Road Trip: Penn State (cont.)
Posted: Wednesday October 11, 2006 10:26AM; Updated: Wednesday October 11, 2006 4:39PM
Best place to watch a road football game: Gingerbread Man. The G-man, as the students call it, is a hybrid of a bar and a restaurant located right down the street from Beaver Canyon. The game is displayed on a motion picture type screen in the front of the bar. Add in the great specials -- a six-dollar large pizza (16 in.) -- and you have the recipe for a great day of football.
Best place to chill out after a game: The Creamery. This season marks the Creamery's first year in its new location, at the corner of Bigler and Curtain roads. The new building is 2½ times bigger than the old one, which was located a few blocks away. The 3,700-square-foot facility is more capable of handing football-weekend crowds. Every day many people -- including celebrities such as President Bill Clinton, Tom Ridge, Joe Paterno, Lynn Swann, Bob Costas, Bill Cowher and Martha Stewart, to name just a few -- stop at the Creamery to enjoy their favorite ice cream flavors. One of the most popular flavors is name after our legendary coach, Peachy Paterno.
Best place to get food after 1 a.m.: Canyon pizza. Canyon is the home of the one-dollar slice, and they sell cheese slices until closing a 3 a.m. Lines tend to get long after last call, so get there early if you don't want to wait. If you are a Philadelphia Eagles fan and want to taunt a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, or visa versa, then be sure to get here around 2 a.m. to enjoy the drunken chants of "E-A-G-L-E-S" and "Here we go, Steelers" between the two factions. And those arguments are not limited to football season.
Best little-known weekend event: Penn State Ice Pavilion. Every Friday and Saturday night starting in October, there is sort of a subculture gathering that takes place in the heart of campus. No, it isn't a rave. The dedicated fans of the Penn State Ice Hockey Club -- the Icers, as they are better know in Happy Valley -- head out to the Ice Pavilion to cheer on Penn State's most decorated team of the last decade. Those students are dedicated: Even with a 9 p.m. start time, fans pack the Pavilion for every game. It helps that the team has been to the last eight ACHA (American College Hockey Association) championship games, and has won five of them. I suggest attending at least one game during your travels to State College.
Best place to grab a snack while on campus: Union Street. Located inside the student-union building in the heart of campus, Union Street offers fast food for the hungry student or out-of-town visitor. The food-court-like area offers customers a wide range of choices, everything from Chick-fil-A to the exclusively-at-Penn State Joegies. There's a burger place, a salad bar, Mexican food, a pizzeria, Chinese food and on-the-go sushi. So there is something for everyone, and while you're there you can visit two student landmarks: the fish tank on the ground floor and the big TV on the first floor.
Best place to get a tan 230 miles away from the ocean: HUB Lawn. During the few warm months of the school year, there is nothing better than lying out under a hot sun between classes while your friends toss a Frisbee. It almost makes you forget that the area will turn into a tundra from November until March. Most students gather outside the student-union building to relax after classes or to hang out with friends, maybe play a game of catch. The Lawn is also a great place for couples to "study" before heading to class.
Best bus to ride back to the dorms on weekends: The White Loop. If you travel off-campus for a party on the weekends, you have only one choice if you want to get back to campus without injury, and that's to ride the White Loop. The White Loop is part of the free buses provided by CATA, but on the weekends it becomes the party bus for those stuck on campus. The ride back provides the best entertainment, because it is usually full of intoxicated underclassmen singing and chanting, and on special occasions you hear someone arguing on their cell phone even though they can't form a complete sentence. The Loop is a trip, in both senses of the word.
Best place to eat before a game if you're too lazy to tailgate: The Onion. Located inside the freshman halls common area, the Onion, or Big O, is a very expensive sub shop. Most of the patrons are students, who use their meal-plan points (hey, if the University's paying for it ...), and alumni who are looking for a quick bite before the game. The only upside to the Onion is that it less than two blocks from the stadium, so you can eat before the game without worrying about having to clean up your tailgate before kickoff.