Category Archives: Photos

Freshman Dorms in 1989 (77 Weeks To Go)

By Kiera Reilly, C’93

A recent post in our #93tothe25th countdown to our 25th reunion looked back at our Freshman Move-In in September, 1989. This week, we went back into our pre-digital camera archives to unearth photos of where and how we lived that first year at Penn. It is interesting to see that while everyone has their own personal style, there is a definite similarity to the rooms and the things that were in vogue in the Fall of 1989. Be sure to look closely at the photos to notice small things like original Macintosh computers, phones with cords, and the all important music posters.

Thank you to classmates Danny Bockvar, Marianne Alves Brogdale, Amy Korn Duque, Christine Lutton Foster, Brooke Hayes, Meredith Prevor-Weiss, Allison Laney Richards, and Jessica Zirkel-Rubin for sharing your photos with us!

Upper Quad

I lived on the 2nd floor of Franklin in the Upper Quad. I shared a triple with Lisa Bardfeld Shapiro and Randi Mosler, and while we were technically assigned to Franklin Hall, our triple and the one across the hall from us were separated from the rest of the Franklin rooms by fire doors. So the Brooks-Leidy Hall adopted us.

Penn roommates in September 1989 in the Upper Quad at Penn

We scored a triple in the Upper Quad – room 222 Franklin! Randi, Lisa and Kiera on move-in day, 1989.

Since we had a triple room, there were two tiny single rooms and one large central room. We swapped rooms throughout the year, but for the first part of the year, I had one of the single rooms.

Kiera Reilly freshman dorm room at University of Pennsylvania in the Upper Quad

My bed in one of the side rooms of our triple in the Upper Quad.

Kiera Reilly's freshman dorm room in the Upper Quadrangle at the University of Pennsylvania

The view from my bed out the window. For some reason I thought buying an ironing board was a good idea.

This photo is dark, but you can partially see the view of the Quad through the window.

Kiera Reilly's view from her dorm room in the Upper Quad at the University of Pennsylvania

Looking out into the Upper Quad.

The RA for the 2nd floor of Brooks-Leidy, Mark. Remember milk crates?

RA for the 2nd floor of Brooks-Leidy in the Upper Quadrangle at the University of Pennsylvania

I think RA’s had a double-sized room all to themselves.

High Rises

Amy Korn Duque shares, “My freshman move-in day at Penn, I was assigned to a high rise on the 14th floor, sharing an apartment-style dorm with 2 girls from Colombia and one from Staten Island. (I am still in touch with 2 out of 3.) One of my roommates had gone to high school with a Wharton sophomore, who came over to help us move in and get settled. They were not particularly good friends, but we hit it off right away.  He and I have now been married for 21 years, and this year we saw our son off to Penn for his own freshman move-in day.”

Amy Korn Duque and Alejandra Torres in High Rise South Room 1413 at University of Pennsylvania

Amy Korn Duque and Alejandra Torres in High Rise South Room 1413.

Room 1413 High Rise South at the University of Pennsylvania

Room 1413, High Rise South

Marianne Alves Brogdale also sent in a photo of her room in the High Rises, and coincidentally, she was a floor above Amy in Room 1513!

Marianne Alves Brogdale in her room, 1513 High Rise South

Marianne Alves Brogdale in her room, 1513 High Rise South

Dorm room at 1513 High Rise South the University of Pennsylvania in Fall 1989

Bulletin board in Marianne’s room

Room 1513 in High Rise South at the University of Pennsylvania in Fall, 1989

Marianne’s desk

Lower Quad – Community House

Jessica Zirkel-Rubin sent a photo of her room, number 258 in Warwick.

Room 258 Warwick in the Lower Quad, shared by Jessica Zirkel-Rubin, Fall 1989 at Penn

Room 258 Warwick in the Lower Quad, shared by Jessica Zirkel-Rubin

Allison Laney Richards also sent photos from the 2nd floor of Warwick. Allison writes that there was a cheer for the floor, “Warwick 2nd Floor, Who could ask for more. In Volleyball we conquer all.  We’ll Nail you to the floor.”  

