Year in Review

As the semester comes to a close, I wanted to reflect on this past year. I have learned

Take a walk through the tunnels and you’ll find some great art!

in so much in what has felt like a short amount of time. Not only did I learn a lot through my classes but I have also learned a lot about Rochester itself. I have made friends, ate great food, and experienced new places and experiences. One of the best parts about being an RIT student is not just the classes that I have taken but the memories that I have created. From my first time trying Turkish food to visiting the beautiful parks in the area to watching my first live hockey game, there has not been a shortage of things to do. I have also learned so much in my classes. Before attending RIT, I had not been in a classroom in two years! There was definitely a bit of learning curve trying to ease myself back into the swing of things. Here is what I felt helped me the most getting through this semester and hopefully it helps you too:

photo credit: https://www.ntid.rit.edu/ambassadors/about-ritntid/

  1. Time-management. I cannot stress this enough, as a student, father, and husband, I have had to balance my time and responsibilities in order to be successful at all three. My tip for time management: make productive use of your free time. Now, that is not to say that you should spending every free second studying, what I mean is that use your study time as an opportunity to be focused solely on studying. You should also make time to do things that you enjoy and socialize but do neither in excess. It is difficult but I have found that by finding balance that I have been able to do well at a variety of things instead of just one. 
  2. Connect with your classmates. This is very important because you want to have a social life and people who are going through the same things that you are that you can vent to. It is also great to have a friend in class who can share notes with you, study with you, and help you through your struggles.
  3. Sleep. I know you may feel like that all-nighter will help you but trust me it won’t. You’ll regret it. My first semester, I sacrificed sleep so that I could get more work done. I pulled all nighters and would sleep from 2:00am to 6:00am basically everyday. I got sick repeatedly because of this. It was also not necessary. By learning to manage my time I have been able to get as much work done, if not more and have been getting a lot more sleep. Again, I cannot stress this enough: all-nighters are not worth it.

This may seem difficult at first and possibly even a little broad but I believe these three things are the most important takeaways I have as first year graduate student. I hope this helps you even little bit as you go through grad school or learn techniques that work best for you. Graduate school is not easy but I can say wholeheartedly that it is worth it.

#myRITstory- Yashowardhan Soni

Yashowardhan Soni is a second-year grad student in Computer Science. He moved to the United States in spring 2017 and just like many other students, he also faced difficulties in terms of adjusting in a totally different country and in academics. His dedication and hard work helped him to perform well and go beyond his own expectations and he ended up with 40% scholarship after the 1st semester at RIT. During his graduate studies, he worked as a grader for prof. Borrelli for foundations of computer science theory. Even after performing so well in grad school he was having trouble in finding a good co-op and internship because of the lack of professional experience which is a common problem with most graduate students. The frustration went even worse for Yashowardhan when he got rejected from one of the big companies in their final round of interviews. This had made him give up for around five to six months until got an internship offer from Matrixcare. Despite the lack of experience, the company was willing to bet on his skills.

Matrixcare was a game changer for him. He developed Alexa skill for healthcare software in a short duration. His work was praised by the entire company when he gave a demo of the software in company meetings. Meanwhile he also cleared an interview for a co-op at Amazon where he worked on languages and technologies that he had never used. He performed exceptionally well in implementing projects before the deadlines with technologies that he never used. This impressed the engineering team at Amazon and the result of his hard work was what a computer science grad student would want. He got hired for a full-time position at Amazon, San Francisco. This journey truly makes us believe that there are no secrets to success, it is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.

Turkish food

This weekend I had the pleasure of eating Turkish food for the first time at one of the best restaurants I’ve been to in Rochester at As Evi Turkish Cuisine. It’s nice to have some options that don’t always get accurate representation in cuisine. When the opportunity to try Turkish food presented itself, I just couldn’t turn it down.

The restaurant is a bit far from RIT and there aren’t any RIT buses that go this far out but if you have car and a willingness to commute then I highly suggest making the trip, especially if this is the first time you’ve had Turkish food.

