Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Good Eats NYC: Japadog

Japadog: Hot Dogs with a Japanese Twist
St. Mark's Place

Sound crazy? It is. But it's so good.

Japadog is one of those places you walk by and say 'wow, this sounds weird, I wonder how good it is'. This is the exact question we verbally asked, and got an answer from someone sitting outside, shoving ice cream on a hotdog bun (???) into their face: "It's amazing". And it was. So amazing.

Japadog takes your average hotdog and puts a Japanese twist on it. The ice cream dog is to die for; fried and sugared hot dog bun with cold, melty ice cream in between. Yum. For three bucks you can't beat that. Take the plunge and try one!

Get a look at their innovative menu right here!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Good Eats NYC: Pomme Frites

Pomme Frites: Authentic Belgain French Fries
2nd Ave between 8th ad 9th St

Mmm. Tell me you're not drooling. I dare you.

Pomme Frites fries by themselves are to die for; thick and freshly made in-house, not to mention that even in a small cone (they come in cones, people) you get enough fries to last you a lifetime. Which is great, considering that there are literally dozens of dipping sauces to choose from. Good ol' fashioned ketchup works just fine, but I recommend taking a dive off the deep end and trying some of their crazier sauces like Teriyaki Pomegranate and Parmesan Peppercorn.

Take a look at come of their insane dipping sauces on their website.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Good Eats NYC: Insomnia Cookies

Insomnia Cookies
50 W 8th Street

Peanut Butter Cup? Triple Chocolate Chunk? Daaaaamn.

There's nothing quite like a hot box of Insomnia Cookies when you need a good study break during finals. And if you don't feel like taking a nice walk over to the Washington Square Park area, they deliver! So gather up some friends (buy 24 cookies and get 12 free!), break out a glass of milk and try some of their best recipes, like the Snickerdoodle, S'mores Deluxe and Oatmeal Raisin. Mmm.

Order online right this way!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Art to Watch: MaDora Frey

Artists to Watch: MaDora Frey

Take a closer look and see what you find.

Whether you're a fine artist, photographer, or just an admirer of the strange and puzzling, you're bound to find something interesting in MaDora Frey's digitally warped rorschach photographs. A closer look at each piece reveals textures and images that are evocative of New York City, which is one of her main inspirations for her urban romantic pieces. I've fallen head over heels with her work, which I've had the pleasure of seeing in person many times; there really is something magical about the images that suck you in and plays tricks with your mind. I recommend seeing these larger-than-life pieces up front and close if you get the chance!

Check out more of her work on her website! You won't regret it.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

NYC This Week: Vintage Halloween Parade

Vintage Halloween Parade in Greenwich Village
October 31st at 7pm

Nice costumes, ladies!

We know you're just dying to show off your undoubtedly awesome costume, and there's no better way to do it than celebrate at the Vintage Halloween Parade.

All Those in Costume are Welcome to Join Hundreds of Puppets, 53 Bands of Different Types of Music, Dancers and Artists, and Thousands of other New Yorkers in Costumes of their Own Creation in the Nation’s Most Wildly Creative Public Participatory Event in the Greatest City in the World!
For all those in costume is on 6th Avenue South of Spring Street and North of Canal between 6:30pm and 8:30pm. The Parade STARTS at 7 pm!
ONLY enter the line-up on 6th Ave. from the East and South between Canal and Spring!

Check out some more info on their website! Have a great and safe Halloween!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

NYC This Week: Cloud City on the Roof of the Met

Tomas Saraceno on the Roof: Cloud City @ The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Through November 4th

Saraceno's mirrored structure on the Met's roof

As a lover of New York, this is something I've been dying to see. How cool does this sound?

Tomas Saraceno created a constellation of large, interconnected modules constructed with transparent and reflective materials for the Museum's Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden. Visitors may enter and walk through these habitat-like, modular structures grouped in a nonlinear configuration.

Perfect way to spend a beautiful fall afternoon. And the Met is virtually free. So what are you waiting for? Check out more at the Met's website here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Good Eats NYC: Union Square Food Trucks

Union Square Food Trucks
Gorilla Cheese NYC and Seoul Food

Union Square is full of lots of eclectic people and things, which is why it should be no surprise that some pretty awesome and unique food trucks are often parked in the area. Here are two that I frequent and I think are work a try!