Roommates in Warwick, Lower Quad, at University of Pennsylvania in the Fall 1989

Allison and her roommate Jennifer Bloom

dorm room in Warwick in the Quadrangle at the University of Pennsylvania, Fall 1989

Allison and Jennifer’s room, 2nd floor of Warwick

Warwick 2nd floor dorm room in the Quadrangle at the University of Pennsylvania, Fall 1989

Allison and Jennifer’s room, 2nd floor of Warwick

dorm room in the 2nd floor of Warwick, the Quadrangle, at the University of Pennsylvania, Fall 1989

Allison and Jennifer’s room

Dorm room door, 2nd floor of Warwick in the Quadrangle at the University of Pennsylvania Fall 1989

The door to Allison and Jennifer’s room

Another photo of Allison and Jennifer. I guess plaid shirts were “in”?

roommates in the lower quad at the University of Pennsylvania Fall 1989

Jennifer and Allison wearing what was “in” back then – plaid shirts.

Some of Allison’s 2nd floor Warwick hallmates: Neil Sheth, Mark Stern, Ed Miller , and Nick ? feast on pizza, something we all ate at least once a week!

lower Quad dorm room at the University of Pennsylvania in the Fall 1989

Eating the college food staple – pizza – in the Lower Quad

Jim Fleischer and Allison in his room. Allison writes, “Jim lived across the hall from me Freshman year; Regan (Allan) was in my sorority; I introduced them and now they are married.”

Allison Laney Richards and Jim Fleischer were hallmates on the the 2nd floor of Warwick at Penn

Allison Laney Richards and Jim Fleischer were hallmates on the the 2nd floor of Warwick

Jim Fleischer in his room, 2nd floor Warwick, lower Quadrangle, University of Pennsylvania, Fall 1989

Jim Fleischer in his room, 2nd floor Warwick.

Greg Fatzinger in his room, 2nd floor Warwick, lower Quadrangle, University of Pennsylvania Fall 1989

Greg Fatzinger in his room, 2nd floor Warwick.

A photo from an “all night drink fest” (party after finals done and before flying home) in a Butcher 2nd floor dorm room. Pictured: Jeff McKibben, Samantha Leventhal, Allison Laney Richards, and Rob Hathaway.

Party in Butcher 2nd floor dorm room, lower Quad, University of Pennsylvania, Fall 1989

Pictured: Jeff McKibben, Samantha Leventhal, Allison Laney Richards, and Rob Hathaway.

Kings Court – English House

Christine Lutton Foster had this photo of a sign from her dorm door.

Door sign from Kings Court - English House, University of Pennsylvania, Fall 1989

Door sign from Kings Court – English House

Near the Mail Room in the Quad

Meredith Prevor-Weiss sent photos from EF Smith in the Quad.

roommates from the Quadrangle, University of Pennsylvania, Fall 1989

Meredith Prevor-Weiss and her roommate Heather Caslow

Chris Van Reid and Paul Arrouet outside on the Junior Balcony, Quadrangle at Penn 1989

Chris Van Reid and Paul Arrouet outside on the Junior Balcony

roommates in the Quad, University of Pennsylvania, Fall 1989

Bryon ? and Adam Bernstein

roommates in the Quadrangle at Penn, Fall 1989

Kathyanne Cohen and Jennifer Friedman

Freshman in the Quadrangle at Penn, 1989, Heather Caslow and Paul Arrouet

Heather Caslow and Paul Arrouet

Roommates Then, Friends Now

Brooke Hayes sent a photo of him and his roommate Jason McLane sitting by Ben on the Bench freshman year. Brooke and Jason lived in Foerderer in Upper Quad. And then Brooke sent a photo with his daughter Cameron (and wife Hilary Marion Hayes, also a classmate) and Jason’s daughter Hannah in the same pose with Ben on the Bench. Cameron and Hannah entered Penn this year as Freshman and are roommates living in Speakman!

Dads at Penn were roommates and now their daughters are freshman roommates

Brooke Hayes and Jason McLane as roommates in 1989 and their daughters as roommates at Penn now!

Danny Bockvar sent a photo of himself, his twin brother Johnny and his roommate Paul Altman (they lived in the Class of ’28) from Freshman year, and then a photo of the three of them today.

