10 Must-See Museums in Europe

We’ve all been there: you’re traveling to a new city (or revisiting an old one) on a time crunch, and you’ve only got a couple days to take in as much of the culture as possible. While art museums can seem daunting, they are one of the best ways to spend a couple hours acclimating yourself to the history of the city. With this in mind, here are some of the best institutions across Europe for an immersive cultural experience!

Rome

Musei Capitolini

No visit to Rome is complete without exploring the treasures atop the Capitoline. While the Vatican Museums are larger, the Capitoline holds an equally impressive amount of Roman artifacts. Even better, it’s location is perfect if you’re interested in site-seeing. It’s just a short walk to the Colosseum, the Theatre of Marcellus, Piazza Venezia and more!

Villa Farnesina

Villa Farnesina is located in Trastevere. Once a residence for a rich banker, it’s decorating with floor-to-ceiling frescos from Renaissance master Raphael and other extraordinary artists. Its location is also perfect for someone looking to go a little further into Roman culture than just visiting the Vatican: Trastevere is full of small pubs, restaurants, and boutiques best known to locals.

Munich

Die Pinakothek

We’re cheating a little bit here, because in the same area resides the Alte Pinakothek, Neue Pinakothek, and the Pinakothek der Moderne. All three museums are worth a visit. The Alte Pinakothek houses Old Masters works, the Neue Pinakothek 18th and 19th century art, and the Pinakothek der Moderne art and architecture of the 20th century until today.

Haus der Kunst

For more contemporary art, Haus Der Kunst is a non-collecting public art museum that explores global perspectives. It’s located on one end of the English Gardens, another must-see in the city best known for Oktoberfest.

 

Paris (you already know you should go the Louvre - but check out these others, as well)

Centre Georges Pompidou

Built as a multicultural center for Paris, the Centre Georges Pompidou houses the a museum of modern and contemporary art. Its collection of over 100,000 works from the 20th and 21st centuries is one of the largest in the world, housed in a building designed by renowned architects Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers.

Palais de Tokyo

This self-described “anti-museum” is a transformative space that presents exciting contemporary exhibitions and performances. The center shows emerging and established artists from France and around the world.

Madrid

El Museo de arte Thyssen-Bornemisza

The Thyssen Museum is interesting because it houses two collections from the same family. Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza’s collection was acquired by the Spanish government and has been on permanent display since 1992, his widow’s collection has been held in deposit at the museum since 2004. With over 1000 works of art (focused on European painting from the 13th to the 20th centuries), this museum is well worth the visit.

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia

La Reina Sofia Collection houses more than 21,000 works. Perhaps the most famous of them is Picasso’s Guernica, but there are plenty of other paintings and sculptures to keep you busy at this landmark institution.

Amsterdam

Van Gogh Museum

Who isn’t familiar with the Post Modern master Vincent Van Gogh? Probably no one. Despite his work appearing in almost every major institution in the world, it’s worth a visit to the museum dedicated specifically to him. The staff is constantly adding to their knowledge of Van Gogh, and invites you to take a look into his life and artistic process.

Rijksmuseum

As we mentioned in our last article, the Rijksmuseum is a national symbol of culture. It houses works by Dutch masters like Rembrandt, Frans Hals, and Johannes Vermeer. The main building was closed in December 2003 for a major renovation and was completed a decade later, so even if you’ve visited before it’s worth a second look.

 

5 Easy Euro Weekend Getaways

Travelling around Europe is fast and seamless, yet the cultures and atmospheres to be experienced across different borders are remarkably unique. Here are 5 breathtaking cities you can fly to from London in under 2 hours. Buckle up!

Amsterdam

Is there more to this city than weed and women? Indeed. Rent a boat and cruise the charming canals, and end the day with dinner and drinks in the less touristy area of 'de Jordaan'. The Rijksmuseum just finished a ten-year restoration - it’s a must-do for those looking to enjoy a spectacular collection of Dutch art and culture.

Flight time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Prague

Nicknamed “the City of a Hundred Spires,” Prague’s deep history instantly draws you to the magical city and its amazing people. After you immerse yourself in the rich culture and views of Old Town Square, the colorful baroque buildings, and the famous Charles Bridge, enjoy Prague’s status as The Beer Capital of the World in one of its many pubs.

Flight time: 1 hours 45 minutes

Copenhagen

Home to the world’s best restaurant (noma), elegant Scandinavian design, amazing architecture, and modern infrastructure that includes an astounding number of bike lanes laid out across the whole city, Copenhagen is well worth the short flight. Even better: Hamlet’s castle is located 40 minutes from Copenhagen and Sweden is just 30 minutes away by train.

Flight time: 1 hour 50 minutes

Berlin

Described as the New York of Europe, Berlin’s beat and vibrancy is undeniable. The mix of its vast bar and restaurant scene with historic spots like the Brandenburg Gate and modern art galleries makes Berlin offer something for every taste.  

Flight time: 1 hours 55 minutes

Barcelona

A beach in the center of the city, breathtaking museums, tasty tapas, and a buzzing nightlife – what’s not to love about Barcelona? Flights are quick and cheap, just make sure to look out for pickpockets (especially when you’re out at the city’s various bars and clubs).

Flight time: 2 hours

6 Ways Job Interviews Are Like First Dates

Many of us worry about having quality conversation on the first date as much as we do having quality conversation while interviewing for a job. You could waste time practicing for both individually, or you could find the similarities between the two to master both simultaneously. So how are the two similar to each other?

  1. Putting your best foot forward

Whether it’s the person you matched with on your dating app or the interviewer who expressed interest in your credentials, your goal is to sell yourself to the other person. You want to impress, but you also want to entertain. Finding a balance between confidence in your abilities and arrogance is crucial in both situations, but practice beforehand will benefit you in both, as well!
 