Gorilla Cheese NYC
How often do you just want a damn grilled cheese without having to sit in a diner to get it? Because I can never find one when I want one. Thank heaven for Gorilla Cheese NYC, which goes beyond your average American-cheese-on-bread with a dozen or so different crazy combinations to try. They even sell tomato soup to dip it in. My stomach is growling just thinking about it. Look out for the bright orange truck and find out more info over here!

Seoul Food
This truck offers a Korean twist on traditional Mexican street food and it's to die for. Definitely not your average burrito; Sweet and Spicy Pork with Cilantro-Lime Relish, Cheddar Cheese, Rice and Kimchi Aioli? Yum. I have no idea what half of those words mean, but I know that together they make for a dynamite combination. For around ten bucks you get an entire burrito that'll fill you up all day. They're in a black and red truck, so if you see something you like on their website make sure to catch them!

Which food trucks are your favorites and worth trying? Let us know or leave a review!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Art to Watch: Cotton Candy Machine

Cotton Candy Machine Art Boutique & Gallery
Brought to you by Tara McPherson
Located in Williamsburg

This boutique and gallery space is a one-two sugary punch.

Tara McPherson's otherworldy characters have taken the illustration world by storm, cementing her as one of *my* favorites of all time. Luckily for me and anyone else who might be a fan, she's got a boutique in Williamsburg called Cotton Candy Machine where she sells art, merch, and even curates shows.

Two of my favorites, Camilla D'Errico and Brandi Milne, have an exhibition there that opens on October 12th and runs through November 4th, which is going to rock my world and probably yours if you stop by. Interested?

Get more info on this wonderland over here!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

NYC This Week: Dogs at Central Park!

My Dog Loves Central Park Festival
Saturday, October 13th, 2012, 11-3pm

There is nothing not fun about this picture.

Miss your pup back home? This Saturday, Central Park is going to the dogs-- literally, in an all-day festival celebrating our favorite companions. So stop by and pet some furry friends, 'cause it's totally free. PS- this is a great opportunity to do some gesture drawings of dogs of all shapes and sizes!

Check out more at their website here!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

NYC This Week: It's Comic Con

New York Comic Con
October 11th-14th at the Javitz Center

Have a little fun at the convention and cosplay!

I know I don't need to tell y'all about Comic Con, but just incase you need a reminder, it's right around the corner. It costs a pretty penny to get in, but totally worth it to go for a day or two. This pop culture convention is the place to be. I know some of you will be there, so come back with plenty of cool pictures and stories!

I will sit over here, being jealous and wallowing over all of the Captain America cosplayers I won't get to stalk and all the ridiculous merch I won't get to buy. Insert sigh here.

Check out some more info right over here.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Election Day: Helpful Links!

The Election is Coming... Are You Ready?

It's that time, ladies-- the upcoming election is going to impact our futures as not only citizens of the United States, but as women and students. Whether it's your first time around the block (it will be mine!) or you've done this before, here are some helpful resources so that you're ready to cast your vote on November 6th!

This eagle is ready. America.

The 2012 Presidental Candidates

- This website is one of the best for mostly unbiased factual information on not only the candidates, but on all of their stances on certain issues, providing links to videos of speeches, official statements and news articles to support their information. If you've got a half hour to spare, it'll be easy to click around the issues that matter to you and help you decide on a candidate!

2012 Presidental Issues Chart

- ...Or if charts are more your thing, you can check this one out. It has side-by-side comparisons of each of our could-be presidents so you can see how the nominees stack up. Updated regularly and unbiased 'pro/con' answers.

How to Apply for an Absentee Ballot

- For those of us not from NYC, an Absentee Ballot is going to be the best way to get our vote in. An Absentee Ballot allows one to vote even though they might not be in their hometown on election day to cast the vote in person. You can even download the PDF for your ballot registration on this website! Make sure to do it a few weeks in advance so that your vote counts.

