I’m rarely shocked by anything I see on the Internet, and I’ve seen some pretty wild things, mostly niche pornography. Woman on dog, dog on cat, Catdog on Reggie from “Rocket Power” … too many holes, it was confusing.
Anyway, a few days back I was surfing the Web when I stumbled upon some hoity-toity blog’s list of the top 10 college towns in America.
Each ranking reviewed the town in terms of nightlife, food, natural aesthetics and local traditions. I read the whole list and much to my disbelief, Binghamton was nowhere to be found!
“This must be no more than a simple oversight,” I thought. So, in an effort to right the wrong of these less-than-thorough bloggers, I’ve taken it upon myself to review Binghamton, N.Y. as the absolute best college town in America.
Let’s start with Binghamton’s nightlife, which on this category alone should land us in the top 10. As a graduating senior, it’s been an absolute pleasure to spend many nights on State Street, or as the cool kids call it, “Downtown.”
I mean, think about it. Where else are you guaranteed to run into the same exact people night after night for four years? That’s a privilege that students at much larger, more socially diverse universities just don’t have.
Need a break from the college dive bar experience? Head over to Club Paradigm! Upon entering, you’re bound to look around and think, “Hey, was I just transported to a premier New York City night club?”
Ha! No, don’t worry, you’re still very much in Binghamton … the best college town in America. So, if mind-numbing small talk and avoiding eye contact with an ex is your thing, then State Street is the place to be.
Now, let’s talk food. Among local hot-spots like Kennedy Fried Chicken and the Walmart food court, Binghamton is home to one of the most unique dining experiences I’ve ever had. That is, Chris’ Diner.
Chris’ is just up the block from the bars and a great place to throw up after a night of heavy drinking — its bathroom has a hand rail, which makes leaning over the toilet very convenient. I assume it’s also there for patrons with disabilities.
What makes Chris’ Diner so special? It’s its blatant refusal to cook anything well done. I’m fairly certain that Chris’ is the only diner in America where you can have the following interaction with a waiter:
“I’ll have a short stack of pancakes, some coffee and a side of home fries, and can you make those well done, please?”
So, we’ve covered nightlife and food; it’s time for natural aesthetics and local traditions. Take a stroll down a number of Binghamton’s residential streets and you’re bound to pass by a nice halfway home or abandoned crack den. Also, if you’ve got a second, look up and appreciate the city’s nearly year-round gray sky. Now that’s what I call consistency.
In terms of local traditions, our two strongest are last weekend’s Parade Day and the end of the semester’s Bar Crawl. Both are day-drinking events that compensate for a lack of tailgate parties and sports-related activities. They also provide a great platform for closeted alcoholics to publicly celebrate their disease with friends.
With only a few months left to really appreciate this beautiful city and my college friends, I see now more than ever the importance of making the most out of it. So, if you see me out tonight, say hi, ask how I’m doing and what I have planned after graduation.
Then, have a few more drinks, forget we spoke and let’s do it again on Thursday.