3 reasons why Shop One is cooler than you think

So if you have spent any time around RIT’s campus or ventured into Global Village, it’s likely that you have heard about or seen Shop One. Let’s be honest though, how many times have you just walked right past it thinking it’s probably not your type of store. Here are our top three reasons why Shop One is just so much cooler than you ever expected:

1. It’s the revival of the original Shop One, which began the Craft Movement.

So unless you are an art history aficionado, those words will mean very little to you and you might even be looking forward to reason number two of this list. But just wait – it’s actually a neat story.

Shop One, here on RIT’s campus, is actually a revival of the downtown Rochester Shop One which opened in 1953 as the first retail gallery outside of New York City that exclusively sold hand-made, one-of-a-kind pieces of craft and art. Alongside Manhattan’s America House, Shop One in Rochester was vital in starting the Craft Art Movement in America.

Today, we have the revival shop, right here on our campus. Now isn’t that just a cool living piece of history? It’s definitely not something most universities can brag about.

2. It’s not your typical retail gallery.

Walking into a museum gift shop, you often find huge areas labeled “local artist.” Try asking one of the store employees about the artist, and you’ll often hear that yes, indeed, this piece was made by a local artist. Try asking more. That question is usually met with awkward silence. Now this isn’t a point to harp on museum gift shops around the country as surely there are many very well educated employees, however, Shop One makes this a priority.

Wendy Marks, director of Shop One, says that what really sets RIT’s Shop One apart is their constant effort to “highlight RIT talent and familiarize people with the work and the artists.” The store currently has four student and one adult sales associate who can gladly answer any and all question about the work they sell. Additionally, as you can see in the photo below, all around the shop, you can find plaques that give you more information about the artist/designer and their work.

3. It’s focused on the RIT family and network.

As mentioned above, when you walk around Shop One, you will find many information plaques. If you stop to read them, you might be surprised to find out that most of the artists are RIT alums. In fact, about 90% of the products are made by RIT alumni from programs such as industrial design, fine art, and jewelry making (just to name a few). It’s such a great experience to go into the store and think “Wow, I didn’t know that was made by a former RIT student!” – it truly makes you see just how influential RIT graduates become in their respective industries.

In fact, Shop One continually assists in bridging the gap between student and alumni. Just this past month, Shop One set up a table featuring RIT Industrial Design alumni work sold at the store during the program’s annual Design Autopsy show in Bevier Gallery which featured the work on notable alumni.

Shop One also participates in the “Length of Service Program” which rewards significant anniversaries of tenured professors by allowing them to select certain goods from Shop One. Rather than a pen with their name printed on them or a plaque that will get shoved to the back of an office, RIT professors get to receive beautifully designed and crafted products that support the RIT alumni.

To find out more about Shop One, you can view their website here, or just stop by in person!

National Espresso Day

It’s getting colder outside. Exams are just around the corner. Staying under the covers with a great book or movie and a warm beverage sounds like just about the perfect escape from all the end-of-semester worries. And since this year Thanksgiving shared the date with National Espresso Day, we thought it would be the perfect time to scope out Rochester’s best coffee shops.

Using recommendations from our friends and Yelp reviewers, we set out to try third wave coffee shops in the surrounding area to see if any of them could be the perfect solution for keeping you warm, awake, and productive in the upcoming weeks. Here are our five top picks:

  1. Fuego Coffee Roasters

Coming in with the highest Yelp ratings, Fuego was a definite can’t miss location. Located in Downtown Rochester right off East Ave, Fuego has an interesting and unique vibe that mixes the lives of downtown corporate workers and the city’s Eastman School of Music students.

Fuego was started by high school sweethearts, and they continue to take pride in the fact that they put so much care in every step of the coffee roasting process – from finding the best coffee beans to using the best artisanal brewing techniques to achieve the best tasting cup of coffee. Upon walking into the cafe, you will feel at home as you can order straight at the bar, sit down and your coffee will be brought straight to you. In our top five, Fuego was the only coffee shop with the unique aspect that you paid at the end of your visit.

It was easily to tell that Fuego is obviously very involved in its neighborhood as there was a wide array of flyers about upcoming shows, events and even ones announcing that Rochester’s own Petit Poutine truck would be stopping by the following Wednesday.

