbia in the form of grad school of some sort don’t count. They’re obviously still here because they’re too smart and too crazy.)

So literally why the fuck are these people still here?



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Pictured: seagull. Not pictured: Overwhelming Russian despair

Last night, the new Lenfest Center for the Arts premiered the opening performance of Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull,” directed by Andrei Serban. It was the first performance in the Lenfest Center’s Flexible Performance Space, and the first in this year’s season of Acting Thesis productions. Running in repertory (that is, in alternation) with “The Seagull” is Caryl Churchill’s “Mad Forest,” directed by Pirronne Yousefzadeh, School of the Arts ’09. New Bwogger Levi Cohen attended the play and reviews it below. 

“The Seagull” is presented in four acts, with an intermission between the second and third; altogether, you’re looking at committing three hours to this classic Russian drama. Director Andrei Serban says in his program notes that the goal was to “take this so-called realistic play in a totally new direction.” Truer words have rarely been spoken: this production is wildly, often appealingly, performed at an emotional fever pitch.




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Originally scheduled for yesterday but moved due to rain (good call McAc), Big Sub 2017 is happening tonight at 7 in the Barnard Quad. For those who don’t know, Big Sub is exactly what it sounds like: A very big sandwich. So big, it stretches the entire length of Barnard’s campus. This fun and delicious tradition doesn’t last long, so get there early and enjoy!




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Happening Around The World: Hackers. They’re everywhere. First jet and navy data was stolen from Australia, now it’s been reported that North Korea’s hacking abilities are “beyond imagination”  after it stole secret intelligence documents yesterday. Might be time to put that tape on your computer camera. (BBC, ABC)

What I imagine hackers do, based on my Computing in Context class. Which I’m failing. 

Happening In The US: Donald Trump has just added the First Amendment to the list of things he’s insulted, remarking that it’s “frankly disgusting” that the press is able to write what they want. Perhaps he’s expecting his “Second Amendment people” to back him up? (NYTimes, Washington Post)

Happening In NYC: An actual thing that’s cool and good is happening for once: Grand Central is set to transform into a movie theater for one night only next week, showing the classic “North by Northwest”. The event is free and catered, but ticketed. Get yours here.

Happening At Columbia: Pulitzer-prize winning novelist and Barnard alum Jhumpa Lahiri is speaking at the Diana Oval tonight at 6:30. It’s first-come, first-serve, so make sure to go early!

Overseen: A family of rats running across the construction tunnel at Barnard. Look, I know it’s dark and enclosed and people don’t know how to share the space, but this still isn’t the subway.

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