A look at people we see everyday

Attending a private liberal arts college, it’s easy to think we know everyone we go to school with. However, as Gabriella Gamba, an editor of The Circle at Marist College, mentioned, “When it comes down to it, everyone is confined to their own friend groups. We thought if we could highlight all those people we don’t know, it would give [everyone] a new perspective.” Alongside sophomores, Adler Papiernik and Kerry Tiedemann, Gamba launched the Instagram account known as Marist Stories.

Inspired after the original Humans of New York, and later the capping project that became a Facebook page, Humans of Marist College; Gamba, had been talking about restarting something like this at Marist for months with her Circle colleague, Bernadette Hogan. As she pitched the idea to Papiernik and Tiedemann, “[the three of us] just spearheaded it,” she mentioned. Trying to get students to have a better understanding of the culture around campus, Gamba, Papiernik, and Tiedemann began walking around campus acquiring content and developing ideas.

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The transfer of power


“We want people to understand that the Brother’s transferred the college to an original group of people that they trusted,” said Brother Francis Kelly Director of Campus Ministry at Marist College.

In 1905 the history of Marist College began, when the Marist Brothers purchased the McPherson estate, which included 44-acres of land, then in 1908 the Beck estate was purchased, together the two purchases include the 110-acres that formed the main campus of what is now Marist College.  Continue reading

WMAR fixes “ridiculous” tech issues, problems still linger

The WMAR radio station is back and fully functioning.

Didn’t notice? You are probably not alone.

Marist College’s radio station spend two months dormant, unable to broadcast to the outside world. A technical glitch in the newly updated computer system prevented a connection to the online stream that feeds from the studio; a glitch that went unnoticed by the WMAR club board, the Media Center and the school’s IT department.

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Pollster by day, cult member by night

During daylight hours, you can usually find Junior Iulia Ionesco on the third floor of Hancock, busily answering the phones and assisting directors at the Marist Poll. But once the sun sets, you will find Iulia in a seemingly abandoned building, praising demonic statues and speaking in tongues amongst her other cult members. The poll’s head coach is seemingly unrecognizable with her slashed wrists and sleep deprived eyes peaking out from under her black cloak.

No, Iulia is not a part of an actual cult. But, her second job does entail scaring the brave souls that dare to enter the Headless Horseman Haunted House, the Hudson Valley’s spookiest fall attraction. Continue reading

SPC looks to increase its audience through new and creative planning concepts

What exactly is there to do at Marist anyway?

This tends to be a question asked by many Marist College students, especially those in the freshman class still looking to find their way or fit in.

For many in this situation, the events planned by the Student Programming Council of Marist during welcome week helped these freshman get a nice start, but haven’t gained that much traction since that point.

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10 ways to celebrate the holidays in the Hudson


Sinterklaas as Represented in Netherlands/Dutch Holiday

1.Sinterklaas! (Rhinebeck) This Dutch tradition brought over from the Netherlands, will be celebrated on December 5th, 2015, in Rhinebeck. This re-creation held in the Hudson valley includes a massive parade, a cookie tree, and Dutch bakery treats. “Every year we witness Sinterklaas at our restaurant across the street. It’s always interesting to see the crazy costumes in the parade, and be a part of the vibrant atmosphere” said Lily Hickey, an employee in the Rhinebeck area. Bringing an old tradition to the Hudson valley is a fun and different take on Christmas that definitely differs from the norm.

2. Watt Christmas Wonderland (Goshen) A massive estate located in Goshen, has been open since 2005 to exhibit extensive Christmas decorations as well as illuminating light displays. During December the mansion that was once haunted in October is turned into a Christmas wonderland offering a small drive through Christmas town.

3.Taconic Advent (Milan, Taconic Range) What has started this past Sunday is the Taconic Advent Lantern display. This is a 26 day event in which each day lanterns will be lit and released to represent 26 days of Christmas. On the first day, one lantern was released, the second day two lanterns, and so on and so forth. The final day will be Christmas Eve in which 26 lanterns will be released at once and sent high into the air.

