Tasting Time: A Five Hour Wait

Tasting Time: A Five Hour Wait

What does five hours taste like?
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Before last Friday, I’ve never had strangers come up to me and ask, “Why? Just, why? Why??”

That’s funny because I ask myself these questions every day. But last Friday was a bit of a special occasion. I just can’t help myself when it comes to events I see on Facebook pertaining to food.

Taiyaki NYC was having a grand opening for their first Manhattan location, a compact but clean storefront on the quiet Baxter Street that stems off the busier Canal Street right around the fuzzy boundaries of Chinatown and Little Italy. I curse my bucket list for featuring “Waiting in line for a grand opening.” Because when it’s on the bucket list and I have a free Friday night, there’s no saying no! Not to mention a buy-one-get-one deal and some friends who are willing to go.

The plans were set 24 hours before the event, with unequivocal expectations that there would be a long line considering the amount of posts in the Facebook event page with, “We have to go,” “OMG @--- @--- @---.”

Regardless, there was no doubt in my mind that it wouldn’t take longer than two hours, leaving enough time in the night for us to even stop by Big Gay Ice Cream (on the ice cream bucket list) and maybe stroll along the East River Park.

At 4:15 PM on the corner of Baxter and Canal, I was greeted by a promenade of people, mostly of Southeast Asian descent, starting from the storefront at 119 Baxter, southward toward Canal, ending about a third of the way eastward from toward Mulberry—a sprightly, hungry human train that Google Maps estimates to be about 200 feet.

Not bad, right? A quick interrogation of the lucky ones at the front of the line informed us that the wait would be around two-and-a-half hours. For a grand opening, that’s a steal. And as a hostess who doesn’t sit except for twenty seconds on the toilet seat (even then, it’s squatting) maybe once per seven-hour shift, standing for a third of that time is a piece of cake.

We committed.

Half an hour brought us to the corner of Canal and Baxter, about 66 feet—smiling faces, cool breezes, rush-hour traffic and excitement prevailed. Just three buildings to pass before we rewarded ourselves with freshly baked fish-detail pastries filled with custard or red bean paste, topped with swirls of creamy soft serve and a topping here or a drizzle there: A feast for the eyes as much as the mouth.

At that rate, our pesc-y friends were waiting just over an hour beyond where we stood. Follow through, Wendy—for the Instagram, for the bucket list.

An hour later, and we’d only barely shuffled. I looked over some biochem notes to make myself feel productive.

Another hour later, and we seemed to be halfway there—although according to the first people we encountered, we should have been there by now. We became filled with resentment, until a kind Taiyaki employee handed us a sample of their chocolate soft serve in a cup for four of us to inhale.

Another hour and I couldn’t seem to hold my pee any longer. Fortunately, the “best sponge cake in town” establishment kindly allowed me to use their restroom. I purchased a couple of moist sponge cakes to hold us over for what we hoped was only half an hour more.

At this point, we’d all entered a state of delirium with the occasional bout of hanger. Regret and resentment hovered heavily above us as we each silently gazed ahead into emptiness, unaware of our physical being anymore, yet fully aware of time passing. Or just aware of how much we all wanted soup dumplings ASAP.

You can imagine the dilemma: continue waiting, not knowing how much longer it would take nor what inconveniences await or ditch the line after having invested three-and-a-half hours already, with nothing to take away from that time as a reward.

Careful (and multiple) considerations kept us on the line.

When we were ten feet away from the door, two girls in front of us suddenly left, after having spent four hours with us on line. At that point, I couldn’t understand giving up.

It was only another half-hour until we stepped through the store doors, another twenty minutes to order, and finally, some ten minutes to actually receive our trophies.

No lie, I felt a bit zombie-ish as I double-fish-ted our treats, but more than that, I felt accomplished. A two-and-a-half estimated wait time at the beginning of the evening turned into just about four hours and fifty-five minutes, and we persisted like the idiotic champions we are. Although I can’t say that my “Straight Outta Japan” taiyaki is how I imagine five hours to taste like, I also can’t say it was a waste of five hours. But maybe I just won’t admit it to myself.

