A Dollar Make You Holler… For Some Pizza!

For me, last Tuesday was a long day filled with studying, meetings, and jumping from class to class. Around 4:30 pm, I had lost all energy and was dreading a night filled with homework. I decided I was in need of a pick me up.

AH-HA! I remembered it was Tuesday – the best day of the week. Why, you ask? Because Tuesday is dollar slice day at Pizza Boys Pizzeria. The line is long, but trust me, it is so worth it!

One dollar?! Yes, one dollar.

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Just 1.5 miles away from campus lies one of Utica’s best eats: Pizza Boys. From pizza to wings and specialty subs, panini, and delicious pasta dishes, this place has got it all. Pizza Boys may be best known for dollar slice Tuesdays, but they offer much, much more when it comes to good food and saving a few bucks. They have great specials almost every day of the week!

Monday: Half Price Boneless Wings!

Tuesday: All Slices $1 – All Day!

Wednesday: $0.50 Chicken Wings

Thursday: $8.50 Chicken Riggies

Friday: $6 Large Fish Subs

If these specials didn’t get your mouth watering yet, sign up online to be a rewards member at Pizza Boys. A rewards member receives even more discounts, exclusive specials, and even bonus specials around their birthday!

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Things to Do: Utica Edition Part 2

It’s study day and honestly, where did the time go? I feel like just last week it was February. But, now the sun seems to be here to stay and the area is getting greener and brighter with every passing day. The initial change of a season is my favorite time. (From summer to autumn, winter to spring-the transitions always feel so new and fresh.)

If you remember, I wrote a blog post about things to do in Utica during the wintery/colder season. (Check it out here) So, I figured since Spring is upon us, I would scope out some fun activities to do outside.

Head to the Utica Zoo!

The Utica Zoo is located off of the Utica Parkway, so it is not even 10 minutes from campus! The zoo boasts numerous types of animals and is a fun place to pass an afternoon. My favorite little animal buds are the alpacas. There’s also numerous bird species, invertebrate species, and so many others to oogle and aw at!

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(This goat was too cute. He ate right from my hand!)
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(There’s a great view of the city at the top of the zoo! It’s a must see!)

 

Every time I head to the zoo I make it a point to take as many pictures as possible.  And I encourage you to do the same! Admission to the zoo won’t break the bank, and you’ll probably have enough to grab some fries from the Voss’ food stand while you’re there!

Find a good mountain to hike!

Utica College is super close to the Adirondacks, maybe 45-1hr away! So I always take advantage of that. Located throughout the northern region are numerous mountain peaks, and hiking adventures you can embark on. My friends and I love to hike up Bald Mountain, near Old Forge, every year. There’s also Rocky Moutain right close by, so you can climb two peaks in a day if you’re feeling up for it! My family also hikes Panther Mountain, which is on Piseco Lake.

(My friends and I stopped for a group pic during a hike last summer!)
(My friends and I stopped for a group pic during a hike last summer!)

There are so many places to choose from, and they’re all free! So hiking is a great way to blow off some finals steam, and de-stress!

Head to the Canal Trail!

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(My friends and I always go and hang out at the lock. Here we were listening to Ed Sheeran’s new album for the first time last summer!)

For those that might be unaware, Utica actually had the old Erie Canal run right through it. (Where I live in Whitesboro, at the very end of a road not too far from mine is an Erie Canal Memorial area which is dedicated right where it used to run!) Some parts of the canal are actually still in tact, and are still used today. There is a lock not to far from Utica College that is one of my favorite places to just relax and hang out.

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The canal is great because it’s another free(!) spot to hang out and relax. Also, it’s closer to campus than hiking in the Adirondacks…so you can still get your taste of nature, just closer to home!

(My friends, Mary, Pat, and I, enjoy the occasional frog hunt both on campus and at the canal!)
(My friends, Mary, Pat, and I, enjoy the occasional frog hunt both on campus and at the canal!)

There are so many things to do in Utica! So soak up the last bit of the semester and explore the area! After a final head on down to the lock and de-stress! Or head to the Utica Zoo and make a new friend! Just whatever you do, have fun and I hope you give these activities a try!

