The blog of The Harvard Crimson

Take Heed, All Ye Freshmen: Flyby’s Guide to Crushing Freshman Year

We had one of those fundamentally startling moments here at Flyby this week. We glanced at our calendars are realized that the end of summer—and our happiness, good spirit, and well-proportioned sleep schedules—is nigh. It’s almost as much of a tragedy as the end of the world, that B+ we got on one of finals last semester, and every time Pokemon Go has server issues (which you really think they would have ironed out by now, right?)

Complaining aside: it’s time to start gearing up for the school year. For returning Harvard students, that doesn’t mean much besides tacking on a few hours at your summer job so you’re ready to purchase ridiculously expensive textbooks come September. But for incoming freshmen, it means that it’s time to get into the Harvard mindset.

Luckily for you, Flyby has you covered. Take heed, all ye Freshmen. This is some of the most valuable information you’ll learn all year.

Do not buy your books new—no matter how shiny they look

The Harvard COOP is notorious for trapping incoming freshmen by showing off the super-shiny, super-cool book selection. But no matter how nice that “Principles of Economics” textbook may look, it’s not worth it’s going price. Surf around on Amazon, Ebay, and Chegg to see if you can find your textbooks used. Also, Harvard has a bunch of different Facebook pages for students looking to purchase used textbooks, so keep an eye out for that.

Never eat a meal alone, if you can help it

And no, I’m not saying this because I am worried about your social life. Harvard is full of diverse, intelligent, interesting individuals, and the value of an education at the school is learning from your peers as well as your professors. The best way to do that is to engage in mealtime conversations with them. That kid who you spar with over the latest political development might just open your eyes to a side of the world you don’t understand yet—or at least teach you the value of keeping a good poker face.

Go to office hours

We know Harvard professors can seem daunting because they are literally some of the most intellectual beings on the planet. But at the end of the day, they are educators: they want to see you succeed in your classes. So no matter how tempting that mid afternoon nap may be, head over to your professor’s office instead of back to your dorm.

Be careful about what you Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat

As an incoming freshman, Harvard seems like the coolest place ever and you will want to post photos of everything. How else are you supposed to let your high school friends know how fancy Harvard is! Our suggestion? Posting a photo of you and your friends overlooking Harry Potter-esque Annenberg Hall or sledding down the steps of Widener during a snowstorm is great, but use some restraint and good judgment. You don’t want to have to explain to your future employer why you appear to be, shall we say, “taking a nap” at Tasty Burger after Freshman Formal.

The weekends are sacred: avoid work

Too many Harvard students pile in the library on the weekend to tackle the workload they’ve allowed to build up over the course of the week. Instead of sacrificing those sacred weekend hours, we suggest you find some ways to become a very efficient worker during the school week, and spend your weekend turning up as much as possible. You’ll thank us later.

Don’t forget to workout

Who cares about dumbbells when you could be snacking on Taco Bell instead? Years down the line you’ll wish that you had chosen a few more reps in your house gym rather than the extra platter of nachos at Felipe’s. You’re in your prime, kid. Exercise now and you won’t have to worry about a potbelly later.

Read The Harvard Crimson

This is probably the major key. They (our competitors) don’t want you to read the Crimson, but we guarantee that it is the surefire way to make sure that you are on top of everything “Harvard”: The news, information about where the best food spots are, and the occasional political rant. (Pro tip: sign up for Harvard Today, all the cool kids are doing it.)

Plus, studies show that reading the Crimson increases your desirability to potential spouses. It’s like pheromones, except you’ll smell like paper and ink instead of whatever earthy scent attracts people to you.

We’re kidding, by the way. Try not to be so gullible.

PSA: Uber Is Giving Away Free Beach Bags

Nicki Minaj has the right idea. With Harvard summer housing officially over, and most programs winding down, Harvard students are likely finally free from their responsibilities. It’s time to chill out and do the time-honored summer tradition: go to the beach.

