NYU Local http://nyulocal.com The Blog of New York University Sun, 21 Dec 2014 18:40:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Gridiron G-Chat — Week Sixteen: NYU Local’s Extravagant Holiday Party, Perpetual Thursday Night Mediocrity, And Another Bird-On-Bird Match-Up http://nyulocal.com/city/2014/12/18/gridiron-g-chat-week-sixteen-nyu-locals-extravagant-holiday-party-perpetual-thursday-night-mediocrity-another-bird-bird-match/ http://nyulocal.com/city/2014/12/18/gridiron-g-chat-week-sixteen-nyu-locals-extravagant-holiday-party-perpetual-thursday-night-mediocrity-another-bird-bird-match/#respond Thu, 18 Dec 2014 20:30:04 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=127956 Once upon a time (ok, two years ago), NYU Brocal had this lovely little series called Gridiron G-chat. The concept was simple: every week, two bros would gather around the warmth of their laptops and chat about that weekend’s games. With Jeremy and Eric doing real, adult things now, Joe Kozlowski and Paul Sondhi will... Read More

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tempCM4_9017--nfl_mezz_1280_1024Once upon a time (ok, two years ago), NYU Brocal had this lovely little series called Gridiron G-chat. The concept was simple: every week, two bros would gather around the warmth of their laptops and chat about that weekend’s games. With Jeremy and Eric doing real, adult things now, Joe Kozlowski and Paul Sondhi will be guiding you through the world of #sports.

Joe Kozlowski: So finals week and the (almost) final week of the season. Seems kind of fitting.

Paul Sondhi: My semester is over wooooo! Now I can follow the downfall of the Philadelphia Eagles fully.

JK: And I have my sports-based colloquium Friday! I may mention the Chiefs teaching me about perpetual disappointment. Speaking of which, what’s your biggest disappointment of the season?

PS: Jay Cutler, man. Of course I would like to see a healthy Nick Foles and dominant Eagles team, but watching Cutler literally look like he doesn’t know how to play football has been sad.

JK: He used to be the Uncle Rico of the NFL…now it looks like he’s back to grilling steaks alone in his van.

PS: They played so well last year; this year’s performance is a shame. Oh well, in two weeks the Bears will be long gone.

JK: Just like our g-chat (until we come back for our giant Super Bowl finale!!!!). But games?

Titans at Jaguars

JK: You know how Thursday games are never well played? Add this to that list.

PS: Uh, I’m avoiding this game.

Chargers at 49ers

JK: Ahh the rare late-season Saturday game. 49ers are disappointing and the Chargers are solid, if unremarkable, enough to not have a big problem.

PS: Essentially two non-playoff teams here. I’m only really interested in what happens with Jim Harbaugh and Colin Kaepernick at the end of the year. If you told me two years ago that neither of them would be with the 49ers heading into the 2015 season, I’d be shocked. But, it’s not so far-fetched.

JK: Hey, maybe they can find their way to the Chiefs in a few years.

Eagles at Washington

JK: Enjoyable? Maybe. High quality? Probably not. You can explain what’s going on here.

PS: Philadelphia has screwed themselves. Blowing it the last couple weeks is embarrassing. I’m hopping on the Mariota bandwagon (and things in Philly are still better than for Washington).

Vikings at Dolphins

JK: So this is a football game. Dolphins win a game that will be silight better than we all think.

PS: Agreed. Let’s move on..

Ravens at Texans

JK:So what would happen if JJ Watt played quarterback?

PS: This MVP race would be damn interesting.

Lions at Bears

JK: So Jimmy Clausen.

PS: It’s come to this. 7-5 midway through last season must feel like years ago for Bears fans. You know it’s gotten bad when I sympathize with Chicagoans in a game against the Lions.

Browns at Panthers

JK: 80 passing yards. I could throw for more than that. I legitimately believe that if you gave me a decent offensive line against an average defensive line, I could do it.

PS: MORE JOHNNY FOOTBALL!

JK: Lebron James would do better. Trade.

Falcons at Saints

JK: No one wants to win this division. If this game could end in a negative -14 tie, it would. But the Saints have been playing better so I guess them?

PS: New Orleans still has the potential to be a good team; Atlanta, not so much. I’d much rather see the Saints in the playoffs.

Packers at Buccaneers

JK: Aaron Rodgers wins again, continuing to pay for our lavish offices. That holiday party won’t pay for itself.

PS: My credibility is restored in this inevitable blowout.

Chiefs at Steelers

JK: Chiefs essentially have to win. Steelers have been generally solid, but the Chiefs have an odd history of beating Pitt. They can take one in an ugly game, something like 17-13.

PS: Not looking so hot for KC. I hope they beat the Steelers, though, because I’m sick of that franchise.

JK: Said this before, but I will take any way I can get you to root for the Chiefs.

Patriots at Jets

JK: Lol

PS: I want the Jets to win. #MariotaToTheEagles

JK: Literally no chance Bill Belichick allows the Jets to win. Even if he has to use force lightning.

Giants at Rams

JK: So how high is Odell Beckham Jr. going in fantasy drafts next year?

PS: Could he be the key to making Eli a good quarterback again? I wouldn’t be surprised if the Giants made some noise next year.

JK: Confidence is half the battle and you can’t not have confidence that he’ll catch the ball if it’s in his general vicinity.

Bills at Raiders

JK: Going to Oakland can trip a team up, but not with these Raiders. Good defense beats non-existent QB, even in a tough home field.

PS: Ha. Ha. Ha. Buffalo wins.

Colts at Cowboys

JK: So a horse against a guy who rides a horse. Could see this being an enjoyably high-scoring affair with the Colts pulling away in the end. Something like 28-24.

PS: I want to hate on the Cowboys sooo badly, but I’ve got to give them respect. I think they hold their own against Indy at AT&T Stadium.

Seahawks at Cardinals

JK: Please stop with these bird vs. bird matchups. (Seattle wins, but it will be closer than it really should be.)