  1. Know when too much is too much
     

No one wants to sit there while someone talks endlessly about how great they are or how much experience they have. Likewise, no one wants to listen to someone complain about their past employers (or friends). If the goal of a first date or job interview is to get that next call, then you need to learn how to read people to know when enough is enough. This is another essential balance to improve your skills in both settings: talking and giving away enough of yourself to be intriguing, but not too much to be perceived as boring, annoying, or unqualified.

  1. Remember to be honest at all times

When we meet someone new, we all want to do our best to impress them. Being dishonest is not only obvious, but it can also get you into an awkward situation. It’s okay to admit past failures and mistakes, so long as you show how you improved yourself and learned from them. Of course, when meeting someone for the first time, whether it be a match or an interviewer, less is more when you’re detailing how you messed something up; you’re unlikely to get a second call if you expand on your failures. Find the balance between being completely honest  without being overwhelmingly so.

  1. Come prepared with quality questions

There comes a point in every interview when the interviewer asks, “do you have any questions for me?” This is important, because you don’t want to ask an irrelevant question just to ask something, but you also want to ask something to convey authentic interest in the company. This is relevant for first dates, too, in the chance that natural conversation dies down and you have to ask a question to keep the momentum going. Before an interview or a date, come prepared with questions that are thought-provoking and relevant; any random question thrown out of nowhere will not improve the conversation, and may even be off-putting.

  1. Ensure you are listening actively

There will more than likely be a moment in either a job interview or first date where you will look foolish if you weren’t previously listening to what the other person was saying. So do your best to really internalize and listen to everything your interviewer or match says so that you avoid asking a dumb question and getting this as a response: “I already said that before. Weren’t you listening?” People want to be respected, and showing that you are listening and engaged will help you stand out.

  1. Don’t worry if it doesn’t go as planned

Especially in a first date or job interview, we’d like to be able to plan the entire couple of hours out perfectly, but realistically, neither will go as well as you would like it to. You may realize that the match or the company you thought was perfect for you doesn’t actually live up to your expectations . . . and that’s OK. Even if you mess up the date or interview, it’s all about practice. Going on more of each will improve your skillset drastically, and in time you’ll forget about that awful date or that awkward interview you had a while ago.

The Big Trip

In the 21st century, we millennials are under a lot of pressure. We have to go to the right college, then find the right job, then the right spouse, then the right graduate degree… Needless to say, it’s easy to get sucked into the rat race. Going on a trip will help you stay sane at whatever point in life you’re slogging through. It’s a great way to blow off steam and recharge your internal batteries for the next phase.

Everyone in their 20s should go on a big trip by themselves at least once. Here’s why:

Because it’s fun!

Let’s start with the obvious: fun, fun, fun, and did we already mentioned fun? Planning the trip of a lifetime for you (and only you) will give you something to look forward to and look back on for years.

Because there’s no time like the present!

Once you settle down you’ll have a lot more responsibilities that anchor you to where you are (think: partner, promotion, parenting). Now’s the time to go somewhere you’ve always wanted before the stakes are too high.

Because you will discover new things.

Going on a trip by yourself will expose you to so many new things that you might not experience if you go with your family or friends. You will meet new people (or reconnect with old friends), visit new places (or countries or continents - the world is your oyster), and experience new cultures.

Image credit: Adva Longin

Image credit: Adva Longin

Because it will challenge you.

No trip goes off without a hitch, but overcoming these obstacles will leave you with an immense feeling of pride. When you go home, you’ll be more ready to accept new challenges because you’ve pushed yourself out of your comfort zone.

Trips like this can help you gain the confidence to seek out that next workplace or personal achievement when you get back home.

Because you’ll learn more about yourself.

Maybe it’s a cliche, but it’s still true! You’ll reconnect with yourself and bring back that confidence (and those stories) to the rest of the people in your life.

How to Date on a Budget (Without Sacrificing Romance)

We’ve all been there. You want to take that special someone out for a romantic evening. You like them enough that you want to bring them to that super fancy restaurant where every dish is way too tiny for what it costs and reservations need to be made months in advance but it would put far too big a dent in your bank account. We’ve got you covered. Here are our suggestions for romantic activities that don’t require the equivalent of a month’s rent.

Make Ice Cream Together.

Even if the age-old battle between chocolate or vanilla wages on between you and your significant other, you can both appreciate the novelty of making your own ice cream at home. Ice cream is actually really simple to make, with just 3-4 base ingredients plus whatever extras you want. Simply mix milk, cream, sugar, and eggs (optional), heat to 170 degrees then chill and churn with an ice cream machine, a mixer, or by hand. Then add any extras (chocolate chips, peanut butter, etc.).

Making this together adds an extra level of intimacy to a home-cooked meal, and after all the fun work you can enjoy together! Bon appetite!

Make S’mores.

Similar to the last suggestion, making s’mores adds a cozier element for colder weather dates. Ideally, you can roast your marshmallows over an indoor or outdoor fireplace, but it works as well on a barbeque grill (or even on a stovetop)! Nothing takes an evening from zero to romance faster than firelight, and this activity gives you the bonus of a tasty dessert! After you clean up and remove any flammable materials from around your heat source, roast your marshmallows and add graham crackers and chocolate for a simple and sweet treat! Bonus: sitting outside on a cool night is a perfect excuse to bundle up and get close to each other.

Borrow a Dog for a Day.

Yes, this is a real thing. If you don’t have a pet of your own, you and your special someone can rent a dog for a day from a shelter or other non-profit organization. There are also apps, like Bark N Borrow or Uber Puppies, that allow you to rent a dog for a certain amount of time. What is more fun than taking a dog on a date with you for the afternoon? Whether you’re going to play at home in your apartment or go out for a walk in the park, you’ll find yourself moving at a different pace. It’s a special experience that the two of you can share and talk about for a long time afterward.

