A post about food

With Thanksgiving last weekend and more holiday gatherings quickly approaching, food has been a frequent subject on the brain for me. With this in mind, I asked two of my closest friends to describe the best meal they’ve eaten in the past 6 months. Their stories are below and mine follows afterwards. Enjoy! But I warn you, you might work up a bit of an appetite.

Hannah’s Reuben

“I was headed to a new place in East Lansing with my friends. It was an Irish pub called Dublin. This past summer I realized I had never tried a reuben sandwich before. I even told my dad it was a goal of mine. As I sat down at the table with my friends, I saw my usual picks on the menu, but my eyes caught something new: the reuben. My friends agreed it was a good choice.

“I ordered and then sat there, hungry, waiting for my sandwich to arrive. When it finally came, on the plate appeared heavenly shreds of corned beef toasted on marble rye bread. The sauerkraut and Swiss cheese paired perfectly with the beer-battered fries on the side. It also came with a pickle spear, lightly pickled so that it still held on to that fresh cucumber-like crisp. I indulged, and forgot my friends were there. I’m looking forward to my next reuben.”

Taylor’s Chicken Nuggets

“One time I ordered chicken nuggets at Albion College’s infamous Eat Shop. These were not ordinary nuggets. These were special. They were extra golden and crisp. The contrast of the hot flakiness of the breaded chicken matched with the cool zing of the ranch dressing is something my tongue will never forget.

“I paired them with curly fries. Always crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, it felt like I was eating gold. This particular time, the Eat Shop was about to close, so the employees let me eat these fries with all of the sauces they had available. They were so accommodating and nice; they were happy I was happy. It was an experience I will never forget.”

Alex’s Club

I wandered through the streets of downtown Windsor with my friends. All we had in our stomachs were a few pretzels and some Canadian Molson (the legal drinking age in Canada is 19 years old) and we were hungry for some good bar food. We stumbled across a garage-looking venue called the Beer Exchange.

We immediately sat down at the bar and demanded a menu. My surroundings was dark and loud, so I just ordered my usual favorite: the club. I expected the  usual assortment of turkey, ham, cheese, tomato, lettuce mayonnaise and sometimes bacon piled between three slices of bread. But this was different.

Accompanied by seasoned waffle fries, The thick slices of ham, turkey and swiss cheese rested in a soft onion poppy-seed bun. The tomato was served on the side along with a cole-slaw like mixture of green cabbage and kale. Everything blended together perfectly. It was the perfect sandwich: warm and flavorful and just right.

Why I hate the Christmas song: “Baby it’s Cold Outside”

I think Christmas songs are great – they get people in the holiday spirit and they remind them of great memories. Whether a classic hit or a new spin on an old favorite, Christmas music is an awesome genre to enjoy during this time of year.

There is one song, however, that just grinds my gears. I hate it, I can’t listen to it for more than 12 seconds and when it comes on the radio I have to turn the station or I think my ears would explode.

This horrible monstrosity is called “Baby it’s Cold Outside” and I have three perfectly valid reasons why I think this is the worst Christmas song ever created and approved to appear on the radio.

First of all, it’s not even about Christmas.

The song is a duet between a man and a woman who have feelings for each other and the man is trying to get the woman to stay with him for the night. There is not once a reference to the holidays, but instead it is just a song takes place during frigid weather. Why it is always played on the radio and is considered a “Christmas song” escapes me.

Second, it’s the same notes over and over again.

The song gets so repetitive! Listening to this song once makes me feel like I’ve heard it a thousand times over because each verse sounds exactly the same. The notes are so monotone and the pattern of the verses never changes, and it drives me crazy. I don’t claim to be a music expert, but I personally think songs should be a little more interesting and contain a little more variation in notes and pitches.

Third, it’s just plain creepy.

Think about it; really think about what is happening in this song. The woman is trying to get home – she says she wants to leave and get away from this man. She even states that her mother and father are worried about her. The man involved, however, is singing about the power this woman has over him while being very persistent, and almost desperate in the way he tries to get her to stay. There is even a line where the woman says “what’s in this drink?” I can’t tell for sure what is going on here, but in my opinion, the song is just too creepily unsettling to be considered a friendly holiday tune.

So don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas music, and it will probably be my most listened to Pandora station for the next month or so. I will not, however, tolerate listening to any of “Baby it’s Cold Outside” because its just too creepy, too monotone, and too non-holiday themed to considered a Christmas song in my book.

 

This Changes Everything

timehop“This changes everything” that was the first phrase I read as I opened up my first college acceptance letter to Albion College. As cliché as it sounds, that truly was the moment my life was about to change.