As soon as you walk into the restaurant you feel as though you’ve crossed over from Rochester to Turkey. The restaurant is decorated with traditional Turkish decor, not the stuff you find from pottery barn that is mass produced, but beautiful pieces of pottery and artwork that are obviously hold a depth of tradition and meaning. The ambiance is great, the owner and employees are kind, and the food tastes like it is from another world.

Juicy, tender meat in bold sauces that can’t be found elsewhere on a bed of perfectly cooked rice pilaf and grilled vegetables. I got the iskender kebab, which is difficult to describe, but consists of thin shaved beef gyro meat covered in a spicy tomato gravy mixed generously with yogurt and grilled peppers. It’s the chef’s specialty and it’s easy to see why. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in visiting the restaurant. My wife got the chicken kebab, which was grilled with a dry rub of spices and served with a side of rice. Also, if you’re a big eater like myself then you’re in for a treat, the portion sizes are very generous. Even if you don’t finish it all in one sitting, the food makes for great leftovers.

Overall, the dinner was amazing. However, what really set them above the rest was

Best Baklava I have ever had!

their baklava. The baklava was warm and coated with chewy nuts. There was even syrup on the bottom with a nice crisp bite of phyllo dough on top. Texturally, it was the best baklava we had ever tasted. The nuts were minced perfectly, and the coating of syrup was not too overpowering, tasting faintly of rose water. It was topped off with crushed pistachios, which complemented the flavors of everything quite well. 

Between the phenomenal service, fair prices, and unique cuisine, it’s difficult to think of reasons why we won’t make As Evi Turkish Cuisine a regular staple in our restaurant rotation.

A Taste of Italy

Growing up in New York City, I didn’t have a Wegmans or a Walmart growing up. Places like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods didn’t explode in popularity until the last ten years or so, and for many, those places were too expensive to shop anyways. I became used to

It was a beautiful day for some cannolis!

relying on corner stores and small markets for staple goods but also for things that are new and exciting. I never thought I would find something like that out of New York City, especially in the Rochester area, but I was wrong. Rubino’s Italian Market is everything and more. They have everything you are looking for, there it be ingredients or meals. They have imported dry goods like pasta and risotto, and my wife was marveling at the olive oil selection like a kid in a candy store. I felt the same way as her once we got to the bakery section. Rainbow cookies, sfingi, and cannoli all under one roof? It’s a no brainer. And I’m still basking in the beauty of their “cannoli cookie sandwich” which is sweet cannoli cream in between two chocolate chip cookies. I’ll take ten, please. If you’re trying to cook an old school Italian meal, this is the place to go. Or, if you don’t feel like cooking, but you want to eat an old school Italian meal, you’ve also come to the right place! They have a full selection of hot foods like pasta, chicken dishes, arancini, and roasted vegetables. Their hot items are available for purchase as a meal, and they also sell cold versions packaged up to be heated at home. Rubino’s is a small space (when you consider everything they have in there!) but they have filled it to the brim with a wide variety of foods. They have specialty sausages which are Rochester-renowned; a rotating selection changes based on seasons and right now they have a lamb sausage available. There’s also a regular meat counter where you can get cuts of beef, chicken, and other proteins. There’s a separate deli meat counter where you can order cold cuts and cold salads, like tortellini salad, a variety of pasta salads, and their selection of imported olives is more impressive than Wegman’s. If you want a deli sandwich, they have those too, they even have their own version of a garbage plate sub. Part of the charm of going to those little corner stores were the personalities working there, and at Rubino’s it’s no different. The family-owned business has many employees in the store that have been working there across generations, and their knowledge and their kindness know no limits. If you’re looking for an Italian product, it would be surprising if Rubino’s didn’t have it. Their selection and service are a rarity nowadays, and I have no doubt that I will continue going with my family for years to come.

