‘Mree’ of NYU-Clive Davis Captivates With Ethereal Experimental Folk

Ever since she began performing as Mree in high school, Marie Hsiao, 20, has commanded attention on all fronts.

A current junior at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music studying songwriting, performance and production, Mree’s self-written, self-produced, and self-released sounds are at once unassuming and magnetic. Polished harmonies and fluid soundscapes with eclectic instrumentals balance raw, confessional lyrics to create a unique indie-folk-pop experience. But Mree’s greatest asset may well be her disarmingly clear voice, which many call ‘angelic.’ Her work has captured the attention of over 30,000 people on Facebook, not to mention Justin Vernon of Bon Iver. NYU Local sits down with the budding singer-songwriter to discuss how she got this far and what her plans are for the future.

NYU Local: First thing’s first–how did you start singing and songwriting?

Mree: I began playing the piano when I was around five years old. I had a wonderful teacher who taught me how to play by ear. When I took up singing as a hobby soon after starting with the piano, I started to compose my own tunes and lyrics. I tried my hand at a couple of other things, too: gymnastics, basketball…but it was music I really stuck with. My first big step was uploading covers to YouTube. When I got positive feedback, I decided that I could really see myself writing my own music full time and performing. I started experimenting in my sophomore year of high school with recording and creating layers of sound with editing software, and I loved it. Read more…

Eric Holder Admits ‘Buck Still Stops Nowhere’ Following 2008 Crisis In NYU Speech

On Tuesday, Attorney General Eric Holder visited NYU Law to speak on corporate compliance and enforcement following the financial crisis, and for some reason, I expected something other than a political stump speech desperately trying to convince the audience that the Department of Justice did indeed sufficiently punish high-ranking finance executives and negligent firms. Unsurprisingly, I was sorely disappointed.

The auditorium in Vanderbilt Hall quickly filled before the advertised 12:30 p.m. start of the presentation, with only four rows in the very back reserved for the NYU students and the rest filled by a sea of gray and black suits. Nothing shouts “equal treatment of the corporate executives and the plebeians” like a back-of-the-bus seating arrangement for the tuition-crippled students.

As 1 p.m. arrived and Eric Holder did not, I began to think that once again, the DOJ was going to be late to the party. When the AG finally showed, teleprompters rearing to go with a 26-minute, media-ready, inflated speech for the CNBC cameras, it appeared that the Justice Department’s actions were not only severely delayed but vastly underwhelming. Again, how fitting. Read more…

Midtown’s 5 Best Unknown Bookstores

You’ve all been to Strand, McNally, bookbook, or Housing Works, but did you know Midtown houses some of the coolest bookstores in Manhattan? Yes, cool enough to warrant fighting the undead in the zombie center of the city, also known as Times Square. Here  are our top five bookstores worth checking out:

Around the World

Situated on 7th Avenue and 37th Street, Around the World boasts the largest collection of fashion magazines and books this side of the planet. The store exclusively sells fashion magazines from across the globe, which are updated weekly, and it has thrived for 25 years without the need to introduce any gimmicks like cafes or stationaries to survive.

It’s worth noting that the store is strict: no writing, no camera, no phones. This, according to store owner Jay Patel, is how Around the World has survived for so long, “If I let people write or take pictures, I would’ve been out of business a long time ago.” Despite the strict rules, the owner is friendly, and it’s a must-stop for fashionistas. Read more…

Gridiron G-Chat — Week Three: Competent Kirk Cousin And Untimely Timeouts

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 be guiding you through the world of #sports.

Joe Kozlowski: So two weeks in the books and I just changed a light bulb in my bathroom. Feeling like I can get the job done. Ready to chat about some gridirons?

Paul Sondhi: The Eagles had a massive comeback and I missed it. Let’s do this.

JK: And hey, the Chiefs didn’t embarrass themselves when their two best players left the game with injuries; that counts for something somehow. Also there’s no one threatening in the NFC East, so I hate you for that.

PS: Hey! Washington might go on a crazy winning streak with Kirk Cousins at the helm!

JK: He is surprisingly competent. But anyway, this week’s games.

Tampa Bay at Atlanta Read more…

Why You Should Go To People’s Climate March

You’ve seen fliers for it everywhere: in Bobst, around the Village, on an oppressively packed 6 train as you make your daily commute. But what is the People’s Climate March all about, and why should you go?

On September 23, a wide variety of world leaders and diplomats will be in New York City for an important summit on climate change. UN General Secretary Ban-Ki Moon initiated the summit, inviting everyone from business and political professionals to cultural leaders to join in and, according to the UN’s home page, “galvanize and catalyze climate action.” The UN’s goals are noble, and with a summit of this magnitude, we can certainly anticipate some innovative discourse and potential solutions to this impending problem.