PS: Seattle’s gaining that crucial momentum heading into the playoffs. Looking forward to the Seahawks-Packers NFC Championship game.

Broncos at Bengals

JK: We know who is going to win, so: Can the Bengals rebound for next season? They’ve got the weapons and a not terrible defense, but have looked so far from a good team post-injuries.

PS: One of my friends has Emmanuel Sanders on his fantasy team and he’s playing in our league’s championship game this week. He’s worried about Peyton, and frankly I am too. I hope he gets healthy before the playoffs.

JK: Way to completely avoid my question. You clearly were prepared for your finals, good sir.

PS: I practiced my question-dodging, Joe.

JK: Well I guess we won’t drag your semester out anymore. See y’all for the Super Bowl.

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NYC Subway Etiquette For the Winter http://nyulocal.com/city/2014/12/18/nyc-subway-etiquette-winter-edition/ http://nyulocal.com/city/2014/12/18/nyc-subway-etiquette-winter-edition/#respond Thu, 18 Dec 2014 17:28:03 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=127931 Alas, it is winter again! It’s the season of joy and giving, but also, possibly the worst time of year to commute by subway as you battle your way through crowds of tourists with shopping bags, crowds of New Yorkers with shopping bags, and that layer of fine, snowmelt sludge that collects on the platform... Read More

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32Alas, it is winter again! It’s the season of joy and giving, but also, possibly the worst time of year to commute by subway as you battle your way through crowds of tourists with shopping bags, crowds of New Yorkers with shopping bags, and that layer of fine, snowmelt sludge that collects on the platform in the winter months. Subway etiquette is important at every time of the year, but winter brings with it certain concerns for those of you who will continue to swipe your yellow card even after you’ve handed in your last final. Have no fear, however! Acquaint yourselves with these easy rules, and you’ll never again be the unfortunate recipient of subway side eye.

NYU Local’s Guide to Winter Subway Etiquette:

Make Space On The Train: Winter is here, which means that winter coats are here, too. Everyone’s going to be a little bit more padded, which naturally means that there will be less empty space. In addition, all of those people who normally walk/bike/canoe to work will now be forced underground for want of better weather (and all of the students skipping class will eventually have to show up for finals). Because there will be more folks using the subway system at this time of year, there will be less space available per individual rider. Take your backpack off and hold it by your knees, step aside to let passengers on and off the train, and move all the way into the subway car when you get on a crowded train. And, yes, the definitive rule is that people get off the train before people get in. Shuffle along with the cosmic flow of the subway, and get out of the way when the situation calls for it.

It Truly Is Cold And Flu Season: In case you couldn’t hear the constant loop of subway announcements over whatever finals inspiration music you have blasting through your headphones, be aware that it is, in fact, cold and flu season. If you have to sneeze, sneeze into the bend of your elbow or into a tissue. In fact, if you find yourself sneezing multiple times on your commute, you might want to consider a quick trip to the Health Center. Don’t forget to eat and sleep regularly, especially during finals (but please do not eat or sleep on the subway). You’ve come too far to succumb to a cold that you caught from some creep on the L train. Hand wash, tissues, orange juice, repeat.

PDA Is Not Okay: Just because you and your bae think it’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year does not make it okay to propagate your love by forcing everyone else on the subway to watch you make out. Making out on the train is not okay. Holding hands on the train might be okay, as long as you’re not staring intensely into each other’s eyes while you do it. Just remember that the subway, like everywhere else in New York City, is a public space, full of people who do not want to see the intimate, private moments of your love life. Other public spaces that are inappropriate venues for PDA include: the bus, the sidewalk, the park, and the Bobst stacks.

SERIOUSLY, Make Space On The Train: I’m putting this on the list twice because I want to emphasize just how important it is — not only in the winter, but also all year round. The metal pole in the train is for hands, and it is not your personal backrest. Don’t put your feet, shopping bags, dog, or other non-human portables on the seat. And although it’s not necessarily New York City custom, it is nice to give up your seat to someone who needs it more. Oh, and don’t spread your legs on the benches. Whatever you’ve got in there isn’t so fragile that it needs four seats of girth.

Don’t Be A Jerk: Most people don’t ride the train for fun, which means that at the end of the day, everyone who gets on the subway has somewhere to go. Your destination probably isn’t more important than anybody else’s, and a little patience goes a long way in these crowded times. Little things, like keeping your music at a reasonable volume, throwing trash into the garbage can instead of on the floor of the train, and stepping aside so people can get off a crowded train can make a huge difference in someone’s commute. Be respectful, don’t be pushy, and you can make the inevitable rush hour subway commute a little more bearable for everyone.

[Image via]

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[VIDEO] Official Guide to Scarf Confidence http://nyulocal.com/video-2/2014/12/18/video-official-guide-scarf-confidence/ http://nyulocal.com/video-2/2014/12/18/video-official-guide-scarf-confidence/#respond Thu, 18 Dec 2014 15:55:55 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=127622 Scared of scarves? Why? Don’t be. We’ll show you how to rock that thing like you were “born this way.” Impress your friends, impress your lovers, and, most importantly, impress yourself. Video by Zack Young, Cooper Lovano and Natalie Markiles

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Scared of scarves? Why? Don’t be. We’ll show you how to rock that thing like you were “born this way.” Impress your friends, impress your lovers, and, most importantly, impress yourself.

Video by Zack Young, Cooper Lovano and Natalie Markiles

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The Strange Life Of The Greenwich Village Paddington Bear http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2014/12/18/strange-life-greenwich-village-paddington-bear/ http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2014/12/18/strange-life-greenwich-village-paddington-bear/#respond Thu, 18 Dec 2014 15:13:56 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=127936 With the upcoming film “Paddington,” you might have been hearing a lot about a certain marmalade-loving British bear lately. What you might not know is that this story is as relevant to West 4th Street as it is to Paddington Station. Paddington Bear has a unique and important place in Greenwich Village history, and his... Read More

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Paddington-Bear-Cartoon

With the upcoming film “Paddington,” you might have been hearing a lot about a certain marmalade-loving British bear lately. What you might not know is that this story is as relevant to West 4th Street as it is to Paddington Station. Paddington Bear has a unique and important place in Greenwich Village history, and his arrival to the neighborhood was almost as strange and magical as Michael Bond’s stories themselves. Because of Paddington’s recent media explosion, NYU Local presents you with you a brief history of his life in the city, and proof that P.B is as much New York’s bear as he is London’s.

