TOP 5 DIFFERENCES BETWEEN WIMBLEDON AND THE US OPEN

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Greeting from Canada!

As many of you may know, I am currently studying at Queen's University for a year .

Earlier this year I was fortunate to go to Wimbledon for the first time, and more recently the US Open (also known as the Open) last month.

Here is a quick list of what I believe to be the top 5 differences between the two major tennis championships:

1. The general public can purchase tickets for the US Open online from mid June, whilst for Wimbledon you have to apply for The Ballot in December, before the tournament for the chance to possibly get a ticket. And as the official website states: "Entry does not automatically entitle applicants to tickets for Wimbledon, but to a place in the draw for tickets. It is not possible to request tickets for specific days or courts, as the day and court offered are chosen randomly by a computerised selection process."



At the US Open, members of the public can purchase a general ticket, called a Grounds pass in advance (from mid June too) and watch play on all of the tennis courts, except for Arthur Ashe Stadium. Whereas at Wimbledon a Grounds pass can only be purchased on the day of play and only permitting ticket holders to watch play on Courts No.3-19.



2. At Wimbledon visitors are allowed to bring an unlimited amount of food, whilst it is up to the discretion of security at the US Open.. as long as it is not deemed "excessive" (that's pretty easy to figure out, right?), visitors will be fine.





3. Wimbledon REQUIRES players to wear white attire (not off white or cream), including any undergarments (yes, that's underwear too) that are or can be visible during play. Failure to comply with the dress code may lead to a financial penalty (here is the full list http://www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/atoz/clothing_and_equipment.html). Contrastingly, the US Open does not have a dress code.

4. The crowd MUST be silent before, throughout and in between points at Wimbledon. The slightest whisper may result in a "Quiet, please" from the umpire. Whilst at the Open, it is normal for the crowd to chat throughout the whole match and even stand up, or sit down during points (a bit weird I know).

5.At the US Open there are two sessions (day and night). This is only for play on Arthur Ashe Stadium; the day session is from 11am - 6pm and the night session 7pm - midnight (although tennis can sometimes go on until 2am!). Instead Wimbledon has a stricter playing time. Play usually starts around 11.30am (1pm for Centre Court and Court no. 1), while plays ends at 11pm (latest).

Overall, they are both very different, as you would most likely expect.



Despite loving the all white attire at Wimbledon and the silence before, throughout and in between points, I would have to say that I prefer the US Open more. The accessible tickets, the fact that visitors can watch play on nearly all of the courts and the fact that I was able to see some of my favourite players (Serena Williams and Jo-Wilfred Tsonga) makes the US Open my favourite major championships, so far!
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NEW YORK - WHAT TO DO PART 2

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So Erd wrote a post called "New York - What to do" when she visited NYC for the first time in January. After going there for the first time last month, I thought I would write another post adding to/reinforcing some of the sites on Erd's list (if you haven't seen it, check it out now - http://www.oteol.com/2015/02/new-york-what-to-do.html).

MUST sees:

1. Rockefeller Center (also known as Top of the Rock) - One of the biggest buildings in New York. I went to see it in the evening, around 9.30pm and was able to see some amazing views of the city. What I saw will stay ingrained in my mind for a long time, it was so beautiful and really demonstrated why NYC is described as the city that never sleeps.

Cost: $28



2. Empire State Building (ESB) - Again, one of the tallest buildings in NYC. Most people do not do both the Empire State and Rockefeller Center since standing at the top, you can see one of the buildings from the other. Contrastingly to the top of the Rock, I went to the Empire State Building during the day. Again, the view was completely mind blowing and despite being so high, I did not get a sense of fear when looking down and realising how far I was from the ground. Personally, I preferred being at the Top of the Rock, but am really happy that I did the ESB too!

Cost: $26



3. New York Public Library - This place was surprisingly one of my highlights. There are usually special exhibitions throughout the year. When I was there, I saw the exhibition on the 'Public Eye: 175 Years of Sharing Photography'. In a nutshell it was about the development of new technology and social media, in the sharing of photos. It explored quite a few points, including: what are some of the platforms and networks through which photographs have been shared? In what ways have we, as photography’s public and one of its subjects, been engaged over time? To what ends has the street served as a venue for photographic practice since its beginnings? And, of more recent concern, are we risking our privacy in pursuit of a more public photography?, which I thought was completely fascinating with the more recent advancements in social media and the revolution of the internet. I would HIGHLY recommend this place to anyone visiting The Big Apple, especially considering the cost.

Cost: FREE



4. Chrysler Building - Although visitors cannot explore this building, they can view the lobby. Sadly, I did not have enough time to step inside, however I was able to walk past it daily, in the morning, afternoon and evening as it was close to my accommodation. For me, it was just one of those buildings that you noticed all the time. It's design is unlike any building I have seen before.

