By Maya Kosoff
Front-of-book editor

Instead of turning our noses up at the city of Syracuse, SU students should get to know the city in which they’re spending four years — they might be pleasantly surprised.

On Feb. 5, I took part in what can only be described as a broke college kid’s gastronomic wet dream. IHOP’s National Pancake Day only comes once a year, so within minutes of seeing the words “free short stack of pancakes” appear on my Twitter feed that fateful morning, I had already made plans to trek out to East Genesee Street later that day.

So we get there, and we’re waiting our turn with the throngs of other hungry pancake people — some are SU students and the rest are people who actually, you know, live in Syracuse — and that’s when things get ugly. And it has nothing to do with eating plates of free pancakes from an establishment I wouldn’t visit otherwise. “Ugh. I hate leaving campus. And the townies,” a raspy, Long Island-accented voice next to me stage-whispers to a friend.

Fast-forward three days. It’s fucking Friday, and I want everyone to get off the fucking SU Hill and experience Syracuse — like a fucking “townie.”

Too often Syracuse kids forget that the place where they’re four-year tourists is a living, breathing community with a sprawling geography, permanent residents, and a culture that defies any definition that this column could ascribe to it in a couple hundred words.

I am not proud of the reputation of the typical SU student in the Syracuse community. Egocentric, spoiled, snobby, and rude come to mind, and I can hardly blame any Syracuse resident who feels that way, based on interactions I’ve seen between students and the community residents. I wonder how many Syracuse students have ever realized that without those goddamned, good-for-nothing townies there’d be nobody taking care of their laundry—I’m looking at you (and judging you pretty hard for your clothes-washing habits) you lazy, lazy Lazybones customers)–or serving them their Red Deaths at Chuck’s. Without townies, there really would be nothing to do—on the Hill, or off of it.

In truth, Syracuse existed way before we got here, and it’ll be here thriving long after most of us move away, post-graduation. There’s so much more to this city than the confines of Marshall Street and South Crouse, but if we never look past J. Michael’s or Faegan’s, we’ll be cheating ourselves of what Syracuse has to offer.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Integrating yourself into the community can be as easy as hopping on the Connective Corridor and going record shopping at Sound Garden downtown, or seeing a show at the Westcott Community Center—that big white building at the corner of Euclid and Westcott, probably a couple blocks from your house. If you have a car, go see a movie at the Manlius Art Cinema. Put yourself outside of your Comstock-centric comfort zone and experience something new. It won’t kill you, I promise.

Many of us are here for four years, and we need to stop bemoaning Syracuse as this dreadful place where we’re stuck — and realize we consciously made a decision to come to this city, and we can embrace it and make it our fucking home while we live here.

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  • http://twitter.com/sheisarebel Dee Lockett

    Preach!

  • Kat Smith

    free pancake day was the illest !!

  • Maddy

    Well said! Us college kids are douche bags and I’ve heard too many students refer to Syracuse as “ghetto.” Shut da fuck up, fool.

  • http://twitter.com/ELKNIRcRETCHLEf fletch crangle

    hit up nedrow diner sometime..that place is the shiz

    • http://twitter.com/mekosoff maya kosoff

      never heard of it. i’ll be sure to check it out though!