Danny and Johnny Bockvar with Paul Altman in Class of '28, Quadrangle, Penn 1989

Danny and Johnny Bockvar with Paul Altman in Class of ’28

Danny and Johnny Bockvar with Paul Altman today.

Danny and Johnny Bockvar with Paul Altman today

Coincidentally, while looking through the scrapbook I made from Freshman year, I found this article from the Philadelphia Inquirer about our class moving in and starting life at Penn. The best part? Paul and Johnny are quoted in the article! I wonder if Paul can tell the difference between the Bockvars now? (If you can’t read the image below, the article is online here).

Article from the Philadelphia Inquirer about the Penn Class of 1993 moving in to start their Freshman year at Penn

Article from the Philadelphia Inquirer about the Penn Class of 1993 moving in to start their Freshman year at Penn

We received photos from rooms in the Quad and the High Rises, but we are still seeking photos from Hill House, Kings Court/English House, DuBois or other freshman dorms. And we would love to see more photos of other rooms in the Quad and High Rises. We hope to do another post on freshman dorm rooms so if you have any photos, please send them to us!

Penn Class of 1993 Reunion Countdown

The weekend of November 18-19 marked 77 weeks until the 25th Reunion of the Penn Class of 1993 (May 11 – 13, 2018)! Join us we countdown the weeks to our reunion #93tothe25th:

  • Do you have old photos or mementos from our time at Penn? Photos of Spring Fling? Football at Franklin Field? Classes at DRL? We are taking a trip down memory lane and would love for you to share your memories with our class in a future post. Please email us upenn1993@gmail.com!
  • Follow us on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram.
  • Classmates are invited to join our Facebook and LinkedIn groups.

 

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Filed under 25th Reunion, Campus Life, Class of 1993, Kiera R., Memories of Penn, Photos

Penn and Wharton Alumni Schmooze at the Sundance Film Festival

By Kiera Reilly, C’93
This Saturday, Penntertainment, Wharton Club of Southern California, Penn Club LA and Penn Wharton Club of Utah (with Ivy Entertainment) host the 4th Annual Penn/Wharton Sundance Schmooze in Park City during the Sundance Film Festival.
If you are in town for the film festival or for skiing and snowboarding, or if you live in the area, please join us. Advance registration is required.
image001The 4th Annual Penn/Wharton Sundance Schmooze (with IVY Entertainment)

Meet up with fellow alums in Media, Entertainment, Arts & Technology! Network with old and new friends who are working or playing in Park City. This year we have also opened it up to the IVY Entertainment group!

Organizers: Barbara McCullough, Matt Rosler, Evan Eneman, Art Warsoff

When and Where:
Saturday, January 23, 2016 • 11:00 am – 1:00 PM (MST)

The Spur Bar & Grill
352 Main Street
Park City, UT 84060

Cost: $20 Includes Admission, 1 drink + light appetizers

Spread the word and invite your Penn and Wharton friends!

Re-Cap of the 3rd Annual Penn/Wharton Sundance Mixer (2015)

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Penn and Wharton Alumni at the 3rd Annual Sundance Schmooze

Thank you to Matt Rosler, Barbara McCullough, and Caroline Waxler for this review. To see all the pictures from last year’s event, visit this Facebook page.
 

Alumni made a strong showing at the Sundance Film Festival this year, taking a break from deal-making, movie-going, promoting—and skiing!— to attend the 3rd Annual Penn/Wharton Sundance Mix & Mingle. Over 200 people showed up on Saturday, January 24th, at the fabulous Spur Bar and Grill on Main Street in Park City, Utah, for an afternoon of schmoozing with their fellow Quakers at the event sponsored by Penn Club Utah, Penntertainment, Penn Club LA, PennNYC, and Wharton SoCal.

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Since the festival attracts creatives and business types from the worlds of media, entertainment, the arts and technology, the Penn gathering was filled with amazing conversations. From what we hear, there were more than a few connections—and potential deals—that resulted from the event.

