Happy Halloweekend

Before we all board our trains back to Westchester for Fall Break, Bwog Video brings you its spooky Halloween Special. And what could be scarier than a Tinder date?

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Bwog Out
A halloween salute, from Bwog to your tortured soul.

A halloween salute, from Bwog to your tortured soul.

Happy fall break, friends! Your essays and problem sets, your aches and pains, the taste of the dining hall in your mouth and sweet drone of your professors in your ears…let these stay behind and out of your thoughts.

Not that we don’t love you, but Bwog needs a little me-time. Unless it’s something important (e.g. a picture of a squirrel or some fabulous Halloween costumes), we won’t be posting much during break. We’re sure you’ll keep us in your thoughts.

Remember to submit to our Halloween costume contest to win pizza, beer, and endless fame!


Eternal wave via Shutterstock

Bwog’s Costume Closet: Fake ID
Bonus points if you convince your older brother to give you his costume from five years ago.

Bonus points if you convince your older brother to give you his costume from five years ago.

Perhaps you’ve already made your plans for tomorrow night; perhaps you’re scrambling to find some. Rest assured, no matter where you’re at now, the perfect party is waiting for you… if you can get in. Bwog can’t come down to let you in — we would but it’s so crazy up here and we forgot to check our phones — but we have the next best thing: an entry in our costume closet. Claire Friedman brings you the last of our Columbia-inspired costume ideas: a Fake ID

You Will Need:

  • A large rectangular posterboard. The dimensions of the posterboard are up to you, but we recommend roughly 2 by 4 feet.
  • Colored sharpies/ crayons
  • Scissors
  • A Google search of a Maryland ID
  • A real 21+ ID if you actually want to be let into any sort of bar


Step 1: Cut a square hole on one side of your posterboard. The square should be large enough to fit your entire head, but should leave enough space at the top for ~art~

Step 2: Begin copying the Maryland ID pattern (thanks, Google!) onto the front of your posterboard. Yes, we realize that crabs are hard to draw; take comfort in the fact that it looks pretty shitty on the real thing, too.

STOP: Make sure that when you hold up your posterboard, your face is on the left side. If not, start over. Try to be better this time.

Step 3: Give yourself some fake credentials. Your chosen name should rival McLovin and your age should be at least 27.


The cheapest costume we thought up, this one clocks in at around $10.

(Short) Stories To Haunt Your Waking Nightmares

The face of terror

Gather round Columbians! Huddle, together with us, around the crackling blue light of your laptop screen (you might want to get that checked).  Warm your hands on the keyboard, take in that crisp fall air, that slightly dank post-midterm despair, and celebrate terror as we only can when the world gets cold and the darkness grows.

You thought you would miss out. You thought you were too busy. But Bwog is here for you and your fears, with fifteen six-word stories, fun-sized for easy consumption on a bus ride home or in a last class.

No one, after all, can escape the horror of their lives:

  • Class location: 7th floor of Hamilton.
  • JJs closed for health inspection. Fries.
  • Eleven hours in Butler. Morning thunderstorm.
  • This train is now going express.
  • Haven’t done any reading. Pop quiz.
  • Stuck in elevator with ex-hookup. Silence.
  • Parents visiting. Forgot to hide condoms.
  • Heating turned on. Fires of Hades.
  • We should all go to Brooklyn!
  • Who is that? Not my roommate.
  • Printer not responding. Please contact CUIT.
  • Squeezing past someone on Ferris staircase.
  • Great night! Oh no. Problem set…
  • Uptown one not running. Take shuttle.
  • Fire alarm test, Friday at 9am.

Squinty-faced horror via Shutterstock

#TBT: The Bloomingdale Insane Asylum

Basically LowBecause you and your friends have (inexplicably) decided to spend Halloween swapping ghost stories in Buell Hall, Bwog sees fit to remind you of the institution that preceded ours on campus grounds. Bringing you the exposition you need for your night in a horror movie, Bwog correspondent  Anna Hotter investigates the Bloomingdale Insane Asylum. 

It’s easy to forget that Columbia only moved to Morningside Heights in 1897, but before there were Beaux Arts buildings lining Broadway, our neighborhood was home to a different institution entirely. From 1821 to 1892, the expanse of this campus was occupied by the Bloomingdale Insane Asylum, the first public infirmary of New York City.

Bloomingdale shares several connections with Columbia. For one, it was founded on the same charter as New York Hospital (now New York Presbyterian), which in turn was petitioned for by professors of King’s College. The grounds purchased were mostly farmland, and, as we can see in early renderings of the asylum, Morningside Heights looked a lot more like Westchester than New York during that time.