Make sure you get your vote on this November! The future is what we make of it and who helps guide us through it. Do a little research and do your part!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Art to Watch: tART Women's Art Collective

Art to Watch:
tART Women's Art Collective

The cover of one of tART's past black-and-white 'zines.

tART Collective is a contemporary feminist artist collective right here in NYC. These awesome ladies band together and host exhibitions, studio visits, workshops, 'zines and engage in the art community. Their exhibitions have been everywhere from the AIR Gallery to Art Renaissance Festival in Brooklyn. As lady artists, I think it's important for us to be involved not only in the art world, but with other women arists, and tART Collective is a great way to explore that community.

Check out the artists who make up this fantastic group and what they've been up to!

Art to Watch: HeartChild

Hello and welcome back, Gram Gals!

I hope you all have been having a wonderful time adjusting to new classes and new deadlines and of course, new projects!

Speaking of projects, one project that a friend of mine, fellow film major, Ben Duffy, has been working diligently on is his documentary film HeartChild. 

HeartChild is a documentary film about twenty-nine year old Crys Worley, who is the mother of a nine year old autistic child, Sasha. It is a remarkable story about a mother's struggles, not only with her own health, but the well being of her son. Committing to Sasha that she will never give up on him and inspired by the challenges parents of autistic children face, she started a non-profit organization, called A.Skate - Autism. Skating with Kids through Acceptance, Therapy, and Education. This film documents her extraordinary journey.​

Ben's film is so close to my heart because my little brother Jack also has autism and Crys Worley's struggle is one that my mother goes through and one that I am very familiar with. News of this heartfelt journey continues to spread not only all over SVA, but all over the nation, touching members of the autism and skating community everywhere.

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Please take a minute to visit the website and watch the trailer for the film (above), for it is not yet finished, and if you're feeling generous, please donate to the Kickstarter for the film and you might just be able to get a copy of the doc or a t-shirt! You can donate by visiting the HeartChild website and scrolling to the bottom and clicking KICKSTARTER. 
I donated and it was the best $20 I've ever spent.

By the way, here's a picture of me, my mom, and sister Bridget and my bro Jack wearing the sweetest PJs ever.

Peace Love and Movies, 

RA Ashley

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Gram Gets Involved: MADRE Donation Drive!

MADRE Donation Drive:
How can YOU help?

A Columbian girl benefitting from art supplies donated to the Trading Art for War campaign!

You may have noticed (or briskly walked past on your way to your first class at 8:50 while thinking 'It is way too early to be up right now') some bins and canisters on your floors, or in the laundry room, or at the front security desk. So what are these about?

Remember MADRE? That awesome women's rights organization we're partnering with this semester? Well, these bins are YOUR chance to help them out. And it's pretty easy. Here's some info on what you can donate and how you'll be helping:


Keep an eye out for programming we're going to be doing here at Gram that will dedicate our proceeds and profits to the MADRE organization! Just by attending and contributing you'll be helping us help women in need. Which is super rad.

Might be some cupcake decorating and midnight breakfasts in the near future...

Donation Bins
How am I helping?
MADRE has a number of causes that are in need of supplies, among these being their Back To Safety, Back To School campaign in Kenya and Trading Art for War in Columbia.

What should I donate?
Some of the things we're looking for...
- First aid supplies (ex. bandaids, neosporin)
- Reproductive resources (ex. condoms, lubricant)
- Hygienic and Beauty supplies (ex. tampons, shampoo)
- Art and School supplies (ex. markers, notebooks)

Both the change jars and donation bins will be in place until December, so feel free to drop something in whenever! And don't forget about the awesome programs we have coming up that will be in addition to the donations we'll get from the drives.

And as always, if you're interested in learning more about MADRE's campaigns, check out their page right over here!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Greetings: Back to School 2012


Greetings and salutations! My name is Alyssa and I am the new RA for the 1st and 2nd floor!  :D I am a second year Cartooning major and coincidentally the ONLY cartooning major on the RA staff this year! What does that mean? It means: get ready for lame puns and Family Guy and Spongebob references. ALL YEAR LONG.

So I'm new to this whole blogging thing (meaning I'm not really sure what to say but oh well; firstworldproblems) but what I get to do this year on the blog is...

