Hoyas on Screen: “Sound of My Voice”

Who needs Hollywood when you have “Hoyawood”? No, I’m not just talking about the organization on campus. I’m talking about Georgetown alum and director Zal Batmanglij (COL ’01) and writer/star Brit Marling (COL ’05). Try typing their names into Google – they are quite literally the new “it” celebrities.

Their most recent film, “Sound of My Voice”, premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and will be released by Fox Searchlight Pictures this Friday. This psychological thriller follows a journalist and his girlfriend as they investigate a cult whose leaders claims to be from the future. Praising it for the way “it does a lot with a little”, a movie critic gives the film a 3.5/4 stars.

But for me personally, it’s not so much that they’ve been getting fantastic reviews. It’s more of the fact that they’ve been working and filming together for so long. According to Batmanglij, “we entered ‘Lucid Grey’ into the Georgetown festival on April 27, 2001. Now ‘Sound of My Voice’ is opening on April 27, 11 years later. It couldn’t have happened in a more perfectly cinematic way.” 

Well, Hoyas who are aspiring to be directors, actors, producers and all the above, don’t miss the opportunity to attend the private screening of “Sound of My Voice”  tomorrow night. Both Batmanglij and Marling will be present for a Q&A after the screening and they’ll be joined by their fellow alumni filmmaker Mike Cahill (COL ’01), director of “Another Earth” (which also happens to star Marling). Can you say perks of being a Hoya?

When directors and actresses just casually show up to a private screening to meet you. NBD.

(Side note: Apparently Batmanglij’s mom is quite the chef and writer. What a family.)

 Photo: collider.com

Celebrate, Remember and Fight like a Hoya

Wanna spend the night with me? Well, tomorrow’s your lucky night.

As most of you have probably noticed (you can’t really miss the bright purple signs, white and blue balloons, multi-colored STOP sign flyers, $48 in 48 hours challenge, etc.), 2012 Relay for Life at Georgetown is just around the corner tomorrow.

This year’s Relay for Life has raised over $157,000 with the top team Hoya Blue raising over $12,000 (props to them!) The event has a $400,000 goal. Since 2006, Georgetown has raised over $1.5 million for the American Cancer Society.

What exactly is Relay? Relay for Life is an overnight event in which teams of people take turns walking around a track in efforts to raise awareness and donations for the American Cancer Society.

Why should you relay? “One person can make a difference.” Here’s a little back story to Relay for Life. In the mid-1980‘s, Dr. Gordy Platt, with a desire to support his cancer patients, circled a track in Tacoma for 24 hours. In just those 24 hours, Dr. Platt raised $27,000 to fight cancer. The success of this event inspired the first Relay for Life in 1986.

Why do Hoyas relay? Hoyas relay for loved ones. Hoyas relay for survivors. Hoyas relay for less cancer. Hoyas relay for more birthdays. Because imagine what it’s like to hear the words, “you have cancer.” Listen to these stories and CELEBRATE, REMEMBER and FIGHT BACK.

Are you ready to spend the night on Harbin Field with me (and 3,000 other Hoyas) to beat our toughest opponent?

Photo credits: Georgetown Relay For Life, American Cancer Society

A Look Into Hillary’s BlackBerry

Hey girl…Ever wondered what our Madam Secretary of State has been texting? The latest meme to pop up on everyone’s Facebook newsfeeds and Tumblr dashboards features the one and only Hillary Clinton.

The original photo by Diana Walker for Time magazine was for the cover story “Hillary and the Rise of Smart Power” back in November of last year. The photo was taken aboard a C-17 flight in Malta as Hillary took one last peek at her Blackberry before taking off for Tripoli.

Texts from Hillary, founded by Stacy Lambe and Adam Smith about a month ago, has made its way about the web. In fact, it has even come up on Hillary’s staff’s radar. And what does our beloved Hillary think about the site? Well, Hillz loved it.

She loved it so much that she sent in her own meme and made a personal appearance to meet with the co-founders. Word on the street is she’s embracing this new “inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of angel food” look and has definitely taken a different approach to technology since her 2008 bid for president. Does this mean she’s back–harder, better, faster, stronger? Will we be seeing “Hillary for President” signs again in 2016? Hopefully!

One more word on these memes. I’m curious as to what she thought of Bill being in contact with Mon again. On another note, I’m having trouble choosing between her text to John Boehner or her response to Condoleeza Rice as my favorite one. Which one is yours?

Shophouse Moving into M Street

Salad, bowl, taco or burrito? Throw in black or pinto beans. Take your pick of meat or go vegetarian. Top it with your choice of salsa. And finally, finish it off with the typical sour cream, cheese, lettuce and guacamole. Oh, and don’t forget your chips.

That’s your typical Chipotle adventure.

Now, what if you’re in the mood for Asian cuisine but don’t really have an hour and a half to sit down and be served and waited on? Well, you’re in luck. The same company behind Chipotle recently launched its Shophouse branch. Most people would throw Shophouse under the “fast casual” category of restaurants. If you really wanna think about it this way, it’s kinda as if fast food and casual dining had a baby.

The first Shophouse was opened last fall in Dupont. Word on the street is another Shophouse will be taking the space vacated by Furin’s bakery, a family-owned and operated bakery that closed last summer after 27 years at 2805 M Street.

