Summer Blogs: Revisited


Harvard Independent Logo

Hanging On: The US World Cup Story
Look, I am not saying that anything that happened on a soccer field was that important in the grand scheme of things. That would be asinine. What I am saying is that for two glorious weeks, I was proud to watch “our” team. I was proud because we didn’t pout or complain. We didn’t give up when the going was tough. We kept hanging on, and good things happened.?“Hanging on” was the M.O. of the U.S. soccer team. It is the philosophy, good or bad, for so many of our lives. That’s why the U.S. became OUR team.

The Decision: Part II
As a college students or anyone who has spent time away from home, we all know the tug that comes from living away from home. We all know what it feels like to desire familiarity regardless of the fact that familiarity may mean moving away from the benefits of a big city. LeBron went so far as to compare his time in Miami as a learning experience and a time of personal growth. He even compared it to a four-year college experience.?However, I cannot anoint James as a saint — the prodigal son returning home to save a team and city. The media has been very supportive of his decision. Cleveland has looked upon him as a savior. A city and team he spurned just four years earlier welcomed him back with open arms. This characterization of James is no fairer than painting him as a devil.

The Story We Need to Cope
If we continue to feel a tug from someone who has passed away, if we literally feel their power, have we truly lost them? I don’t think so. If we allow their lives to affect our own, do we not carry some little piece of them? Living in their footsteps doesn’t lessen the pain, but it is the best that we can do day in and day out to honor them.

Ritchey’s Restaurant Reviews
Rouge Tomato: I left the restaurant not feeling overly full with full intention to visit their new downtown location or their food cart located in Central Park.

Pulqueria: Go with a group of friends from drinks and a light dinner for a novel exciting dining experience that will not kill your wallet.

Under-21 and Done
Coney Island: While Coney Island may not have the same appeal as it once did, I think everyone should get in touch with their inner Lana Del Rey and become Queens (and Kings) of Coney Island. While I am not a fan of roller coasters or other thrill rides, Coney Island does offer some of the most iconic rides around. I am looking forward to finally conquering my fear of heights by going on the Wonder Wheel Ferris wheel. For those not into sketchy amusement parks, I recommend going two stops away on the Q train to Ocean Parkway to get to Brighton Beach. This is a fun beach destination if you need a quick dip in salt water. Pro Tip: Go to Coney Island for the Mermaid Parade and the National Hot Dog eating Contest.

Yearning for Yedikule
Fast forward to today, and one could perceive a certain sense of sadness coupled with urgency in the region. Tanker trucks encircle the few remaining wells in order to supply water for the pubic including hamams. One side of the walls could be mistaken for a developing American suburb while the other side displays the surviving fresh tava of spinach, mint, and even corn. If one were daring enough to climb and observe atop the walls, a turn of the head reveals almost two worlds converging against each other. To the left is a hopeful sign of growth, both literal in agriculture and symbolic in livelihood, and to the right is an uncertain desolation. No bostans remain on the right, and it seems all land has been reserved for more urban construction. Will apartments and malls be born out of this destruction? Will they also take over what greenery remains on the other side of the walls? These are the questions left to be answered but ironically, it is the fortifications that have endured, albeit with some damage and need of repair, while the once-protected interior gardens have given way to rising urban sprawl.
The truth of the matter is that people need places to live, and a city needs space to grow. However, a greater truth is that historic cultures and traditions should never be neglected for the sake of potential profit and growth. Istanbul is a thriving example of bridging the past with the present, and Yedikule is a prime model for that challenge. Perhaps one day, humanity could find a way to resolve this conflict of culture versus expansion in which social traditions may carry on peacefully alongside progress.