Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
April 17, 2021


Hopkins is a diverse university where an incredible mix of cultures, academic interests and personalities coexist and thrive. Here is the section where you can publish your unique thoughts, ideas and perspectives on life at Hopkins and beyond.

Unexpected culture shock in the Dominican Republic

Despite the cold weather, I am still on that Spring Break flow, so to speak. This past week I was lucky enough to go on a trip to the Dominican Republic with my family.  I flew in and out of Santo Domingo. I have to admit that I was completely disappointed in myself with my preparation for the trip. I had not read any literature about the culture, so everything was a shock to me.  People drive super fast and do not always adhere to traffic laws.  The types of living conditions I saw made me so upset that I do not even want to describe them here.  The place where I stayed was on the southeast portion of the island, which did not have as many tourists as I thought it would. Were they there but just did not go out and explore? The tourists that I did see, however, were mostly European.   People were from all over and spoke many languages. It made communicating difficult almost all the time. Somehow, however, the tourists blended well with the locals and although no one seemed to notice or care that the population in that small section of the island was so diverse, I though it was great.

My food-filled break in the Big Apple

Spring break has taken on a whole new meaning. It used to be seen as that one week where everyone would travel to a hot climate and show off their spring-ready bodies in next to nothing. Now, as I scroll down my newsfeed on Facebook, all I see are photographs from unconventional Spring Break destinations, spanning from cold Canada to just-as-cold Michigan.

13.5% Wine Bar makes a mean chocolate tart; shies from large portions

When in the midst of Hopkins’s midterms, we firmly believe that one great meal off campus is as essential to your survival as the copious large black coffees that we swear by on campus. So, we elected to treat ourselves to 13.5% Wine Bar in Hampden. 13.5%. Not 13.1%! THIS IS NOT A HALF MARATHON! Although running one before your meal might help you work up a healthy appetite. (Kidding! Be forewarned: the portions are small.) By the end of the night we even heard our neighbors calling it “ percent!”

AskMani: On Burnout

Dear AskMani, Is it too late to get some good deals for spring break? Sincerely, Frugal On Flights

Unknown Mortal Orchestra brings back 60s

The genesis of the lo-fi psychedelic rock group Unknown Mortal Orchestra stemmed from organic interest. Ruban Nielson, the main songwriter of the band, was originally in the New Zealand power pop group The Mint Chicks. They were active from 2001 to 2010, and after the break-up, Nielson decided to move his family to America and not do music anymore. However, in the spring of 2010, he released a track titled “Ffunny Ffrends” on his bandcamp profile, with no information on who created it. It became incredibly popular over the music blogosphere and was reblogged incessantly, in attempts to find who created it. Due to the amount of interest, Nielson finally claimed the track to as by his new project, Unknown Mortal Orchestra.

Celebrities we all want to have coffee with

One of my favorite things to do is pretend that I am friends with celebrities I admire.  I saw a lot of people I respect in the audiences of the recent awards shows.  Now that the shows are all over, a lot of people I have talked to have been analyzing the results.  It seems like all I can talk about with friends is the fact that so and so should not have gotten the Oscar, and such and such film should not have won the Golden Globe. But talking about those things cannot change what happened. Since this column focuses on the positive, I felt it was appropriate to talk about my favorite people. These are the first famous people I thought of from a long list of those whom I currently want to hang out with, hug and let know that they are appreciated.

Thinking back to the days when being naked was OK

It’s already March 2013. I repeat, March of the year 2013, and it feels like it was still yesterday that I was roaming around my Brooklyn apartment with a big baby doll in my arms. At that point, my older sister was trying to wean me into wearing pants, and when I say wean, I mean that she would yell that I needed to put pants on. Pants? I had panties on, wasn’t that enough? Remember when that was acceptable? As a matter of fact, let’s rewind to when full on nudity was the norm ...

Sweet Potato Fries to die (or live?) for

Okay, so for all of you greasy fries-lovers all out there… this is not that — it’s better. Ladies and gentlemen, get ready for a fries overhaul. Your fries are about to get crunchier on the outside, and softer on the inside, sweeter all around and to top it all off, healthier. These fries are the most tantalizing culmination of spicy, sweet, crispy, warm goodness. They are chock full of beta-carotene, the precursor to vitamin A, which is necessary for healthy skin, mucus membranes, and eyesight.

The gourmet gals give Peter's Inn five stars

Back in January, we traipsed over to Peter’s Inn for a delicious and unexpectedly gourmet meal. Not to be confused with Pete’s Grille, the tried-and-true breakfast joint on Greenmount (which, by the way, is also worth a visit), Peter’s Inn is an eclectic award-winning restaurant on South Ann Street in Fells Point. It was rated among Baltimore’s Best Restaurants in 2012, and after our meal here we can see (and taste!) why. The fact that we haven’t been able to get this dining experience out of our heads over month later is a testament to how much we enjoyed each dish!

"It's so nice and sedentary!"

America is PLAGUED by an obesity epidemic. QUINTILLIONS of dollars in health care are being poured towards PREVENTABLE diseases. People are DYING. School lunches are POISONING the nation’s FUTURE. METEORS are EXPLODING over RUSSIA.

I just really hate "Girls"

I have seen every episode of Girls, the HBO dramedy currently airing its second season. I have read many critical analyses of the show, both on informal blogs and in esteemed national publications. I have discussed the show far too much with interested parties.

Ten rap lyrics that offer terrible advice

There once was a time when rap lyrics were inspirational. That time has passed. Sure, most rap songs are pretty catchy these days, but we would be screwed if we actually lived by the lyrics of our favorite songs. Here are ten rap lyrics that set terrible examples for us all. Don’t try these at home:

Living like a local in the “Music City”

This piece is tricky because it does not fit into one single category.  My column is not a travel column, although travel is absolutely one of my favorite things. I also hope not to repeat here the same themes that were in my piece about loving cities. But, since my trip to Nashville this past weekend, I have been reminded of this: one of the greatest ways to push yourself out of your comfort zone is by exploring a new city like a local.  Of course, this is difficult if you do not have a native tour guide, but I try to give it my best effort.

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