Thursday, May 14, 2009

University Challenge

What are No Crowds favourite destinations in America? College towns. Think, Berkeley in California and Chapel Hill/Durham in North Carolina - and there are so many more.

A quick survey on Twitter produced this list of favourites:

Cambridge, Massachusetts
Madison, Wisconsin
Charlottesville, Virginia
Princeton, New Jersey
Ann Arbor Michigan
Santa Cruz, California
Providence, Rhode Island
Hanover, New Hampshire

Without much effort, you could put together an awesome trip across America just visiting towns with colleges and universities. They all share characteristics that make for great travel destinations. And you don’t have to be young or a student to enjoy them.

They are all cosmopolitan. They always have some interesting (non-chain) places to stay. They have lots of restaurants at all price points and tons of bars, cafes, bookstores and art house cinemas that stay open late. The campuses are invariably beautiful and filled with arts and sports venues that are open to the public, all at student prices. There’s even pretty good public transportation. It all boils down to big city amenities without the crowds, the cost or the stress.

Are you sold on the idea yet? Well, we are. So much so that for the next six weeks we will be “embedded” at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University just outside of Boston finishing a degree that was begun 32 years ago. To make the experience more authentic (and because we’re frugal and lazy) we’ll be living in the dorm, something we haven’t done since Jimmy Carter was President, the Red Army Faction was on trial and Apple Computer was incorporated.

OK, it’s been a while but we think it’s very cool that the University is supporting this Ueber-mature student in her late but sincere desire to finish up. This project would also not have been possible without the support of the Editor and family:

“Hey Mom, you’re living in the dorm. Jesus, you’re gonna hate it. Imagine living with 100 people just like me”.

“Hey Sis, don’t you remember that there was always some crazy old lady on campus and you always wondered what she was doing there. Now you ARE the crazy old lady on campus. Have a great time.”


  1. Uh oh, Beantown and Tufts will never be the same again. Boston in the summer is hard to beat, but the winter makes for better studying. I think that is why Boston has so many good schools -- the bitter winter and the Puritan ethic that hardship is better make life in the library seem good from November through April.

  2. To Kate from Celia,

    O wonderful, wonderful and most wonderful, and yet again wonderful, and after that out of all whooping. As You Like It, 3.2.195-97.

    Best from John Chypre

  3. To Celia from Kate

    O thank you.