For their smooth and sweet espresso, Fuego earns a spot on our list, however – due to it’s distance away from RIT and longer wait times than the other coffee shops we visited, it doesn’t quite earn the top marks.

  1. Java’s

We couldn’t make a round-up list of the best coffee shops in town without including Java’s, right here on campus. Not only is their espresso delicious but they use some of the best milk – from Rochester’s Pittsford Dairy and their pastries are baked locally in their bakeshop. Now, that might not sounds all too unusual for a third wave coffee shop, but having it right in the heart of our campus is truly a privilege.

As far as finding the perfect balance between school work and a coffee date, or grabbing a quick coffee on the way to class and sitting down for a long study session, Java’s has got it figured out, even down to details such as separating the cafe area and bar which allows you to not be distracted by every new customer as they walk in.

Java’s also boasts the largest and most diverse drink menu out of all the coffee shops we visited. If you have yet to visit this campus gem, make sure you stop by soon (you can even pay with Tiger Bucks at the RIT location) especially if you’re feeling in a rut as the walls are lined with all kinds of great artwork to inspire you.

  1. Boxcar

Boxcar prides itself in it’s great coffee and a love for fried things. If that isn’t enough to have you getting straight into your car and driving over, then how about the fact that with it’s beautifully decorated donuts, latte art, and industrial chic, white brick interior, it’s utter #instagoals?

In its location right next to the Rochester Public Market, Boxcar is the perfect destination for a brunch date or refreshments after a morning at the market. Their espresso has a much bolder taste than the other ones we tried, but it pairs quite well with one of their artisan donuts or southern-inspired chicken and waffles on a stick. It’s definitely a place you could take a friend who doesn’t like coffee as they have so many other things to choose from.

The modern industrial chic interior of Boxcar has a surprisingly light and airy feel to it and it’s the perfect place to brunch and people watch.

While you definitely could go there to do some work, it has more of a feeling of a restaurant cafe, so it wouldn’t be our first choice for exam studying – but still a great place to go if you need a coffee and great food break or if you’re in dire need of a new Instagram photo after your feed has been dead since that one time you posted at the beginning of this semester.

  1. Ugly Duck Coffee

When we were doing our research for this coffee shop round up, Ugly Duck immediately jumped on our radar when we found out that their hashtag is #getugly. How could we not check it out?!

Ugly Duck Coffee actually started as a multi-roaster pop-up espresso bar around the city of Rochester and after a year, they finally settled down in Rochester’s East End. Right when you walk in, you can immediately tell that they take their coffee very seriously.

Now, let’s address the elephant in the room, Ugly Duck does not have free wi-fi for the customers. *gasp* Why is it so high on the list then, you ask? The simple answer is that their coffee is just that good.

One of the Ugly Duck barista’s won the title of ROC’s favorite barista and we can clearly see why. After walking in, the barista promptly asked us if we needed any assistance. Pleasantly taken slightly off guard, we asked them for their recommendation, which ended in us trying The Snug  (espresso, maple syrup, Fee Brothers Molasses Bitters, steamed milk). It was by far the best espresso we had all day.

Ugly Duck’s commitment to their coffee, the peace-inducing greenery that fills the whole cafe and the fact that they have no upcharge for non-dairy milk brings them to number two on our list – truly a can’t miss location for any coffee aficionado or anyone else looking for an adventure.  

  1. Glen Edith Coffee Roasters

At top of our list is a coffee shop that we feel truly ticked every box in our expectations. Glen Edith offers coffee, Boxcar donuts (read above), lunch options, and a selection of local wine and beer.

As a third wave coffee shop it, Glen Edith seeks out direct trade (farmer to roaster) relationships to ensure the farmers are paid fair wages which then correlates with a higher quality product. Additionally, all their coffee is roasted in Rochester.

So even though you can tell they take their coffee very seriously, the environment makes it feel very inviting and not at all intimidating, like some coffee shops can seem at first glance.

On the walls, you can find beautifully hand-drawn chalk signs that clearly articulate all the differences between a latte, cappuccino, and cortado to make sure anyone can understand what they’re ordering without feeling too intimidated to ask.