Good news, New England: Uber is giving away free beach bags, filled with everything you need to have a dynamite day at the beach—and valued at nearly $200, according to Uber’s website. Here’s how it works: if you open up the Uber app at any point today between 11 a.m and 2 p.m, you’ll have the opportunity to insert the promo code BEACHBAG2016 in the app. From there, all you have to do is request the beach bag to come to your location, and a brand ambassador from Uber will arrive to deliver the entirely free beach bag.

Trust us, you should take advantage of this opportunity and get away for a weekend. You’ll thank us later.

This Week at Harvard: Living for the Weekend

If you’re anything like us, you are enjoying this brief reprieve from the sweltering temperatures over the past few weeks. Many of you Harvard Summer School students are coming up on your final exams, so for the sake of keeping your noses to the grindstone, we’ve focused our events on weekend activities we can all look forward to after the work week.

Shakespeare in the Courtyard
Thursday at 6:30 p.m. | Museum of Fine Arts

It sometime seems like the summer of Shakespeare—and for good reason! This week finds the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company Apprentice Program putting on a production of Cymbeline, a cinderella-esque tale of a young girl’s conflict with an evil stepmother and, according to a description on the event’s Facebook, a “gender-bent expedition to a war between nations.”

Sounds like a good excuse to extricate yourself out of the pile of textbooks littering your room and head on over to the Museum of Fine Arts’ Calderwood Courtyard. Did we mention that the event is free?

First Fridays: White Hot Party
Friday at 5 p.m. | Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston

We love a good summer themed party. This Friday, dress up in your favorite linen ensemble and head down to the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston for their annual waterfront white party. Dance the night away to DJ That Somebody on their beautiful Boston Harbor boardwalk and soak in the August breezes. The event is 21+ and costs $15.

5th Annual Boston Seafood Festival
Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. | Historic Boston Fish Pier

Though the New England Lobster Bake may be sold out, the Boston Fisheries Foundation is throwing down on at the Historic Boston Fish Pier this weekend to bring together several vendors severing the best Boston seafood. For Harvard students looking for a way to get away from that good old dining hall swai, then this is the event for you. Unfortunately, it’s not free, but you can grab tickets on the event’s website.

Open Newbury Street
Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. | Newbury Street

This Sunday, Newbury Street—one of the best shopping areas in Boston—will be completely devoid of automobile traffic, in a new initiative the city is rolling out. For one day, Newbury Street pedestrians can explore the restaurants and clothing stores without having to worry about an incensed Boston driver threatening their lives with caustic driving. The street will be car-free from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

This Week at Harvard: Balancing, Beats, and Boogie

It’s official: summer is more than halfway over. That may leave you scratching your head, wondering where the time has gone, and realizing you haven’t done anything exciting yet. So, we here at Flyby compiled a list of the most exciting activities happening in and around Cambridge this week.

Grown Up Study Hall
Monday at 1 p.m. | Democracy Center, 45 Mount Auburn Street

Calling all students, freelancers, and anyone in need of a place to do work, Grown Up Study is here to help you check off everything on your to-do list. Whether you need to revise your resume or finish a paper for your summer class, this designated productive zone will kick you into high gear by starting off with a goal setting exercise and checking in halfway through to keep you accountable. If you feel like procrastinating a little longer—don’t worry! Grown Up Study Hall is open every Monday.

Paddleboard Yoga
Tuesday at 6:45 p.m. | Fort Point Pier

Stand up paddleboard yoga, or SUP YO, may be the best way to shake up your yoga routine. As their website advertises, going through a vinyasa flow while floating in the Boston Harbor will intensify the workout, while “the peacefulness and tranquility of floating on the water combines nicely with the meditative nature of yoga.” $40 per class is a bit steep, but it could a good way to spend any leftover summer-job money you have.

Billie Holiday Tributes
Wednesday at 8 p.m. | Beat Brasserie, 13 Brattle Street

If you are growing tired of the normal concert/club scene, consider attending Billie Holiday night at the Beat Brasserie. Although it will be difficult for the tribute acts to recreate her uniquely fragile voice, the smooth jazz vocals of “I’ll Be Seeing You” and “Strange Fruit” will surely transport you away from overheated, tourist-riddled Harvard Square and to a cool Harlem jazz club.

