Category Archives: 20 Under 20

20 Under 20: Blackledge Falls

By Matthew Knox

Nestled in the hills of Glastonbury, Blackledge Falls, and the 80 acres of forest that contain them, are an excellent place to hike and enjoy nature during any season. At times of heavy rain and high groundwater, as many as three separate falls run off the 26 foot tall cliffs. The falls derive their name from the color of the rocks when wet. The water returns to river form after the falls to run through the forest where you may cross over it several times by bridges. Right by the falls, a log sits on the ground in a perfect spot to rest. Bring a picnic or a snack and take a break. Whether there are hundreds of gallons pouring over the cliffs a minute, or only trickling after a dry summer, the spot is beautiful.

There are three different trails that make up the Blackledge Falls preserve. The “purple” trail leads to the waterfall. In reality, it is just a line of white paint over a blue one. The trail is not difficult. There are hills and a gradual incline for periods of time, but no hiking experience is needed. The walk takes about 15 minutes at an average pace. Watch out for roots and rocks on the path in some areas.

The preserve is a tribute to nature and has therefore been left in as natural of a state as possible. Tree branches have fallen on the path in a couple of spots and they were left. The other trails in the park head off in different directions that mostly all convene before to the parking area. Walk or run far enough and you will eventually reach a large swath of open land for power lines. Beyond that you will end up at Gay City State Park. For those of you who enjoy trail running, this area is certainly acceptable. The trails are relatively clean and free of overhanging branches that could hit you.

During the semester, things can get stressful. I encourage a visit to Blackledge Falls for a much needed break when the weather permits.

20 Under 20: GoldBurger

Kevin Jachimowicz

It’s not often you exit a burger place feeling like a different person, but GoldBurger, which is in the vicinity of CCSU, and can satisfy your hunger for around $10.  If you’ve never had eaten at GoldBurger in Newington before – not to be confused with GoldBerg’s in West Hartford – you have plans to mark down.

The first time you step inside GoldBurger, you are greeted with funky, colorful paintings on the walls (this includes plays on various famous paintings, of course their versions including burgers in place of other objects), along with multiple bulletin boards covered in drawings from the younger customers, recommendations for crazy new burger ideas, polaroid pictures of their competition winners posing, along with numerous testimonials to all their different types of incredible burgers’, loaded with pretty much any topping an American mind can come up with.

With that said, the staff is very friendly, environment is comfortable, and service is as professional as it needs to be for the type of establishment they’re in (think Moo-Ya style environment, yet fine-dining quality meat).  GoldBurger did initially take the BlueChip card as a form of payment, but did away with that ability about a year ago, which was irritating initially, but the quality of the food far trumps any little circumstances of that nature.

Something fun about the restaurant is that they often hold little competitions, as well as beer tasting nights, in which you can buy a ticket to reserve your spot, and they close the restaurant to the public for a private event.  They also have numerous challenges you customers can attempt to conquer.  For example, The Trinity Challenge was held in the October of 2010 at GoldBurger.  The requirements to complete the challenge successfully were to down a 3×4 in just 45 minutes flat (4 patties, 3 slices of cheese 4 bacon strips), a Schogger (a beef patty, chicken patty, hot dog and sausage all on a bun), 1.5 pounds of fries and a large drink…they aren’t always appealing, but still makes for a fun time, for those who are crazy enough to try it.

My go to meal at GoldBurger is the Rivals Rodeo Double Cheeseburger, which is somewhat of a spin-off on Burger King’s Rodeo Burger, if you ask me.  The Rivals Rodeo comes with two beef patties, spicy BBQ sauce, thick-cut onion rings (which I substitute with frizzled onion rings), american cheese, topped with bacon.  I also enjoy their occasional specials which are typically creative new burger choices, or something of the like.  For example, one special they had, which would replace my typical burger, if they would put it on the menu, came with blue cheese crumbles, béarnaise sauce, and a hint of spicy buffalo sauce.

GoldBurger is the place to stop on the way home from, or on the way to school for commuters, when you need a quick, guaranteed-to-be-great meal.

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20 Under 20 – The Haunted Graveyard

By: Paige Brown

It’s October, and you know what that means: Halloween. With Halloween comes dark, ghostly and scary attractions for everyone to enjoy.

