Monday, June 22, 2015

Welcome to Summer School!

Summer's in full-swing, and yeap, campus has been pretty eerie once everyone left at the end of the semester. I love the peace and quiet here and there, but I'm a fan of the speed and activity when there's more student life going on on campus.

Fret no more, because Harvard Summer School 2015 has begun its first week! 

Harvard Summer School hosts classes and other courses for everyone: from high school students eager to take a whirl at college-level classes that supplement whatever they are learning in school to college students (from Harvard, as well as other institutions around the country and the world) pumped to get ahead on some graduation requirements. We're dealing with a huge age range of students roaming around the Yard and the Square, and I couldn't be happier!

As a special welcome to the official Harvard Summer School 2015, The Harvard Shop has designed a new summer school t-shirt available for purchase at our 3 store locations or online at www.TheHarvardShop,com

Monday, June 15, 2015

What to buy for your Father for Father's Day

Is it just me, or does it feel like #NationalBestFriendDay rolls around more than once a year? I thought these things were a once-a-year kind of deal, but I keep finding myself sifting through my photo collection for a #tbt #NationalBestFriendDay picture of me and my best friend (tbh, I'm running out). 

Well, a holiday that is sure to only roll around once a year is Father's Day, this year falling on Sunday, June 21. Though its only once a year, I have to say that it often slips my mind (thank goodness for cell phones and smart calendars!). 

Luckily, I and the other managers at The Harvard Shop have put together a quick guide of the perfect gifts to get for your dad, situated at all of the different price points. You can't go wrong with any gift from THS--even we in the office think to ourselves, "if we wear a Harvard t-shirt, does it help us channel all of the intellect that has passed through Harvard's gates to finish that god-awful statistics problem set?"

Also, order your gift by June 17 to get your order by Father's Day!

Does it get any more basic than a Harvard Dad t-shirt? I don't know about your dad, but mine loves wearing college t-shirts and sweatshirts, to the point that my mom has to deliberately intercept my dad's morning outfit pickings to suggest, "what about that non-collegiate sweater you have?" 

Oops, already got this Harvard Adjustable H Hat for dad! He's a big fan of hats, especially because he's an avid golf enthusiast. This hat lets him keep cool and keep his Harvard pride up, on or off the green. 

A new addition, this hat is inspired. It meshes the rugged look with the clean prep look that Harvard encapsulates. The H 1636 Hat is cross between your rebellious college student and the polished Harvard prep--the perfect intersection that makes for an awesome Father's Day gift. 

I'm alllllll about the bowties. I always prefer bowties over ties (come on, they're so cute!), and this Harvard Crest Striped Bowtie has got it going on. Get it for dad, before they run out!

California can get chilly, or so my dad says (after having lived through 2 Cambridge summers, I can only scoff when my parents say they were chilly when the weather dropped to 60 degrees). He's a big fan of these Harvard Sweatpants. 

For Christmas, I got my dad this Harvard Shop x Vineyard Vines collaboration, limited time only Vineyard Vines Harvard Belt. He loves it, and loves tucking his shirts in to expose the aesthetic of the belt. I'm a proud daughter. :)

As the leading coffee table book documenting the entire year through the eyes and lenses of Harvard students, Life in Crimson provides readers with a snapshot in to the journey through Harvard. 

Vineyard Vines is what I immediately think about when I think "east coast prep." Whether your dad grew up at Horace Mann or chillin' on the streets of the website, dad's sure to rock this awesome tie, wherever he goes. Need a challenge: match your socks with your tie!"

Saturday, June 13, 2015

How to get around Boston: Biker's Guide

Cambridge, and the greater Boston area, is made for bikers. With bike lanes lining every major road, cars known to stop for pedestrians (cars are so nice on the east coast--I'm from California, and pedestrians definitely do not get the right of way) keep their distance from bikers and make lots of room for us. Students, part-time workers, stay-at-home moms, and business men/women alike take to the roads, especially because Boston's a nightmare to navigate in a car during rush hour, and because the summer is meant to enjoyed outside, riding with the wind beneath your wings (well, you know what I mean). 

When you get views like this, how can you not go biking? I know that "cycling" is a recent fad that's sweeping the nation, and although I tend to gravitate away from "trendy" things that I feel are more ephemeral than cool, I get cycling. I wish I could get all those cool gadgets and a nice bike, but alas, I'll have to make do with my little Huffy mountain bike. But hey, it gets me everywhere, so I really can't complain!

But seriously, can you get enough of these views? You can't go wrong standing on any of the many bridges that arch over the Charles River, the main river that separates Boston and Cambridge. The water is the perfect shade of blue, and wow, it's breath-taking. 

The other day, I went on a bike ride with a friend, with our destination set as the Boston Public Gardens. We took the scenic route, taking us along the Charles, and leaving us breathless every revolution of our wheels. Dressed in my new Harvard cropped yoga pants (if I could wear yoga pants every day, honestly, I would) and my newest H racerback tank, we bike about 5 miles that day, stopping (mostly at my request) to take in the views and of course snap some pictures. 

