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PCP: Worcester is worth the trip

What is there to be said about Worcester? For those dwelling outside of the mini-metropolis we call Southwest, those living in Central, Northeast, North Apartments and Sylvan are left with relatively scant choices. The aforementioned Worcester is located on the inner-outskirts of Northeast, and Franklin is right at the bottom of the hillside residence area of Central.

I remember living in Butterfield last year at the very top of the hill in Central, and instead of strolling right down the hill to Franklin, I would always make the trek down North Pleasant Street to the Mecca that is Worcester dining.

Now, why would someone as lazy as myself make the daunting trip all the way from the Arctic Circle of Central, that is “The Butt,” and back just for one dining common over the other?

The answer is simply that Worcester is a cut above the rest. Am I saying that Franklin is despicable, disgusting and otherwise intolerable? Absolutely not; the case is merely that Worcester reigns supreme for those that live anywhere but Southwest.

As I sat pondering over the differences in the actual culinary aspects of Worcester and Franklin, I came to the realization that there actually aren’t that many. Aside from the facts that Worcester typically has some more impressive “special” items available, and that their pasta and entrees tend to be less, for lack of a better word, “congeal-ey,” the food choices are essentially the same.

If one was restricted to either dining common, you certainly would be hard pressed to find a way to go hungry. Both offer several varieties of pizza, pastas, soups, entrees and desserts, as well as, well-stocked salad, sandwich and cereal bars every day. In both locations, these selections rarely disappoint.

I came to the secondary realization, however, that the experience at Worcester is nonetheless far better than the one at Franklin. This opinion is mostly based on the aesthetic values possessed by the respective dining commons.

While living in Central, I remember one of the more frequent complaints I heard frequently was that of the “Franklin smell.” I don’t really know what the cause of this particular odor is, but I can’t count on my hands how many times people in my building actually didn’t go eat on a given night because they, “don’t want to smell like Franklin.” While not everyone can readily identify this particular scent, a good amount of people who resided in Central regarded this as a good reason to avoid Franklin as much as possible.

Another major area where Worcester trounces Franklin is in the layout department. Worcester, by and large, keeps it simple in terms of the way it’s laid out. There are two entrances on two sides of the building, both of which lead to the same place. Franklin has the unfortunate structure that necessitates having “sides.”

At first, it doesn’t really seem like that big of a deal, but it can get pretty frustrating pretty quickly. If one is looking for something or someone, such a preferred beverage or a friend, and you don’t know which side it’s on, it’s easy when navigating Franklin to feel like running laps around the building with a full tray in your hand.         There are other smaller layout differences that don’t amount to much on their own, but add up rather quickly. Worcester’s seating is laid out in a fairly creative manner to allow for a comfortable yet economic seating pattern (and let’s not forget that seating blessing known as a booth).

Franklin is fairly spacious, yet it seems to fill up much quicker despite its size. If you have to go to the bathroom while dining at Worcester, it’s a few steps away. At Franklin, it’s half a lap around the building and a steep flight of stairs away. I don’t think I have to go into detail about how troublesome a set of stairs can be when one is badly in need of a restroom.

Not only is Worcester’s C-Store of a larger and higher quality than Franklin’s, the former also has the Pita Pit, something the latter really has nothing in comparison to. Also, while getting food at Worcester, one’s experience compares much less to the high school cafeteria feel that Franklin gives off.

Like I said, there’s nothing inherently wrong with Franklin. The food is perfectly fine, and there’s nothing completely intolerable about the building itself. Yet, when left with a choice between Worcester and Franklin, there is no choice. Worcester is the clear winner.

Dave Coffey is a Collegian columnist. He can be reached at dscoffey@student.umass.edu.

Comments
One Response to “PCP: Worcester is worth the trip”
  1. Dan says:

    I love the Franklin Smell.

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