Cost: FREE



5. Times Square - It was recommended to me as a sight to see in the night-time. Luckily enough, I saw it both in the day and night time. Personally, it is better in the night, because the whole city is illuminated and there is so much going on e.g. Broadway Shows, everyone is going out to eat or coming home from work. WARNING: It is very tourist-y!

Cost: Free



6. Carlo's Bakery - It is the bakery owned by Sky Tv's Cake Boss. So, if like me, you are in love with baked goods, or have a massive sweet tooth, definitely pop in for a treat or two, or three. It is very easy to find, since it is along Times Square.

Cost (of a regular cupcake): approx. $4-5



7. Grand Central - This Station is just so different to anything in the UK. It is so intricately decorated that you could stare at the design for a good 5 - 10 minutes. I really liked this place, because it had a few hidden eateries (yes, I mainly mean bakeries) within the station that are absolutely delicious! It is really hard to navigate, so if you look lost, someone will help you, even a random member of the general public.

Cost: FREE



8. US Open - One of the four major tennis Championships, the US Open is scheduled from the end of August to the second week of September. It is lovely because it is easy to watch a variety of tennis players without paying a ridiculous price. Also, it is out of the main area of New York, so you get to view another setting. I would recommend going earlier on during the tournament as you get to see more players and more matches, which gives you great value for money.

Cost: Starting at approx. $50 for a Grounds Pass



As you can probably tell, I was not able to see as many sights as Erd did in January, however, I personally believe that New York is a place that needs to be visited more than once to fully see everything.
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CAKE POPS FOR UNDER £3!

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Here is a simple, straight-forward recipe for Cake Pops (also known as Pop cakes or Cake balls), which can be made for less than the cost of a meal deal at £2.95. They perfect for a tea party, or as a birthday gift. There are two parts to the recipe. Initially a basic cake will need to be made, from which the Cake pops will be created.

Ingredients
120 g Butter
120 g Sugar
120 g Self-raising Flour
2 Eggs
120 g Cream Cheese
2 x 100 g Milk Chocolate Bars
1 x 100 g White Chocolate Bar

Recipe makes approx. 30 to 36 small Cake pops

Recipe

1. Mix together the butter and sugar together with a wooden spoon, until they become creamy.



2. Add one egg at a time to the mixture until it becomes gooey (it may have an unpleasant appearance, but you are on the right path!).



3. Next sift the self-raising flour in two identical batches, and fold gently until the mixture thickens into a batter.



4. Pour the batter into a pre-prepared baking tin and bake in the oven, at gas mark 4 for 30 to 40 minutes.



5. Once the cake has cooled down, use a food processor, a whisk or a spoon to create cake crumbs.



6. Then add the cream cheese to the crumbs and mix until there is a consistency throughout.



7. Roll small amounts of the crumbs into small balls and place on a baking tray. Leave this in the fridge for an hour (or the freezer for 25 minutes).



8. Melt the milk chocolate in a medium bowl, over a saucepan and using a toothpick, dip the cakes balls, one at a time in the melted chocolate, until they are fully covered.



Note: Feel free to then dip them in sprinkles or drizzle them with white chocolate for variety.

9. Once all the cake pops have been covered in chocolate, leave on a tray in the fridge for an hour (or the freezer for 25 minutes).

10. Sit back and enjoy!

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PARTYING AT PARKIFE

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Apologies for not updating for a while, exams were hectic between May - June.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I went to my first festival… Parklife. Located in Manchester’s Heaton Park, Parklife coincides with the end of exam period at The University of Manchester, so it perfectly attracts Manchester students looking to go crazy and hang out with friends before heading home.

My outfits for the weekend are shown below.



Outfit 1
• Shorts – Forever 21
• Cropped Jumper – H&M
• Harrington Jacket – Urban Outfitters
• Trainers – Karrimor Duma


Outfit 2
•Denim Shorts – Somewhere in Nanjing, China
• Vest Top – Gap
• Harrington Jacket – Urban Outfitters
• Trainers – Karrimor Duma

My outfit of the weekend was Saturday’s outfit, for sure.

I personally preferred all things Saturday (the line-up, the antics etc.) to Sunday. Saturday’s line-up included Ghostpoet, Labrinth, James Bay, Jamie XX and Ben Howard to name a few. While Sunday's consisted of Jess Glynnne, Jessie Ware, George Ezra and one of my newly acquired favourite bands – Jungle.



Overall the weekend was great – the music, the company, the people, the food, the banter, the antics and most especially the weather.

If I could go back and change one thing, it would be getting lost at the end of Saturday night, it definitely wasn’t a good start to Sunday!
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