The Beauty Of Cook Out

The Beauty Of Cook Out

I hear those hush puppies calling my name.
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Cook Out is a renowned establishment all throughout the South, and it's probably one of the greatest fast food joints to ever be created. Coming to school in the South has opened my eyes to this wonderful place, and I wish everyone would have the opportunity to taste the delicious food they have. Fortunately, Cook Out has been working on expanding their locations across eight states. Starting in North Carolina, Cook Out is now in South Carolina, Georgia, West Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky.

1. The Milkshakes

There are over 40 milkshake varieties, so you basically can't go without finding something you want. My great grandmother used to crave the chocolate milkshake and would have it as her dinner. They have so many options and depending on the time of the year, they have amazing specialty milkshakes as well. The Butter-Finger Shake is phenomenal, 10/10 would recommend.


2. Cook Out Trays

Cook Out trays are the perfect combination of beauty and grace. Whether you're crying because finals are harshing your mellow, or you have a DD to drive you there on a Saturday night, a Cook Out tray is the cure all. They're inexpensive and good for the soul.

3. Hush puppies

Cook Out's hush puppies are amazing. Their signature deep fried cornbread bits are so delicious and way too hard to pass up.

4. Corn Dogs

Hands down my favorite option on the menu. Their corn dogs are breaded and deep fried to perfection, and it's only 0.99 cents. Can you really go wrong? The answer is no.

5. Bacon Wrap

These are a real weakness to many. A bacon wrap is literally a flour tortilla with bacon and lettuce. Cook Out somehow made this random concoction a huge success, and this food steals the heart of many that frequent the drive thru.

Cook Out is a huge hit for all of us attending school in the south. It's always sad craving Cook Out when you're home and can't drive those 3.3 miles to get yourself a Cook Out tray. This fast food joint is easily one of the best parts about going to school in North Carolina, and it is going to be greatly missed during the summer.

Cover Image Credit: Island Packet

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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A Tribute To The RTS Bus

As New York prepares to retire its longest-running and most unique transit buses, it's worth taking a look at how they have become icons of the city.

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Later this year or early next year, NYC will say goodbye to one of its most recognizable transportation icons. Although few New Yorkers know them by name, almost every New Yorker has seen and rode on one of them. Since they debuted in 1981, the classic Rapid Transit Series (RTS) buses have transported New Yorkers over 2 billion miles on almost every bus route in the city. With their distinctive design and legendary reliability, they have become not just an icon, but a symbol, of the MTA and NYC in general.

A RTS bus in service in Manhattan during rush hour.Greg Huang

If you're a typical transit rider, you probably take bus riding and buses in general for granted. Virtually all of my friends see a bus as a bus and not much else. I hate to say this, but in the 21st century, they actually have a point. Go to any American city and most of the buses you'll find are literally boxes on wheels. Styling is sacrificed for economics. Ride comfort is sacrificed for accessibility. A bus could literally bring a sense of guilt to its occupants—it's as if they have no other choice but to ride in that flavorless, boring box.

Many modern transit buses are boxes on wheels, with minimal styling.Greg Huang

However, the RTS is anything but a box on wheels. It was born in the 1970s, when the USDOT was pushing bus manufacturers to design a "bus of the future". Back then, public transit was not frowned upon like the way it is today, and the futurism of the space age was a recent memory. Out of this environment, General Motors designed a bus that was groundbreaking yet controversial, and futuristic yet practical. And with that, the RTS made its debut to the world in 1977.

The RTS was revolutionary when it debuted in 1977. i1.wp.com

With its sloped front end, curved side windows, smooth bodywork, and modular design, the RTS was quite unlike anything else on the road at the time. Its styling was so radical, in fact, that GM had to offer the more utilitarian Classic alongside it. In addition to its futuristic styling, the RTS also boasted state-of-the-art amenities, including a "kneeling" feature, automatic temperature control, and an optional wheelchair lift.

In addition to the sleek design, the RTS came with multiple state-of-the-art features. farm8.static.flickr.com

In the four decades since, the RTS has served almost every city across America. But in New York, it not only fulfilled its mission, but it did so with flying colors. Between 1981 and 1999, the MTA ordered over 4,000 RTS buses, and at its peak, the RTS made up almost 90% of NYC's bus fleet. The RTS stood out not only to commuters, but also to the MTA itself. Among buses purchased in the same year, the RTS was always the last to be retired. Many individual RTS buses ran for over 20 years in service, when the average transit bus lifespan is 12 to 16 years. And two decades of carrying passengers in NYC is no walk in the park. For two decades, these buses transported New Yorkers in stop-and-go traffic and on long and fast express routes, and through freezing cold and scorching heat, through rain, snow and sleet, and everything in between. Frank Sinatra said that if you could make it in New York, you could make it anywhere. The RTS not only made it in New York, it found its home here.

A 1996 RTS bus, still running strong in 2018 after 22 years of service. Greg Huang

Four decades later, the RTS has largely been replaced by newer "low floor" buses, both in New York and elsewhere. In New York, the once 4,000 strong fleet is now down to about 200 buses. However, the design is still unmistakable. The unique curved side windows give the illusion of flying in an airplane, and make the bus feel open and airy. The once-futuristic bodywork is the perfect antithesis of the modern boxes on wheels, and the once state-of-the-art amenities have become standard. While modern transit buses emphasize practicality over style, GM amazingly integrated both within the same bus. Today, the RTS bus is not just classic, it's iconic. It represents an era when bus transportation was more glorious. It represents the future as seen from the past.

New York will never be the same without the RTS. It is to NYC as the Routemaster double-decker bus is to London. In other words, they are inseparable. And before NYC and the RTS separate for good, may New Yorkers and visitors to New York appreciate and admire these remarkable buses one final time.

The RTS is truly an icon of NYCGreg Huang

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