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Among the alums in attendance were: Allen Fischer, partner at Principato-Young Entertainment; Marc Simon filmmaker and attorney at Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard; Adam Tsekhman, actor (Tsili); Claude Ellis, CEO of vegan meal replacements company Naturade; Sara Braca, senior brand manager of Sabra; Frances Reagan Copinga, managing director of Reagan Outdoor; Steve Corbato, Ph.D., interim Chief Information Office of the University of Utah and the former co-president of the Penn Club Utah; Paul Zane Pilzner, international economist and bestselling author; and Scott Kaplan, head of distribution at Filmbuff.

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Slava Rubin,Wharton ‘00, CEO of the film funding site Indiegogo, stopped by after a press conference announcing his company’s groundbreaking partnership with the video-sharing site, Vimeo. Rubin was being trailed by a PBS film crew doing a special on the highlights of Sundance 2015. We couldn’t agree more than the 3rd Annual Penn/Wharton Sundance Mix & Mingle was one of the highlights.

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Many of the attendees expressed interest in the joining the ranks of the planning committee —Barbara McCullough, Evan Eneman, Caroline Waxler, Matt Rosler—for next year’s event. If that’s you, to, please contact us at penntertainment@gmail.com. We have big ideas for next year including panels and a larger program. W are looking forward to seeing even more alumni in Park City for the festival next year!

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As we will be planning future LA Penntertainment events, please be sure to join our community by registering on our site & social media channels to keep up with the latest news, jobs, alumni advice and contests:

Penntertainment membership | Follow Penntertainment on:
Facebook | Twitter| Linkedin | Instagram | Vine

Penn Club of LA | Wharton Club of Southern California | Ivy Entertainment

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For the complete photo gallery of last year’s event, please visit here.

RSVP for the 4th Annul Penn/Wharton Sundance Schmooze here! We hope to see you on Saturday!

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Penn Alumni Travel, Iberian Trade Routes, 2014

Author: Penn Professor Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw, History of Art Department

When our plane touched down at 8am in Barcelona the first thing that I wanted to do was make a beeline to La Boqueria, the recently restored and restocked public market in the heart of the city. Filled with vendors selling raw and prepared foods, glistening fish, octopus, and barnacles fresh from the Mediterranean, and ridiculously indulgent Spanish jamón, La Boqueria is a perfect place to have a quick and hearty gourmet meal, counter-style, so that you can keep on moving and see as much as possible of this amazing Catalan city. We had a lovely plate of foraged wild mushrooms, sautéed in olive oil and topped by a fried egg, a small caña of beer, and some bread before taking in the beauty of the Antoni Gaudí designed Casa Battló.

A cured meat and cheese stand in La Boqueria, the premiere public market in Barcelona.

A cured meat and cheese stand in La Boqueria, the premiere public market in Barcelona.

We had such a fun-filled day in Barcelona that we barely made it to the magnificent MV Tere Moana for our sail away at 6pm that first night. I was very glad that we did arrive in time because the itinerary, which included Mallorca, Ibiza, Granada, Sevilla, Gibralter, the Algarve, and Lisbon, was fantastic.

Of the five different cruise ships that I have enjoyed sailing on as a faculty host with Penn Alumni Travel, the MV Tere Moana was definitely the most elegant and intimate. With staterooms for less than 100 guests, it was very much like traveling on a private yacht. The ship’s charming and well-trained staff attended to the needs of each traveler individually. By the second night Jonny, the bartender knew my preference for a little Tio Pepe sherry before dinner and Macallan for afters, and by the third he was beginning to make suggestions of custom cocktails that I might like to try. And with drinks being all-inclusive, why not?

Our home for the week, the MV Tere Moana, was patiently waiting for us in its berth in Barcelona.

Our home for the week, the MV Tere Moana, was patiently waiting for us in its berth in Barcelona.

Well, the very busy itinerary on this trip was a good reason not to indulge too much. Each day was filled with a morning excursion, lunch back on the ship, and then another afternoon excursion followed by just an hour or two of downtime before a lovely dinner. The tour directors from Gohagen kept everything running smoothly and the local guides at each destination made sure that all our questions were answered, from which medieval people had occupied that fortification overlooking the Atlantic in the Algarve region of Portugal, to where to buy the best souvenirs in lovely Mallorca.

