Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Taking the Confusion Out of 'XLVI': Where to Go for the Superbowl

If you can't GO to the game in Indy, might we suggest one of these places?
With the big game less than a week away, and many of you wishing it was the weekend again, we thought we'd get you day dreaming about where you might be once kickoff rolls around on Sunday.

While many prefer the quaint and cozy party with family and friends, we realize that some socialites would rather be throwing one back with 40 of their closest friends (and neighbors) in the city.

If you happen to be one of those party people, we applaud your skills as you balance a tortilla chip dripping with salsa and dodge shoulder bumps and thunderous cheering. Here are the best places to make it happen!
  • Trina's Starlite, Inman Square, Somerville: Named best neighborhood bar in 2011 and famous for their weekday brunches, fried chicken and sloppy joe's, this venue is not to be missed! The cocktail menu has an equal playing field with all drinks being $9 and an intriguing selection of beers from High Life bottles to keg specialities like a Coffeehouse porter. They're open until 1 a.m. on game day so we suggest you give them a shot!
  • The Bone, Downtown, Framingham: If you're out in the 'burbs or just looking for a new spot, you should probably add this spot to your bucket list. Boasting their award winning food and sports viewing on HDTV, The (Chicken) Bone also offers delivery of their 13 flavors if you've already scored a venue to watch the game. We know some like it hot but we'd recommend being cautious with the sauces!
  • The Biltmore Bar & Grille, Upper Falls, Newton: Originating as a speakeasy, this classy spot is festive from its tin ceilings to its polished mahogany paneling. With local produce and dairy, The Biltmore earns a seal of approval from true New Englanders who have an appreciation for local flavors. Pull up at their salvaged tables and order oysters from the raw bar, sample proscuitto wrapped scallops or sip on creamy Yukon Gold potato soup as Brady and Manning duke it out!
  • The Stockyard, Brighton: After reading the history of this place, we were a little worried we'd be supporting the enemy, but never fear; Stockyard founder Corneilius Manning doesn't seem to have any common threads to the dastardly Eli. We were relieved because the seared ahi tuna appetizer seems too good to pass up! Of course, with traditional game day snacks like potato skins and mozzarella sticks, The Stockyard has plenty of screens and a vintage vibe that will getting you cheering to the leather heads of yore!
  • Ruth's Chris, Boston: We too were skeptical when we read that this steakhouse is a Boston favorite for Superbowl viewing but like other city adventures, we just went with it! If you're compromising with a date on a Superbowl venue or romantic night out this weekend, this spot might be just the place to agree on. It surely has a "warm, comfortable atmosphere" and the bar recognizes Boston history through its namesake, James Michael Curley. It won't be open all hours of the night, which leaves plenty of time to barhop around Faneuil Hall or the Quincy Marketplace before locals starting singing "We are the Champions". (Knock on wood!)
  • Game On, Fenway/ Landsdowne, Boston: It wouldn't truly be a comprehensive list if this watering hole wasn't listed somewhere. If you've never been to the city, Game On is one of the most popular sports bars neighboring Fenway Park. As with many city bars, the Game On menu features everything from a raw bar to soups and savory chicken wings to (not so) simple salads. While there's still time, sign-up for an All Star card to ensure return visits greet you with V.I.P. status, discounts and other cool benefits. It's like watching the game from a luxury box!
  • Jillian's, Fenway/ Landsdowne, Boston: If Game On seems a little too tame for you (despite what the line out the door might indicate), turn the corner and head up the street to Jillian's for "dancing, bowling, professional billiards or great food and drink..." They'll be open long after closing ceremonies and confetti floats over the field so grab some friends and order up some coconut shrimp or beef teriyaki skewers and salute the Pats until 2 a.m.!
  • 75 Chestnut, Beacon Hill, Boston: When you don't want to trek all over the city, a spot like 75 Chestnut is just what the doctor ordered! Nestled in the Beacon Hill district, this is more of a posh venue for those trying to avoid the "college crowd". With recipes such as beef stews, turkey sandwiches and clam chowder, there's something here for everyone even if you just park yourself at the bar. Personally, they had us at "tequila lime cocktail sauce"!
  • Big City, Allston: The website of this hangout displays a banner advertising its claims to fame: "Pool Hale. Pizza Kitchen. Beer Bar". If this sounds like the kind of place you're into, start practicing your moves (and we don't mean Hail Mary). With 15 pool tables, 4 foosball tables, 80 beers on tap and "signature pizzas", we have a feeling the good times might go into over time if you choose this spot on Sunday. (Luckily they're open until 1 a.m.!)
  • The Greatest Bar, Boston: This top locale is a frequent favorite among the twenty-somethings even on a regular weekend, so if you're looking for a fun crowd look no further! The menu is available until midnight and provides comfort food from pretzel sticks to quesadillas and you can enjoy an Amstel or Blue Moon from any one of the four levels. In addition, HDTV's will be aplenty as well as Jim Beam promotions and prizes! 
Where are YOU catching the game? Will you be with friends or family? Got any cool game day recipes or ideas to share? Send them to us at COSMOpolitique@gmail.com, in our comment box, on Facebook or by following us on Twitter @COSMOpolitique

