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Crystal Pulido Lugo

Local Business Profile: Francesca Martinez and Bad Apple VNTG

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Few clothing shops in Reno bleed as much personality as Bad Apple VNTG. Located in Midtown and opened in 2015, the store combines local art and vintage clothing and is curated by Francesca Martinez, the store’s founder and owner.

Martinez first fell in love with the local Reno scene while visiting her friend. “[I] saw how amazing the community here is and knew that this place would be perfect for my passion-project” she said. Her “passion-project,” as it turns out, was to open a shop that would allow her to have a creative outlet while showcasing handmade goods and art for sale. Today, it stands out amongst the Reno scene, fashioned with a colorful interior and massive Bart Simpson mural on the outside.

For Martinez, the road to get there was not simple. Under 21 and without experience, she wrote up a business plan but struggled to get any loans or outside funding. Instead, she got a well-paying job and budgeted her way to opening the store of her dreams in the center of Midtown.  

“When I first moved here, I remember everyone telling me that Midtown was sketchy… and honestly, it wasn’t bad — just low-income folks I guess people were afraid of. I was pretty upset that that was the rep when I never felt unsafe there” she said, acknowledging how Midtown has changed. “I’ve noticed that there have been a bunch of local businesses opening up and a bunch shutting down. The Reno boom is damaging and beneficial to the people who live here.”

The “Reno Boom,” as Martinez noted, describes the rising Reno economy. It’s a controversial topic, with rising housing rates and gentrification going up against better job opportunities and low taxes. In the center of it all lies Midtown, where high-end boutiques share walls with low-income housing. 

Martinez is particularly passionate about her Midtown community and how diversity plays a part in it. “I have a huge problem with areas not emphasizing the importance of  diversity — why not give everyone the equal opportunity to rise up together?” she asked. “It’s important to support women and [people of color] because we have a lot more working against us. Showing your support means your empowering them and recognizing their hard-work through their struggles.”

But as Midtown constantly evolves, the locals in Reno stay supportive. “If I didn’t have folks come in the first couple of months, Bad Apple wouldn’t be here today,” Martinez said. “The locals have been the ones really helping in the success of Bad Apple.”

With the current COVID-19 regulations, Bad Apple VNTG is continuing business through its website, a creation that Martinez is grateful to be able to work on with the extra time. The website will aim to appeal to a national audience by having the option for shipping anywhere in the United States available. 

In the future, Martinez hopes to expand even further. “My dream is to open up another one — maybe California, maybe New Zealand, to get closer to my brother and his family,” she said.

Since Bad Apple VNTG opened, Martinez’s online store has garnered over 4,000 followers on Instagram and has cemented her store as a Reno essential, and it’s clear to see why. 

“I want to create a space that is fun and different, something you’d not expect from a small shop,” she said. “Things don’t need to be serious and so proper all the time.”

Dua Lipa Takes Us on a Blast to the Past With “Future Nostalgia”

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“I know you’re dying to figure me out,” Dua Lipa sings on her sophomore album “Future Nostalgia.” And she’s not wrong. Her self-titled debut album “Dua Lipa”  established her smoky and raspy voice, yet it lacked a sense of who Dua actually was and has become. “Future Nostalgia” highlights her versatility by sharing a collection of sophisticated pop-funks that radiate inspiration from Donna Summer and disco. 

“Future Nostalgia” is nothing like her debut album; Dua really knocked herself out of the park here by staying true to a retro theme that almost makes you feel like you’ve been transported into an episode of “The Jetsons.” Within the 37 minute duration, there is not a single song that does not exemplify 80s pop and 90s club culture. “Future Nostalgia” is incredibly fun, consistent and a driven attempt to find a place for disco in 2020. 

The lead single “Don’t Start Now” has been a mega-hit — not because it’s the background song of a new Tik Tok dance trend, but because it screams dance-pop anthem. “Don’t Start Now” is for sure a staple pop song, but with a hint of disco strings and a funky bass. Her song “Physical,” on the other hand, is a dark wave remix of Olivia Newton-John’s 1981 hit “Physical,” but it’s more sensual and maintains the 80s’ synth-noir style. 

Softer tunes such as “Cool” and “Boys Will Be Boys” highlight Lipa’s sultry low alto, but steer away from the album’s theme a bit, as these songs are mainly pop infused. “Cool” has a funky bass with a catchy chorus and soft bridge, but it just doesn’t have the same excitement, disco funk and oomph that the rest of the album produces. Nevertheless, “Cool” would be a great way to sum Dua’s personal aura.  

“Future Nostalgia” is like a modern time disco album. It stays consistent to the 80s disco funk, and it’s a perfect album for a self-isolated dance party. The album is a blast from the past that you won’t be able to get enough of.

The Nanny

Where’s Our Nanny? Why the Nanny Needs to Be on Streaming Services Today. 

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Nanny Fine was the most eccentric gal on our television screens — with outfits, a nasally voice and quips to match. We fell in love with her on “The Nanny,” an American sitcom starring Fran Drescher, Charles Shaughnessy and Renée Taylor. “The Nanny” followed Fine, an unemployed Jewish 29-year-old, as she made her way into the Sheffield’s home as their new nanny, turning their beige lives red.

