1) Visit Yale’s Peabody Museum of Natural History: The walk up Whitney Avenue toward Science Hill (turn right off College Street onto Grove Street and walk two blocks until you hit Whitney) will give you a good sense of one of New Haven’s dowtown neighborhoods. The Peabody’s collection of dinosaur fossils and other natural phenomena are some of the best in the world.
2) Take a break at Oolongs Tea Bar: Located at 1044 Chapel Street in Sherman’s Alley, this tea shop boasts over 70 varieties of tea, which line the walls in individual glass bottles, baked goods and sandwiches. Sit for a specially-prepared pot of tea with a friend, or grab a delicious smoothie or bubble tea.
3) Tour every college courtyard: Each of the 12 residential colleges has its own unique layout and architecture. The courtyard is inevitably the center of residential college life, where students come and go, laze on a hammock or eat outside during nice weather.
4) Check out the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library: Although the courtyard around the Beinecke is currently under construction, the library can be accessed on Wall Street. The Beinecke is home to Yale’s oldest books, including a copy of the Gutenberg Bible, and the interior of the modern building is beautiful. Plus, the library currently has an exhibit on J.M. Barrie’s “Peter Pan.”
5) Go to a talk: Each day, experts and celebrities visit Yale for master’s teas, lectures and symposia. On Tuesday, New York Gov. George Pataki ’67 and Yale Corporation senior fellow Roland Betts ’68, a director of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (and close personal friend of President George W. Bush ’68) will be speaking at a 1 p.m. panel in Battell Chapel.
6) Look for tombs: Every so often, you’ll come across a windowless building on Yale’s campus. Chances are, this is the home of one of Yale’s secret societies. Just don’t knock on the door…
7) Have a midnight meal: When you eat dinner at 5:30 and go to bed at 3 a.m., your stomach grumbles for food come the early morn. Head out to Ivy Noodle for some cheap dumplings, or go to Yorkside Pizza and Restaturant for wings.
8) Get avant garde: Head over to the Yale School of Art on Chapel Street, where graduate students’ artwork is usually on exhibit. The School of Art is located in a vibrant part of New Haven’s commercial district, surrounded by restaurants and shops.
9) Be a weenie: When it’s crunch time, Yale students head down to the depths of Cross Campus Library. Scheduled for renovation in 2006, CCL is a little grungy and a little funky. But if you’re looking to observe the harried Yalie in his native environment, CCL is some of the best people watching you can do.
10) Have lunch at the Doodle: If you’re looking for a taste of authentic New Haven, Yankee Doodle is the place to go for greasy burgers and milk shakes. It’s a tiny joint located in the Broadway shopping district next to TYCO, and it has nourished hungry Elis since 1950.