Posts Tagged ‘Restaurant’

Isabella Italian: The East Village Spot for Homemade Italian on a Student Budget

Tuesday, September 14th, 2021

Isabella Italian offers fresh, homemade, and, best of all, affordable Italian food in a charming space on St. Mark’s Place between 1st Avenue and Avenue A. The menu features top-notch pasta, pizza, sandwiches, and other classic Italian entrees. 

Isabella was originally scheduled to open in March of 2020. Owner Daniel (Danny) Rivera had to wait over a year to debut his solo venture, but the team at Isabella has managed to persevere and is now fully operating. The restaurant is clearly a personal project for Danny; you can see the care he has for the place, from the details of each dish to the name​​—Isabella is named after Danny’s 2-year-old daughter. Danny is also a partner of David’s Café next door (one of my favorite brunch spots), so you often see staff crossing back and forth between the two restaurants.

I visited Isabella on a Thursday evening, feeling extra hungry after spending the day wandering through the rainy East Village streets. It’s the perfect spot to catch up with a friend you haven’t seen in a long time while nurturing a glass of wine and debating which pasta to order. I had a glass of the Pinot Noir, while my friend had a glass of the Pinot Grigio. I don’t normally order wine, but I’m glad I did. The Pinot Noir was lovely, perfectly complementing the cozy space.

Isabella is secretly a great spot for students. Unlike many other Italian restaurants in the area, Isabella won’t charge you $25 for a small bowl of pasta that will leave you wishing you could ask for seconds. You can get just about any pasta you like for under $15, and the portions won’t disappoint. All the pasta is from the Greenwich Village establishment Raffetto’s, probably THE fresh pasta destination in NYC. My friend and I agonized over the menu, but we eventually settled on two pasta dishes. I had the Cacio & Peppe, a bucatini gloriously drowned in butter and cheese, topped with ground pepper. My friend had the Rigatoni Medici. She is allergic to dairy, so she had the dish with their standard tomato sauce instead of the tomato cream sauce. In addition to the sauce, the rigatoni comes with peas, chicken, chopped tomato, and shallots. My friend generously shared a few bites with me, and it tasted like the homemade sauce my late Italian grandpa used to make on Sundays. Just delightful. 

Isabella also offers a variety of pizzas. Many of the pizzas feature a buffalo mozzarella—a richer, creamier, and more flavorful alternative to cow’s milk mozzarella. However, with my friend’s dairy allergy, we had the Marinara pizza, which, although cheeseless, features that delicious homemade tomato sauce and basil pesto. I devoured the pizza with such eagerness that I honestly didn’t even miss the cheese.

So students – make your reservations as soon as possible for this affordable, high-quality Italian restaurant. Whether it’s your birthday dinner or a first day, Isabella Italian will not disappoint. Students receive 10% off anytime with our coupon and student ID. 


By: Marisa Bianco

Marisa graduated from NYU in May 2020, summa cum laude, with degrees in International Relations and Spanish. She grew up in Nebraska, but she is currently living in Córdoba, Spain, where she works as an English teacher. You can find her eating tapas in the Spanish sun while likely stressing about finding her life’s purpose.


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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Chapter One: Welcome Week

Friday, August 13th, 2021

I love flying into New York City at night. I always choose the aisle seat on airplanes because of my motion sickness, but I can never resist peeking through the plane’s windows in my periphery; one of my favorite views is that of the glittering lights beneath New York City’s night sky.


Bird's eye view of NYC at night
Bird’s eye view of NYC at night

In August of 2016, I flew from Colorado to New York in order to get settled in prior to beginning my college career. Once the plane landed, my stomach flipped over in excitement. My mom had come with me to help me move and I couldn’t believe that my dream of attending NYU had become a reality. 

Of course, I was also terrified. I knew that no one else from my high school class would be coming to NYU, and after my mom left I had no choice but to confront my newfound alone-ness. I sardonically thought to myself, “Well, welcome to Welcome Week.” 

I felt like a failure and my first semester had not even begun. One of my assigned roommates, whose name was also Anna, was a drama student in the Tisch School of the Arts. Off the bat, Tisch’s performing arts medium provides a tight-knit cohort community you’ll know for years, and I did not have that luxury as a Media, Culture, and Communication student since we were not placed into cohorts. I really liked the other Anna, and we made plans to hang out at one of NYU’s Welcome Week events: Drag Bingo, which featured contestants from RuPaul’s Drag Race. It seemed cool, and I nostalgically wished that one of my closest high-school friends was there because he would’ve loved it. He even made up his own drag name in honor of the show: “Shaneeda Bronze” (as in, “She needs a bronze.”). 

While I wallowed in nostalgia and loneliness on the second night of Welcome Week, I knew I needed to play a more active role in my own life. Unfortunately, I arrived at Drag Bingo well after the other Anna, and there were no more seats available near her (and no one was allowed to save seats). At that point, I was still standing in a stairwell in a line (or on a line for all the “real” New Yorkers) spanning across multiple floors. When I reached one of the landings, I noticed a pair of tan double doors to my right as someone threw them open to go through. I wondered aloud to the two girls standing in front of me, “Do you think we could go up that way?” They both shrugged and we continued standing in line. I stood with the girls at the back of the room during the event, and afterward they invited me over to their shared dorm. And that is how I met my best friends.

