In Which I Have Breakfast at the Corner Room
I have mentioned that winter weather makes me hungry. And so I will admit that I had breakfast out twice this week already. Monday morning, I hopped off my bus at a different stop, and took myself down to the Waffle Shop on College Ave. It was crowded with students the morning after THON.
THON is the weekend-long dance marathon that Penn State students put on every year to raise money to fight childhood cancers; I am bursting with pride to tell you that it's the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. I even saw what I am sure was a THON dancer or two, including that pretty girl who was semi-carried by her friend into the booth, her whole body exhausted by her weekend efforts. Well done, young ones; well done.
But on Thursday morning, after yet another winter storm and another Penn State cancellation on Wednesday, it was to the Corner Room I went. It's not just the food that brings me here. It's the ambience. I love the way it looks and the way it feels here. It is worth whatever rent it would cost just to sit in a window booth and sit daydreaming as the world passes by, surrounded by history.
College Ave. on this morning was about as sloppy as I've ever seen it. A pile of snowy sleety slush about a foot deep and six feet wide lined each side of the street. You could soak yourself just by trying to get through it. And the first guy I saw had done exactly that; he had wet spots all the way up his pants to his thighs.
I don't think he fell in, but the sloppy slush was sort of like quicksand: once you were in it, you were done for. I myself picked my way through carefully, and still ended up with wet pant legs. Oh well. A small price to pay for a hot breakfast. It's full-on winter. What do you expect? I hope you have a decent pair of boots! You'll need them. . . .
And so I sat myself down and enjoyed my usual - the early bird special including two eggs, home fries, and toast - for about $4 plus tax and tip. I had the exact same thing at the Waffle shop on Monday, for just a bit more. Of the two breakfasts, I'd give the Corner Room a nod. It's good, hot food fast, and it's hard to beat eating it in these surroundings. Also, it was much less crowded at the Corner.
The sad thing about breakfast downtown, though, is that everything after that is a climb. Downtown is just that. It is DOWNhill from the University. And so to go anywhere at Penn State, you walk UP the hill from town. And so it was that I put on my coat and picked up my daysack and headed out into the world, and up the hill to catch my bus over to work to begin my day.
The soundtrack: Pet Clark, with Downtown.