In the basement of 18 West 11th Street on March 6th, 1970, three members of a radical leftist organization called “the Weathermen” (named from the line in Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues”) died after a homemade nail bomb they were building exploded. The Weathermen were planning on bombing a non-commissioned officer’s dance at Fort Dix in New Jersey as an act of protest against the Vietnam War. Surviving Weathermen would form the Weather Underground, attack the Pentagon, and break Timothy Leery out of jail, among other things — you can find a great documentary on them here. Kathy Boudin, a Weatherman who was present in the building at the time of it’s explosion, actually worked as a scholar in residence in 2013. While this might seem like a bizarre way to begin a story on Paddington Bear’s life in NYC, 18 West 11th street would become his eventual home.

If you’re familiar with Rubin Hall you might have seen this building before — it’s pretty distinctive. In 1978, after architect Hugh Hardy laid out his plans to rebuild the then vacant lot, telling the New York Times he was “deeper into diagonals at that point,” Norma Langworthy and her husband purchased the home for $80,000 (about $290,000 today). Norma was a philanthropist and theater lover who produced several off-Broadway plays, including “Cliffhanger,” “The Perfect Party,” “Suds,” “The Springhill Singing Disaster,” “The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged),” and “The Road to Mecca.” Langworthy was also, apparently, passionate about Paddington.

After moving in, Langworthy began placing a Paddington Bear doll in their prominent front window — a tradition that continued for 35 years. West 11th Street’s Paddington Bear was always well dressed. He wore a raincoat on stormy days, a festive sun hat on Easter, a Santa hat through the holidays, and occasionally scuba gear. Paddington’s outfits always seemed to be completely on point with the goings on of The Village. On the day Paddington and a companion bear were dressed as bride and groom, a neighborhood physician proposed to his girlfriend on the street in front of the building (obviously, she accepted). After Langworthy’s death in 2012, Paddington donned a black funeral suit. When the building went on the market again that January, you could still see Paddington toiling away in the front window, this time wearing a Corcoran tee shirt.

Paddington’s effect on the neighborhood was enormous, especially in the wake of the violence that preceded him. Students at P.S. 41, an elementary school down the street from 18 West 11th, shared a strong connection to him, with the bear sometimes donning a P.S. 41 shirt on the first day of school. While you won’t find Paddington at his old address anymore, (the building is currently on sale and unoccupied), he has found a new home at the elementary school. And yes, he still gets dressed up.

[image via]

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NYU Has Announced The Architects Who Will Design The New Coles http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2014/12/18/nyu-announced-architects-will-design-new-coles/ http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2014/12/18/nyu-announced-architects-will-design-new-coles/#respond Thu, 18 Dec 2014 14:41:05 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=127965 NYU has chosen the architecture firms to design the building which will soon be replacing our beloved, stinky Coles. The selection process for the Coles-site architects began this summer with 16 initial firms. With the help of the Superblock Stewardship Advisory Committee, these were then narrowed down through an RFQ/RFP process and extensive criteria including... Read More

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colesNYU has chosen the architecture firms to design the building which will soon be replacing our beloved, stinky Coles. The selection process for the Coles-site architects began this summer with 16 initial firms. With the help of the Superblock Stewardship Advisory Committee, these were then narrowed down through an RFQ/RFP process and extensive criteria including a well-established New York City presence and experience with academic institutions. In the end, NYU decided upon Davis Brody Bond and KieranTimberlake, two firms that more than exceed the aforementioned criteria.

“We are well aware of the significance of the project for NYU and for the neighborhood. A terrific amount of work by the NYU community has already gone into developing the program, goals and design principles of this new building,” said William H Paxson, AIA, a partner at Davis Brody Bond. “Our goal will be to build upon that effort, and to help make this building a vibrant extension of a great urban campus and a sensitive addition to one of New York’s most cherished neighborhoods.”

Amid Davis Brody Bond’s portfolio are the 9/11 Memorial Museum, The Portico Gallery at The Frick Collection, and Brooklyn Bridge Park as well as work at Columbia and Northwestern Universities. KieranTimberlake also has a wide range of experience with academic institutions, including Yale, Harvard, and Rice Universities. They have additionally worked with the Museum of Modern Art, constructing the MoMA’s Cellophane House, and designed the U.S. Embassy in London, which is planned for completion in 2017. (They also built a home on stilts called the Loblolly House — slightly irrelevant to Coles, but still fun to say out loud).

As for the design itself, John Beckman said that, “the new building will fulfill important academic space needs for NYU under a plan that was overwhelmingly approved by the City Council in 2012.  The facility’s many uses will include classrooms, teaching spaces for performing arts, a state-of-the-art sports facility, and student and faculty housing.”

Alison Leary added, “NYU understands it will be held to a high standard for architectural excellence, and we believe we have selected the right team for this important project. These firms have won some of the most prestigious awards in the fields of architecture and design, and the exceptional quality of their work has earned them some of the most prominent commissions of our day.”

[Image via]

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Local Stops: Sad Selena Gomez, A Dance Craze, And One Snazzy Elevator. http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2014/12/17/local-stops-sad-selena-gomez-dance-craze-one-snazzy-elevator/ http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2014/12/17/local-stops-sad-selena-gomez-dance-craze-one-snazzy-elevator/#respond Wed, 17 Dec 2014 21:16:37 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=127922 The hot new dance for the holiday season. No one understands Selena Gomez. An elevator that’s so nice, you might not complain when someone presses the ‘2’ button. Photo of the day by Rishi Bandopadhay

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ES - 06 - BandopadhayThe hot new dance for the holiday season.

