Taza Chocolate Factory Tour 
If you are a chocolate lover this is where you should go. At the Taza Chocolate store, you can watch them grind cacao beans using hand-carved granite millstones which results in a bold tasting stone ground chocolate. You can go on a chocolate tasting tour Monday through Friday from 11 am - 6 pm, and Saturday through Sunday from 10 am - 6 pm. The cost is $8 per person and online reservations are required.  
Taza Chocolate Factory, 561 Windsor St., Somerville.  
Ice Skating at the Boston Common Frog Pond 
Not only is the Frog Pond a place to go in the summer for the spray pool, but it’s also amazing in the winter. You can spend an afternoon skating on perfect ice and getting bites to eat from the snack bar. This place is great for a date or entertaining your children. People 58 inches and over only pay $6. Those under 58 inches can skate for free. If you don’t have skates, you can rent a pair for a very cheap price: $12 for adults and $6 for kids. I recommend this because I had so much fun skating here when I was younger. I enjoyed spending time with my friends and getting a snack.  
Boston Common Frog Pond, Boston. 
Skywalk Observatory 
The Skywalk Observatory is a closed room with clear windows where you can see all of Boston. It is an amazing view and imagine how wonderful it looks during the winter with all the snow and the trees. You can also go on a audio tour and get a 360 degree view of Boston. You can see wonderful famous landmarks such as the Hancock Tower, Fenway Park, the Boston Common and Public Garden. The Skywalk is open all days of the week from 10 am - 8 pm. If you are going in the winter I would recommend going in the afternoon before it gets too dark out. In the end, it is all up to you what time is best for you to go and see the splendid view.  
Skywalk Observatory, Prudential Center, 800 Boylston St., Boston. 
Hot Chocolate Flights at MET Back Bay 
The Hot Chocolate Flight at MET Back Bay debuted earlier this winter. The flight features four hot chocolate creations that are great for a stormy winter day. The four unique flavors include classic, espresso, caramel sea salt and white chocolate peppermint. The drinks are all served in tall, clear glass mugs, each with unique garnishes. The classic hot chocolate is comprised of vanilla chocolate, whipped cream and mini toasted marshmallows. The espresso hot chocolate is garnished with an almond biscotti, the caramel sea salt has whipped cream and a caramel drizzle, and the white chocolate peppermint has crushed peppermint stick and a candy cane. This is perfect for a cold winter day to go out with friends.  
MET Back Bay, 297 Dartmouth St., Boston. 
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Cancel the crab rangoon: It’s time to serve up authentic Chinese cuisine
We've all been there: you walk into a foreign restaurant and become puzzled by the menu. You randomly choose something—eenie, meenie, miny, moe—and the food turns out to be awful.  
Many teens enjoy Chinese food, but few are knowledgeable about the authentic cuisine. When local teens are asked to name as many Chinese foods as they can in under two minutes, common American-Chinese foods like fried rice, lo mein and chicken teriyaki are mentioned. Most authentic Chinese food is very different from American-Chinese food. It is not over sauced and does not contain a lot of grease. Authentic Chinese food is split by the many regions of the country and each region's style varies from others.  