We hope you enjoy the game and GO PATS!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tim Thomas: On Thin Ice?

Would you miss out on a team invitation to the White House?
Imagine accomplishing something and being invited to the White House to be acknowledged for it. Pretty awesome right? Apparently not awesome enough for Tim Thomas, goalie for the Boston Bruins who made  a statement this week by not accepting the invitation extended to his entire team in recognition for winning the 2011 Stanley Cup. Since his refusal to attend, many Bruins fans have voiced their opinions regarding the champion goalie and whether or not politics has a place in sports.

As a Bostonian, it's hard not to involve the two. With celebration banners hanging from our state house and parades of epic proportions through the streets where minutemen once trod when we bring home victory trophies, it seems like the two go hand in hand. Thomas, one of two Americans on the Bruins roster, could be defended with the argument that he was simply exercising his right to free speech. However, some fans believe that athletes should be role models and that perhaps Thomas should have done the gracious thing and accepted the President's invitation.

In his statement, Thomas said that he believes the Federal government has grown out of control, citing the infringement of rights, liberty and property among the reasons for his frustration. In fairness, Thomas made clear that he believe the fault lies with both parties and said that this was a difficult and individual decision.
As fans sound off on the internet and through other media, we're curious to hear what COSMOpolitique readers think. Should Thomas have taken his issues to the president or was his message heard loud and clear? Tell us in a comment below, on Facebook or on Twitter by following @COSMOpolitique

For more on Tim Thomas and what Bruins fans think of his political statement, pick up The Boston Globe, on newsstands today!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

What color is courage?: Why You Should Go See That New 'Red Tails' Movie

An Opinion.
"Straighten up, fly right"... to the Academy Awards.
I can appreciate a man in uniform. I can appreciate a good George Lucas movie. I can also appreciate an Action/ Adventure/ Drama-historical-war film lionizing some of the greatest heroes of the American military since minutemen. What I cannot appreciate it the "fun fact" that this weekend's silver screen release "Red Tails" had been put on the back-burner since 1988 because no major studio would fund the project based on the belief that an all black cast would be "unmarketable".

I'm confused. This isn't the 1860's or the 1950's right? 

For those of you who didn't have the good fortune of taking a African American history course in college (something I highly recommend), the Tuskegee Airmen who are featured in this film were the first African American military aviators in the United States armed forces. During a time when Jim Crow laws ruled the South with de jure segregation, the members of the 332nd Fighter Group and 447th Bombardment Group  braved their country's racial segregation during World War II to maintain an impressive escort record and be nationally recognized with Congressional Gold Medals.

Now that the history lesson is over, can someone please explain to me how anyone could ignore that "despite these adversities, they trained and flew with distinction" and fought with purpose for a country that wasn't willing to fight for them? As an American, I am disappointed in the job we have done as a society to recognize heroes such as these and with that, I urge you to do your part and see "Red Tails" at a theater near you.  

