Road Trip: Rutgers
Posted: Tuesday December 5, 2006 6:35PM; Updated: Thursday December 7, 2006 2:38PM
According to its alma mater, Rutgers is "that noisy college town on the banks of the Old Raritan." But, for a while, it seemed that the only noise at New Jersey's state university came from frat parties and 2 a.m. stops at the Grease Trucks.
It certainly wasn't because of football.
Rutgers students used to pack into bars along Easton Avenue for the college experience: late-night dancing and drinking. Now they pack the bars because they want to watch their football team play. And because of the Scarlet Knights, New Brunswick is indeed noisy. Houses and frats are bedecked with scarlet.
Who woulda thunk it?
Best place to celebrate after a big football victory: After Rutgers upset Louisville, Easton Avenue went wild. The center of college life at Rutgers is an uber-popular thruway, parallel to College Avenue; a collection of bars and pizza parlors that crawls with students once night falls. And after the biggest win in school history, everyone who was watching the game crowded the streets yelling "R!" "U!" back and forth at each other until five in the morning.
Best bar: The Olive Branch on Bartlett Street is caught between College and Easton Avenues and is always a big social hang out. It has darts, big-screen TVs and great drink specials. Not to mention that it's in a prime location: directly behind the Rutgers Student Center.
Most unique weekend tradition: If you're up to it, try the "Bar Crawl." The idea is for students to hit up every bar on Easton, starting at 5 p.m. until they close at 3 a.m. the following morning. If you hit every pizza place, well, that's just a plus. I wish you luck, though.
Best landmark: People flock from all over New Jersey to eat at the famous Grease Trucks on College Ave. The place is located right across the street from classes in Scott Hall and offers a perfect snack before class. It's the most famous non football- and basketball-related landmark at the university. You can ask for a "fat sandwich" made from almost anything. Want mozzarella sticks, French fries, cheese steak, and marinara sauce on a hoagie roll? You got it --and 30 other combinations. It's a great place if you want to gain your freshman 15.
Historic landmark: Rutgers was called Queen's College when it was founded in 1766 (10 years before our country). It's one of the oldest schools in the country, and Old Queens Campus is the most historic part, where the original buildings sit.