Blind Bears: S and J’s Blind Date

blind bears

You didn’t think we’d forgotten about this little endeavor, did you?

Given the unexpected amount of time it takes to match up 150 of Brown’s finest single guys and gals, the inaugural Blind Bears date was only this past weekend – and it didn’t disappoint. J and S (who prefer to remain anonymous) seemed like a stellar match on paper. They’re both loyal, happy guys, and can be occasionally “sassy.”  S, who’s self-described as social but sometimes shy, was looking for someone “energetic, charismatic, and easy to talk to.” J fit the bill. The two had coffee together at Blue State last Sunday.

“I didn’t really have any expectations. I was just hoping to get to know somebody new…” -J

J: It’s been hard as a transfer. I knew if anything, [my date] would end up being a friendly face on campus.  I went in open-minded and excited. Continue Reading

I had coffee with Senator Al Franken

US Senator Al Franken came to speak with Providence locals and students this past Friday at Thayer Street’s Blue State Coffee Shop. The Democrat-affiliated senator from Minnesota answered questions about his Appropriations Bill, student loans, and the controversy surrounding the NSA.

Al Franken – born Alan Stuart Franken in 1951 – may be the only US senator to have not just one, but seven Emmy nominations and three Emmy wins under his belt. Franken, who was raised by middle-class parents in Minnesota, was a writer and performer for the hit show Saturday Night Live from its inception in 1975 to 1980, and then again in 1985 through 1995. He began his Q+A by telling the large crowd at Blue State, “being a senator is not as fun as working at SNL, but it’s a great job.”

One of the most poignant topics covered in the hour-long chat was Senator Franken’s Mental Health in Schools Act, which would ensure that schools provide access to critical mental health treatment for kids who need these services. Senator Franken explained that after the Sandy Hook tragedy, it is crucial that we examine the roots of the problem and not just focus on gun control. He visited several school districts where all employees – bus drivers, cafeteria workers, janitors, etc. – were trained to recognize the signs of mental illness, which in turn allows students and their families to have access to community mental health services. Senator Franken’s bill, as described on the Senator’s web site, “would authorize funding for grants to schools and community mental health centers to work with community-based organizations to expand access to mental health services for students.” The bill would eventually include a gun amendment, which “didn’t go anywhere,” but the Senator was pleased to report that in the process of re-authorization, the bill did receive money. He described the bill’s success as “kind of a victory.”

Midway through the Q+A, Senator Franken’s inner comedian shone through when a group of Blue State patrons entered through the front door, unaware of the event being held. “Surprise!” the Senator cried: “It was your birthday a while back and strangers got together to wish you a surprise, belated happy birthday.”

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Gourmet Heaven lives up to its name during soft opening

The wait is over; Gourmet Heaven opened its doors this morning at 9 a.m., and it truly is heavenly.


While I would love to report that, like the diligent investigative journalist I aim to be, I was the first-ever customer at the brand-new College Hill branch of Gourmet Heaven, I only managed to snag (an admirable) third place. In my defense, the two students in front of me were coming off of an all-nighter, which I would call an unfair advantage.

A quick perusal of the aisles revealed an unapologetic collection of all the best bougie foods you could desire. I’m personally most excited about the coffee grounds selection, which includes highly covetable Sarabeth’s products. (For those of you unfamiliar with Sarabeth’s, it is a NYC restaurant that I once spotted Kelsey Grammer at. To be fair, I did admit it was all too bougie). The snack food options include tried-and-true favorites like Cape Cod Kettle Chips, and endearingly ‘alt’ brands with names like “Baked in Brooklyn” and “The Daily Crave” (with spoof newspaper packaging). Though I wish I could even attempt to fit a list of all of Gourmet Heaven’s offerings in a single post, some proper aisle-oogling will sure to be more efficient and more fun.

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FREE small coffee at Blue State

Blue State Coffee is giving away FREE small coffees (iced or hot) today in honor of the company’s $250,000 in donations to a wide variety of charities selected by their patrons. Get it while it’s hot (or cold)!

What your coffee says about you

As if you didn’t already have someone constantly telling you what you are.


Starbucks: Prepsters willing to wait in a line 8 men deep for their “signature” drink. It is a complicated combination of sugar, mocha, less milk, more cream that they started ordering in the 7th grade. When asked about it, they’re quick to respond, “I always get this drink.” Also can be a businessman talking loudly on the phone taking up couch space.

Blue State, Blue Room and more after the jump…

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