Posts Tagged ‘friends’

Be Wary of Placing Limits and Expiration Dates on Friendships

Wednesday, October 13th, 2021

The idea for this chapter came to mind as I was talking to one of my good college friends, who happens to be two years older than me, about her experience with friendship “expiration dates.” That was the very first time I had heard anyone describe the all-too-familiar way in which we inadvertently place people and potential friends into very defined and limited categories, steering away from what we see as “expired” (or soon to be expired) relationships. I thought back to all the people I’d met in the last few weeks of middle or high school whom I’d given up on before even getting to know, all because it was simply “too late” (spoiler alert: it really wasn’t). I remembered how I’d labeled people as too cool, too old or too young, or, quite simply, too different to approach.

My friend, whom we’ll call Abby, had come into her freshman year of college with a very similar attitude; that is, until she realized there were only a few weeks left in her first year, and she hadn’t figured out her place in college yet. When she turned to her fellow first-years, they seemed to be in a very similar boat, which is when she realized she needed to change course, and quickly. With graduation looming not so far ahead, these wise, older students would soon fall in the “expired” category. Abby decided that she’d meet each senior student once, if only just to touch base and extract whatever they had to say about their own college experience, and then leave her coffee appointments smarter, wiser and all the better for it. This impromptu, speed-friend-dating escapade of hers, however, would bear very different fruits than she could’ve possibly imagined. It was during what was meant to be nothing more than a one-hour coffee break, Abby told me, that she’d met one of the girls whom she now considered one of her best friends. To this day, they take the time to speak (or text or call) almost every week, keeping themselves in the other’s life via simple but frequent updates. Although the nature of their friendship has made it so that they’re rarely in the same place at the same time, Abby and her friend have learned how to make space for their friendship in their respective lives. And if that isn’t a sign of true friendship, I don’t know what is.  

“Your dream doesn’t have an expiration date. Take a deep breath and try again.” by katerha is licensed under CC BY 2.0

As Abby shared this with me, I felt like my mind was going a thousand miles a minute. Over the course of my own freshman year, I had experienced first-hand what it felt like to get caught-up in a bunch of “surface” friendships, to be constantly surrounded by people and still feel stranded on my own personal island of loneliness. It was by talking to Abby, however, and after realizing that I had been able to make genuine and long-lasting connections near the end of the year, that I began to see how that feeling had been partially my own fault. From the very beginning, I had come into college with the idea that my first-year friends were something temporary, people that would only last for a certain phase of my life, relationships that I had to form because I hated being alone, and as a result of that, I hadn’t truly given each friend a chance. Because of my fears (of being left behind, of failing to assimilate), I had been in a sort of friendship paralysis, where I focused on making “realistic” friends, and placed people into attainable vs. unattainable categories. In short, I forgot about the fact that behind each friend, there’s a very real and unique human being, who has very real and unique things to bring to my life, even if it’s not always in a way that I’m familiar or already comfortable with. And that’s what made me realize that it’s kind of ridiculous to put an expiration date on people, because no amount of distance, time differences, or personal differences can spoil the type of connection that forms between two people who are dedicated to letting friendship bloom between them.

Main Takeaways (If this chapter evoked something in you that says “Oh yeah, I do that,” or if you’re currently experiencing that weird “not-alone but lonely” stage of life (we’ve all been there), I’d encourage you to do one of two things): 

  • Reach out to that person you’ve been hesitant to hang out with, whether it’s because you think you’re too different, or you don’t see the chance of a long-lasting friendship; you never actually know what can happen unless you try, and worst-case scenario they say no (and you’re right back where you started).
  • Take steps to deepen one of your current relationships by being more intentional with each other; set the standard for a deeper friendship, whether it’s by being more open in communication or changing the usual setting of your relationship. 

Chiara Jurczak is a second-year student at Northeastern University where she is majoring in Political Science and Communication Studies. She is currently finding new ways to explore her passions for creative writing, publishing and political crises, and hoping to figure it all out sooner rather than later. In her free time, you can find her reading, baking, or trying to talk her friends into going on fun (and at times strange) adventures.