It was serendipitous as much as it was the effort we put in to socialize with other students and get to know our college community at various events. Certainly don’t hesitate asking your roommate(s) to hang out, and seeing if you can be friends! 


Playbill at Sunday in the Park with George. (Before we knew Jake Gyllenhaal “doesn’t shower often.”)

Since we are required to live in dorms for our first year, I wanted to make the most of my dorming experience as well. NYU offers “Themed Engagement Communities,” wherein specific floors in respective dormitory buildings will schedule activities pertaining to that theme. When I applied for housing I threw my hat in the ring for the “Laughing Matters” comedy-themed fourth floor of the Weinstein building. I have loved comedy since I was in elementary school, and decided to study Media because of my reverence for political satire. Applying to the special interest floor gave me wonderful (cost-saving) opportunities to view an array of Broadway performances for $10 each. We went to see plays including Avenue Q, Sunday in the Park with George, and Dear Evan Hansen, as well as professional improvisation shows. 

Regrettably, I only joined a club, College Democrats, in senior year. I regret having waited that long to be more involved in the clubs on campus, especially because my senior year ended up being truncated due to COVID-19. NYU, like many colleges, hosts a Club Fest in both the fall and the spring, and trust me, there is no shortage of clubs to choose from, whether it’s political, athletic, improv, or food-related, etc. 

Of course, the college experience and New York City are two of the most overly-romanticized notions you may hear about. I still cried myself to sleep during those first few nights as I second-guessed my abilities to make friends. Yet, you are drawn to whatever city you end up in for a reason. You don’t have to figure it out right away. Find solace in your comfort mechanisms, like comedy is for me, and in the meantime, don’t be a passenger in your own life.


We encountered this sign outside of a restaurant (Gran Electrica) in Dumbo

Beginning your freshman year, I recommend you:

  • Do research about special dorming opportunities while selecting a dorm. Mine was the cheapest and we got to go see Br’dway shows for $10! (kudos if you get that reference)
  • Look for activities to do that are hosted by your school (after you cry a little bit because you’re overwhelmed and alone)
  • Get to know your roommates!
  • Have some adventures with said roommates. Even if it means accidentally ending up in Far Rockaway because you missed your subway stop. (I get lost nearly every day of my life; I call it sightseeing.)


By: Anna Matefy

Anna Matefy recently graduated from NYU with a Bachelor’s in Media, Culture, and Communication. She has been working in politics for the past few years, and wants to transition into a career in media entertainment/comedy. She will be attending NYU as a graduate student in Media beginning in 2021.


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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The Covid Cooking Club: Chapter 4.5: Eating Out, Again

Wednesday, April 28th, 2021

The Covid Cooking Club

Chapter 5: Eating Out, Again

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An empty restaurant, like it shouldn’t be.

I have changed my mind about eating out, it’s now perfectly okay as long as you’ve been vaccinated. I have definitely not received a large sum of money in exchange for retracting my previous view. This is totally unrelated on restaurant reviews I may be contracted to do in the future.

In all seriousness if you live in Manhattan check out Veselka ( 144 2nd Ave ) and Dim Sum Palace ( 144 2nd Ave ). Paul’s Da Burger Joint is good too if you don’t mind arterial blockage ( 131 2nd Ave ). If you ask why all the restaurants I recommend are all on the same avenue I will not hesistate to pursue legal action against you.

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https://www.campusclipper.com/new/popup1.php?CUP_COD=4019
Once more, with feeling.

Alexander Rose studies satire at NYU Gallatin and wishes he was actually just Oscar Wilde. He is interested in writing, roleplaying games, and procrastination. Describing himself in the third person like this makes him feel weird.

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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The Covid Cooking Club: Chapter 4: Eating Out

Wednesday, March 31st, 2021

The Covid Cooking Club

Chapter 4: Eating out

An empty restaurant, like it should be.

Don’t! There’s still a pandemic going on, remember?

https://www.campusclipper.com/new/popup1.php?CUP_COD=4019

By: Alexander Rose

Alexander Rose studies satire at NYU Gallatin and wishes he was actually just Oscar Wilde. He is interested in writing, roleplaying games, and procrastination. Describing himself in the third person like this makes him feel weird.

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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Dessert Always Comes Last

Tuesday, December 8th, 2020

“But Senior year is going to be amazing,” I say. 

Any time I’m asked about how I’m handling online classes and being away from the NYU campus and my friends, I give the usual answer. It’s okay, could be better, I just wish I was with my friends and could learn in person again. But I always end with what I’ve been clinging to for months now – I’m going to make my Senior year the best it can possibly be.