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Things To Do: Utica Edition Part 1

I work as an Ambassador (Tour Guide) in the Admissions Office and one of the questions I field most frequently is, “What is there to do in Utica?” My answer to that is simple, there are LOADS of things to do. Not only are there events on campus all of the time, the city itself hosts numerous fun and interesting attractions. And, the best part is, most of the activities are not too far from campus! Throughout the semester I plan on revisiting this topic and adding attractions as the season changes, and as I, myself, discover new things as well!

This posting is going to focus on things to do during the Winter season, and are all basically places you can go to get a reprieve from the cold…which is not to say you couldn’t go to these places in other seasons! Most of the attractions are year round! (I also included an estimate for cost because I know the college student “low-fund” struggle.)

Catch a Comets Game!

The Utica Comets are Utica’s professional hockey team. They play in the AHL league, and their games generate quite a bit of buzz. The city is proud of the team, and it’s a must-see for anyone near the city to go to a game! I’m not a hockey fan, but its hard to not get caught up in all of the commotion that comes with a big game. The games tend to sell out quickly, so be sure to check out their website to see when they are playing!

(The Utica Memorial Auditorium is a familiar venue to any Pioneer Hockey Fan, both Men's and Women's ice hockey play there!)
(The Utica Memorial Auditorium is a familiar venue to any Pioneer Hockey Fan, both Men’s and Women’s ice hockey play there!)

The Comets home arena is the Utica Memorial Auditorium, which is where the Utica College Pioneers have their own home hockey games! (For those unaware, its 610 Oriskany St) so this excursion will take you only 5 minutes from campus! This activity is the most expensive out of all of the ones listed, but it’s worth the money! Seeing a game is something everyone has to do at least once!

(The Utica Comets! Props to my friend Caroline for the Comets pictures! She's an avid hockey fan.)
(The Utica Comets! Props to my friend Caroline for the Comets pictures! She’s an avid hockey fan.)

Grab a Cup of Coffee at Utica Roasting

Utica Roasting is a locally owned business which, according to their website is, “committed to offering the highest quality coffee available from around the world—right here in downtown Utica.” They source their beans from around the world, and then roast them right  in their shop in Downtown Utica. They pride themselves on fair trade coffee, and buy local products for everything else. Even if coffee isn’t your thing they have a wide variety of teas, and juice products.

(On this day I went with a friend and she had a traditional coffee and bagel, while I tried a frozen green tea. It was delicious, and I highly recommend it.)
(On this day I went with a friend and she had a traditional coffee and bagel, while I tried a frozen green tea. It was delicious, and I highly recommend it.)

Located right on 92 Genesee Street, not too far from the Utica Memorial Auditorium, it is central and not even 10 minutes from campus. The cost is definitely affordable for a cup of coffee, and even leaves you room to buy a muffin or bagel to go with your drink!

(My friend Adelle enjoying her coffee outside.)
(My friend Adelle enjoying her coffee outside.)

Oogle at Art at Munson Williams

Located right up the street from Utica Roasting is one of my favorite places in Utica, The Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute. It’s a museum dedicated to enriching the community by having various styles of art represented. The museum makes use of the space by having numerous styles and mediums represented, from sculpture to photography to water color to many other types. They also have various exhibits which come in and only stay for a brief period of time, so you can keep coming back to see new things! They also have a film series which shows movies which may not make it to mainstream cinemas; it’s my favorite way to catch a lesser known film. They also show various short and foreign films. Check out their website for more events, exhibit schedules, and films which are currently being shown.

(One of the free exhibits at Munson. It's fun to try to guess what the artist was feeling while constructing a work of art.)
(One of the free exhibits at Munson. It’s fun to try to guess what the artist was feeling while constructing a work of art.)

Located at 310 Genesee Street, it is literally right in the middle of the city. Once again, it is not even 10 minutes from campus. The cost is FREE to enter the general museum, the film series is very reasonable for students, and the additional exhibits have a small cost. (Be sure to ask for the student rate!)