Viewers tuned in on Fine’s colorful misadventures with the Sheffield kids and her nail-biting, will-they-won’t-they relationship with Maxwell Sheffield for six seasons, airing on CBS from November 3, 1993 to June 23, 1999. 

21 years after its final episode, “The Nanny” cast reunited for a virtual pilot table read on April 6, 2020, hoping to bring some comedic relief during this trying time. 

“It’s a once in a lifetime Pandemic Performance for our fans around the world who are currently stressing in isolation and could use a real upper! It sure has given each of us a lift and we hope it does for you as well,” said Drescher in a statement. 

The virtual reading satisfied many nostalgic hearts, including those who’d catch reruns on Nick at Nite. However, many were left wondering when “The Nanny” will be joining streaming services — like many other 90s sitcom favorites already have.

Though the first two seasons can be found on the Roku Channel, “The Nanny” and its six seasons are still missing from streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. It is unclear as to why it hasn’t joined other American sitcoms like “Friends” and “Boy Meets World,” but it’s likely due to streaming rights. 

Nonetheless, check out the top four reasons why “The Nanny” needs to be on streaming services today. 

Jewish Representation in the Media 

Before there was “Broad City” and “Call Me by Your Name,” Fran Fine was teaching viewers about her Jewish roots through Yiddish words, Jewish holidays, customs and values which first clashed with the Sheffields’. You can find Fran Drescher channeling Jewish aunt vibes in “Broad City,” and in other American sitcoms like “Happily Divorced” and “Indebted,” embracing and displaying her Jewish identity through comedy. 

All of Those Laughs 

Not only was “The Nanny” full of clever, sassy quips from Fine — along with Yiddish words and hilarious facial reactions — it was also full of characters that made each second enjoyable. 

Niles, the Sheffield’s witty, loyal British butler, is one of the greatest additions and most underrated characters. When he’s not helping the Sheffields, he’s usually being hilariously cruel to C.C. Babcock, Maxwell Sheffield’s business partner. Fine’s mother, Sylvia Fine, is a recurring lovable character —usually with food in hand and nagging her daughter to get married. Grandma Yetta, based on Drescher’s grandmother, is another fan favorite due to her forgetful and snarky ways. 

 She Had Style! She Had Flair! She Was There! 

There’s no denying it: Fran Fine looked absolutely fabulous in her daring looks that drove Maxwell Sheffield crazy; she wore Moschino and Marc Jacobs (Mr. Sheffield, we need to talk) and pranced around in Dior, serving electric looks all over Manhattan. Fine’s wardrobe of leather, animal prints, brightly colored mini dresses and mini skirts turned her into a 90s fashion icon and the inspiration of many thrifters. 

Wholesome Lessons 

“The Nanny” taught viewers that with a little faith and persistence, opposites attract in the most beautiful ways; for example, in how British Manhattanite, uptight Maxwell Sheffield falls in love with the humble nanny from Queens.“The Nanny” also focuses on the importance of loosening up, family, kindness and standing out from the rest —even if you’re perceived as extra. 

Are you missing the red-lipped, cheetah-print-loving nanny? Watch “The Nanny’s” virtual reunion on Youtube today! Until then, we’re looking for you, Fran Drescher. We need our flashy girl from Flushing more than ever. #JusticeforTheNanny 

“The Nanny” Virtual Table Read:


Person Drawing a Map with a Camera and Passport on the Side

How Tinder Has Changed Due to the Coronavirus

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If you’re an extrovert, being stuck at home is not the most ideal situation. The never-ending boredom mixed with borderline claustrophobic sensations can drive a person crazy. At home, there is only so much you can clean, workout and cook before you’re sitting on the couch again watching another episode of “The Office.” However, with Tinder’s introduction of a new free passport, you can now explore the world, virus-free and from the safety of your home — a service that also appeals to many. 

Meeting new people online has always been tricky, even before the coronavirus. You can’t be too dark or people will think you’re psycho, nor can you consistently drop bad puns or people will think you’re too cringy. Yet, the virus has brought a common ground to all of us: what are you doing in quarantine? 

George Ali, current student of Zoom University, or the University of Nevada, Reno, talks about the way the coronavirus has impacted the way he interacts on Tinder.  

“Before the quarantine, I would try and plan an in-person date, but with Coronavirus, I like to suggest using Netflix Party,” shared Ali. 

Netflix Party is an application that allows people to synchronize their Netflix remotely and adds a chat function, where you can comment to others as the movie or TV show plays. 

“I prefer using Facetime on the side because it feels more personable and closer to a movie date as you can get.” 

Instead of immediately trying to link up, many users, such as Nevada student Ross Buhler, have taken the time to explore the differences of culture in other locations.

“I set my passport to Egypt and found out it’s common every morning to wake up to the sound of the mosque calling ‘Allahu Akbar.’”

Though Tinder is viewed as a hook-up app, out of sheer boredom and perhaps fear of leaving  home, it has given us the chance to be social while respecting social distancing. To be able to connect from significant distances and collectively complain about the coronavirus is a magnificent and entertaining feat.

