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Northfield Hot Takes

Quinn settles debated topics among the Carleton student body.

Quinn settles debated topics among the Carleton student body.

According to my friends, I’m fairly diplomatic. I rarely voice strong opinions and often act as a mediator. A definitive voice on neutrality—a “Switzerland” may be an apt description. Is it because I’m a Political Science major? Perhaps because I’m a Libra? Whatever the reason, I am known for never wanting to choose a restaurant, movie, or meeting location. But today, I put that neutrality behind me and offer my definitive opinions on controversial topics relating to Carleton and the Northfield area. 

The study spaces in Leighton/Laird are the best on campus

Don’t get me wrong, I like Anderson Hall for its new amenities and countless study areas. Maybe because STEM isn’t my forte, but I find myself relaxing in the History lounge, one of the classrooms, or study rooms of the older buildings on campus. I have already mentioned that the English lounge is one of the best places to read on campus, but overall I think that the atmosphere of these spaces is more comfortable. Plus, these spaces are often quieter, since more people migrate to places such as Anderson. I am hopeful that the lounges and study spaces in the new Hasenstab Hall will claim the title of best study areas, but that is yet to be determined!

History Lounge
The History lounge (with free coffee and tea!)

Martha’s is the best bakery nearby

Martha’s, located in nearby Dundas and a quick bike ride/drive away, offers the best and least expensive baked goods in town. Considered to be a “hidden gem” by some due to its limited hours and cash-only checkout, this place definitely deserves more respect. I have had the best ham and cheese croissant in my life there and would do quite a lot for one of their mini quiches. They also set up a booth at the Northfield Farmers Market, to which I make a pilgrimage every Saturday morning. For great prices and great food, this is my go-to bakery. I always stock up on baked goods to enjoy for the rest of the week!

Some of the Fellows at Martha’s before work

Nourse is the best traditional dorm on campus 

There are many different dorms on campus, each with their own unique quirks and culture. While the most popular offer suite-style living, they are in the minority and often snapped up by upperclassmen. So I will instead be evaluating the different traditional dorms on campus and can attest that Nourse is the best, and definitely an underrated choice.

While some prefer Burton since it is connected to the dining hall and Sayles-Hill Campus Center, or Cassat for its newness and lounges, I believe it is Nourse that takes the cake. It is on the west side of East Campus, which means it enjoys the slower paced, calmer residential side of campus. However, it is also closest to Anderson hall and has ready access to other academic buildings compared to other east campus buildings. Overlooking the Mini Bald Spot and with the Language and Dining Center at its doorstep, its location is second to none. Plus, it features spacious rooms, thick walls, air conditioning, special floors, and the Little Nourse Theater! For all of these reasons, Nourse stands at the top of the rankings. 

Me, outside of Nourse, the dorm I’m living in next year

Bonus Debate: Burton is the best dining hall

It is hard to classify this as a “hot take” since there is a pretty even split between Burton fans and LDC enthusiasts. But, I can definitively say that Burton is the superior dining hall. With multiple different dining rooms, you can choose the “vibe,” plus the different rooms often make the hall a little quieter. The wood beams and warm lights also make a more homely atmosphere throughout the dining hall. I also think the food is just a little bit better—I often prefer their vegan selection, alfredo sauce, dessert section, and “Saturday sundaes” (ice cream and topping bar).

One of the rooms in Burton Dining Hall

Quinn (he/they) is a junior studying Political Science and International RelationsEnvironmental Studies, and History. Born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin, they enjoy walking barefoot in the Arb, looking for free snacks in department lounges, and searching for their next favorite book in the library. Outside of work and school, they are the Treasurer of the Carleton Student Association (student government). There, they oversee the budget as well as work with the Student Activities Office to manage clubs on campus. Meet the other Bloggers!