It’s weird to think that 3 years ago Albion College was just a place to me, just a school that had mailed me a letter saying I was welcome to study there next year.  Now, however, Albion College has become my home; and it’s sad to think that I only have 3 semesters left here.

At Albion I’ve made life-long friendships, whether it be with fellow students, outstanding coaches or admirable faculty. I’ve learned things in classes I never imagined possible, from the neuro-capacity of an earthworm, to the history of the sport of boxing in the U.S. to the methods of communication across cultures. I’ve traveled to Chicago, San Diego and even Paris with various classes and sports teams.

In addition, all of my time spent on campus has been priceless, whether its delving deep into a great book somewhere in the library, or just sitting on the floor of my friends’ dorm room talking about life. I’ve joined clubs, teams and Greek Life — each organization brining me closer to people I might have not found on my own.

When I look at my Timehop every day and see all the great memories I’ve made these past few years at Albion, there’s no doubt in my mind that I made the right choice when I decided to make Albion College my home for my 4-year college career.

Go Brits.

LAX Pancakes

Every year the Albion College Women’s Lacrosse team, or LAX team, hosts a fundraiser to raise money for various team funds needed for equipment or traveling. The girls sell wristbands and in return a customer can come to Upper Baldwin any time between 9 and 11pm on a designated weekday and eat as many pancakes as his or her heart desires.
The event is usually accompanied by a performance form Albion’s one and only Euphonics, a stellar a cappella group comprised of male and female student singers. This year they did not disappoint, and neither did the pancakes… I personally ate four.
But the pictures say it all. It was a great night, a great time; full stomachs for attendees and a full cashbox for the LAX team.

Networking: My New Favorite Skill

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For those of you who do not know, I am currently interning at an Event Planning Firm called Eventricity. At Eventricity, we offer many different businesses. We plan all sorts of events, ranging from a small intimate gathering, to a large festival. This weekend, for example, we have an Indian wedding, Bat Mitzvah, and also a large ball. Along with planning events, we also do an immense amount of event décor. Since I have been interning at Eventricity, we have done a Hunger Games-themed event, four Mardi Gras themed events, and lots of others.

One of the main perks about my internship, however, is the opportunity for networking. When I graduate from Albion, I want to have a job. I am doing my best to form connections with people in my field that may help me obtain a job after graduating. The other week, I accompanied my boss, Phyllis, to a networking opportunity at a brewery. At this event, I met so many people involved in the special events industry. I received their cards, and later connected with them on LinkedIn.

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Just last week, I had the opportunity to attend the Philadelphia Marcum Innovator of the Year Awards. This award ceremony was put on for CEOs who had started innovative businesses in the Philadelphia area. This has been one of my favorite nights so far of this program. First off, the food was incredible. I ate crab, shrimp, steak, mini cheeseburgers, you name it, I ate it. Secondly, I was able to introduce myself to the CEOs of multiple companies in the field I am interested in. I could not have asked for a better opportunity. I have since connected with these CEOs, and I am going to be visiting their companies for an informational interview.

I cannot even explain how important I have found networking to be in my time here in Philadelphia. Hopefully I will be returning after I graduate!

Dress Well Test Well

Dress Well Test Well is a philosophy that I have adapted since my first semester at Albion College. This philosophy, or way to score success as I like to call it, is my way of instilling self-confidence and a positive mindset in myself before I walk in to take an exam.

What is Dress Well Test Well you may ask? It is exactly what it sounds like. No, honestly think about it.

From a mental standpoint your brain is filled with a ton of information that will help you rock that exam. Now from a physical standpoint, your body needs to be just as prepared as your brain to receive that top grade you want.

Now let’s say you had two option of clothing to wear before your exam:

Option 1: Business casual/professional (interview clothing)

Option 2: Sweatpants and t-shirt with your hair thrown in a messy bun

Many people would chose option 2 in a heartbeat after spending hours studying the night before an exam because it is easy and comfortable, but the Dress Well Test Well approach would confirm that Option 1 would help you perform better on an exam.

See, with wearing business casual/professional clothing and spending time grooming yourself before your exam, your brain is trained to perform to its best because that is what happens when you have an interview. In an interview situation your brain is very active, promoting your best self and making sure you are thinking of the best possible outcomes, which is what you want to happened while taking an exam.

On the other hand, if you were to choose the sweatpants and t-shirt option, your brain is trained to relax and unwind, as you would do normally in a t-shirt and sweats watching TV on your couch. Would you want your mind to do the same on an exam?

I hope you think twice before throwing on your favorite Albion College hoodie minutes before an exam, because I have seen positive results with the Dress Well Test Well philosophy and I hope the same for you.

