Despite huge Hollywood starlets, “bankable” sequels and the power of 1980s memorabilia, numbers at the box office remain dismal this fall after a prosperous blockbuster-packed summer.
Just months ago, it felt like everything the mainstream film industry supplied to the public was thriving as familiar ensemble casts, new comers and reboots alike flooded silver screens with creations people responded heavily to.
Films such as Pitch Perfect 2, Trainwreck and Disney Pixar’s Inside Out drove viewers off their couches and Netflix accounts, and into those theater seats.
Summer releases Jurassic World, Furious 7, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Minions now reside in the world’s top 10 most grossing films of all time, alongside movies like Titanic, Frozen and Avatar.
However, the flourishing phase seems to be dwindling down as recent films take in less money than producers predicted, including the highly anticipated biographical film Steve Jobs, starring Oscar-nominated actor Michael Fassbender, directed by Oscar-winner Danny Boyle and written by renowned screenwriter Aaron Sorkin.
In College Park, there are many popular chain restaurants, including Chipotle, numerous pizza places and Ten Ren’s Tea Time Inc. However, on Route 1, one restaurant serves a fusion of Mexican, Indian and Pakistani food. At Krazi Kebob, Mughlai cuisine can be rolled into a Mexican quesadilla or burrito.
Naumaan Hamid opened Krazi Kebob in 2010. Hamid, who is originally from Long Island, New York, grew up working in his father Salaam Hamid’s Shaheen Restaurant in Catonsville, Maryland. Shaheen Restaurant is one of the oldest Indian-Pakistani establishments in the Baltimore area. Hamid also ran a Mexican restaurant before opening Krazi Kebob.
On Friday, Krazi Kebob celebrated its fifth year anniversary. Customers could purchase a $5 naan wrap or salad all-day, and the first five customers in the store at the top of every hour received a free meal.
It was once said that a good vacation is over when you begin to yearn for your work. In Jordan Greenwald’s case, he yearned for his work and then some.
Greenwald is the founder of a streetwear cultural company known as Meta Cartel. The company launched after Greenwald took keen interest to the street art he witnessed across Spain during a study abroad trip which he describes as a ‘visceral experience.’
“I was taken back by how something can be in a different country, completely out of context for someone like myself yet it really just permeates your soul,” Greenwald recalled. “It didn’t matter the culture or the language barriers, I was getting the message (of the art).”
When he came back to the United States, he decided to get a lawyer and start a business which would use art to convey messages. Greenwald is aiming to build a lifestyle brand with deep beliefs. He believes that by capturing the mind of a millennial aesthetically, he’ll be able to draw them into seeing the cultural point of view which Meta Cartel represents – progressivism.
“I want to put in that heavy and impactful message not because everyone will get it but because I feel like if we’re in a position to spread ideas and really operate like a brand and not just a company that wants to make money,” said Greenwald.
Meta Cartel’s belief in progressivism includes such positions as supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and combating institutionalized racism, gay rights and the legalization of marijuana. Greenwald doesn’t pretend to have the solution to some of these problems but says that through his brand, he wants to help keep the conversation going.
The triangle on the hat symbolizes higher thinking while the designs underneath the brim are 18th century Spanish illustrations discovered in history books, a hat tip to Greenwald’s original inspiration for starting his company.
After the hats are designed stateside, they’re sewn in a Vietnamese factory where Greenwald says the best quality hats are created.
Thousands of Vietnamese factory workers protested earlier this year and went on strike after a new law was passed barring employees who resign from collecting a lump-sum of health insurance money.
When asked about the worker’s rights issues in Vietnam and whether they affect his company, Greenwald says that to his knowledge there have been no complaints or worries. He has not been on the ground to visit but plans to do so in the future.
Maya Dawit worked for the Digman Center, where Meta Cartel’s headquarters are housed, as a video editor when she met Greenwald. Dawit has always been set on not working the typical 9 to 5 job and says that working with Meta Cartel is helping her achieve those goals.
“It’s really refreshing when you meet someone who is running a business but is running it in a way where you’re in an environment where you are comfortable,” Dawit said. “You don’t feel like you are working for a business you feel like you’re helping out a friend.”
The company has been able to channel the messages they’re trying to breakthrough to their audience through art work. Meta Cartel has commissioned artists from New York and other areas including the DMV in a quest to give creative forces a voice. Their most well known work so far is a Martin Luther King Jr. mural displayed on campus during Art Attack.
Greenwald advises incoming fans of his brand to “live an elevated lifestyle, be you but respect other people and try to have an open mind.”
In light of the recent deaths of unarmed civilians at the hands of law enforcement officers around the country, many people have taken to protests and activism, namely by teens and young adults. Specifically at the University of Maryland, the civil unrest and brutality of police officers has caused an sense uneasiness in some students toward authorities on campus.
UMD students expressed outrage about the immoral acts of police and issues of racial profiling and violence within the past year, following the deaths of Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland and countless others. Through education on the history of police brutality against people of color and reading news articles and discussing the harsh realities of racism and violence in the police force, some students have developed interesting perspectives on those called to protect and serve.
Hip-hop music, for some, is just a musical genre. But for a select few people like Dennis Mendizabel, it serves a much greater purpose. Watch here to see how hip-hop has changed one young man’s life forever.
Just a few days ago, Hurricane Patricia was a Category 5 storm and the strongest ever recorded at sea with winds of over 200 mph. Mexico was right in its path and mass destruction was predicted to occur.
However, once the hurricane reached Mexico on Saturday, it slowly became weaker. After 12 hours on land, it no longer ranked as a tropical storm.
What could be even better news? The official death toll from the storm in Mexico currently stands at zero. Yet, don’t think that Mexico missed out on the hurricane’s wrath.
The United States of America has been facing a moral dilemma over the past three years as Syrian refugees have fled their war-ravaged nation in search of sanctuary. Millions of refugees have flooded Europe, and now the question is: what is our responsibility in all of this? We aren’t the only nation struggling to answer this question. This is a global issue with the potential to be a game changer in foreign relations.
Many insist that the United States has a moral obligation to assist other countries in hosting Syrian refugees. The jarring photos taken of Syrian refugees have stirred hearts and inspired humanitarian efforts worldwide to take on this cause.