For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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You’re Not a Mind Reader, and Neither Are Your Friends (Probably)

Tuesday, September 28th, 2021

In my last chapter, I talked about metaphors—now, I’d like to address the irony that lies in many of the processes tied to friendship-building. The greatest, and probably most obvious one is what I’ll call the “You Should Know That” phenomenon. This refers to the all-too-familiar thought process that we all have a tendency to fall into at some point during the friendship-making process, where we start to believe (and expect) that our friends are mind readers, who have the ability to deduce, without being told, everything we need and require of them.

In the early stages of friendship, we are not at risk of falling into this trap. In one of my Communication Studies courses this year, we went over “Uncertainty Reduction Theory”; the idea that at this point in the friendship formation process, the uncertainty in your relationship is at its peak height, and that the focus of all communication efforts is therefore placed on uncertainty reduction. You realize that you have to be explicit and clear about what you mean and need, and you never seem to run out of questions or anecdotes that may draw some piece of information or knowledge out of them that would help you get a better picture of who they are. 

Slowly (but surely), you get more comfortable around your friend, and start to (at times mistakenly) believe that there really isn’t that much you don’t know. Instead of asking them about every single detail of their life, you’re more focused on finding “natural flow”, and start to fill in the gaps of your knowledge about them with assumptions. These assumptions, whether positive or negative, will have a pretty big impact on the way in which your friendship evolved from there. 

In my own personal experience, assumptions such as these led to the deterioration of a friendship which might have otherwise survived. After a couple of weeks of meeting this friend, I had a whole list of assumptions, ready to soothe whatever uncertainties blatantly existed in our relationship; I assumed that when they didn’t respond to my greetings, they were probably listening to music very loud and didn’t want to be disturbed. I assumed that when they stopped telling me everything about their day and weekends, it meant they just needed a little space. I assumed that we were fine, doing good, and that they could see that I was just eager to get to know them better and all I needed was an indication from them that they wanted the same…and I was wrong. This whole time, I had been assuming that they knew what I was thinking, and that I had stopped approaching them as much because I had noticed (or perceived) a slight withdrawal, and taken that to mean that they wanted space. All the while, they had seen my sudden lack of questions and interest in their life as a form of judgement, of disdain and disinterest.

“[ C ] Francis Hyman Criss – Mind reader” by Cea. is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The hard-to-swallow truth is, you (probably) aren’t as good at “reading minds” as you think you are—even your friends’. It’s only natural to start letting assumptions rule your view of others, and it’s true that with a certain amount of time and friendship formation, some things can become more implicit than they previously were. However, it’s also important to remember that no matter how well or how long we get to know someone, we are never truly capable of seeing and understanding how they are feeling, at the very least not without communicating directly with them.

So what can you do? I guess the Golden Rule comes in handy here: treat others the way you want to be treated. It is important to learn to ask for what you need, and to make it clear to your friends that they can do the same with you. If you’re to build a long-lasting and fulfilling friendship, you both need to feel comfortable enough to tell each other how you really feel; you can do that by setting a standard for open and honest communication early in the relationship. Otherwise, you might be missing out on several friendships which you may assume failed out of an incompatibility between the two of you, and not the real, root cause:misunderstandings tied to a lack of clear, direct, and honest communication. 

Main Takeaways: 

  • As we get more comfortable around our friends, we stop relying on verbal communication as much and let our messages become more implicit—this can lead to a lot of misunderstandings and tense moments. 
  • It’s important to remember that feelings don’t always reflect reality;it’s important to talk to your friends about your feelings and learn to ask for the affirmation and confirmation you need from them. This will help you grow in your relationship and set the standard for an honest and long-lasting friendship.

By: Chiara Jurczak

Chiara Jurczak is a second-year student at Northeastern University where she is majoring in Political Science and Communication Studies. She is currently finding new ways to explore her passions for creative writing, publishing and political crises, and hoping to figure it all out sooner rather than later. In her free time, you can find her reading, baking, or trying to talk her friends into going on fun (and at times strange) adventures.


For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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Finding Your People

Saturday, July 8th, 2017

 

My friend Paris and I chilling in my dorm after a photoshoot.

My friend Paris and I chilling in my dorm after a photoshoot.

College undoubtedly brings change. Life before college is largely different from life in higher education.  Post-secondary education brings a new set of challenges that provide opportunity for personal growth and emergence into the adult world. Though many challenges exist for the incoming college student, my primary focus is the examination of relationships in college, as I have a great deal of experience in this area. And while I cannot speak to the experiences of all students in college, I do know that my account of navigating relationships during my first year at NYU can provide useful reference for any college student.