Spooktacular

Every Halloween at Albion College, various student-groups participate in a campus-wide trick-or-treating event called Spooktacular for the community children of the city of Albion. Despite the snowy weather and frivolous temperatures this year, around 500 kids and their parents or guardians participated in the “ghostly” festivities, receiving loads of candy from sports teams, fraternities, sororities and other campus clubs or groups. Most Albion students were dressed up in fun costumes just like the kids. The families were lead around campus by student-volunteer guides dressed in festive orange sweatshirts. This year might have been a cold Halloween, but Albion students made sure it was still spooky-fun for the community kids.

Albion: Beyond the Campus

I was blessed with the opportunity to travel with Albion College’s Career and Internship Center over fall break to Chicago with other students and faculty for CIC’s Career Visions Trip. We were lucky enough to meet some of Albion’s finest alumni who were making it big in the Windy City. This opportunity gave me so much more than just a trip to Chicago. It reinforced to me reason I came to Albion College, and reminded me of the Albion Advantage: a commitment to my future through a comprehensive strategy designed to help me succeed in my studies, in my career, and in my life.

Not only did I meet these Albion alumni, but they shared with me step by step how they turned their dreams into a reality. As a junior, their advice hit home to me as I am in the process of applying to internships that will help me with my future plans in the marketing, sales, and event planning fields. One alumna that stood out to me was Danielle Wysocki, ’10, who is a booking producer for Comcast SportsNet located in downtown Chicago. After listening to her wise advice, I feel more confident than ever that my Albion degree will set me apart and will give me the upper-hand advantage, just as it did for Danielle.

Compast SportsNet -- Danielle Wysocki ’10 pictured far left

Compast SportsNet — Danielle Wysocki ’10 pictured far left

“Nevermore!”

Today is Halloween, and this evening is All Hallows’ Eve, a time dedicated to remembering the dead, saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed believers. This is when we tell stories, ponder on accounts of fear and fright, and use themes of humor and ridicule in order to confront the power of death…or for some its just a time to party with your friends while wearing some costume you threw together at the last minute because you were too busy with other things or just didn’t care!

Whatever Halloween may mean to you, or whatever you may be doing on this day/eve, just remember that its not Halloween without a little spookiness thrown in the mix. In case you ran out of spookiness or just forgot to grab some, I have some here!

Below is Edgar Allen Poe’s famed bone-chilling poem The Raven (1845)

(Caution: May want to read with a few lights on…oooooh!)

The Raven:

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“ ’Tis some visiter,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
Only this and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
“ ’Tis some visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door;
This it is and nothing more.”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;—
Darkness there and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore!”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”—
Merely this, and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon I heard again a tapping somewhat louder than before.
“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—
“Tis the wind and nothing more!”

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not an instant stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore—
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door—
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as “Nevermore.”

But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—
Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before—
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.”
Then the bird said “Nevermore.”

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore—
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
Of “Never—nevermore.”

But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamplght gloated o’er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o’er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Angels whose faint foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
“Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore;
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—
On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore—
Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil—prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

“Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting—
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted—nevermore!

Albion Is

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Albion isn’t really the kind of place I pictured I’d end up at. Unless your family has history here, I’m sure I’m not the only one. We pictured a big school with big football games and buses to get to other campuses and getting lost and not knowing anyone.

Albion is so, so beautifully haunting. Every time I hear the clock bell, I feel it’s the start of some kind of prophecy. I can picture little fairies at my feet when I walk through the Nature Center and the leaves whisper “dance, dance” and when I stand on the bridge and tilt my head back to feel the wind, I have never felt a greater peace.

Albion always finds a way to bring everything full circle. Yes, I did use my English assignment as a template for writing one of the most difficult letters of my adult life.

Albion is vibrant no matter the day. On a winter day with no sun, it still holds beauty and mystery. I pretend I’m solving a secret mystery when I go through the stacks, tip-toeing through the aisles of books, leaping through the halls when no one is looking. The buildings are so historically beautiful, there are so many opportunities, and everyone wants to see you succeed.

Albion is nothing I wished for, but everything I had ever hoped it to be.

- by Melanie Fodera

France, Twice

Noisy City HallAt Albion, it’s not uncommon for students to travel to far off places with classes or other organizations. In fact, I have traveled to France with Albion classmates, twice.

As a first-year student, my class of 12 students and I went to France with the French department in the capable hands of Professors Dianne Guenin-Lelle and Emmanuel Yewah. During the trip, we each stayed with separate host families in Albion’s sister city: Noisy-le-Roi, France. Living with French families was an experience in and of itself – getting used to a new place in a foreign country and trying to pick up on bits of the language while getting to know complete strangers. It was difficult at first, but ended up being very culturally enlightening for us.