No one understands Selena Gomez.

An elevator that’s so nice, you might not complain when someone presses the ‘2’ button.

Photo of the day by Rishi Bandopadhay

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NYU Berlin Art Show REIFWERDEN Is A Ripe Piece Of Success http://nyulocal.com/national/2014/12/17/nyu-berlin-art-show-reifwerden-ripe-piece-success/ http://nyulocal.com/national/2014/12/17/nyu-berlin-art-show-reifwerden-ripe-piece-success/#respond Wed, 17 Dec 2014 20:58:48 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=127899 BERLIN – On Friday, December 12, St. Agnes Art Studio in Berlin-Mitte presented REIFWERDEN, an exhibition of NYU Berlin student artwork curated by NYU students Maia Smillie and Dominic DeLuque. St. Agnes, a former Catholic Church now housing several art-centric organizations including NYU’s new space for art classes, is described by Google as an “all-but-windowless concrete... Read More

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BERLIN – On Friday, December 12, St. Agnes Art Studio in Berlin-Mitte presented REIFWERDEN, an exhibition of NYU Berlin student artwork curated by NYU students Maia Smillie and Dominic DeLuque.

St. Agnes, a former Catholic Church now housing several art-centric organizations including NYU’s new space for art classes, is described by Google as an “all-but-windowless concrete monolith.” Co-curator DeLuque remarked “Working with the NYUB studios at St. Agnes was a little challenging because it’s still technically under construction. We had to move a lot of things into storage ourselves but also had lots of help from the school with making sure everything was set up.”

ReifwerdenCurators

REIFWERDEN co-curators Dominic DeLuque and Maia Smillie next to Untitled by Elizabeth Berman.

Upon entering this so-called monolith, it was clear that the organizers had indeed executed everything well. The evening had a general air of professionalism to it; everything looked well-presented. There was also an unavoidable feeling upon first glance that the evening aspired to be more posh than it was in an effort to fit into the expected ‘art world’ mold that inevitably tends to appeal mainly to the wealthy and bourgeois—perhaps it was something about the myriad of black clothing or the beverage station featuring a uniformed server doling out glass after dainty glass of Prosecco.

However, this impression did not last for long. One only needed to walk into the studio space and look to the left—there, on a massive projection screen, was Tisch photography student Kristian Heijkoop’s video series The AKB48 Incident, unabashedly blaring sexually-charged female hip-hop and displaying a bevy of striking visuals, including an apathetic Asian woman rolling around in lingerie, tentacle porn, and a McDonalds ad featuring overexcited Japanese children interlaid with moaning.

The piece was inspired by a 2013 public act of slut-shaming within J-Pop girl group AKB48, and it brought an irreverent charm to the otherwise stark white walls of the gallery space. Any starkness created by the building itself became a side note, as the artwork on display was clearly the main event. The attendees ended up being as colorful as the work, and a warm and friendly environment was created as students, teachers, and friends of all sorts arrived who were largely more concerned with supporting their friends and peers than analyzing the social commentary of brushstrokes.

HeijkoopAKB48

Still from The AKB48 Incident by Kristian Heijkoop.

A particular highlight of the evening was the sole piece of performance art in the program by Turner Barrett Law, titled “cum as u r,” in which he recited passionate poetry while hot candle wax dripped on him from above. Stakes in the room rose as high as the temperature of the wax when the massive cross-like wooden structure containing approximately 20 burning hanging candles began to fall and nearly toppled to the ground, threatening to take a laptop down with it. The audience enjoyed a collective shriek of genuine terror as Law managed to grab the structure at the last second, integrating this accident into the arc of the piece as if it was planned the entire time.

The title of the show, Reifwerden, translates to ‘gestation’ or ‘ripening.’ While it was not always clear how the content of the art displayed pertained to this theme, a motif that was clear was the city of Berlin itself. Multiple works spanning several mediums dealt with Berlin, though photography proved the most popular, seen in Mike Guimond’s colorful photo print Lost depicting a neon-lit Friedrichshain warehouse, Kellie Krouse’s Positive and Negative featuring photos of countless construction cranes connected by blue thread, Allegra Sussman’s Untitled photo series showcasing the more intimate and everyday bits of life in the city. After more than 3 months living there, Berlin’s positive influence on students was very tangible.

GuimondLost

Lost by Mike Guimond.

A student exhibition could have been difficult to publicize, as the average NYUB student does not typically have a large network within Berlin to reach out to. This could have resulted in a dull night in which only people from NYUB itself came, but this was pleasantly not the case. Not only did students, teachers, and administrators from all departments of the Berlin campus attend, but throughout the evening many unfamiliar faces were spotted. Some of these faces turned out to be art critics and members of Berlin’s art scene, including acclaimed gallerist Johann König, who spoke to several of the curators and exhibitors about their work.

Tisch student Kyle Rogers mentioned that “it was great to see the unfamiliar faces of our professors’ colleagues,” and Studio Art major Kellie Krouse felt it was “great to get feedback from people other than just my peers and faculty.” Dominic DeLuque put it best when he said “it felt like more than just a student show.” The evening provided students from all departments the valuable chance to show their work publically to a wide audience. Overall, NYU Berlin’s 2014 student art show was a true success.

[photo 1 courtesy of Dominic DeLuque, photo 2 courtesy of Gilda Gross, photo 3 via, photo 4 courtesy of Mike Guimond]

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An Evening With Mac DeMarco http://nyulocal.com/entertainment/2014/12/17/evening-mac-demarco/ http://nyulocal.com/entertainment/2014/12/17/evening-mac-demarco/#respond Wed, 17 Dec 2014 20:26:45 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=127905 Most rockstars take pride in achieving an almost deified, supernatural status with their fans—not Mac DeMarco. Mac is the everyman’s rockstar in every sense of the term. From dress to demeanor he makes no conscious effort to separate himself from his listeners. Instead, he enjoys a commonality with them, making him one of the most... Read More

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Most rockstars take pride in achieving an almost deified, supernatural status with their fans—not Mac DeMarco. Mac is the everyman’s rockstar in every sense of the term. From dress to demeanor he makes no conscious effort to separate himself from his listeners. Instead, he enjoys a commonality with them, making him one of the most likable people in music.