Free Crossfit
Thursday at 6 p.m. | The Esplanade, Fiedler Field

If you’re like most, the endless string of summer barbeques may have caused the summer body you worked so hard for to go soft. Luckily, the Esplanade Association and Kendall Square Crossfit have teamed up and are generously offering free Crossfit classes on the Esplanade. Combining weight training and high-intensity cardio, you’ll surely be back in shape in no time.

Sh*tfaced Shakespeare
Saturday at 7:30 p.m. | Oberon, 2 Arrow Street

Remember how “Romeo and Juliet” nearly put you to sleep in your high school English class? Well, bid that version farewell, and say hello to the A.R.T.’s hilariously drunken take on the dramatic classic. Each performance, an actor is chosen at random to get, well, sh*tfaced during the performance to create a truly unique show that is sure leave you laughing.

Cambridge Jazz Festival
Sunday at noon | Danehy Park, 99 Sherman Street

Known as a signature Cambridge event, the annual Cambridge Jazz Festival celebrates some of the most prominent jazz musicians of our day. Featuring locally based saxophonist Walter Beasley and drummer Ron Savage, the Cambridge Jazz Festival is a great way to explore a sometimes forgotten genre on a nice Sunday afternoon.

Democratic National Convention Drinking Game

With the Democratic National Convention set to officially kick off today, we here at Flyby are gearing up for it in the best way that we know: by piecing together a drinking game to help us through the roughest patches of the four day event. Amidst email scandals and more email scandals, this convention might not be something we want to experience sober.

Take a drink when…

An aging Democrat makes a pop culture reference.

Bonus: If it’s a Pokemon Go reference, take a shot for every Pidgey or Rattata in your immediate vicinity.

Tim Kaine switches effortlessly between English and Spanish in a speech.

Bonus: Finish your drink if he—or Clinton—calls anyone “amigos.”

The cameras pan to Bernie Sanders when someone else is speaking.

Bonus: If he mentions "political revolution," followed by vigorous fist pumping, take a shot.

Barack or Michelle Obama do something cool.

Bonus: If Michelle throws shade at Melania Trump for apparently lifting parts of her 2008 speech, take a shot.

Joe Biden does something embarrassing.

Bonus: If he tells a dad joke, take a shot.

Hillary Clinton contradicts something she has previously said.

Bonus: If someone calls her out on it, take a shot for every indignant glare she gives them.

The #NeverClinton folks start a chant on the floor.

Bonus: If Bernie breaks into an evil grin and dives into crowd, chug a beer.

Someone from the DNC references Paul Ryan’s notoriously white selfie.

Bonus: If you're watching the convention in a room with more diversity than Ryan’s selfie, finish your drink and celebrate being part of the 21st century.

A Closer Look at Mind Wandering

You’re sitting in your intro history class, diligently taking notes on the Battle of Yorktown, but then you pause—just for a second—to think about that paper due next Tuesday, and next thing you know you’re wondering about your weekend plans and trying to remember if you called your mom earlier today. We’ve all been there. Mind wandering is a common experience for students, but it’s not as simple as it may seem. Research published by Paul Seli—a postdoc at Harvard—and his colleagues at Harvard and the University of Waterloo highlights the differences between intentional mind wandering and unintentional mind wandering.

But wait—what actually counts as mind wandering? According to Seli, “It seems most appropriate to treat mind wandering as a natural category that consists of many different varieties that have overlapping features. In this sense, ‘mind wandering’ does not refer to a single type of thought...but is instead a family of related cognitive experiences.”

As a graduate student, Seli began thinking about mind wandering as having distinct nuances. His team’s findings show that people experience intentional mind wandering more frequently when working on easy tasks and unintentional mind wandering more when working on harder tasks.

“If a task is really easy, then people can afford to intentionally disengage from it in the service of mind wandering—which would allow them to plan future events, think creatively, and engage in other beneficial types of thought,” Seli wrote in an email.

By contrast, people engaging in a difficult task risk inhibiting their own performance if they mind wander.

“In these situations, people are more likely to try to actively focus their attention on the task, and when their control system fails, they experience unintentional mind wandering,” Seli wrote.