The Portuguese Algarve region is home to lovely old villages and fortifications.

The Portuguese Algarve region is home to lovely old villages and fortifications.

And Mallorca, truly the pearl of the Mediterranean, was the highlight of this trip for me. This was the first time that I had visited this delightful, continental-flavored Balearic island filled with gorgeous nineteenth century architecture and an endless harbor jam-packed with enormous yachts. I could have spent the whole week in Mallorca sitting in cafés, drinking coffee and eating lovely pastries.

Almost as satisfying as Mallorca were the stunning cliffs of Gibralter, alive with wild monkeys and riddled with natural caves and military tunnels. I was surprised by how happy the monkeys made me, they were just so cute and funny and absolutely everywhere — climbing on the parade of minivan taxis that snake up and down the side of “The Rock” ferrying tourists to the various attractions that are only reachable via closed roads. As a part of Great Britain with a special economic status, Gibralter was the spot to get a plate of fish and chips and also the best deals on duty free, which seemed to be the main attraction down at sea level.

“The Rock”

“The Rock”

The monkeys of Gibralter are surprisingly fun to watch.

The monkeys of Gibralter are surprisingly fun to watch.

Visit Penn Alumni Travel at http://www.alumni.upenn.edu/travel

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Filed under Alumni Programming, Alumnni Education, Faculty perspective, Janell W., Penn Alumni Travel, Photos, Travel, Uncategorized

Throwback Thursday – Printed Directories

By Kiera Reilly, C’93  @KieraReilly

Today, while looking through some cabinets in our spare office here in Los Angeles, I rediscovered these print directories from the Penn Club of Los Angeles and the Wharton Club of Colorado. I am guessing that with both clubs the last time they produced a printed directory was in 2000, which would make these the “final edition.”

Penn Club of Los Angeles and Wharton Club of Colorado directories found in the Western Regional Office

Penn Club of Los Angeles and Wharton Club of Colorado directories found in the Western Regional Office

 

Now most of our alumni clubs have a website and an online directory, or none at all, instead referring alumni to QuakerNet, the Penn Alumni online directory, to find local alumni in their community.

Does anyone else have copies of old Penn Alumni club directories?

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Penn Serves LA Strikes Again; This Time With Paint

By Leanne Huebner, W’90

Photos by Kiera Reilly, C’93

Over thirty Penn Alumni and their children joined together for a fun beautification project for El Nido Family Centers in Mission Hills.  We were thrilled that Elizabeth Fields, Julie Gutowski and Kiera Reilly from the Penn Western Regional Office joined us. And we welcomed special guests in town from campus Penn Professor David Grossman, Ph.D., Director, Civic House and Civic Scholars Program, and Katie McCarthy from the Penn Development Office, both lending their painting skills for good.

All in all, the team completed the center’s foyer, a key event room, as well as a hallway in bright white.  The highlight for many participants was contributing to a full wall-sized canvas mural alongside the Pacoima mural artist.  Volunteers brought together her vision for a grand-scale masterpiece to add cheer and interest in the center’s main lobby area.

Stuart Berton, El Nido Board President and Wharton ’61 graduate, thanked the team and provided a great overview of the important work of El Nido, a nonprofit that has served Los Angeles for 89 years.  Each year, the centers reach over 11,000 Los Angelenos  through its community outreach, early education and teen pregnancy initiatives, and gang-prevention programming.  While many individuals come to the center, El Nido social workers are also in the field meeting individuals and assessing families in their homes and schools.

Penn Serves LA's Jane Gutman with El Nido's Stuart Berton

Penn Serves LA’s Jane Gutman with El Nido’s Stuart Berton

A few highlights of their work were shared.  For instance, their GRYD program for gang-prevention has experienced success rates of up to 98% working with at-risk youth.  Their teen pregnancy recidivism rate is 80% lower than the national average, with only 4% of teenage mothers they serve having a second child before they turn twenty years old.

Penn Serves LA's Leanne Huebner is thrilled with the event.

Penn Serves LA’s Leanne Huebner is thrilled with the event.

