Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Deep New Haven ignorance

Dave wonders how much progress he can make on this Abate pizza. It's a bit surreal to be back. When I went to campus today as a TA for a first-year class, the School of Management was swarming with fresh, unfamiliar faces. The weather is sitting bizarrely in the 60s, a distant cry from the hell-on-earth heat I recall from a year ago. I'm in the same apartment, but with a different roommate. It's all so the same and totally different at once.

And one thing that's been on my mind during this is how I should really know New Haven a whole lot better than I do for having lived here a year. I'm still not good at navigating the streets, I still don't know where much of anything is, there are still tons of restaurants and bars I've never been to. So in that spirit, for lunch today I went with my friend Dave (from back in Texas; he's now living in New Haven, coincidentally) to Wooster Square, a popular area with some famous pizza restaurants that I think also used to be a popular place for SOM students to live. It's well-known and just a mile and a half from my house. But I'm so very embarrassed to say I'd never been there till today. Two of New Haven's most famous pizza places are there -- Sally's and Pepe's. But Sally's was closed, and the line for Pepe's was ridiculous (and my time was limited) we went to a place called Abate. We had a pizza, half with clams and white sauce, half with sausage and peppers and red sauce. I reluctantly admit it was great.

How can I justify why there's still so much of New Haven I haven't seen, and why I still don't even really know my way around? I think that what happens/happened is that when you get to school, you have ideas about all the non-school things you're going to do, but when the gun goes off and the race starts, you just kind of forget everything and start running without thinking.

I'm also willing to acknowledge that my view of the city might be different coming off my summer in New York. Maybe I'm looking more for new things to do and try, whereas a year ago I was just hoping to keep my head above water academically. I hope this year I can get to know New Haven better. A few first-year students dropped by the other day, and they were asking my roommate about places to eat, and I couldn't believe her breadth of specific knowledge ... They wanted sushi, and it was as if they'd asked Dr. Know from AI. She knew the names, exact intersections, what was on the menu ... I, on the other hand, was thinking "Hmm, I went to a sushi place once at some point last year ... can't remember the name or what I had ..."

Granted, Suzanne has the advantage of having lived in New Haven for several years, as opposed to my one. But still, part of the issue is me. Bottom line -- I have to break out of the routine places I frequented and explore this city more. Well, I don't have to. But I'ma try to.

No comments:

Post a Comment