As students, we experience mind wandering more frequently than we might like to admit, so it’s important to consider that it has both benefits and drawbacks depending on context.

“If you are in a context in which you can afford to mind-wander without having your performance suffer, then by all means, mind-wander away, as this activity can be quite functional. However, in contexts such as the classroom, in which inattention will likely result in poorer learning, mind wandering can certainly be detrimental,” Seli added.

Food for thought as the fall semester looms and we prepare to return to the activities that might, you know, occasionally induce some innocent mind wandering.

6 Writing Struggles Republicans Leaders Can Relate To

Make America Great Again
The Donald
We are often skeptical when politicians and their prominent supporters try to relate to us—have you seen Hillary Clinton trying to dab? Still, it’s important to realize that we do experience some of the same struggles. This week, we noticed that speakers at the Republican National Convention seem to suffer from writing difficulties similar to those we experience when trying to crank out a paper at 3 a.m. Turns out even leaders of the Grand Old Party are not immune to bad writing habits—trust us, we’ve gotten enough subpar essay grades to recognize what’s really going on.

1. When you’re running out of time to do substantive research, and you’re willing to cite anything

“This is a nation where every coin in our pocket and every bill in our wallet says ‘In God We Trust.’” –Ben Carson, former 2016 presidential candidate

2. When you can only speak in cliches

“He [Donald Trump] motivates me to work my hardest and to always stay true to who I am.” –Tiffany Trump, daughter of Donald Trump

3. When you make obscure references in an attempt to support your argument

“Melania Trump said, ‘the strength of your dreams and willingness to work for them.’ Twilight Sparkle from ‘My Little Pony’ said, ‘This is your dream. Anything you can do in your dreams, you can do now.’” –Sean Spicer, RNC Communications Director, defending against accusations of plagiarism in Melania Trump’s RNC speech

4. When you’re not meeting your word count so you become Captain Obvious

“Is Donald Trump a Messiah? No. He’s just a man.” –Scott Baio, actor

5. When you repeat one point multiple times because you can’t think of anything else to say

“We’re gonna win, we’re gonna win so big. Thank you very much. We’re going to win so big. Thank you very much ladies and gentlemen. We’re going to win so big.” –Donald Trump, Republican presidential nominee

6. When you’re not sure what you’re talking about so you just say something vague

“Of course let’s make America great again, but let’s make America America again.” –Scott Baio, actor

Pros and Cons of Swimming in the Charles

Ah, the Charles. We may “love that dirty water,” but do we love it enough to swim in it? While the river today is much cleaner than it was when it inspired the now-famous Red Sox victory song “Dirty Water,” we’re still a little skeptical about taking a dip.

That said, we know that some of you may be planning to go for a swim off the conveniently located Weeks Footbridge before the summer ends. For that reason, Flyby has compiled a list of pros and cons for you to consider before taking the plunge.

Pro: Right now, the river is cleaner than it has almost ever been, so it seems like as good a time as ever to experience the rite of passage that swimming in the Charles has become.

Con: Cleaner doesn’t necessarily mean clean. It is true that the water quality of the Charles River is improving—20 years ago it was given a measly D rating from the Environmental Protection Agency, and now the river’s grade from the EPA fluctuates between a B and a B+. As good as that might sound, a B only means that the river has met standards for some swimming.

Pro: The river is a good place to take a dip without the hassle of salt water or an overwhelming current.

Con: While it may be nice not to worry too much about being swept away as you swim, what else is not being swept away? According to Charles River Conservancy spokesperson SJ Port, “Sediments on the river bottom contain toxic heavy metals, PCBs, and other contaminants.” Something to think about before you jump feet first into the murky depths.

Pro: Tired of rowers and other boats hogging the Charles? Swimming could be your way to get in on the river’s water sport action without joining a team or spending money to rent a kayak.

Con: If you’re searching for a dependable activity on the river, keep looking. Sam Lipson, environmental health director of the Cambridge Public Health Department, told Flyby that the cleanliness of the river varies depending on rainfall and other factors. As a result, “It is not permitted to swim in the Charles outside of authorized events,” said SJ Port. In other words, you’re still not allowed to swim off the Weeks bridge—but if we’re being truthful, we already knew that.