“We are excited to help El Nido with such a great, enthusiastic group of volunteers,” shares Jane Gutman, CW’73, PAR’14, PAR’16, one of the Penn Serves LA Directors and coordinator of this event.  “And to have David and Katie here from Penn lending a hand makes our day of brightening the facility with fresh paint all the better.”

View all the photos from the day here.

The entire group poses to celebrate a job well done!

The entire group poses to celebrate a job well done!

The next Penn Serves’ event will be Saturday, August 9th from 9 a.m. to noon and you can reserve your spot here.  Penn will be serving LA Waterkeepers in an effort to help identify the impact of debris on our area’s water supply.  “It’s a great opportunity for your science-minded side as we will be surveying and collecting valuable data,” shares Christine Belgrad, W’87, PAR’15, PAR’17, event coordinator.
Many of the past Penn Serves sell out, so please reserve your spot quickly.

Read about our past events:

December, 2013 – Holidays are a Time for Giving

November, 2013 – Sending Holiday Warmth to our Troops

August and September, 2013 – Serving the Environment and LA Leadership Academy

May, 2013 – One on One Outreach

March, 2013 – Habitat for Humanity

January, 2013 – Inner City Arts

September, 2012 – The Midnight Mission

June, 2012 – Turning Point Shelter

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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Family Programming, Guest blogger, Kiera R., Los Angeles, Penn Serves LA, Photos, Volunteering, West Coast Regional Office

Penn Club of San Diego Goes South of the Border for Street Eats

By B. Bea Rajsombath, C’99, club president

There are a lot of great things about living in sunny San Diego, including over 70 miles of beautiful coastline, the nice Mediterranean climate, pockets of diverse neighborhoods with their own vibe, mountains or beaches within miles of each other, great restaurants and bars, its proximity to Tijuana, and so much more.

The Penn Club of San Diego works on creating events and activities that feature the neighborhood gems and life in San Diego; events any of our alumni can appreciate, whether they recently moved here or are returning natives.

In November 2013, the Club joined Turista Libre for a wine tour in Valle de Guadalupe. Based on that successful and fun adventure, we had requests to organize another event south of the border. As Turista Libre (TL) focuses on organizing tours highlighting the local aspects of Tijuana and surrounding areas, we worked with them to deliver another event for our alumni. Passports in hand on March 22, Penn alumni and friends met up with TL at San Ysidro, the last US stop before reaching Mexico, about 15 miles south of San Diego. We were joined by a few other TL guests to walk across the border to board a small school bus operated by TL to start our adventure tour: TJ Street Eats.

Penn Alumni and friends

Penn Alumni and friends

We started our day with a birria taco from a busy food truck stationed on a non-descript street by a Staples. It was simple, yet bursting with flavor. A cheese quesadilla was offered to our vegetarian guests. The tacos were so delicious most of us wanted more, but we were advised by TL to limit ourselves to the one because we had a number of stops to make. A few of us couldn’t hold out though and had to try a second taco.

A birria taco

A birria taco

Our second stop was at Kokopelli’s food truck, for black Harder ceviche de lenguado tostada. Our vegetarian guests feasted on grilled Portobello mushroom tacos. At this point, more guests were losing their willpower to hold off on just one item and explored some other offerings from Kokopelli’s. A few also ventured to try a seemingly, innocent pink-colored salsa…and suffered through the burning from a habanero-beet mixture. TL also offered up some Tecate beer for refreshments before we headed to our third stop.

A tostada

A tostada

Before we reached Tio Pepe, a wonderful bottle of tequila was shared. Some of us are still searching for the bottle on this side of the border. Tio Pepe is a neighborhood gem with plastic tables and chairs, friendly staff and a bustling lunch crowd. I would love to go back…if I can find my way there! Here, we sat down to enjoy Guadalajara-style torta ahogadas, a few rounds of Corona and some ventured off to order additional tacos. I don’t know where they found room.

Torta Ahogada

Torta Ahogada

After indulging ourselves, we still had two more stops! The next was at Tepoznieves, an artisan ice cream parlor with more than 100 flavors. Unfortunately, I was too busy sampling the flavors and enjoying my selection of three small scoops to capture any photos to share. On the way to our last stop, another bottle of tequila was brought you to be shared. Finally, we made it to Baja Craft Beers for a sampling of house brews. We essentially had the place to ourselves so early in the afternoon. The brewery had great space and a long list of local and international beers available.