The asylum initially consisted of just one main building, which approximately stood where Low is today, on “117th Street between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues.” Bloomingdale was three stories high and was divided into three different tracts. In the middle portion were the administrative offices and the employees’ quarters, while the men’s and women’s wards were on each side. The patients’ rooms were “nine feet six inches long, (…) six feet six inches wide,” making them a tiny 61 sf (for comparison, the smallest room at Columbia measures 76 sf). The asylum also had a prominent farm and garden, which spanned across 55 acres. It was devoted “to grass, vegetables and ornamental shrubbery” and bore a strong resemblance “to the beautiful homesteads of the wealthy, in the rural, cultivated districts of England.”

While the exterior of Bloomingdale might have looked beautiful, the ongoings inside it were far from perfect. Throughout its career, the infirmary was home to several thousand patients who were admitted for ailments like mania, nymphomania, “idiocy,” or “moral insanity.” In the period between 1821 and 1844 alone, 258 patients died, and several “eloped.” This was apparently not without reason, as Bloomingdale, like many other insane asylums of the period, subscribed to somewhat questionable treatment methods. As was also customary in those times (and on American Horror Story), a journalist had himself admitted to Bloomingdale, and published several exposés about those practices. It was apparently not uncommon for wardens to hit their patients, and at night screaming could be heard throughout the buildings.

The end of an asylum, the forgotten history of a bar, and pictures (!) after the jump.

Food Cartographer: Uncle Luoyang
Hungry nieces and nephews

Hungry nieces and nephews

You’ve probably noticed the small colony of food trucks that appears every day at lunch time between 116th and 117th on the Columbia side of Broadway. Bwog sent regular Jacques Food-Cartier Maud Rozee to explore its deliciousness, and tell you what it was like.

Yesterday, there were no less than five carts competing to sell me Chinese street food – a red one without an English name, a green one without an English name, Healthy Corner, Roly-Poly Express (aka the opposite of Healthy Corner), and Uncle Luoyang. Why hadn’t I ever eaten at one before? Aversion to risk? Fear of the unknown? Limited experience with Chinese street food? I wouldn’t let these things hold me back anymore.

Uncle Luoyang had a huge line, so I figured it must be the best. This line was pretty serious; the girl standing behind me gave up and left after ten minutes. The guy who was now standing behind me confirmed that it was, in his opinion, the best of the lunch-time cart options. He also thought that Uncle Luoyang was the first Chinese food cart to cater to the lunch-time crowd, and that all the others were trying to get in on its success. Then, the only other non-Asian person in line ordered his lunch in fluent Chinese. Clearly, I had made the right choice.

I had no idea what to order. One would never order a fish fillet from a halal cart, and I was worried that there was an equivalent unwritten rule for Uncle Luoyang’s. I consulted the guy behind me. He was getting a B1: beef potatoes over rice. He said the dumplings were also good and that I might like the chicken fries, because they were just like something you could get from KFC. Then he asked if I had ever used chopsticks, so clearly he thought I was hopeless. I would have titled this article “I Exposed The Extent Of My Cluelessness To The Guy Behind Me In Line At Uncle Luoyang’s So You Don’t Have To”,  but he was actually super nice about it. So go ahead.

I ended up ordering the beef potatoes over rice, because I wanted to impress the guy behind me.


The person sitting across from me thought I was instagramming

Price: 5$, less than I usually pay for some sad sushi or a cold sandwich from the Diana.

Portion size: Huge. I am a hungry hungry hippo and I didn’t come close to finishing all the rice under my beef potatoes.

Taste: The beef had a delicious stewed, beefy flavor. The green beans were also good. The green stuff on the left side in that photo threw me a little because I had no idea what it was (I think some of it was cooked celery? But I have no idea what the long serrated green things are?). Still, it was tasty.

Ambience: Super nice patrons, fresh Broadway air. I waited in line for about 20 minutes, so I had lots of time to soak it all in.

Verdict: I’ll definitely be back next week to try the dumplings and chicken fries.



Bwoglines: The Whole World Is Watching, Columbia Edition
Issues framed by the world's long lashes.

Issues framed by the world’s long lashes.