Pro: Bragging rights, plain and simple.

Con: It’s hard to forget that dead bodies (among other things) are still pulled from the river every once in awhile, including two in the past year. Despite the appeal of bragging rights, we just can’t shake the ick factor.

Harvard Startup Lets You Vacation in a Tiny House in the Woods

Cramped, condensed living spaces may be an inconvenient norm of college life, but Harvard Business School graduate Jon Staff and current Harvard Law School student Pete Davis don’t see it that way. With their vacation service Getaway, the two show the benefits of small-space living.

Starting at $99 a night, anyone looking to escape the digital grind of everyday life can rent a tiny house in a rural location. The house is at most a two hour drive from Boston or New York, depending on where the renter lives. All the necessities are provided—bed, bathroom, a supply of food, stovetop, and even a few amenities like books and board games—making the house a perfect place to unwind.

Millennial Housing Lab, formed by Staff and Davis while at Harvard, serves as the “catch-all for fresh ideas for housing,” and from those ideas came Getaway. At the intersection of over-priced vacations, unnecessary large homes, and too much stuff in said homes, Getaway perfectly orchestrates your stay so you can put down the cellphone and “do nothing,” as the company puts it.

In order to prevent over-planning, the company does not even tell you the precise location of your house until 24 hours before your departure. For those who identify as type-A and struggle with spontaneity, you may have already made up your mind that Getaway is not for you. However, the tiny-house movement is growing at such a rate that it could become unavoidable, at least that’s the hope of the Getaway team.

Seen as more environmentally sound and financially accessible, minimalist living is becoming an increasingly viable alternative to traditional living spaces. Getaway seeks to give people a test-drive of living tiny and show how it’s not as claustrophobic as one might think.

So before returning to the endless parade of eye-tiring computer screens and overstuffed dorms, consider venturing out to the woods, curling up with a book in one of Getaway’s six locations, and enjoying the distance from city noises.

This Week at Harvard: Out of the Square and Across the River

This week, Flyby is bringing you more events outside the Harvard Bubble. We encourage you to journey beyond Harvard Square, and if you’re feeling daring, maybe even cross the Charles to enjoy one of the many summer activities taking place in Boston this week.

Sunset Yoga on the Esplanade
Wednesday at 6 p.m. | The Esplanade, Fielder Field

There’s no better way to get through hump day than to zen out with some outdoor yoga. If you can’t make it this week, don’t worry, this free yoga class runs every Wednesday throughout the summer. Whether you’re new to yoga or a certified master, you’re welcome to a relaxing evening of Warrior II and Child’s Pose. Remember to bring your mat!

“Abroad” Themed Evening at the Gardner Museum
Thursday at 5:30 p.m. | Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 25 Evans Way

Ever wanted to experience a museum after hours? Every third Thursday of the month, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum stays open until 9 p.m. complete with music, a cash wine bar, and other activities throughout the galleries. This Thursday’s theme is “abroad”—tickets are required for admission, but you can get one for free with your Harvard I.D.

Free Ferry to Spectacle or Georges Island
Friday at 8 a.m. | Boston Harbor Cruises Ferry Center, 1 Long Wharf

With the weather looking sunny for Friday, it’s the perfect opportunity to take advantage of a free ferry to Boston Harbor’s Spectacle Island or Georges Island. Tickets are available starting at 7 a.m. with the first ferry leaving at 8 a.m.—make sure you set your alarm and get to the docks before tickets run out.

Poké-Walk
Saturday at noon | Boston Common

Instead of awkwardly running into fellow Pokémon Go players, this Saturday you can intentionally meet up with them. Begin at the Boston Common anytime after noon, and continue your quest for virtual greatness, befriending other Pokémon-catchers along the way.

Beyonce v. Rihanna Dance Party
Saturday at 9 p.m. | Middle East Restaurant and Dance Club, 472 Massachusetts Avenue

Whether you’re team Team Bey, Team Riri, or can’t decide, for $15 you can dance the night away to some of your favorite pop hits at Central Square’s Middle East this Saturday. As the Facebook event advertises, there will be “no remixes, no mashups, all originals.” This event is 18+.

