Warmed by the sun’s rays shining through the large windows of Okenshields dining hall, I gently bop my head to the music playing on the overhead speakers as I savor the juicy, earthy taste of sauteed bok choy. As Camilla Cabello tells Shawn Mendes that she loves it when he calls her señorita, the thought hits me: Okenshields is underrated.
As I navigate my way through West Campus dining halls, Trillium, Terrace and yes, even Okenshields, I realize my appreciation for Cornell’s food extends beyond the meals the University provides and into the accessibility and openness this community has for vegetarians and vegans alike.
Last week, in a moment of hunger and desperation, I went to Okenshields. Like most members of our campus, I had written-off this meme of a dining hall. Thanks to my pecuniary-minded friend, Gabe, I put some faith in “A Night of Chocolate and Intuitive Eating.” [For those who know what “intuitive eating” means, I would love some clarification because nothing about Okes is intuitive]. For the uninitiated, Okenshields is a medieval-style dining hall at the heart of campus named after a Lord of the Rings dwarf, guarded by the happiest man at Cornell, filled with gothic chandeliers boasting an sundry assortment of salad, grains and Asian food with walls covered in black and white photos of Cornell’s history and 2000s throwbacks booming from the ceiling. And they take swipes.
Some Chinese students at Cornell are just a four-hour car ride from their houses in New York City. Others are a 14-hour flight from their families in China. No matter the distance between Ithaca and their homes, all tried to find alternative and communal ways to celebrate the Chinese New Year and the start of the Year of the Ox. [img_assist|nid=34440|title=Festive feasting|desc=Students crowded into Okenshield’s yesterday for the annual Chinese New Year dinner, where they ate traditional Chinese dishes in honor of the incoming Year of the Ox. Some had to wait up to 40 minutes before they could enter.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]