Category: Music

Can’t-Miss Winter Activities in Rochester

The following blog post was written by Braden Dwyer, 2016 MS in Finance Candidate

I would like to preface this post by letting you in on a little secret…I’m actually from Orlando, FL, and this winter is the first REAL winter that I have ever experienced. That is, in part, why I chose to write this piece; while all of the born-and-raised northerners get annoyed and distraught by the first sign of snow, I look at it with the same childish view that I had the first time I saw snow some 15 years ago.

For simplicity, I broke this piece down into two categories: “Outdoor Activities” and “Keep-You-Warm Activities.”

Outdoor Activities:
I’ve learned that sometimes you can’t escape the cold, so you might as well embrace it. Rochester has plenty of activities to help you do just that. For starters, you could go downtown to the Blue Cross Arena and catch a hockey game. The Rochester Americans are an AHL (not NHL, but that just means the beer is cheaper) team that plays from October to late April, and tickets are relatively inexpensive.

Students hang out on a lift at Hunt Hollow during the annual ski trip on Feb. 20, 2016. (Photo provided by Mikalya Hart, 2016 MBA Candidate.)

Students hang out on a lift at Hunt Hollow during the annual ski trip on Feb. 20, 2016. (Photo by Mikalya Hart, 2016 MBA Candidate.)

If you’re looking to get outside and play in the snow, you won’t have to go far. The City of Rochester’s Recreation Bureau schedules park hikes on weekends from 10:00-11:30 a.m. to tour different parks. But if you’re a more advanced hiker and are looking for something more challenging, the Recreation Bureau rents out snowshoes so you can go search out your own trails.

Now if you were wondering if I was saving the best for last, well then you’re in luck! Each year Simon holds an annual ski trip hosted by the Simon Outdoor Adventure Club. It’s a day-long event on a Saturday near the end of February and it’s a can’t-miss event for sure. You can choose to ski or snowboard, and if it’s your first time don’t worry, because lessons are available.

Keep-You-Warm Activities:
The key to staying warm in a Rochester winter is staying inside. Now you could go the easy route, buy a Netflix subscription, some hot cocoa, a blanket and hunker down on your couch, but that’s too obvious and a few of you reading this have probably already marked something like that down in your calendar. Instead, I suggest you make the quick drive to a few of these local places to enjoy the winter from a warmer (indoor) perspective.

One thing in particular that I have really come to enjoy about Rochester is its overwhelming supply of microbreweries. Rochester is home to roughly 15 microbreweries and counting.  Many of the breweries offer tours and tastings, which come in handy after a long week of studying.  But if beer isn’t your thing, don’t worry, because there are plenty of distilleries and wineries in the surrounding Finger Lakes area, so it won’t be hard to find your perfect getaway.

Rochester also has more than its fair share of music and concert venues. If you fancy the finer things, you could catch a show at the Eastman Theatre, which is home to the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the Eastman Opera. Eastman hosts over 700 shows per year, meaning you should be able to find at least one that works for your schedule.  On the other hand, if you prefer to listen to some live music from bands on tour, the Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial hosts all kinds of popular artists.  Dates are set pretty far in advance, so check ahead to see what’s coming while you’re in town.

I hope I’ve provided enough reasons to get out and enjoy the Rochester winter!

If you have questions about life in Rochester or any other part of the Simon student experience, feel free to contact me!

Rochester Lilac Festival

The following blog post was written by Vicki Turakhia, 2015 MBA Candidate

My favorite time of year in Rochester is not when the weather starts to get warmer or the first snow, but the ten days set aside in the month of May. These ten days are for the Rochester Lilac Festival. This festival features live music, wine slushies, deep fried candy bars, games, zip lining, gorgeous lilacs and more.

Highland Park during Lilac Festival

Highland Park during Lilac Festival

This year was the first year that I had the nerve to try zip lining. And it was great! For a small price and a large amount of bravery, I was able to try zip lining. And while the distance wasn’t that far, it felt like a big step for me. The Lilac Festival proved to be better than previous years with great entertainment, weather and food. I also had the wonderful opportunity to try a deep friend Snickers® bar. I now wonder why all Snickers® are not deep fried?