Our itinerary for my first trip included some sight-seeing in Paris. However, it was mostly about building relationships with our sister city, Noisy. We visited schools and city halls, each time escorted by one of Dianne’s close friends in France.

Versailles

In contrast, this year I traveled to the Paris area but with the business department instead. As a member of the Gerstacker Institute, this year I had the opportunity to participate in an international partnership with with a group of French business students at the École Supérieure de Vente, called Sup de V for short, located in St. Germain en Laye, France. Throughout the school year for this class Albion students work with the French via Skype to develop a business plan for an original product. As mentioned, the course included a trip to France in October during fall break and a week-long visit form the French counterparts in April for the Elkin Isaac Research Symposium presentations.

Group of Americans and French

Instead of staying with host families in Noisy, this time we stayed in hotels. Rather than being thrown into the culture like my class freshman year, we spent more time interacting in English and focusing on the task at hand, not submersing into the French culture.

We spent the first weekend of the Gerstacker trip sight-seeing in Paris before we moved to a hostel in Louviennces, a small town near St. Germain en Laye where Sup de V is located. From there we attended class every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. learning about business strategies and market research with our French counterparts.

Notre Dame

Garden

We were lead around Paris and to class each morning by our professor Joy Nakfoor. After class, however, our itinerary was left entirely up to the French students, who were not always the most organized. Each night they took us out to restaurants and bars in either Paris or St. Germain they picked only a few hours before. Regardless of planning though, it was completely different than what we were going as freshman in Noisy when we were all sent home to host families around 6 p.m. — that being said, nights were much more fun.

Bar

Restaurant

Each trip was different in itinerary and style, but both were a blast. In both cases I made new friends, both American or French. I’ve learned so much from working with these students, not only in improving my French language but also learning to work with students from different backgrounds. Long story short, when given the opportunity to travel while at Albion College, take it. You never know what you might get out of it, but it will always be worth it.

Train Station

 

Peace. Love. Gina’s

#1: Turkey Sub 12"

#1: Turkey Sub 12″

Gina’s Pizza & Deli is a delicious food destination whether living nearby, visiting the town, or trying to find an affordable meal as a college student. Gina’s, as it is known as around Albion, proudly serves the community for lunch & dinner in its warm and inviting restaurant located on 1313 E. Michigan Avenue. Along with sitting down and enjoying a warm pizza, sub sandwich, or wings, delectable entrees can be purchased for take-out services and/or delivery.

I have come to Gina’s at least 25 times since I have been attending Albion College. Although everything I have eaten from their BBQ Chicken Pizzas to their Cobb Salad has hit the spot, my favorite thing to order at Gina’s is the #1 Turkey Sub because it has my ultimate favorite food; banana peppers. I typically choose the larger 12” sub so I can take my leftovers back and enjoy Gina’s two days in a row!

Along with the great food, the staff at Gina’s is very welcoming. It is clear that they strive for great customer satisfaction and many people around the Albion Community love to gather and share a meal at Gina’s together.

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You know you’ve been to Gina’s too often when you walk in and automatically connect to their Wifi. :)

An Ocean Apart – Albion to Sevilla

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A Spanish procession “La Romería del Viso del Alcor”, and is an important religious festival for the Spaniards.

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The river in Cordoba, which was during a day trip with my school from Seville.

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The famous Mezquita, also located in Cordoba.

Leaving Albion College for España was a mixture of emotions for me. I have always wanted to study abroad, but wondered if a small school like Albion could really prepare me for what I was about to experience. One part of me felt that I would transition into the culture smoothly. I believed I could pass for a Spanish woman easily with my thick dark hair, olive complexion and my (attempted) sense of fashion. In addition, I felt the culture was perfectly suited for my easygoing attitude. The afternoon siestas, strong sense in family, and an all around passion “por la vida” all appealed to me.

However, the other side of me, the more negative side, reminded me of my humble background, for Albion is a small school located in a small town. While Seville is a major city, speaks a different language, and has an entirely different culture.

Now that I am a month into my experience abroad, I could not be happier that I chose to embark on this journey. Although my time here has not all always been a cakewalk, I have had countless moments of embarrassment. There have been various occasions where I have broken down in tears in the middle of the street due to my lack of supposed instinctual sense of direction (No, Google maps is not a possibility for me here), or my inability to communicate exactly what I want to say with my host family in Spanish.