Shophouse derives its name from the architectural style of Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Hanoi. A shophouse is essentially a building that serves as a residential apartment on the upper level and then on the lower level, houses the family’s business whether it be a family-run restaurant or convenience store. To see a real Shophouses, take a look at these 19th century Singaporean shophouses.

This “fast casual” southeast Asian kitchen boasts tastes inspired by Thai, Malaysian, Vietnamese Singaporean cuisine. If all goes well, pretty soon Georgetown students can take their pick of rice, noodles or bánh mì. Choose between meat or tofu. Sprinkle on stir-fry vegetables, curry choices and garnishes and voilà, the meal is complete—quick, easy, full of variety and within the single-digits price range.

How do you feel about having the convenience of “fast casual” Asian food right on M Street?

Photo credits: The Georgetown Metropolitan

Things to Do While Staying on Campus for Spring Break

Besides catching up on homework and (for you overachievers) getting ahead in classes, spring break is what it is – a break! For some, that means a one week cruise in the Bahamas. For others, it’s going home to momma’s home-cooked meals. But for those of you staying on campus, have no fear. There’s plenty to  explore next week. So get out there and enjoy the break you deserve.

Start the break (and the weekend) off right with some Dance Bethesda. Hit up one of the participating dance studios in downtown Bethesda for a free dance lesson or two and then join in on their free dance party. Or if you’re not into dancing, check out the DC Independent Film Festival (DCIFF) located at the US Navy Heritage Center. DCIFF is one of the oldest independent film festivals in DC. With a wide selection of shorts and documentaries covering every topic to any topic, I’m sure you’ll find something that catches your eye.

In the mood for chocolate? Head on over to Fairfax, Virginia sometime over the weekend for the 2012 Chocolate Lovers Festival. The annual two-day festival includes events such a Chocolate Challenge, in which contestants create art, cakes and cupcakes out of chocolate and submit them for judging. You could be a judge (or the winner of a silent auction for one of these delicious items). Or you could participate in the Taste of Chocolate and purchase some of the finest chocolatey concoctions.

Then, after an adventurous weekend full of excursions out of the infamous Georgetown bubble, kick back and relax on campus on Monday. After all, the weatherman predicts flurries, so grab another friend who’s staying on campus and head over to Safeway before the snow starts. Pick up some food and (since no one else is using the common room), bake and make to your heart’s content.

The start of March also marks the start of Women’s History Month. Make use of Tuesday to go and honor the accomplishments of incredible American women by visiting the National Museum of Women in the Arts or the Daughters of the American Revolution Museum.

Pick a day to visit the Newseum if you haven’t already. One of Newseum’s hottest attractions is its Berlin Wall Gallery, which features sections of the original Berlin Wall. Later on during the night, check out the Flamenco Festival at George Washington University. Wednesday night presents Seville’s Rafaela Carrasco’s “Vamos al Tiroteo” and the Flamenco Festival Closing Party which features complimentary drinks and tapas from Jaleo.

The weather will be gorgeous on Thursday, so why not spend some time on Healy lawn while catching up on some homework? Take a stroll down the waterfront and maybe even finally make that run to the monuments at night that you’ve been telling yourself you’d do someday.

Friday is a shout-out to all you animal lovers. Take the train up to Baltimore and check out the National Aquarium. The aquarium has an animal feeding everyday at 2pm. Not a huge fan of creatures of the sea? It’s all good. Pay a visit to the National Zoo, where exhibits are open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every day.

The weather seems to still hold up for next weekend. Why not head on over to Roosevelt Island and see the 17 foot statue of Roosevelt? There are also plenty of nature trails if you feel like going for a hike.

Finally, in the midst of welcoming friends who are flying back in from their island or home adventures, bring out the green from your closet and head on over to join in on the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Constitution Avenue. The 41st annual St. Patrick’s Day parade revolves around the theme of “Feed the Soul – Nourish the Palate.”

Happy Friday and have a safe spring break!

Photo credits: Bethesda.org, WRSOL.com and Lisner.org

D.C. Streetcars Strike Back

Ever wondered what went down in the Car Barn before Georgetown professors and students began making use of it? Well, the next time you’re sitting in class, minutes away from dozing off, think about how less than 50 years ago, the Car Barn didn’t house any classrooms. Rather, it housed streetcars that were undergoing maintenance. Also, it was actually super close to becoming a Union Station.

So why the mention of the building that many students dread walking to? Streetcars, that’s why. The first streetcars in D.C. appeared in 1862 and were literally horse powered. After a little under 100 years of operation, streetcars were replaced by buses and the Metrorail system. Now, fifty years after that fateful decision, D.C. residents welcome the return of a streetcar system.

Continue reading “D.C. Streetcars Strike Back”

Georgetown’s Fictional Alumni

The awkward moment when you find out that Bill Clinton wasn’t the only United States president who attended Georgetown. Yep, you read that right. In fact, this other president was a Democrat, too.

So who does Bill Clinton share the limelight with? None other than 24‘s David Palmer, a Georgetown graduate with a B.A. in Political Economy. Palmer also notes that he played on the basketball team and hit a buzzer-beater to get Georgetown into the Final Four. He later became a Congressman and a Senator before becoming POTUS. Jack Bauer might have a few words to say about him.

This all begs the question, what other fictional characters have attended our beloved university?  Continue reading “Georgetown’s Fictional Alumni”