No—the end rewards were substantial enough to offset any negativity about the wait: one item off my bucket list, one place off my ice cream bucket list, a few minutes of studying biochem, a peek into the crazy things we humans will do, cheap soup dumplings to celebrate, an accidental run-in with Little Italy’s San Gennaro Feast, some quality time love-hating friends, and of course, a better understanding of the virtue of patience.

Sometimes things are unnecessarily long—Mark Twain’s paragraphs, War & War’s sentences, the time it takes to boil water, the delay on the express train, certain Odyssey articles, the wait for dry fish pastries filled sparingly with grocery-store ingredients, this litany and the one above…but if you wade through, you may reap some unexpected benefits. Some are tangible, but some are only borne out of experience.

And some, like a recent edit to include a grand opening wait on my bucket list, are conjured post-experience for mitigation.

Cover Image Credit: Wendy You

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I'd Rather Be Single Than Settle – Here Is Why Being Picky Is Okay

They're on their best behavior when you're dating.
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Dating nowadays described in one word: annoying.

What's even more annoying? when people tell you that you're being too "picky" when it comes to dating. Yes, from an outside perspective sometimes that's exactly what it looks like; however, when looking at it from my perspective it all makes sense.

I've heard it all:

"He was cute, why didn't you like him?"

"You didn't even give him a chance!"

"You pay too much attention to the little things!"

What people don't understand is that it's OKAY to be picky when it comes to guys. For some reason, girls in college freak out and think they're supposed to have a boyfriend by now, be engaged by the time they graduate, etc. It's all a little ridiculous.

However, I refuse to put myself on a time table such as this due to the fact that these girls who feel this way are left with no choice but to overlook the things in guys that they shouldn't be overlooking, they're settling and this is something that I refuse to do.

So this leaves the big question: What am I waiting for?

Well, I'm waiting for a guy who...

1. Wants to know my friends.

Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I want a guy who can hang out with my friends. If a guy makes an effort to impress your friends then that says a lot about him and how he feels about you. This not only shows that he cares about you but he cares about the people in your life as well.

Someone should be happy to see you happy and your friends contribute to that happiness, therefore, they should be nothing more than supportive and caring towards you and your friendships.

2. Actually, cares to get to know me.

Although this is a very broad statement, this is the most important one. A guy should want to know all about you. He should want to know your favorite movie, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Netflix series, etc. Often, (the guys I get stuck on dates with) love to talk about themselves: they would rather tell you about what workout they did yesterday, what their job is, and what they like to do rather than get to know you.

This is something easy to spot on the first date, so although they may be "cute," you should probably drop them if you leave your date and can recite everything about their life since the day they were born, yet they didn't catch what your last name was.

3. How they talk about other women.

It does not matter who they're talking about, if they call their ex-girlfriend crazy we all know she probably isn't and if she is it's probably their fault.

If they talk bad about their mom, let's be honest, if they're disrespecting their mother they're not going to respect you either. If they mention a girl's physical appearances when describing them. For example, "yeah, I think our waitress is that blonde chick with the big boobs"

Well if that doesn't hint they're a complete f* boy then I don't know what else to tell you. And most importantly calling other women "bitches" that's just disrespectful.

Needless to say, if his conversations are similar to ones you'd hear in a frat house, ditch him.

4. Phone etiquette.

If he can't put his phone down long enough to take you to dinner then he doesn't deserve for you to be sitting across from him.

If a guy is serious about you he's going to give you his undivided attention and he's going to do whatever it takes to impress you and checking Snapchat on a date is not impressive. Also, notice if his phone is facedown, then there's most likely a reason for it.