So, once you’re done with everything you can possibly do in your home, consider downloading Tinder and exploring the 50 million people who are as collectively as bored as you. 


Topdown View of Very Green Trees

Humans Are Not the Virus: The Unforeseen Side-Effects of Self-Quarantine

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Our world has been shaken up by the novel coronavirus COVID-19. The usual flow to our lives has been disrupted: we are not allowed to leave our homes, our favorite places to eat have disallowed dine-in options and we’re confronted with the morbid reality of a disease that even doctors do not fully understand. Our social and personal distancing places us at home, physically disconnected from the outside world. But with our stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders comes an interesting side-effect: a return to nature.

The connection between human industry and the destruction of nature in its many forms is widely debated. However, self-quarantine has made humans in heavily populated areas decrease the amount of contact we have with our natural surroundings. Clearer skies, more breathable air and a reintroduction of wildlife in some places has led many to associate the lack of human presence with environmentalism. And the way this has manifested throughout the world has shown a pathway for this kind of thinking.

Venice, Italy is known for its famously beautiful canals, where tourists often ride in gondolas around the city. However, Italy’s national lockdown has its citizens staying inside, forcing many of the nation’s tourism to come to a complete halt. As a result, its canals are infinitely clearer than usual. Its streams of water are no longer muddy with dirt and sand due to the disturbance caused by human-centric tourism like gondola rides. The sight of clear water where there once was none reveals a correlation: less humans leads to less circulation of pollution.

There is something frightening about this revelation, leading some to believe that humans are the fundamental problem behind the processes that hurt our environment. Phrases like “we’re the virus” are thrown around, placing blame on people for our deteriorating world. The non-critical acceptance of this rhetoric is dangerous on the societal level, and freely feeding into it can lead to an ideology called ecofascism.

Ecofascism is an ideology driven by the idea that people must give up their essential rights in order to save the environment. In some extreme cases, those who subscribe to ecofascism believe in the sacrificing of people to preserve the environment, suggesting that genocide in some cases is the only way. Their underlying justification for this way of thinking? Humans are the virus, people are the problem; the way to save the environment is to fix the “problem.”

It’s very easy to fall into the trap of ecofascism simply because it’s easy to blame a general “people” for the environmental problems that face us. It’s easier to do that than think critically about the systems that surround the environment and the specific persons that perpetuate such harmful systems. 

Think about it like this: what role does a general worker have in the context of the farming industry? How much actual control do they have over the work they’re contributing to compared to an executive or manager who oversees the entirety of that work? The worker in this context is likely here to earn a wage or salary to support themselves or their family, thus having to resort to this work, especially if there are no other stable jobs around. In contrast, the executive is likely not in a position where their livelihood and state of living is in jeopardy, yet oversees and leads it anyway. The latter of the two needlessly engages in it despite not needing to do so.

Subscribers to ecofascist ideology also fail to consider the many Indigenous and Native Peoples who have grown large, yet have a historically harmonious relationship with nature and their environment. We should not draw the conclusion that humans are the problem to our environmental woes when there have been societies predating many European ones that prove that it is possible to have large communities and not hurt our environment.

This conversation is especially relevant today, at a time in United States history when there is extreme political polarization and climate change poses an existential threat. The coronavirus has only further exposed the flaws in our current economic and social systems. These systems’ inability to support the workers that uphold the nation tell us that they do not work, no matter the efforts to patch its fundamental flaws.

These flaws should not be an indictment of humanity, as we know that in the past and in pre-colonial times that humanity has proved a possible harmony with nature, but rather an indictment of the systems that hurt us. These systems, inclusive of our political and economic frameworks, must be broken down. We must be careful to not fall victim to complacency. We must not fight to preserve the system and hierarchy that damages the relationships we have with each other and with our earth.

Ecofascist philosophy is lazy; it suggests that the absence of humanity is the solution. It does nothing to address the changes in our world and in our society that create these problems. What, then, do we have as an alternative to the systems we currently live within?

The alternative must be one that advocates for the liberty and equitable rights of all. Rather than recklessly placing the blame on entire countries or on workers in an industry, aim your environmentalist energy towards and against the ones in power that put workers in a position where they have no choice but to contribute to a crisis. An ordinary worker has no choice but to use petroleum fuel, to create deadly fumes and to destroy if the resources and means to shift to something cleaner and safer is out of reach. 

They have no choice but to do so if the system and the people that benefit from it will continue to exploit those workers for their own personal gain. The amassing of capital with little sacrifice will only exacerbate these problems. Capital, and the power that comes with it, is the core of the problems that are brutally exposed and revealed by the COVID-19 crisis, not humanity in its entirety.

I do not yet advocate for a revolution, but we must understand that we cannot fall victim to a nihilist philosophy, where we put ourselves into a position where humanity is the problem. But we also cannot be so conceited as to suggest that humanity is the solution. Instead, we must see that humans can react to their settings, but also may change them. In front of us is not an opportunity to tear humanity apart for the sake of the environment. It is an opportunity for us to come together to tear down the systems that harm the environment.