This year was the 117th anniversary of the Lilac Festival! The festival is held at Highland Park, a beautiful park situated very closely to the University of Rochester. This year was especially great because the lilacs were in full bloom. The air smelled of lilacs and the park looked incredibly colorful. Going to the Lilac Festival is one of my favorite things to do in Rochester. The festival just ended, but I never miss it and I hope to go in the years following as well.

If you ever have the time, I highly recommend the Lilac Festival. It gets better with each year and showcases the Rochester community perfectly.

Broaden Your Horizon

By: Bonnie Liu

Hi all? How is everyone recently? Is the weather in your area getting hot now too? I hope that you can enjoy the coming summer. Weather in Rochester is mostly unpredictable, but is recently getting hotter and hotter!

Today, the hottest place is nowhere outdoors, but inside Simon, because our Broaden Your Horizon is moving to Latin America! Broaden Your Horizon is Simon’s traditional Seminar Series which has been going on for more than 20 years. Back to 1991, Simon Students initiated a series of lunchtime presentations sponsored by students from different countries around the world and hosted by SimonUnited. The presentations will introduce cultures, politics, economics and business of students’ home countries. Of course traditional cuisine is a “must-have” part in the seminar too! Since then, Broaden Your Horizon has become a traditional Simon Seminar Series and is held in every quarter throughout the academic year. Broaden Your Horizon is also one of the most popular seminars amongst all the Simon students!

I had a great lunchtime today with many Simon students at Broaden Your Horizon. What comes to your mind when talking about Latin America? Sunshine, beautiful beaches, delicious food and drink, music, dance, etc.? Anything that you can or cannot image is presented during each seminar. Students representing Chile, Cuba, Venezuela, Haiti and Brazil gave us an all-around introduction to their countries. Besides presenting slides and videos, our talented Simonites also danced and sang songs for us. I was greatly attracted by not only the cultures and awesome views of these countries, but also by our Simonites’ talent and passions. I just can’t wait to start my discovery trip in Latin American countries!

Being in such a diverse community as Simon, you can broaden your horizon every day. I feel lucky that I joined this great community and learned from all my Simon classmates. What is our next stop at Broaden Your Horizon? It can be anywhere and we are looking forward to you joining our Simon Family and introducing your home country to us.

Finally, as June is approaching, I would like to congratulate the Simon Classes of 2012. Congratulations on your graduation! Wishing you guys all the best, and keep broadening your horizon in the future! And to all my future Simon classmates, see you in the fall!




April showers bring May lilacs!

By: Dana

It’s May and the Lilac Festival is almost here!  An annual Rochester tradition, the Lilac Festival is a 10 day free festival with art exhibits, a parade, food vendors,  live entertainment, and of course a gorgeous display of colorful lilacs throughout Highland Park.  This year the festival is set to take place May 11th-20th.

As noted on the Lilac Festival’s official website, Highland Park displays over 500 varieties of lilacs on more than 1,200 lilac bushes- so be sure to bring your camera!  First planted in 1892 by horticulturist John Dunbar, the assortment has turned into the world’s largest lilac collection, bringing visitors from all over the globe to participate in this annual celebration.  Over the course of the 10 day event, the festival brings in well over a half-million visitors.  So how did the festival get started?  In short, the first Lilac Festival informally began in May of 1898 when a crowd of thousands gathered at what is now known as Highland Park to see the lilac collection in bloom.  On May 24, 1908 Rochester celebrated its first “official” Lilac Sunday, which later extended to Lilac Week.  From there, a parade was introduced that started downtown to the park’s summit, and in 1979, Lilac Week was renamed Lilac Festival (  200+ years later, crowds still gather to see the lilacs, take in the entertainment, and celebrate the start of spring.

The festival is perfect for all ages, and includes free children’s entertainment during the week and weekends.  You can participate in the Medved Lilac 10k and 5k family fun run on Sunday, or watch the lilac parade featuring various marching bands, and decorated floats.  There are also 2 arts and crafts shows during the weekend featuring local and national artists.  For a full list of exhibitors, entertainment schedules, special events, and directions, be sure to check out the lilac festival website online!