Does it live up to the hype?
The Sentinel, the infinity quad, RITchie, and the
quarter mile: these are the landmarks which so
comfortably greeted new students to the RIT
campus for years. Now, throw in a Barnes and
Noble, several restaurants, a convenience store,
and some swanky new apartments, and you’re
looking at the modern campus, the segment at
the very forefront of RIT civilization — once it
fully opens, that is. Though people are moving into the apartments and a few stores have
opened their doors, the grand opening will not
be held until September 27th.
Park Point is such a recent development that
it hasn’t even been fully integrated; several
message center announcements have even
referred to it as an “off-campus” area. Don’t
let that stop you, though, because free shuttle
buses run between Park Point and Gleason
Circle between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. every
weekday. In addition, the less direct RTS 33 bus
makes a few stops there every so often.
Just in case you haven’t had a chance to be
formally introduced, Reporter takes a look at the
establishments that Park Point has to offer so far.
by Michael Barbato
The Lovin’ Cup is among the first shops to open
at Park point. The café is privately owned by
two enthusiastic young entrepreneurs and is
operated by some local and student employees.
The sprightly Leslie Zinck and youthful Erik
Ward were gracious owners as they interpreted
their modern bistro design. “It’s about embracing
more than one thing and about keeping the vibe
going so people don’t get stuck with a lack of
variety,” said Zinck.
The bistro offers a tame but playful atmosphere
amplified by a resounding music motif. Daily
menus are given names like Wrap her up, It’s a
Beautiful Morning, and Stir it Up. Similarly, there
is a full menu with items like Rage against the
green, All-ap-olive-gies, and Karmal Police. The
menu offers full courses as well as quickie
snacks. Wraps, burgers, and stuffed artichokes
are just a few of the soon-to-be favorites. Drinks
range from an assortment of wines, beers, and
coffee to smoothies and tea.
The café itself has a brilliant uniqueness. There
is a labyrinth of mood lighting illuminating the
many seating options from booths, high tables,
and lounges to bar stools at the counter. The
music motif continues with the offset stage
where “there will be live performances from
local and out of town bands, comedy [acts],
and open mic nights, as well as a showcase for
amateur films,” as Zinck informed me.
The walls, though displaying artwork, are a
rich chartreuse which blends well with the
deep mahogany of the chairs and metal-worked
tables. Lovin’ Cup is very much influenced by
creative work featuring tables that are almost
sculptures in and of themselves, with metal
work done by Ward’s younger brother. People
from around the area are welcome to display
and even try to sell their artwork as well.
Lovin’ Cup definitely gets two thumbs up for the
performance stage, uniqueness of decoration,
and robust beer and wine list. Definitely check
it out for yourself. Try the Wrapper’s Delight, a
turkey club, and the Stone cold and crazy, an iced
cappuccino; it won’t disappoint.
Lovin’ Cup is open Monday through Thursday 6:30
a.m. to midnight, Friday 6:30 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. on
Saturday, Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. on Sunday,
and Sunday 9:00 a.m. to midnight.
Gallery Salon Too
by Laura Mandanas
Gallery Salon Too is, far and away, the happiest
store at Park Point. Granted, there are only three
stores open right now, and most of the people
I saw at Barnes and Nobles were purchasing
absurdly overpriced textbooks. Gallery
Salon Too is still a standout in the happiness
department. Seriously — two of the stylists
broke out in song while I was there. My guess is
that it’s the effect of the salon’s track lighting;
everyone looks good in its soft, flattering pink
glow. Or they’re putting something in the water
aside from scented soaps and hair product.
Since the salon’s opening five weeks ago, they’ve
settled in quite nicely. The stylists are friendly
and personable, and the original University
Avenue Gallery Salon’s prices have been lowered
slightly to accommodate student budgets. With
men’s haircuts for $12 and women’s for $25,
their prices are comparable to the pre-existing
salon, Hair Techniques, in the SAU. Highlights
and other chemical services cost $40 and up.
(Note: If you snag one of the business cards
they have at the front counter and tell them
that it’s your first visit, you can get 10% off.)
While I didn’t end up getting my hair cut, all the
clients I observed leaving the salon appeared to
be very satisfied, and for good reason. They all
had fabulous hair.
Out of sheer curiosity, I tried a couple of the spa
services. For $10, 13 minutes of my time, and
a trivial amount of pain, my eyebrows were
trimmed, waxed and smoothed into submission.
For another $40, my feet were massaged,
exfoliated, and lotioned. Special attention was
given to my toenails, which were trimmed,
filed, and painted with care. And while I can
honestly say that my feet have never looked so
good, I think I’d almost prefer to have my gnarly
toes and two twenties back. After all, we’re in
Rochester; in a few weeks, the weather will be
much too cold to wear any type of shoe which
will display the works of art that are my feet.
But oh well. The pedicure was relaxing, at least,
and it gave me something to do for an hour.
So, if you’ve got some time to kill and some
money to spend, consider adding this to your list
of things to check out. At the end of my walk-in
appointment, I walked out of the salon looking
a little prettier and feeling a little happier than I
did when I walked in. Maybe you will too.
The Gallery Salon Too is open Monday through
Thursday from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m, Friday from 12 p.m.
to 8 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Barnes and Noble @ RIT
by Ilsa Shaw
Every time I picture myself in an orange and
brown RIT shirt, I look comically like a block
of wood. That being said, Barnes and Noble @
RIT would not be my choice store for apparel.
Nearly half of the entire first f loor is littered
with RIT logos ingrained upon pilsner glasses,
ties, lapel pins, and etched pens —
all totaling a mere $150.
The walkway is boxed tightly between this slough
of logos, a sight which would seem uninviting
to regular bookstore-goers, and the check-out
line. Within the same neighborhood, there is a
Starbucks housing massive magazine racks to
scamper to if you ever have a fierce itching to
read Cosmopolitan. Oddly enough, there is also a
small supplies shelf full of handy knick-knacks
such as shaving cream and deodorant. You know,
just in case that grande latte jolts your brain into
remembering that you’re out of toothpaste.
Whereas half of the lower level seems to be
collision of college paraphernalia, cash registers,
and coffee, the other half is a battle between
fantasy and fiction. A couple of steps down the
aisle and just around the corner from several
bookshelves spanned with sci-fi novels and
manga, there is an entire display devoted to
Dungeons and Dragons.
The escalator ride to the top floor features a large
billboard of a rather sunny, summery downtown
Rochester. Noticing this, I thought there might
be hope that the top floor be less RIT-centric. As
my eyes wavered over the moving lines of the
escalator stairs, I saw it: a gigantic yellow duck
bath mat. It blended in perfectly with the trash
cans and shower supplies.
Moving past these dorm supplies, there is
another book area where you can find almost
every bookshelf littered with For Dummies
books. Past that is a cozy, couch-filled reading
area that is nestled just beside the textbook
department. This area is surrounded by the
bookstore’s true audience: confused students
and newly-appointed RIT moms. Heading back
downstairs, the escalator ride features a collage
of RIT-related imagery.
As expected, Barnes and Noble @ RIT is just
that: at RIT. It wouldn’t take more than a
glance from your Grappling For Dummies book
to convince you further, nor a coffee break
punctuated with toothpaste woes. If you are
seeking a replacement for the SAU bookstore
location, you will surely find it here, but do
not expect a grand escape into the fascinating
world of books.
Barnes and Nobles is open Monday through Saturday, 9
a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.