A new interactive exhibit at The Museum of Jewish Heritage offers visitors the opportunity to speak with Holocaust survivors.
Current NYU journalism students and alums gather together to discuss making it in the world as a journalist after graduation.
New York City is home to many DJs of color, including DJ Rekha, DJ Ushka, and DJ Yana Allpa. Hear what some DJs have to say about mixing night life with social justice.
If you find yourself in a sleek, black-glass modern bar, a quintessence of 21st century New York nightlife, you might sense a slight discrepancy in its aesthetics when it comes time to pay. Once the bartender lugs out the clunky index card box of credit cards, her frantic shuffling for your card, though warranted, interrupts the slenderness of the mood that your empty cocktail just set. For the particularly nervous, this rush might fuel their irrational worry that the card has miraculously disappeared. But the newly launched app TABu keeps the mood’s elegance in check, by providing a mobile platform for opening, viewing, splitting, and paying for a bar tab.
Developed by Ben Marans (21) and Kyra Durko (19), TABu is a testament to the entrepreneurial serendipity that arises when ambitious, smart students are living together in tight quarters with slow elevators. In NYU’s Weinstein Hall, the same dorm where Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons founded Def Jam Records, Marans and Durko met, discussed Durko’s initial idea for a bar-payment app, signed an NDA, and spearheaded industry research in February 2016. Today, their developed product has ten New York venues signed on.
By allowing users to open a tab and checkout from their phone, TABu eliminates what Marans believes to be “the most antiquated payment process in New York in the twenty-first century.” The app integrates with the venue’s POS (point-of-sale) system, transferring each order placed in the system to the customer’s mobile tab for payment. For customers, the app ideally removes the aggression of a congested bar from their nightlife experience. Better yet, at the night’s end it saves the particularly spirited from stumbling out while forgetting their credit card in the insecure plastic box.
As for appealing to the venues, Marans discovered that customers are approximately three times more likely to continue ordering drinks with an open tab. He also learned that on average, closing out a tab takes three and a half minutes per customer, totaling five hours and fifty minutes for a turnout of one hundred. This estimate considers the time a waiter needs to catch the customer’s name, run to the box, search for their card, enter their name on the POS system, print the receipt and get their signature, and file the signed slip. As Marans envisions it, TABu will “sell back” time to the venues, allowing them to focus efforts on new sales.
In the summer of 2016, while their friends scavenged for internships, Marans and Durko embarked on the uphill endeavor that is entrepreneurship, heading into only their sophomore year of college. Their successful pitch to several scattered angel investors for an undisclosed amount financially kick-started TABu’s research and development. Marans interviewed over five hundred bar owners about their patrons’ habits, and called another one thousand surveying their POS systems. The founders attended networking events and became involved in NYU’s E-Lab (Entrepreneurial Lab) Accelerator Program. Most importantly, they spoke to everyone they knew about their project to grow their network. These efforts led to an angel investment in December 2016 for $60,000, as well as their first signed venue, Le Reve.
However, the process leading up to these successes was inevitably riddled with naïve and regrettable missteps. TABu’s gravely uninformed pick for their first development team left them with a non-compatible iOS app, after placing a “large” bet, according to Marans, on the project. In another instance, a deceptive investor promised the team a $150,000 seed investment that never appeared. Marans reflected, “I had no idea what I was doing… I didn’t have the audacity that I have now, I didn’t understand tech apps at all…So they totally charmed… us.” However, despite these hiccups, Marans kept on with the assurance that “it’s a long game, it’s a long hustle, but the tipping point is very quick. And when that tipping point happens, it’ll be crazy. And all of a sudden, it’s gonna’ be big.”
Marans’ eyes widened and cheeks flustered as he explained, “everything I’m trying to do is disrupting what people think is possible,” for he believes that’s “the true nature of entrepreneurship.”
Co-Founder Kyra Durko declined a request for interview.
What do New Yorkers have to say about Donald Trump’s first months in office?
NYU journalism’s Reporting: Multimedia hit the streets to find out.