Eat Your Way Through a Cookie Taste Test

Another inexpensive and fun date is to do a cookie taste test. Here’s how it works: pick the five best bakeries/grocery stores near you and buy one cookie (or more depending on the size of your sweet tooth). Lay out a picnic blanket in your local park (or in your living room) where you can share and compare the cookies. You’ll learn more about your date by comparing which cookies you each liked and why, plus you’ll always know where to go to get them something sweet on your way home from work!

Get Lost in a Maze.

There are a surprising number of hedge mazes in the world. Take an afternoon off and explore one with your significant other. You can compete against each other for a challenge, or work together as a team. Either way, it’ll help you build your relationship in a unique way as you both put your memory to the ultimate test. At the end, take some time to assess the challenges and successes you had throughout the process.

Bonus All-Day Itinerary: Take a Train Ride to a Historic Town Near You.

If you’re planning an all-day date, take the train to a local historic site that you’ve always heard about but never had the chance to visit. The destination is less important than the train ride itself, during which you can take time to really get to know your date. While it’s hard to image for commuters, trains might just be the most romantic place. In “Casino Royale,” James Bond fell in love with Vesper on a train, and Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint fell in love in “North by Northwest” on a train. So take a chance, take a ride and enjoy some time together while watching the world go by.

5 Conversation Starters That Actually Work

You’ve done it: you’ve successfully matched with someone! But with so much pressure to say the right thing (and so much potential to say the wrong thing), it can be hard to make any move at all. Small talk — even the classic “tell me about yourself” — is way more difficult than it should be, and often turns into a robotic, interview-like conversation. To combat this, here are five simple and effective exercises that will actually capture someone’s attention and spark authentic, engaging conversation that lasts longer than one word.

1. Small talk, revamped

Small talk doesn’t have to be shallow or boring like many people think. When done efficiently, it can express a genuine interest in getting to know someone, and even inspire meaningful conversation! Instead of asking questions that give one-word responses, rephrase them for open-ended answers that encourage more thought and explanation. Three examples are:

How was your day? → What was the high and low of, and who was the hero of, your day?

Where are you from? → Where is your favorite place in your hometown? What was the most interesting part of your childhood?

What do you do? → What’s your current job like vs. your dream job?

2. What are you most proud of and/or passionate about?

Honestly, most people secretly enjoy being asked to talk about themselves, as it gives us an opportunity to discuss our accomplishments and interests without coming off as conceited. In general, listeners will appreciate when you express interest in something you are passionate about or proud of, and will match your enthusiasm.

3. Embarrassing stories battle

Asking for embarrassing moments may seem a bit extreme to begin with, but it can actually be a really effective and engaging icebreaker. People will naturally start with a less embarrassing memory, but as the conversation goes back and forth and the stories get more and more embarrassing, you are guaranteed a fun, laugh-worthy time. Plus, everyone can relate to a cringe-worthy moment, so this idea can help quickly connect two people.

4. What are some things on your bucket list?

Their response also allows you to quickly get to know them, which is a win-win situation: if nothing on their bucket list matches yours, you can still ask them to explain answers further, but if something does match one of yours, then you can bond over the similarity. Listening to people list their goals shows that they are attempting to live life to its fullest, and it is genuinely interesting to hear each person’s own bucket list contents.

5. What is the most different or “unlike yourself” thing you’ve ever done?

This is a variant of the tiresome “tell me about yourself,” as learning about who someone is not can tell you a lot about who someone is. Whether the response is a funny, one-time event or a longer period of self-discovery, this is an awesome exercise to encourage more thought, and a personal — yet easy — look into someone’s personality.

Your Dating App Issues, Solved.

Online conversations dragging on too long? Not talking to the right people? These are common issues for people who are dating online - discover the research on how to solve them below.

 

Too much talking

Often, people spend days or weeks talking to a match online. People think that learning more about one another leads to better chemistry once they meet in person, but in fact the opposite often proves true. Research reveals a negative correlation between the duration of online conversation and the satisfaction of the meeting once it goes offline. When expectations build and you search for similarities online, you are more likely to be disappointed when dissimilarities occur offline.

So many matches, so little conversation

Sometimes the opposite is also a problem: you have a lot of matches, but you never receive a message from any of them. Every dating app provides options to its users - but do all of them generate real romantic connections? If you’re waiting for a match to speak to you online you could be waiting a long time. Maybe the only solution is to take the initiative to go offline...or if you’re not picky, just swipe right on everyone!

Getting an unmatch

Virtual communication is missing several important elements that occur in a real date, like body language, tone, and eye contact. People are more likely to misinterpret your messages when your communication occurs only online. Often, someone who previously matched with you will take these missed cues as a reason to move on from you. Research shows that the sooner you meet someone offline, the more willing to embrace these differences you will be.

So remember, dating apps succeed when they become a successful way to meet people offline, where the real chemistry happens. In that, dating hasn’t been changed even as it takes a wider variety of forms.

6 Reasons Why You Should Talk to Strangers

“Don’t talk to strangers!” For many of us, it was the golden rule of childhood. We grew up warned of “stranger danger” to keep us safe, but now that we’re adults we have to relearn to be open to new experiences.

Kio Stark, the author of When Strangers Meet, is a big believer in talking to strangers. She will talk to a guy on the subway reading today’s news on his phone, a dog walker out for a moonlit stroll, or a lady with gorgeous shoes sharing her elevator. As she said in her Ted talk, “I know that not every stranger on the street has the best intentions. It is good to be friendly, and it’s good to learn when not to be, but none of that means we have to be afraid.”