To start us off: the Columbia University Medical Center, apparently among the ten worst hospitals in the state when judged on wait time, will be taking significant steps to facilitate the flow of patients through its emergency room. (New York Daily News)

Moving on to the story of the moment, our ‘Carry That Weight’ protest is receiving national attention. (Huffington Post)

Interested in how ‘Carry That Weight’ has spread beyond our gates? Just want to understand what everyone is talking about? ThinkProgress ran a story on the movement and its growth, breaking it all down.

Timed, it seems, to intersect with the protest, is a profile from Washington Post on Emma Sulkowicz.

Responding, at long last, President Bollinger expresses his views on campus rape in an article in The New Republic.

Finally, in other news, seeking to resolve a lawsuit with the U.S. government concerning AIDS grants, Columbia has agreed to a $9 million settlement.

Oddly specific world watching via (as always) Shutterstock

Carry That Weight Day Of Action At Columbia

Earlier today, hundreds of people took to Low Steps with mattresses and banners in support of survivors of sexual assault and in protest of the Columbia administration’s mishandling of the issue. The Day of Action and rally were part of the Carry That Weight campaign, a national movement started by activists at Columbia to support survivors and call for change. Over 130 universities across the nation also took part in the Day of Action.

If you somehow didn’t notice the groups of students carrying mattresses, here’s what you missed:

UPDATE, October 31st: After the demonstration on Low steps, participants in the Day of Action piled their mattresses outside Prezbo’s door. Last night, we received another statement from Carry That Weight demonstrators, which began:

After the Carry That Weight rally in front of Low, students piled the 28 mattresses–the mattresses representing the 28 Title IX Complainants–on PrezBo’s doorstep. Within an hour and a half, Columbia’s Administration threw the mattresses in the dumpster along with the list of demands posted to his door.

The full statement, which reiterates the list of demands, is available after the jump.

Read on for statements from Carry That Weight and others.

CAGE Creates Guide To Columbia Expansion

almaThis month, students from the Coalition Against Gentrification published a document entitled “Understanding Columbia University’s Expansion into West Harlem: An Activist’s Guide.” The guide aims to bring together all of the disparate information on Columbia’s expansion into one easily accessible resource.

The document includes census data and statistics on the neighborhoods surrounding Columbia, as well as information on what Columbia’s expansion may mean for those neighborhoods. For example, in the first section, the guide mentions, “Manhattanville is home to around 32,000 people…. The median household income for the neighborhood is $32,617.” It goes on to add, “The implication is that most tenants in the area live at or below the poverty level. The changes in property value that Columbia’s expansion will bring to the neighborhood present an immanent threat of displacement for unprotected tenants.”

There is also information on the recent raids on the Grant and Manhattanville houses near Columbia’s campus, which disrupted the lives of many residents. Public Safety VP James McShane gave his support to these raids in an email to the Columbia community last spring. As the document notes, that email included the information that “Columbia University’s Public Safety Program intends to escalate their surveillance and patrol activity throughout the housing projects, in collaboration with the New York Police Department.”

The majority of the guide consists of a timeline of Columbia’s expansion into West Harlem, from 1991 to 2014. Much of the information in the timeline focuses on protests of this expansion by Columbia students and West Harlem residents. Also significant are notes on Columbia’s use of eminent domain to acquire land in West Harlem. As part of the eminent domain agreement, Columbia committed to hiring a certain number of workers from West Harlem and establishing a $3 million fund for the Grant and Manhattanville Houses. However, according to articles linked in the document, both of those commitments have come into question in the past few years. As of last month, only $85,000 of the fund has actually been distributed, and the number of local workers hired has also been under investigation.

Finally, CAGE lists the sources that they have found useful in compiling this document and in the rest of their research. They also include further questions that they see as important, such as “How does the Columbia administration intend to navigate its relationship to the Grant and Manhattanville Houses from now until 2030?” and “What strategies can Columbia students adopt to mobilize in support of neighborhood residents who wish to remain in their own homes, and improve their living conditions?” More information on their work can be found on their website.

Bwog’s Costume Closet: International Student
Extra Halloween style points if you manage to snag cigarettes from, like, Paris or Shanghai or something

Extra Halloween style points if you manage to snag cigarettes from, like, Paris or Shanghai or something

Ever wondered if you could cultivate the same air of superiority as an international student? Here’s your chance to dabble in the sullen, scholarly ways of foreigners on Columbia’s campus. Claire Friedman brings you yet another Columbia-inspired costume idea: an International Student.

You Will Need:

  • Cigarette
  • Puffer jacket with fur on the hood
  • Skinny jeans
  • Scarf (preferably patterned)
  • Alluring accent
  • Trust fund


Step 1: Don your jacket, jeans, and scarf.