Lake Compounce in Bristol, CT, hosts “The Haunted Graveyard” every year throughout the month of October. The park is given a eerie atmosphere as people are spooked along their way through the houses, mazes and fields filled with monsters, ghosts and characters from classic horror movies.

The best part of “The Haunted Graveyard” is the unexpected shocks and scares. [Paige: can you rewrite this sentence into something like, "The combination of real and fake characters keep you guessing as to which wall will jump out at you" or something along those lines ] As you walk through, there are real people and fake characters all along the walls and in the nooks and crannies of the dark corners. It’s especially scary when you say out loud, “that’s fake,” and then they jump out and make you scream like a little girl.

Ghoulish sounds and fetid smells were added to create the teeth-rattling feeling that you were actually part of a scene in a scary movie. The smell of gas filled the air as you got chased by the crazy guy with the chainsaw and even the fake, skinned animals as you walked through the slaughter house has a smell that could make a grown man cringe.

As for sounds, not only does the creepy music, wind sounds or ghosts howls get to you, but the voices that the actors created for their characters made everyone’s hair stand up and jumpstart their escape.

Going to scary events like haunted hay rides, spooky corn mazes or even your local haunted house, “The Haunted Graveyard” is one that every Halloween enthusiast should take the time to enjoy. With a price tag of $23, it would be scary to NOT go.

So whether you easily get scared by the smallest spider or if you’re the friend who loves to watch your friends scream, “The Haunted Graveyard” is definitely a great Halloween scare-fest.

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20 Under 20 – West Hartford Yoga

By Kiley Krzyzek

Got six bucks and an hour to kill? Take the quick 10 minute drive to West Hartford Yoga and try a relaxing session of Gentle Yoga. A comparable local studio charges $20 per drop-in session, so this is an awesome deal.

It’s BYOM (bring your own mat) or you can buy one there. Ladies, here’s a real excuse to wear yoga pants! Store your shoes and belongings in a cubby and pay at the counter. The receptionist will direct you to a big beautiful studio with relaxing music playing in the background. You can lay out your mat and borrow a block or blanket to help you with your poses.

The class consists of breathing exercises and a routine of classic poses like downward dog and child’s pose. You’ll appreciate that they don’t go into detail about the spiritual meaning of yoga or anything–you get enough lectures at school. It’s a fantastic class for beginners or anyone who wants to go at a slower pace. My guess is you’re going to yoga to de-stress, not to get more overwhelmed than you were in the first place.

If you’re a veteran at the exercise regimen, you can opt for WHY’s signature class “Power Yoga 1″ which is only six dollars. It’s a more vigorous class and isn’t recommended for beginners. I must warn you though, instructors in the class may come around and physically adjust your poses, so if you’re uncomfortable with strangers casually touching you, stick to the gym.

Otherwise this yoga class is a way to free your mind from everything for a bit and you’ll finish feeling refreshed, as if you just awoke from a nap.  Check out www.westhartfordyoga.com for the class schedule.

Photo By Acadia Otlowski

New Britain Museum of American Art: A Free Experience for CCSU Students

By Acadia Otlowski

Photo: Acadia Otlowski

 

The infamous red solo cup has been put to a distinct new use in the New Britain Museum of American Art, where artist, Lisa Hoke, created a mural of colored plastic cups. The prominently placed display has become the centerpiece of the museum which has displays from artists across America.

The New Britain Museum of the Arts is only a short 10 to 15 minute drive from CCSU. In addition to being close in proximity, the museum has a partnership with CCSU, allowing students who show their student ID to enter the museum free of charge.

Walking into the museum, one is immediately drawn to how open the space is. Before one enters the actual exhibits, the visitor is greeted by a wax security guard who’s intimidating posture is quite lifelike and convincing.

Glass doors lead to the exhibits, which flow from a smaller room into a larger gallery, where many sculptures are placed in the center. This gallery splits off to many smaller rooms containing many works and leads to a set of stairs, where a stunning hanging piece made of blue glass and Hoke’s plastic cup mural are set above a landing.

Hoke’s piece is a temporary installation, named The Gravity of Color: New Britain, and will be replaced in two to five years by another artist, according to the museums website. From a distance, the cups don’t appear like plastic cups. They look more like a tile, creating a mosaic. It isn’t until one approaches the exhibit that it becomes apparent that the entire work is in fact plastic cups.