In her Ted talk, she also elaborates why talking to strangers is beneficial. Here are six reasons we extracted:

Sense More and Judge Less

Human brains are wired to assign other people into categories, like “stranger.” When making decisions, we rely on these categories as a shortcut for learning about people; however, when you start really talking to “strangers,” you will start to see them as real individuals. Doing so can help others break out of their categorization habits too.

Gain Intimacy

Walking through city streets people often feel lonely. Talking to strangers can alleviate that. Researchers have found that people often feel more comfortable being honest and open about their inner selves with strangers than they do with their friends and families. Opening up to strangers can make it easier for you to be truthful to yourself and others.

Be a Better Storyteller and Listener

Imagine you are at a party, and you can’t believe that your friend isn’t picking up your hint that you want to leave early. You expect friends and family to understand you, but you would have to start from scratch with a stranger. As you tell the whole story, you explain who the characters are; you spell out all the inside jokes and you become a patient storyteller. In turn, the stranger has to listen more actively to understand you. You both become better listeners, asking good questions and learning to understand each other.

Gain More Confidence

Stepping out to start a conversation with strangers is never easy, but if you do, you will be amazed at how much carry-over this has to other parts of your life. Talking to strangers can help you overcome fears and confidence issues you didn’t realize you had. In the end, you will find that approaching strangers or just turning your head and talking to someone sitting next you can be extremely liberating.

 

Relatable Advice

Talking to strangers is like reading short, living biographies. Whether it is a taxi driver or the person who sells your bagel, there is always a lot to learn from others’ life stories: their ups and downs, successes and failures. This allows you to draw off the experiences of others and make better choices in your own life.

Unexpected Ideas

Sometimes, when you are stuck while brainstorming, the best way out is talking to strangers. It can provide you with unexpected inspirations for old problems and generate new ideas. Talking to the woman in your elevator about her shoes might not solve every problem, but it could give you the idea you’re looking for!

If you think talking to strangers is still awkward, Ohello is here to help with the initial “hello!” We introduce you to new people online so you can meet offline. No more swiping and texting, no pressure, no expectations. Sometimes, it's just coffee and “oh, hello!” Start talking, so strangers will no longer be strangers.

Best Date Movies of 2016

Finding a date movie can be strangely stressful. Does this new person like horror movies? Are they excited about political thrillers? Does she like action? Does he secretly want to see the female reboot of his favorite series?

The time-honored movie date tradition, the romantic comedy, provides a wealth of possibilities. If it’s good, both of you will come out laughing and feeling good, which is promising. If it’s supremely unfunny, both parties will unite in their distaste of the plot and/or unbelievable chemistry between the leads.

Movies are a great way to show off one’s personality or level of sophistication (that does not mean dragging some poor person you barely know to see a film in a language neither of you understands to show off said sophistication, there truly is a difference between sophistication and plain old pretentiousness). So what’s a person contemplating a movie date supposed to do?

Grabbing a random handful, some of the best romantic comedies of all time are When Harry Met Sally, Manhattan, High Society (some people pick The Philadelphia Story, but how can anyone beat Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and Louis Armstrong?), Four Weddings and a Funeral (it’s strange that the Brits tend not to like it since they consider it too American when it is purely British humor), Pretty Woman, and Love Actually. There are others to be sure, but these are the gold standard.

If going to the theater is an integral part of your date plan, we’ve got you covered with some of the best date films of 2016:

Start with perhaps the most unconventional choice for a date movie ever: Deadpool. If you lived under a rock this year, Ryan Reynolds stars in this Marvel film about the aforementioned unconventional hero. With cursing and action up the wazoo, it’s one of the funniest movies of the year. Deadpool takes aim at the superhero genre while simultaneously honoring its entertainment value. At the heart of the story is the romance between the two main characters, which strangely holds the story together beautifully.

Another unconventional choice for a date is The Nice Guys. Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe star as an unlikely pair who has to solve a crime in 1970s Los Angeles. The performances are especially strong, which shouldn’t be surprising, but what is a shock is just how funny and touching the film becomes. It’s perfect date bait.

Next up is Sing Street, a film written and directed by John Carney (of Once film fame). Anyone who has never seen Once, should do themselves a favor: stop reading this, find it on a streaming service or find a DVD/Blu-Ray, and see this film. It is both touching, heartbreaking, and the music is phenomenal. But back to Sing Street. Like Once, this is an utterly charming film about teenagers starting a band in the 1980s. Although it’s a familiar story, the music, the performances by the young cast, and the expertise of the filmmaking makes this one of the best films of the year.

For those who like to stray into the offbeat, an adventurous couple might like to try to see Men & Chicken, directed by Anders Thomas Jensen and starring Mads Mikkelson. It’s a Danish film that can only be categorized as a dark comedy about two brothers who go in search of their real father and find their true family on a small island. This is a very strange film to be sure, but the performances are mesmerizing and there are some laugh out loud funny scenes.

Absolutely everyone is waiting for the new Harry Potter film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, due out near Thanksgiving. The original films are meant for all ages so they’re designed to be fun. The new series stars Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell, and Jon Voight. Those who liked the previous Harry Potter films definitely have this one on their lists, and if there’s someone on the planet who has never seen the franchise this is a good entry point since it has nothing to do with the previous films. Either way, it’s a perfect date film, so have at it.


We saved the best for last: the perfect date film still to come this year is La La Land. It stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone and is directed by Damien Chazelle, who previously directed the phenomenal Whiplash (for which J.K. Simmons won an Oscar). La La Land is a new musical with original music that had audiences at film festivals standing and cheering. This promises to be a super date movie.