Cantonese Cuisine 
Cantonese cuisine originated in the Guangdong province and it is the most eaten Chinese cuisine in the world. An authentic Cantonese chef will preserve the food's natural flavor, so little spices are added and there are not a lot of calories. The flavors of Cantonese cuisine are usually mild, fresh and slightly sweet. Some of the most popular Cantonese dishes you should try are Chinese steamed eggs, white cut chicken or char siu (barbecue pork). I have tasted all three dishes and they are wonderful. Think of a smooth ride on a water slide, that’s how smooth the steamed egg goes down your throat. An authentic Chinese steamed egg dish has the consistency of jelly and it is usually coated in light soy sauce. The Chinese white cut chicken is both juicy and tender, and it preserve the natural taste of chicken. The chicken is chopped into pieces and coated with light soy sauce to give it a golden look. Char siu has a reddish brown coating and tastes slightly sweet. Skewed over the fire and constantly coated with spices, char siu is moist on the inside and slightly chewy on the outside.  
Since many Americans are accustomed to deeply flavored food, authentic Cantonese food might taste very bland to them. To get the best authentic Cantonese food experience, I recommend slowly working your way from American-Chinese restaurants to authentic Cantonese restaurants, and dialing down the over flavored taste. A recommended Cantonese restaurant to try is Jade Garden, located in Chinatown on 20 Tyler Street. 
Sichuan Cuisine 
Sichuan cuisine, from the Sichuan region, is favored among the youth because of its spice. Sichuan cuisine is most famous for it's hot and spicy flavors, especially the must-have seasoning, Sichuan pepper. After eating Sichuan cuisine, it's usual for people's mouth to feel numb. Some famous Sichuan dishes you should try are the pockmarked granny bean curd, sesame oil chicken and Sichuan hot pot. Personally, anything that contains Sichuan pepper is saliva-inducing and appetizing. 
Hunan Cuisine 
Hunan cuisine, from the Hunan region, is also hot and spicy like Sichuan cuisine. The difference is that instead of numbing your tongue to the point where foods start to taste the same, Hunan cuisine stimulates your taste buds so you can taste the flavors. Hunan food is even hotter than Sichuan food and a bit sour. Some famous Hunan dishes that you should try are boiled yellow catfish, Mao's braised pork and dry-wok chicken. 
Fujian Cuisine 
Fujian cuisine originated from the southeastern province of Fujian and has a long history dating thousands of years. Fujian cuisines uses natural ingredients from mountains and the sea like wild herbs, mushrooms and bamboos in their cooking. The flavors of Fujian cuisines are usually light, with a slight sweetness and sourness. Some famous Fujian dishes are crispy skin fish rolls, clams in chicken soup and drunken ribs. 
Shandong Cuisine 
The last region on this list is Shandong which includes different kinds of seafood in their dishes because Shandong province is near a coast. An authentic Shandongese chef aims to preserve the natural color, taste and cut of the food. The flavor of Shandong cuisine is slightly salty and sometimes crispy. Some famous Shandong dishes you should try are sweet potato with caramelized sugar, red braised king prawns and dezhou stewed chicken. 

If you ever complain that your local American-Chinese restaurants cooks bad food, you haven't eaten real Chinese food yet. The next time you enter a Chinese restaurant, order white cut chicken instead of chicken teriyaki, char siu instead of dumplings, crispy skin fish rolls instead of crab rangoons and oranges instead of fortune cookies. 
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The following are excerpts from an English class assignment at Boston Community Leadership Academy. The students were instructed to recount a childhood memory, using descriptive and literary devices. These are their stories: 
As I looked out the window my eyes were like a camera trying to capture the beautiful landscape that was a few feet away from the truck. We passed by vast luscious green mountains that even the Discovery Channel couldn’t compete with. We drove through towns filled with love, family values and children who played baseball with a bottle cap and a stick in a dirt field. This goes to show that us Dominicans make the best of what we have, and of our current situation. We make lemonade out of the lemons life throws at us because that is what we are raised to do. It wouldn’t be like us not to. -Arvin Villar

I really wanted some cupcakes, so I went to the cash register and stole two cupcakes. Heading out, I felt badly because I had just done something I knew was wrong. Also, I knew if my mother found out she would be furious and would think negatively of me. As I was walking back home, I took a bite of the warm cupcake and it melted in my mouth. But, there was still an awkward feeling in my stomach that took away some of the joy of eating it. I was a thief. How could I live with that?  
As I went inside and gave my mom the two loaves of bread, I saw the cupcake wrapper fall to the floor and my heart began to beat faster and my mouth was dry. This was it, the moment I had been dreading.  -Casselia Dossantos

The thing is, I hated the rain, and I still do. Rain meant I couldn't stay outside with my dolls. I couldn’t make cakes out of mud. Rain meant I had to stay inside and do nothing but sit and listen to the adults talk about problems that nine year old me found boring.  
So imagine how happy I was when it stopped raining later that day. As soon as I heard people talking, I was instantly out the door and looking for my cousins. We went on to search for the best rocks. You may be wondering why we were searching for rocks, and it’s because we had to wrap them in blankets and pretend they were babies. Of course, we had dolls, but our parents kept them on the highest shelf where we couldn’t reach them. Why? Well, because they knew we would rip them apart to the point where they would be missing most of their limbs, or we would lose them. After finding a rock that was round, smooth, and the right size, we looked for the best spot where we could play without being bullied by the older kids. -Daisy Correia  

