Month: September 2014

Hunt for a Cronut

One Summer ago, I had the liberty of working at my internship in NYC. Going into it I knew I had wanted to take advantage of the opportunity and to seize the moment to do as much  one could possibly do in one Summer- one of these goals was to get my hands on an infamous Cronut.

Let’s now take a step back for a moment in order to acquaint oneself with the incredible invention that is the Cronut. A Cronut, as one can probably deduce, is one half croissant and one half doughnut; a sort of diabolical hybrid between the two. Invented by the acclaimed pastry chef Dominique Ansel at his eponymous bakery in Lower Manhattan. It is a simple yet ingenious creation that is rolled in sugar, piped with cream, and then finished with glaze, served to you while still warm. Since its debut in May of 2013, it has brought claim to its popularity with New Yorkers and people world-wide being named one of Time Magazine’s 25 Best Inventions of 2013.

Having heard of the Cronut craze, I was on a mission to understand if the pastry lived up to its hype. I had failed nonetheless as that Summer I had lived in Fairfield, CT and commuted in every morning, and if one wanted to get a hold of one of these pastries, one would have to go and wait in the line at 6 a.m latest to ensure that one would get one. Gratefully, this Summer I was offered a Summer position at the same place I had worked for and had a place secure to live in the city, hence this time I was determined to set out to succeed where I was not able to the previous year.

It was the last week of work. It was a Wednesday, I had gotten plenty of sleep the night before and woke at 5 in the morning and took the B/E train downtown, and walked to Spring Street. Turning the corner, I could see the formation of a line- this was 5:45, the bakery opens at 8. Standing in line more and more people lined up behind me there being about 20 already in front of me. As the morning progressed the line had stretch around the corner and wounded into the park. While we waited the bakers gave us samples of the other menu items. On the menu were Ansel’s other  creations such as the chocolate chip shot glasses where one would take a shot of milk from this pastry and then proceed to eat the vessel, and there was the “Frozen S’more”  which was a honey marshmallow wrapped around a Tahitian vanilla ice cream with chocolate wafer crisps served on a smoked willow wood branch and torched to order. But everyone in the line was there for the Cronut.

The doors opened at 8 a.m. and I was fairly confident that I would be able to get a Cronut, as I had been told and had read reviews online that only first 100 people or so would be able to get Cronuts.  Each customer were limited to only buying 2 at a time. As the first wave of people were let through the door, they quickly came out carrying boxes filled with  golden pieces of fried dough attesting to their dedication and commitment to these pastries. Finally upon entering the bakery we again lined up at the counter able to watch the bakers and Ansel at work. All of Ansel’s movements were purposeful and deliberate, a master at his craft. Having appeared on a myriad of talk shows and celeberatized as a chef, Ansel however remains humble and very focused on his work and passion. It was a pleasure to have watch him work.

At last I had obtained a Cronut and I did not wait a second to try it. The first bite into it was unlike anything else. Crispy, flaky layers that you would expect from a good croissant, but with the fried sweet satisfaction of a doughnut. Extraordinary. Each month Ansel’s Bakery comes up with a different flavor for their Cronuts always evoking flavors from the available ingridients that season check out past flavors here. August’s was Yellow Peach Black Tea. All in all one has to experience the pleasure of eating a Cronut, and there is only one place to get them: Dominique Ansel’s Bakery, highly recommended.

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2nd Annual IGC & NPHC Meet the Greeks!

There was a great turn out at last week’s 2nd Annual IGC & NPHC Meet the Greeks in the Student Union Ballroom! Seats were all filled up and music was blasting and refreshments were served!

Kappa Phi Lambda
Kappa Phi Lambda

Meet the Greeks is an opportunity for our cultural based fraternities and sororities display their talents of stepping and strolling and much more! It is also an opportunity for the student body to come check out our talented Intercultural Greek Council and the National Pan-Hellenic Council!! The event kicked-off with a phenomenal unity stroll. Three members from each organization in IGC and NPHC performed one unified stroll! Then each chapter performed their own unique talents. Following the performances, students had the opportunity to walk around and check out and converse with members of the perspective chapters.

