Posts Tagged ‘MUSEUMS’

From New York to…Berlin

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

Every city has its story. Some are built on peace and trust, but most upon revolution and blood. I might be of the minority opinion, but I think it’s important to know the history of the place you live or visit. It tells a bigger story. Isn’t that what college is about? Discovering what you believe based upon your knowledge of the world? For American history, no place is better for that than New York City (except maybe D.C.). For Western-focused history, I think no city carries that weight better than Berlin.

In New York it’s a little easier to ignore history when there’s so much hustle and bustle around us. A lot of us don’t stop to think unless we decide on a day and time to go to a specific place and think about the history of how this great city came to be. It’s a little different in Berlin. Its past drags on you as you walk through its streets and there are signs of history everywhere—a city trying to wipe away its past through modernization.

Since it’s humbling and humanizing, I’ve made a list of places you can stop and think about the past in both Berlin and New York:

History Museums.

Museums are meant to be quiet places to look at precious items and ponder their meaning. History museums are some of the most impactful places in any city. This is especially true for New York and Berlin. In New York the National Museum of the American Indian brings to light not only the history of New York, but also of this land. It’s a humbling experience and allows you to see the stories and artwork of the Native Americans before and after European settlers. New York boasts many other history museums, but one of the best is a bit far from Manhattan. If you can get there, the Ellis Island Immigration Museum helps anyone understand what makes modern day New York so wonderfully diverse and will give you a sense of the historical struggle of your ancestors. Berlin is filled to the brim with museums about history. One of these is the German Historical Museum or Deutsches Historisches Museum, which shows the history of Germany from its founding to its scarred past and hopeful future.


Tragedy Museums.

I define museums of tragedy as separate from museums of history because the weight of self-awareness you feel in a museum centered on tragedy is innately different from that of history. The National Museum of the American Indian is also a museum of tragedy to me, but the museum itself focuses mostly on the beauty of Native American culture rather than on their horrific plight. Another museum where New Yorkers will certainly feel the heaviness of tragedy is the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in the Financial District. Though this one may leave you feeling hollow and oddly aware of yourself and your fellow New Yorkers, it’s definitely worth visiting if you’re thinking about the past. For Berlin, the Jewish Museum will impact you in ways you didn’t even know were possible. It’s earthshattering and the mixture of art and history is made to let history overwhelm you. And you should let it this once. It’s worth it.

9/11 Memorial Pond.

9/11 Memorial Pond.

Art Installation at the Jewish Museum in Berlin.  Taken by Jainita Patel

Art Installation at the Jewish Museum in Berlin.
Taken by Jainita Patel


Monuments and Memorials.

I’m honestly not quite sure where to begin with this one for New York, so I’m going to state the one I love the most that always takes me back in time: Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. Here you’ll find monuments dedicated to almost every war fought by American soldiers. If wars don’t interest you as much as common life, almost every grave in the cemetery has a story. Not to mention the place is gorgeous. If you’re looking for a more patriotic monument, Trinity Church on Wall St. has some of the most famous revolutionaries buried there including Alexander Hamilton and his family. A comprehensive list of New York monuments to sit and reflect upon can be found here. Berlin has a historical monument on every corner, but three very specific monuments had a huge impact on me: 1) The Berlin Wall Memorial. There is a piece left standing of the Berlin Wall in Brunnenviertel that has scribbles of graffiti proclaiming freedom that remains from just 25 years ago. It really puts the past into perspective. 2) The East Side Gallery. Also a piece of the Berlin Wall, this international memorial for freedom on Mühlenstraße will have you looking at art and history as two inseparable mediums by which to explore the past. 3) Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (and the nearby Großer Tiergarten—which contains the Memorial to Homosexuals Persecuted Under Nazism—and the Memorial to the Sinti and Roma of Europe Murdered under the National Socialist Regime which is by Brandenburger Tor). This last one is more of an art piece, but just as powerful.

Civil War Memorial at Green-Wood Cemetery.

Civil War Memorial at Green-Wood Cemetery.


Graffiti on the Berlin Wall Memorial. Taken by Jainita Patel.

Graffiti on the Berlin Wall Memorial.
Taken by Jainita Patel.

Right Outside Your Door.

You know those nights were you just sit outside your small NYC dorm or apartment and look at the street and starless sky? Or when you walk to class or work, avoiding the traffic and ignoring your aching feet? There’s history there, right underneath you and around you. It’s a place to begin thinking about the rich histories and the lessons we can learn from it. It’s important, especially in cities with pasts like New York and Berlin.


So there it is—this week’s oddly sad and moving tips on how to connect with a deeper part of yourself and the world. Who says you can’t enjoy yourself while being pensive and having your mind blown? And who knows? If you like either city for the weight of its history, maybe you’ll get to visit the other some day.


By Jainita Patel

Jainita is a Campus Clipper publishing intern who is double majoring in English and Environmental Studies at NYU. Though writing fiction and painting are her two main passions, she also has a love of travel and adventure that has taken her across the globe.  Jainita writes under the pseudonym Jordan C. Rider. If you like her posts, you can find more of her work here or follow her on Twitter. For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015. 


