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Danielle
6:00pm on a Thursday
at Shema Sushi

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What’s your favorite part of living in Rochester?

I like that it’s a big enough city where there’s always something to do, but it’s not so big that you feel overwhelmed. I like that you can just walk down Park Ave and find a place to eat. And there’s always some festival going on in the summer. It’s enough to keep you busy, but it’s not too crazy.

Do you have any favorite secret spots?

I like Park Bench on Monroe. That is a really good smaller bar that I feel like people don’t really know about at all. It’s fun! They have delicious chicken wings. It’s really small. You totally would miss it if you weren’t looking for it.

What’s your favorite time of day?

I’m old, so I don’t like to stay out too late. But my friends and I will start hanging out at The Old Toad around 9 o’clock-ish, before it gets too crazy. Before all the young drunks start ruining everything for us. (laughs)

I feel like I’m still in the young drunk category.

Yeah, you are. (laughs)

I definitely caused a ruckus at the bar last weekend.

Oh, we still cause a ruckus. (laughing) We’re just too old to be doing that.

What’s your favorite day of the week?

Probably Saturday, just because you don’t have to wake up early the next day. Everybody else is out on Saturdays too. I do like to go to the Redwings games during the week though. I love baseball, so I just want to go and watch the game and be able to actually pay attention. And on the weekends, there are just too many kids and too many people there just for fun. Which is great, I’m glad they can draw crowds. But if you’re someone who is intent on watching the game, it can be a little tough. So Wednesdays for baseball, Saturdays for drinking.

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Do you have a favorite neighborhood?

I don’t know if I have a favorite neighborhood just because I haven’t explored too many of them, but I do like the Park Ave area. Like most people.

What’s your favorite bar?

I really like The Old Toad. It’s not pretentious; they have good strong drinks and lots of beers to choose from. I also really like MacGregor’s. There’s one right near my parent’s house on Coldwater Road. It’s just a chill place. Good food, good beer.

What’s your favorite hungover eating spot?

Frog Pond. Love that place. It’s cheap. It’s delicious. The staff there is really nice.

What’s your personal coping mechanism for cold weather?

I never had a problem with winter up until this past winter (laughs). I was the person that was like, “I can’t wait for it to snow! I love snow.” I still love snow. I would take a -10-degree day over a 90-degree day because I love blankets and hot chocolate and cuddling up. But I hate driving in it. I guess my coping mechanism is to just try not to think about it. Just get in the car, go to work, and try not to get into an accident on the way there. I do really enjoy the beauty of the winter. And again, the cold temperatures don’t bother me too much. I did just buy a car with all-wheel drive, so that’ll probably help.

That’s a life tip for living here. (laughs)

Yeah, snow tires and all-wheel drive.

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Well, it’s beautiful, but also gritty, if that makes sense. It’s strong.

What’s your favorite Rochester memory?

The first time I went to the Pride Parade with [my friend] Tom Sochia. That was really cool because that was the first time I had really been exposed to the LBGTQ community here. It was really uplifting to see people being able to be themselves. It was just a really fun time. That was a good memory. I also enjoyed the first time the Port of Rochester opened. I was in the Naval Sea Cadet Corps, and we did a big ceremony and everything. I think I was about 14 or 15 at the time. That was cool to be a part of as well.

Describe your dream Rochester day.

Wake up at around 10 o’clock. Go get a massage at Massage by Laura in Spencerport (she’s amazing), then head down to Magnolia’s for lunch. Then maybe get some ice cream at Abbott’s. Then go to a baseball game. Afterwards, drinks downtown at The Old Toad.

If Rochester were an animal, what would it be?

I feel like it would be…for some reason a tiger keeps popping into my head?

Is it because of RIT?

(laughs) Probably. Well, it’s beautiful, but also gritty, if that makes sense. It’s strong. It’s a smaller city, but I think the people who have lived here and experienced it know that it’s got a lot of grit to it. And some beautiful parts too. And RIT.

Danielle and I met in middle school where we spent most days after school being super nerdy in Show Choir. We went on a few music trips together, and let me say, what happens on a chorus trip...just kidding. Thanks, Danielle!