The best kept secret for beating Charles Village chills

By DARIA RAMOS-IZQUIERDO | February 8, 2018

B2_Snow Day N Charles

COURTESY OF RENEE SCAVONE

Students react to the Blizzard of 2016 — sometimes it’s just too much for all of us.

As February is roaring into action with the first delayed opening of the year and consistently near-hurricane strength wind, Hopkins students everywhere are wondering how to beat the chill of another Baltimore winter.

During the week of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, when half of the student body had already returned to campus, I discovered a simple solution to the dilemma:

I drove over 18 hours with my sister, a graduate student at the University of Miami, down to Florida.

I am not sure how many people truly understand the layout of Miami, because I sure still don’t. How does anyone live with street numbers beyond 39? 

But Miami isn’t just South Beach; in fact, it is one of the most sprawling cities I have ever encountered. 

The University of Miami is about 20 minutes from the beach or downtown, but that doesn’t mean the campus isn’t as upbeat and beautiful as the beaches.

Making it down to Miami the night before classes started was a bold move as we had slept for about three hours, but it was nothing that nights at MSE hadn’t prepared me for. 

For the next five nights, I slept on the futon of my sister’s converted-garage studio (some of the most affordable housing you can find in Miami, because holy wow, there’s a reason that there are so many Teslas and Porsches on the streets), and it was fun because it was like sharing a room all over again. 

Except the last time we shared a room we were four and seven, and we hated it. 

We went to campus early on the first day of class so that we could eat lunch there. 

I was highly offended to find out that, at other schools, campus dining is practically a high end food court, not just a buffet and a couple of made-to-order places. 

No offense to Bamboo Cafe, but I would much prefer a Panda Express.

And, honestly, that’s a pretty low bar.

Furthermore, I would prefer Cuban food. I mean, that may just be a personal thing, but I am pretty sure that Cuban food is objectively some of the best food in the world. 

The entire city of Baltimore has a whopping total of one Cuban restaurant. Well guess what? Just within the University of Miami campus there are two places where you can get fast, authentic Cuban food. 

Step it up, Bon Appetít. 

But despite all of the delicious food, as I sat there diving into my pork, ham and swiss cheese sandwich (a Medianoche, for anyone who cares about the name), I realized that almost every single person passing by, restricted by a strict diet of kombucha and lettuce, looked like they didn’t get to enjoy any of it.

Say what you will about the citizens of Baltimore: At least we know how to eat a damn sandwich.

However, I am not exaggerating when I say that not only was the campus entirely gorgeous, but approximately 95 percent of the students also looked like they could have been selling Calvin Klein or something. 

I wondered to myself if people had to send in their headshots along with the Common App but then also remembered that they always have to be beach body ready seeing as it never drops below 72 degrees and their beach is an actual beach, not a patch of grass, on a hill, overlooking two dorm buildings and a hospital. 

I could practically hear the giant fountain, in the middle of the mini lake overlooking the commons, whispering “transfer” to me with every slight breeze. 

The offer was ever so tempting as I sipped my Jamba Juice and watched in awe as a D1 football player passed me by. 

But here I am, in snowy, rainy, ice-covered Baltimore, and I am happy with that.

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