Have you seen it? What did you think? Tell us here, on Facebook or on Twitter by following us at @COSMOpolitique

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cite This: Wikipedia Site To "Black Out"

Seeing something like this? Here's why:
If you're a high school student studying for midterms, this is just not your week. Come tomorrow (or today), you will find that you're out of luck when it comes to your favorite online encyclopedia; turns out Wikipedia is going on vacation.

You're probably thinking, "what the @#$%!?!?!" but don't fret, it's for the greater good. 
In protest of anti-piracy legislation making its way through Congress, Wikipedia is making itself a "sacrificial lamb" of sorts to advocate against the proposed new tools for censorship. The popular informational resource joins companies such as Google and Facebook in protest and will disable its English version for 24 hours.

What's the big deal?!

The big deal is this, "If passed, this legislation will harm the free and open Internet and bring about new tools for censorship of international websites inside the United States," the Wikimedia foundation said. With supporters from the film and music industry concerned over the frequency at which their products and services are taken advantage of, the concept of intellectual property becomes a significant argument. However, opponents of the proposed legislation have built their cause around issues relating to free speech and privacy. Security on the internet has been a developing topic as social media and many businesses convert to virtual engagement.

Wikipedia has made an appeal to users and supporters of their message to contact members of Congress citing movements like the Arab Spring to press their point. They also mentioned their dissatisfaction with their need to make such a statement by barring users for 24 hours. Jay Walsh, spokesperson for Wikimedia was quoted in an article by Sarah Skidmore on Boston.com saying, "Wikipedia is about being open. We are not about shutting down and protesting. It's not a muscle that is normally flexed."

Countries like China and North Korea are severely monitored by their governments. (China even goes so far as to censor specific keywords in search engines!) While the United States is unlikely to go so far, how far is too far? 

Are you with Wikipedia or against? We want to see some free expression in action and hear your thoughts. Leave us a comment, chat with us on Facebook or send us a tweet @COSMOpolitique.

And take a look at what China is censoring (but you might have to wait until Thursday)!

Monday, January 16, 2012

What to Wear: In Your Concrete Jungle

The fashionable woman wears clothes. The clothes don't wear her. (Mary Quant)
In light of the reason fashionable favorites (and faux pas) as awards season begins, we thought we'd explore our wild side as 2012 gives us a new year to explore with our favorite kind of print: Animal!

Taking another tip from the beloved Ms. Nina Garcia, today's focus is on the necessity and future of animal print in 2012. While it makes the cut for Ms. Garcia's list of the most important pieces every woman should have in her closet, its certainly a daring choice for those who are not as likely to take fashion risks. However, as Nina says, "the truly fashionable are always daring and never dull. They are willing to run with the leopards, the cheetahs, the zebras" and willing we are. 

But how do we celebrate the concrete jungles we inhabit without making our fashion credibility extinct? Start small. Animal print accessories are bold and slightly dangerous while still looking chic.

We loved the examples we saw on Fashion Binge but we're sure you can be trusted with the mission of finding your own favorites as long as you follow the card-NINA-l rules as you shop:
  • Buying a print with pedigree. This is the best way to avoid looking garish. There are items that you can save money on. This should not be one of them.
  • Wear only one piece at a time. Any more than that and you will look like fashion roadkill.
  • Keep everything else simple, even severe. Pair the print with neutral colors. If you keep everything else classic, the print will carry itself.
  • Keep the colors muted. Less is more, but none gets you nowhere!

Michael Kors 2012.
Are you a fashion wild child? How do you rock animal print in the workplace? At a lounge? Send us pics! We'd love to see what you come up with!

And tell us all about your fashion predictions for 2012 on our Facebook page or on Twitter by following @COSMOpolitique. Can't wait to see you in your natural habitat!

Fashionably yours, COSMOpolitique

Friday, January 13, 2012

Tunes & 2012: Where to Go for the Hottest Shows of the Year

     With a busy start to the new year, we can imagine how planning ways to spend that Christmas bonus might make you a little anxious. (Especially if saving money was one of your resolutions.) But what if we said that there was a great way to spend it on yourself and turn it into a once-in-a-lifetime trip? 