Top 5 Music Acts to Check Out In Boston

Boston is known for so many things, but one of the first that comes to mind is the amazing level of musical talent we have here. There really is nothing quite like going to a live show to see a new and exciting band! Maybe it’s because Boston is home to 100+ universities full of amazing musicians, or because there are so many awesome local venues waiting to host them, but anyone who is here should take advantage of the wealth of talent and go support these up-and-coming artists. To start you on your journey, here are five local music acts that have really captured our attention:


Peridot

Peridot.png

Website: http://peridotband.com

Show Dates: Stay up-to-date at https://www.facebook.com/peridotband/events

Listen to: “Lonely Works,” “Shadows & Silhouettes,” “Braver Than We Think,” “Good As New,” “See You Again”

We first saw “Peridot” in our sophomore year of college when they went by the name The Hillary Reynolds Band and we absolutely loved them—enough to get up and dance with them as they were performing. Straight out of Boston, lead singer Hillary’s voice harmonizes so beautifully with guitarist Trevor Jarvis’. Their autobiographical lyrics perfectly compliment their acoustic pop melodies. Time to admit our bias: We are suckers for alternative folk bands, and any band that includes cello is an automatic win by our standards. Peridot is probably busy touring around the country, so make sure you see them around Boston whenever you can!


KING J

Website: https://soundcloud.com/whatjordanraps

Show Dates:  https://www.facebook.com/whatjordanraps/events

Listen to: “Robert Downey,” “Ask Around,” “Half Rich,” “Thinkin’ ‘Bout Tonight”

 

We were lucky to see this talented BU senior open for AlunaGeorge in September, and the relatively unknown rapper did an awesome job of pumping up the crowd. We had a chance to talk with him briefly about the show afterward, and his down-to-earth yet still passionate attitude was what really hooked us into fandom. With just four songs released so far, get in on the J action now and check out any performance you can before this Atlanta native blows up!


Never In Vegas

Website: http://neverinvegas.com/

Tour Dates: October 7th at The Harp, October 8th at Hooley House, and October 29th at Gather, all in Boston

Listen to: “Shut Up And Dance,” “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” “Teenage Dream,” “Don’t Stop Believin’”

These guys are a quirky, high energy pop rock cover band that tours all over the Northeast. Still, it seems like Boston is their favorite performance spot. What we love most about them is their diverse but instantly recognizable setlist. They have enough upbeat pop songs to rock a nightclub, but transition easily to an intimate setting with their acoustic melodies. Whatever type of music you love, you will definitely find it in their clever twists on our favorite songs.


Amanda Palmer

Website: http://amandapalmer.net/

Show Dates: November 10th at The Egg Center in Albany, NY

Listen to: “Astronaut,” “Ampersand,” “In My Mind,” “Do It With A Rockstar,” “The Bed Song”

OK, We're technically cheating with this one. Amanda Palmer, former lead singer of The Dresden Dolls, isn’t exactly “up-and-coming,” but this Cambridge native is one hell of a performer. You may know her for her popular TED Talk, her crowdfunding successes on Kickstarter and Patreon, or even her nudist tendencies, but first and foremost Amanda Palmer never fails to surprise with her intimate live shows. Whether she is playing piano or ukulele, she is sure to entertain with her personal (and often witty) lyrics and her deep, rich voice. At the very least, check out Amanda’s direct, outspoken communication with fans on Twitter.


Tigerman WOAH

Website: http://tigermanwoah.com/

Show Dates: October 7th at Spontaneous Celebrations in Jamaica Plain, MA and October 29 at Brent Water Brewery in Lynn, MA

Listen to: “Guess So,” “Old Plank Rd,” “Koopa,” “Wage Slave,” “My Grave”


What do you expect from a four-man band described as “Appalachian mountain folk/bluegrass-influenced pop rock with the occasional hip hop freak-out”? It’s impossible to tell until you see this eclectic group of musicians live, but we’ll give you one heads up: you have never heard a voice like lead singer Kevin’s, with the deepness of Johnny Cash and the raspiness of Bonnie Tyler. Make sure when you see them you come with enough energy to rock out to what will be one of the most unique live shows you’ve ever seen (because those beards, though).

Pokémon Go Out Into the World

It’s become commonplace to see people in public places that are more interested in staring down at their phones than in the world around them. Before this summer, we may have assumed these people were on Google maps trying to find their destination or checking their Facebook notifications. After this summer, we can safely assume they are playing Pokémon Go.

The latest data shows that iOS users spend 34 minutes on Pokémon Go for every 22 minutes on Facebook and 15 minutes on Instagram. It took only 14 hours for Pokémon Go to hit No.1 in Apple Store. Why do we love Pokémon Go? Partly, it’s nostalgia for the childhood phenomenon that was Pokémon. Another reason may be the motivational aspect to “Go!”

Go where? Go offline!

We used to play Pokémon on our Gameboys when we were children. Many millennials were addicted to it, spending hours collecting and training their Pokémon to higher and higher levels so they could defeat more experienced trainers and collect gym badges. If Pokémon were an entirely solitary activity, it might not have become such a phenomenon. Pokémon also had a social element: you could trade or battle Pokémon with other trainers through a physical cable connecting two devices or with the card game. The game became a way for people to make friends.

The fun started with virtual engagement, and thrived in a real-world context.  

Fast forward to 2016 when Pokémon Go was launched. In contrast to most mobile games which are limited to our screens and internet, Pokémon Go forces people to step outside their home to find characters. In the context that millennials are used to fast online communication, Pokémon Go retains its philosophy by bringing back real social interaction through virtual means. In addition, Pokémon Go uses local landmarks and businesses as places to find and battle in the game. As a result, people are encouraged while they are playing to check out their surroundings. It holds obvious appeal for millennials, who many times need something on their phone to encourage them to explore the offline world around them.

Your social life hasn’t changed - it still happens offline.