(On the Genesee Level, right across from the main entrance, is a rather large work of art by Jackson Polluck. It's a beautiful piece, and people can spend ages staring at it. The museum also holds another one of his pieces, which is quite impressive because I've seen his work also displayed at the MOMA and MET.)
(On the Genesee Level, right across from the main entrance, is a rather large work of art by Jackson Polluck. It’s a beautiful piece, and people can spend ages staring at it. The museum also holds another one of his pieces, which is quite impressive because I’ve seen his work also displayed at the MOMA and MET.)

I hope you give all these activities a try some time soon! Since they are all located quite close to one another, you could make a day out of it and do all of them at once! But, be sure to check out my future blog posts for more fun things to do around Utica!

 

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Being an RA is really, really fun sometimes.

They told me I was crazy.

When I mentioned to friends and coworkers what I was planning on doing, they called me a looney. Told me it was madness. I must be ill!

What exactly did I do, you ask?
I, voluntarily, took 16 18-year-olds on a six-hour trip to the mall. And it was AWESOME.

As I mentioned in my first post, I’m an RA for a themed community for first-year students. Whereas the zoo trip went along with the ULive floor theme for biology majors, this trip was for my own community: UBalance. In UBalance, we focus on healthy living from head-to-toe.

So when my partner-in-crime and fellow UBalance RA Sam came to me with an idea to take our floors to Destiny USA for the ropes course, WonderWorks and shopping (in the name of mental health and learning, of course), I was all for it.

On Wednesday, we loaded up two 12-passenger vans and set out for Syracuse.

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Destiny USA is pretty overwhelming. It’s basically four thousand stories and has every store/restaurant you could ever need (except a Chipotle. I am still sad about this.)

But even the open-plan, enormous, fully Christmas-ified interior of the mall didn’t make me half as hysterical as this did:
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This is where the fun begins.

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WonderWorks is probably the coolest place I’ve ever been. I don’t want to ruin the surprises, but they have a lot of neat things like anti-gravity space machines, roller coaster simulators, a BUBBLE LAB and lots of other exhibits. But, in order to get to the WonderWorks exhibits, I had to conquer a few fears.

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If you’ve been to Destiny USA, you’ve no doubt noticed the 7-year-olds sprinting from obstacle to obstacle above your head while parents cling to support ropes and mutter obscenities. Kidding. Kinda. If you’ve never been, you’re walking across various rope and beam obstacle while suspended over anywhere between 1-3 floors of the mall, depending on the part of the course.

We were all very excited. Especially these two.
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This is George and Kelsey showing off their “very-excited”/”we-are-totally-not-about-to-die” faces.

It was a lot of fun! You never actually unclip from the beam your harness is attached to like with some ropes courses, so after exploring for a bit, everyone gets daring. I did a few obstacles with no hands!

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Picture included because this girl looks eerily just like me. But it’s not me. But it could be. So that’s weird. 
Also, pro tip: Don’t wear converse when attempting the course. I almost slipped to my doom a few times.

Everyone pretty much had free reign, which is part of the reason I thought this trip went so well! You could spend a little time on the ropes course, browse WonderWorks, eat, shop–whatever!

Or, you could do what me and Cody did, which was get froyo and then scour the mall to find his face. Success.
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He is so cool.

Overall, it was a great trip! Living on campus can have drawbacks (I still miss/talk to my mom basically everyday), but I’ve been able to do a lot of awesome things that I never would’ve been able to do otherwise! Exploring the area has expanded my knowledge on a lot of things, too! Like, for instance, I now think ropes courses should be mandatory in all malls. All of them. It is our RIGHT. Well, not really, but I want it.

The great thing about this trip was that everyone that attended is part of the UBalance community. In a themed community, you have the opportunity to do things you’re really, truly interested in with people you connect with outside of the fact you attend the same school. It’s like forcing people to be your friend!!! Except significantly more successful than when I try to do it.

Living at UC, you’re really close to a lot of great places. It would be a shame to never see them, right?

Ok, it’s your turn!
Are you a fan of ropes courses? If you’ve never tried one, would you?
Have you ever visited WonderWorks before?
Do you like Cody’s glamour shot on that banner?!? Because I do.

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