Well, if you like traveling and music, you've come to the right blog.
      As early as January, the 2012 music festivals have begun to gain momentum and everywhere from Miami to Indio and Vail Valley to San Bernadino is hosting one! With our quick 2012 festival guide, we're sure you'll find the perfect excuse to gather some friends and make it an unforgettable trip.
  • March 2-4: Snowball Fest, Vail Valley, Colorado Due to the rapidly approaching date of this show, we suggest grabbing the $160 passes sooner rather than later. For fans of Afroman, Bag Raiders and Crushendo (formerly Slim Thugz), this year's line-up will make you thankful you worked so hard this year. And if that doesn't do it, then the 6,000 acres of snow for scenery certainly will! 
  • March 3: Cyprus Hill Smokeout, San Bernadino, California Despite its declaration as a music festival and medicinal marijuana expo, don't let that stop you from this "mind opening" experience. The promotional video on their website, features clips from previous shows and a massive audience and the line-up boasts such acts as The Dirty Heads and Wiz Khalifa. With over two dozen acts, GA tickets for $86 and plenty of hemp-related shopping, we suggest packing your car now. (And don't forget to pack lots of snacks!) 
  • March 9-18: SXSW, Austin, Texas After doing our homework, the (approximately) 90 stages at SXSW really got us excited. If that wasn't enough, this event doubles as a film festival! SXSW's schedule of events will keep you busy everyday which is why registration for their entrance packages (known as "badges") is especially important. Prices range from $750 to $1195 until February 10 and not that we don't think bands like The Ettes (Nashville), Fanzine (London, UK) and THE GRANNIES (San Francisco) are worth it, but planning for an event as large as this can take a lot of time, especially when it comes to finding accommodations!
  • March 23-25: ULTRA Music Festival, Miami, Florida We envy those of you who have spring break during this time and don't need to run to Human Resources with a vacation request. Take the advice from an older and wiser generation: DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW. The website blasts the foreboding words "SOLD OUT" but as with any event, if you can find tickets online, spare no cost. This year's lineup includes acts like Hardwell, Jack Beats and Kraftwerk but Loco Dice, Miike Snow and New Order will also be present for "the biggest dance music event in America". As if we haven't dropped enough names already, the full list of performers is available on their website as well as a gallery from last year and countdown to the 2012 show.
  • April 13-15 & 20-22: Coachella, Indio, California After seeing some snapshots of "Coachella cuties" from last year's show, stars like Victoria's Secret model Alessandra Ambrosio and Kate Moss put tickets to this event on our wish lists. While traditional tickets are unavailable, there seems to be some fine print that might gain you entry. Our motivation? Acts such as Pulp, Radiohead and Santogold are just a few of the things on our "most wanted" lists this year. Let us know if you get into what is known as California's flagship festival, we'll want to see pictures!

Heading to JassFest, SunFest, Sasquatch or any other "fest"'s this year? We want to hear about them! Send pictures and comments to cosmopolitique@gmail.com or tweet us @COSMOpolitique.

Friday, January 6, 2012

All Aboard the "Winternship"!

Craving your own working space? Get working on a "winternship"!
So you graduated eight months ago. Congratulations! Before you half-heartedly accepted our genuine recognition of a job well done, answer this: Are you still looking for a job? It's no secret that its cold out there. It seems that all prospects and big ideas you thought you had are just as frozen as black ice. But never fear! COSMOpolitique to the rescue!

After reading an article in The Boston Globe, we decided to explore a new concept of "winternships" and how and why you should try to score one:

Winternship: (noun) "A winter internship undertaken by students facing a bleak job market and shrinking starting salaries to bolster resumes and land a job".