A smartphone or a 4G network may help us connect more easily, but not more effectively. It will never replace the part of our nature that wants to build real-world relationships. Whether you’re looking for someone to go on a Pokéwalk with or looking to grab coffee with a friend, tools as simple and frivolous as Pokémon Go can help you get out into the world.

Time to say “ohello” to the world around you!

In Search of...The Best Coffee in Boston

Most people need at least one cup of coffee in the morning to realize they’re awake. Oh, sure it’s fun to say to the world, on a coffee-less morning, “challenge accepted,” but in reality, that tactic doesn’t end well for most of us.

After doing some very thorough research (read: we’ve wandered around Boston in search of coffee more than once) we’ve come to some conclusions about where to find the best coffee in Boston. Here is what we found along the way:

Crema Café at 27 Brattle Street in Cambridge: while a bit crowded during the morning rush, their Golden Crema came highly recommended. If you’re interested in a double latte with cinnamon and honey, boy is it the place for you.

Next up on our coffee expedition: Barrington Coffee Roasting Company at 346 Congress Street in Fort Point. This place is known for its service, and they make really good strong coffee. To cut a long tasting short, this place is great for a simple coffee brewed the correct way, but for something more complicated we kept walking.

Ah, so much coffee and so little time. George Howell Coffee Company, at 311 Walnut Street in Newtonville makes a mean cappuccino. This place has the right amount of everything, including ambiance. We highly recommend.

Another great place for a classic cup is Render Coffee at 563 Columbus Avenue. To put it simply, their espresso is perfect. It’s also not far from the Museum of Fine Arts, so we recommend getting the coffee to go and stopping in at the MFA to see Boston’s biggest art collection.

While each place we stopped by has its own merits, our favorite is Pavement Coffeehouse at 1334 Boylston Street. The Daily Meal rates the Pavement Coffeehouse 19th best Coffee Shop in the nation thanks to its signature Spanish Latte, and it did not disappoint.

For most of us, Dunkin Donuts coffee is great and, well, addictive, for the everyday. Just know that there are coffee shops out there that can turn any day into a special day.

 

How to Break Out of Your Comfort Zone One Small Step at a Time

The world around you begins one step outside your front door. To explore it, many people need an extra little push. Carolyn Gregoire reported for the Huffington Post that trying new things can help you perform at your peak, embrace your creativity, and keep your mind sharp as you get older. Here are a few small things you can do that will start breaking you out of your comfort zone and jump start the journey to your best self!

Buy a new accessory to stand out in any crowd.

Besides the small confidence boost we all receive when we buy something new to wear, adding a bold statement to your wardrobe will help you break out of your normal routine. Possibilities include a bright-colored bag, patterned scarf, funky boots, or a polka-dot bowtie.

Spice up your culinary credentials.

Order something different at your favorite restaurant, or try a new place altogether. Spice up your dining habits with a unique protein like octopus or buffalo. Better yet, try a meal-delivery service that will send complete meals to your place so you can cook them yourself!

Get a new hobby and stick to it.

Sign up for a weekly cooking class or community volleyball league. Take up pottery or convert a corner of your office into a knitting nook. Is there something you’ve always wanted to learn to do? Now’s your chance.

 

Do something alone.

We’re constantly surrounded by coworkers, friends, and loved ones. Step out on your own and do something you’d normally do with a group. Take yourself out to a movie, a concert, or even just down the street to get coffee.

Go on an adventure.

Do something you’ve always wanted to do. Go skydiving, bungee jumping, or whitewater rafting. If you’re craving something a little less extreme, go on an overnight hiking trip around the area.

Ohello London!

When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.” - Samuel Johnson

Since we just went live in London, a lot of our passion and energy is invested in this wonderfully vibrant city. Experiencing big cities can be overwhelming, exhausting, and expensive, so we curated some authentic and affordable alternatives to the typical London activities. Go alone or grab a friend and experience London like a local!

The early bird experience

Rise and shine before you would normally on vacation and hop on the tube to either Picadilly or Soho for breakfast. There are plenty of cafes that open at 5 (or never closed). Order a coffee and watch the city wake up. When the streets start to fill and the serenity is overruled by the noise of the morning commute the day has officially begun!

Try Balans Soho Society Café on 34 Old Compton Street or Fernandez & Wells on 43 Lexington Street.

Free Speech and roller-skating

London’s Hyde Park has something for everyone. It covers 142 hectares (350 acres), which makes it one of the greatest city parks in the world. Starting in 1866, every Sunday a range of different speakers gather in the top right corner of the park (opposite Marble Arch) to share their views with the public. Many famous figures have spoken at Speaker's Corner, including Karl Marx and George Orwell.

If you want something a little adventurous, you can roller-skate the streets of London with 5,000 other skaters every Friday starting at 8 pm. The route starts at The Duke of Wellington Arch by Hyde Park and takes around 2 hours. If you are less experienced (or 2 hours seems like a long time), there is a route for beginners Saturday mornings that start at Battersea Park.

For more information, visit www.lfns.co.uk

Pick and choose lunch

London Borough Market is the perfect spot for food lovers of all kinds and a great lunch option. With 1000 years of history under its belt, it is London’s oldest food market. You can find anything from spices to home-brewed ciders, fish, mushrooms, and nuts – you name it, they’ve got it. The market is open from Wednesday to Saturday and is located right under the London Bridge.

To weigh your food options, visit: boroughmarket.org.uk

Cultural thrills

Take a stroll around North London and witness one of the biggest and best collections of street art in the world. Talented artists use a range of mediums, including miniature statues and spray paint, to decorate stories of buildings. Look out for works by Banksy and Shepard Fairey. If you’re worried you’ll miss something, there are plenty of free walking tours focused on seeking out the best graffiti in town - just make sure you tip your guide!