His location, unlike his demeanor, however, is far removed. In Far Rockaway, an hour and a half from Washington Square Park by the A train, he greets us at the door of his home in a plain white tee shirt, jeans, and socks. He leads us to the back of his newly purchased pad with its pristine view of JFK Int’l, lights up a cigarette, and plops down on the couch with a guitar for an interview more relaxed and conversational than anything else. After a short time, our questions have been exhausted but not our curiosity. Mac, sensing this, asks, “are y’all fucking hungry or what?” to which we respond in the affirmative. “So lets make some fucking dinner!,” he says.

The kitchen is for the most part barren, but as with his music, Mac is able to cook up something good with the most minimal of ingredients. With a Doobie Brothers record playing in the other room, he decides on gnocchi, but he eats healthy, so while the pasta begins to cook he chops up brussels sprouts and cauliflower, cutting his finger in the process. Some blood makes it into the pasta sauce before he can stem the tide, but thats not the secret to making it like in the old country; its a dash of sugar. “Just-a like-a mama used to make-a,” he sings as he stirs the pot.

We settle down with the gourmet meal in the living room. It is littered with vinyl, cassettes, and old VHS tapes belonging partly to Mac and partly to his roommates but for our entertainment this evening Mac decides on the Simpsons. He doesn’t own a tv, instead he watches shows from streaming websites played on his wall by a projector connected to his computer. After several tries to find an episode whose audio and video sync up to at least some degree, he gives up in favor of “Coming to America” with Eddie Murphy, a film about the classy borough of Queens, Mac’s home. Somewhere between James Earl Jones’ thunderous exhortations to his son about his status and his servants’ declaration that, “the royal penis is clean, your highness,” Mac remarks that this is his favorite movie ever. Taken aback, I ask if it actually is, to which he replies, “no, just right now.”

Fifteen minutes later he’s grown bored with the movie and moved to the other room to continue tinkering with all of his broken gear. Taking this as our cue to leave, we begin packing up and thank him for a wonderful evening. “See you guys later,” he calls from the door as we walk past his beaten down Volvo and into the seedy Far Rockaway night.

Interview co-written by Michael Waller and Noah Davies. Video by Phillip Braun.

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Consider Being More Than Just An American http://nyulocal.com/entertainment/2014/12/17/lol-dual-citizenship-cool/ http://nyulocal.com/entertainment/2014/12/17/lol-dual-citizenship-cool/#respond Wed, 17 Dec 2014 19:45:35 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=127838 There are a lot reasons to apply for dual citizenship–from bragging rights to being able to compete for a different national team  (lol, NYU kids playing sports)–but in general, it’s not something that a lot of people bring up. For a lot of Americans, dual citizenship only comes up when people are immigrating to the... Read More

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Hands on a globeThere are a lot reasons to apply for dual citizenship–from bragging rights to being able to compete for a different national team  (lol, NYU kids playing sports)–but in general, it’s not something that a lot of people bring up. For a lot of Americans, dual citizenship only comes up when people are immigrating to the United States or when the Olympics come around and you realize that a lot of the members of the United States teams were recently naturalized after competing for their home countries. But either way, there isn’t much buzz around people who have grown up in the United States trying to gain dual citizenship with other countries.

But, it’s something you might want to look into if you think you could possibly gain dual citizenship. One of the hardest things about dual citizenship is just being eligible for it. Most countries have pretty strict regulations to allow citizenship–and for some reason they’re also seemingly hidden on every websites. In general, to gain citizenship to another country you usually have to be born in that country, your parents have to be born in that country, you’ve married someone from that country or live in that country. But, some countries–like Latvia, where I’m applying for dual citizenship–have special naturalization processes because of World War II. While not all are completely up to date, there are a few websites that try to simplify dual citizenship.

Spoiler Alert: dual citizenship is basically hard as fuck to obtain–or maybe I’m just a baby. It’s a lot like a Visa application in that you basically drown in paperwork in a language you can’t understand. But, there’s also the added bonus of proving you’re related to people, providing your birth certificate and shuffling some passports around. For me, because I’m applying under a new clause which allows exiles and the descendants of exiles who fled Latvia between 1940 and 1990 to apply for citizenship, there’s also a letter that my grandparents need to sign verifying that they were fleeing either German troops or Soviet invasion when they left Latvia. But, every country is different, complex, and in a different language so it takes a lot of scouring the web to figure out exactly what you’ll need to apply.

There’s definitely a pay-off for all the paperwork hell you go through when applying for citizenship, especially if you manage to get dual citizenship with a country in the European Union. The light at the end of the tunnel is a shiny, new, not American passport that lets you travel through and live in most European countries without a visa, and saves you from any anti-American sentiments you could possibly face. So if you can, it’s definitely an avenue to explore.

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The Mystery Of Dining Hall Music http://nyulocal.com/entertainment/2014/12/17/mystery-dining-hall-music/ http://nyulocal.com/entertainment/2014/12/17/mystery-dining-hall-music/#respond Wed, 17 Dec 2014 18:26:06 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=127833 Are you ever eating Kimmel pasta, snacking on Hayden cookies, or even guiltily glancing around while scarfing down some Upstein Chick-Fil-A and suddenly notice that the dining hall is playing some major jams? That’s a rhetorical questions because it’s pretty obvious that you have—we all know that Stevie Nicks playing in Downstein is a gift... Read More

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Are you ever eating Kimmel pasta, snacking on Hayden cookies, or even guiltily glancing around while scarfing down some Upstein Chick-Fil-A and suddenly notice that the dining hall is playing some major jams? That’s a rhetorical questions because it’s pretty obvious that you have—we all know that Stevie Nicks playing in Downstein is a gift from the dining hall gods.