  • Be open to a variety of positions: Like an audition for American Idol, its not likely you're going to skyrocket to fame and fortune on your first try. If you start out with big ideas, you'll be able to narrow your focus once you have some experience in your field. We recommend the legislature as a nice place to start if you're willing to be flexible and learn basic office skills. Political experience, even if its just taking in the environment, is an easily translatable public-sector opportunity to get to know how government works and can be applied to almost any field of study. Also, lucky for you, we're going into campaign season so many community leaders will be gearing up to put together teams of college-educated individuals to carry them to the finish line. Could it be you?
  • Accept and learn from an entry-level position: The best part is, that while you may be faced with some grunt work at first, in 2009 "nearly 90% of Goldman [Sach]'s new hires were former interns." There's no risk with demoting yourself to the status of an underaged and applying for internships. They want to teach you so we suggest sucking up the little-to-no pay and practicing your coffee ordering skills. 
  • Work like a grown-up: While your time is undoubtedly valuable, you're not going to get any work experience planted on a sofa in sweatpants. (Sorry, but life really is more comfortable on the employment line.) Imagine Facebook but real life; that's what networking in an office is all about! Whether your winternship lasts six weeks or six months, the relationships you form with people may prove useful in the long run. How you're remembered professionally will affect whether or not mention your name when a position opens up or when your cubicle-mate's brother's girlfriend's cousin's aunt (twice removed) is looking for someone JUST LIKE YOU to hire!
  • Get motivated: At some point, someone is going to want to know what you did out of college and while saying you read COSMOpolitique, make us feel all warm and fuzzy, its not likely to earn you very many points with a future employer. (But we didn't say none!) Before you apply, think about what your goals are and what you're looking to get out of the experience. Keep this list with you to help you stay motivated and to help express your interest in special projects.
  • Start getting beauty sleep: Most grown-ups we know are 9 to 5-ers so why should you be any different? Don't watch that extra episode of Dexter and hit the hay earlier so you can be awake and alert earlier. Believe it or not, if you're up and productive at earlier hours, you'll feel more accomplished later in the day!
For these and other ups visit HERcampus and leave us your suggestions below, on our Facebook page or on Twitter by following @COSMOpolitique! Good luck!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

How To: Make New Year's Resolutions Stick

It's what we're all thinking...
Drink less alcohol. Eat healthy food. Get a better job. Get fit. 
How long is your list of resolutions for the year ahead?

If you're anything like the statistics we found, you're more than likely to give up on your ambitious goals anytime after your first month. We're not saying that to discourage you. In fact, we're hoping you're up for the challenge and, if so, we have a few pointers that just might give you the confidence you need to finally make those resolutions stick!
  1. Make your goals realistic and attainable: If your plan is to lose weight, plan a realistic goal for yourself. You can always add more to a task later but by starting out small you can aim for big, overall success.
  2. Work with a friend: Sometimes its easier to work in a team. This is an effective way to reach goals on a timeline when you are part of an encouraging group. (It's like having you're own built-in cheerleaders or personal trainers!) Your successes will be their successes and you can work collaboratively on the parts of your goal that might prove to be more difficult.
  3. Rewarding yourself is okay: Every so often, a little compensation for a job well done is in order. But, be careful! Stay away from "days off" and instead do less. In lieu of completely giving up for a day, allow yourself to take a mini-vacation and do something that makes you happy but maybe temporarily takes the focus off the one task you're trying to accomplish. You might even feel better about being able to get back on track once you've taken a short break!
  4. Give yourself credit: Some goals (like quitting cigarettes) are harder to achieve than basic and simple adjustments to a lifestyle. When dealing with goals that encourage the breaking of habits, sometimes its better to set intervals of scaling back bad behavior or adverse habits and also more manageable. You'll feel more accomplished if you can accomplish pieces of your plan instead of building up anxiety when you don't meet your mark.
  5. Don't give up!: Stay focused. Even if you slip, don't beat yourself up about it. Twelve months is a long time to set and accomplish any given task so while there's room for error, there's also room for success!
Whether you are trying to save money or you just to want to plan a trip, we're rooting for you! Send us suggestions you have for meeting your new goals in 2012 by commenting below, on our Facebook page or on Twitter by following @COSMOpolitique!

Here's to a happy and healthy 2012 & may all of your resolutions be successful!