*drumroll please*


Yes, one of the loves of my life and favorite hobbies. What I will try to mainly post this year is reviews, tips and tricks of the trade and much, much more! Please note: the only qualification I have is a modeling certificate from modeling school which looked pretty much like this:


Makeup application and process: A++++++++++++++++++++

That being said, these posts will be only my honest to god OPINION. You are in no way obligated to listen/heed a word I say.  :-)

I decided to kick start the year off with makeup must-haves for back to school. I interviewed my fellow RA's and my RHD Stefaine about their top three products and they responded (albeit reluctant if not for my badgering). However I will start with mine:

Top Back to School Beauty Products
I don't feel like I'm ready to face the world without:
1. Foundation: Revlon Color Stay for Combination/Oily Skin in Golden Beige 300
Reason: This foundation has the most outstanding full coverage of any drugstore product I've tried and even some high end ones and at 13.99 a bottle that lasts me MONTHS it is a great buy. I get stress acne especially during school and I need great coverage.
2. Waterproof Mascara: (currently using) Urban Decay Cannonball Waterproof Mascara
Reason: I'm a crier. I cry for everything so I only use waterproof mascara. This mascara lifts and separates so it looks like I'm wearing really good falsies but it still keeps my lashes feathery soft and not at all clumpy and stiff.
3. Bronzer: (currently using) Urban Decay Baked Bronzer in Baked
Reason: I feel like contouring my face well makes me look more adult and put together.

As far as my fellow RA's and RHD Stefaine what was their number one product that they couldn't live without for back to school?


That's right. The answers to these questions varied more than I expected from girl to girl but one thing that almost all of them had in common was mascara was a must-have. Kerin and I are blush/bronzer girls; we have that in common but the rest was mascara! If nothing else, expect all the Gramercy Girl RA's to have pretty eyes and long lush lashes. (Apparently, I am the only one who so desperately NEEDS full coverage foundation. FOREVER ALONE.)
This is me.
 C'est la vie. Ah well, that does it for me for this round of makeup (this is getting so long jeez). Thanks for reading guys!

You're friendly neighborhood cartoonist,

Faerie Queen Alyssa~*

Folk For The Fall: Music with RA Kerin

Ha, I love alliteration. Welcome back ladies! Today was a sad, sad day for my closet; my extensive short short collection was officially put out of commission due to temperatures below 70 degrees. Which means it's fall. And with the changing seasons comes a new blast for my iPod. In the fall, it's always folk.

Last year's favorites Mumford & Sons are about to drop a new album, 'Babel', that I'm dying to get my hands on, but here are the three bands I've been jamming out to right now, all of whom have awesome records you should pick up.

As usual, click through and take a listen in Spotify:

The Lumineers - Self-Titled (2012)
Favorite Track: Flowers In Your Hair
Can't not-smile and listen to this record. There are some really great tracks on here, but the under-two-minute-long "Flowers In Your Hair", which is also the opening record, just puts me in the best mood. Also check out "Slow It Down" and "Stubborn Love".

Trampled By Turtles - Stars and Satellites (2012)
Favorite Track: Midnight On The Interstate
These guys mix it up between really soft, sweet tracks and some super-folky banjo-heavy riffs. Reminded me a lot of Mumford & Sons the first time I listened. "Midnight On The Interstate" makes me cry when I listen in the right mood but so do "Beautiful"and "High Water".

The Head and the Heart - Self-Titled (2011)
Favorite Track: Rivers and Roads
Folky-and-eclectic all at once, The Head and the Heart are definitely a unique one. Their tracks sound pretty stripped down and simple, but that doesn't mean they're not fantastic. "Couer d'Alene" and "Honey Come Home" are two completely different tracks, both great in their own way, but "Rivers and Roads" is the one I'll listen to on repeat easily.

Enjoy, as always!~

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Good Eats NYC: Pushcart Coffee

Pushcart Coffee
Corner of Clinton St and East Broadway

Hand lettering and delicious food? What a combo.

Pushcart Coffee is my favorite little place to grab lunch when I'm on the Lower East Side. I'm not a coffee drinker but I've heard theirs is to die for-- personally, I go for the Toasted Peanut Butter and Blackberry Jam on a freshly-made Croissant. Mmm. Everything is under ten bucks and the location is pretty cute on the inside, not to mention all the people in the shop are super friendly. I definitely recommend stopping in and grabbing a bite if you're in the area!

