Category: Chicago Livin’

Such a ‘Bler: Moving Out

Such a ‘Bler: Moving Out

Yes, I have officially moved out of the campus dorms. Why you ask? I simply wanted to. 

The dorms were more than I could have asked for, both freshman and sophomore year. But I think it is time that I venture out on my own. I want to separate my time on and off campus more, really allowing myself to be completely away from school when I need to be, as well as motivate myself to see different parts of the city instead of gravitating to those closest to my dorm. Apartment hunting itself was certainly already a journey. It seems that staying close to the Redline is the best bet. Despite the above, I still wanted a space near enough to our main campus but not too far from the downtown campus because of my Communication Studies major. 

My new roommates were big help. We all actually met at Mertz Hall freshman year. I lived with one and stayed close with the other during sophomore year. Signing our lease for junior fall and spring, I felt even more grateful for the two years I did spend in the dorms because it made housing plans when I landed on the decision to move out for junior and senior year less daunting. 

Am I nervous? Somewhat. Mainly because I’ve heard a lot from upperclassmen about how the commute time can be tough. I’ll also miss the convenience of the dining halls now that I’ll have to make my own breakfast, pack lunch and plan dinner. These are definitely two clear advantages of living on campus, especially for an individual who is often late like myself. Perhaps this decision is a new way for me to explore time management. Besides, from what I’ve seen, Loyola really knows how to organize great commuter celebratory events! 

I hope this short insight helps any inquiries you have about moving out. Get ready for a lot of new commuter content! Here comes Junior year, and here’s to a new chapter. 

HEY, I ALSO MAKE VIDEOS! 

HERE’S THE SUCH A ‘BLER PLAYLIST: 

Such a ‘Bler: My Internship Hunt (Sophomore Year)

Such a ‘Bler: My Internship Hunt (Sophomore Year)

This is a story about a girl who thought she wouldn’t make it. 

I knew I wanted an internship this Summer, and I had been preparing since the last. My website, my resume and my research were all set. I then tackled cover letters, letters of recommendations, writing samples and interview simulations as deadlines approached. I was ready, and I was, but not for rejection. 

I will say that part of my calm was thanks to a recommendation from a theatre professor. Having worked there, she really did put in a good word for me. However, I also had a chip of naivety on my shoulder. Up until this, I had never applied for anything non-academic. I had always either founded the organization and was recruiting or got invited for the position. I was yet prepared for the unpredictable reasons behind a “no.”  

I submitted two applications and both of their interviews, though in person, were at B+ level. I waited and not long after received one blunt wave and an invitation to reapply. Perhaps this postponed welcome hurt most because both they and my professor saw a great fit. And though I was in the top two, it was just not my time. I guess that’s something they don’t always tell you about the application process. No matter how great of a fit, there’s a time for everything. Summer internships are highly competitive. That single spot, belonged to someone else this season, a senior, and maybe at a later date, to me.  

Regardless, I was still happy that I submitted to two of the biggest theatres in Chicago despite it only being my second year in the theatre world. It was a long shot, but I made it pretty far. So was I going to stop there? No. I continued to apply! Chicago is a big theatre city, and my professor encouraged that there are still plenty of companies out there, big and small, that would want me. I continued to research and ask for more input from upperclassman ‘blers. I switched recommendation letters and resume components to adhered more to the specific internship. 

My next interview was over the phone. I improved from all my past fidgeting. I used the two rejections as learning experiences and gave this application my all. And now here I am – the new Artistic Administration/Dramaturgy Intern at Lookingglass Theatre Company. But more on that later. 

Good luck. 

HEY, I ALSO MAKE VIDEOS! 

HERE’S THE SUCH A ‘BLER PLAYLIST: 

Such a ‘Bler: Teamo

Such a ‘Bler: Teamo

There was this time during my senior year of high school when mum went to Europe for a month-long business trip. I lived off of occasional dinners I’d cook for my dad and brother, but mainly bubble tea (how am I still alive?) So you could tell how ecstatic I was when Loyola announced the brief visit of Te’amo Boba Bar. 

Don’t get it wrong, I love the drink available from campus – everything from the best coffee at Center Stage Café in Mundelein College to healthy smoothies at Rambler Express. I often go to Tbaar if I had a specific craving, which was only a ten-minute walk from campus. This is fine, but less convenient during busy back to back class days. Hearing that bubble tea would now be available at Rambler Express was some exciting news.  

Te’amo is very different from any bubble tea brand I’ve had in Chicago thus far. It currently comes very close to Bingo Tea (my favourite, that’s all the way in Chinatown.) Appearance and variety wise, it is superior. The staff were also very friendly and quick even with the tsunami of excited students. It also gave me more reason to pass by the Damen Student Center – a hot spot I spent much of freshman year in but rarely visited now that I live on the other side of campus. 