Before I went to New York City for college, I lived in a place called Snellville, Georgia. Growing up in Georgia, I had a hard time finding friends with whom I could have meaningful conversations. Most of the friends I made in Georgia were formed more out of circumstance than choice, since I was more concerned about fitting in socially than finding friends that would help me develop as a person. As a result, I had a lot of different friends before college, but very few seemed to excite and invigorate in the way I desired.

By contrast, the friends I made after moving to New York City are some of the most interesting and special people I have met in my entire life. While they are all different from me in some ways, all my closest friends in New York City have a common passion for taking advantage of the opportunities life offers and an eagerness to delve beyond surface-level conversations. How did I find these people? I simply made the decision to choose my friends based on who excited me, as opposed to letting friendships develop merely out of coincidence. Whenever I met someone who excited me, I did everything in my power to develop a friendship with them.  Still, sometimes, the ones who excited me were also the ones who intimidated me. It took some courage to approach and pursue friendships with people who intimidated me, but the people who intimidated me were intimidating because they possessed something that I did not have or understand. To access the immense value of such people, I dedicated myself to not let fear get in the way of forming life-changing friendships.

To solidify the friendships I desired, I made sure to show a genuine interest in those whom I wanted to know more closely. I took time out of my schedule to adventure the city with newfound friends and let them know why they mattered to me. In doing so, I showed them why I should matter in their lives, as my investment in them indicated that I could be there in whatever supportive capacity they may need in the future. So, as I let new friends into my life, I spoke into their lives, representing my honest self, since I did not want to make friends with those who did not accept me for who I am.

To solidify such friendships, I had to make emotional room for my friends to influence my life. Indeed, it is quite a scary thing to be so emotionally vulnerable to other people.  In some cases, a few people with whom I shared my vulnerabilities used those vulnerabilities to hurt me later down the road.  However, such negative experiences should not dampen the pursuit of deep and honest communication with others. Rather, the negative experiences were a means to inform me of the signs that indicate a disloyal friend.

At the end of the day, I know that I’m not perfect. I need other people around me to open my eyes to different perspectives about the world, and my place in it. Every person is limited in their capacity to understand life. Yet, by sharing friendships with tremendous people, one can get a glimpse into a larger world of possibility and have support through times of hardship. After finding my closest friends, my squad, I noticed that an incredible burden had been lifted off my shoulders. Before finding my people, college frightened me. The start of college marked the first time in my life that I had to independently endure responsibility. After creating meaningful friendships though, I have taken immense comfort in knowing that I have a family in college with whom I can experience anything and find encouragement.

By Matthew Evert

Matthew Evert is a Campus Clipper publishing intern who is studying English and Philosophy as a sophomore at NYU. Passionate about poetry, people, and adventure, Matthew aspires to live an explorative and artistic life. For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services. 

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

 

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How To Make Friends

Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

 

Image Credit: www.instagram.com/thecarolineflynn/

Image Credit: www.instagram.com/thecarolineflynn/

 

You’ve done it. You’ve mastered eating at the dining hall alone, finding your way around without relying on other people, and taking your own notes in class and remembering all the homework. You don’t just walk through the city streets with a confident and independent air, you jaywalk out into the open road, fearlessly taking on whatever the taxicabs have coming. And now, it’s time. Time for the next step. Time to text the classmate you’ve been crushing on in Writing for College. Time to tell your roommates you actually hate their friends and this weekend you’ll make your own plans. Time to put down the high school group message and talk to your budding friends here face-to-face.

I know it’s not easy. Thankfully, most people show up to college for the first time in the same boat as you, knowing practically no one. If you can keep this in mind, then you are on your way to creating some of the best and longest lasting friendships you’ve ever had. Here are a few more tips to get you started.

 

1. Choose Your Victim

I know you know exactly who you’d be best friends with if you could. The dream friend. That person in class who says what you’re thinking. When they DJ at a party your playlists are specifically similar. And what’s that? They also plan their meals around which dining hall is offering the most carbs? Wow. A match made in heaven. Be careful, though. Sometimes you think your victim friend will be this one person and it turns out you just have a huge girl crush on them and you will never actually see yourself on their level. This will be fun but will not work out (totally not speaking from experience…). Or maybe you think your victim might as well be that kid you had lunch with a few times when no one else was free. NO. Go for gold. Friends are important people and you must be extremely picky when choosing a victim. (But remember, be extremely nice. To everyone. Regardless of their friend-level to you. And also be nice to yourself when choosing your friends.)