London’s collections of museums is spectacular, and what makes it even better is that several of them have free entry, including The Tate Modern, The National Gallery and the British Museum.

To plan a museum day, visit http://www.tate.org.uk, http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk, http://www.britishmuseum.org

British Library

The British Library is undoubtedly worth a visit, especially since entrance is free. Treasures from the collection include Shakespeare’s First Folio, Lewis Carroll’s manuscripts of Alice’s Adventures Under Ground, handwritten Beatles lyrics by John Lennon, and drawings from Leonardo’s Da Vinci’s notebook.

Visit http://www.bl.uk/

5 of the Best Dates in Boston

 

Castle Island Beach

2010 William J Day Blvd, South Boston

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

Castle Island is a great place to go for a walk, run, or bike ride in South Boston. Fort Independence Tours are open to the public for free on weekends year-round. Around the castle, there are playgrounds and picnics areas. Moreover, there are delicious snacks such as lobster rolls, fried seafood, ice cream and drinks. Best yet, the island can be reached by public transportation.

 

LEGOLAND® Discovery Center

598 Assembly Row, Somerville

Admission: $23

Image Source: Pexels.com

Image Source: Pexels.com

On the third Wednesday of every month from 7:00 until 9:00 pm, LEGOLAND® hosts an Adult Night. You and your date can be kids again and enjoy activities like Ninjago Training Camp, a LEGO® 4D movie, the two rides and MINILAND, a mini-version of Boston Landmarks all made out of LEGO® bricks. LEGOLAND® adult events are often themed. Stop by on Halloween Night (October 19, 2016), College Night, or Casino Night for an extra level of fun. Adult Night is a perfect date night or group activity.

 

Harpoon Brewery And Beer Hall

306 Northern Ave, Boston

Admission: $5

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

Harpoon Brewery is the oldest brewery in Massachusetts. Their ticket includes a brewery tour and tasting of up to 12 exclusive Harpoon beers. The brewery is located in the Seaport District, making it easy to access. After the tour, you can enjoy views of the Boston skyline and harbor from the 6,000-square-foot beer hall and visitors center. The brewery offers tours Monday-Wednesday from 12pm-5pm, Thursday-Friday from 12pm-6pm, Saturday from 11:20am-6pm and Sunday from 11:30am-5:30pm.

 

Lookout Rooftop and Bar in the Envoy Hotel

70 Sleeper Street, Boston

Image Source: Pixabay.com

Image Source: Pixabay.com

Also in the Seaport District: Envoy Hotel’s Lookout Rooftop and Bar has a beautiful and overwhelming 270-degree panoramic view of the Boston skyline. You can sit on their comfortable couches and enjoy house-made craft cocktails that will impress any date. There are also covered-seating areas that have built-in ceiling mounted heaters, so no worries for those who are concerned about being outside as the weather gets cooler. Reservations are highly recommended.

 

Boston Common Frog Pond

38 Beacon St, Boston

Admission: $5 for ages 14 and over, $9 for skate rentals and $2 for lockers

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

Boston Common Frog Pond is found in one of America’s oldest public parks. Renowned for its seasonal activities, this pond turns into a place for ice skating when the weather gets cold. From spring to fall, the pond becomes a pool and provides a great spot for escaping the heat and alleviating your physical and mental stress from work. Regardless of the weather, a great place to spend some time outdoors with your date.

Say #ohello to new adventures and people - find others who are up for trying new places around the Boston area by downloading ohello.

Festigevalletjes

Het is zomer! Soort van. Maar of je nou van je terrasstoeltje af zweet of dat het zo hard regent dat je met mascara op je oogbal op je werk aankomt: het is juli en het festivalseizoen is AAN. Heel hip 'n happening Amsterdam blijft lekker in de stad om al het vakantiegeld uit te geven aan veel te dure kaartjes en idem smakeloos evenementenpils. Ik roep al jaren dat ik nu écht wel festivalmoe ben, maar intussen sta ik elke zomer minstens op vier feestjes te hossen.

Zo ook vorige week, ergens in het westen van Amsterdam. Typisch mooiemensenfeestje: vierhonderd keer hetzelfde festivalshirt met ananassen, flamingo’s of bloemetjes, zeshonderd meisjes met zo’n irritant bandje om hun perfect gevormde hoofdjes gespannen en precies evenveel veren in hun glanzende kokosshampoo-kapseltjes. De zon scheen, iedereen happy.

Perfecte omstandigheden om nieuwe mensen te ontmoeten, zou je denken. Alleen zijn Nederlanders... nee misschien moet ik zeggen Amsterdammers (van generatie Y) niet zo goed in bonden met vreemden. Het feit dat driekwart op een festival aan de drugs zit helpt wel een beetje, want af en toe komt er iemand met malende kaken op je af om je een knuffel te geven en je te vertellen hoe mooi je wel niet bent, maar echt mensen leren kennen hoef je niet te proberen. Uit onderzoeken blijkt vaak dat Nederlanders zo vriendelijk en hartelijk zijn, maar over het algemeen blijft iedereen lekker veilig bij z’n eigen posse hangen. Wanneer er iemand op je af komt in een restaurant of kroeg, kun je er bijna blind vanuit gaan dat het een toerist of expat is.

Anyway, ik had op het feestje mijn ohello app maar even aangeslingerd, omdat ik in real life niet veel meer kreeg dan handkusjes hier en daar. (Van een afstandje, uiteraard). Ik herkende drie van de voorgestelde mannengezichten meteen, ze stonden in een groepje verderop. Ik wist niet of ohello een locatie zou hebben op het festivalterrein, dus ik liep naar ze toe om te laten zien dat ze op mijn lijstje stonden. Vonden ze supergrappig. Ja, en dan heb je ineens wel een gesprek. Gek is dat toch. We zijn de hele dag bij die gasten blijven plakken, was heel gezellig. Tja, lang leve de datingapps. Want in het geval van de Nederlandse knul moet je het lot soms een beetje helpen...