I was playing my Playstation 3 at the time. I was playing, “Call Of Duty Black Ops 2,” to be exact. I was playing with my red and black Turtle Beaches, so I could hear everything that was going on in the game. I always had my mic muted, so I could hear people talking trash, but they could never hear me with my ‘squeaker’ self. Everyone in the game lobby was talking to each other and cutting each other off. After two matches with the same people, I decided I wanted to talk too. I un-muted my mic when the next game started and said, “Hi guys.” 
 Conversations sparked up in the game chat, people trying to figure out who just said that and why this person sound so young. I heard someone shout out, “Who’s squeaker is this?” My heart drops and I mute my mic as one of the people in the game calls out everyone’s name one by one, trying to see who was the squeaky little boy. I hit the middle button on my controller and quickly made my way to the playstation mic settings and straight to the voice changer. I made my voice deeper and returned to the chat, where this guy was still listing out names. When he finally got to my name I un-muted my mic and said, “Yo?” Everyone was dying of laughter and told me that my voice changer was super noticeable and that I was the squeaker from earlier. I didn’t deny it, but only because I was pretending I didn’t care about what they were saying, as I switched my voice back to normal.  -Joshua Ward 

I fumbled my phone as I looked through my recent calls to call my mother. Ring….ring...ring…”you have reached the num-” CLICK.  
Something is definitely wrong. My guts are telling my brain and heart right now, and I can feel it all over my body. She doesn't take long to answer my calls. She especially doesn't miss them.  
¨Ma, where are you?¨ I say, trying not to sound worried. 
¨Baby, something happened to Angel. Baby, Angel was shot.¨ 
Suddenly, I hear my brother’s sobs and his voice overlaps my mother’s from the passenger’s side of the car.  
¨He's dead! Mami, he’s dead!¨ My brother screams from the top of his lungs, “He's dead.¨ I hear a loud thud over the screams and cries. 
“Ma! Mami!”  
Did I just lose my cousin, brother, and mother in one night? Later I realized what I thought to be a car accident was just my brother punching the windshield. I could hear the faint screams from outside the car. My mother screaming and my brother huffing and puffing. They had gotten out of the car hysterically. 
My mother just lost her nephew who she loves as her own, as if she carried him nine months in her own womb. My brother lost his best friend, the only person that could talk some sense into him and guide him. My family broke into a million pieces that night. The pain and sadness was unbearable, it almost felt physical. It almost felt like at any second I could die from a broken heart. 
On the way to the hospital I couldn't cry anymore. My eyes were experiencing a drought. My thoughts were blank as if I was in a deep sleep and my whole body was put on anesthesia. I felt a tingle through my body like television static. It felt like a million years had gone by and I was still in that car. We pulled up to the emergency room entrance where the lights blinded my dry eyes. It was like seeing the light at the end of a tunnel. My family stood outside in the humid air. I could tell we all had a million thoughts and emotions running through our minds. We were all so close, yet so distant in our own little worlds. In that moment I realized how it took something so tragic to happen to bring us all together. -Jeilyn Ortega

Where did the ball go? I checked under the cabinets, table and chairs. My cousin pointed towards the bed and I started to crawl towards it. I wanted to climb the bed and even though it looked like a skyscraper, I knew how to get up there. I needed to find something that was like a box, that I could push next to the bed. I couldn’t find one, but I found what my mom puts on the bed all the time, the iron. Little did I know that it was a torch compared to my soft baby hands. I took no mind and decided to push. I put my left hand first, hisss, I immediately felt the pain. My hand felt like bacon frying on a skillet. My hand couldn't move my because it was glued to the iron, so I sat there for a few seconds until my sister came and took my hand off. When she seperated my hand from the iron it was like a grilled cheese, and my hand was as pink as raw beef. Oddly, it didn't hurt at all. I'm guessing my nerves were burnt right off. The last thing I remember was smelling bleach and a whole lot of cleaning supplies.  -Manny DePina