Housing Options and Shuttle Services for Graduate Students

One of the most integral parts of the graduate experience is finding the correct housing; from trying to cut on expenses to having more freedom and privacy, there are a lot of on as well as off-campus housing options available to the graduate student at the university that works for almost every student’s needs. I have talked about the various housing options and the shuttle service associated with that community in this blog.

Let’s get right into discovering these options:

 Perkins Green and Riverknoll

Owned by RIT, on the eastern edge of campus, Perkins Green is just a few minutes from the residence halls, academic buildings, Gracies and The Commons.  Apartment residents enjoy other community benefits such as volleyball courts, barbecue, and picnic areas.

Riverknoll is located on the west side of campus just minutes from the academic buildings and academic computer labs.

There’s a shuttle dedicated that runs on a definite route solely for Perkins as well as Riverknoll that houses a majority of the undergraduate as well as graduate students. The best thing about Perkins is that the apartments are being completely furnished for the coming Fall 2019 semester.

Perkins offers one bedroom as well as two-bedroom apartments whereas Riverknoll offers one, two and three bedroom apartments and townhomes(unfurnished). To find out more about the amenities and pricing at Perkins and Riverknoll and to have a look at virtual rooms, visit these links:

https://www.rit.edu/fa/housing/housing-option/perkins-green

https://www.rit.edu/fa/housing/housing-option/riverknoll

 Park Point and The Province

The most famous destinations for graduate students have to be Park Point and The Province. With campus proximity and furnished houses, these communities provide flexible lease options to undergraduate as well as graduate students who prefer commuting to the college on a regular basis. The best part about living in these communities is that both of them have their own shuttles running all day!

Surrounded by restaurants, gym, clubs, bookstore, state-of-the-art recreation centers, swimming pool, hot tubs, volleyball and basketball courts etc., Park Point and The Province have several more facilities like flexible floor and lease plans, roommate matching services, numerous community events, technology facilities, smooth application process and 24-hour service staff.

For more information on Park Point and The Province, visit these links: https://www.americancampus.com/student-apartments/ny/rochester/park-point#faq

https://www.americancampus.com/student-apartments/ny/rochester/the-province

Rustic Village and Brighton Village Apartments

For students who prefer their privacy away from the campus and are looking for cheap housing options, these communities serve their requirements pretty efficiently. These properties are situated within almost 3-4 miles to the RIT campus; this makes walking to campus tedious, however, there is a direct shuttle (MCC Annex) dedicated completely for these communities. Located in Brighton, these communities offer close proximity to various prime locations in Rochester (UofR, RIT, MCC, Strong Memorial Hospital, etc) and have various cheap apartment-style options for students. For more information about them, visit these links: http://rusticvillageapartments.com/RochesterRegion/RusticVillage.aspx

https://www.apartments.com/brighton-village-rochester-ny/jw364k4/

(The Brighton Village apartments were primarily known as the Crittenden Way apartments)

Global Village

The newest residence complexes situated in one of the best parts of the campus is Global Village. Global Village provides upper-class students with a global living experience and community. Global Village prepares students to enter the culturally diverse and changing workforce through unique activities, and a worldly living environment.

In addition to suite and studio style housing with lounges, community kitchens, meeting spaces, and laundry rooms, the complex also features a number of services just a few feet away. These services include the Global Village Post Office, Global Village Cantina and Grille, The Market at Global Village, Shear Global Hair Salon, and Shop One Fine Art & Craft Gallery. Also featured are a beach volleyball court and a mixed-use plaza offering year-round activities with heated outdoor seating, a small stage area for concerts and student programming, fire pit, and water feature.