Laat je vuile was niet slingeren

Jo (26) is een typisch Amsterdams meisje (euh... vrouw): ze doet belangrijke dingen in de marketing, hangt graag in hipsterbarren, pingelt een beetje op een gitaar en is iets vrijgezeller dan ze zou willen. En ze blogt, want dat hoort tegenwoordig. Jo gaat ohello uitproberen en jullie mogen mee. In gedachten dan.

Ha, jij hoopt nu op een genânt verhaal over mijn vieze onderbroek die ik bij een man thuis ben vergeten, he? Komt vast nog wel een keer, maar ik heb het nu over figuurlijke vuile was. Ik zat namelijk nog even na te denken over dat eeuwige gelul op al die datingapps die geen ohello heten. Want het is niet alleen irritant en eindeloos, maar het is ook best ‘gevaarlijk’. Voor je het weet ga je aan de verbale diarree over jezelf tegen een wildvreemde die je waarschijnlijk niet eens gaat ontmoeten (zie het blog ‘Mannen zijn gek’). Want o o o, wat hebben we een klik en wat is het gezellig op de chat. Ik voel echt een band en heb enorm de behoefte om je te vertellen dat ik een keer een affaire met een biseksuele drugsdealer heb gehad en een intense hekel heb aan mijn tante. En zo incognito ben je niet op een datingapp, want die superleuke profielfoto gebruik je natuurlijk voor alles. (Jo + Amsterdam en je hebt me te pakken op Facebook. Hello!)

Met je nummer strooien: ook echt een slecht idee. Ooit gaf ik het aan een jongen die maar een Tinder-foto had, met de mededeling dat ik MEER wilde zien. Toen ik ze binnenkreeg snapte ik waarom hij maar een foto had... Maar ja, toen had ‘ie mijn nummer al. Het heeft drie maanden geduurd voordat ik van ‘m af was. Maar zullen we dan niet gewoon een drankje doen? Ik ben gewoon niet zo fotogeniek! Kom ooooop! Lesson learned? Niet echt.

Ik vertel nog steeds het liefst meteen in het eerste kwartier alles waar een kerel op zou kunnen afknappen. Want als we daarna nog steeds aan het praten zijn, zit ik goed. Voorlopig. Zo raakte ik op Happn ooit in gesprek met een extreem slimme vent. En best knap. Maar echt van het niveau promoveren, de hele dag in een lab muizen ontleden en ook nog een techbedrijfje ernaast. Zo’n type. Kan ik niks mee natuurlijk, dus ik wilde hem even voorbereiden. Moet je horen Jan, ik heb m’n hbo met killer heels over de sloot gehaald en lees nooit een boek. Oh en soms komt mijn moeder schoonmaken, omdat ik makkelijk drie weken de stofzuiger in de kast laat staan. Dan weet je dat alvast. Jantje was ineens stil. Gek wel.

Iedere keer neem ik mezelf weer voor om bij de volgende match wat mysterieuzer te zijn. Je hele hebben en houwen uitstallen bij een wildvreemde: Doe. Het. Niet. Ga gewoon een biertje drinken, dan is het in ieder geval geen vreemde meer.

Mannen zijn gek!

Een van mijn beste eigenschappen (vind ik zelf) is dat ik extreem punctueel ben. Als ik een afspraak maak, ben ik er ook gewoon. Te vroeg zelfs, meestal. Met als gevolg dat ik altijd op mensen zit te wachten met m’n goeie gedrag. Als ik heel erg mijn best doe, lukt het me soms om twee minuten te laat te komen. Maar dan voel ik me altijd enorm opgejaagd en kom ik met klotsende oksels op de plaats van bestemming. (En dan nóg ben ik vaak de eerste...)

Afspraken zeg ik eigenlijk nooit af, tenzij het echt niet anders kan. En als ik ergens word uitgenodigd ben ik er in principe gewoon. Babyshowers, kinderverjaardagen, alles wat je eigenlijk niet wil doen als je brak bent: ik ben erbij. Ook al zo’n goeie eigenschap! In de datingscene pakt deze obsessie met tijd en afspraken vaak niet al te best uit. En dan heb ik het niet over jongens die rustig een kwartier te laat komen aansjokken. Dat vind ik niet zo erg (kan ik nog even achtentwintig keer mijn haar opnieuw doen). Nee, ik word doodmoe van kerels op datingapps (of heel sporadisch zelfs in real life) die je uitnodigen voor een drankje en dat daarna totaal vergeten lijken te zijn. Herkent iemand dit, of ben ik de enige? Ze komen er gewoon helemaal niet meer op terug, of negeren al je digitale hints. Hallo, het HOEFT niet, hè. Het was jouw idee! Maar ja, inmiddels ben jij degene die op antwoord zit te wachten in plaats van hij...

Word ik echt boos van. We hadden toch gewoon al een afspraak? We’ve been through this! Tja, en op een gegeven moment geef je het maar op. Ik vraag me echt af wat er dan gebeurt in het hoofd van zo’n kerel. Ik bedoel, als ik hem echt wil laten afknappen moeten we wel eerst tegenover elkaar zitten, toch? Of moet ik eerst drie keer nee zeggen om lekker hard to get te zijn? Pfff... ik doe er niet aan mee!

Vrouwen zijn gek ja, maar mannen dus net zo goed. Lang leve ohello. Want dan krijgen die boys niet eens de kans om vroegtijdig af te haken. HA! Ja, tenzij hij gewoon niet komt opdagen natuurlijk. Maar dat is me gelukkig nog niet overkomen. Nog niet...