He doesn't trust who or what could pop up on there and he clearly doesn't want you seeing. Although I'm not particularly interested in what's popping up on their phones, putting them face down says more about the guy than you think it does.

To reiterate, it's okay to be picky ladies, you're young, there's no rush.

Remember these tips next time you're on a date or seeing someone, and keep in mind: they're on their best behavior when you're dating. Then ask yourself, what will they be like when they're comfortable? Years down the road? Is this what I really want? If you ask yourself these questions you might be down the same road I have stumbled upon, being too picky.. and that's better than settling.

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A Saturday In The Life Of A Freshman

Welcome to Darty Season

epgainey
epgainey
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Have you ever had a more stereotypical freshman's Saturday than my friends Maddie, Lauren, Jocelyn, Meg, Barbara, and I? Keep reading to see a packed day in darty season from a freshman's point of view.

9:00 am

My alarm that I meant to set for the day before goes off. I begrudgingly roll over, and turn it off, falling back asleep.

10:00 am

I finally wake up, roll, or jump, out of my lofted bed, grab my laptop, and do a little studying for my exam on Monday -- there's no time for that later today, so I've gotta get some of it done then.

10:30 am

Shower. Pick an outfit. Brush teeth. Makeup. Pack a bag of extra clothes.

12:00 pm

I walked downstairs to the lobby to meet two of my friends who were gonna walk with me to Tutweiler Hall.

12:30 pm

My friends and I at the fundraising event

Elizabeth Gainey

We arrived at Tut, met our friends, then left to go to a philantropy event at Sig Tau sponsored by B+, an organization that assists the families of children diagnosed with cancer. Their burgers and fries were top notch.

2:30 pm

The Hackberrys, a band comprised of UA students, played the event. We left to go back to Tut after a few songs.

3:00 pm

We finally got back at Tut, changed clothes, listened to music, hung out.

3:45 pm

We *finally* left for Pike (sorry mom!). You know how long it takes five girls to get ready, so don't act so shocked.

4:10 pm

Myself, super escstatic about having to wait in a mob of people to get in

Elizabeth Gainey

Have you ever arrived to a frat when it's at capacity? Yeah, around 100 screaming girls were shoving to get into the darty. It was an experience like no other, but eventually, we made our way in. It may have been in groups of two, and we definitely lost a girl to the crowd (she's fine!), but we made it.

6:30 pm

After dancing on an elevated surface or two, walking in circles around their courtyard, watching an active climb into a basketball goal, and waiting in a way-too-long line for the restroom, we decided to go back to Tut.

6:45 pm

We definitely made a stop to grab a snack or two on our way back to Tut.

7:15 pm

After realizing that none of the parties at night were gonna start until around 10 pm, we decided to watch some random YouTube videos and Netflix to pass the time. There was also another stop for snacks at the infamous Julia's on the first floor of Tut.

9:30 pm

My third outfit change of the day. We decided to leave Tut for frat row for the third time that day, too. I wanna say my total steps for the day was around 17,000? It was a lot.

10:00 pm

Best view in the house (Myself on the left, Maddie on the right)

Elizabeth Gainey

We got to Sigma Pi as the party was just starting to build up. Their band room was filled within the hour, and they had a pretty good DJ. Although the active yelling at me and my friend to get off the stage was no fun.

11:00 pm

Have you ever faked out a frat boy with a soccer ball? Well, now I can say I have.

12:00 am

After someone pulled the fire alarm on Sigma Pi, we decided to walk back to Tut.

12:45 am

My two Ragecrest friends and I decided to take the bus back because, after the stretch to and from frat row three times, we had no more walking left in us.

1:00 am

Canes chicken tenders. Enough said. It's the way to end a night.

It was a very packed, but very fun and eventful day. We pretty much hit all the spring semester stereotypes: walking along and to frat row, going to a darty, going to a frat party, going to a philanthropy event, and more. As crazy as the day was, I highly recommend trying a day like this once because you won't forget it!

epgainey
epgainey

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