South End Open Market
Sunday at 10 a.m. | Inkblock, 375 Harrison Avenue

Conclude your week with an adventure into the South End of Boston to explore food trucks, an arts market, and a farmers’ market all in one place. Located less than a 10 minute walk from the Red Line stop at Broadway, the South End Open Market is both artsy and accessible.

Where to Find the Best Ice Cream in Harvard Square

Amid the many restaurants and coffee shops in Harvard Square, it’s easy to get lost searching for the perfect ice cream cone. But never fear! We took to the streets to provide you with a guide to ice cream in the Square. Some places may be old favorites, others may be new to you, and although only one ice cream shop comes out on top, we encourage you to follow our lead and enjoy all the ice cream Harvard Square has to offer. Just make sure you hit up the gym afterwards.

First Place: Lizzy’s
29 Church Street
Cost of a small ice cream: $4.19

Lizzy’s is a hidden gem in Harvard Square. It’s not as crowded as some other locations, so you’re likely to get the full attention of the friendly staff. Lizzy’s also offers the widest range of size options for your ice cream and has the cheapest price for a small serving. Smoothies, frappes, and sorbet are available too if you’re looking for an alternative frozen treat.

Second Place: J.P. Licks
1312 Massachusetts Avenue
Cost of a small ice cream: $4.50

With plenty of flavors as well as offerings such as coffee and other drinks, sorbet, and frozen yogurt, J.P. Licks is a safe bet if you’re looking for a refreshing treat. On the down side, the shop is located near popular tourists spots, so you can usually expect a line. It opens at 7 a.m., so if you’re up for an ice cream run unusually early in the day, you can definitely beat the afternoon bustle.

Third Place: Ben & Jerry’s
36 JFK Street
Cost of a small ice cream: $5.50

At its location in the Garage, this familiar ice cream brand serves favorites such as Phish Food, Americone Dream, and more in addition to a variety of smoothies and frappes. As much as we love the unique flavors and convenient seating, the Garage’s claustrophobic feel does not lend itself to ice cream eating. Besides, you can pick up a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream from the supermarket for less than it would cost you to buy even a small serving here.

Honorable Mentions

If you get bored of the usual ice cream shop scene, here is a list of places you may not have expected to find ice cream.

Berryline
3 Arrow Street, or 1668 Massachusetts Avenue

Berryline’s frozen yogurt and smoothies never disappoint, and as of recently, they also serve ice cream. Top it with their famous Oreo cheesecake bites.

Insomnia Cookies
65 Mt Auburn Street

It was a surprise to find that this shop serves ice cream, but they do—and sandwiched between two cookies, no less. You can also get ice cream on its own in sizes from small to quart.

Shake Shack
92 Winthrop Street

Ice cream is not exactly what Shake Shack is known for, but the burger joint does offer frozen custard as well as “concretes,” their signature custard blended with mix-ins like chocolate truffle cookie dough and Belgian waffles.

Fun Without the Price Tag: 9 Free Activities Around Harvard Square

Though there is still over a month left before school starts, if you’re anything like us here at Flyby, you’re probably nearing the end of your summer budget. For all of you trying to make the most of every penny, Flyby has found nine free (probably the best word in the English language) summer activities around Harvard Square that won’t break your bank.

Start a pickup game at the Cambridge Common

Now that the Cambridge Common has reopened, you and your friends can finally start that pickup league you’ve been talking about. Whether it’s ultimate frisbee, soccer, or Spikeball, get your friends to the new and improved green space just down Garden Street.

Play ping pong at the Science Center Plaza

With plenty of ping pong tables, balls, and paddles on hand, the Plaza could be the location of some epic ping pong showdowns between you and your friends. If that’s not your thing, an oversized chess board is also set up nearby.

Listen to street performers in the Square

Although not all performers in Harvard Square draw large crowds, their talent (and bravery) should not go unappreciated. Regardless who you come across, be nice—you might be listening to the next Tracy Chapman.

