Day 31: Go to Big Bite Night

October 3, 2010 § Leave a comment

Tonight Northwestern students ate for free. This isn’t because we busted doors and shattered windows, demanding cheaper coffee and deep dish pizza. This is greater Chicago, not Seattle. The event was Big Bite Night, an evening when the majority of Evanston’s restaurants set up booths in front of their buildings and hand out free food to Northwestern students to demonstrate their good will toward the university, as well as to seduce us into returning by tantalizing our taste buds.

This event illustrates just one of the many differences between North Portland, where I spent my time as an undergrad, and Evanston. Those of you familiar with the area can imagine what a Big Bite Night near the University of Portland might look like. Strippers outside of the Dancin’ Bare passing around chewy cuts of steak. 7-Eleven employees handing out beef jerky in front of barred windows. Personally, I’d take cups of pumpkin pie ice cream from Andy’s Frozen Custard, cream cheese wontons from Koi, and red beans and rice from the Dixie Kitchen in Evanston any day.

A sharp wind didn’t seem to affect the number of students that tore through the streets in search of free food. In Chicago it seems you must learn to function with frost bite. Downtown trash cans were piled a foot above the rim with discarded paper cups and foam plates, which were then whisked into the street by strong gusts. I’m pretty sure the word “free” would have brought the same number of students out into a blizzard.

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