BY WHITNEY GAO
Optimizing that marginal utility.
Your college experience should hinge on how much free shit you can attain. Seriously, we’re (almost) all broke college kids who are struggling to not perish under mundane cafeteria fare. Although our houses do a fair job of being infinitely better than the Annenberg offerings — I’m looking at you and your omelets, Marvelous Marvin — we all know that the true prizes are in those events that shamelessly market their free food offerings. Free food from various places in the square is the ultimate temptation to draw a college crowd. Who would pass up free Finale dessert? Free samplings of Yenching’s? Free Berryline? No one. The answer is no one.
This weekend, the Harvard Graduate Council did it right, holding a Welcome Back event of fantastic proportion in the Square. They had discounted Chutney’s, pizza of various kinds, Zinneken’s, and John Harvard’s. Osushi brought free samples (their everyday rolls are surprisingly delectable). Zipcar had a sign-up table brimming with free giveaways (pens, etc.) that drew crowds. Corbu Spa & Salon not only handed out free mini-cupcakes, but also gave out a free manicure or blow-dry service with an email sign-up. The end of Brattle Street was also blocked off by a stage where Berklee musicians entertained the festivalgoers with some great and refreshing music.
At this point, you may be beating yourself up, wondering why you didn’t know about this and why no one bothered to tell you. Do not fret! This is actually just one of many festivals that Harvard Square hosts and holds throughout the year.
First of all, you should realize that you live in Harvard Square. And while exploring the square and indulging yourself in its more delicious options might both only empty your wallet and cause you to have to loosen that belt permanently, it’s well worth it. Blame it on my incessant need to discover new food and new locales, but I probably could qualify as a walking information depot for the Square. And though I’m awkwardly broke weeks before my monthly credit bill gets paid, I’m proud to say that I’m well aware of the area that I currently inhabit.
And now, I will share the secrets of the Square with you. You should capitalize on your situation, and I realize that not everyone is willing to part with their George Washingtons to become intimate with the culinary members of the Harvard Square Business Association.
Your first step should be to like Harvard Square on Facebook. I do not care how lame you think that is, your life will be infinitely enriched by that choice. The page always publicizes its various festivals and events. Obviously, there are some events that don’t offer free anything — the Bastille Day Festival was incredibly disappointing — but that’s usually rare and is wholly dependent on the attending vendors and their marketing choices. However, you will find beautiful gems like the “Some Like it Hot” chili cook-off, the “Everyone Loves Latkes!” Hanukkah event, the “Taste of Chocolate” festival, and the “Lovin’ the Square” Valentine’s event.
I really hope I see you there this year.
Whitney Gao ’16 (whitneygao@college) voted for Grafton Street as having the best chili last year, though Crema’s turkey chili was pretty close.