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February 9, 2012

It’s been almost two years since I’ve graduated, but the tradition of keeping a Marist bucket list lives on. 2012 seniors, I hope you get everything done! I’ve got a book and a blog if you need any tips.

Become the Paparazzi.

August 24, 2010

Hey Marist students, were you watching the news this summer? Or, at the very least, scanning the gossip blogs?

If so, you’ll know that the nearby village of Rhinebeck was the venue of former first daughter Chelsea Clinton’s wedding on July 31st. The streets were filled with tabloid paparazzi, and locals lined the village with well wishes for the bride as their small town was suddenly thrust into the spotlight.

Aside from former President Clinton and his Secretary of State wife Hilary, celebrity spottings included Vera Wang and Ted Danson. (If you’re unlike me, and hate Nick at Nite reruns, Ted Danson was on the TV show “Cheers” in the 90s).

So here is the first challenge — where in Rhinebeck would a Marist student want to visit? Guests are said to have stayed in the Beekman Arms in, situated right on Route 9. My graduation dinner was at the Foster’s Coach House Tavern and is definitely a great place to grab a bite to eat. I’m also certain that there is tons of browsing and window shopping to be done as the village is filled with small, unique and privately owned shops.

But what else? Where have you been, where do you want to go? Let me know.

Until next time!

Get a Mulligan.

February 28, 2010

I’d like to issue a disclaimer prior to describing this adventure: There is nothing wrong with sharing a beer or two with friends on a Sunday. Especially in a nearly empty bar. And especially after falling on your face in front of strangers a few hours before hand.

And especially when it’s Spanish Night!

A friend of mine bartends at this quaint little place called Mulligan’s Irish House. I’d been there once before on graduation weekend of 2009 and had a great time, so when I got the call to attend the Sunday night ritual of “Spanish Night,” I knew the bucket list would benefit from the experience.

A view behind the bar at Mulligan's.

A perk of Mulligan's? They have Guiness on tap, enough of a draw for any authentic Irish patrons like Riley.

Though it wasn’t very crowded, the night was definitely filled with Spanish flavor – mainly because of the karaoke. I’d never experienced anything quite like it before; the song selections were entirely in Spanish! Although I am a karaoke superstar, I didn’t dare butcher the language anymore than I normally do when I attempt to say words like “bano” in everyday life. But those who did sing knew the language well, and watching them perform was nice background to the conversation between me and my friends.

On any night, Mulligan’s has a pool table, board games and a dart board for entertainment. And right next to the dartboard is perhaps my favorite part of the small, cozy pub – a fireplace. And it’s not just for decoration; the staff keeps the fire burning all night.

We spent a fair amount of time playing darts as Spanish karaoke was sung in the background.

Speaking of the staff, they are some of the friendliest bartenders I have ever met in my life. Granted, I know one of them (if you go, tip Sarah well!) but even so, it was easy to strike up a conversation with those we had just met.

And though the bar wasn’t crowded, it seemed like the perfect atmosphere to bring a group of your friends – whether large or small – and share in some brews and good conversation without having to shout over obnoxious music or rubbing against random townies.

Mulligan’s Irish House
2146 Hackensack Rd

Plenty of parking, but be sure to designate a driver, as it’s not close to campus and not a popular cab destination. You must be 21+ to drink!

Slip and Fall.

February 28, 2010

Here I am at the start of my ice skating experience. See how happy I look? I’ve got a nice smile, sunglasses perched a top my head as I lace up my newly rented skates.

Photo by Alyssa Bradt

But readers, heed my warning: this bucket list activity is not advised for the clumsy, uncoordinated and/or those with lack of balance.

If you want proof, just check the massive bruise on my wrist.

Not the best quality, but I'm bruised just below the thumb all the way down my wrist.

However, even if you’re like me and lack any form of grace, you can still have a good time ice skating. Just to get the shame out of the way, I’ll let you know that I fell. Well, actually I slipped. And I went down, face first. After that, I’m trading in my skates for those nifty shoes they wear on the Olympic curling team. But anyway…

Ice skating is a nice nostalgia experience. We’ve all been when we were younger, when slipping and falling was cute rather than pride-damaging. And for a mere $10 (only $7 if you’ve got your own skates), Marist students can take a five minute drive to the McCann Ice Arena at the Mid Hudson Civic Center and glide along the ice (of, if you’re me, it’s more like a glide-and-stop, glide-and-stop).

Photo by Alyssa Bradt

Photo by Alyssa Bradt

Hours for open skate at the arena vary, but on Saturdays and Sundays it runs from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. That’s just enough time to get all of your post-Olympic ambition out before getting completely tired and bored with the activity.

I’m being a bit harsh, and that’s mainly because I fell. Once I fell, I didn’t enjoy myself that much. My only salvation was my fellow bucket lister Alyssa, who is a former Empire State Game Champion in Ice Skating. As I sat and allowed my hand – and pride – to recover, she did some spins in the middle of the rink and kept me entertained.

I’m not sure that this is an activity that requires repeat visits. Once was enough for me. However, I did see some fellow skaters on dates (including, unfortunately, some middle school PDA. Gross). I’m not sure that I’d want a date to see me fall in the manner I did, but if you’re into holding hands and traveling in circles for extended periods of time, definitely visit the ice rink.