With a few finals and the spring semester of this year to push through before I get there, I am slowly putting together plans for my last year at NYU with my friends. Lamenting over our lost Junior year this past summer, my friend Leslie and I decided we’d have to put in a lot of effort (and savings) into our last year. 

“If we don’t have the best Senior year, I don’t even know what I’ll do,” Leslie said to me on multiple occasions.

I have to agree. We both felt our freshman year was uneventful and after our time on campus during Sophomore year was cut short by the pandemic, there is a gaping hole left in us, a desire for the New York life that we’ve yet to start living. There is an urgent need to have all the fun we could have had this year, to visit all the places we wanted to but never did. But with a little less than a year to go before we’re there, all we can do is plan.

So far on the agenda: concerts, photoshoots, a quick trip to Canada, and our favorite – lots of going out to eat. When talking with Leslie about the first place we’d go when we’re back in New York, the only place that came to mind was Max Brenner.

Located on Broadway near campus, Max Brenner remains my favorite place to go for dessert. Frankly, I doubt that will ever change. Always in the know about the best restaurants in New York, Leslie first introduced it to me during our freshman year. I fully believe it is one of the places I’ve felt the happiest while living in New York. My first visit there undoubtedly marked one of the happiest moments of my fall semester that year. 

“We’ll go after our History of the Universe midterm, as a treat!” Leslie said, and that is exactly what we did.

As we walked in that night, we took in just how nice the restaurant was. It wasn’t the kind of place you’d need to dress up for per say, but almost everyone there looked well- put together, stylish, and even polished. When we were shown to our seats, we looked at each other and hesitantly shrugged off our coats to reveal our university sweatshirts and jeans. We sat down, trying not to laugh. We had decided to only order dessert and scoured the menu (the very long, very tempting menu), and it was another twenty minutes before we chose what to eat. After taking our order, the waiter left and we spoke about our relief about nearing the end of the semester. Before long, the stress of the midterm we’d taken earlier in the day had faded away and we sat laughing and joking with each other. Then the food arrived, and we felt as though we were in heaven.

I swear I’m not joking. Leslie’s tiramisu came in a small mason jar with a tiny beaker of chocolate syrup on the side. She took one bite and quickly exclaimed, “Oh my god.”

Munchies Waffle from Max Brenner in New York.

The munchie’s waffle (as named on the menu) that I had ordered brought out the same “Oh my god” from me a second later. Two soft waffles topped with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, and hazelnut sauce drizzled over. A small beaker of chocolate syrup. On the side, a bowl of tiny, crunchy chocolate balls to sprinkle over. A light dusting of powdered sugar on top. After dressing the waffles with the sides, I took my first bite. It melted in my mouth.

If anyone heard our loud proclamations about the delectable desserts we were eating, they didn’t say anything. If someone thought we were being paid to act, they wouldn’t have been without reason. Maybe we were just too stressed or maybe we were simply starving, but either way we could not stop gushing about how good it was. It became a night to remember, and ever since I’ve considered Max Brenner one of my happy places.

“That’s how I want to feel all of Senior year,” I told Leslie recently when we were making more additions to our plans. 

It’s a high expectation to have, but one I’ll do anything to fulfill. After such a hectic past few months with the pandemic and online classes, it is all I can do to keep myself going and have hope. But what can we do while we wait for that special time? Here are some tips I found from the Self website:

  • Have a Calendar – The Self website recommends having a calendar and writing down anything you think you would look forward to. This can be small things like the airing of the next episode of your favorite TV show, or the release of your favorite musician’s album.
  • Special Events – Create special events for yourself, and these also don’t have to be big! Something like saving a certain food or movie for weekends or for a day when you know you’ll need them can help.
  • Entertainment – Keep yourself occupied with those favorite shows, movies, music, books, video games, or anything else you thoroughly enjoy. While we pass the time during the pandemic by avoiding unnecessary outings, keeping yourself happy through these things is essential. 
  • Looking Ahead – At this point almost everyone has plans for what they’ll do when the pandemic ends, but if you don’t I highly recommend you make some! Having something to look forward to, even if you get a bit of tunnel vision about it like I sometimes do, is essential. Whether it’s just looking forward to graduating, or maybe a vacation, or maybe even a concert – find a future event to plan and hold onto it. 

In the meantime, we have to make do with remote learning and meeting up with friends over FaceTime. I keep telling myself that dessert always comes last, but it comes. It just requires patience. For now we’ll hold onto those special moments and our future plans. My mind keeps coming back to Leslie and I in our gray NYU sweatshirts, laughing in Max Brenner and eating little bites of heaven. We’ll get there again.

If you’re eager to have your dessert now though, Campus Clipper offers some helpful coupons such as the one below! Click here for the link.

You can find all of our active coupons at this link. Redeem them here:


By: Anaïs Nuñez-Tovar

Anaïs is currently a Junior at New York University and is majoring in English with a minor in Creative Writing. Her goal for the future is to work in the publishing industry and write on the side. She loves to write and read poetry and fiction in her spare time.