Visit the Harvard Art Museum

Make use of free admission for Harvard students to get your fill of culture this summer. Right now, exhibits feature everything from Australian indigenous art to Chinese prehistoric pottery, all housed in the renovated museum building just outside the Yard.

Picnic along the Charles River (and look out for Pokemon)

Grab some food from your favorite takeout restaurant—or go the cheaper route and bring something homemade—and settle in on the grass next to the River. Be sure to avoid the geese—unless they’re Pidgeottos in disguise.

Enjoy a Harvard garden just across the river

Enclosed in the Class of 1959 Chapel on the Harvard Business School campus, this garden is home to ferns, liriope, arboricola, and an artificial waterfall. If nature isn’t really your thing, you can always stop by to appreciate the cylindrical architecture of the chapel designed by Moshe Safdie.

Take advantage of the Cambridge Public Library

There are branches of the Cambridge Public Library all around the city, but the main location is less than a ten minute walk from Harvard Yard. There you can find a massive collection of DVDs available for rental, fun summer reading books, or just an air conditioned place to chill for a while.

Wander around the Harvard Natural History Museum

We know the Natural History Museum might not seem like the first place you’d choose to visit during break, but summer is a good time to take advantage of free admission for students and enjoy everything from the Great Mammal Hall to the rocks and minerals exhibit.

Mooch off free samples from Pinkberry

Despite the ethical gray area, it’s a healthier alternative to ice cream and kinder to your wallet. With employees handing out samples right outside the door to the store, you can almost convince yourself that this activity is encouraged.

Found: Pokémon in Harvard Square

'90s kids rejoice! A new smartphone app, Pokémon Go, is bringing Pokémon to the real world. Prepare to return to a time when not being able to match your energy card to its attack symbol was your greatest struggle.

Pokemon Go
Pokéstop at The Harvard Crimson

Officially released in the United States on July 6, Nintendo's newest game retains the core of the original Pokémon—traveling the world to catch Pokémon and battling at gyms—but now Pokémon and Pokéstops hide at real life historical sites, public art locations, and other tourist attractions. Because Harvard Square is chock full of places that fulfill these criteria (there are several Pokéstops to get Pokéballs in Harvard Yard alone), don’t be surprised to see clumps of people oddly gathered around Sever Hall.

The app uses the smartphone GPS feature to track where you are and vibrates when you’re near a Pokémon, so you don’t need to have your nose buried in your phone more than usual. The app displays a map of your surrounding decorated with Pokéstops and gym locations to practice battling. Street names are not marked, though, so expect to spend some time wandering . As of July 11, Pokémon Go tops the App Store’s free app list, which just goes to show the marketing power of nostalgia.

Make sure to walk by the Harvard Crimson to stock up on Pokéballs!

This Week at Harvard: Movies and Music Around the City

We really do still want to be out and about making the most of our time off from school—but the summer laziness is also real. At this point, a lot of us aren’t necessarily looking to do anything that requires too much effort. And it doesn’t get much more low key than watching movies and listening to music. This week, Flyby is filling you in on film and live music events in and around Cambridge—all you have to do is get yourself there, then sit back and enjoy.

“Pulp Fiction”
Monday at 7 p.m. | Coolidge Corner Theatre

Start your week by venturing outside the Harvard bubble to see this cult classic playing in Brookline. It’s a bit of a commute, but worth it for the chance to see Tarantino’s iconic film on the big screen.

“Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made”
Monday at 9:30 p.m. | The Brattle Theatre

Watching this documentary about three guys who created a shot for shot adaptation of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” was probably not initially in your plans for the day, but if the idea of anything Indiana Jones related isn’t enough to get you out tonight, the Brattle’s delicious popcorn might be.

Music at the Farmers’ Market
Tuesday at noon | The Science Center Plaza

Pick up some local treats at the Farmers’ Market, then kick back and listen to this week’s featured music at the Plaza. The lineup starts with indie-folk duo Strangers by Accident at noon, Harvard student Kate Diaz ’19 at 1:30 p.m., and cover band Malibu Sands Beach Club at 4:30 p.m.