4.ERDAJT Holiday Light Display (LaGrangeville) Seen on ABC, FOX, CNN and CBS news, is the house belonging to the Gay’s, a five person family that puts on a massive Christmas light show every year. With a provided playlist that accompanies the light display, visitors can drive through and watch the light display from the warmth of their cars. “The Display is computerized and there are 1080 individually controlled items outsides. As Lou Young put it on CBS last year, we have an entire vistas of lights” said Timothy Gay, the owner of the home and father of the family. “We will have our 9th marriage proposal at our display this year”. This massive light display offers multiple show times through the holiday season that you can find here.

5.A Frosty Fest (Ulster Park)  What normally hosts haunted hayrides, and headless horseman tours is now an event filled holiday light spectacular. Located in ulster Park is Frosty Fest, an event including Candy Cane Lane, a drive thru enchanted forest, a magical mansion, a 3-D walk through tour, and more.


Marist Christmas Tree

6.Marist Christmas Tree (Poughkeepsie) Although the tree was lit this past Sunday, the light display is something to drive by and witness any night of the week. “I was at the tree lighting, and I try to drive by it when it gets dark anytime I can. We see them putting up the lights for weeks in advance and it really is incredible to look at” said Kelsey Zappora, a student at Marist College. The massive tree display stays lit until after Christmas

7.A Holiday on Huguenot Street (New Paltz) Located at the New Paltz Reform church on Friday December 4th is an evening filled with hourly evens on Huguenot Street. Starting with a street holiday tour at 4pm and continuing with pop up shops, performances by the church choir, a massive Christmas tree lighting, and ending with a free concert from the Big Blue Band. The vent continues into the weekend with multiple hourly events that you can register for here.

8.Kevin McCurdy’s Holiday Spirit festival (Wappingers Falls)  Celebrating its 11th anniversary. Kevin McCurdy’s Holiday Spirit festival includes holiday tunnels, twinkling light displays, an enchanted forest and much more. Named one of In Car and Travels top 20 Christmas events in America, this festival includes massive events that incorporate old Christmas themes and various walk through villages. Open Friday Saturday and Sunday through Dec 27th with tickets available online.

9.Holiday Lights in Bloom (Orange County Arboretum)  Located in Goshen on Cornwall is a free program that incorporated Holiday lights with beautiful flower displays. Throughout December the arboretum will be in full bloom with garden themed Christmas lights displaying a variety of flowers, trees, and insects. The various gardens offer a different take on the holidays as it incorporates the beauty of spring with the illumination of the holidays and winter. “We like to visit it ever year” said Kaitlin Bond, who lives a town over from Cornwall. “It’s a quick trip from my house, and it’s just an easy free thing to do on a Sunday night”.

10.Christmas on Colden Hill (Newburgh)Similarly to the ERDAJT holiday light display is this animated light display which is open to the public every night in December. Visitors can tune in to 102.5 FM during the running of the show, and listen to the accompany music that goes with the light display. This display is an easy and inexpensive activity to help get you in the holiday spirit any night of the week.



Marist in Paris and moving forward

While the world mourned the lost lives in Paris after terrorist targeted various spots through the city, the Marist community worried about our own 24 students who are currently studying abroad in Paris. As families and students felt the panic of worrying about their loved ones, the students in Paris tried to make sense of what had just happened. Continue reading

American holidays spent outside of America

While Marist Students migrate home for the holidays according to schedule, their abroad friends live off of a completely different calendar. Abroad students may be immersed in the greatest experience of their lives, but that comes with immersion into foreign culture and tradition.

The exclusively American tradition of Thanksgiving revolves around family coming together, and, above all, the over-consumption of magnificent home cooking. While abroad students may not have access to these Thanksgiving staples, they still celebrate in their own way. So far away from home, students manage to capture the spirit of a day specific to homeyness, home cooking and their home country.

Nadine Choucri celebrates Thanksgiving at the American style restaurant in London. (Photo by Katie Wilhelm)

Nadine Choucri celebrates Thanksgiving at the American style restaurant in London. (Photo by Katie Wilhelm)

Nadine Choucri and Katie Wilhelm spent Thanksgiving last year combing the streets of London for American food. They finally found a little restaurant in South Kensington that was advertised as American style. “I think I got turkey with cranberry sauce and a side of beans,” remembers Nadine. “Some restaurants in London actually have Thanksgiving menus,” says Melissa Kleimen who is studying there this semester.