While underappreciated, the music soundtracking your dining hall experience is of the utmost importance. You’d probably notice if every dining hall started playing loud annoying music even if you don’t notice that you’re bobbing your head to some One Direction song while eating.

So the biggest question you never knew you even had is where does NYU get these sweet pop jams. Like seemingly everything at this university, the answer is a little complicated.

The music we hear in dining halls comes from a company called Muzak—yes, the same Muzak that’s famous for the elevator and hold music we all know and love—which was recently acquired by Mood Media, a company that specializes in creating specific atmospheres for their clients. Luckily for us, NYU Dining doesn’t take advantage of all the services Mood Media has to offer: whatever scent Mood Media offers for pre-finals stress eating doesn’t seem like a particularly good investment and the possibility of NYU specific ads interrupting our music seems horrific.

The playlist that Muzak and Mood Media creates is then provided to the dining halls on a disc—I assume it’s delivered via armored car because that shit is important. A dining hall employee simply pops the disc in the sound system and our stressed out college ears are greeted with some killer tunes. The selections are then changed every six weeks for our listening pleasure.

The Muzak website boasts “nearly 3 million tracks–the world’s largest digital archive containing everything from biggest hits to forgotten gems” while the Mood Media highlights its “150+ programs” to choose from which explains the sometimes eclectic music choices we hear on a daily basis.

Ann Marie Powell, the Director of Dining Services at NYU, describes the NYU dining hall music selections as ranging from pop to mood music. The only real rule to the playlists is “no heavy metal music during the morning hours.”  So metal heads, either bring your own music to breakfast or deal with the Ke$ha because you are most certainly not going to be pleased.

It seems a bit strange that NYU contracts out the dining hall playlists to Muzak when WNYU, NYU’s radio station, spins music morning, noon and night from their offices in Weinstein’s basement.

We’ve brought up the concept of having WNYU playing in the dining halls in a couple of times in our management meetings.,” said Luka Douridas, a C.A.S. senior and the general manager of WNYU. “I’ve even had NYU dining hall employees ask me about it. The main question has been whether NYU students would enjoy listening. It’s not necessarily about the accessibility of the music, but rather what would work well in a dining hall setting.”

Despite acknowledging the challenges, WNYU representatives says would embrace streaming their radio shows in NYU dining halls.

“We’d love for that to happen,” said Micah Loewinger, a Gallatin senior and WNYU’s program director. “If anything, I think streaming WNYU at dining halls would give students more control over the music, because we take requests.”

Additional reporting by Peter Slattery.

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What You Need To Know About The Senate’s Torture Report http://nyulocal.com/national/2014/12/17/torture-report/ http://nyulocal.com/national/2014/12/17/torture-report/#respond Wed, 17 Dec 2014 17:32:51 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=127823 A version of the Senate Select Committee of Intelligence’s “Torture Report” was released to the public and Congress last week, which unleashed a harrowing debate on our country’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques, or EIT’s. Even with the holiday season approaching, the legitimacy of the issue is not something to overlook. Americans are serious (or at... Read More

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A version of the Senate Select Committee of Intelligence’s “Torture Report” was released to the public and Congress last week, which unleashed a harrowing debate on our country’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques, or EIT’s.

Even with the holiday season approaching, the legitimacy of the issue is not something to overlook. Americans are serious (or at least claim to be) about human rights and moral initiative, and the odds of you avoiding this debate are slim.

Here are the essentials of what you need to know when facing a debate on the matter. We’re a little late to the conversation ourselves, so we’ll bring you up to speed in a hurry.

There is no question that we as a nation, for a period of time after 9/11, tortured known al-Qaeda operatives with techniques that include but are not limited to the following:

Water boarding, detainment in coffins and boxes the size of dog cages, rectal-rehydration (you can do the math here), extreme sleep deprivation, and psychological torment that was said to send some of the detainees into hallucinative states.

This is important: no one believes that torturing is a just method of interrogation. You must stress that torture is un-American, or you yourself will be painted as that, un-American.

The report cites that these methods of interrogation were not successful in delivering any valuable information to the CIA’s cause. However, CIA Director John Brennan has stood by his agency’s decision to use enhanced interrogation techniques, stating that they produced intelligence that helped “thwart attack plans, capture terrorists, and save lives.”

But, this wouldn’t be the first time the CIA lied about its interrogation practices. In attempts to avoid any oversight from maintenance agencies during the time of these practices, the CIA provided false-information to the Department of Justice, Congress, the CIA’s Inspector General, the State Department, and the White House.

Pundits on the left are calling for those parties involved with the authorization of EIT’s, most notably former President George W. Bush, V.P. Dick Cheney, and former Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, to be prosecuted for overseeing acts that run contrary to the U.N. Conventions against torture, even if they did so unknowingly, which doesn’t appear to be the case.

However, regardless of the details in the report, how would the Congress or the President market to the people a prosecution of individuals who were largely responsible for keeping our borders safe in the fight against terror proceeding 9/11?

While there are people to be held accountable, prosecuting these responsible individuals could release a public relations hailstorm onto the government.

A more respectable solution, as the executive director of the ACLU Anthony Romero wrote in a New York Times op-ed, would be to preemptively pardon those officials involved in the authorization of enhanced interrogation methods.

A formal pardon of those parties most closely involved would protect these Americans from prosecution, while simultaneously establishing a formal precedent that would hopefully deter such methods from being used in the future. It would make transparent that crimes were in fact committed without having to prosecute any American who may have aided in keeping U.S. soil safe from further terrorist action in the wake following 9/11.

Still, there is political controversy over the release of the report it itself. Some argue that the report puts United States operatives abroad at risk, as we remain in the midst of a war on terror, and many of those whom the report attacks are still engaged in that conflict.