 

2. The Millennial Step

25 years ago when your parents were in school they would have to skip straight to Step 3. Luckily, we have more options. Once you have your victim, stalk them thoroughly on every social media account they own. Make careful note of your mutual friends on Facebook. If their Instagram is blocked, talk to them about something trivial in class for long enough so that when you request to follow them 3 hours and 41 minutes later it seems totally casual. During this same conversation, it’s vital that you also get their Snapchat and phone number. This way you can see who your competition is and when they are alone or have no plans. This is when you will strike.

(You can of course skip this step if you think social media, oversharing, and instant access to information are ruining our generation’s communication skills along with much of the world.)

 

3. Make Plans

Ok, so you’ve laid all the ground work. Now it’s time to make your move. Invite your Best-Friend-To-Be to a casual lunch or late night snack. And much like dating, be prepared to ask them about themselves! Get them talking and your conversation will run all night long. If you need some icebreakers, here are a few to get you started.

  • A time you got lost in NYC/the subway broke down/Uber failed you
  • Your recent Netflix Binge
  • Any story about a bad Ex
  • Any story about a bad roommate

 

4. Sunlight & Water

Congratulations! You put yourself out there! Call your Mom, give yourself a high five, and continue to cultivate this new connection. Try some cool restaurants in the area, go to a museum, treat yourself to the spa, and above all use your Campus Clipper coupons to save you and your new friend money. Suddenly, New York City won’t seem quite as big with someone who is equally as lost as you by your side. And you’ll find that as you begin to get one good friendship under your belt, others will fall into place too.

 

Where are you going to go with these new friends? Well you could try the Brazen Fox, a great restaurant right near Union Square serving delicious American Fare and cold drinks. This two story restaurant is charming and well-priced with some cool wall décor you’ll want to see for yourself.  And don’t forget to use your Campus Clipper Coupon and get 10% off of your meal!

Image Credit: campusclipper.com

Image Credit: campusclipper.com

 


 

By Caroline Flynn

Caroline Flynn is a Sales and Publishing Intern at the Campus Clipper studying Theatre at NYU Tisch. Caroline is passionate about the arts and dedicated to using her voice to make other people smile. As she heads into her Junior year, she is excited to be writing about how relationships have shaped her life while she takes on summer in the city for the first time. 

We have the most talented interns ever and we’re so proud of them! For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015. 

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The Never Ending Joys of Roommates

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Serrana Gay

Roommates. We all have them, and if you haven’t had one yet, chances are you will at some point. Whether your roommate is your best friend or someone you met a week ago at orientation, living with people is always a challenge.

I have lived with a whole cast of colorful characters: boyfriends, best friends, strangers, and strangers who have become friends. Each relationship has had its ups and downs and each relationship has taught me something different. But time and time again I always come back to the same thing: COMMUNICATION. Without it any relationship is destined to fail.

During my last year of college I fought with my best friend over who was going to vacuum the living room. We didn’t speak for a week. One comment from me led to a dismissal from her, which grew into a text message war, which exploded into a screaming argument and then total silence–endless, dragging silence. Days and days of silence.

Then one day I had an epiphany, a forehead slap moment. The reason we weren’t resolving anything was because we weren’t speaking. We had gotten into a vicious circle of non-communication.  Of course, I thought. We were never going to fix anything if we didn’t speak.

That very afternoon I apologized. I told her I was upset because I felt like I was the only one that ever cleaned, and that I realized that I  had played a part in making her upset. She said she felt like I was mothering her. We hugged and by the end of the conversation, we were laughing at our own stupidity.

What I took away from this experience is that 1) nine times out of ten, conflicts arise from misunderstanding or things left unsaid, and 2) it is better to confront things head-on than to stay mad.

I know this seems a little too easy, and that sometimes talking about your feelings can be difficult. But take it from someone who knows, without communication all relationships are doomed to fail.  As life coach Tony Robbins so aptly puts it, “To effectively communicate we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.”