Fortunately for Kleimen, she will not have to hunt down American food, since her family will be visiting for the holidays. “They’re getting a flat,” she explains excitedly, “so we’ll have a kitchen to cook Thanksgiving-like food.” Melissa Mandia, Kleimen’s friend who is studying in Florence, will meet up with the Kleimens for the holidays. “Thanksgiving to me is more about family,” Mandia explains, “I’m looking forward to seeing some familiar faces,” she adds.

A lot of programs serve a big meal for American students on Thanksgiving. When Brianne Kaine went abroad to Sevilla, Spain, her program rented out a restaurant and served a big Thanksgiving dinner for all of the American students. “We said prayers in Spanish and English of what we were thankful for,” Brianne remembers, adding, “of course, it wasn’t a full spread of food that my mom makes.

Last fall in Bolivia, Hazel Edwards enjoyed a potluck dinner with her abroad program.

Last fall in Bolivia, Hazel Edwards enjoyed a potluck dinner with her abroad program.

Hazel Edwards, who spent last fall in Bolivia and Peru, had a potluck with the rest of her program. “It definitely wasn’t a traditional Thanksgiving meal,” she says, “but it was delicious and different from the diets we were eating in our homestays.”

While most programs acknowledge the American holiday, international schools do not give time off for the event. Even on the Florence campus, Melissa Mandia has class the morning of Thanksgiving. In London, Melissa Kleimen has to go to her internship before dinner with her family.

Such different traditions make the distance from home even more apparent over the holidays. “It was a weird experience because I was in a country where Americans were celebrating being thankful for originally escaping that country,” points out Andrew Brown of his Thanksgiving in London last year.

Regardless of the location, holidays are a time for family and memories. They often bring about the worst bouts of homesickness in the final stretch of the semester. “I felt extremely homesick when I was Skyping with my family,” admits Nadine Choucri.

For others, the authenticity of abroad overshadows the holidays that will dependably come again next year. “I’m only abroad once,” reflects Melissa Mandia, “and missing one Thanksgiving is worth all the experiences and memories I’m making here.”

Students Can Indulge in Fine Dining Thanks to Biannual Hudson Valley Event

Official Logo for Hudson Valley Restaurant Week taken from Website

Official Logo for Hudson Valley Restaurant Week taken from Website

Marist students may not be too aware of Hudson Valley Restaurant Week, but it’s a local institution that has been offering fine dining at affordable prices twice a year since 1998. The event is currently going on until November 15, but students at Marist can get in on the action until then with ten choices that have plenty of delicious options for students to enjoy, according to Kelly Seiz, Editorial Assistant of the magazine that presents the event each year, Valley Table:

  • Kitchen Sink Food and Drink (Eclectic): This Beacon-based restaurant prides itself in its farm-to-table style cuisine, with a wide

    Kitchen Sink Food and Drink

    variety of different choices for everyone. All of the food is locally sourced from owner Brian Arnoff’s family farm. Their specialized menu for Hudson Valley Restaurant Week provides a three-course meal for dinner only, for every day except Monday. Options for the meal include the Parsnip and Celery Root Soup as the starter course (with the Charred Broccoli Salad as an option for vegetarians), the Cauliflower


    Seasonal Panna Cotta, Courtesy of Yelp! User Lillian Lin

    Faux Risotto as the entree and either Seasonal Panna Cotta or an assortment of cookies and truffles for dessert.