If you run into the drone-argument–in which someone brings up Obama’s drone policy in comparison–agree with it. There is no sane or rational way to justify one and not the other. The drone program should probably be checked itself just as the CIA is being checked now–but that’s the thing, no one wants to check their tactics in the middle of a fight against terror, when those tactics appear to be working.

If you feel so inclined to go above and beyond in preparation for this year’s holiday bashes and clashes with your (potentially) ignorant, radical relatives (we all have em’), you can view the entire report here.

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Instagram Cracks Down On Spam In Move Expected To Slash Follower Counts http://nyulocal.com/national/2014/12/17/instagram-cracks-spam-move-expected-slash-follower-counts/ http://nyulocal.com/national/2014/12/17/instagram-cracks-spam-move-expected-slash-follower-counts/#respond Wed, 17 Dec 2014 16:45:26 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=127815 Brace yourselves, faithful Instagram-ers: your gloriously high follower counts may see a little dive in these next few weeks. In a recent announcement, Instagram announced that its user count has surpassed 300 million, according to CEO Kevin Systrom. But all is not well in Insta-ville: the blight of pesky fake spam-accounts and armies of robot followers persist.... Read More

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Brace yourselves, faithful Instagram-ers: your gloriously high follower counts may see a little dive in these next few weeks. In a recent announcement, Instagram announced that its user count has surpassed 300 million, according to CEO Kevin Systrom. But all is not well in Insta-ville: the blight of pesky fake spam-accounts and armies of robot followers persist.

Instagram has been dealing with its “spammy” problem for a while. Their first round of purging illicit accounts took place in April of this year, but apparently was not extensive enough to deter scores of companies and individuals from engaging in their chosen line of work — the sale of followers and likes, perpetuating what has been coined the “follower economy.”

As explained in a 2012 Onion video parody on so-called “social media experts,” the business of selling social media likes gets its juices from the fact that “Companies don’t care if their followers are real or not; they’ll pay you [for your social media services] either way.” In essence, there is an enormous market for social media consultants and companies which offer social media boosts to clients on Instagram as well as other platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.

The “value” these ridiculous companies offer is nothing but instant fake followers that boost a client’s follower count. The followers, which are generally robots, don’t repost any client content, start a conversation with the client, or interact in any way. So why would anyone want to spend actual money to get nothing but a higher number displayed on your follower count?

The answer is apparently based on the pressure for celebrities, brands, and prominent public figures to amass humongous followings on social media so that they can appear more successful. This pressure is so significant that some companies spend over $10,000 a month to buy Instagram followers and likes, according to one “social media marketing provider” called YTView.com.

Not all fees are this ridiculous, of course; one UK-based fake account seller called Rantic sells its social media marketing services for cheap. The firm sells 500 followers on Instagram for $4.99, 100 likes for just $1.45. They also sell likes on YouTube videos and shares on Google Plus.

So who are some of the individuals dropping dollars on fake social media fame? Though YTView doesn’t disclose the names of any of their 50,000 satisfied clients, other experts have tracked strange activities over the years on famous Insta accounts, the intentionality of which is debatable in some cases.

Politicians on Twitter are a great example. Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s Instagram gained 116,000 followers in  a single day during the 2012 election campaign. When the news of Romney’s fake Insta empire broke, media experts set out to analyze other famous peoples’ social media accounts and found some surprising results. One analysis found that President Barack Obama’s nearly 19 million Twitter followers in 2012 consisted of 70%, or approximately 13 million, fake or “inactive” accounts. Boy, do we hope those fans weren’t acquired with good hard-earned American tax dollars.  (PS – you can analyze your own fakey Twitter follower counts with this handy, free tool.)

It’s unclear how many of Instagram’s new 300-million-strong headcount are phoneys, but some estimates are pretty high. An employee of fake account seller Rantic guesses that Instagram’s official spammy purge would delete anywhere from 2 million to 10 million accounts. Others don’t predict such a large fraction, but agree that users actively depending on fake followers will certainly feel the effects of the sweep in their own follower counts more visibly than others.

While the follower economy will certainly take a wallop as Instagram initiates its second wave of search and destroy, this platform and others may never catch a true break. Like a never-ending game of Internet whack-a-mole, spam purges may just have to become business as usual for the world’s biggest social media giants.

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Local Sounds 2k14 Concert [PHOTOS/VIDEO] http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2014/12/17/local-sounds-2k14-concert-photosvideo/ http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2014/12/17/local-sounds-2k14-concert-photosvideo/#respond Wed, 17 Dec 2014 15:56:49 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=127841 Our Local Sounds 2k14 series came to a close last Friday with the Local Sounds Concert at Muchmore’s in Williamsburg, featuring six of NYU’s most talented musicians. The Britanys kicked off the night with a gritty, no-frills punk set, followed by some fuzzy, psychedelic jams from Whitewash. Wearing glitter, a garbage bag, and a tutu, Sizzy Rocket robbed our... Read More

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Our Local Sounds 2k14 series came to a close last Friday with the Local Sounds Concert at Muchmore’s in Williamsburg, featuring six of NYU’s most talented musicians.

The Britanys kicked off the night with a gritty, no-frills punk set, followed by some fuzzy, psychedelic jams from Whitewash. Wearing glitter, a garbage bag, and a tutu, Sizzy Rocket robbed our hearts with a dark electro-punk sing-a-long session. OSHUN got the whole crowd dancing with their smooth hip hop and r&b stylings, and With Snack‘s soulful jazz kept us on our feet into the early morning. Testudo also had us on the dancefloor between performers, with a series of A++ DJ sets.

NYU Local would like to thank the artists for their fantastic performances, Muchmore’s for the use of their venue, our writers and editors for organizing the series, and everyone who came to the concert for making it a night to remember. Let’s do it again next year? Until then, check out some photos from the show:

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Whitewash and Sizzy small

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Video by Alejandra Araujo. Photos by Em Watson.

