Category: Lifestyle

Chew! Chew!

Staff Writer

Are your final papers and exams starting to stress out you or your significant other? Well, I have a place for you two to go together. It’s called Press 626. Tucked into downtown Ghent, this restaurant is built into a house and has a very charming feeling to it.
You’re welcomed in by nice lighting, especially during the day, and a mix of smells including cheeses, wine and all the food they’re cooking for the other patrons.
When you get to your seat, your water is brought in a used wine bottle and poured into a recycled, re-purposed wine bottle cut into a cup. This is just one of the things that gives you the rustic feeling that the restaurant seems to strive so hard to keep.
Press 626 was awarded “Best Grilled Cheese in the State,” which is what got me in the door. This seems a lofty claim, especially from a wine bar.
The grilled cheese sandwich has Vermont cheddar, Swiss, pepper jack, and goat cheeses, all on sourdough bread. When you first hear all of those cheese types, you may be thrown off, since a lot of those are very strongly-flavored cheeses, especially the goat cheese and Swiss. Even though these cheeses are strong, you don’t lose the flavor of any of them in the sandwich. Every bite is like a full cheese plate.
Sandwiches are accompanied by fries that seem to be freshly made. Other sandwiches available, besides grilled cheese, are a grilled veggie and cheese sandwich, a salmon BLT, and a sandwich that can have steak or a large Portobello mushroom on it. Many of these sandwiches come with Sriracha Mayo, which sounds great.
So if you’re looking for a place to have a date night or lunch with your girlfriend or boyfriend, that won’t break your wallet in half, this is is the place for you.
It is located on the intersection of Colley Avenue and Olney Road, in downtown Norfolk near the Hague neighborhood.

Clothes for water

Staff Writer

Virginia Wesleyan College has its very own designer. Meet junior Joshua Beatty, a native of Virginia Beach who has taken his creative eye and applied it for the greater good through a brand known as Good Garments, United. I sat down one-on-one with Josh at Virginia Beach Starbucks to get a little more info on the backgrounds of him and the brand.
AT: What is Good Garments?
JB: Good Garments is a brand that I’m a part of. We create opportunities for people to change the world—in style. We produce items that represent quality and authenticity, among other things.
AT: How is Good Garments a movement?
JB: We want to raise awareness of the need for clean water in other countries. And we also just want to give the best-quality product possible, and make a statement. We are doing what we love. If Good Garments didn’t exist, I’m sure we’d all still be doing things to help people, as well as exploring our interests fashion-wise.
AT: How did you guys come about?
JB: Good Garments’ founder, Justin Tungol, used to play basketball overseas in the Philippines immediately after he graduated from high school. Over there, he found himself in good fortune and he had his own driver, a nice car, his own house. But he realized how little those things mattered when there are other people struggling. So he came back to the U.S. and founded Good Garments. Justin and I had met not long after he got back. I’ve always been into fashion personally, even when I was really young and couldn’t afford much. It wasn’t until high school that I could start expressing myself and I ended up getting voted “best dressed” which was pretty cool. I’ve always studied fashion in my free time. Materials, history, designers, influences, art, textures, patterns, fabrics, development, all sorts of things. I had been working closely with people from the Good Garments camp for a while, and eventually I decided to apply for a position formally. Everything just meshed well.
AT: Did you find it difficult starting up in Hampton Roads rather than a more urbanized area?
JB: I think people underestimate Hampton Roads, and Virginia as a whole. But I don’t really think we thought about the difficulty of starting in one particular area, though. From the start we’ve just been thinking larger than that. Our goal was pretty much to help people and change lives. Putting our focus on that, along with ensuring quality in our items, is what I think blessed us with the amount of success we’ve had. A lot of businesses don’t make it through their first year.
AT: Is there a reason you specifically chose clean water?
JB: Water is one of those things that gets overlooked. We see it everywhere, and assume it’s abundant everywhere. A lot of people don’t think about this much, but water is actually one of the most essential resources in the world right now. Within the next 30 years or so, people are going to be fighting wars over water if nothing is done to help these families. Right now, there are close to a billion individuals going without it, and water-related illnesses are extremely high right now. In the next 30 years, it’s said that water-related illnesses will kill more people than AIDS. And we as Americans sometimes take it for granted because we are removed from the epicenter of this crisis. So at Good Garments, we feel like it’s only right to raise awareness on the issue and help before it’s too late.
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The Rolling Dough

Food Columnist

Most of us have heard this grave tale; some of us have even lived it. You are beyond excited to finally be away from your parents, able to do whatever you want, whenever you want. You eat the food you have been told to stay away from, and you eat it all the time. Of course, the gym is there, but you will go tomorrow. You never even consider that your weight is changing until you head home for Thanksgiving or Christmas and you hear those words, “Have you gained the Freshman 15?” It is easily a college student’s worst nightmare when it comes to their body image. But do we really have any cause to worry? Do the Freshman 15 actually exist or is it something made up by parents, health officials, and magazine editors to have us look exactly the way they want us to? To answer this question and ask some of my own I took to the streets, or the tables in this case, to ask students if this weighty subject really is that “heavy.”