Curious? Their menus can be found on their website right over here.

Gram Gets Involved: What Is Our Cause?

Gramercy and MADRE Team Up!

Welcome back ladies! Hope you've all had a great summer and are gearing up for the start of a new year. I know we are, and this time with a brand new cause; working with MADRE, a women's rights initiative.

Lovely ladies in MADRE's Farming for the Future initiative. Also, chickens.

I know, I know-- it's your busiest/thesis/senior year and you've got three jobs/an internship/all nighters scheduled for every day of the week. But what if helping out this semester was super easy, even with the year being all kinds of art-school crazy?

We're all women who are lucky enough to be going to art school in one of the greatest cities in the world, but there are so many women who aren't as fortunate as us. That's where MADRE comes in; they help women all over the planet, from Peru to Brazil, Africa to Afghanistan, who are in need of just about everything, clean water, school supplies, rape kits and medical attention just some of the few things that this organization provides. You can check out more about their cause on their website.

This semester we're teaming up with MADRE to help out women in need all over the world. Throughout the next few months we'll be hosting fun events like cupcake decorating, a dollar-for-dinner night and even an art exhibition that you can submit to and sell your work in! Not to mention donation bins and cans on every floor for any loose stuff or change you might have laying around. Yep, it's as easy as showing up to eat unhealthy food or dropping some nickels in a can.

So get involved this year! Help out fellow women in need by partnering up with Gram and MADRE and stay tuned for the information on the fun events we have planned in their honor!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Art to Watch: Jonathan Levine Gallery

Jonathan Levine Gallery
West 20th St between 10th & 11th Ave

Jonathan Levine Gallery is one of NYC's illustration hot spots with a rotation of shows that always impress, and it's looking like this fall is pretty stacked with some of *my* personal favorites that are definitely worth checking out. With two gallery spaces, there are two artists showing solo exhibitions at the same time-- more bang for your buck.

September 8th - October 6th

Audrey Kawasaki

Jeff Sofo

October 20th - November 17th

Ashley Wood

Jeremy Geddes

Check out more info about the exhibitions and space at Jonathan Levine Gallery's website!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

NYC This Week: San Gennaro Feast

Feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy
September 13th - 23rd

Mmmm, Italian food. Yum!

If you're jonesing for some Italian cuisine or want to immerse yourself in the rich Italian culture, there's no better place to do so in NYC than at the San Gennaro Festival! It's open for 11 days, but September 19th is the peak day to check out an amazing parade. Here's some more info:

Although this is an annual celebration of faith, the Feast of San Gennaro is known the world over for its festive atmosphere, an 11-day event featuring religious processions and colorful parades, free musical entertainment every day, a wide variety of ethnic food delicacies, charming restaurants and cafes and even a world-famous cannoli-eating competition! The central focus of the celebration takes place every September 19th, the official Saint Day when a celebratory Mass is held in Most Precious Blood Church, followed immediately by a religious procession in which the Statue of San Gennaro is carried from its permanent home in the church through the streets that comprise Little Italy.

Still curious? Check out San Gennaro's website right here!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Welcome Back! From RA Kerin

Hey fellow meowmeows of Gramercy,

For those of you who don't know me in some capacity-- you've probably, at the very least, seen me at your floor meetings and bopping around in a pair of obnoxious pink headphones-- I'm Kerin, the Head RA here at Gram.

I was an RA here last year (5th and 6th floor vets, what up) and loved it so much that I wanted to take on a little bit of a different role this year as the Head RA. Why does that matter? New things for me means new things for you. Get excited.

Here are some of the things I'm gonna be heading this year that I hope y'all will help me out with:

MADRE Donation Drive
You're probably going to see signs for this one up and around the building. This year we're going to be working with MADRE, a Women's Rights organization that helps underprivileged women all around the world. They have some seriously amazing causes and we'll be doing some great programs this semester where proceeds and donations will go towards this group.

Lounge Gets A Makeover
Our beloved lounge is getting beautiful, people. It's going to get a fresh coat of paint and (hopefully) some new furniture sometime in the next month, and once it's all done we're looking to turn the space into a year-round gallery that'll display the art of the lovely and talented Ladies of Gram (that's you, collectively). Stay tuned for more details on that one.

