Being within UR’s campus can feel isolating at times. Sure, there’s plenty to do here, and the events calendar on any given day could fill up your itinerary three times over, but it’s hard to get out beyond campus if you don’t know where to go or how to get there. Luckily, that’s what your friends at the Editorial Board of the Campus Times are here for! 

Some of us are Rochester natives, some of us have lived here for the past couple years, and others just went to Wegmans for the first time last week. However, our combined experiences may be similar to yours, and in the trying times of midterm season, it might be nice to check out one of these places as a reward for all your hard work. 

Alyssa: The Rochester Museum and Science Center (RMSC)

If you went to the Strong Museum of Play’s College Night last week, RMSC might be the next stop on your list of things to hit up. A short walk from the Red or Orange shuttle lines, the center specifically does programming catering towards many different demographics — while the exhibits might seem child-centric, there’s a lot to learn, no matter who you are. 

There’s a whole exhibit about historical, racist, entertainment-based depictions of Black people that I found specifically striking when I went with a cohort of new students entering the University this spring. Waking up at 7 a.m. to be on the clock for an Orientation event didn’t initially seem all that appealing, but the history and science that has built up Rochester’s past, present, and future emblazoned across all these interactive sections made me feel like a starry-eyed academic again. 

In addition to RMSC itself, it also hosts the Strasenburgh Planetarium and the Cumming Nature Center, where you can tour the stars, go snowshoeing, and explore even more wonder that Rochester has to offer.

This month, RMSC is doing programming for Black History Month every weekend, including next weekend’s Black Excellence in STEM stations. 

Sunahra: Burger Bar @ Pittsford Wegmans

Being from Rochester, it’s only natural that I am a part of the Wegmans cult. There is just something about entering a building knowing that every dollar I spend there will go straight into the pockets of Danny Wegmans. And my favorite Wegmans is the one in Pittsford Plaza. With one short Green Line trip, you can end up at one of the biggest Wegmans in the area. It has a huge selection of food and desserts and seemingly endless aisles to wander around. I find myself there often, even if I don’t need to buy anything, I just love it for its wanderability.

I also love it for hosting the Burger Bar, my favorite place for burgers in all of Rochester. The burgers there are juicy, meaty and priced fairly. They also have some of the best fries I have ever tried. I’m not a big fries person, but the garlic tuscan fries are a must have for anyone. But my favorite thing on the menu are their chocolate milkshakes, which they make with both chocolate ice cream and chocolate milk. Everything on the Burger Bar menu is amazing. It’s hard to go wrong when choosing something to eat. So if you’re sick of the Pit food (which you are), try hopping on the Green Line on Sunday to try out the Burger Bar.

Sunahra: Brighton Farmers Market

Starting March 5th, every Sunday, the town of Brighton will host a small farmers market. From March 5th to April 2nd, this will be indoors at the Brookside Recreation Center. From April 16th, they will move outdoors to the Brighton High School parking lot.

With tons of local vendors selling produce, flowers, and all types of food, there are unlimited ways to support local businesses in Rochester. The produce is cheap, great quality, and mostly grown locally. There are a bunch of stalls that sell great bread and pastries. Even Java’s sets up shop there. It’s a fun way to spend your Sunday mornings and shop local.

Allie: Umai Revolving Sushi

The concept of sushi trains isn’t new, but Umai Revolving Sushi is the first and only current conveyor belt sushi restaurant in Rochester. Just down the road from Wegmans and Trader Joe’s, the charming location features a picturesque, modern-farmhouse style exterior with a stylish and clean seating area inside. On the conveyor belt wrapping around the restaurant, they offer your classic sushi rolls (on par with other places like Osaka Sushi in Rochester) to nigiri and sashimi all on aesthetic multi-colored plates — all very Instagrammable, if that’s your thing. Even if you don’t eat raw fish like me, there’s plenty of cooked options as well — I’d definitely recommend the Umai and lobster sushi rolls (both cooked) as well as their delicious pork gyoza and inari sushi (sushi rice stuffed in deep-fried pockets, slightly sweet).

If you don’t see what you like circling around or prefer a personal delivery, feel free to use their express train above the belt to directly order appetizers like tempura and takoyaki. There’s also a server robot rolling around the restaurant if you’d like to order any drinks! And for their dessert selection, be sure to try their taiyaki, a Japanese fish-shaped crispy pastry stuffed with sweet red bean paired with ice cream (vanilla, but you can ask to swap it out for matcha or red bean flavors) and all drizzled with syrup. Their taiyaki and matcha ice cream are rich in flavor and are some of the best I’ve had.

Although on the pricier end, Umai is worth the experience if you’ve never visited a revolving sushi restaurant. Umai is open from noon until 9 p.m. all days of the week save Tuesday, and if you decide to check it out be sure to arrive early — by 12:30 p.m. the line is already out the door!

Henry: Public Market

Every Saturday, Tuesday, and Thursday, the Rochester Public Market comes alive, filling with vendors and Rochestarians exchanging some of the best produce and food goods the county has to offer. Prices are nearly always cheaper than buying at grocery stores and often much better quality, this is especially true among bell peppers. Two weeks ago, some friends and I purchased a twenty pound bag of potatoes for only $4. I have purchased amazing chicken, fish, potatoes, bread, art, hats, the world’s best honey, gin, and so much more from within the walls of the market. Students living on campus can bike to the market, ride RTS, or take the Green Line’s market service after March 4th. If you have never attended, be sure to visit and join the 118 year tradition of shopping at the Public Market.

Sarah: The Lucky Flea

If you know me, you’ve probably noticed that I am borderline a walking billboard for the Lucky Flea with how often I wear their merch. If you haven’t heard of it before, the Lucky Flea Market, founded in spring 2021, is a market known for its vintage clothing and knick knacks, along with handmade jewelry and other crafts. It’s open almost every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is a 20- minute walk from the Park & Culver shuttle stop on the Orange/Blue line on the weekend. They are currently located indoors for the colder months inside Radio Social, a popular upscale bowling alley, restaurant, and bar. In the summer it is located at 320 N Goodman Street, which is a large parking lot next to Village Gate near the Memorial Art Gallery. In the winter they are much shorter on space, so expect less vendors and a cramped shopping area. In the summer there is space for over 100 vendors. There is a wide variety of pricing depending on the item and the vendor, with some charging $100+ for anything Buffalo Bills related to a $5 bin of old t-shirts. There are usually a few food trucks around as well which can make for a fun afternoon of eating poutine while wandering around the different booths. 

Sarah: Lamberton Conservatory at Highland Park

The Lamberton Conservatory, located in nearby Highland Park, is the perfect place to visit on a cold and dreary Rochester day. It’s filled with a variety of tropical plants in some rather humid rooms, along with a much more arid room filled with cacti. There’s also animals throughout: cute small tortoises, quals, and often a duck. It’s open every day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and costs $3 (but if you plan to go four or more times in a year a pass is only $10). There are benches scattered throughout the building, making it a nice place to sit and chat with a friend or do some reading or journaling while surrounded by greenery.

The Editorial Board is a weekly Opinions article representing the view of the Campus Times, co-written by Editor-in-Chief Alyssa Koh, Publisher Sarah Woodams, Managing Editor Allie Tay, and Opinions Editor Sunahra Tanvir.

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