A friend of mine recently asked me about what things she absolutely had to check out in New Haven, which got me thinking that a New Haven Bucket List is a prime idea for a post. So, without further adieu, and in no particular order except my own mind, I present the New Haven Bucket List:
Food and Drink
1. Try Pepe’s World Famous Clam Pie (Tip: You can actually call ahead and pick it up rather than wait in line. Unless you’re just really, really into lines. Which, you know… is definitely not on the list of signs of sociopathy). You should probably also try Sally’s and Modern so you can get into arguments with everybody else about it.
2. Eat Malaysian at Bentara. Eat Indian at Thali (or Thali Too). Eat Mexican at Mezcal. Eat Italian at L’Orcio. Eat sushi at Miya’s (resting easy at night knowing you’ve helped with the East coast’s most sustainable sushi restaurant).
3. Savor a delicious beer at Prime 16 (also, the burgers are divine, and free tastings on Wednesdays), Cask Republic, and Delaney’s. Try them all! (Please don’t. Your insurance won’t cover the several ambulance trips).
4. Eat a hamburger at Louis’ Lunch. Don’t ask for ketchup, fool! Consider that they invented the hamburger and how improbable that is. Do not voice your suspicions.
5. Visit Old Rudy’s (Elm Bar) and New Rudy’s. Try the frites at New Rudy’s with samurai sauce.
7. Have a cocktail at the Anchor and Firehouse 12. Admire everybody’s flannel and awesome bangs. Might as well stop at 116 Crown, but you might have to take out a second mortgage for their fancy drinks. Catch some blues or some jazz at the Owl Shop as well, and smoke a cigar while you’re there.
8. Watch a European Football game at Anna Liffey’s. Or any of the other 800 Irish pubs in New Haven (seriously, how does a city of this size sustain this many Irish pubs?). Root for anybody you want as long as it’s not Manchester United.
Outdoors and Recreation
10. Attend a Kickball Game, or heck, join a team at CT Ivy. You may want a designated driver.
11. Do a bike ride with the guys and gals of Devil’s Gear Bicycle.
12. Visit Lightouse Park and ride the carousel. Or just hang out on the beach. Or have a picnic. What am I, your mother?
Culture and Events
13. Watch one of the Jazz Series at Firehouse 12.
14. Check out the Yale Rare Manuscript Library.
15. Visit the (totally free and totally fuckin’ amazing) Yale University Art Gallery. Note that there is a sculpture garden behind it which is actually accessible via a path next to the Skull and Bones building nearby. (Or so people tell me.)
16. Attend a summer concert on the green. (Note: While drinking alcoholic beverages is not technically permitted, I’ve never seen anybody given a hard time about it.) The Arts and Ideas Festival is a great showcase of World Music, to start.
17. Check out a Yale Hockey Game at one of the most loved (and hated) pieces of sports architecture: The Whale Rink.
18. Check out the New Haven Public Library or any of its many convenient branches.
19. Go to a midnight showing at the Bow Tie Cinemas downtown. Or better yet, become a member and go to Tuesday Nights for 6 measly bucks.
Odds and Ends
20. Go dancing at Bar (Tip: They don’t start charging cover until 10pm). While you’re there, you should probably go ahead and try the mashed potato pizza. With bacon. Yep. Just trust me on this one.
21. Take a train from Union Station to Grand Central Station in this little town called New York City. Also, revel in the fact that you can drink. On the train. No, seriously. (Pro tip: A ziplock bag of ice is like a cooler you can throw away!)
22. Walk around Yale University. Try not to make contact with anybody in a sweater vest.
23. While you’re at it, check out the secret society, Skull and Bones. Try to imagine what’s going on in there. Realize it’s probably stupid, and those jerks didn’t invite you anyway.
24. Attend a Yale/Harvard tailgate. Notice I didn’t say “game.” Because watching Ivy League football is like being punched in the crotch repeatedly, except at least with the crotch punching you don’t have to wear a jacket with elbow pads.
25. Go to a Flights of Fancy event.
26. Go to a ClueFest Event (Note: You should probably bring some locals for this one.)
27. Watch Shakespeare in the Park or any of the other events held at Edgerton Park.
29. Lament the existence of Yalies like a true Townie, only to realize that without Yale, New Haven is just another Hartford. Or worse yet, Bridgeport.