What to Do for Spring Break
Allie Tollaksen | Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Spring break is finally upon us, and with it an opportunity to finally catch up on all those things you like to do for fun. Some of you may have forgotten in the midst of midterm exams and papers that such wonderful things exist as movie theaters, reading for pleasure and food that’s not from the dining hall. This week off is an opportunity to reacquaint ourselves with these pleasures before it’s back to the school grind. Whether you’re soaking up the sun or catching up with sleep at home, here are a few suggestions for your spring break enjoyment.
To do this Spring Break:
“Grand Budapest Hotel” — Wes Anderson’s highly-anticipated new comedy will be released in theaters this week, and with a cast made up of Ralph Fiennes, Adrien Brody, Willem Defoe, Tilda Swinton and pretty much every other Wes Anderson-y actor you’ve ever heard of, it has plenty of promise. Set in a fictional country in Eastern Europe, the story follows Fiennes as a hotel concierge accused of murder. In true Anderson fashion, pastel-colored, twee-infused chaos ensues.
“The Lego Movie” — Though “Lego Movie” came out last month, but there’s still time to catch it this break. With another cast full of celebrities (Morgan Freeman, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett), the animated feature has been well received by kids, adults and critics alike.
“St. Vincent” — St. Vincent — It doesn’t matter what kind of music fan you are, you should give St. Vincent a try. Her newest release, a self-titled LP, was released Feb. 24, and shows off the best of an artist still criminally underrated. St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) doesn’t just cross genres, blending pop, rock, electronic and funk; she nearly transcends them. With Clark’s beautiful voice and lyrics exploring mythology, fairytale and technology, the album is sonically impeccable and lyrically dynamic, and is sure to be listened to over and over again.
“Oxymoron” — Schoolboy Q — Despite what the Grammys or any awards might have said, 2013 was undoubtedly the year that Kendrick Lamar moved from every hip-hop head’s favorite rapper to a household name in rap music. This year, fellow Black Hippy rapper Schoolboy Q is poised to make the same transition with his second studio album, “Oxymoron.” After releasing several singles in 2013, “Oxymoron” was finally released in February and has lived up to its hype.
To Catch Up On
“Broad City” — It may have been mentioned already a few times before, but “Broad City” is too good to not recommend for spring break watching. Now seven episodes into its first season, “Broad City” has shown that it’s not always perfect (skip episode five), but it’s pretty close. The absolutely hilarious Upright Citizens Brigade alumnae and writers/creators/stars Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer have successfully transitioned their once web-only show into a half-hour slot and just signed onto a second season with Comedy Central, which means, thank goodness, “Broad City” isn’t going anywhere.
“True Detective” — I’m going to be completely honest here. I haven’t watched “True Detective” yet. But I have read enough about it and seen enough tweets on my timeline, I feel full invested already. The HBO crime drama, starring Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey, follows two detectives as they attempt to hunt down a serial killer in Louisiana over two decades. The show has received widespread acclaim, and HBO announced “True Detective” would return as an anthology with two new actors taking Harrelson’s and McConaughey’s places next season. With all the buzz around the show so far, it looks like this season will be a hard one to beat and one you won’t want to miss.
“Boy, Snow, Bird” — Helen Oyeyemi — British novelist Helen Oyeyemi is only 29, but just published her fifth novel, “Boy, Snow, Bird,” this year. After winning the Shirley Jackson Award for her third novel, “White is for Witching,” and the Somerset Maugham Award for her fourth, “Mr. Fox,” Oyeyemi has release “Boy, Snow, Bird” to much anticipation in the literary world. Set in New York in the 1950s, the novel centers around a white woman running away from her home. The story uses fairytale and folklore to retell the “Snow White” story, this time exploring themes of race, gender and self-image.
“One More Thing” — You may know comedian B.J. Novak best from his role as Ryan in “The Office.” What many don’t know is that Novak was also a writer and producer of the show, or that Novak can now add “author” to his résumé. Released in February, Novak has just published a book of short stories, a collection titled “One More Thing.” The 64 stories range from funny to serious and short skits to longer narratives, making for a perfect spring break book to pick and put down throughout the week.
Churro waffles — First it was cupcakes (remember those), then donuts (the cronut first, and now the danolli, or donut-canolli), but the next big sweet to sweep the nation is undoubtedly the waffle. There’s the new waffle-based breakfast taco now offered at Taco Bell and “waffle cafés” popping up in cities, but the churro waffle is the standout. Exactly like it sounds, the churro waffle is a waffle covered in cinnamon, sugar, vanilla and whatever else goes in those delicious, delicious churros. Now is the time to utilize a non-dorm kitchen and take on a churro waffle recipe.
Ramen burgers — If you haven’t tried the ramen burger, made famous by chef Seizo Shimamoto late last year, the ramen burger has taken the food world by storm. A hamburger between two ramen “buns,” the dish is supposedly juicy, salty and absolutely ridiculous enough to justify standing in line for hours to eat. If you’re not in New York or L.A. for break but still want to try the ramen burger, there are dozens of recipes to help you make better use of your leftover midterms Top Ramen. Go on, give it a try.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.