On November 9th, while Donald Trump celebrated his first day as President-elect, thousands took to the streets to protest the election results. During the protest, NYU students and alumni shared their reactions to Trump’s election. Produced, shot, written and edited by Kirby Pate. All footage is either my own or used with permission from CNN through NYU Journalism. Originally aired 11-15 on NYU’s campus news show NYU Now (formerly NYU Tonight).
By Ismail Ibrahim
On Wednesday, February 1st the Muslim Students Association held a rally on the Kimmel steps to show solidarity for students affected by the travel ban, as well as those who oppose the president’s proposal to build a wall along the Mexican border. The student association brought in a diverse group of speakers, including some personally affected by the ban and some who grew up along the Mexican-American border and are opposed to the wall.
The president of the Muslim Students Association, Afraz Khan, spoke last, leading the rally in a dua asking God for strength in these trying times. I spoke to Afraz after the prayer service, and he told me that the goal of the rally was “not only to raise awareness on campus, but also to reinvigorate a spirit in people to make sure they keep pushing forward. The spirit of compassion and the spirit of empathy.” After the speeches in Kimmel, the Muslim students completed their obligatory Isha’a prayer under Washington Square Arch, which Afraz told me was “a way for Muslims themselves to unapologetically display their identity.”
The ban has deeply affected members of the NYU community. Khalad abu Tawas, an eighteen-year-old Palestinian-American student said that he believes “the recent news is indicative to me that the nation is making a shift towards something negative and dangerous and could jeopardize not only the Muslim community but every minority community in the States.”
Yesterday, thousands gathered around Stonewall Inn to stand in solidarity with the LGBT community and other marginalized groups whose civil rights are currently being threatened by President Donald Trump’s administration.
In the few weeks following President Trump’s inauguration, dozens of protests have erupted around the globe in a collaborative effort to combat the leader’s oppressive executive orders. Now, New Yorkers are flooding the streets of the West Village in a vibrant sea of rainbow to support the LGBT community and urge for a peaceful call to action.
“I am a student. I am queer,” said Bonnie, 21. “I am very opposed to the Trump administration and I think it’s important for us to stand in solidarity with other communities that have faced oppression.”
“We are facing a fascist regime that has taken political power,” said Steve, a member of the non-profit, RefuseFascism.org. “We cannot allow this regime to consolidate any more political power.”
“I’m a woman. I’m gay. I’m intersex. I’m trans and I’m a disabled veteran. Trump and his program go against me on more levels than I can count,” said Danie. “He is an extremely dangerous man, but he is a man of a very frail ego. Protests really bother him. The more bothered and unhinged he is, the more obvious it will be that he needs to be removed.”
The Metropolitan Transit Authority’s Holiday “Nostalgia” Train is another reminder of the holiday spirit in the city. The train rolls down on the tracks between Second Avenue and Queens Plaza along the M line every Sunday through Christmas (November 27th, December 4th, 11th , 18th ). The train is made up of eight R1/9 subway cars that were in service from 1932 until 1977. With a swipe of your MetroCard ($2.75), passengers are able to get on the train and take a trip back in time. You will find ceiling fans, padded seats and incandescent light bulbs among other vintage decor in the facilities on the train.
The public has expressed mixed feelings towards these old trains. Some people are excited because it is their first time to take the “Nostalgia” train, and will have a distinctively different experience in these trains compared to modern subways.
However, for others, the train brings them back to their childhood in the 1930s. For example, Vino Vinehaus, a man in his late sixties, remembers the old train well. He recalls how the conductor needed to be outside to stand between cars on rainy and snowy days to lock the chains. He says that he appreciates that the MTA has made special efforts to bring back the nostalgia train, and to allow us to “once again go inside the train that we used to get in when we were very young.”
Passengers are encouraged to dress up from the 20s, 30s, and 40s for the journey on the M line. Many people dressed in period costumes, including items like jackets from World War II in the 1940s, tilt hats, and Shanghai Qipao dresses from the 1920s. It is interesting to see how their clothing matches with the old train, and how their clothing reflects the various cultures in the city. People can not only experience the “Nostalgia” train, but also reminisce about the old days through exploration of past fashion trends.