For more information, visit here: https://www.rit.edu/fa/housing/housing-option/global-village?show_desktop_mode=true

RIT Inn and Conference Center

The RIT Inn & Conference Center offers upper-class students a premium living experience.  The RIT Inn is located off campus proper at 5257 West Henrietta Road. These fully-furnished state of the art center provides premium style apartments and bedrooms that are gender inclusive and equipped with wireless access, standard cable and TigerTV, ethernet jacks, fitness center, indoor pool, whirlpool, sauna, telephone service, business center, dining facility and state of the art lounges. The center has a shuttle dedicated solely for this area called the RIT Inn.

For more information about the Inn, visit this link: https://www.rit.edu/fa/housing/housing-option/rit-inn-conference-center?show_desktop_mode=true

River Meadows

The River Meadow Dr. is situated along the boundaries of Rush-Henrietta Central School District which is approximately a mile away from the Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences. River Meadow is situated right along the lines of the University Commons and provides great options for students who are looking for renting their own partially furnished four-bedroom houses. Although RIT runs no shuttle service for this community, its proximity to campus and cheap housing options makes it a favorite for some students.

To find apartments on the River Meadow Dr. you can visit this link:  https://hotpads.com/79-river-meadow-dr-rochester-ny-14623-smp6qe/pad

University Commons

University Commons is located on the west side of campus the newest complex is just minutes from the heart of campus. Suite-style housing offers students their own private sleep room accompanied by a common living room, kitchen, and two full bathrooms. Situated right alongside the Global Village you can walk to class through the UC without any hassle. There is also a shuttle dedicated to the UC and several other residential complexes on the campus called the B-Lot Campus Shuttle that takes you all around the campus.

For more information, visit here: https://www.rit.edu/fa/housing/housing-option/university-commons?show_desktop_mode=true

 

To find out more information about the bus schedule and the shuttle service, visit this link: https://www.rit.edu/fa/parking/transportation/bus 

 

 

 

 

A New York Slice in Rochester!

After you grow up in New York City, you have different standards for pizza. That’s just a fact. As a result of this, maybe our expectations are a little too high when it comes to getting a decent slice beyond a 646 area code. Let’s be real for a second. Those who grew up in New York City are more pizza crazy than actual Italians…even if you meet someone currently living in Italy, they won’t be as concerned about pizza as New Yorkers. And with so many pizza places in Rochester, how can you be sure that you’re making the right choice? Lucky for you, I found a really consistent pizza chain and it doesn’t require driving on the Long Island Expressway to get it.

Joe’s Brooklyn Pizza has not one but three locations in Henrietta, Perinton, and Brighton. And they deliver. But that’s not all. They have an online ordering system set

A pie from Joe’s Brooklyn Pizza!

up where you can do everything electronically without even having to pick up the phone. I love how convenient they are- many small pizza places are phone order only, and it’s not always easy to pick up the phone.

Let’s talk taste. You know it’s got that thin crust. Thin but not too chewy, there’s still a nice crunch when you bite into it and even browning with the bottom crust. The cheese is layered on the dough perfectly and is not overly cheesy at all. I would say that Joe’s Brooklyn Pizza is the closest to New York City style pizza that I’ve had so far in Rochester.

However, another pizza place that’s worth checking out is Salvatore’s. The pizza is very good and they make pizza pies as well as sheet pan pizza (which you’ll probably encounter at some during your time at RIT.) There is also a great selection of desserts and if you are fan of donuts like I am then you will LOVE Salvatore’s. They have excellent donuts with all sorts of exciting flavors. And if you’ve never had beef pepperoni before then you have to try it at Salvatore’s. It’s delicious. They also have great wings if you are into that sort of thing.

There are many other pizza places in Rochester but if I had to pick the two that come close a New York City slice of pizza I would recommend these two pizzerias. I know it’s going to be hard going somewhere other than your neighborhood pizza place for some pizza but trust me when I say you’ll feel like you’re back at home after eating pizza from either Joe’s or Salvatore’s.

 

Niagara Falls – The perfect getaway for weekend!