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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Missing Life in New York (Especially the Pho)

Tuesday, November 24th, 2020

Displacement, disappointment, dissatisfaction. It’s fair to say that I am not the only one experiencing these feelings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mid-semester of my sophomore year I was sent home to do online learning like many other students this past Spring. The virus took everyone by surprise, but its impact on college students is a unique one. For many students, learning at home is not only difficult but also dismal. No longer on campus, one misses out on the most vital aspects of college – lively discussions with peers, spending time with friends, and the chance to explore the city. Miles from New York, missing my friends from NYU and struggling to stay on the ball with classwork, I’ve found that this semester cannot be described with words. Instead imagine a very deep, very tired-sounding sigh. 

But I’m trying to change that.

After a particularly busy past week (two novels to read, an outline for a paper due, and starting on a presentation for Spanish class, so on), I decided I’d order Vietnamese this weekend, pho in particular. We are nearing the end of the semester which means papers, projects, and other major assignments are flooding in, all due within days of each other. Food of course being my favorite way of treating myself, I let myself have at it. Having recently moved from home to across the state, I’m not familiar with many restaurants where I am now, but I’ve been craving pho and have been on the search for a reliable pho restaurant. As it turns out, one wouldn’t expect it but the second-best pho I can now claim that I’ve had is from a small eatery in the food court of a nearby mall, Pho Kitchen. Second-best. 

Maybe I’m lying a bit to myself. To be completely objective – the pho was absolutely delicious. I sat in the food court, mask placed to the side and socially distanced (which was a good thing, or people probably would have heard me slurping up the noodles and soup), and added a little Hoisin sauce and sriracha to the broth, mixing it in alongside the noodles, beef, onion, and cilantro. I squeezed a lime over it to top it off, stirred a little more, then dug in. The beef was perfectly tender, the broth flavorful and warm, and the noodles not too hard or too soft. All and all, completely satisfying. Why was it second-best then, you may be wondering?

It wasn’t PhoBar. PhoBar, which my friend Leslie introduced me to in our Freshman year, is located very close to Washington Square Park and was conveniently only a little ways away from our residence hall. I had had a cold and at that time it was just slightly more socially acceptable to go out to eat when visibly sick. We sat at a shared table and having only tried pho once before and disliking it, I wasn’t sure what to order or how to feel. 

“Just get the classic beef pho,” Leslie said, and I followed her orders.

Classic Beef Pho from PhoBar in New York City.

It turned out to be the cheapest item on the menu, which made it even better, but truthfully, it couldn’t have possibly gotten better. Even through my congestion and with what little ability I had left to taste, I was floored by the flavors of every part of the soup. Very quickly, just after a few bites and sips of broth, I became a passionate fan of pho. Leslie and I returned to PhoBar frequently after that and it is still one of our favorites.

When I was craving pho last week then, maybe it was more than just the soup I was yearning for. After all, I thoroughly enjoyed the meal I had, so all that was really missing was the fact that I wasn’t at PhoBar with Leslie. I wasn’t in New York.

Pho here will never be as good as pho in New York for that very reason. And on the same lines, online classes will never be as fulfilling as going to class on campus. Life in New York will always feel at least slightly superior to life anywhere else.

One could say that feeling discontent with this semester would be inevitable due to all that is happening, namely the pandemic. But in another attempt to try to grin and bear it, no matter how tiring it may be to keep grinning, I am doing my best to push through online classes and keep up with what is due. However, this is undoubtedly difficult. A few friends of mine themselves are going through rough patches and find themselves unmotivated. If you find yourself in the same position, here are a few helpful tips from U.S. News on dealing with online classes: 

  • Form a Schedule – Oftentimes having a solid structure to your day can help with keeping things in line and therefore getting more work done. Try writing out or printing a schedule, hang it up somewhere you will see it, and do your best to adhere to it throughout the day. 
  • Find Your Space – If you have a very busy home, it’s best to find a quiet area in your house to minimize distractions. If this isn’t possible, try going to your local library or somewhere you can get away from whatever may be pulling you away from your work.
  • Eye on the Prize – It may be difficult, I know for a fact that it is very difficult for a few friends of mine, but it is important to have a goal you want to reach and therefore a reason to get yourself to do work. “I’m just trying to get this degree,” is something a friend of mine says all the time, and I think it’s a simple but important mantra for many of us to take up during this time.
  • Stay in Touch – As for missing out on social interaction, use FaceTime or something of the like to keep in touch with friends from college. My friends and I use an app to send video updates to each other and it’s proven to help us a lot. Not only do we get to hear about what’s going on in each other’s lives, but it’s nice to see the faces and hear the voices of the people who I lived with for almost a year, who I care about deeply.

For more information, click the link above. Keep in mind that these things may not come easily or could be difficult to implement in your life. This is perfectly okay. It is more about the effort you put into doing better than how far you may actually get. I myself feel that it’s rare to have an actual productive day, but when I do I let myself savor the moment. It’s these moments that help me get through the semester. When you have that day (and you will), make sure you savor the moment, too.

