Can you think of one thing that New York City, Miami, Los Angeles and Rochester have in common? If you think it’s weather, you’re clearly not from around here. Wealth? In this economy, everyone is poor, so that is not an option. The answer is that they have nothing in common.
New York City is called the “Capital of the World.” Miami knocks the other cities out, in a good way, with its weather. Los Angeles might be the biggest producer of plastic, not in the way you think, but at least it is known as the “City of Angels.”
Rochester? Well, it can’t be known as the “World’s Image Centre” anymore because Kodak recently declared bankruptcy, nor can it be called the “Flower City” because snow during 10 out of 12 months does not permit much blooming.
However, believe it or not, Rochester does have some of the best kinds of entertainment, especially for college students. Rochester combines sophistication, entertainment and education all in one city.
The first stop to make in Rochester is usually Eastman Theatre. Clearly, every musician is interested in attending an opera or, even better, Eastman students’ recitals. The musical hub, though, is better known for the artsy café, Java’s. It is so easy to sit there, admire the hipster deco and pretend to understand the art.
The café’s atmosphere promotes a sense of intellectualism. The starving artist can go there to think (and still starve because of the steep prices) and connect with his or her inner self. There are a few downsides to the place, but overall, the benefits outweigh the costs.
For example, if you are a River Campus student, Eastman students will likely stare you down for being obnoxious and less refined. Also, the fact that you will drool over the edible food — it exists, my fellow Danforth Dining Center eaters — will not help your case in proving how classy you really are.
Beyond the musical center of the city lies another great place for entertainment and education: the Strong Museum of Play. What better way to spend an evening than shopping in a mini Wegmans where you do not actually pay for anything?
The place is usually filled with little kids or couples on their awkward first dates, which may feel uncomfortable, but this is why we are told to ignore strangers.
So, if you want a five-year-old kid to hit you with a mini cereal box, or if you want to help a child learn how to count while he or she colors on you with a Crayola marker, this is definitely somewhere to go.
Yet, the best part of Rochester is the water. No, not the drinking water, but places like Charlotte Beach or the Erie Canal. Charlotte Beach immediately stands out because of its pronunciation. The name is actually pronounced “shar-lot,” not like the name Charlotte. This embodies the essence of every upstate New York citizen: to use pronunciation such that everyone raises an eyebrow in confusion.
The beach itself is wonderful, as it has more pebbles than actual water.
Still, the Erie Canal is the best of Rochester’s waters. Every science experiment that ever went wrong is in that canal. Random body parts have been found in it, and if you are really in the mood for an adventure, just take a swim and you will probably come out as a radioactive mutant animal.
There are many more places to explore within Rochester. Bushnell’s Basin has a sign calling itself a “historical town,” yet it fails to express why. Bristol Mountain is a good place to ski, but it should probably be called a hill rather than a mountain. If you walk around the city and you manage to stay alive, you might even discover some great restaurants.
Rochester is a city bustling with many fun and exciting activities. All you need is pepper spray, a phone that works to call 911 and a very brave heart. If you have those three items, you are in for the time of your life.
Panda is a member of the class of 2014.