I still remember the first time that I visited Niagara falls back in 2011. I was mesmerized by the size of the falls and its beauty. Those memories of falls made me want to visit falls again when I moved to Rochester for my graduate studies. Niagara falls is approximately an hour and a half drive from Rochester and with it being the largest waterfall in the world, we are fortunate to live this close to it. I have visited the Niagara Falls around four to five times in a semester and I can still go there for many more times. The beauty that the falls holds is beyond anyone’s imagination and being a student we all need a place where we can go and forget about all stress and heavy workload.

Recently, I visited Niagara Falls in mid-March. Although, the best time to visit Niagara falls would be during the summer and fall, this place its own beauty during the winter as well. I had always wanted to see how it is to see such gigantic fall frozen. Fortunately, this time I had an opportunity to visit Niagara in winters and as I expected, the visual that I could see in front of me was unbelievable. It was difficult to stand there in cold breeze but the view was so appealing that even in freezing cold temperature, a large number of tourists were at the Niagara falls.

Niagara Falls is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the summer. The falls is in the middle of Canada and the United States. So, on both sides of the falls, we can see the beautiful view of the other side of the falls. In the American side, there is a pretty park when we enter the Niagara Falls. There are flowers and bright green grass which makes the place even more beautiful. Along with the attractions, these are huge souvenir stores where you can find pretty much everything and they all are worth visiting. There are also many places to eat around there. Along with the falls, the Seneca resort and Casino is also one of the main attraction of this place.

Following are the best things to do at the Niagara Falls from the american side,

  • Maid of the Mist boat tour: This is the only boat ride from american falls and the passengers can get a closer look of the falls.

 

 

 

 

  • Cave of the Winds: This allows you to view the falls from the observation platforms and keeps you a little drier. This is the best experience of the American falls. 

 

 

 

  • Niagara Falls state park: This is one of the oldest state park and it gives a beautiful view of the falls and the lush green gardens.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Observation Tower: This extends out from the American side and it is the only place from where both the American and the Canadian Falls can be viewed.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Along with these attractions, there is Niagara fashion outlet very close by. This is the center of attraction for all college students because you can find all brand stores and the prices are very reasonable there.

 

 

 

 

 

All these attractions and beautiful falls makes Niagara Falls the perfect getaway for anyone.

Korean BBQ in Rochester!

Ever since I moved to Rochester I have been overwhelmed with the sheer number of restaurants that I feel obligated to try. There is so much variety, whether you’re looking for African food, Asian food, Spanish food, there are so many unique and locally owned restaurants to get your fix of diverse offerings. A cuisine that I had been wanting to dive into for a while but wasn’t sure where to start: Korean food. Fortunately for me, there are several places in the Rochester area alone that could fulfill my cravings. I decided to check out Seoul House on West Henrietta road, and I wasn’t disappointed. When we went, it was actually late at night just an hour before they were set to close. But the staff was as kind and accommodating as ever. The decor is beautiful; the inside has a lot of wood accents and beautiful plants placed throughout the waiting and dining area. We were greeted warmly as soon as we arrived, and I noticed throughout the meal, several different staff members came to check on us, look at the baby, and engage with us in a way that you don’t experience in most restaurants. The waitstaff was attentive, very detailed in explaining every dish, and helped us navigate what felt like an endless stream of options at our disposal. In the end, we decided on the Korean

Grilling beef and onions!

barbecue option for two, where they provide you with a whole spread of condiments, pickled vegetables, onions to grill, and of course, beef, chicken, and shrimp to grill on the table. Generally when you go out to eat, you don’t want to cook. But my wife and I had a lot of fun grilling everything. We went a little crazy and started grilling the vegetables too. Pro tip: grill the beef short rib inside of the onion, it will give it a very complex flavor as everything caramelizes. They made it easy for us in terms of preparation, everything was pre-cut and seasoned, we just had to place it on the grill and char it to our desired level of doneness. Several varieties of kimchi were waiting for us and we combined the condiments with everything we had grilled for a truly unique flavor. I can’t speak for the other Korean restaurants in the area, but if you’re looking for a place to try out the cuisine for the first time, Seoul House would be the place to go. They have the friendliest staff, a ton of options, and their food is seasoned so well. We had a wonderful experience there and can’t wait to go back again.

