spring backbay 2014

5 Ideas to Kick off Spring


As the days get longer and the temperatures warm up, Boston slowly begins to thaw from its long dark winter. Take out your date book and make some plans to enjoy all the area has to offer…outdoors finally!! The 5 things you want to do this spring are:

1) Red Sox Opening Day

Welcome back our World Series champions on Friday April 4, 2014 in the Fenway. Even if you don’t have tickets to the game, you can still spend the day with Red Sox Nation at any of the venues on Lansdowne Street or Brookline Avenue. GameOn!, Cask ‘n Flagon, The Yard House, and more will likely have opening day parties or special events to celebrate. You may even be able to find a last minute ticket on the ticket resale site StubHub. The beard brigade may be gone, but the spirit is alive. Get out and get your Fenway Park on!

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2) Relive History

Each April we celebrate Patriot’s Day in Massachusetts. It’s a day to remember the American Patriots of the Revolutionary War and the battles of Lexington and Concord. Each year the battles are reenacted in and around the Minute Man National Historical Park. Though the holiday is officially Monday, April 21, 2014, the entire weekend is celebrated with parades, reenactments and commemorative ceremonies. Visit Battle Road to learn more about our local history or patriotic reenactments.

3) Walk For Hunger

Did you know almost 700,000 children and adults in Massachusetts can’t predict when or where they’ll eat their next meal? Project Bread, a non-profit organization committed to ending hunger in Mass, hosts the Walk for Hunger each May to raise awareness and funds for the families in need. This year’s walk is Sunday, May 4, 2014 and you can choose to walk the 20 miles, build a team, or volunteer along the route in Boston, Brookline, Newton, Watertown, or Cambridge. Volunteer opportunities exist year round so visit the website above for more information.

4) Open Markets

By now, most people have heard of or been to a farmers market, but did you know we have our own network of open markets, easily accessible by public transportation? New England Open Markets offer a little bit of something for everyone. From the freshest picked produce, to handmade crafts, to food trucks and more, the open markets in the South End, Cambridge, and Salem have it all. There’s really no better way to spend a sunny spring day checking out everything the markets have to offer. The SoWA open market (in Boston’s South End)  is open every Sunday from 10am-4pm, beginning May 4 and ending October 26, 2014.

5) The Lilac Festival
On Sunday, May 11, 2014, the Arnold Arboretum will host Lilac Sunday. With more than 380 lilac plants of 176 kinds, the Arboretum holds one of the premier lilac collections in North America. People come from all over New England to see and smell the lilacs in bloom . For many, it’s the real beginning of spring. The day draws a large crowd and traveling public transportation is recommended. Bring a picnic lunch and make a day of it. The Arboretum offers something for everyone and self-guided tours are available on the website.

brandeis eats

The Best of Boston…in Waltham!

brandeis eatsThis month’s Boston Magazine features the city’s best cheap eats and many of them happen to be a stone’s throw from Brandeis! From an amazing egg sandwich to five star tacos, these once hidden gems are now front page news.

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This month’s cover shows a steaming breakfast sandwich found at Moody’s Delicatessen & Provisions on none other than Moody St in Waltham. One look at that melty cheese, smoking bun, and thick cut might make you consider setting your alarm clock an hour early to get there right at 7am. However, the $5.50 price tag is what will actually makes you do it. While you’re there, check out everything the deli has to offer, and you may just consider a return trip for lunch. Moody’s yelp page boasts rave reviews of their Bahn Mi along with their pastrami sandwich named “the Katz.” At Moody’s you’ll definitely get your money’s worth. Even though the sandwiches are in the range of $10-$12, once you experience the quality, the value is undeniable.

If a sandwich value doesn’t get you off the couch, perhaps the tacos found at Taqueria El Amigo on Willow St in Waltham will. This incredibly tiny restaurant will earn a giant sized place in your heart if you’re craving tacos el pastor or some mighty tasty salsa. They actually import the sodas from Mexico, so say adios to high fructose corn syrup and bienvenidos to sugar in that Coca-Cola…delivered to your table in a vintage glass bottle. The cheap eats section begins with a photo of their now famous tacos, but Boston Magazine wants you to try the lengua taco. Perhaps you should head over and sample a few varieties, then decide for yourself. Just make sure to bring cash; no credit cards are accepted. This place has been a long-time favorite of Brandeis students looking for good food near campus. Check out their yelp page with 4.5 stars after 199 reviews.