The cafe is filled with people from all walks of life – mothers with kids in strollers, young professionals hustling, and friends meeting each other for their weekly catch up – everything about it makes you feel like it’s THE neighborhood hang out spot. What tops it all off is it’s great location in the Park Avenue Neighborhood – you can get coffee then walk around the beautiful streets surrounding the cafe and pop into local craft stores or other restaurants.

So whether you’re looking to find a quaint spot to study, catch up with friends, or just have delicious coffee and food, Glen Edith Coffee is your go-to.

Prepare for Thanksgiving Break at RIT

Thanksgiving break is quickly approaching and if you’re planning on staying on campus, you might want to plan ahead. The university is closing on Wednesday, November 22 at 2pm and will re-open on Saturday, November 25, which means not everything will be running as usual. Behind the Bricks has asked the essential questions for having a fun and relaxing break at RIT:

What buildings will be open?

Student Life Center and Gordon Field House

  • Open Wednesday from 6:00am to 4:00pm
  • Closed Thursday and Friday
  • Open Saturday from 8:00am to 5:00pm
  • Open Sunday from 1:00pm to 11:00pm

Aquatics Center

  • Open Wednesday from 6:45am to 8:45am and 12:00pm to 1:45pm
  • Closed Thursday and Friday
  • Open Saturday from 2:30pm to 4:30pm
  • Open Sunday from 2:30pm to 4:30pm and 7:00pm to 10:00pm

Residence Halls

  • Open during the full break
  • Laundry rooms will also be open
  • RITchie’s will be closed

Student Health Center

  • Open Wednesday from 8:00am to 2:00pm
  • Closed Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
  • Sick over break? You can reach the after hours nurse service at (585) 475-2255

Counseling and Psychological Services

  • Open Wednesday from 8:30am to 2:00pm
  • Closed Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
  • Alternate options include calling 1 (855) 436-1245 to speak with a mental health provider or calling (585) 475-3333 to speak with Public Safety

Center for Religious Life

  • Open Wednesday until 2pm
  • Closed Thursday, Friday, and Saturday
  • Open Sunday 8:00am to 9:00pm

Library

  • Open Wednesday from 8:00am to 2:00pm
  • Closed Thursday, Friday, and Saturday

Post Offices

  • Closed Wednesday at 2:00pm
  • Closed Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday

What staff will be on campus?

Student Health Center Staff

  • They will be here until 2:00pm on Wednesday
  • Otherwise, there are after hours care if you need immediate non-emergency assistance. The options are listed on the Student Health Center Website.

Public Safety

  • Public safety will be here 24/7 throughout the whole break
  • Check out their website for contact information or updates.

Resident Halls

  • Not all RA’s will be here on Thanksgiving Day, but they will return the weekend after.
  • Maintenance and FMS will be off Thursday, but will resume the weekend after.

Where can I eat?

Because the university is closed over Thanksgiving break, the dining halls will not be running as usual. Because there are limited options, check out this detailed list of dining hours and plan ahead for your meal plans over break.

Another option is to gather your friends and ride the RIT bus to Wegmans. Take advantage of your kitchens and have a potluck Friendsgiving.  Be sure to check the Bus Schedule on the RIT Parking and Transportation website.

Where can I take the bus off campus?

On Thursday, November 23 there will be no RIT bus service. Hours and locations for the busses on the other days of Thanksgiving Break are listed on their website. Also, check out My Bus Home for alternate ways to make it home for Thanksgiving break.

What can I do off campus?

Rochester is a cool city, go explore! There are tons of cool coffee shops to hang out at, great movie theatres right near campus, shopping, museums, and parks. Over break, there are tons of events going on around the Greater Rochester Area. If you don’t have a car, check your bus route options or carpool with a friend. Here are just a few of the events you can check out around Rochester:

  • Annie the Musical at the Kodak Center for Performing Arts on November 24 at 7:30pm, and November 25 and 26 at 2pm
  • Turkey Trot Fun Run in Webster, NY on November 23 at 10am
  • Turkey Burn Free Pilates Bootcamp Workout at MetaFITx in Pittsford, NY on Friday, November 24 at 9am

Check out visitrochester.com for more events happening in Rochester over the break.

What can I do on campus?