At the top of the stairs, more painting and sculptures are placed in a main room, which then diverges into several other rooms.

Another one of the featured exhibits of this time is Toulouse-Lautrec & His World. His works, separated distinctly from the museum by a curtained doorway, contain several rare pieces of his work, which are on loan from the Herakleidon Museum, in Athens, Greece. This piece is making its first tour in America; previously, it had never left Europe. The artist lived in a time in Paris called the Belle Époque (Beautiful Era).

The exhibit in the museum that I enjoyed the most by far was Tony de los Reyes’ collection of works, entitled Chasing Moby-Dick. I enjoyed how Reyes obviously put a great deal of effort into translating the written words of Moby Dick into a visual medium. The individual works were well executed, from the spear sculpture that stands in the center of the room, to the painting depicting an American flag superimposed over an ocean scene.

Although the New Britain Museum of American Art is not huge, it is more than possible to spend quite a few hours there viewing the art, and maybe learning a little something on the way. For CCSU students, this is a great way to spend any free time one may have. Not only is the museum close and convenient, but it features local artists and artists from all across the country, making it a perfect place to learn about local culture.

The Art Galleries at CCSU are now hosting an exhibit called Paintings from American Illustrators. This exhibit is on loan from the New Britain Museum of American Art.

According to a flier, Mark Strathy from the art department said that the paintings in this exhibition were selected through their use of oil paint in a traditional way and showed classical training of the artists, thus blurring the line between fine art and illustration.

The paintings in the exhibit range from the early 20th century up until the 1970s . According to Strathy, one can follow the trends of illustrations throughout the time periods.

The gallery will be open between 1pm and 4 pm, Monday through Friday up until Feb. 21. The exhibit is located in the S.T. Chen Fine Arts Center in Maloney Hall on the second floor.

20 Under 20: Bare Bones

By Morgan Skovich

A place to go within 20 miles of campus for under $20.

When we aren’t working, doing homework or in class, it’s nice to have a thing called a social life. If you’re like most college students, you’re on a strict college budget so going out and partaking in fun activities could be a little difficult. Somewhere though, where money is not an issue is Bare Bones.

Bare Bones is a more than welcoming art gallery, café, and overall (community) art organization. It’s a non-profit business and they welcome everyone; they appreciate support. Bare Bones is located on 156 School St. in Bristol, only about 15 minutes from CCSU.

Their motto is “come in, connect, create.” So stop by to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea, leisurely read a book, surf the web, share some chat time with friends, enjoy the artists at work, daydream and relax in a big cozy chair for free!

Abbey Casorio, 21, a frequent Bare Bones visitor said, ”It brings me joy to see people and now a place that gives my hometown potential to have a community that thrives off of an artistic culture, I’m excited and hope more people from other towns close by get involved too.”

How was the concept of Bare Bones born? Three artistically inclined women Lindsay Vigue, Michelle St. Pierre and Robin Messerli thought “heck, why don’t we try and open a place in Bristol that we’d want to hang out in,” since Bristol apparently doesn’t really have a comfortable spot for the town’s younger crowd.

The space has vintage pressed-tin ceilings, exposed brick walls and hardwood polished floors. It’s an exhibit of watercolors, collages, drawings and creations of photos that are transferred onto logs.

Bare Bones, having just moved to a new location hosted an open house event this past Wednesday and will be hosting many other random events, such as an open mic night on Sept. 28.

Come on down with your music, your poetry, your free styling, or your comedy; they want to hear it all! Coffee and snacks will be provided.

There is a $1 to $3 donation suggested by those not performing, your donations goes towards furthering programming at Bare Bones, since the whole entire place is run upon donations. One of their hopes is to get their own PA system so their oh so devoted performers don’t always have to cart theirs around.

Sarah Johnson, 28, the volunteer manager of Bare Bones said that their target market consists of “coffee drinkers, creative thinkers and artists. Some other frequenters include volunteers, business owners, authors, students, musicians, and just anyone that’s walking by.”

Bare Bones has created a significant network that makes walking in an opportunity for any creative type. They have created an artistic opportunity for all creative individuals throughout the area, so don’t be shy, make an appearance at Bare Bones, you won’t be sorry!