Amuse-Bouche: AS220 Foo(d)

Whola lotta chicken.

Mention AS220 to any given Brown student and you’re likely to meet one of two responses: vague confusion or fanatical enthusiasm. Such is the nature of a non-profit community arts center that wears as many hats as this one does; with dozens of studios, performance exhibition spaces, a youth program, and more all calling it home, it isn’t all that easy to grasp. Its mission, though, is simple: to provide “a local forum and home for the arts… to all artists who need a place to exhibit, perform, or create their original artwork.”

It only makes sense that an organization in support of creativity and community would have a restaurant. AS220 Foo(d) is a fantastic introduction to this huge and manifold center: it’s casual but special, humble but creative, hipster but in the good way. You place your order at the counter, take an oversized playing card back to your table, and fetch your food when it’s ready. The kitchen is in plain view, diner-style, but instead of pancakes and hash browns, they’re whipping up pulled pork pasta and pan-fried chickpeas. Continue Reading

Amuse-Bouche: Zooma

People always say they’re going to dinner on Federal Hill. They forget that Federal Hill is a neighborhood, not a specific destination that can be plugged into a GPS or reviewed on Yelp. I can’t help but imagine starry-eyed Brown freshmen rolling onto Atwells Avenue for the first time with their befuddled parents and having no clue how to proceed amongst the mobsters, valet parkers, and couples on date night.

Here’s an idea to help us all make good of that next empty resolution to explore Federal Hill: Zooma. It satisfies the Italian requirement—because while Federal Hill is a synecdoche for Italian food, the neighborhood is rife with bakeries and Chinese restaurants—and is swanky enough to have in your back pocket as an option for Family Weekend or wooing potential romantic partners.

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Semantics Bingo!

While the general student body seems to have agreed that “hegemonic” is a Brown-ism, we feel that recognition of this single phrase does a major disservice to the variety and scope of our fine institution’s pretentious academic lexicon. As respective History and Philosophy concentrators, we felt that our comprehensive knowledge of linguistic vomit was tragically underrepresented.

From the dozens of humanities-related clichés heretofore marginalized, we present to you Semantics Bingo. Print out the boards, get two friends, go to your “MCM: The Theory of Sign” class, and see who yells “BINGO” first to your fellow students stupefied by Foucault-supported affectation. Let us know in the comments section how long it takes you to win (and which class you were in when it happened).

RIP Helen Gurley Brown, the Original Cosmo Girl

Fact: Cosmopolitan used to be a family magazine.

That’s right: the magazine that is covered up in most grocery store aisles used to feature articles for kids. That is, until Helen Gurley Brown took over in 1965. This lady knew what she was doing. Her bestselling 1962 book, Sex and the Single Girl, was arguably the first public statement that women could “have it all,” a how-to manual not “on how to get married but on how to stay single—in superlative style.” (Another fun fact: Sex and the Single Girl would later inspire the HBO show “Sex and the City,” whose narrator was the alum of a certain sex-positive school…) She popularized the radical notion that women could be more than pin-ups and housewives, that they could be part of the working world, have fun without husbands, and simply that they were—get ready for it—able to enjoy sex. Needless to say, the idea sold itself.

Brown passed away this Monday at the age of 90, and even though she stepped down as editor back in 1997, she was still a regular presence at the Cosmo offices. Here, some advice from the original Cosmo girl to remember her by (jury’s still out on that tip from #7). Okay, so her message is a far cry from that of FemSex or a GNSS seminar—what is “it all,” anyway?—but still, we at Brown share more than a name with the phe who made it cool to talk about orgasms. HGB, we tip our hats to you.

Image via.

Study break of the day: RIP, Maurice.

At least we’ve still got Christopher Walken.

Amuse-Bouche: Blount Clam Shack

It’s not often that dining forays off College Hill actually deepen my appreciation for the stuff available to us through good ol’ BuDS, but a recent jaunt did the near impossible. I wanted so badly for Blount Clam Shack, the quintessentially New England outpost of fried seafood and 1950s kitsch, to be great. Unfortunately, these expectations proved lofty. Blount’s not awful; it’s just not worth it.

You may recognize the name: Blount is, after all, the supplier of those soups they serve at Jo’s and The Gate. Each year the locally owned franchise goes through some 800,000 pounds of clams, harvested fresh from New England waters, which make for an abundance of hush puppy-esque clam cakes, old-school fried clam rolls and whole belly clam platters. In addition to creamy New England clam chowder and its red Manhattan counterpart, Blount makes a Rhode Island specialty called the clam bake, which tastes like a beachfront cookout poured into a giant stewpot: potatoes, corn, chorizo and clams in a clear, salty broth. Don’t be mistaken; there’s other seafood, too — haddock here and there, scallops and a guest appearance from the lobster roll. They’ve even got a burger section, which is incredibly bewildering since 1) you’re at a clam shack and 2) you’re across the street from Rick’s Roadhouse.

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