University Gallery

  • Closes at 1:00pm on Wednesday
  • Will reopen on Monday at 9:00am

Red Barn

  • Closed Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday
  • Open Saturday and Sunday

Ritter Open Skate

  • Closed Thursday
  • Open Friday 11:45 to 12:45pm and 8:00 to 10:00pm
  • Open Saturday 3:00 to 4:30pm and 8:00 to 10:00pm
  • Open Sunday 3:15 to 4:45pm

What are some ways I can spend my time?

Want to stay on campus over Thanksgiving break? Here are some ways that you can spend your time on campus.

  • Catch up on work and make your studying load before finals a little easier
  • Go to the RIT Men’s Basketball Tournament in the Clark Gym on Saturday, November 26 and Sunday, November 26
  • Catch up on sleep
  • Hang out with your friends on campus or make some new friends with other kids staying here over break

Have a relaxing and fun Thanksgiving Break Tigers!

A “Leap Into The Dark”: Vision or Reality?

On First Friday last week, Gallery r opened their new collaborative exhibition. The works of two artists with different expertise in their respective mediums have been joined together to create “Leap Into The Dark”. This fusion of Bradley Butler’s paintings and Mitchell Messina’s sculptures tells an uncommon tale. It is a great opportunity for art lovers in the Rochester area to experience quite a unique exhibition. The show continues to display until March 26.

Bradley Butler is an RIT alumnus who received his MFA in 2010. His art
mainly includes landscape-like paintings that he creates “to disconnect from reality and then to disconnect from the act of painting itself”. As he paints to achieve everything within nothingness, he also hints at the space that exists between reality and imagination. He refers to the series of his paintings showcased at Gallery r as the “Darker/Blacker Phase”. In the beginning of 2016, he started to represent his emotions on canvas with the help of bold dark shades. It is his curiosity to the unknown that inspires these paintings, a poetic depiction of the emotional spaces that a mind dwells in.

Photo by Brandon Vick Photography LLC

Mitchell Messina, on the other hand, uses his sculptures to show how technology has affected human interaction. Primitive technology was an addendum of the human mind and body, however, with time this addendum has turned into an impediment that limits communication between two individuals. Messina’s male figures represent the self-consumed state of humanity. He sends a loud message that many have been denying for a long time.

Photo by Brandon Vick Photography LLC

The beautiful paradox of this exhibition is that the sculptures represent lack of human interaction and expression, a darkness if you will, and the paintings search for an expression through the darkness. As the title suggests, this exhibition is indeed a journey into the dark. The credit for the idea of bringing these distinct art forms together belongs to Gallery r Director John Aäsp.

Gallery r is located at 100 College Avenue in downtown Rochester and is open from Thursday to Sunday between 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Check out the Gallery r site for more info.

What to do around Rochester for spring break

Rochester_picture

So you are staying in Rochester for spring break. Maybe you need to do homework and stay at school. Maybe you blew all your money on Chipotle instead of saving for that trip to Mexico like you wanted. Whatever the reason, staying in Rochester does not have to be dull. There’s tons to do around town all week, it’s just a matter of knowing what’s out there. There’s a whole world of music, food, museums and entertainment for the discerning RIT student to enjoy.

Museums

If you are looking to enrich yourself, Rochester has a number of museums that are always showing something new. For example, the George Eastman Museum will be holding a tintype photography workshop, where participants have their portraits done using an early camera. The Eastman Museum also has several special exhibitions on display right now.

If you’re looking more in the realm of the sciences, Rochester Museum and Science Center always has some interesting exhibits and events. This weekend, March 11, the Cumming Nature Center will be having a demonstration of how to tap a maple tree for sap. For something a little more out of this world, the Strasenburgh Planetarium has various shows going on all week. It’s not all educational material, either. On Saturdays in March, the planetarium runs laser shows based around the music of Radiohead and the Dave Matthews Band.

The Strong Museum of Play is great for those who want to indulge the inner child. Their collections include all sorts of exhibits totally devoted to play, and are entertaining whether you are 2 or 22. Especially interesting for many of us here at RIT is the simply massive collection of video games from every era.

There are plenty of other historical landmarks and museums around Rochester. Some good spots to check out are Mount Hope Cemetery, the Susan B. Anthony house, Memorial Art Gallery, and Gallery R. These are all open throughout break, and often have special exhibits depending on the time of year.