You can find all of our active coupons at this link. Redeem them here:


By: Anaïs Nuñez-Tovar

Anaïs is currently a Junior at New York University and is majoring in English with a minor in Creative Writing. Her goal for the future is to work in the publishing industry and write on the side. She loves to write and read poetry and fiction in her spare time.

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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Fancy Fridays: Making Traditions

Wednesday, November 18th, 2020

By the second semester of my Sophomore year, it was firmly established that my friends and I needed something to look forward to, and not just big events. To weather the storm of stress caused by regular classes, major assignments, and jobs, we needed a weekly treat; something small; something to hold us over until the following week. My friend Leslie coined the phrase “Fancy Fridays” to describe it. At the center of our newfound tradition? Something mouthwatering. 

It was very simple. Just a good meal, whether cheap or expensive, it didn’t matter, though sometimes we had to reign ourselves in and not splurge too much. At the heart of the tradition though was our need to take time for ourselves, to treat ourselves. For this reason, we often excused spending more than we should have (and this probably occurred way more than it should have). “What’s for dinner Friday?” became a question worthy of major debate. What were we craving? How much were we willing to spend? It varied each week, but we always chose a meal that brought the relief we needed. 

Some of our go-to meals: Wings from Atomic Wings, ranging from plain to super-spicy, because our tolerances differed. An Indian food feast from Leslie’s and my favorite Indian restaurant we accidentally discovered the year before. Pepperoni pizza from Joe’s, which was just a few steps from our residence hall. Joe’s was especially important to us. When we had sudden cravings at 1:00 a.m, we could easily slide from the couch, go down the elevator, through the lobby, and be at their doorstep in less than 5 minutes. In retrospect, maybe it was a little too accessible. 

But there is one Fancy Friday meal that we all still talk about to this day. On Valentine’s Day weekend, three-quarters of us single, we decided to go all out and make a reservation at Irvington, a lavish restaurant nearby. Truthfully, this didn’t occur on a Friday, but rather the day after. We postponed for a day and then when Saturday night came, we made it a hell of a time. Those of us who never wore makeup put some on, we all picked out a nice outfit, and when we were finally ready we walked up Union Square and entered – the W Hotel.

Unknown, “Irvington Restaurant – New York, NY”, https://www.opentable.com/r/irvington-new-york . Accessed 17 Nov 2020.

So there was some confusion at first. We stood in the hotel lobby, feeling foolish and whispering to each other before we realized the restaurant was within the hotel. Soon enough we spotted it (it was just to the side, and in our panic we missed it), we gave the name the reservation was under, and we were seated. The meal was fantastic.  The waiter was so nice, we still remember his name. And overall, we got our moment. We were able to let our hair down and enjoy ourselves.

At the end of the day, after some takeout and a movie or fine-dining and a stroll through the city, the only thing that mattered was that we got the relief we so badly needed, week to week. It was a breath of fresh air, a true moment of peace to be able to sit and savor something delicious and do nothing more. Our Fancy Fridays were truly our saving grace in a sea of school stress.

Even if it is not centered on a meal, it’s important to form traditions during college for the same reason – it will give you something to look forward to and bring you a moment of relaxation. So what are some ways you can form traditions, whether it’s with your friends or just for yourself?

  • Find something you enjoy – Relaxation will likely come from doing something you like, whether it’s a serious hobby or something small. For my friends and me, eating something delicious was always an easy way to decompress. Even something as simple as watching a movie or show can make for a simple but effective tradition. 
  • Put in the effort – The goal of these traditions is to find some inner peace if only an ounce. If you have to pull yourself away from readings and papers, do so. Especially if you feel you are already running low on energy. The only way to relax is to set aside time to do so. This could apply to purposefully search for something you enjoy as well. It may feel like a bother, but knowing that once you find something to do that will ultimately relax you, it will be worth it.
  • Let it happen – Not just the name of an amazing Tame Impala song. Yes, this pretty much completely goes against my second point, but it’s still relevant! Sometimes traditions come about by themselves. Notice what’s going on in your life that you enjoy, or things you are doing that you’d like to keep up. Go with it and see if this works for you.

Lastly, if you are looking to make food a part of your new tradition, Campus Clipper has some amazing coupons to help you out! Here is one for Amorino Gelato:

https://www.campusclipper.com/new/popup1.php?CUP_COD=3876

You can find all of our active coupons at this link. Redeem them here:


By: Anaïs Nuñez-Tovar

Anaïs is currently a Junior at New York University and is majoring in English with a minor in Creative Writing. Her goal for the future is to work in the publishing industry and write on the side. She loves to write and read poetry and fiction in her spare time.

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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Expanding Your Palate: A Delicious Accident

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020

If you don’t leave your comfort zone voluntarily, life will drag you kicking and screaming out of it. This was part of the rude awakening I received as I transitioned to living in New York my freshman year. It wasn’t just college life that presented a challenge to me, but the city itself. New York has a unique way of making a person feel not just lonely, but isolated, despite living side by side with millions of other people. You walk with them on your way to class, you eat a foot away from them at the tiny corner restaurant, and you sometimes even find yourself angry that they are in your space. And yet, no matter how close you may be to others, you somehow still feel alone. At least, this is how it may feel at first. 