So have I convinced you yet that you need a bike if you're staying in Boston for the summer?

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Summer in Boston: Top of the Hub

Seriously, summer in Boston is the absolute best. The weather is finally looking up, the Charles River is gorgeous in any light, and al fresco dining out for brunch is what I hold on to for hope through the long, endless winters (check out Cafeteria or Stephanie's on Newbury Street for some yummy eats to break up your shopping binges on Newbury). 

But if there's one restaurant that I would to every single day for the rest of my life, it would probably be Top of the Hub, the restaurant that occupies to top (52nd!) floor of the Prudential Center tower, or The Pru as we Bostonians like to call it. 

> for the best views of Boston, hands down <

Come on, it's pretty self-explanatory. A top-rated restaurant with 360 degree views of Boston? It's like having a luxurious meal at the top of the Empire State Building, without having to climb all those stairs and fight off other desperate tourists that are fighting to get their NYC moment. 

Pro-tip: Avoid the long waits (they only take reservations the day of) by coming in during off hours (before dinner, pre-5:30pm or after dinner, post-9pm) to get a bite, grab a drink, and soak in the views without having to loiter in the waiting room. 

The food is always amazing, with lower-priced appetizers that are big enough to share between two people, but the views were made that much more beautiful by the accompanying live Jazz band that was playing in the restaurant. 

Whether you come for the food, the music, the views, or just to celebrate any and every event in your life, Top of the Hub is a definite must-do during a summer in Boston (I'd even categorize this as a necessary student splurge). 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Bowling with HSA

I'm not a bowler: when I was growing up, it felt like my friends would be having their birthday party at the bowling alley in our town every weekend. I like to say I was averse to the sport because I didn't like the (often smelly) rented shoes, but if I'm being honest with you all, it's mostly because I've never been a good bowler..

I'll profess that I'm pretty competitive, but only when it comes to organized sports or games. I don't participate in academic competitiveness; the kind of spirit that can be felt generally at a school like Harvard. Students compare themselves to other students, stack their extra-curricular activities to those of their next door neighbor, and learn to ask slyly what cool internship that guy in your statistics class snagged for the summer. Luckily, there's a large cohort of students who like to keep away from that sort of competitiveness!

I like to let out my competitive steam in low-risk situations, but when we get started, there's no turning back. I'll keep going, I'll start yelling, jumping up and down, challenging my opponents, the works. I swear, I'm probably the worst person to play a game of Monopoly with. 

But on the lanes? I'd be the worst. 

Yesterday, the managers at Harvard Student Agencies went on a company-wide bowling excursion after hours to practice for a league tournament hosted by one of our board members, Michael Cronin '75, MBA '77. This tournament is an annual tradition for Cronin, and brings together a number of the private equity firms around Boston for a night of bowling, fun, and a good dose of (friendly) competition.

Look at Jullian, repping out best-seller Harvard Crest T-Shirt on the lanes. Hmm, and maybe it's a lucky t-shirt--Julian bowled #5!

And here's Bowl 4 the Goal featuring Ice Cube, Tupac, Player 5, Puff Daddy, and Outkast (pictured left to right). Yup, we get real into the game. 

We probably need a bit more practice before we bowl with the big shots at the tournament next week, but hey, practice makes perfect!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Summer in Boston: Museum of Fine Arts

I'll be the first to admit that the school year often gets the best of me, so despite going to school so close to one of the most well-known, historically-rich, and bustling cities in the states, I'm like every other Harvard student who keeps herself pretty well situated in what we like to fondly call the "Harvard bubble."

The Harvard Bubble. Harvard is what we students like to think is interchangeable with the larger Cambridge area, but really, Harvard makes up a tiny portion of the city. There's way more to see, much more to do, and many other people to meet just outside the tall, iron gates that enclose the Harvard Yard into its space encircled by Massachusetts Avenue. It's just that during the school year, it's hard to explore (sigh, talk about the p-sets, the 20 page papers, etc).

BUT IT'S THE SUMMER! It's the time to make things count, to burst the bubble, and to re-energize and re-fuel with and through the myriad of activities & events that make Boston/Cambridge the best place to be in the summer as a college student. 

> let's be artsy & cultured <

With more that 45,000 pieces of art from contemporary to Asian to European to Ancient art, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (we like to call it the MFA 'round here) has it all, and all at a $0 cost (free admission for all Harvard students with a school ID). 

If you were to take your clipboard and take a survey of the students around Harvard on a given day during the academic year, I'm sure that you'd find that most people haven't made their way to the MFA. Yeah... it's a 30 minute T ride away, but well, well worth it. Come on, it's beautiful. With pieces by Monet, Picasso, and rotating exhibits featuring a range of amazing artists & sculptors, the MFA is a cultural oasis that just has to be on everyone's Boston summer bucket list.

Just last week, I visited the MFA for the first time since starting at Harvard and wandered through the exhibits, absorbing all of the beauty and the history. (see the pictures below for a look at MFA through my eyes)

P.S. - It's air-conditioned (you'll be thanking me when the sun turns relentless and you're sweating bullets)