I also appreciate that there was an appearance of a more traditionally Asian treat on campus, even if it was only for a little while. I get quite excited to hear thoughts from my non-Asian friends whenever they try a new flavour and being able to tell them all that I know about it. What really surprised me was that this pop up was so well greeted by our campus that the partnership actually ended up getting extend til the end of the academic year! 

I’m not sure if Te’amo will be back Fall 2019, but I do hope so. I heard it may be an added feature of one of our new dorms?? But if your cravings are like mine, here’s where you can find it for now! 

  1. Lao Sze Chuan restaurant bar area, 520 Michigan Avenue 
  1. 1115 E 55th St 

Teamo. 

HEY, I ALSO MAKE VIDEOS! 

HERE’S THE SUCH A ‘BLER PLAYLIST: 

Such a ‘Bler: Summer in the City

Such a ‘Bler: Summer in the City

Hi there, it’s my first Chicago summer! 

I’ve successfully secured an Artistic Administration/Dramaturgy internship at Lookingglass Theatre for the next three months, an apartment for junior year and am beyond ecstatic to continue sharing my Loyola lens with you. It took some time but since orientation, I’ve been told that I NEED to spend at least one summer in the city. Without the chills and snow, Chicago is a completely different scene. Towards the end of sophomore year, I already spotted tulips blooming everywhere! More importantly, despite living right next to it, I’ve only gone to the beach twice in my two years at Loyola. And that is unacceptable. 

There’s a huge line up of summer events as well, including the Chicago Blues Festival, Lollapalooza, Chicago Food Truck Festival, Chapter II of the WNDR Museum, Volta Cirque Du Soleil, Les Miserable’s Chicago showtimes and Pride Fest! (Honestly, you yourself should spend a summer in the Chicago!!!!!) 

I compiled my list from the links below. Make your own list and make this summer the best yet! And if you’re away, you can still get to see plenty of action through my upcoming blogs right here. I can’t promise that I will be attending every single event, but I am on a mission to experience as many as I can. Who knows when my next summer here will be? 

  1. https://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/music/reich/ct-ent-fest-schedule-1030-story.html?fbclid=IwAR2sMYdLI_Rc4D1Jzbp6ljSpEYimrLtJP3YRifKg4m0Udo59iAZv3REypbw 
  1. https://www.facebook.com/events/565127213958979/ 

I also plan to do a lot of throwbacks to sophomore year. I know I disappeared for a while, but a lot of exciting things still greeted me in the last few months and I still want to share them with you. For instance, MY HAIR IS PINK! WHAT?????? 

Speak soon. Happy Summer! 

HEY, I ALSO MAKE VIDEOS! 

HERE’S THE SUCH A ‘BLER PLAYLIST: 

Such a ‘Bler: Goodbye Marquette South

Such a ‘Bler: Goodbye Marquette South

It’s odd how much one can feel looking back at a simple little room.  

I remember asking “Am I ready 1806?” leaving Mertz Hall as a freshman. However, I somehow felt heavier leaving my sophomore dorm this May. Perhaps it is because I’ve grown a lot more – experiencing and not experiencing a lot more. Frankly I spent the majority of my second year at Loyola in this space (also frankly because it had majority of what I needed – bed room, study room, kitchen room, bathroom.)  

As a sophomore you also have more say over your time. Being well aware that your schedule is now more hectic, and your mind is more independent, RAs are more flexible with bonding activities. I appreciate the occasional round ups and applaud the life-saving snack carts. My favourite is the announcement boards that seemed to tap right into what I craved each turn (spots to explore in Chicago, internship hunt tips and self-care reminders.) There was a very comfortable and supportive relationship. 

MS 509 was so perfectly placed on campus. Seven minutes away from Mundelein and three from DeNobili Dining Hall. The Granville Station also lived close, along with Aldi and the mail room. I’d also find myself at Summer Noodles or Dak if I didn’t feel like cooking. Though cooking was a lot of what I did.  

I didn’t get out much. I didn’t want or really had to. Perhaps such luxury can be rather dangerous. 

I used to beat myself up for friending such a comfortable spot but thinking back now, I have little regrets. It was a nice hideaway place and I’m no longer shy to admit that I needed one. Sophomore year isn’t easy. You always feel like you should be and/or could be doing more. I really pushed myself this year with 18 credit hours, an on-campus job, a theatre 2-week exploration and an e-board position in Diminuendo Literary and Arts Magazine. Sometimes a hibernation day or a dorm cooked meal alone is needed. 

I am grateful. But farewell 509. I’m ready. 

HEY, I ALSO MAKE VIDEOS! 

