Category Archives: Travel

Notes on Pancakes in Littleton, New Hampshire

It is entirely possible that Littleton, New Hampshire is the pancake capital of the Northeastern United States.

The Littleton Diner uses buckwheat from a gristmill down the street for their thin and gritty pancakes. Real maple syrup costs an extra 50 cents; after all, Littleton is eight and a half miles south of the Vermont State Line. The town nestles in the north-east cradle of Interstate-93. There is a Hampton Inn, a Walgreens, one human cemetery, one horse cemetery (where Maud and Mollie Wallace, Mrs. Eli Wallace’s horses, currently reside), and a railroad depot. The Ammonoosuc River flows soft and still below the babble of tourists ogling Chutters: The World’s Longest Candy Counter. Drowsy from the mountain air and rich food, fat old folks and grandchildren straddle the sidewalks. It is a sleepy town punctuated (or punctured) by the occasional skateboard punk or hobo. After a pancake dinner, you might want to waddle to Bishop’s Homemade Ice Cream. A scoop of maple nut does not cost more than any other, despite the long walk to proper sugaring grounds. Continue reading

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Notes on Sausage Gravy

I have eaten more sausage gravy than any man should. I am sure there are men who could eat more sausage gravy than me. That would be a decidedly bad idea. Continue reading

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Dispatch: The End of Days at the Bon Ton Mini Mart

The end of days is coming early at the Bon Ton Mini Mart. The only sign of change hangs on the RC Cola soda fountain. On September 1st, 2012 customers will no longer be allowed to smoke indoors. What with the apocalypse scheduled for November, it would seem forgiving to permit a postprandial cigarette or two. But pesky journalists keep visiting for the fried chicken and writing fawning reviews. If press junkets are any indication of future success, the Bon Ton can expect their current trickle of tourists to grow into a mighty stream. The barbaric presence of second-hand smoke cannot be tolerated. Continue reading

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Journeys to the Bronx

The terrifying thing about New York City is that, unlike Paris, one realizes that the streets are exhaustible, that eventually, one will have seen everything. And it will be time to go. I came to that realization the last two weekends, on journeys to the Bronx. Continue reading

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Ommegang Abbey Ale

In Cooperstown, if you’re not drinking ballpark beer, you’re not drinking right. Starting at the Baseball Hall of Fame, walk down Main Street: hipster hasn’t touched here. Insurance salesmen waddle around stuffed into Derek Jeter jerseys; little leaguers follow, their uniforms comparatively loose on pre-adolescent frames. July slips away in cheap ice creams—scooped into mini batting helmets, pick a team—and Coors, bottles, cold. When I last visited Cooperstown, I was in-between mint chip and Miller, so I had never heard of Ommegang Brewery before last Friday. Apparently, Ommegang is located in Cooperstown, excuse my ignorance. According to Ommegang’s website, Cooperstown was the headquarters of American hop production circa the 19th century. Ommegang started in 1997 and safely predates the 21st century explosion of craft breweries and foodie beer nerds. Continue reading


Filed under College Life, Columbia University, Drinks, New York City, Travel

Foreign Hospitality

by Andrew Luzmore, Cornell University

Following an arduous eight days in the south of Italy characterized by numerous misbooked accommodations and non-functioning credit cards, my friend and I found ourselves in Amsterdam on the final day of our summer trip. Content to never hear another “Grazie” or “Prego” again in our lives, we walked across the tarmac to the terminal of Schiphol Airport. It was cold and wet outside, and although we were still wearing shorts and t-shirts, the inclement Amsterdam weather provided a welcome respite from the intense Italian sun, as rain drizzled down and hit our tired, sunburnt legs. Continue reading

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Notes From Nashville (Debating Food)

Notes Day 1:

Rotier’s: Jason orders the meat and two, roast beef, thick hunks of tender meat in thick gravy, tastes brown and beefy, coleslaw, very crunch in sweet sour cream, and hashbrown casserole, a recipe out of Fanny Farmer or a spiral bound church cookbook, iced tea, grilled buttery French bread. Emily orders fried chicken, green beans, hashbrown casserole. Beck orders steak dinner, fries, beer-battered cheese sticks. The interior is dark, smoky as though viewed through crackled microfilm, booths, a tv showing the LeBron, college kids bound in coats drinking beer, a waitress with a tired chubby face and a tired smile, thin brown hair, pay at the register to a gristly man graybearded. Neon signs outside read STEAK, SEAFOOD, it looks like a pit but is a friendly cavern.

A car packed with suitcases packed with printed articles, new news magazines, text books, Krugman, Nye, Okun top the shelf, boxes and boxes of granola bars, bottled water, clementines. We make pit stops at Love’s gas station, drink coke and watch the Tennessee sunset, listen to the Black Keys’ El Camino and Nirvana’s In Utero taking highway 24 down south. Then we cross into Nashville a great city of glittering light in the dark south (you can see the motherfucking constellations out the car window). Beck and Emily chat about television shows (Gossip Girl, Project Runway) and gossip about debaters on the national circuit. I sag in the backseat, trying to reach that nirvana of half-wakefulness rocking into the seatbelt and sleeping to the Black Keys’ “Sister.”

We’re staying at the Holiday Inn Vanderbilt, which is really almost swallowed into the campus. There is a towel folded in the shape of a swan on each bed. Debaters stroll the lobby lugging big suitcases overstuffed and carrying plastic tubs. There is a discrete taxonomy of debaters. It is easy to identify the policy debaters by their masculine affect, square jaws, tousled hair, cigarette stained teeth, beanies, fat cheeks, laptop dazed donut glazed look, and coffee swilling slump across lobby couches just chilling and shooting shit. The extempers by their careful grooming and intense walk. Extempers walk fast and with a purpose. They are pointy, driven, intense, aware of their intention and ready to fulfill it. There are less of them and they all know each other, so it’s like a perverse family. The LDers are the most attractive, impeccable, smooth and sly, genuinely nice or just plain slimey, and always white toothed and scrubbed nosehair plucked Gillette Max or whatever shaved smooth close to the cheekbones, giving their blue steel looks and ready for rebuttals. And then there are the debate coaches. The men have bottlebrush gray mustaches and craggy blue eyes, carry battered leather briefcases, smoke cigarillos. The women are either homemakers of the 1950s stereotype gotten old with platinum blonde hair and excess makeup around the lips, rouged and tanned cosmetically, or young women who are looking for or escaping from likewise boyfriends.

It is 10:30 and Emily has begun to file. In the connecting room I hear the punctuated click click click of a stapler sampling hundreds and hundreds of newspaper articles. Continue reading

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