Since September, salivating snapshots have invaded your social media. These images are heavily saturated and typically captioned with a pun — #IDonutBelieveHowYummyTheseAre #DonutTouchMyDonuts #DonutMissOutOnDonutCrazy!
Is this another consumerist ploy to deplete your hard-earned college savings in $2 and $3 increments? Yup. Is it working? Totally.
You probably first made contact with York Street’s newest and sweetest foodie mecca during Camp Yale. If you are a freshman, you were most likely wandering the Elm City streets with a brand new friend. What in the world does a bullpup do on a Saturday night?
Then, you spied it. A storefront. A door propped open. Lights off. Shades down. No people. No signs. But what did you and Brand New Friend do?
You walked in.
Before you, on a foldout table were four white boxes with four dozen decadent doughnuts. Red velvet glaze with cream cheese icing. Pumpkin glaze with spiced pie filling. Cinnamon sugar with marshmallow fluff and a dollop of nutella. Chocolate glaze with triple cookie buttercream.
Hold up. These elaborate pastries could be the conveyor of a deadly drug — were those Oreo crumbles really arsenic? Those sprinkles cyanide? Was this all an evil prank from our Cambridge brethren?
You are Yalies. You are supposed to be smarter than this.
But these were doughnuts — free doughnuts.
So, you bit into the red velvet. Brand New Friend munched on pumpkin pie. You bonded over your mutual love for the wheel-shaped delicacy and bam! — Brand New Friend became New Best Friend.
Doughnuts are powerful, you see. They bring people together.
I mourn for the more sensible freshmen who turned down the suspicious offerings and the more informed freshmen who were keg-standing at Sig Nu and not aimlessly promenading York Street at midnight. But by now, I am sure you have all experienced the magic of the yeast ring. The franchise has infiltrated every facet of student life.
Maybe you were dragged in post-Woads by the sweaty, black Sharpie X’d hand of a friend. Maybe you raced in after tracking Kevin G’s location on the Ivy League Snapchat Story. Or maybe you already downloaded the app and are making laudable progress on your loyalty card. Whatever the context, I am sure you have your own collection of sweet memories at 290 York.
Today, Donut Crazy is far more welcoming to wandering freshmen than it was in late August. There are comfy leather couches where you can enjoy a peaceful public snooze. A goofy Einstein smiles at you from his frame on the wall, and a cursive neon sign begs you to “Eat Donuts!” Employees in blue-and-white checkered shirts tempt you with more free samples — a bacon, egg and cheese on a spinach wrap (read: healthy) and the divine “Donut-Go-Crazy Burger.” At first, you may have doubts about the sizzled ground beef on the glazed doughnut bun, but after one bite, you will wonder how you have lived so long without it.
The true spectacle, however, is the wall of doughnuts behind the counter — a colorful gallery of sprinkle, cookie and shining glaze, illuminated by fluorescents. Upon first glance, your jaw will drop, your stomach will wail and you will grow frustratingly indecisive. The woman in the blue checkered shirt will sigh, and a line will accumulate behind you. In cases of complete order-panic, I would recommend the Blackhawk, a chocoholic’s dream. Or close your eyes and point. You really can’t go wrong.
For many, Donut Crazy has become a second home of sorts, a dorm away from dorm. It is an ingenious mixture of all the locations where you might otherwise be Snapping or studying or Snapping instead of studying. It is cozy like your room or your favorite library nook, and its late night hours rival GHeav’s, so you can satiate your caffeine cravings with cold-brew coffee almost any hour of the day — and all at a 10 percent student discount.
With its navy blue walls, bulldog paintings, ivy exterior and never-ending trail of guests in Yale gear, Donut Crazy is becoming our new student center — Schwarzman be damned. It is an ideal gathering spot to reunite with your FOOT group, work on a pre-lab, reward yourself post-workout or hang with now Not-So-New Best Friend. Doughnuts bring people together, remember?
In a world of Durfee’s swipes, Insomnia deliveries and UberEATS, it is easier than ever to consume our sweets in solitude, but Donut Crazy forces and facilitates happy human contact. When you are chasing your next doughnut fix, you are bound to run into at least three people you know. Treasure these interactions like the cookie-dough-filled, chocolate-chip ring you are about to eat.
You might be wondering: Is this just another phase? A craze?
No, Mom, it is NOT a phase. It is not a craze.
Doughnuts DONUT go out of style. Ever.
So head over to 290 York— grab yourself a doughnut, find yourself a friend and post a salivating snapshot to Instagram.
After all, when you split a doughnut with someone, the halves make two smiles. If you count the people eating them, those two smiles become four. #DonutMath