The positive experiences; however, outweigh the negative, and the obstacles I have overcome have made the good times even sweeter. I have come to realize that I was as prepared as anybody regardless of how big my school is. España has been pulling on me to come for a long time, and I am beyond happy that Albion has given me the opportunity to study here. In total, the experience has been eye opening thus far, for I have not seamlessly transitioned into Spanish culture, but I am getting there little by little. I am excited to return to Albion and share what I have learned with the rest of the community.

Cascarelli’s: Inside and Out

cascarellis

We at Albion have a special place in our heart for Cascarelli’s: one of Albion’s few downtown taverns. It usually has a fairly large crowd on weekends and it’s very popular on monday nights for those senior Albion students. It’s a unique experience and great food you can’t get anywhere else.

This Saturday, the pace was packed with Albion College students, alumni, and families, plus the local/regular crowds. Whether it was a pre-football game meal or a post-game drink, the atmosphere was welcoming and warm and full of Briton pride.

Personally, I love eating at Cascarelli’s because aside from the phenomenal pizza breadsticks and sandwiches served by a hospitable staff, most of the time a visit renders a special occasion — team dinners, family visits, or friends’ birthday dinners, just to name a few. There’s always a fun reason to eat at Cascarelli’s accompanied by great view of Superior street when you’re done with your meal.

cascarellis out

Food For Thought: The Jalisco Special

La Casa Mexicana is a name that frequents the conversations of students throughout Albion’s campus. It is a spot that is craved, loved, enjoyed, and celebrated by students and townies alike. Whether you’re filling up on good eats, enjoying a pitcher of their “sinus clearing” margaritas, or just indulging in quality conversation with friends and family, La Casa is a good time to be had by all.

Since I began at Albion College, I have found my self walking through the doors of La Casa on many occasions. I have filed through a majority of the items on the menu, but nothing has quite compared to the Jalisco Special.

This La Casa staple is always a good choice, that will leave wanting more. With grilled juicy steak, tender chicken, and succulent shrimp cooked with fresh onions, bell peppers, tomatoes and served over a bed of rice covered with the special cheese sauce and three tortillas…this is a dish that will have you “ooh-ing” and “ahh-ing” till the very end.

It’s a quality dish, at a quality placed, served by quality people. So next time you are at La Casa Mexicana take a leap of faith into the world of the Jalisco Special, I wouldn’t steer you wrong!

The Jalisco Special:

Dealing With Homesickness

Harbor Park

Okay folks, I’m about a month in my short journey here in Philadelphia, and even though I have only been here for a month, I am experiencing something I never thought would happen to me: I’m homesick.

You see, I’ve lived in the country nearly my whole life. I actually grew up riding and showing horses. And even though I try to put on the strong independent city boy face, I’m a country boy at heart. This city is magnificent, although I keep finding myself missing that little bit of green.

I couldn’t let myself sit in my apartment and feel sorry for myself, so what did I do? I went to search for the green within the city.

You may not think that a major metropolitan city offers anything I was looking for, but boy was I wrong. My first stop was at Harbor Park, which made its debut this summer. Harbor Park is the ultimate place for relaxation. It is a small park nestled against the Schuylkill River. Within the park there are many hammocks tucked in between the tree’s, with neon lights dangling from the branches. It is truly a beautiful sight to see, especially at night. Along with these hammocks, which always seem to have gross couples cuddling and hogging the hammocks from me, there are ping-pong tables, giant Jenga and chess games, and food trucks.

Along the park runs the Schuylkill River. I come from a town that is along a large river with a boardwalk, so being here really made it feel as though I could find home here in Philadelphia.

That was all I had time for this weekend besides attending College Fest, but next weekend I plan on visiting Fairmount Park!

I may be feeling overwhelming homesickness at times while I’m here, but I am finding out that I can find just as much home here in Philadelphia as I can in St. Clair, Michigan. It’s just a matter of perspective.

You’ve Got Mail

Before coming to Albion College, getting the mail from my family’s mailbox was a chore. Rain or shine, I walked to the mailbox to get bills, catalogs, & letters for my parents, which for the most part got thrown into the recycle bin.

Coming to Albion, I was told I was going to have a mailbox in the Kellogg Center and this little piece of Albion would be mine for the next four years. I remember not being very excited or giving the little key I was handed much thought.photo(19)

Since my time at Albion, I have received packages from my family members filled with delicious food and thoughtful letters from my grandparents wishing me well. Also, as a student I receive information about events taking place on campus along with an occasional piece of candy or hand sanitizer tucked away in my mailbox.

The task of checking my mailbox is now something I look forward to everyday and although filled with uncertainty, it is very exciting. Along with checking my mailbox, getting an email from Michelle Garrett from the Campus Post Office saying I have a package to sign for has definitely been the highlight of my day on many accounts.

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