So I put it to you, dear readers, to be the different ones. Take up the challenge and share how you are feeling. Communicate. You will be surprised at how much more easily you will coexist with those you share the world with. And you just might find that the way you treat people will start to shape who you become, the person you are.

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Don’t Waste Your Time on People Who Don’t Deserve It

Friday, August 9th, 2013

In high school, I was the type of person who took on friendships as projects. I found people who were broken in some way, and I tried to piece them back together again. It never ended well. They always developed these enormous expectations, like I was supposed to focus all of my attention on them and only them, forsaking every other relationship I had just to make them feel better about themselves.

I wasted a lot of time on those people, thinking if I just gave them a little bit more of what they wanted, they would feel better and stop being so clingy. It didn’t work; it usually just made them more angry when I wasn’t available for them, to the point where they would get hostile and try to tear me down.

newleafcounselingblog.blogspot.com

Looking back now, I know how unhealthy those friendships were for me, and how much damage they did in the long run. Those people were selfish, thinking they were entitled to 100% of me just because I gave them the kind of attention no one else did. But, of course, hindsight is 20/20, and I didn’t think that way at the time. Even when I did realize things were getting out of hand and tried to cut it off, we were stuck in the same high school and the same town together. They found ways to continue trying to reel me in after I had explicitly told them to back off and leave me alone.

This isn’t something that’s particularly unique to my life. We all do it in some form or another. We all waste our time on people who, in the back part of our minds we try so hard to ignore, we know don’t deserve it. People who make us feel bad about who we are and the things we want to do in life. Everyone encounters it in some form or another, mostly when you’re young and impressionable and don’t know any better yet.

College presents a unique opportunity for these situations: you can cut someone out of your life, and never really have to worry about again. I’m sure that sounds cruel and cold, but i’m not suggesting you go on a Facebook cleaning rampage of anyone who ever looked at you kind of funny. It’s just that, in my opinion, your life should be filled with people who make you feel better about yourself, and who support you fully in whatever endeavors you choose to undertake. Surrounding yourself with negativity and unpleasantness is never going to make you a happier, better person, and isn’t that sort of the bottom line in life?

www.venusbuzz.com

I don’t like cutting people out of my life. I have given quite a few second and third chances to people, but even I have my limits. The truth of the matter is, there are some people who just don’t deserve your time and attention. There’s no point in wasting your time on people who, for lack of a better word, suck. The way I look at it is, if a relationship isn’t an improvement on my life without it, it’s not one I want to put time and effort into.

No one is entitled to you. You are a special snowflake, and the people you have in your life should think so, too.

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Alex Ritter, NYU.

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Settling: The Art of Friending, Side Friends, Lunch & Dinner Friends

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

You’ve unpacked, bought your books, and attended a few courses, and missed one on account of  the screeching alarms being set off at 3 a.m. No worries, you’re just becoming a real New Yorker. You’re a competent adjuster but forming new friendships is another story. It would be much easier if this were kindergarten where anyone sharing their PB&J is your friend.

   Don’t panic. Here are useful tips to transverse that murky friend zone. How do you know a person is a friend? There should be a “talk” or verbal contract specifying you’re both friends as it would ease the friendship, unfortunately, it does not exist yet. I digress, people are your friends if they are willing to spend time outside class with you for more than 1 hour (this does not encompass study partners) and attends parties with you and other people, and has decency to say goodbye if they leave before you. People are in your friend circle, additionally, if they eat either lunch or dinner with you more than once a week. You shouldn’t force it but prop up naturally, spontaneous.  These scenarios also apply to you because people expect you to reciprocate the same efforts.

             

  We have finished the rules to being a friend. Now to find them. Arguably, New York City is treacherous for newcomers because of the fast paced, goal driven personas you often meet on the streets. Unless you’ve grown up in this jungle you can’t be expected to know every single nook and cranny. If you’re new on campus worried you won’t meet other newbies then join a campus club; you’ll meet tons of like minded people and enjoy your activity. Keep in mind you should try other clubs that spark your curiosity, and if you dislike them there’s nothing chaining you to them except guilt. Find clubs you think mesh well with your personal values and goals. If you’re searching for active, outdoor people then enrolling in an art club is unwise; the positive is you’ll learn tons about abstract color synchronization techniques. If you’re like me, then enroll to every single club you find interesting, attend their first meetings, and then decide whether to commit or scratch it off your plate.