My second semester at NYU brought on more adventures than expected. With my new friend Leslie beside me, I finally felt less lonely than I had at the beginning of the school year. I could breathe a sigh of relief that now I had someone to do things and go places with. But classes and schoolwork got the better of us, and in about mid-March, we found ourselves as unsatisfied as before we had gotten to know each other. As we sat under the fluorescents of the library at 2:00 a.m. one night, I turned away from my half-written paper and said to Leslie, “We don’t do anything. We only have a quarter of the year left and nothing to show for our freshman year.”

She was reluctant to acknowledge it but ultimately agreed. However, we both knew what the real problem was. Nearly identical in nature, two homebodies out of their element, we were anxious. Overall uneasy, generally nervous, ultimately too timid for New York. And broke. Most of all broke. 

New York is a city that demands you to demand something of it and we were used to having to ask nicely. But no longer. We made a decision to go out more, to try to do something fun, even if it was just one thing, every weekend. We would break out of our shells and get to know the city, as we were meant to. We would save the money for those things that were worth it and would find other events that were free to go to. Inevitably, we were drawn to more and more restaurants with mouth-watering images of food on their websites and dazzling settings to dine in. Going out to eat undoubtedly became one of our favorite ways to treat ourselves, and that we did. 

Some Friday night in April we chatted eagerly on our walk up to Panna II, an Indian restaurant Leslie had hyped up to me after reading reviews and seeing pictures of their interior, which looked like an explosion of Christmas lights. She was excited to try Indian food for the first time and I hadn’t had my fill since last summer, so as we approached Panna II we were too distracted to realize what was happening.

“Come in, come in,” a man at the foot of the stairs said. We could see Panna II, just a few steps up from where we were on the sidewalk, winking at us with all its lights. Hungry and keen on stuffing ourselves with chicken tikka masala as fast as possible, we followed the man without a second thought. We followed him down. As we walked down a previously-unnoticed set of stairs into another restaurant, we looked at each other, panicked and too shy to say what was on our minds: “Wait, I’m sorry, I think we’re in the wrong place.”

In a whirlwind we were seated under rows of multicolored chili lights and menus were placed in front of us. When the host left us to browse the menu, we could only stare at each other. 

Royal Bangladesh Indian Restaurant in New York City.

“I don’t think this is it,” I eventually whispered across from Leslie. “Is this maybe their downstairs area?” I had been so set on Panna II that I was hopeful this was the case.

“Maybe?” Leslie whispered back, also clinging to hope. At this point we had to have looked suspicious huddled over the table, whispering to each other and looking around with wide eyes, completely disregarding the menus. 

“No, this isn’t it,” I said, but it was still barely registering in my mind.

“Then where are we?” Leslie asked. She was as frazzled as I was.

I looked down at our menus and found our answer. I read out, “Royal Bangladesh Indian Restaurant.”

We stayed. It would have been rude to leave even though we hadn’t ordered yet, and anyway, we still got our Indian food and twinkling lights. The food truly was some of the best, if not the best, Indian that I’ve ever had. Leslie quickly became a fan of it and ever since we’ve ordered take-out from Royal Bangladesh countless times. Though things hadn’t gone as planned, we made the most of it and ultimately had a spectacular night, one that we’d laugh about for a long while after.

This night didn’t represent a huge leap in our leaving the comfort zone, but it was undeniably a moment in which we had to learn to go with the flow and enjoy the moment. It was especially difficult for two people who needed to feel in control when exploring the city, but it paid off. I know though that if we could have gotten just a little more comfortable a little more quickly, we would have had way more stories to tell from our freshman year. 

Curious to see how I could have prepared myself to be more “out there” my freshman year, I recently researched some ways to get out of your comfort zone. The ones I found most notable chalked up to forming habits and reshaping your mindset to trying new things. I believe these to be the most important when wanting to explore the city because New York can take a lot out of you otherwise. If you find yourself struggling to want to go out, it is perfectly normal. But I’d suggest doing anything you can to get yourself to walk the city’s streets and uncover what it has to offer. Starting out small, just one restaurant, museum, or happy accident at a time can take you there.

And if you’re craving Indian food after reading this, Campus Clipper has a coupon just for you to use at Mughlai Indian Cuisine. Click on the link below to get either 50% or 15% off a delicious meal! It will be sure to satisfy your cravings.

You can find all of our active coupons at this link. Redeem them here:


By: Anaïs Nuñez-Tovar

Anaïs is currently a Junior at New York University and is majoring in English with a minor in Creative Writing. Her goal for the future is to work in the publishing industry and write on the side. She loves to write and read poetry and fiction in her spare time.