Karaoke Night at Charlie’s Kitchen
Tuesday at 8 p.m. | Charlie’s Kitchen

Charlie’s Kitchen boasts not only a beer garden and burgers, but also a weekly karaoke night. Don’t miss the chance to take the mic and live your American Idol fantasy this Tuesday.

Caribbean soul group Zili Misik
Thursday at 8 p.m. | The Beat Brasserie

For a change of pace, head to the Beat Brasserie in Harvard Square on Thursday for some good food and atmosphere featuring Zili Misik’s “New World Soul” music.

Outdoor Movie: “Cinderella”
Friday at sundown | DCR’s Hatch Shell

This 2015 remake may not be able to compete with the original “Cinderella,” but the weather’s looking warm for Saturday—so why not take advantage of this opportunity to enjoy a free movie by the river?

Midnight Movie: “Fright Night”
Saturday at 11:59 p.m. | Somerville Theatre

If you’re daunted by a) horror movies b) staying up past 12 a.m. or c) both of the above, this event is probably not for you. But to those late-night cinefiles up for something scary, Somerville Theatre is the place to be on Saturday night.

New Movies on Netflix!
Anytime, anywhere

If going outside this week doesn’t appeal to you, you’re still in luck. Netflix has added a whole slew of movies and shows this month, including Oscar winners “The Big Short” and “Spotlight.” If you’re feeling nostalgic, “Mean Girls” and the “Back to the Future” trilogy are also available to stream whenever the mood strikes.

Tom’s BaoBao to Open in Harvard Square

Had enough of Harvard Square’s fast-food burgers, burritos, and pizza? Look no further than Tom’s BaoBao, a new Chinese restaurant opening in the Harvard Square Galleria on July 12.

This restaurant won’t be serving just any Chinese food, either. Tom’s BaoBao specializes in the traditional Chinese delicacy bao—more commonly known as steamed buns in the U.S.—and prepares the food with even more attention to detail than you give your Tinder profile pics.

Employees at Tom’s BaoBao have undergone rigorous training in the art of bao-making over the past months, and you’ll be able to watch as they create the perfect steamed bun at the restaurant.

Bao, a 1,200 year old delicacy, is made by carefully crafting fist-sized buns out of dough filled with a wide variety of meats or vegetables (at Tom’s BaoBao, even a lobster filling will be available). Restaurant owner and entrepreneur Tom Tong’s revitalization of the bao-making tradition is already a hit in China, where Tong’s restaurant chain GanQiShi already has around 200 locations.

After opening his first U.S. restaurant in Harvard Square, Tong has plans for a Tom’s BaoBao in Providence, and there are also rumors that Tong will roll out a bao food truck down the line.

We welcome the addition of any new tasty restaurants in Harvard Square, and Tom’s BaoBao is poised to be a fitting replacement for Yogurtland in the Galleria storefront.

Harvard Student Creates App that Lets You Schedule Uber in Advance

More convenient than a taxi and more predictable than the MBTA, Uber has quickly become a go-to transportation service for many car-less students and drunk people alike. Still, there’s always room for improvement, and leave it to Harvard to go the extra mile.

Frustrated by the amount of time he was spending waiting for an Uber, Joshua Meier ’18 developed a companion app, TaxiLater, that allows you to schedule a ride in advance. Before you sigh at the thought of learning to use yet another app guaranteed to make your life easier, we assure you, TaxiLater is simple.

The app allows you to log in with your own Uber account and select what time you want to be picked up—whether you wish to schedule a ride months in advance or just a few hours. TaxiLater is designed to look like the Uber app, so it should be familiar to anyone who’s ever hailed a ride using Uber.

TaxiLater is still undergoing improvements based on user feedback, but we can’t complain. Meier created the app in his spare time between classes and other work, whereas our involvement with apps during free time is pretty much limited to bouncing between Instagram and Facebook.

“I am so grateful to have built TaxiLater within the Harvard ecosystem,” Meier told Flyby, adding, “It feels great to have people around the world using my project and to have friends close-by lending support. We are very lucky to be an environment that fosters such creativity.”

TaxiLater is free to download on the Apple app store—check it out next time your Uber is in traffic and you’re stuck waiting.

Older →