Baja Craft Brewery

Baja Craft Brewery

Alas, our great little adventure came to an end by 5pm and TL returned us to the border to make our way back across to the US. We definitely enjoyed our TJ Street Eats tour and working with Turista Libre again. We already have requests to repeat both the wine tour and the TJ Street eats.

The Penn Club of San Diego and Turista Libre

The Penn Club of San Diego and Turista Libre

These are just a few of the activities and events the Penn Club of San Diego organizes for local alumni in the greater San Diego area. If you are interested in learning about these and other events, please contact us via email, join our email listserv, like our Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter.

Our next event is a yPenn Happy Hour on July 10th. We hope to see you there!

 

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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Clubs, Food Fiends, GAN, Guest blogger, Penn Clubs, Photos

Seattle Alumni Put on Aprons for an Evening to Help Alleviate Poverty

By: Haley Shapley, C’06

Thanks to a little help from the Penn Club of Seattle, at least one person will be able to transition from the streets to a job in the hospitality industry.

It was all part of Guest Chef Night at FareStart, a culinary job training and placement program for homeless individuals in Seattle. Since 1992, FareStart has provided opportunities for nearly 7,000 people to transform their lives, while also serving more than 6 million meals to disadvantaged men, women, and children.

The tables are set for FareStart's Guest Chef Night, with Penn Alumni Club of Seattle members as guest servers.

The tables are set for FareStart’s Guest Chef Night, with Penn Alumni Club of Seattle members as guest servers.

Each Thursday evening, prominent guest chefs come to work with the students as part of their 16-week food-service program. The three-course meal is served by volunteers, which is where Penn alumni came in.

Chef Sam Hassan explains the evening's menu.

Chef Sam Hassan explains the evening’s menu.

Although none in the group had any restaurant experience to speak of, on April 24 we got a crash course in the art of serving, learning the importance of checking back within two bites, refilling waters regularly (and not touching the rim of the glass!), and how to properly carry a tray. Chef Sam Hassan of Maple Falls Cafe provided a tasting of the Mandioca Frita, NW by SE Pasta, and Mango Raspberry Cobbler beforehand so that we’d be able to answer questions about the ingredients when guests inquired (Just what is yuca? Ask us; we know!).

The featured servers tonight - the Penn Club of Seattle!

The featured servers tonight – the Penn Club of Seattle!

Penn Alumni getting trained

Penn Alumni getting trained

Six hours, countless pitchers of water, and a few cramped fingers later, we’d served 169 diners, raising a total of $7,116 for FareStart’s training programs, including donations of $181 and tips of $1,327. All in all, it’s more than enough to give one student safe housing, the full 16-week culinary program, and comprehensive wrap-around services.

It's a full house.

It’s a full house.

The program has a 90 percent job placement rate within three months for students after graduation, and each Guest Chef Night includes a graduation ceremony with those who’ve completed the 16-week program successfully. On our night, we watched two grads get ready to move on to the next stage of their lives, including Tina, who didn’t miss a single day. “It’s made me stay focused instead of every day wondering what’s going to happen,” she said.

Rupi Sureshkumar, Maria Seredina, and David Blum watch the graduation festivities.

Rupi Sureshkumar, Maria Seredina, and David Blum watch the graduation festivities.

Bob, who moved to Seattle in July with a big plan that fell apart, was equally grateful. “I thank this program; it really rescued me,” he said. “I learned a lot and I appreciate it. This program is ingenious to solve the problem of homelessness and poverty.”

Bellies full of delectable ingredients like shaved Parmigiano, smoked fish, and Chantilly cream, we scattered into the night back to our respective homes — energized by the experience and humbled by the fact that we made a contribution, however small, to the students being able to have homes to return to as well.

Penn alumni enjoy a hard-earned meal at the end of the evening.

Penn alumni enjoy a hard-earned meal at the end of the evening.

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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Clubs, GAN, Guest blogger, Penn Clubs, Photos, Volunteering