HERE’S THE SUCH A ‘BLER PLAYLIST: 

Take Advantage of the Target across the street!

Take Advantage of the Target across the street!

Good news! Lucky for those who are not graduating this year, a new Target store has opened just off of Sheridan Road, across from the Loyola Bookstore.

The development, called the Concord at Sheridan, is a seven-story mixed use and mixed-income housing and commercial unit that will also include 111 one and two bedroom apartments, 29,400 square feet of retail space — including a Target store — and 136 underground parking spaces to accommodate residents and shoppers.

Three Corners Development Inc. will lead the construction of the new mixed-use building in a contingent agreement with the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), which currently owns the property. The plan to build the structure was approved by the Chicago Plan Commission May 18 in a unanimous decision. The Chicago City Council also approved the plans July 26. Of the 111 units, 65 apartments will be reserved for Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) residents, who are low-income families in need of affordable housing, and the remaining 46 units will be rented out to the general public.

The main 23,000 square foot retail space was leased to Target for the construction of a “flexible-format store,” a smaller space curated to the needs of Rogers Park, which currently lacks outlets that carry clothing and housewares. Along with traditional Target merchandise such as style, wellness and grocery items, the store includes Chicago-inspired apparel and partnerships with local food brands, according to Target’s website.

How convenient is it to not have to take the red line to the Wilson stop to get your household goods? Now students can get snacks, clothing, beauty needs, etc. at a greater convenience.

Alderman Joe Moore, 49th Ward, said he believes the impact of the new development will be extremely positive for the Rogers Park community, especially Loyola students. This estimated to create 450 construction jobs and 70 to 80 permanent retail jobs and is estimated to bring in $650,000 per year in sales and property taxes. 

However, traffic has already been increasing greatly on Sheridan road with this new addition. There is hope there will be greater traffic regulation after the rest of the construction on Sheridan is done.

Local Fave Restaurant: Sushi Burrito

Local Fave Restaurant: Sushi Burrito

Boy do I have a restaurant I want to tell you guys about. Like a few of the others I’ve mentioned, it’s ‘local’ in the sense that it’s in the Chicago region, although many native Chicagoans will tell me that it is most certainly not in Chicago – it’s in Evanston. I’m pretty sure there were locations actually in Chicago, but I went to the Evanston one to make an adventure out of it.

Sushi Burrito, ever since I heard of it, really piqued my interest. I mean, what could be wrong about taking a sushi… and making it huge?

Well, lots of things, some people told me – firstly, that it was too big to get your mouth around so you were left without the greatest quality of sushi. They mean, of course, you get all of the flavors in one bite. Which is fair, of course. But I still wanted to try it.

The second complaint was that it was too big to eat at one sitting but unlike a regular burrito it wasn’t good as leftovers. This, I ignore, because I was determined to eat it all. As one does.

After a few years of not going, I finally got around to going to it recently. It was late in the evening, so I didn’t get a chance to drop by my other favorite places in Evanston, such as the bookstore that charges by weight like a deli, or the huge Barnes and Noble, or get bubble tea from Joy Yee’s, and so on, but that was fine.

I had a great time at Sushi Burrito. This is their website: https://sushiburritochicago.com/ I got the Chitown (I think), pictured below, because I asked the guy at the counter what was the most popular since I certainly couldn’t decide with so many options. Plus the cost – not too bad!

Overall I would recommend Sushi Burrito if you’re looking to try something unique. It’s a little far away to go often, but how fun!

Whether the Weather…

Whether the Weather…

If you’re not from the Midwest or, well, anywhere more Northern than Chicago, you might be worried about the weather here!

Take for example one of my friends from San Diego. She wanted to go to Loyola, she really did, but having never been more north than San Francisco, it took her quite some time to truly commit because of all of the things she’d heard about the climate.

As I’m from Minnesota, a year without seasons is odd for me, but we’re all from somewhere.

(This is a pic from when I walked out on the frozen lake… way cool.)

But I’ll be honest with you. The weather – or at least, cold weather – shouldn’t impact your decision too much. If you’re from somewhere cold and want to go somewhere warm, that’s a whole different story! In freshman year, I was with several of my friends who had never seen snow before when it snowed for the first time. The looks on their faces! It was so fun for me, and for them too!

Sure, we had the Polar Vortex here this year that shut down the school for two days. But that was really, really rare. Right now Minnesota is swamped with multiple feet of snow, and Chicago? It’s raining here, there’s not a trace of snow anywhere. People like to talk about how Chicago is cold and depressing, but I disagree. Sure, it can get windy – especially on the walk from Fordham Hall to the mailroom – and sure, it does snow and it is cold! But if you’re dressed smart – and I mean a coat and gloves, with hat and scarf for the coldest of days – the weather isn’t really a problem. You won’t be clomping around in the snow if you don’t want to, thanks to our groundskeepers, and (a friend from Florida timed himself) one can get from the Mundelein building to Bellarmine Residence Hall, a fifteen minute walk if you’re slow like him, and only be outside for three minutes of that by popping in and out of buildings.