     My school holds a club festival every beginning of the semester to enlist new members–then again my college is in upstate New York so choices are scarce during winter time, either you remain inside your dorm eating instant noodles or visit off-campus sites to gorge on the local food…and then regret it.

      One club stood out the most, the Men and Women’s Rowing club. My first thought was that this would really get me down to my ideal weight and body shape, and seeing as my friend was eager to join, we signed up. Our first meetings were just basic paperwork, insurance information, and minor details. However, practices were gruesome. For starters, I always thought they would be held during late afternoons; turns out we had to meet at 5:30 a.m–this our coach would later angrily explain meant we had to be on the dock at 5:30am. Therefore, for 3 times a week I woke up at 4:45 a.m to be driven down to the boathouse and arrive at 5:15 a.m. This was utter madness. yes! Why do it? Tremendous guilt would burden me for life if I left my friend suffering alone,  but the unforeseen occurred: I liked the sport and people.

     There are other outlets, of course, you can use these days to forge new friendships while in NYC. If sports are not your forte, then stick to your interest, slowly branching yourself into other groups. You don’t have to  join the local soccer, football, or rugby team. You can start small with Yoga classes at Moksha Yoga that offers a free class to first timers who bring the Campus Clipper coupon, if that’s your preference. There’s never a reason to not try new things–unless you’re highly allergic or you’re bedridden–so start small and end up winning big.

 

 

 

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Sergio Hernandez, Skidmore College. Send Sergio a Tweet Tweet only on Twitter

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Di Fara

Monday, May 10th, 2010

It’s the first blog post and introductions are in order. My name is Sabina, and I’m an upcoming sophomore at NYU. I’ll be writing this summer about some of the restaurants New York has to offer, as well as some of the interesting events students can afford to attend in the city. I hope to cover a little of everything—from museums to taco stands, baklava to free concerts, community gardens to pierogis. I am always open to suggestions, so feel free to send some in via email or respond to anything I post. I’m starting off with one of the best-known culinary spots in New York—the famous Di Fara Pizza of Brooklyn.
This past Sunday I finally gathered the right group of people and enough motivation to head out to the famous pizzeria, claimed by many to be the home of the best slices the East Coast has to offer. It’s a 40-minute schlep on the Q to Avenue J from my nearby 14th Street Union Square stop, but after such hype I decided to brave the unusually cold Sunday weather and make the trek. Luckily I went with some friends who had been before, and therefore insisted we leave by 11. We arrived at 11:45 and were the third party in line.
Without the people waiting outside, the small pizzeria would fail to stand out against the low-key corner of Midwood, a neighborhood spotted with Jewish bakeries and a few bagel stops. Once inside, however, the characteristics that distinguish the small restaurant became apparent. For one, lines can start forming 1-2 hours before opening. The counter-space was crowded with no semblance of a line, and there were not nearly enough chairs or tables to accommodate the eager customers. Although the lack of comfort can infuriate some restaurant enthusiasts, I’ve always been drawn to a small establishment willing to retain its old atmosphere. As a friend noted, the cheap napkins indicated where priorities lied.
Only one man, Domenico DeMarco, handles the pizzas, which are made of ingredients shipped exclusively from Italy and Israel. While his son was on hand to take orders, Domenico was the only one drizzling on the olive oil or pulling the bubbling dough from the oven to check if it was done. Other special touches included the three types of cheeses hand-grated directly onto the hot crust, and the basil leaves clipped straight off the stems. We bought two pies (it is far more expensive to order by the slice) and waited about 20 minutes for them after ordering.
I’m not a huge pizza enthusiast, but Di Fara’s slices were certainly the best I’ve had in New York. After we brought the hot pies to the table, no one spoke as they made their way through their three slices. The biggest pizza connoisseur of us all had four.
Part of the fun of making your way down to Di Fara’s is to watch Domenico handle his ingredients. If you’re not down for waiting, or want to be sure you’ll get a table, the ride on the Q might not be worth it. Many worry the small restaurant has turned into a tourist-trap (there were a couple of overbearing camera wielders), but if you can’t stand the customers, take a pizza to go and find a nice spot outside. The fresh ingredients alone are worth it.

-Sabina A

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