Margaret Rapier, Contributing Writer
For many college students, dorms and study cubicles become something akin to hobbit-holes. They are small, secure places that keep grades up and students safe, but they can also become jail cells, hindering students from socializing with one another, discovering what’s around the campus, and learning why they should venture out. Let’s face it, we all need to go on adventures sometimes.
There is a magical land found down the giant staircase, past Aven hall, where the streets transform from cracked pavement to beautiful, bumpy brick. The Brick Streets contain everything a young, creative soul could hope for, from Cups to Meme’s, Pentimento Books to Paxton Peak.
Food is important to keep college students going and one of the most popular places to eat is Pimento’s Café. Whether you’re looking for a quick breakfast option or a hot sandwich, salad or soup, Pimento’s can be counted on to deliver everything it promises. Another place to get a full meal is 303 Jefferson, which also boasts a beautiful courtyard sheltered by trees.
For those with a sweet tooth, Meme’s Brick Street Bakery is well worth the walk to get there. Set in an old house, it offers eclectic wooden furniture, cupcakes, coffee, and the perfect atmosphere for studying or socializing. When asked why she chose to work there, Laurie Upchurch, a sophomore, said she was very happy to work there thanks to the wonderful owner and customers, as well as the treats she learns to make daily.
Brick Street Pops is the latest shop to open with an interesting idea and mission. According to their website, students should “Enjoy gourmet, all natural Popsicles, Retro Drinks and Treats for a relaxing time on the Brick Streets!” Their unique mission is to blend old-fashioned candies, drinks, and atmosphere with newly made popsicles as part of the revitalization of Olde Towne Clinton.
In addition to fine dining, the local shopper can find gems in stores such as Paxton Peak and James & Leigh. Paxton Peak Olde Towne Outfitters has everything the young adventurer could want in order to tackle the outdoors. The owners have also made it known that it is veteran-owned, meaning you are supporting both a local business and veterans who fought at one point in time for our safety and freedom.
If the outdoors don’t appeal, James & Leigh is the perfect Pinterest-loving girl’s store, complete with a small selection of stylish clothing, nice jewelry, and helpful staff. Faith Varner, a junior psychology major, told the Collegian that she loves working there because of the amount of people she gets to meet on a daily basis from the school and the community.
She said, “It has opened so many doors for friendships that I would have never made otherwise. It’s allowed me to build relationships with current students and this summer, it allowed me to meet a lot of freshmen who were coming this fall.” Whether working in one of the local shops or visiting them as a patron, students are guaranteed to meet a wide range of people.
Other hot spots for artsy types include Wyatt Waters Gallery, Cups café, and Pentimento: The Art of Books. Each provides a cozy atmosphere and something different for appeal. Mary Rogers, a junior art major, explained why she chose her job at Wyatt Waters Gallery. “My favorite part about working at the gallery is being surrounded by such creative people. Wyatt, the artist, and Sterling, the gallery manager, are both extremely creative and passionate people. I love working with them.”
Wherever students wander along the Brick Streets, there are things to do and people to see, as well as the hidden nooks and crannies that are perfect for sitting and reading. Almost every eatery has an inside and outside area which presents students with a unique opportunity to meet, socialize, and develop friendships.
As great as the Mississippi College campus is, nothing beats an afternoon wandering the Brick Streets, so don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and explore. Supporting local businesses and revitalization projects is important and the best way to do that as a student is by getting out of your hobbit-holes and into those local shops and eateries.