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Sony CEO Considering NYU Presidency, Leaked Emails Show http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2014/12/17/sony-ceo-considering-nyu-presidency-leaked-emails-show/ http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2014/12/17/sony-ceo-considering-nyu-presidency-leaked-emails-show/#respond Wed, 17 Dec 2014 15:12:50 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=127870 Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton has his eye on John Sexton’s job, a series of leaked correspondences suggests. Following a November hack on Sony by yet-unidentified persons, executives at the entertainment company have seen their emails and documents made public on the internet. In an email discovered by Buzzfeed’s Matthew Zeitlin, Lyton explained why he would be... Read More

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Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton has his eye on John Sexton’s job, a series of leaked correspondences suggests.

Following a November hack on Sony by yet-unidentified persons, executives at the entertainment company have seen their emails and documents made public on the internet. In an email discovered by Buzzfeed’s Matthew Zeitlin, Lyton explained why he would be a suitable candidate to replace John Sexton as NYU’s president:

“I know I don’t fit the traditional candidate for the head of an elite university. But I’ve served on the boards of Harvard and the RAND Corporation, which has given me a high-level understanding of how institutions of higher learning operate,” Lyton told his sister, in what is apparently a later draft of an email he composed for NYU officials.

Lynton sent emissaries to correspond with members of NYU’s presidential search committee. Lynton’s friend, writer Malcom Gladwell met the husband of search committee member Kwame Anthony Appiah this October, possibly to assess Lynton’s chances at the presidency. According to Gladwell, Lynton’s greatest challenge would not be his inexperience in academia, but the ongoing disputes between the Sexton administration and a number of NYU faculty members.

Citing “faculty insurrection,” Gladwell emailed Lynton that “the crucial thing is helping them see you as the nurturer and protector of creative types NOT the corporate empire builder, which they have all had enough of with sexton.” Sexton has been the object of faculty discontent for years, receiving no-confidence votes from the faculties of the College of Arts and SciencesGallatinSteinhardtTisch, and Tisch Asia schools in 2013.

Lynton also discussed his presidential aspirations with NYU Law professor Kenji Yoshino. In a June email, Yoshino informed Lynton that a message from outgoing NYU Board of Trustees Chair Martin Lipton was “not great news for you”. Lipton’s email evidently implied that NYU was searching within academia for its next president, rather than within the business world. However, in a November interview with NYU Local, the Board of Trustees’ new Chair-Elect William Berkley confirmed that “the vast majority” of presidential candidates under consideration are currently unaffiliated with NYU.

Still, Lynton renewed his case for a non-academic president this October when Yoshino was scheduled to meet with NYU Law Dean Trevor Morrison, another member of the presidential search committee. In an email to Yoshino before the meeting, Lynton argues for a business-based president “because the institution is so large and complex that it would benefit from professional and compassionate management.”

Lynton renewed his contract with Sony in April 2013, though it is unclear how long this extension lasts.

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Five Reasons “Love Actually” Is Hard Not To Love http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2014/12/15/5-reasons-love-actually-hard-love/ http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2014/12/15/5-reasons-love-actually-hard-love/#respond Mon, 15 Dec 2014 18:15:55 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=127607 We’re almost done with our semester, and as truly wonderful as that sounds, we all know in the back of our minds that five weeks is a very  long time. Get ready to queue up your Netflix schedule. Take full advantage of the holiday season and enjoy some Christmas movies. Understandably, it’s hard to watch a movie... Read More

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Love-Actually

We’re almost done with our semester, and as truly wonderful as that sounds, we all know in the back of our minds that five weeks is a very  long time. Get ready to queue up your Netflix schedule. Take full advantage of the holiday season and enjoy some Christmas movies. Understandably, it’s hard to watch a movie you’ve watched at least five times before, like “Love Actually,” and not nitpick at it. Within 10 minutes of re-watching this 2003 British Christmas gem, you’ve probably picked up on its utter lack of believability and its tendency toward sexism. This year, instead of begrudgingly watching and wondering why Colin Firth and his Portuguese maid make the effort to jump in a freezing eel-infested pond and then don’t revive his manuscript, or how on earth Hugh Grant can question his appearance, let’s simply dwell on what makes “Love Actually” the Christmas classic that we all know it to be.

Five reasons why we’re irrevocably in love with “Love Actually”:

1. “Love Actually” is speckled with wonderfully witty dialogue.

Only through watching “Love Actually” did we finally realize that Mom and Dad might have been slightly exaggerating our seminal role as Chorus Member Number Five in the school play. However, we do slightly wish that there had been the opportunity to play Lobster Number One at the school Nativity play.

2. Rowan Atkinson has a perfect scene in Selfridges.

Rowan Atkinson knows what’s up when it comes to gift wrap. Receiving a gift without lavender, mini paper roses, gold ribbon, and of course a cinnamon stick as part of its packaging isn’t really as gift at all.

3. Liam Neeson understands the heart healing power of “Titanic.”

To be honest, everything Liam Neeson does in this movie is spectacular. Our favorite is his frank assertion of “we need Kate, and we need Leo and we need them now.”

4. Bill Nighy’s chilling advice.

Although at times unconventional, “Love Actually”, has an abundance of some truly inspired pieces of advice. The best of it comes from none other than the film’s resident washed up pop star. Nighy’s character teaches us to treat the people in our lives with respect as he reveals, “when I was young and successful, I was greedy and foolish, and now I am left with no one, wrinkled and alone.” He teaches us that Christmas is the time to be with the people you love, and, of course, tells kids to not buy drugs but “become a pop star and they give you them for free”. Although I’m not sure that last piece is so great.

5. Hugh Grant calls Margaret Thatcher a “saucy minx” and it is amazing.

Enough said.

However unrealistic each story line continues to become in “Love Actually,” we root for each character until his or her very last moment. It is rare to come across an ensemble cast as established as the one in “Love Actually” and still feel each character is fully fleshed out. We understand their conflict and excitement, their sadness and their hopelessly romantic hearts, and when we realize this, “Love Actually” becomes that much more realistic.

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