As I rolled into the cafeteria, I saw the same things I have always seen: a huge buffet of somewhat questionable meal choices and not enough options for the health conscious. Could this be the reason we are getting heavier? I headed over to the nearest table to find out if they thought it was.

“Can I ask you a question? Do you think the Freshman 15 really exists?” There was absolutely no hesitation in answering. “Yes. Definitely. No doubt.” I moved on to the next table. Same question, same answers. The same thing happened at the next four tables I asked. Then I got a surprise. Going up to senior Kenny Belgrave, I posed the same question. “Do you think the Freshman 15 exists?” He thought for a minute, then replied, “Depends. I mean if you’re drinking every weekend then sure. You’re gonna gain beer weight.”

More people started giving me the “depends” point of view as I went around. Freshman Jackie Holmes took it even further.

“I think if you maintain the lifestyle you had before such as a sort out a strict schedule you’ll most likely stay the same,” said Holmes. “But if you radically change, like stay sleeping in till 12 or stop eating full meals, you will lose or gain weight dependent upon who you become while in college and what schedules you set for yourself.”

In the end, I asked one hundred people the Freshman 15 question. 40 said definitely. 7 said it is 100% myth and 43 said it all depends on the lifestyle choices you make once you get here. However, this answer did not seem to satisfy my curiosity, so I took my question to some of the major news outlets to see what they were writing as colleges around the globe start their fall semesters.

According to The Huffington Post, the Freshman 15 “is a lie,” while The Michigan Times reports that “one in four freshmen gain 5% or more of their body fat, averaging about 10 pounds.” Shocker? Not to everyone. Papers such as Central Florida Future and Iowa State Daily acknowledge that it exists but say its super easy to avoid by eating right and going to the gym.

When it comes down to the heart of the issue, it’s about self-discipline and staying active. Sophomore Ashley Williams said, “I don’t have a car so I walk everywhere, which helps me stay healthy.” However junior Sydney Covey laughed it off. “You see that right there?” she said. “That’s a gym. It’s free. So what’s your excuse?”

Fall into style

Staff Writer

Summer has quietly faded away, making way for the return of autumn. As the golden crisp leaves fall to the ground around campus and Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte re-enters your daily routine, the fashion trends of fall debut.
For fall 2013, the trends take inspiration from signature looks of classic eras to create the perfect look for today. Inspiration comes from the menswear iconized by Coco Chanel, the feminine waist coats Jackie O flaunted outside the White House, and even the punk plaid rocked by the virgin Madonna. But it would not be fashion if it did not include new additions from today’s generation, including leather in all forms, graphic sweatshirts and the much-loved knit beanie. So there is a little something for everyone, even broke college students. Let me show you how to ball on a budget.
As college students, it can often be difficult to stay “on trend.” However, staying fashion forward does not require clearing out your closet of all your purchases within the last year. Most students, let alone professionals, cannot afford the designers whose designs grace the runway (no, Kanye, none of my fellow classmates will be purchasing a plain white T for $120, unless it does free Boosie or help us find bikini bottom). But instead, this time of the year teaches us how to fall back in love with our closet…with the help of a few additional pieces.
One of the most popular looks of this season is streetwear mixed with a taste of the ‘90s. This is a look each of us can cleverly pull off simply by raiding our many local thrift stores. Find an old flannel that can wrap around your waist to finish off a look. And you know all of those retro pullovers you see on reruns of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” that we wish we could have lived through the early ‘90s to wear? Well, now is your chance! Half-off Wednesdays at Salvation Army will be your new favorite day of the week.
Push those washed-out sweatpants you have grown a little too comfortable in to the side and instead grab a pair of slouchy pants. Whether they are harem pants, loose menswear or even a dressier “sweat” pant, wear them in place of your usual joggers. They can be found in a variety of materials from cotton, to linen or a coated leather look. Dress them up with a collared shirt and jacket or dress them down with a pair of sneakers and a phrased t-shirt.
Rihanna…Miley…Ciara. Probably the easiest craze this fall is the graphic beanie. With catchy phrases such as “Thug Life,” “Haters Gonna Hate,” and “Ballin,” this headwear will be sure to grab everyone’s attention. If you are a little more modest, feel free to opt for a knitted, studded or slouched beanie. Whichever you prefer, a hat can complement any outfit and most of all, make a statement.
So try pairing a vintage pullover with slouchy pants, throw on a beanie and wrap a flannel around your waist and you are set for the season. And if you don’t want to explore these trends through clothing, try accents of leather or plaid on a bag or pair of shoes. Or even simply a couple on-trend colors like gray or orange. Either way, know that you have options this fall when strolling around campus. Fashion is essentially what you make it.