Tag Archive: Chapel Hill


I’m a Senior… who the HEEL are you?

Project 365 is a year-long blog series about being a senior at Carolina, going through the senior bucket list, job search, applying to graduate school and just life in general, told in countdown form.

Welcome back to Carolina, Class of 2011. I hope you all had a wonderful summer and now it’s time to take on our senior year.  Walking around campus the first Tuesday of the semester was very surreal.  Of course I had classes to go to and of course this first day of class was like any other first day of class, except I had a strange feeling because as much as I didn’t want to let myself think about it, this is the last time I’ll be doing the whole first day back after summer thing.  But along with the repressed ache at the knowledge that this is ending, I was also feeling quite bold.  Hey, I’m a senior!  I’m invincible!

However… the universe decided that for some reason, this notion of my superiority over the shenanigans this university can pull (um, hello Connect Carolina) was completely unfounded and I was submitted to a few quasi-humbling experiences.  First I nearly tripped up the stairs at the UL twice and then, despite being a senior, I was forced to use a MAP to find one of my classes. It was embarrassing.

I guess that’s what I get for thinking I’m a big shot.

As far as working on my bucket list, I haven’t made any serious progress, though later this week I’ll be hitting up Jesse’s Coffee in Carrboro.  Hope you all had a great start to the semester!!

223 Days, Class of 2011!  Get excited!

– Samantha Ryan

“The House of Tomorrow” by Peter Boganni

Now that spring has sprung at Chapel Hill, when you need that well deserved break from studying in the UL, why not curl up in the quad on a sunny day with a good book that has nothing to do with your Poli 100 class? It is certainly one of my favorite activities, at least.

This week, the book I curled up with on the quad was “The House of Tomorrow,” the debut novel from Peter Bognanni. I know you should never do this because one should never judge a book by its cover, but I picked it up from Bull’s Head because I really liked the cover art. I started reading it and found myself quickly getting sucked into the world of Sebastian and his batty grandmother, the two of whom live in an isolated geodesic dome in the middle of the woods, cut off from everything that will not lead them on their supreme path.

The main plot follows Sebastian, a sheltered 16-year-old orphan who lives with his grandmother in the woods. Now, Nana isn’t your normal over-the-river-and-through-the-woods grandma; she’s obsessed with the futurist philosophies of her former lover and teacher, R. Buckminster Fuller. They live in a geodesic dome in an attempt to fulfill his vision of a “spaceship earth.”

Fun Fact:  The term Spaceship Earth might ring a bell from your childhood… EPCOT perhaps? Yes, indeed.  That geodesic sphere “Spaceship Earth” was designed based on Fuller’s plans and is the most famous geodesic structure in the world.

Anyways, back to the book. When his grandmother suffers a stroke, Sebastian is forced to encounter the real world and there he meets the sarcastic and hard-to-love Jared Whitcomb, a heart-transplant survivor who is altogether quite obnoxious in his attempt to be all things “punk.” Together, they form an unlikely duo and an equally-as-unlikely punk rock band (The Rash), and make plans to take the local church talent show by force.  Of course, plot twists and complications arise, and well, you’ll have to read it yourself to find out what happens.

Bognanni’s characters are a little out there and most of the situations are rather far-fetched (the youth minister’s daughter running an escort service from her bedroom window?), and if you are looking for some semblance of realism, then this isn’t the book for you.  Even if you aren’t looking for realism, this book isn’t quite “fantasy” enough to justify some of the character or plot decisions. But what the novel lacks in reality, it makes up for in heart.  Deep down, it is a very sweet story about growing up and discovering who you are. While it was sometimes hard to wrap my head around some parts, I did enjoy this book and it’s a fairly quick read, so I would recommend it for a nice sunny day when studying for that Econ midterm has got you seeing spots.

Rating:  3.5/5

Until next time, keep it nerdy.

– That Nerd Girl, Samantha Ryan

Commercial shows Hansbrough’s softer side

There’s not much I can say to prepare you for the following video, except get ready to feel inspired to get over the hump that is Wednesday. Two more days of class will feel like nothing after watching everyone’s favorite hero, Tyler Hansbrough, helping a Chapel Hill youngster find her puppy.

Personally, I loved this (but then again, I love anything with Hansbrough involved). I love how AT&T banks on the fact that he is the big man on campus and has the cell phone number of everyone in Chapel Hill (you don’t have mine, but it’s available if you’re reading, Tyler). Despite not actually doing anything but sending a mass text to the entire town, he does seem emotionally invested in the search for the dog, as the victorious fist pump and personal delivery of the pet denote. I even love the little v-neck Tyler’s rocking here, a rare sight for the man mostly seen in a jersey. Finally, this video clearly takes place in our lovely town, and who doesn’t love Chapel Hill representin’ on a national commercial?

-Andrea Marchiano

Noodles & Company

I am on a mission. I am an awestruck freshman and when I realized the richness and variety of restaurants on Franklin, I made it my goal to eat at every restaurant on Chapel Hill’s famous street before I graduate. Although I have plenty of time to accomplish this lofty (and expensive!) goal, I cannot possibly waste my precious money on silly chain restaurants I can find back home.

I assumed that Noodles & Company was, while certainly more gourmet-sounding than K&W Cafeteria, yet another one of those unremarkable buffet restaurants, until I actually gave it a try.

Noodles & Company, which opened at the beginning of this semester, is a cozy restaurant that can be discovered down the west end of Franklin. One peek into the homey-atmosphere of this small bistro is enough to make you want to curl up with some good old Chicken-Noodle Soup (which you can, in fact, do!).  The long, hanging lamps are bright and the tall wooden beams holding the roof give the allusion of a secret attic. However, what is more welcoming than the design of this restaurant is the hospitality of the staff.

Every staff member wore a colorful T-shirt with a different label across the back (my favorite read: “Noodle Ambassador”), and the girl who took my order offered up very helpful recommendations (you’re going to want the parmesan chicken).The menu is quite varied, you can choose a small or large pasta dish from three different ethnic categories; Asian, Mediterranean and American. Under each noodle dish is a description and coordinating protein recommendation (braised or sautéed beef, shrimp, chicken, parmesan crusted chicken or tofu). The menu also includes a variety of soups and salads from which to choose.

Three minutes after placing my order (no, they are not fast food, but yes they really are that fast), I ended up with the three most popular dishes from each category:

Japanese Pan Noodles—these udon noodles are served in soy sauce with broccoli, carrots and mushrooms, and topped with bean sprouts. Although the menu warned that these noodles were sweet, I wasn’t prepared for just how sweet they were. The noodles are rather thick and difficult to eat. The flavor, although at times overwhelming, is a great refresher.

Mediterranean Penne Rosa—possibly the most delicious noodle dish I’ve ever had! The tomatoes were very fresh, the spice just right, and the noodles al dente. This dish I ordered with the recommended parmesan-crusted chicken. The chicken was cooked just-right and had a delicious garlic taste to it.

American Wisconsin Mac & Cheese—this macaroni was topped with a divine cheese sauce and freshly shredded cheese that melts in your mouth. Eating it reminded me of the macaroni my grandmother cooks whenever I am home.

For the health conscious, Noodles & Company has committed to providing its customers with nutritional facts that can be found at the register. All customers are also given the liberty to order their pasta anyway they would like; with tomatoes, less spicy, extra cheese, two proteins—and still have it come out in less than three minutes. Take that, K&W.

By Shannon Spain