[The Colgate Maroon-News would like to welcome the former mayor of New York City, Ed Koch, to Hamilton.]
Don’t let the bucolic landscape of rolling hills, swans named Adam and Eve (aptly or not), quintessential collegiate architecture, and a valley steeped in a maroon and white history of academic and athletic accomplishment fool you. Hamilton is not a postcard, it’s reality that could pass for one. This college town – although it may seem to many of its residents like a “bubble” devoid of reality and to many outsiders an idyllic landscape of college dreams and comfort – is a real place. It’s a real place that is home to real Americans, real students, real professors, real merchants, real citizens, and yes, real swans. Hamilton is a place we should all get to know. It has an idiosyncratic nature we should understand and revere. So, for first timers and seasoned Hamiltonians alike, here’s a little bit of that beautiful slice of the world that constantly lets us all know we’re not in Kansas anymore:1. THE COLGATE HELLOYep, the Colgate Hello. It’s a little tradition we’ve got around here. Everyone says “hello.” It can appear in many forms: the classic “hi,” the more modern “w’sup,” or the fabulously fratty “yo, brah.” So don’t be frightened. Roll with it. 2. SLICES COME PLAIN ONLYIt’s true. New York Pizzeria in downtown Hamilton only sells cheese pizza by the slice. But if you are partial to a single slice loaded with fresh fixings, you won’t be disappointed. Hamilton boasts several other pizza joints that will hook you up. But at 2:30 a.m. on a Saturday, there’s nothing better than that plain cheesy goodness.3. 13 IS A LUCKY NUMBERThe story goes something like this, and if you take a tour of the campus you’ll hear it: “Colgate was founded in 1819 by 13 men with 13 dollars and 13 prayers.” So, don’t worry about Friday the thirteenth and take note, the address here is 13 Oak Drive, Hamilton, NY 13346 (notice that the zip is 13 and 3 + 4 + 6 = 13). 4. CROC HUNTERSNo, we’re not talking about that obnoxious Aussie from Animal Planet; the crocs native to Colgate are the tiny green guys that can be found on a great number of polo shirts. Who knew LaCoste made safari gear?5. THE COUNTRY CLUBThis place really is a country club. The grounds are always freshly cut, Whitnall Field is a great place to practice your short game, we’ve got a great pool, and the Cricket team when spotted in their test whites … well, it really seals the deal.6. THE CoopIt’s not a chicken coop, but you can purchase chicken products under its roof. The O’Connor Campus Center – often likened to a ski lodge – is home to a $40,000 fireplace, a post office, computer lab and student activities offices. The Colgate Hello is practiced here. 7. THE TORCHOur mascot is a flaming torch. Don’t ask questions. 8. SORREL’S NEW STILETTO BOOT & THE STANDARD ISSUEDuring the winter months, the stiletto boot is high fashion despite its obvious impracticality (nobody ever said there was a correlation with high SAT scores and pragmatism). Who knows, perhaps Sorrel will catch on and fill this demand? The standard issue: New Balance 574. I don’t know where Colgate got this shoe contract, but I’m sure it’s lucrative.9. SATURDAY FARMER’S MARKETSaturday mornings in Hamilton are a bustling whirlwind of produce, smiles, and students heading to town to greet their neighbors and pick up the freshest ingredients for Cooking With Tom’s (The Maroon-News’ very own culinary expert) newest recipe. If you haven’t been, one word for you: go.10. THE HILLContrary to popular belief, we love The Hill. It unites us, keeps us strong, and provides much of the majesty commonly found in Colgate memories. If you want to be a true Colgater, you’ve got to work for it.