There are tons of  other options in not so distant locations, but when you feel the need to head downtown to sample some amazing fare, remember there are a few renowned local joints, not too far from campus that might just satisfy your cravings!

nature hikes waltham ma

Explore nature just steps from Brandeis

hiking snowshoeing biking waltham ma

Snowdrops blooming on the Brandeis campus.

There’s always something happening at Brandeis, but did you know you can also experience some local wildlife steps from campus? Both the Waltham Land Trust and Mass Audubon offer members of the local community access to parks, trails, programming and more.

The Waltham Land Trust hosts a number of events to get you outside throughout the year, from hiking to biking, to clean-ups and playground building. There are tons of opportunities to get out and about this spring and summer- check out pics from recent events! New England is known for beautiful seasons and exploring the parks in the spring, summer, fall, and winter can help you get inspired to write that upcoming paper you’ve been avoiding. Not sure where to go? The Waltham Land Trust offers a series of maps to help get you started.

One map on the Land Trust website will show you the way to the Beaver Brook Historic Reservation in Belmont. Easily accessed by public transportation, just hop on the commuter rail from Brandeis and head inbound to the Waverly stop. Whether you’re in the mood to cross-country ski in the winter, go fishing this spring, or cool off in summer, Beaver Brook offers 60 acres of outdoor activity right on the Waltham/Belmont line. Make sure to check out the waterfall and historic mill while you’re there!

Feeling super adventurous? Journey to nearby Belmont or Lincoln and visit the parks and greenspace associated with Mass Audubon. Mass Audubon offers a lot more than birdwatching and hiking. They support the community by offering seasonal CSAs (community supported agriculture), lectures on various topics, and classes in Photoshop or cheesemaking. You can find out all the happenings by accessing their programs page. The wildlife sanctuaries and parks associated with Mass Audubon are not only beautiful, but a center of activity. You can spend an hour, day or days at the parks being as active or inactive as you’d like. Mass Audubon offers you the opportunity to volunteer your time and grow your talents.


brandeis summer lights

Tapas and Science? Yes Please

cafe science waltham 2014

What do science and tapas have in common? Seemingly not very much, unless you’re at Brandeis. Now you won’t be able to imagine one without the other.

On the first Monday of every month from 6-7pm, Cafe Science (whose mission is to engage the local community in conversation about cutting-edge scientific research) takes over a room at Solea (whose mission is to serve amazing tapas) on Moody Street in Waltham. Everyone is welcome to learn something new from Brandeis faculty while they enjoy amazing food in a warm and welcoming environment.

The next talk on February 3rd is with Mathematics Professor Ruth Charney, titled “Geometry for Grown-Ups.” Professor Charney plans to explore geometric structures, both useful and fun to play with. Did you know she’s also the President of the Association for Women in Mathematics?

Well, if Geometry isn’t enough to get you out the door, save the date for Professor Paul Garrity’s talk on April 7th, “From Spicy Hot to Minty Fresh: Temperature, Taste and Pain.” Professor Garrity specializes in the study of molecular genetics of neural development and behavior at Brandeis while running a number of studies in the lab. He might be able to tell us why some folks at Solea prefer the spice of patatas bravas while others enjoy the savory and sweet chuletillas. You’ll just have to go to find out for yourself.

Whatever the topic, you’ll definitely have a great time. Only here will you learn something new while trying a new tapa each month. For a complete list of speakers and their topics (past and future), visit the Cafe Science website or Facebook page.

brandeis summer school 2014

Reflect, Explore, and Connect with the Hiatt Career Center

Antique English Pen

If you haven’t visited the Hiatt Career Center yet, you are missing out. Providing networking, internship opportunities, career advice and even help with your grad school application, the Hiatt Center can help, like Brandeis Summer School, to get the most out of your experience at Brandeis.

The Hiatt Career Center is there to help you no matter where you may be in your career exploration. On their homepage, you can find links to explore majors, review networking basics, and search for jobs and internships. You can also find out how take advantage of a number of funding resources both during your tenure as a student and beyond. If you can’t make one of the career fair events over the break, you might decide to explore the Hiatt website to create or update your resume, fine tune your cover letters or learn how to brand yourself online using social media.

Not sure what you want to do or where you want to do it? Take a look at what the 2012 graduates of Brandeis are up to to get some ideas, http://www.brandeis.edu/hiatt/aboutus/stats.html. More than 91% of students are working or in graduate school in fields like healthcare, education and finance. You can also participate in a Year-of-Service upon graduation, just like the alumni before you. When you take advantage of the resources on and off campus, you’re preparing for your future in a proactive and direct manner. Let the Hiatt Career Center staff assist you in developing the skills to transform your unique background, liberal arts education and experiential learning into meaningful professional futures and relationships.


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