And, if all else fails, some men’s hockey teams practice/play games at the conclusion of open skate, and there are plenty of spaces to sit and watch the action unfold.

McCann Ice Arena
The Mid Hudson Civic Center
14 Civic Center Plaza

The arena is right off of Market St. in Poughkeepsie. There is municipal parking right across the street, which is usually free on the weekends!

Fail Miserably in Public.

January 22, 2010

What do you get when you throw a sheet of fabric, a DJ and a projector screen on the stage in the Cabaret?

Photo Courtesy of Riley Eckert

Well, you get a game show, obviously.

After spending a few hours at Noah’s for happy hour, my friends and I ventured to the Cabaret to take part in SPC’s “Finish the Lyric” game show. Though it wasn’t televised, the event mimicked the FOX game show  “Don’t Forget the Lyric,” hosted by Wayne Brady and canceled last year.

The format was simple. The DJ/host called up willing contestants and gave them a screen with musical categories. After choosing your category, two options appeared. Contestants could choose one of the options and would have to finish the randomized blank lyrics of their chosen song. If contestants sang the correct lyrics, they moved on. The top prize was $50 to Best Buy.

You’d think that a karaoke wonder such as myself would be a shoe in for victory at a game like “Finish the Lyric,” but if you think that you’re wrong. Here’s why:

  1. I didn’t get to choose the song/genre/artist or anything like that. The format of the game went as follows: we were given categories, and once we selected categories we were given song choices. The category “Duets” was our ultimate downfall.
  2. When singing karaoke, the words are always in front of you. Such a concept defeats the purpose of a game called “Finish the Lyric”
  3. “Endless Love” is a crappy love song anyway. Who would even want to know the words to it.

All right, all right, I’m a little bitter. But when every other contestant was getting categories such as “Boybands” or “Britney,” it’s hard to not be a little peeved when our options were “Duets,” “Disco” and “Motown.” But, to prove I learned something from this experience, here are the lyrics we messed up, from the second verse of “Endless Love”:

“Two hearts / Two hearts that beat as one / OUR lives have just begun”

And not

“Two hearts / Two hearts that beat as one / TWO lives have just begun”

Personally, I think the second makes more sense, but either way my partner and I each received 5 dollar gift cards to Best Buy – a small consolation for making fools of ourselves in front of a small crowd in the Cabaret.

I hope that SPC does more fun game show events in the future. I missed their Pop Culture Trivia Challenge last semester, so I’m crossing my fingers for some form of game show so that I may redeem myself in the eyes of the Marist student body.

But if all else fails, I still have karaoke.

The Results Are In!

December 29, 2009

I finished the book and presented it to the class on December 18. Despite being incredibly frantic and fully-reliant on Red Bull to stay awake and alert, it went exceptionally well. The book looked amazing, and received great reviews from my fellow capping classmates. Now, my teacher’s results have been posted…

And I got an A.

Despite a lack of pictures on some pages, despite not including all of the content I wanted to, and despite the two errors on page 21 (as well as some other slight typos) I got an A on the biggest project I have ever taken on during my college career. I couldn’t be more proud of myself.

The future of the bucket is pretty clear: I’ll continue to blog and write my newspaper column (check the “Bar Hopping” addition to the Expanding the Bucket section). Hopefully I’ll find time to continue to work on the book and attempt to generate some publishing interest within Dutchess County.

As for winter break, I’ll be at Marist for a short period of time working off campus. Hopefully I can sneak in an adventure or two, but in case it isn’t in the cards, I have plenty to catch up on that I missed at the end of last semester. For now, here are a few PDFs of pages for those of you who weren’t able to sneak a peak during production/after presentation. Enjoy!

The cover of the book, featuring an epic snapshot of the first adventure of the semester -- leaping into the Hudson.

A brief look at the beauty of the Walkway Over the Hudson, from the "Attractions" section.

Mug Night at Rennie's was a must in the "Bars" section. Thanks to Karen Wolff for donating the photograph!

Back cover of the "Theme Parties" section. Each back cover included a Golden Rule to abide by during all of that section's adventures.

Of course, all of the above material as well as the material included in this blog is property of me, Kait Smith. Thanks!

Help Me Kick the Bucket.

December 1, 2009

It’s no secret that I haven’t been blogging. You may [or may not] be wondering why; for those of you who don’t know, I’ve been actually putting everything from this blog into a bucket list book. When I’m done with the book, I’ll be back to the stress free days of blogging that I’m sure you all miss.

That being said, I am currently working on the “Bars” section of the book and need some quotes from students and alumni alike. If you like/have ever been to/have heard of any of the following, tell me why you like it. Whats so great about it? Sure, I have my opinion, but I want to know yours.

Happy Hour at Noahs
Trivia at the Hyde Park Brewery
Saki Bombing at Osho/Neko
Monday Karaoke at Darby’s
Mug Night at Rennie’s
Cocktails at Shadows on the Hudson
Mahoney’s on a weekend
New Paltz Nightlife

Either leave it in a comment, send me a facebook message/tweet, or email me at Sooner is better. Thanks!