The Blog!
Ah yes, you have found the blog in question. This year I'm going to be taking this bull by the horns and hopefully posting some things that are interesting to you guys-- artists and shows to watch out for, cute furry animals, programs that are coming up. The other lovely ladies-- Twig, Ashley and Alyssa-- will be sharing their love with the blog as well monthly, as well as RHD Stefaine. Even better? We're looking for YOU to post something up here, whether it be your art or cute pictures of your animals.

Cute pictures of animals is the fuel that runs Gramercy, clearly.

Those are only some of the things that are upcoming this year. I'm super excited to get my hands dirty in it and make Gramercy the community that we all come back to-- a gorgeous place on a beautiful park with some beautiful ladies to share it with.

If you're ever looking for me or have any questions, drop by and leave me a note or knock on that little door beside the security desk. Or hit me up on the Gramercy Facebook-- we're always checking that one.

Cheers, babydeers,
Head RA Kerin

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Gramercy Roof Re-Opening BBQ 2012

Thanks to everyone who came out for the awesome re-opening of the Gramercy Rooftop on 9/2/12.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Welcome to Gramercy!

Welcome to (or "welcome back" for our awesome returning residents ; ) to the Gramercy Residence.  We've already kicked off this year with the exciting re-opening of the Gramercy Roof deck and Gramercy Gals BBQ on September 2nd.  Thanks to everyone who came out and you can see pics from the event on the facebook page.

Please be sure to check the blog throughout the year for updates on what's happening in our community and please get involved this year!

If you'd like to post for the blog, contact Head RA Kerin, for more details.  You can also look forward to hearing about an amazing organization with whom we'll be coordinating our community service efforts this year in a coming post.

Happy new school year 2012!
RHD Stefaine
: )

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Friendly Reminder...CLEAN!

10 Cleaning kits will be available in the lounge tonight at 8pm, first come, first serve!  

Please note that in the cleaning kit, there is a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.  Do NOT use this to get marks off your wall, you will strip the paint.  Only use this in your bathroom on tile!!!  Let's leave Gramercy clean, not damaged!

Monday, April 23, 2012

It is coming!

Ladies... School ends in one week!  Good luck with your finals!!  Finish strong!!!  Just like this cat!

Knock them out!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Spring Is Here...Time To Clean!

You may not like it, be we all have to do it!  Now is a good time to start thinking about dedicating a few days to spring cleaning!  Having a clean workspace for these last couple weeks of school will be great for finishing up final projects.  You'll also make you RA's very happy, as they will be popping in to remind you about Gramercy Move-Out.  So, here to help you, are a few tips for cleaning up your apartment!

Reduce Clutter: You know all of those clothes you have all over your floor?  Yeah, maybe you should wash them and stick them back in your drawers/closets.  It's amazing how much space will free up if you just put things back in their spot!  This might even be a good time to go through your clothes and see what you don't want anymore.  Gramercy has a clothing drive every year, so you won't even have to go far to donate them!

Organize: Take the time to go through your desk and figure out what you need or don't need.  When you organize, there will be so much more space for your things!  Not to mention, they will be a lot easier to pack at the end of the month.  If you really don't need something, don't be afraid to THROW IT OUT. We could all use a little less crap in our lives, yeah?

Dusting: I know what you're thinking.  "Like I'm gonna dust something."  But really, it helps!  Just take a rag and wipe down your computer and television screens.  You'd be surprised how much dust and dirt rests on those things!  Check out your windows and give them a wipe down.  Everything will look so much cleaner after a little dusting and it barely takes any time at all!

Clean Out Your Computer:  All those cat images have REALLY piled up.  Clearing old pictures or documents out of your computer will certainly help clear your mind!  While your at it, take your phone and your iPod and clear those up to!  Take a tip from RA Kerin and give yourself a new summer playlist.  It might not be a bad idea to spruce up your online image as well.  As we look for summer jobs and internships, potential employers will look you up online.  Might need to untag yourself from some of those facebook photos!