 

myRITStory – DRISHTI BHANDARI

Program: Metals and Jewelry Design, MFA

The journey from NIFT, India to RIT was endearing as Drishti recalls it. Coming from a jewelry-design background wanting to acquire more expertise in her field, Drishti made a conscious decision to join RIT’s Master of Fine Arts program in Metals and Jewelry Design, one of the most reputed metal design programs in the entire country.

“I always have people curiously coming up to me asking questions about my program as a majority of them come mostly from engineering and computing backgrounds”, says Drishti. “They find it brave and challenging to pursue a field so unique and unheard of”.

Having her jewelry pieces represented at India’s reputed fashion shows, it was time for Drishti to explore further into the field and acquire higher professional standing in her field. After extensive research, she chose RIT because of the impressively designed curriculum and the exposure provided by the department. She was taken aback by the composition of the curriculum that provides broad exposure to metalworking techniques, promises expanded knowledge of applied design, strong perceptual and philosophical concepts and helps develop an individual mode of expression, facilitating her to practically implement her theoretical knowledge from her under graduation into the creation of intricate models. With an existing impressive portfolio, she believed that an advanced degree from RIT and assistance from industry-renowned professors were sure to guarantee her immense success in the design field.

Drishti plans on making the most of her experience at RIT. Along with the comprehensive coursework that requires long and arduous hours in the ceramics and metals lab, she juggles between schoolwork and a fun job at the Brick City Café and believes it is a great way to meet new people and make ends meet as well. From late hours in the lab crafting beautiful designs with her own hands, she believes that the hands-on experience is providing her with a more detailed outlook in the metal design field.

“People back home are scared to pursue their interests in fields that are unheard of because of the stringent rules back here in the US. However, if an individual is determined enough to work for something that they truly love, success comes easy. I would not have found a better place to learn and hone my skills than at RIT amongst the best peers and faculty.”

Lastly, Drishti considers that choosing Rochester Institute of Technology turned out to be a much better decision than she expected. She believes that although it has been one of the toughest things she has had to do, at the end of the day she loves every second of it!

 

 

Parking at RIT

by Yingshan Wu, Visual Communication Design MFA 

Credit: Tianna Mañón

RIT is immense, How can I choose the parking place?

RIT have 10 main parking places around the academic buildings and 3 parking areas nearby dormitory area. All parking lots have convenient, reserved, general zones for you.

They are:

D Lot and N Lot nearby gym and playground

E Lot, F Lot, G Lot and H Lot are popular and huge areas that work for the main academic area in RIT. They close to the MAGIC Spell Studios, library, facility, campus employees offices and SAU (the campus center). In addition, if you are student of

1.The E. Philip Saunders College of Business (Max Lowenthal Hall)

2.The College of Art and Design (James E. Booth Hall)

3.The College of Science (Thomas Gosnell Hall)

4.The Kate Gleason College of Engineering (James E. Gleason Hall)

This 4 parking lot also can be the nice place to park your car.

J Lot and T Lot are shared work of main academic area, the STEM student also can parking in those lots as well.

S Lot is another giant parking place for people to go to Global Village, Munsell Color Science Laboratory, University Services Center and The E. Philip Saunders College of Business (Max Lowenthal Hall)

R Lot and U Lot are small size parking lots,  If you are lucky, in ice hockey game day please go to the U Lot early, it super close to hockey field, The Gene Polisseni Center.

Although Riverknoll Apartments, University Commons Apartments, and Perkins Green Apartment have their own parking lots, the L Lot, K Lot and C Lot are parking places for the students who live in the Residence Hall buildings (A, B, C, D) and who are working in Student Development Center.

RIT provides those main parking places, which is super helpful to students’s campus life.