And I gotta say, although winter gets us physically, there’s lots to do in Chicago in the winter. I wrote a piece about it before, and other student bloggers have talked about it too. Plus when it’s nice – it’s real nice! I know I always appreciate the lovely sunny weather between April-October more because of the November-March days. To sit outside on the Quad or outside of the Crown Center and look at the lake, or admire the clouds, and see Loyola moving around you…. it’s a good experience, a good thing to do every day when you can. Loyola IS one of the most beautiful campuses in the US – and if you don’t believe me, come visit (even in the winter) and see for yourself!

Such a ‘Bler: A Night of Play-reading in Chicago

Such a ‘Bler: A Night of Play-reading in Chicago

You’d be surprised how many theatres there are in Chicago. My friends from THTR 204: Playwriting and I started out the week with a reading of Emma Stanton’s When the Tsunami Knows Your Name at the Jackalope Theatre on the Thorndale redline stop. It was only ONE STOP away from my dorm! The reading was directed by our playwriting professor Devon De Mayo (so we got in for free haha) and served as part of one of our assignments for the course. We have to see at least two play readings and write a viewing response for them. Frankly, I’m totally cool with that! 

Here’s a little blurb about the play from the event: “When devoted veterinary technician Ruby witnesses one stranger’s tragedy, she finds herself drawn to a new path, making precarious pacts with co-workers, a police officer, and an elegant dancer named Tsunami. Populated by pet-devotees and set in a city by the sea, WHEN THE TSUNAMI KNOWS YOUR NAME explores how unexpected tragedy can expose the beautiful and ugly truths about who we are.” 

Now, I would give you a more personal summary of it but I’m still too emotional – and well the above was beautiful said. But I was blown away. This was not only because the characters were prenominal and wonderfully casted, but because the theme and metaphors were very close to home. 

From my understanding the Tsunami represented a certain sadness that we all feel and how it can be so scary yet comforting. I thought intertwining this metaphor within the tsunami dance scenes of the play made the sensitive topic more approachable for the audience. And the intimate space of the Jackalope Theatre couldn’t have been a better place for this experience. 

I have another play reading left for this course, but my Chicago theatre adventures are definitely not stopping there! 

 

HEY, I ALSO MAKE VIDEOS! 

HERE’S THE SUCH A ‘BLER PLAYLIST: 

Starbucks or Dunkin Coffee?

Starbucks or Dunkin Coffee?

 

Just writing this makes me so stressed because I ask myself everyday, do I like Starbucks coffee more or Dunkin Donuts? First off, what do I even order to make that judgement, right? Well, I am basing this off of pure black coffee y’all. Before I get into which one is ‘better’, lets explain why I even drink black coffee. For many years, I was that person who would say “ew! You drink black coffee???” So I would get my regular cream and sugar with a typical sweet flavor added into it and that got me through the day pretty well. Yeah… it wasn’t long until it started making me really nauseous and uncomfortable. (Lets keep in mind, I am lactose intolerant). So how do I know which chain is the real deal when it comes to black coffee? We can add the fun syrups and flavors later, but lets base this judgement on the actual coffee now.

Well for starts, if you are in the mood for just a regular cup of coffee, then it depends on your taste of the companies’ original coffee blend. Starbucks’ coffee tends to be very strong while Dunkin Donuts’ coffee tends to be more watered down. I personally prefer a Dunkin’ Donuts cup of plain coffee compared to Starbucks IF its just for my daily routine. I usually grab a Starbucks if I need something a bit more strong, like for an exam, quiz, or long day.

When it comes to the special-flavored drinks, I definitely have to give it to Starbucks. Starbucks offers a wide variety of flavored coffees. I personally love the pumpkin spice and caramel brulee latte. Dunkin’s special flavored drinks aren’t that great to me.

Hands down, Dunkin’ Donuts definitely beats Starbucks when it comes to the iced coffee. When I would drink flavored coffee, I survived on caramel iced coffees.

Dunkin’ Donuts is cheaper than Starbucks so it wins in this category. Starbucks drinks can be really expensive and sometimes you need to rely on those Starbucks gift cards to get you through these difficult times.

So to be honest, I can’t say one is greater than the other. I have apps for both of them. I go to both of them. I spend a lot of money on both of them. I enjoy both of them (at different times). If you need recommendations as to what to get from either one of them, let me know! I definitely have had more than just black coffee!