These tips are basic, I know.  But I promise if you do them over the next few weeks, you will make your life a lot easier, especially when it comes to moving out.  Take a little time, put on some music, and show your apartment who's boss!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Celebratory Chocolate Overdose Cake

When something amazing happens, we all know that the best way to celebrate is by baking something delicious, decorating the heck out of it with colorful sprinkles and icing and giving them to a friend...or stuffing our own faces. So, as the end of the year draws nearer, I'm sure we all have plenty to rejoice and be thankful for. The end of finals, for one thing. Maybe the end of college for others, or the start of a summer internship. Whatever it is that you're celebrating, you can be sure that this cake will taste every bit as good your victory feels.

This cake is a bit of work, but it's worth every bite...

Broken down, you'll have three recipes. One of the chocolate cake, one for the chocolate ganache filling, and one for the chocolate buttercream icing. It's a triple threat, so get your aprons on, and get ready for...


Ingredients for the cake:
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup boiling water
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups sifted cake flour (regular flour is acceptable)
1/2 cup butter
2 cups white sugar
3 egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a small bowl, mix together the cocoa and the water, set aside. In another small bowl, dissolve the baking soda in the sour cream by stirring them together. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar, gradually mixing the sour cream and cocoa mixtures in alternatively as well as the dry ingredients. Beat until fluffy. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold them into batter with the vanilla extract. Grease a large 9 x 13 pan or two small rounds and pour the batter in. For the large pan, bake at 300 F for 50 minutes, or for the rounds, around 30 minutes.
*You can check the cake's status by sticking a toothpick in it while it's still in the oven. If the toothpick comes out with sticky batter on the end, the cake's not done. If the toothpick looks clean, the cake is done baking!

Now, on to the filling.

Ingredients for chocolate ganache:
8 ounces semisweet or bitter chocolate chopped into pieces
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Heat the cream and butter in a medium size saucepan over medium heat. Bring just barely to a boil, do not over-heat! The cream will get scorched and burnt. Place a damp towel on your counter, place the pan of hot cream on the towel, and then add the chopped chocolate to the cream. Let it stand for five minutes, then stir with a whisk until smooth.

*When you take your cake out, you can simply use the ganache as the topping, pouring it on the top, or you can get fancy and get the cake in half and pour it into the middle, replacing the top half of the cake after, and making it the filling. If you prefer the later, continue on for the icing!

Ingredients for chocolate buttercream icing:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons milk
cocoa (optional-how much you use depends on how chocolate-y you want your icing. Plain buttercream tastes delicious too!)
*if you're making plain buttercream icing, you can add food coloring!

Cream room temperature butter with a hand mixer, or by hand with a spoon until smooth and fluffy. Gradually beat in confectioners sugar until fully incorporated. Beat in vanilla extract. (If you want chocolate flavor, add your cocoa now) Pour in milk and beat an additional 3-4 minutes. Add food coloring if you're using it, and beat an additional thirty seconds. Ice cake and enjoy!

Enjoy...and feel free to overdose on the cake (;

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Friday, April 6, 2012

It's coming....

Summer is almost here!  Get excited, ladies!  It's nearly time to break out the short shorts and sandals.  Sadly, that also means it's nearly time to start packing and leave Gramercy :(  Friendly reminder: Don't leave everything to the last minute! 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

RA Kerin's Essential Kick Ass/Celebratory Playlist

It's that time of year, ladies. Whether we're counting down the days 'til the end of class or bittersweet graduation, the school year is coming to an end and summer is just around the corner. That means I'm already making that special playlist that is going to bump from my speakers the second I get home and back in my car for the first joy ride of the season. Here are some of my favorites, old and new:

RA Kerin's Playlist of Five Kick Ass Songs for Good Times:

1. "Kick Ass" - Mika. I may or may not have named this playlist after this song. It's just so feel-good and every time I play it I want to jump up and down to a montage or Friends-esque sitcom intro. I put this one on for an energy boost or to psych myself up. And it sounds great on my sound system.

2. "Ocean Avenue" - Yellowcard. Y'all remember this one. I actually have a huge soft spot for Yellowcard. 'Ocean Avenue', the album, was the first album that I obsessed over and listened to so many times that I wore it out in the summer of the eighth grade. It was before I owned an iPod so I dragged my huge white boom box around the house everywhere I went. This one always reminds me of those days.

