Road Trip: Rutgers (cont.)
Posted: Tuesday December 5, 2006 6:35PM; Updated: Thursday December 7, 2006 2:38PM
Famous Alumnae: Rutgers has done an excellent job spawning TV stars. Sopranos kingpin James Gandolfini is at many of the football games. He's good friends with Schiano. Sex and the City star Kristin Davis graduated from the Banks, as did Ally McBeal star Calista Flockhart. Then, there's NBA Commissioner David Stern. And hey, don't forget John Carpenter. No, not the Halloween director, the dude who was the first to win a million dollars on Who Wants to Be A Millionaire.
Biggest rivalry: Rutgers/Seton Hall in men's basketball has definitely risen over the past few years. Both schools are in the Big East and fighting over who "owns New Jersey." They're only 45 minutes apart, and the rivalry has picked up even more this year with the Scarlet Knights' new coach, Fred Hill Jr., who was an assistant coach at the Hall. Pirates head coach Bobby Gonzalez is a very intense figure, just like Hill, and this rivalry might really take off in upcoming years. Also, Hill's father, Fred Sr., is Rutgers' longtime baseball coach.
Best pizza place: There are tons to choose from on campus, but PJ's on Easton Ave. is arguably the most popular. The service is quick, you can get a small personal pie, or one for a larger group. Plenty of options and not too far from the student center.
Best place to spot athletes on campus: Well, it sounds cliché to say the student center, but it's true. Rutgers is made up of five campuses that are spread out and it's hard to say when you'll run into someone like star running back Ray Rice or women's basketball stand-out Epiphanny Prince. Many athletes have been seen in the College Ave. student center's food court. Former hoops star Quincy Douby, now of the Sacramento Kings, ate constantly at King Pita's Palace. He autographed articles written about him in The Daily Targum, the student newspaper, and they were placed on the wall of King Pita.
Best place to see a game: You've probably have heard stories of the RAC. When the Rutgers men's basketball team is good and packing the place in, it can be downright scary for opposing teams. Also known as the Louis Brown Athletic Center, the RAC is one of the loudest arenas in the country. The unique shape -- a trapezoid -- makes it feel like the crowd is right on top of you.
Best place to go if you want to go off campus: What's great about New Brunswick is how close it is to New York City. The train takes you to there within 50 minutes. Plus, the Brunz is in Central Jersey -- smack dab between New York and Philadelphia (which is a little over an hour away).
Hidden gem: If you venture deeper into downtown New Brunswick, you'll discover a lot of night life. There's the comedy club The Stress Factory and great restaurants like Old Man Rafferty's and Old Bay Restaurant. The State Theatre is also downtown, where many musical artists such as Ben Folds and Death Cab For Cutie appear. And if you're looking for a music scene, many big local bands play at The Court Tavern. There's also an open mic night at the local café West End. Also, Rutgers is right on the Raritan River.
Best class to sit in on: Dinosaurs. Take my word for it.
Best place to spot Greg Schiano: The head coach of the football team made a surprise appearance when students were camping out all night outside Rutgers Stadium to buy Louisville tickets. He arrived with pizzas to show his thanks of the fans' support. It definitely paid off.