Iota Phi Theta
Iota Phi Theta

The Intercultural Greek Council (IGC), established in 2002 as the Multicultural Greek Council, is the governing council for all culturally-based and multicultural fraternities and sororities represented and recognized at the University of Connecticut.

Pi Delta Psi
Pi Delta Psi

The National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc. was established in 1930 on the campus of Howard University in Washington DC and was formed as a permanent organization for the is currently composed of nine, International fraternities and sororities commonly referred to as the “Divine Nine.” NPHC promotes interaction through forums, meetings and other mediums for the exchange of information and engages in cooperative programming and initiatives through various activities and functions.

Sigma Lambda Upsilon
Sigma Lambda Upsilon

The chapters that perform are:

Beta Chi Theta Fraternity, Inc. (ΒΧΘ)
Delta Epsilon Psi Fraternity, Inc. (ΔΕΨ)
Kappa Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc. (ΚΦΛ)
Latino America Unida, Lambda Alpha Upsilon Fraternity, Inc. (ΛΑΥ)
Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc. (ΛΘΑ)
Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity, Inc. (ΛΘΦ)
La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc. (ΛΥΛ)
Mu Sigma Upsilon Sorority, Inc. (ΜΣΥ)
Pi Delta Psi Fraternity, Inc. (ΠΔΨ)
Sigma Lambda Upsilon/Señoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority, Inc. (ΣΛΥ)
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (ΑΚΑ)
Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. (ΙΦΘ)
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. (ΦΒΣ)
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. (ΣΓΡ)
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. (ΖΦΒ)

Make sure to follow them on Twitter for the latest updates more upcoming events! @UConnIGC @UConnNPHC

Gotta Kick It Up!

This week, the UConn Kickline Team began our 2014-2015 season with tryouts! We’re very excited to add new dancers to our roster and make this our best team yet!

Kickline is a form of dance similar to the Radio City Rockettes, but with more of a jazz style. Here at UConn, our Kickline team gets very involved. During the fall semester, we perform at volleyball games and men’s & women’s basketball games at Gampel as well as the XL Center in Hartford! Last season, we also began dancing at the Hartford Wolfpack hockey games, which are held at the XL Center as well.  Our team is also fortunate enough to be involved with homecoming, and this year, I am thrilled to announce that we are paired with my chapter of Gamma Phi Beta, as well as Alpha Epsilon Pi and FIJI! I’m in charge of homecoming for my chapter, so I am very excited to be able to work closely with both of my organizations and create new bonds between everyone! We are also active in the Spring semester, where we travel all over New England and New York to compete against various Kickline Teams, trying to bring home as many trophies as we can to support our school!

I’m sure there are many people that are curious as to what we’re about, so come to a game and check us out!

Kickline

My Kickline Little and me!
My Kickline Little and me!

 

 

Recruitment Boot Camp

Over the summer, a few Brothers from the Connecticut Colony of Alpha Kappa Lambda were fortunate enough to experience something great. Alpha Kappa Lambda held their biannual conclave in Carmel, Indiana as a capstone to their centennial celebrations. Prior to the conclave, there was a weekend long Recruitment Boot Camp session that focused solely on re-evaluating and improving the way brother’s recruit new members. To me, attending an event like this is the perfect way to start out the Fall Semester. As a Greek, it is important to be skilled in the art of recruiting and socializing. During the Recruitment Boot Camp, our brother’s learned things ranging from how to make great first impressions to which questions to ask that will keep potential new members talking while at the same time enjoying their conversation. I believe that this type of training is beneficial for anyone in Greek life after a long summer off from school. Even if you have great social skills and are extremely comfortable with the new people that you want to bring into your organization, a small refresher on recruiting skills will create a feeling of positive motivation amongst the current members of your organization and overall help to improve your chapter.

Having three members of our organization take the road trip out to Carmel and participate in this Recruitment Boot Camp benefited our colony as a whole because they shared the ideas they learned and the motivation that they acquired toward recruitment with the rest of their brothers. We now look forward to hosting a more localized version of Recruitment Boot Camp in the future, so that everyone in the colony can share the same experience. We are extremely proud to have had these three fine men represent the UConn Colony of Alpha Kappa Lambda in Carmel this year and look forward for more events like this in the future.

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