Recycling, being mindful of electricity usage, and opting for greener methods of transportation are all good ways to begin the fight against climate change. But the People’s Climate March presents a great opportunity to get involved in a bigger way—a 23,000 people, 20-block exodus kind of way. Read more…


New York City: A cornucopia of people, cultures, and smells. While we’re considered supreme in so many important and ego-boosting areas, our city is also known for its rather pungent variety of stenches.

Kate McLean, a self-described, “multi-sensory artist and designer”–cashing in on what we wish we would have first–is creating a “smell map” for the Big Apple. Although McLean is only a few blocks into her rather ambitious quest, she’s been successful in her prior nose-mapping of Amsterdam, Edinburgh and Milan.

Inspired, we’ve executed our own completely scientific inquiry into the eau de NYU, and have made our own little Smell-o-Map of the NYU Campus:
Read more…

Check Out Some Photography Exhibitions Around Town

There’s lots of exciting stuff going on in New York’s photography scene. Here’s a quick look at what’s going on in museums and galleries around the city.

Gary Winogrand at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. (Closing September 21)

Winogrand is one of the most well-known street photographers of the 20th century. His black and white images depict fleeting, often bizarre moments typically in urban spaces. The photographs currently on view were captured between the 1950′s and 1980′s, showing a broad slice of postwar America.

The Met’s current exhibition is the first major Winogrand retrospective in 25 years. Go see it before it closes on Sunday! Although the Met suggests a donation of $12 for student admission, it’s only a suggestion— you can pay what you wish to get in. Read more…

NYU Events App Aims To Connect Students With Events

As per the club directory, NYU currently has no less than 528 active clubs, most of which have at least monthly meetings and events. As does any student at NYU, I’m sure you too have interests varying from cookies and coloring to quantitative finance. There’s something for everyone at NYU.

The upside to this is that there are dozens of events happening around campus every day, serving students of all interests. The downside– it’s super hard to sift through the noise and find the perfect event for you. Two juniors, Abhinay Ashutosh (CAS 2016) and Tanner Nelson (Currently on leave) built a solution –Event Scout–at a hackathon last spring at NYU Poly. They won first place with their beautifully designed event discovery app, and over the course of the summer they decided to work on it more. The app has now evolved into NYU Events, a free iOS app that you can download here.

“Right after the hackathon we chatted with a lot of people there who said   ‘Hey, you guys should make this into something bigger.’ There was a lot of demand for something like this,” Ashutosh said. The app uses tags like ‘tech’, ‘arts’, ‘academic’, and the ever-popular ‘free food’, which you can use to search events you’d like to go to. You can also RSVP directly through the app and filter out event tags that don’t interest you. Read more…

Joseph Lelyveld’s Friendship With Apartheid Photographer Ernest Cole

Executive Editor of the New York Times, Joseph Lelyveld, visited NYU yesterday to discuss his relationship with one of the first black photojournalist in the South African apartheid, Ernest Cole.

The Grey Art Gallery (currently exhibiting Cole’s photographs) organized the event in conjunction with the Arthur L. Carter Journalism institute. It brought about 50 people together in 20 Cooper Square and it was moderated by NYU professor Fred Ritchin.

Lelyveld, a white haired man in his late 70′s, stood up from the audience after a long introduction to his successes as a correspondent for the Times in various countries, his published books and his prominent positions. He met Ernest Cole in South Africa while reporting in the mid ’60s. They were both in their twenties at the time.

He sat attentively while Ritchin showed pictures of Cole’s work, and almost interrupted him before he finished his first question. Read more…

Local Went There: Leslie eLab Grand Opening

Dozens of faculty members, students, alumni and guests gathered on the corner of Washington Place and Greene Street to witness the opening of the Mark & Debra Leslie Entrepreneurs Lab or the eLab. Built with a donation from ’66 alum Mark Leslie and his wife Debra, the eLab was launched with a ribbon cutting by Mark and Debra Leslie, Frank Rimalovski, Director of the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute and President John Sexton.

The eLab, which has been in the works for more than two years and was announced earlier this year  will be a home for all things entrepreneurial at NYU. The eLab boasts a big and beautiful space, with up to five meeting rooms available for students and faculty to book for events. It also hosts a ‘FabLab’ or a fabrication lab, which among other things includes a 3-D printer and laser cutter.

“One of the things about NYU entrepreneurship is that it’s very fragmented…each school has its own clubs and it’s kind of hard for them to find each other,” Justin de Guzman, Vice President of Operations at CAS Entrepreneurship Association, said. NYU has over 25 technology and entrepreneurship groups, and the eLab aims to serve as a common home for them. Read more…