Step 2: Head for a hip outdoor location (ex. outside of Mel’s, the 1020 line, or a bench in front of Butler).

Step 3: Light your cigarette and engage in intellectual conversation with unwilling passersby. Other topics of conversation might include clubbing, Adderall, or clubbing.


Depending on how accurate you want your costume to be, this outfit’s price ranges from $40 to infinity.

Pseudo-intellectual satire by Taylor Grasdalen

Giving Day, Or Columbia Begging Extra Hard For Money
A guy in a suit asking for money

A guy in a suit asking for money

Today is Giving Day here at Columbia, which is an online fundraising competition between the many schools that make up the university (and apparently “Athletics” is its own school?). Notably, the money donated to each school’s fund can only be used for that school–the money isn’t part of general funds. Check out the Leader Board to see which schools are raking in the most dough. As of now, Columbia College is leading in amount donated, with Athletics and SEAS trailing behind in second and third respectively, and GS is in the lead for greatest alumni participation percentage.

Image via Shutterstock

Live At Lerner: Bridget Davis And The Viking Kings


Just in time to get you excited for fall break: Live at Lerner Sounds is having its fourth event this semester today from noon to 1pm in the Lerner Piano Lounge. This time, Bridget Davis and the Viking Kings will be performing their pop/folk repertoire (but not in Norse).

As always, they will also be serving up delicious (and free!) food. Their menu this time includes festive fare such as roast chicken with spicy pumpkin sauce, sautéed vegetables, and Halloween cookies.

Head on over to Lerner to check out the music and food and to get pumped for break!

Smooth sailing via Shutterstock

Bwoglines: Spooky City Edition
Rats and bugs and Taylor Swift, oh my!

Rats and bugs and Taylor Swift, oh my!

Watch this troubling and scary video of a woman getting catcalled over 100 times as she walks around Manhattan. (Huffington Post)

Taylor Swift has been named a New York City Global Welcome Ambassador (whatever that means). Check out her video on NYC lingo in which she explains words such as “stoop” and “bodega.” (Gothamist)

Feeling morbid? This Halloween, check out the Met’s new exhibit on mourning clothing from the 19th and 20th centuries, Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire. (Jezebel)

Bill de Blasio has revealed his Halloween costume for this year, and no one knows what he’s supposed to be dressed as! (NY Mag)

 Foggy NYC via Shutterstock

#CYPHER: CU Does It Best

Over the spring, students at Brown University got together and created a cypher. It’s okay but, honestly, we only have one thing to say about it: one of them is wearing an LL Bean vest CU can do it better. Enter a group of students who met through the Columbia University Society of HipHop (CUSH). They created an awesome cypher of their own to spark up a bit of friendly competition; after all, Brown students take like three classes so it’s not as if they don’t have the time.

The group attempts to use their lyrics to raise social awareness on topics ranging from prison divestment to underrepresentation of minority groups. We applaud them on their message, and their hat choices. The beat in this particular video is “a throwback to Rakim’s classic song “When I B On Tha Mic.

Says one Bwogger: “that shit is hot hot fire.” But don’t just take our word for it! Check out the video below:

Bwog’s Costume Closet: Hawkma, Goddess of the Skies
Mortal human desperately trying to become Goddess

What elegance

Remember when this happened? Well, that gave birth to this, and the rest is history. Hawkma has been a living legend at Columbia for seven years and now you, yes, YOU can bring her glory to your Halloween festivitiesAmateur bird-watcher/ nudist Claire Friedman is here with yet another costume idea for the Halloween-challenged: Hawkma, the feathered goddess herself. 

You Will Need:

  • Several bottles of Elmer’s glue
  • Enough feathers to cover your entire body
  • Two tarps
  • A child-sized birthday hat (yellow)


Step 1: Place each tarp on the ground. On the first, empty the Elmer’s glue bottles and spread evenly. On the second, pour the feathers.

Step 2: Take off all your clothes and roll your naked body in glue.

**note: if you’re feeling like a wimp like rolling around in glue isn’t your thing, feel free to wear a nude bodysuit for this step.

Step 3: Roll your glue-coated self in the feathers. Wait about 30 minutes for the glue to dry and the feathers to set.

Step 4: Fasten the small birthday hat over your nose like a beak. Now you’re ready to roam the skies!

Cost: Your dignity and possibly some of your skin/ hair. Also, about $40.

Feathery goodness by Taylor Grasdalen