It was a Friday afternoon: May 24, 2013. It was pretty chilly out, so I throw on my Nike sweater to wear around the house. As soon as I put it on, I hear a scream from my sister’s room. At the time, my sister was pregnant. Immediately I knew what it was: her water broke. My mom comes rushing down the hall and screams, “WHAT HAPPENED’” in Viet. She gets the keys to her car and brings my sister to the car. My mom, sister, and I all head to the closest hospital. My sister’s heartbeat was out of control. As we arrived at Boston Medical Center we enter through security and find the closest spot possible. I text my sister’s boyfriend at that time, “Yo Bro, Shelly is giving birth.” -Jason Huynh
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People who say that the hardest part about college is getting in could not be telling a bigger truth, especially when you don’t even know where to start. My name is Cristian Dubon Solis and I’m a junior in high school getting ready to apply to college.  
The college experience is full of adventure, craziness and laughter as I’ve read from countless articles on the web. However, some people—like myself— may not know how to get into college. I will soon be a first generation college student, which means I’ve never had a sibling or relative attend college before me. 
One cold winter night during my freshman year, I startlingly awoke and couldn’t get college out of my mind. There were so many questions rushing through my head that I felt dizzy. What is college? Where do I go to for help? What’s financial aid and how do I get it? I was a total mess. Now that I’m in my junior year, I have the tools to answer some of the most pressing questions about college my fellow first-gens may have. 

Dear Cristian, 
College looks so confusing. How am I supposed to know how to get there when I don’t even know where to begin? I tried reading articles online, but every website I checked started in a different place. I’m worried that if I can’t figure this out, I may have trouble later down the road. I’m lost, confused and frustrated that I can’t figure this out. It would be a big help if you can give me some direction. 
Yours truly, 
 Jessie from Jersey 
Hey Jessie, 
The confusion, frustration and bewilderment are all a part of the process for first generation college students. As to where you should start, there are many places where you can lay your groundwork. A good place to start, no matter where you are in the college process, is to write a broad personal statement. Most colleges ask that you submit a personal statement answering a particular prompt. By writing a broad personal statement, you can later modify the statement to suit the requirements of different colleges. I would start this process by drawing a web about yourself. Draw a circle, put yourself in the middle, and start brainstorming ideas about the different aspects of your life. Make sure to put specific experiences next to your branches with extra details to better describe why you are who you are today. This personal statement is all about you, so you calls the shots!  
If this isn’t something you’re interested in doing at the moment, I would start taking a deeper look at the schools you may be interested in. There’s a website and app called the Common App which gives you tons of information on various schools and the different courses and activities they offer. It is an amazing resource to look up and compare different colleges and universities. I would make sure to research one or two colleges every week so that you’re knowledgeable on all the options out there.  
If these starting points aren’t your cup of tea, I recommend going to a guidance counselor to see what recommendations they may have. Hope this helps!  
Til next time,  
Hiya Cristian, 
Fellow first generation college student in dire need of your help! So, I vaguely know the application process—filling out applications, updating my resume, applying for financial aid—but who do I go to for support? I don’t really know who to go to other than my guidance counselors. Is that it? I want know who you would go to for help when you need it.  
Your good friend,  
Becky From Boston 
Hey Becky, 
I had the exact question when I first started thinking about college! It’s true that your guidance counselors are a key part to the college process. They help you keep track of applications, financial aid applications, due dates, college visits, etc. However, this is not to say this is your only source of support. There are plenty of programs in Boston that help with college readiness including Bottom Line, Minds Matter, Summer Search and so on. 
I, for example, am a mentee at Minds Matter Boston and the help I have received is so valuable. They’ve taught me to be a go-getter, brag a little, keep up with due dates, and so much more. I know the help I receive from them is priceless, so I would highly recommend Minds Matter or a similar program. It’s all up to you.  
Other than counselors or programs, there are still some supports systems which you may not see. Ask people who have attended college as first gens, ask friends if they have relatives who attend college, or ask your teacher what it was like to go to college. All these resources are at your disposal, you just have to make use of them! 

Applying to colleges seems like a bigger climb than Mount Everest! It’s no wonder that first generation college students don’t have a clue where to start, who to go to for help, or the opportunities available. I hope I answered some of your questions to help your journey up the mountain a little more bearable. Til next time, fellow first-gens! 
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Online Exclusive
Teens in Print Answers the New York Times' Holiday Social Q's
We asked our teen reporters to take on real life, holiday-themed questions from the New York Times' Social Q's column.