3. "We Are Young" - Fun. (.) Just getting into these guys now and this song has been all over the place, but rightfully so. It's such a good melody that makes you and all your friends want to sing along. I think what I love about it most is that it's not an upbeat song by nature, but it gets you feeling great anyway.

4. "Living After Midnight" - Judas Priest. This song makes me feel like a total bad ass. Period. This song is best played on the highway with your windows down, but I've substituted a good strut down the street with my headphones on for those days where I want the wind in my hair any way I can.

5. "Neighbors" - The Academy Is... Essential house party song. Surprisingly these guys have a lot of songs that I almost included on this playlist and if you were ever a fan of them back in 06 when they were hitting it big in pop punk, you should bust out your old copy of 'Almost Here', or even their newer album, 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High', and celebrate. Bump some Fall Out Boy while you're at it.


That's it for a year of music on Gramercy Gals that I hope you enjoyed, maybe found some new stuff, and jammed out. Have a kick ass summer! RA Kerin, signing off~

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

TONIGHT: Coffee and Donuts! (The Lounge 9:30pm)

Don't these look good?!  Mmm... How about some coffee to go with that?  Well you can have both!  Come down to the lounge tonight at 9:30!  And don't forget to bring any extra coins for our change drive!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Time to laugh

A lot of people in this city completely take for granted the amazing amount of entertainment that is available to them.  Sure you can take in a broadway show, but those are expensive.  Even movie tickets are ridiculous in this town.  But have you thought about taking in some comedy?  There are tons of theaters/comedy clubs to check out...and all are super close to Gramercy!

First up, check out The PIT.  This theater is located right across the street from the GW Residence at 123 24th Street.  There are shows every night and some of them are free!

Next up is the famous UCB Theater.  Started in part by Amy Poehler, this place often attracts former and current SNL cast members as well as actors from 30 Rock.  It's incredible to watch as some of the biggest names in comedy perform a few feet away from you.  Check out the calendar and make sure you reserve tickets!  The shows here always sell out.

And last but not least is UCB's newest edition, UCBEast.  Referred to as "The Beast" this is UCB's sister theater located on the Lower East Side.  Though it doesn't get as many comedy stars the standup and improv is still great.  Don't be surprised if the big names do show up though.  A few weeks ago I got to see Aziz Ansari work out some new material.  He was on stage for well over and hour and you know how much it cost?  5 bucks.  Yeah.  Take a look at these websites.  You can have a lot of fun for very little money!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Your calming picture of the day...

Forget about school work...
It's almost over...summer is coming :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Gramercy Pets...RA Edition!

If you know one thing about RA Sari, you know she is crazy... If you know two things about RA Sari, you know she LOVES her cats.  Meet the cats she so lovingly refers to as her "nuggets."

Penny and Bailey aka Booboo
Yeah, they are pretty freaking cute.


Penny even has a facebook page...

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Get your (non-alcoholic) drank on!

Anyone else feeling a bit chilly? Coffee tends to wind me up too much, and tea can get boring cup after cup. There's nothing like a great cup of hot cocoa. It takes me back to Texas winters where I would turn the AC up and pretend it's freezing cold, just to drink a hot mug of creamy chocolatey goodness. Warm yourself up with one of these steamy recipes…

Raspberry Hot Cocoa

Heat three cups 2% milk in a small saucepan over medium hear until bubbles form around the outside of the pan (do not boil). Place 1 cup thawed, frozen unsweetened raspberries (you can find these at Trader Joes!), 6 ounces chopped semi-sweet chocolate, and 2 tsp. sugar in a blender; cover. While processing, gradually add hot milk in a steady stream. Strain, discard seeds. Serve hot.
Makes four servings, so share with your suitemates!

Mocha White Chocolate

Heat one and a half cups 2% milk over medium heat until bubbles form around the sides of the pan (do not boil). Place 3 ounces chopped white baking chocolate, 2 tbsp instant coffee granules, and 1 tsp. vanilla extract in a blender. Add hot milk; cover and process until frothy. Serve in mugs. Garnish with whip cream and baking cocoa if you're feelin' fancy.
This makes two servings, so share it with your roomie!