  • Terrapin (New American): Remodeled from a rundown church in Rhinebeck, Terrapin has consistently been voted the Best Restaurant in Dutchess County by Hudson Valley Magazine for five years. You have the option of ordering either a two-course meal for $24.95 or a three-course meal for $29.95. Danielle, the restaurant manager, says that the menu features meals that are all mainstays at the restaurant and portions are not downsized, unlike in other usual HVRW participants. Her picks for college students include the Guinness Braised Lamb Shank topped with Garlic Chips and the Pumpkin Seed-Crusted Alaskan Salmon with Tomatillo Sauce. “These are definitely not things you will find on a college campus,” she exclaims.
  • Shadows (New American): A Poughkeepsie mainstay, Shadows on

    Shadows on the Hudson

    the Hudson has varied options for Restaurant Week this time around, including Butternut Squash Risotto, Pumpkin Tortellini, Cauliflower Chowder and Swedish Almond Cake. Manager Seamus Quigley says via email that Shadows “is an avenue to explore cuisine that students might otherwise steer away from, thus broadening their horizons and comfort level in navigating menus and cuisine at finer restaurants.”

  • Cosimo’s (Italian): This chain has a location right across from Marist, and for this Restaurant Week, Cosimo’s in Poughkeepsie is offering entrees for whatever suits your fancy. There is a pizza, pasta, salad, meat and seafood option featured on each menu. The dessert menu options are especially interesting and innovative; they include the Acorn Hill Farmstead Ricotta Cheese Cake and the James Cinnamon Ice Cream. If you have not had the opportunity to explore Cosimo’s yet, you can take a quick stroll across the street to indulge in the restaurant’s fine Italian dining. 
  • Al Fresco (Italian): Located on Main Street in the town

    Al Fresco

    of Fishkill, this rustic place combines the old and the new with its unique take on Italian cuisine. There are great options on both the lunch and dinner menus, according to one of its employees Susan Amy. Amongst the lunch menu entrees, Amy recommends the Pollo alla Graziano, or a pan seared chicken breast stuffed with goat cheese, garlic and figs served with soft polenta. As for the dinner entrees, the Risotto alla Zucca is the meal du jour; a pumpkin risotto tossed with shrimp and scallops.

  • Cinnamon (Indian): For those of you who are in the mood to step out of your comfort zone, Cinnamon might be the place for you. Based in Rhinebeck, Cinnamon offers a unique, gourmet-style take on traditional Indian cuisine. People who may not be too familiar with Indian cuisine can get a crash course by choosing an appetizer, entree and dessert on their own and not from a pre-selected menu. Also, if you go on a Friday, you can hear exciting live music for free!
  • Ole Savannah (American Traditional): A Southern-style restaurant and bar might be an unusual choice for Hudson Valley Restaurant Week, but Ole Savannah (located on the riverfront in Kingston) puts a unique and creative twist to traditional Southern cooking. Their Restaurant Week appetizer (or “first bite”) options attest to their brand of cuisine. You can try either Belgium Endive and Pear Salad or Pork Occo Busso. The entree options include Traditional Fish and Chips as well as Fleisher’s Grass-fed Sirloin Steak. There is only one dessert option, the succulent Local Red Apple and Vanilla Cake.
  • Queen City Bistro (New American): This Main Street hidden gem specializes in “small plate dining” along with an excellent selection of craft beers and specialty cocktails for the 21 and over crowd.

    Queen City Bistro

    Queen City Bistro is offering a five-course meal this time around to stand out from the competition, with ten options to choose from including a Poached Pear and Arugula Salad, Rigatoni Bolognese, and House-made Pumpkin Ice Cream with Ginger Snap Crumble. The restaurant also stands out because of their various vegetarian and gluten-free options.

  • Bluestone Bistro (New American): I happened to pay a visit to this particular eatery myself, which is located in the IBM Plaza right off of Route 9 here in Poughkeepsie! The menu has an wide assortment of options, which generally remain the same for both

    S’mores Pie, Courtesy of Yelp!

    lunch and dinner with the exception of the Pan Seared Arctic Char replacing the Flatbread Pizza on the list of entrees for dinner. I was personally a fan of their Campanelle Pasta as well as their S’mores Pie, the latter of which was one of the dessert options on the lunch menu. The bistro has only been open for a year, which is another exciting reason to check it out.


    Campanelle Pasta, Courtesy of Yelp!

If you are interested in eating at any of the other Restaurant Week participants, here’s the website with complete information on each of the restaurants involved this time around. Happy Fine Dining!