March 27, 2012

BIG RED AMBITION: #31. Enjoy Ithaca’s Two Months of Warm Weather

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Spending a summer at Cornell is included in the 161 Things Every Cornellian Should Do because, what the author really meant to say was: #31.  Enjoy Ithaca’s two months of warm weather – take a break!  Relax.

Cornell will be kinder to you during the summer – it might even be similar to what you thought college would be as a pre-frosh. You can wander around campus with nothing to worry about, and nothing but your thoughts and dreams to keep you company. One (sunny) afternoon, I simply sat on top of Olin reading Susan Sontag’s journals and drawing a picture of the clock tower. Campus is pretty empty and there aren’t many students around, so you’ll see a lot of the same people at parties and have time to hang out and make new friends.

Everyone is down.  Everyone is in a good mood.

Dunbar’s is another Cornell summer staple.  The first time I went to Dunbar’s was the summer that I stayed here.  Dunbar’s is the quintessential college dive bar — I’d say more so than The Palms because it has managed to remain open for business and has a much more legit jukebox. The ceiling tiles are painted by alumni, there’s a popcorn machine and you’ll listen to songs that you love but never hear anywhere else. If you’re lucky, you’ll meet Pep, who owns Dunbar’s.  He’s a small white-haired man who looks kind of like my dad.  He has a book of county area codes to bust fake id’s instead of a scanner or a black light. The drink specials are the same as during the school year, but everyone can sit comfortably because there aren’t many people around.  You’ll see all your new friends there, and the bartender will always serve your Long Island in a glass.  You might even find yourself in a #triflin state, collecting quarters to #83. Hit up Group Therapy on Wednesdays at Dunbar’s.  A Group Therapy is a pitcher of light beer with a glassful of kamikaze shot, the sweet nectar of the summer.  They cost six bucks and go a long way – there’s enough to share with friends.

You don’t get sick from Group Therapies, unlike the Wednesday-night drink special across the street.  You only feel merriment filling your heart until it bursts and washes over you with bliss.  You won’t be able to stop smiling.  You’ll sing along to Jesse’s Girl and feel surrounded by people you love.

Melinda Lim is a senior in the College of Engineering. She can be reached at [email protected] Big Red Ambition appears on Wednesdays.

Original Author: Melinda Lim