From: Retro-Gifting

Last year at Christmas, I somehow managed to regift an ugly set of crystal wineglasses back to my sister-in-law, who had given them to my husband and me for our anniversary. Things have been a little chilly ever since. This year, I’d like to give her something really great to make up for it. Should I acknowledge the regifted glasses, or just pretend it never happened? And is there a way of letting her know that I actually bought a present for her this time? -Anonymous

Dear Anonymous, 
I think you should own up to your actions. While yes, there is still a possibility that your sister-in-law may not know that you regifted her gift, it is still the right thing to do. You messed up. Just face it and own up to it. Giving an even better gift may help the situation a little, but if there is no apology, your efforts were for nothing. Just say “sorry” and be genuine about it. I’m sure your sister-in-law will appreciate a “sorry” more than anything. Once more, don’t stress about it. Have a merry Christmas and squash everything with your sister-in-law. 
David Santana

Dear Anonymous,

Honestly, first: terrible move. Second, maybe ask someone close to her and see what she likes, get her that, and then send an apology note along with it. It’ll prove that you know what your mistake was and that you felt bad for it. Plus, getting something that she really likes will put her in a better mood and she’ll easily forgive you. 

-Ameerah Dada

Hi Anonymous,
That sounds like a tough situation you’re in. Here’s my advice: talk to her and get to know her interests. What things does she value most in life? Family? A pet? Her partner? Then try to find a gift that corresponds to these things, for example, a painting with quotes about family. Another way to get someone a great gift is to show that person how much they mean to you. If she is into jewelry, try finding a necklace that was specifically designed for sisters. If I were in your shoes, I would tell her the truth about last year’s gift and come clean. Not only does this clear your conscience, but it builds a new layer of growth between your relationship with your sister-in-law. Remember to show how sincere you are when acknowledging the bad gift. This will make it easier for her to forgive you. That’s all for now. Happy holidays!
Yours truly,
Tiffany Cespedes

From: If You Can’t Stop Name-Dropping, You’re Not Coming Skiing This Year

My friend from work and I managed to stay close even after we changed jobs. We mostly see each other on the weekends, but he really bugs my other friends. I want to invite him on our holiday ski trip; they don’t because he often makes up stories about celebrities. Not only will he have an Ariana Grande sighting (totally believable), but he takes it to another level: He and Ariana have an amazing conversation that he relays in painful detail. (Less believable.) I forgive him these lies because he’s kind and loyal. But my friends don’t. Should I say something to him? And what about the ski trip? -M.P.

Dear M.P.,

Trying to manage a friend group of diverse people can be a difficult thing to do! I’d recommend mentioning your other friends’ reactions to your work friend. It seems like too little a thing to cancel trip invitations over — communication tends to be the best option. Most likely, your work friend wants to impress your other friends — tell him that he is interesting enough without celebrity encounters. Make sure to tell him that it doesn’t matter to you, but that if he wants to connect with your friends, he might consider telling more relatable stories. And enjoy that ski trip!

Best of luck,
Masha Layfer

Dear M.P.,

In my opinion, M.P., you should talk to your friends and tell them that it’s just a joke and to not take it too seriously. You should also ask them how they feel about the stories and talk to your friend from work to be more realistic and probably ask him the purpose of his stories. You guys should leave everything behind and enjoy the ski trip as friends. But the decision is yours on whether you choose to manage the situation. Good luck!!               
-Miguel Estrada

From: Grammy's Candids

My husband’s grandmother enjoys taking pictures during holiday get-togethers. But she’s paparazzo-like in her zeal for an unflattering photograph. She giggles when she gets a shot of my double chin or my sister-in-law with a mouthful of pumpkin pie. Afterward, she sends albums of the offending photographs to everyone. How can I tell her to cool it with the camera? -Christy Reynolds, Dayton, Ohio

Dear Christy Reynolds,
The way that you can tell your grandmother to take it easy with the photo taking is by having a civil conversation with her. Discuss that taking embarrassing photos of people—family, mind you—without their consent isn’t cool, and that she should think about not the intent, but the impact that it will have on these individuals. If your grandmother doesn’t like the advice that I recommended, then she can just kick rocks and retire the photography gig, listen to some Christmas jams and drink some coco or eggnog and just chill and be old
-Dre Salomon

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