Monday, 25 July 2016

Yale University Exploration

Yesterday I got the train from Grand Central to New Haven using the MTA North Line, it’s a commuter train, took about 2 hours and cost $16 for an off-peak single ticket. I ended up staying with a guy on couchsurfing that I wouldn’t usually accept, for the simple reason that he had no references. However, I asked him what would reassure me he wasn’t a murderer, and he sent over his airbnb profile. He has hosted close to, if not over, 60 people in the last 2/3 months! All the reviews were very positive too so I took him up on the offer and became his first ever couchsurfing guest.

He was kind enough to pick me up from the train station, and on the way back to his took me to East rock so I could see over the whole city. He also showed me Eli Whitney’s house (guy who invented the cotton gin and musket, shaping antebellum southern USA), and George Bush’s uncles house. There are tons of beautiful houses around New Haven; they are all huge too!

After watching some more OITNB, we decided to go to the ‘worlds best pizza joint’, Frank Pepe’s Pizzeria. An Italian immigrant founded it in 1925, and its most famous pizza has clams on top of it. Sadly, the queue was so long we went to this place called The Bar instead. Honestly, the pizza was amazing and I ate until I couldn’t physically put anymore in my mouth. We had mashed potato on the pizza!! How weird is that? It was surprisingly delicious along with bacon. My mouth is watering thinking about it.

Today I used GPSmycity app to walk around downtown and explore Yale. You can go to the undergraduate admissions office and they have tons of free tours by students around the campus, but I decided to check it out for myself. It was honestly beautiful, way prettier than Harvard, and almost as nice as Oxford. However, New Haven has some really dodgy areas. Around the main park, I was cat-called constantly and there were so many homeless begging, and people just passed out intoxicated on the grass.

I looked round Yale Law School too, and it was exactly as I had imagined – apart from the library actually, I thought that would have been more impressive, but the other library called Sterling Memorial Library is supposedly way better, but I didn’t know if I could enter so didn’t bother trying.  My favorite building was Woosley Hall, it reminded me of the Bodleian library at Oxford. It was designed by the same person who did the New York Public Library actually.

Yale itself was beautiful though, and definitely a university I could see myself studying at. It reminds me of Warwick in that New Haven is a university first, and a town second. It's just dominated by the presence of students and Yale in general. I'd say it was more beautiful than Harvard, but less pretty than Oxford - nearly there though! For that reason, Oxford gets a 10, Yale an 8 and Harvard a 7 out of 10. I didn't like how rough New Haven suddenly turned though... that's why it's 2 less than Oxford!


After napping on the green for a while, and sending some postcards out, I wondered around trying to find some of the museums. Just my luck though, all of them were closed today as it was a Monday! I hate it when places do that. So that meant I couldn’t go to the art museum, or the natural history museum (which houses a load of dinosaurs). I would try going to them tomorrow, but I’m moving on to Stamford, CT – I passed it on the train and it looked beautiful so I want to go check it out and then make it back to NYC so I can get all the other buses that I booked.

Eventually I wandered back home just in time to watch a huge storm unfold from the veranda of the house while watching my laptop and doing some work. When Sanka got back home we agreed to try to go to Frank Pepe’s again with one of his airbnb guests Peter. This time we were far more successful and managed to eat there. It was good, but honestly I thought the pizza from the bar yesterday was better! But maybe that’s because we got more unique flavors at the bar. It was still really good regardless.

After we went to watch another group of couchsurfers play at a local venue. It was a shame there was hardly anyone there, but the band were totally amazing and blew me away! They're called Rock Walls & Tall Women. I’m convinced they’ll make it big one day and be the next All Time Low for example. You should look them up, they’re from Chicago, listen to them here. At midnight we ended up heading back, I watched some more TV and eventually fell asleep.

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