#bartending
RoomHop: Hartley Gets Classy

RoomHopping returns! Eliza Shapiro and Claire Sabel took a trip to Hartley to watch Ally McBeal and have a cocktail with Winston Nyugen. If you have RoomHop-worthy digs, email tips@bwog.net with a picture.

The LLC is not a place one might associate with color. Or, you know, fun. Winston Nyugen, CC’11, is both, and his decked-out Hartley single proves it.

Nyugen has turned his 129 square foot room into a mini hotel. The walls are painted in different shades of red, because “I always choose the fall fashion colors. This year they were red.” He also took advantage of a Circuit City going-out-of-business sale and bought a massive flat-screen TV, joining a Mac atop his dark wooden Ikea desk.

Almost no Columbia furniture remains in the room. Nyugen assembled Ikea bookshelves, where he keeps every book he’s read at Columbia excluding his Lit Hum texts. He also has a Bed Bath and Beyond bar, stocked with glasses for all occasions and a wine rack. Nyugen has recently started collecting different flavors of Absolut Vokda. “Pear is the best one,” he related. Empty bottles line an upper shelf.


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Overheard at Harvard, from the Bar

Musings from Bwog staffer Alec Turnbull, serving up lux and veritas over a summer bartending in Boston:

dfsfA pair of fragile old women in matching floral print dresses arrive first, ten minutes early. Half an hour later the room is at its 325 person capacity, and the loud buzz of conversation drowns out Harvard president-to-be Drew Faust’s first attempts to speak. My fellow bartender and I ask people to quiet down for her speech, and her third try is drowned in a chorus of SHHHs. She begins again. “I’d like to welcome everyone-” Faust continues through the rustle of everyone rushing to the bar for the last drink they’ll get until she’s finished.

They whisper now. “White wine. Two.” “You don’t have any vodka? Whiskey? Just a diet coke.” “I’ll have the pinot.” “Water, please. Flat, with three ice cubes and a lemon. Thanks.”

“Do you have champagne?” A grandmotherly woman asks as she leans in to advise me, “You should find a bottle of it. You just can’t have a toast without champagne.”

The toast isn’t for Drew Faust’s new role, but for her work with the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies, which she is leaving behind. Faust helped found the institute when Radcliffe, Harvard’s Barnard, merged with the larger university. Radcliffe’s campus has lost its undergraduates and now gives year-long fellowships to established intellectuals whose work focuses on women, gender, and society.

Everyone settles in to listen. Faust declares her pride the Institute and its success in bringing together people from disparate fields, promising to foster interdisciplinary scholarship and equal access to higher education. She says little more about her plans, preferring to reminisce about her time at the Institute and tell anecdotes about its successful fellows. Faust singles out theoretical physicist Lisa Randall for special praise, an unsubtle gibe at her predecessor, who claimed that women were naturally  less talented in science.

As Faust finishes, Randall slips through the admiring crowd and arrives at the bar blushing, “A spritzer, please. For the toast.”