Parks

While it is supposed to be cold this weekend, a thick coat and some hot coffee can get you through a walk in one of the many City and State Parks in the area. There are over 3,500 acres of parks in Rochester. There are also a number of beautiful New York State Parks in the region, such as Watkins Glen, Letchworth, or Stony Brook. These are all open this time of year and offer some great hiking opportunities, no matter what the temperature is.

Events

Even though RIT will be mostly closing down for the week, this is far from the case for the City of Rochester. A number of events will be happening over the course of the week. One major event is the Rochester St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which is happening Saturday, March 11. This will run along East Ave throughout the morning. Other events in the area include Amerks games and concerts, if parades aren’t your thing.

Night Life

Rochester has plenty to offer if you’re looking for entertainment after dark. Areas like East and Alexander and the South Wedge have a number of restaurants, bars and clubs to go to. Popular spots include Murphy’s Law, Butapub, or The Daily Refresher. Even closer to campus in places like Lovin Cup, Shramrocks, Texas BBQ in Park Point offer some fun within walking distance to campus. Many places will be doing St Patrick’s Day specials that Friday as well, offering food and drink specials. Just remember, you should always designate a driver or take a cab if you plan on participating in the festivities. The luck of the Irish will only get you so far, but certainly not out of a DUI charge. 

Music

Rochester has a lively music scene, with a number of concerts happening around town every single night. These range from huge acts at the Blue Cross Arena to small bands playing venues like the Bug Jar. Even Lovin’ Cup in Park Point hosts regular shows, hosting both local and national bands. The hard part is sifting through the dozens of concerts to find the one you want to go to, and trust me you will find one. Great resources for finding concerts are sites like bandsintown.com, which has a pretty exhaustive list of all the bands coming to Rochester and the surrounding areas. As you can see, the period between March 11 and 19 takes up quite a bit of space. On top of sites like this, it’s always a good idea to keep your ears open online as well, regularly checking band social media pages and the events pages of local venues. You never know when your favorite band might be coming to town. On top of popular music acts, you can never go wrong with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, which performs regularly in downtown Rochester.

This makes up only a fraction of what is going on over the break. Make sure to keep an eye out for more events, concerts, museums, and more. Rochester has a lot to offer no matter what you want to do. Whether you want to quietly reflect on a piece of art or dance the night away, the only thing you need to do is get out there and find it.

Your Rochester Spring Break Survival Guide

lovin cup

While many of us are going to leave Rochester for Spring Break to embark on thrill-seeking adventures around the world, there’s the unlucky few who were unable to make plans outside of Rochester, myself included. While you may be wondering how you’ll survive Spring Break emotionally, you can rest assured that RIT has your back.

While some of the dining locations on campus will be closed for Spring Break, most of your favorite eateries will be open in time for you to be covered for breakfast, lunch and dinner! While a list of full Spring Break hours can be found here, I have included hours for the 4 biggest locations that will be open over Spring Break.

Calendar Spring Break

Something that I was worried about for Spring Break was whether or not the bus services were running. Fortunately, through Parking and Transportation’s site, I was able to find out that the buses will be running on a limited basis, from about 7:45AM until after 10:00PM. Since the buses are limited over Spring Break, they’ll only be showing up at each stop about every hour.

As far as actual events go, there are plenty of things to do in Rochester if you’re willing to go into the city. On Friday and Saturday, RIT is playing in the Atlantic Hockey Championship Series and tickets are still on sale. If 2 days of hockey aren’t enough for you, the Rochester Americans will face off against the Utica Comets at the Blue Cross Arena on Sunday. For game start times, visit the Blue Cross Arena Events page.

Geeks Who Drink will also be holding their weekly trivia nights at Lovin’ Cup (as well as at other bars and pubs across the city). For more information, visit their Facebook page.

If hockey or trivia aren’t your style, check out the Democrat & Chronicle’s Events page.

tiger-center-class-search

Using RIT’s Tiger Center

RIT’s Student IT Office has just created Tiger Center, an awesome, brand-new way to search for classes, enroll, drop, and add courses to your shopping cart. This is a site created for students, by students, and is therefore set up with great usability for any RIT student, but is very different than SIS, so may take some getting used to. Here is your guide to using RIT’s Tiger Center.

Get to the home page either by using the link on sis.rit.edu under Student Apps, or you can accessing the page directly from https://tigercenter.rit.edu/.

Continue reading “Using RIT’s Tiger Center”