Buy Yourself Flowers (Why You Should Plan Dates With Yourself)

Saturday, July 8th, 2017

You are your own main squeeze. Your relationship with yourself is the primary relationship you will have over the course of your life. People love to stress, “You must have a solid relationship with yourself to be capable of developing meaningful relationships with other other people.”And of course, they are right; you cannot pour from an empty cup. But that goes for everything else too, not just connections with other people. Your relationship with yourself informs how you tackle opportunities, handle challenges, approach work and play, and interpret the world you inhabit, because all of these things are tied to your sense of worth and self esteem. If that cup is empty, what will you be able to pour into your pursuits and interests? Your relationship with yourself is also the only one you are unequivocally guaranteed for your whole life, so you must enjoy spending time with yourself. If you can do that, you know someone will always be there to support and guide you when times are tough, and that someone is you. It means having someone to hang out with, whose company you enjoy. It means, in this big world where it’s easy to feel disconnected and alone—especially in New York—never being truly alone.

A few years ago I started buying myself flowers when I was feeling really down or something really big and exciting happened. I realized I didn’t need a guy to buy me flowers. I could go out to dinner alone. I could take walks by the river at sunset and sit in cafés and wander in bookstores. I could think of dates I’d want to go on and then just go do those things myself. And you know what happened? I got things done. I met some remarkable people. I grew exponentially. I flourished.

Self care, in the way we often talk about it, is a luxury. Spare cash for Lush bath bombs and spare time for people working 3 jobs—these are luxuries that many people don’t have. But dates don’t have to be constant, and planning them doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank. The goal is simply to create an experience now and then that makes you feel refreshed, loved, and worthy. So hang out with yourself; get to know yourself really, really freaking well. Show yourself some TLC. After all, you’re the person you’re stuck with till the end!

If you’re having trouble coming up with solo date ideas, here are some suggestions:

Make Yourself a Picnic to Enjoy by the Hudson River

Sunshine.  Soft grass. View of the water. Skyline. Benches. Need I say more?

Take a Candlelit Bubble Bath

This is easier if you’re in an apartment, since dorms don’t allow incendiary objects. The Kmart at Astor Place has a selection of cheap candles. You can also find some pretty reasonable ones at Michaels, or if you’re feeling a tad more extravagant, check out the yummy smells at one the many Ricky’s NYC stores. If you’re in a dorm, the right playlist will soothe your ears and help create the mood.

Smell the Flowers… Or Perfume
Speaking of smells, here’s one of my favorite pick-me-ups for when I’m down. Grab some fresh coffee beans (not required, but they add a nice touch), and head to Sephora. Indulge in smelling all the glorious scents, and take a whiff of the coffee beans between smells to clear your olfactory palate.

Visit the Botanical Garden at Prospect Heights

Admission is typically $15, but if you bring your ID it’s only $8 for students. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden website has a number of resources and information on events and activities, including a list of what is currently in bloom:

Check Out a Museum

When you’re by yourself, you can stay for as long as you want or leave as soon as your feet get tired. No need to try and impress anyone with interpretations of artwork. Oh, and for students, they’re nearly all free. Hello Whitney, MoMA, and Met, to name a few.

Take in a Literary Reading

There are countless places in NYC to hear writers share their work. Check out KGB Bar in the East Village for a reading! Monday is poetry night, and if fiction is more your speed, stop in on a Sunday. See you there!

By Sofia Lerner

Sofia Lerner is a Campus Clipper publishing intern who is studying English as a senior at NYU. Passionate about literature, dance, and wellness, Sofia aspires to help the arts thrive and help others pursue healthy lifestyles. For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services. 

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.


Planning Ahead

Monday, February 24th, 2014

The most important thing a traveler can do before a trip is to plan.  Planning beforehand allows for the optimization of options and efficient use of time.  Taking out two minutes of the present can save hours of hardship and disappointment in the future.  Two essential steps of planning are having goals and being able to properly prepare.


Although sometimes it is fun to mindlessly wander around a new and foreign area, I found that the most rewarding feeling came from checking off something from my to do list.  Having an idea of what to accomplish during a trip creates the sense of fulfillment and duty.  Simple things like taking a picture with the Hachiko statue in Tokyo, spinning the big Cube in Astor place or taking a stroll in the botanical gardens in Singapore can make for a great story down the road!  Even simple things such as using up a coupon booklet can be something to work with.  Unlike those dreaded bus tours, creating a personal itinerary won’t have people staring into the air for hours.

When writing goals, two big questions should which should be asked are what do I like and what interests do I have? 


I cannot begin to convey the many hours I have wasted because I made the mistake of traveling without being properly prepared.  When I travelled to Japan, I made many small mistakes which could have been avoided had I properly prepared for the trip.  In fact, I had to walk aimlessly in the humid town of Chiba for three hours because I forgot to print out the address of my hotel.  Had I took ten minutes out of my life to print out a piece of paper before I journeyed to Japan, I would have not only saved three hours of my life but also avoided the blazing heat of the sun.


     With proper preparation and research, savings can be had on many expensive things such as Broadway shows!  Did you know that certain Broadway shows hold lotteries and have discounts on certain days and times?  Another example of how research can help increasing savings while traveling can be seen through the admission fees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.  Upon entering the museum, many people examine the admission fee and pay $25.  However, did you know that the admission fee is actually a suggested donation?  Small little tidbits of preparation and research can open up amazing new routes and doors for the voyage ahead.


Of course, knowing where to look for information is a very vital part of the planning process.  Although a Google search can provide many possible locations to visit, having a second point of view on an area provides a lot of valuable insight for planning.  Always cross reference and visit more than one page about a certain location in order to get all the details.  Sites such as Yahoo Travel, Yelp, Trip Advisor), or even one of these travel blogs can help you find out if a place is the perfect fit.  By doing this, more developed opinions can be made by using past experiences of other people.


Gary Chen Stony Brook University

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Sex Education Museum Style

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010







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