Development continues in the field of Data Science!
“Now, repeat after me: you can do it, tall, sexy black man!” clamored the booming voice of a man standing in the center of a large circle of people. “If you’re white, it’s OK to say it! If you’re Japanese, get ready to take a picture! No, we are not racist! We think there is only one race: the human race.”
A buzz filled the air. The audience was vibrating with anticipation.
“I’ve seen the show twice. They always use the same people: the tall hot white guy, the cougar, the Asian lady, and I think there’s a boy,” said Madeline Warshaw, a student at Wellesley College. “It’s a good show.”
The show had nurtured a crowd of more than 100 people. It was the “Grand Finale,” and a hat was being passed from hand to hand around the crowd, slowly filling with bright green bills. Two of the performers were pumping up the crowd while another stood apart, stretching his body into the most elastic thing he could get it to be. The sequence of nontraditional, break-dance-like stretches seemed to follow a ritual, each one adding giving him a bit of courage. After all, he was about to perform the final trick: a high velocity jump over the line of chosen participants- the long way.
Music starts as the performer, clad in apparel ridden with bright numerals and words, begins his ascension upon the line…
And in an instant, it’s over. The music is switched off. The crowd disperses.
This seemed typical for life in and around Quincy Market in Boston, Massachusetts. Tides of people would rise and fall, and performers would come and go. Food court vendors would serve packs of people and then they’d serve none. Lobster rolls and bread bowls would fly over the counter and then they’d sit, waiting to be sold. It was busy. It was slow. It was Quincy Market.
Entertainment for this brisk night included, in addition to the break dancers, a unicycle riding yo-yoer and a silent witch whose fortunes hidden in a sack could be read for a single dollar. Each added their own level of integrity to the diversions that night. After all, with crowds his large, realty was limited.
Activity in Quincy Market can only be described as vivacious. Life here tastes, smells, and looks a lot like the East Coast: fresh shrimp, lobster rolls, clam “chowda,” pretzels, pizza bagels, shepherd’s pie, mac ‘n cheese, Panini’s, juices, gelato, assorted chocolates, chocolate cigars, and candy covered apples. It’s a gourmand’s heaven. Heck, it’s the any man’s paradise (with tourist prices). And of course, it even comes with a show, if you get there early enough.
Built in 1826 in honor of Mayor Josiah Quincy, Quincy Market is a place that was born out of the growing demand for more space to sell groceries in Boston’s booming economy and has sustained itself through lasting demand for good food and entertainment by Bostonians and visitors alike. In 2013, Boston.com claimed the “marketplace gets more visitors annually than Disney’ Magic Kingdom,” and noted that “it’s one of the nine local tourist traps [they] think that Bostonians really do enjoy.”
Although it spans 365 feet, with its teeming hallway and stuffed seating space (where you might just end up face-to-face with a total stranger), the market has that know-your-neighbor appeal that is common on the east coast. Friendly faces are often met with smiles, jokes, and spoonfuls of delicious soup.
My choice in food for the night was a heaping bowl of clam “chowda,” served in a bread bowl. Eating it in the two-floor sitting area of the Market, located in the center of the space, was a humbling experience. Although I could sense that much had changed since the days of grocery stalls and big wigs, I still felt connected to a piece of Boston’s expansive history, and with it, deep American culture. Closing my eyes and munching on the soft morsels of clam somehow felt right. The cooing of the eaters next to me told me I wasn’t alone in how I felt. Although I am not a native Bostonian, Quincy Market gave me a sense of belonging in the bustling city of Boston.
As the Longhorn Entrepreneurship Agency celebrated its second year anniversary this past week, the organization made it clear that entrepreneurship at the University of Texas is here to stay.
LEA is the only completely student run organization on campus that promotes entrepreneurship at UT. It hosts events throughout the year including UTEWeek, a week where members of LEA brought in successful former UT entrepreneurs like Michael Dell and Rod Canion.
The organization has also added a revised program for freshman who are interested in startups and possibly starting their own business at UT called Freshman Founders.
“UTEWeek is a big event, and now we have Freshman Founders, which we just revamped this year. It hosts events for students once a month,” said President of the organization Amanda Barrington.
In addition to the events it holds to promote entrepreneurship, LEA hopes to soon gain space for students who want to start their own businesses, said Barrington.
“Since we don’t physically have space on campus- hopefully in the future we’ll be able to change that- we haven’t been able to provide a common space for people to work on their ventures,” said Barrington.
Barrington said she is also excited about the opportunity entrepreneurship gives students to not have to work for a large corporation after graduation.
“UT is very proud of students graduating and getting jobs for corporations,” Amanda said. “You go to school, you get a job, you climb up the corporate ladder. UT is starting to realize how much entrepreneurship is starting to become a part of student culture. People are able to create their own jobs.”
“Students learn a lot more by becoming an entrepreneur than doing the typical routine of entering a corporation,” she added.