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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Starting College, Roommates, and Italian for Dinner

Tuesday, October 27th, 2020

Before me is a white plate cradling little pockets of ravioli with a layer of parmesan, like snow dusted on top. The green of the sage just barely peeps through. My mouth waters and I look over to my friend Leslie whose face must mirror my own. Her plate of pasta speckled with pepper and pecorino beams up at her, same as mine does at me. “SO worth the wait,” she says. We dig in. 

Ravioli Burro e Salvia from I Sodi.

Months prior to this, Leslie and I met in our History of the Universe class. I noticed one of the girls I was waiting outside the classroom door with was wearing a Led Zeppelin shirt. I thought to myself, This girl is cool, I’m going to make sure to sit next to her. And thanks to our professor who loved to assign group work, we ended up working together because we were seated next to each other. Only about a month into the semester, I was waiting for the elevator in my residence hall when I bumped into Leslie taking out the trash one day. We both started apologizing profusely for the run-in before we realized who the other person was. “Wait, you live on this floor?” I asked, and she nodded. It turned out she lived just a few doors down from me (and it also turned out that this would be a huge blessing for me during my freshman year).

The more time passed, the more uncomfortable I got with my living situation. As Leslie and I got closer, I would spend more and more time in her dorm studying or just hanging out until I absolutely had to go to sleep, or she or her roommate did. Many times I would show up to class and she’d ask for updates on how it was going over in my dorm. I’d sigh and update her because there was always something to tell.

The issue? My roommate.

Or maybe it was me. Likely, it was both of us. The strangest part of it all was that when we were texting over the summer before the semester started, we got along really well. I actually had very high hopes for the school year and was thrilled that I was roomed with someone who was so friendly and who had all the same preferences I did on the housing application. So when things started to go south, I did my best to smile through the pain. She missed a week of cleaning? It’s okay, I’m not always good about remembering either. She had her boyfriend over and they were being too loud? That’s fine, I can handle it. He’s sleeping over now? It’s okay. I’m fine. He’s here again? Okay. Maybe it’s just a few days in a row. It will stop. Wait, he’s here again

Truthfully, it got worse. The amount of time it would take to tell every incident, to detail what life in the dorm was like, would be immense. There was yelling, a lot of it, then the strained moments in which we tried to compromise, then ultimately silence that was not just awkward, but filled with tension. We were definitely both at fault. I was used to my living situation at home, where I could be left alone in peace and quiet, and she was used to being able to have people over whenever she wanted. There were times we lost our tempers with each other, but we also tried to be civil with each other the following day. Countless discussions about what we could do to make the other feel more comfortable often came to nothing, and we even went to our RA for guidance at one point. At the end of the day, whether we had come to an agreement or not, we were left unhappy.

Since then, I’ve chalked it up to us being victims of circumstance. I am almost certain that if we hadn’t had to live together we would have been friends. We were just highly incompatible when it came to our ways of living. And unfortunately, it got to the point I’d do anything to be out of my dorm. 

“I know what we can do,” Leslie said one day as we lounged on her bed. Her eyes had lit up all of a sudden as we watched a movie on her laptop in the dark. We’d been dying for a break in routine lately and she knew I needed something to take my mind off of my living situation. “I Sodi,” she said excitedly.

I blinked. “What’s that?”

“I Sodi. It’s a super fancy Italian restaurant. You have to make a reservation, like, months in advance to eat there. But after our History of the Universe final, we should go there to celebrate!”

So we made the reservation (two months in advance) and saved the little money our parents sent us to be able to have a fulfilling experience come December. When the day finally came we threw on our nicest looking sweaters and coats and braved the cold wind, walking the streets of New York to finally arrive at the steps of I Sodi. And yes, it was worth it. Of course, it was nice to be out of the dorm, but it was also one of the few times that semester I genuinely enjoyed being in New York. We still felt out of place sitting amongst people who certainly looked like they didn’t have to save money to eat there, but the meal has lived on in our memories as one of the best New York has gifted us thus far since living there. Worries fell away, the food melted in our mouths, and I could forget about what awaited me back at the dorm.

I Sodi in New York City.

But many times when I look back on my freshman year, especially that first semester, I wish I’d done better. What if there was something I could have done to make my situation more tolerable not just for me, but for my roommate?

Here are some steps you can take to try to improve your relationship with your roommate:

  • Take a Breath – Maybe you are like me and you get overwhelmed by what is bothering you and want to fix it immediately. There were times I know I was a little too quick to get on my roommate for something when I should have calmed down first thing. So breathe. Sometimes it’s a case of having to choose your battles. If you think you can handle it, try to do so, especially if there is more than just one issue at hand. 
  • Talk to Them – Can’t take it anymore? Sometimes you have to start that awkward conversation. Make sure you know what you’re going to say first and make sure you have a positive attitude before you talk to your roommate. They will likely hear you out and try to fix the situation if you are nice about it. In other words, don’t be my roommate or me who many times just snapped at each other. 
  • Give Them a Chance – College is overwhelming. It doesn’t take long to realize that. So it is likely your roommate may forget (again? Yes, again! It’s okay, take another breath) that it’s their turn to clean, or that they promised they would take out the trash. Give them at least a week before you bring it up again. It can take a while to implement something into your routine.
  • Talk to Your RA – If you are still having issues, do not be shy to knock at your Residential Assistant’s door. They will more than likely smooth over the situation and will be a neutral voice that you can count on to help you and your roommate reach a true compromise. 
  • Take it Easy – It’s possible more issues will arise, likely a few of the same ones. I made the mistake my freshman year of getting too hung up on these things, of letting them eat away at me to the point I couldn’t enjoy my time in New York. Do your best to shrug these things off. Do things that you enjoy to take your mind off it. You cannot control your roommate, but you can take care of yourself. 

