Vox Hunt: Drink Up

Show us a beverage you absolutely can't stand the taste of.

This is the infamous Beverly aperitif marketed by Coca Cola in Italy. Apparently, this stuff is popular enough to have been around for a long time. Why, I will never know.

The first second after you take a sip is faintly chemical, but not bad. Then, it hits you. And I really mean HITS you. I don't know how they manage to hide the bitter, sour, cough-syruplike taste for that brief split second, but that fact manages to make what comes afterward even harder to swallow. Quite literally. I gagged a bit.

Americans are quite used to sweet beverages, and perhaps someone might counter my dislike of Beverly with the possibility that our sweetened tastebuds have lent me a certain bias. But this isn't just a bit sour or kind of bitter, it's extremely potent and bitter.

I took this picture at Disney World last year at the Club Cool combination Coke memorabilia store and drink shop, where you can sample some of Coke's offerings from around the world for free. Many of the ones on tap, such as that Fanta Kolita you see there on the left, were quite good. I think my favorite was Israel's Kinley Lemon. My mother, who was on the trip with me, actually thought the Beverly wasn't so bad at first. She even took a second and third sip!  I don't know what expression my face wore, but I'm sure it was one questioning her sanity.

Beverly is so infamous that it's often used as part of a prank on those new to it by those in the know. There are pictures and videos on the internet of people trying it for the first time. My aunt told my cousin that it was her favorite, and my cousin fell for it, as many others have before. Apparently two guys at Dinsye World chugged 25 cups of the stuff in honor of Epcot's 25th anniversary. And then, there is the video of some kids who bet their friend he couldn't drink 10 cups of Beverly in 7 minutes.

I also can't stand vodka, but Beverly is much more fun to write about.

Vox Hunt: This One Goes Out To…

Audio: It's dedication time.  What song are you sending out, and who is it dedicated to?

Several years ago, when Coldplay's A Rush of Blood to the Head came out, I gradually started listening to it a lot. What strikes me as funny now was that on the album, as with most, there were two or three songs that I liked least and would remove from the rotation much of the time. After I met my boyfriend, before we were together and were first getting to know one another, I realized that I started listening to one of these least-liked tracks more and more often. It became a sort of shy little secret, since it reminded me of him in certain ways (before I even knew what he looked like aside from black hair and green eyes). At the time he had not yet quite come to embody the lyrics in the song, he most certainly does now.

So Michael, this is for you:

Vox Hunt: Go Team!

Show us your team! 
Submitted by Juniebird.

It's baseball season again. That means one thing –

The roster changes are shaping up to make this an interesting season. It's very sad that Bernie Williams isn't wearing his 51 out on the field anymore, even if only subbing in or DHing. Of course, there are new faces as well.

And who knew Carl Pavano would not only actually be with the team this year, healthy, and the opening day starter? Honestly, if someone had made that prediction a year ago, I guarantee most baseball fans would have laughed in the person's face. Last, but not least of this week's baseball-related tidbits, Alex Rodriguez and his very sweet clutch grand slam has to be one really important step in regaining the support from a lot of fans during the chilly and rumor-filled offseason. I never booed the guy or stopped supporting him as a member of this team, but he did get some really harsh treatment from a number of Yankees fans last year, and of course, plenty of ridicule and bile from those that love to hate the team.

It's been chilly here in NY the last several days, feeling more like November than April. But the fact that baseball is back always makes me excited.

Hopefully, all the way through October for these guys.

Vox Hunt: I Love This Part

Video: Show us your favorite movie scene.
Submitted by Caroline.

     It may be funny that my favorite movie scene of all time is from a film I have loved since the age of nine. The Little Mermaid is my favorite movie. Many of the elements that appealed to my nine year old self still appeal to me now: great music, a well-written, well acted heroine, absolutely beautiful animation, and more. So what is it about this one scene that gets me?

    It is in this scene that we get our glimpse of just how determined Ariel is. This is a stranger she has rescued, fascinated that he's a human, but feeling the spark of potential for more. Still mostly just curious, she makes a promise that she'll return and at the same time, that is a promise to explore that potential she sees in Prince Eric.

     This is no longer the sad "wish I could be part of that world"; the curiosity that is the human world with which she has never interacted. It is "that" world in the previous song. This is where it's sealed that it's become very personal. This is a genuine promise, made partly out of naiveté, but partly out of genuine determination on Ariel's part. "Someday, I'll be part of your world." Her curiosities have taken root, not just because she's finally interacted with the human world, but because she's found someone that intrigues and attracts her at the same time. And all these factors taken together have sealed her fate.

    The part near the very end of the scene is my absolute favorite movie shot of all time. We see Ariel watching, pondering, and then  Ariel is singing upon that rock, wind blowing through her hair, and at the moment she brings herself forth, the wave crashes up behind her. It still gives me a bit of a chill, both for its beauty and for the meaning in that moment. For that is the moment when Ariel truly makes that promise and shows us what she's made of.

Vox Hunt: By My Favorite Artist

Show us something by your favorite artist.
Submitted by Miss Parker

My favorite artist, Marc Chagall, was unique in his style. He came after the impressionists, and his work almost seems to contain some surrealist elements at times, but he's pretty much in a league of his own. The reason why I love his work so much is that it's so inspired by deep personal passions, yet at the same time, is accessible to almost anyone.

Throughout his work (and there was much of it, including paintings, drawings, and even designs for buildings like the ceiling of the Paris Opera), certain themes and figures remain constant. The depiction of love is constant, with the male lover always Chagall himself, and the female lover always a likeness of his love of the time. Until her death in 1944, it was his wife and longtime love Bella, and it's from this period that my favorite of his works come. Though I love his work overall.

Another important theme is his rural beginnings in the village of Vitebsk, in what is now Belarus. Linked with this was his religion and heritage as a Jew. His family lived in the ghetto of Vitebsk, and his Jewish identity, which sometimes restricted his opportunities, was a lifelong theme.

Something else that permeated his later paintings is exile and loss. While his earliest work was done in Vitebsk and St. Petersburg, it was after coming to France that he ultimately began getting real notice and training. France became his home, and sadly, one that he had to leave when Hitler invaded.

He and Bella went to New York for several years, but he longed for France and for freedom.

There's much more to his story. He lived for nearly 98 years. But onto a few examples:

"Love", "Bonjour Paris", "Lovers' Dream"