Thursday, May 3, 2012

Columnist points out Garfield Street's 'sidewalk of gems'

By Alex Domine, A&E Columnist

When I think of a college city, I picture sidewalks clad with fast-paced pedestrians, high buildings and a busy street reminiscent of a NASCAR track. The closest thing PLU has to a college city is Garfield Street, and that’s like comparing an ant to a scorpion. Despite our lack of a glamorous street full of bohemian shops and cafés, Garfield Street offers some gems disguised as warehouses.

Yummers 2 the 3rd Power

This cupcake factory joined Garfield Street last year and hungry college students met it with thunderous applause. The shop has catered PLU events and concerts and broken out of the confines of Garfield by appearing on the Food Network program Cupcake Wars. Yummers offers unorthodox twists to baked goods, including a bacon French toast cupcake, monster energy drink cupcake and strawberry lemonade cupcake. For the more traditionally hearted, customers can get standards like vanilla, chocolate and red velvet. Just be prepared for a cheeky title on every item.

Disc Connection

You might notice the psychedelic posters through the windows on your way to get a coffee on Garfield. Disc Connection is a record and music vendor on our charming avenue. The aesthetic of the store is somewhat intimidating with the dark paint and bright hallucinatory posters. However, it’s awesome to cross the threshold of counterculture artwork. Records as art are a fun way to liven up your walls. If you’re looking for a place to indulge in some retro artwork and music, take the time to look around Disc Connection. There are thousands of artifacts to choose from.

Marzano

If you have the extra dime to drop for a first date, head to Marzano. This candle lit venue is Garfield Street’s dash of sophistication. The hanging lights, rustic patio and dim lighting turn the corner of Garfield and Park into an Italian terrace. The prices are a bit high for the typical college wallet, but the food and service are well worth it. If you’re looking to splurge on someone special or immerse yourself in a European façade, make a reservation at Marzano.

Northern Pacific Coffee Company

NPCC is the destination if you’re a cultured Lute. This coffe shop is PLU’s indie stomping ground for espresso connoisseurs, local artists or any student who wants a hidden study room. Despite how well the Dining Services baristas fare with their automatic espresso machines, hand-crafted espresso is still worth trying. NPCC coffee offers a rich bold espresso taste with a tempting lunch menu. If you’re lucky enough to walk through the doors during live music, get your espresso in a cozy mug and enjoy the show. When there isn’t a local artist playing, NPCC offers a tranquil atmosphere ideal for a finals-week getaway. The local coffee shop has gone through multiple owners and menus, but holds steadfast in our hearts. NPCC is a PLU icon.