A Taste of Rochester

By Julia Sklar ‘14
Rochester may be a small city, but it has a lot to offer, especially where art, food, history, and music are concerned. Commencement weekend is the perfect opportunity to get a bite-sized version of what kind of home the Flower City has been to its students for the past few years.

Ponder Some Art

There is a plethora of museums to visit here, but only one of them belongs to the University. The Memorial Art Gallery (MAG) recently celebrated its 100th anniversary, and houses works of art spanning more than 5,000 years of history.

During Commencement Weekend, exhibits as varied as Matisse as Printmaker: Works from the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation, Alexander Matisse: New Ceramics, Cuba Through 36 Eyes, and Visions in Black and White: The Graphic Work of Max Klinger will all be showing. Roch- ester students can gain free admission to the museum with their ID (sorry parents, you’ll have to pay $12). The MAG is also home to an excellent restaurant, Max at the Gallery, which serves up a splendid, affordable brunch during commencement weekend.

Try Your Hand at Trivia

If you like a challenge, head to The Old Toad, Rochester’s own authentic British pub, for one of the hardest bar trivia nights in the city on Sun- days at 9 p.m. You can partake of great food and drink from across the pond, while testing your knowledge of obscure questions about sports, geography, film, and the like. The servers are all cheeky Brits who will make the experience fun. Despite that, you’re not likely to score more than 9/20 correct, and that’s on a good day.

Sip Some Local Beer

Seniors Alayna Kallanan, Michelle Goldstein, Josh Morse, and Carolyn Hol- land check out some favorite student spots in Rochester.

Seniors Alayna Callanan, Michelle Goldstein, Josh Morse, and Carolyn Holland check out some favorite student spots in Rochester.

Historically speaking, Genesee Brewing Company is king, as it’s called Rochester home since 1878, but it might be time to make room for some newer additions to the city’s brewing tradition. Roc Brewing Co. is no exception. Just founded in 2011 by two recent RIT graduates, this establishment serves up a wide array of its own finely crafted beers, brewed on the premises, including a gluten-free variety, so there really is something for everyone. The walls of the brewery tasting room are covered in unique, local artwork that’s for sale or just for admiring. Roc Brewing Co. also offers casual tours to anyone who’s interested in seeing behind the curtain of what goes into producing a craft beer.

Take a Walk on the Historical Side

Rochester is certainly not short on impressive historical figures so it’s hard to narrow down whom to focus on, but touring the George Eastman House is certainly enough to fill an afternoon. George Eastman, founder of the Eastman Kodak Company and benefactor to the University, is one of Rochester’s most well known inhabitants. Just seeing his statue on the Eastman Quadrangle isn’t enough to understand the life of this revolutionary man, so take a tour of his home where you can learn about his upbringing, adult life, and pioneering career into film technology. The Eastman House is also home to the world’s foremost museum on photography and film, as well as the Dryden Theatre, which showcases motion pictures from the museum’s collection.

Coffee Craze

America may run on Dunkin’, but Rochester runs on local coffee shops. With almost too many to choose from, Java’s, Spot Coffee, and Boulder Coffee Co. are all great places to start. Whether you’re a student cramming for a midterm, a couple on a first date, or old friends in need of a good, long chat, these three coffee joints are all pros at not only brewing the perfect cup of coffee, but also at offering just the right type of cozy atmosphere. Java’s and Boulder are both known for showcasing interesting art, while Spot is on the ball for people watching, with its balcony level seating area. All three also serve up delicious desserts and sandwiches along with their coffee and tea.

It’s Pizza Time

2014-04-28_students_rochester_485There is a lot of outstanding food to be eaten here, but Napa Wood Fired Pizzeria is up there with some of the best. Serving up handmade pizzas with delectable, unique topping combinations—like fig, goat cheese, and prosciutto—Napa really knows how to make your stomach happy. All of their crusts are made with whole wheat, which adds a sweet, smoky flavor to any pizza, but they also offer a gluten-free dough. The atmosphere here is lively, so you’ll want to settle in and order some of their custom cocktails to go with that pizza.

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