And if all that doesn’t work? Find your Leslie and your I Sodi and plan something amazing that you can look forward to. Spoil yourself. Do it. You need it. 

You can find all of our active coupons here. Redeem them here:


By: Anaïs Nuñez-Tovar

Anaïs is currently a Junior at New York University and is majoring in English with a minor in Creative Writing. Her goal for the future is to work in the publishing industry and write on the side. She loves to write and read poetry and fiction in her spare time.

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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Monster Sushi: A Japanese Experience

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

With the new semester unfolding and taking a large part of my daily routines, I haven’t had many opportunities to go restaurant hunting for reviews. Thanks to Rosh Hashanah last week, I was able to take a break from campus life and head to the city for some alone time – essentially some time for me to wind down with great food. I walked into a Japanese restaurant on 23rd Street called Monster Sushi, a restaurant that many of my friends frequently visit. According to my group of friends, Monster Sushi is one of the best sushi restaurants in the city at an affordable price, and I just had to check the place out for myself.

Monster Sushi has a chic modern interior while maintaining the air of a traditional Japanese restaurant: the furniture has a modern flair, whereas the décor, accessories, and sushi bar exude Japanese culture. I was immediately seated at a table and the waiter kindly explained the menu to me. Like most Japanese restaurants, Monster Sushi has a wide variety of sushi rolls. What I found to be unique about Monster Sushi was their bento box specials. “Bento box” can literally be translated as “lunch box;” the bento boxes consist of a variety of side dishes accompanying a main dish. Monster Sushi has an extensive list of main dishes for their bento boxes aside from simply sticking with the commonly found chicken or salmon teriyaki boxes. I ordered the Chilean sea bass bento box, which came broiled with a special light soy sauce. Each bento box comes with soup, salad, rice, a choice of spring roll or shumai (Japanese steamed dumplings), and a choice of California, tuna, or salmon roll.

Sushi Bar

Miso Soup

I was first served the miso soup as a part of the bento box special. The miso soup was light yet flavorful with the rich taste of the miso—a very traditional starter for a bento meal. Shortly after finishing the miso soup, the waiter served me the Chilean sea bass bento box. I was fairly impressed with the size of the box and how packed it was with food. The overall presentation was great, and after tasting the dish, I was even more impressed with all of the flavor combinations. The Chilean sea bass was crisply seared on the outside, then broiled with a light soy sauce that seeped into the layers of the fish. The sauce consisted of soy sauce, ginger, and vinegar to add on to the light flavor and to maintain the freshness of the fish. Along with the Chilean sea bass, I enjoyed all of the accompaniments to the bento box. The spring rolls that I had ordered instead of the shumai were crispy, packed with vegetable and shrimp filling, and seasoned perfectly so that there was no need for a dipping sauce. The salad was also extremely fresh, topped with a light ginger dressing that was just sweet enough to entice my taste buds. To top this all off, the salmon roll that I chose consisted of fresh salmon pieces wrapped in white rice and seaweed, and these salmon rolls were larger compared to those from other Japanese restaurants I have frequented.

Chilean Sea Bass Bento Box: spring rolls, salmon rolls, white rice, and salad

Apart from the bento box, I had also ordered the Godzilla roll, one of Monster Sushi’s specialty rolls. The Godzilla roll consisted of spicy tuna with avocado and flying fish roe on the outside. I had heard that this roll was one of the most popular rolls at Monster Sushi, and after tasting it, I had a clear understanding as to why this is so. The Godzilla roll had the right amount of spiciness in the spicy tuna which blended well with the freshness of the tuna itself. Everything about this roll was perfection: the ratio of rice to fish as well as a flavor balance of richness and light freshness.

The Godzilla Roll

Monster Sushi far exceeded my expectations of the typical Japanese restaurant. I absolutely loved the bento box, especially because I was able to have so many different dishes within one order. Although Monster Sushi is slightly more expensive than other Japanese restaurants, it is definitely worth the price considering the sizes of their rolls and the amount of food they give per entrée. My experience at Monster Sushi was wonderfully delicious and I would highly recommend this place to people who are hunting for some great Japanese cuisine without having to travel too far.

Use this coupon from the Campus Clipper booklet to save on delicious sushi!

Becky Kim, Queens College, Read my blog and follow me on Twitter
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