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March 9, 2017

The Citius Mag Guide to College Station

As you probably already know, this weekend’s 2017 NCAA Division 1 Indoor Track & Field Championships are taking place at the home of Texas A&M University and the Fightin’ Texas Aggies. So you can probably guess what time it is. That’s right, it’s time for a Citius guide to College Station, Texas!

Since launching about a month ago, we’ve been able to field the city guides for both of the events’ locations we’ve been on hand for. (Kersh took care of Albuquerque and I handled Washington Heights.) But for College Station, we had to outsource our knowledge, since there isn’t anybody on staff with explicit ties to the place.

Thankfully, my awesome mom, Joanie, reluctantly agreed to share her expertise as a graduate of Texas A&M, class of 1987, so I gave her a call.

The first thing she wanted to make clear about College Station and more specifically her knowledge of it, is that she graduated 30 years ago.

“Won’t people care that most of what I say may not be true anymore?” she asked.

I assured her you, our dear readers, would not. So with that little preface out of the way, I dug in, and asked what my mom did for fun as a college student.

Another round of qualifiers ensued.

“Well you have to understand that most of what we did for fun revolved around football games in the fall, so a lot of my recommendations won’t apply this time of year. Also I was a pretty serious student. I had a high GPA so I spent a lot of time in the library or computer lab.”

I reassured her that her opinion still mattered and that she was probably doing more work to discredit herself as an authority than anyone in human history. Then I asked her again, without football in the equation and without recommending our readers go study, what they should do while visiting College Station.

“We went to Northgate,” she said. I asked if Northgate was one or two words, to which she then replied “Not really sure, it wasn’t something we wrote, we just went.” Northgate (or North Gate) was, and still is, the main bar district in College Station.

And in 1987, if you were lookin’ for fun along Northgate, you’d probably go to one of two places: The Dixie Chicken (“that was sort of a kicker bar”) or Duddley’s Draw (“that was a little more rocker-ish, and of course I was with Dad, so we mostly went here; he hated the kickerish place”). She says to expect standard college bar vibes; music, dancing, beer, drinking games like quarters.

My mom is not, and never was, a big drinker. So I pressed on. What did you do for fun besides drink?

“We ate, too!”

Let’s just say I inherited my svelte, birdlike frame from my mom, so it was surprising to hear that gluttony was one of her pastimes in college. Even moreso when she gave her recommendations for eateries.

“Go to Deluxe Burger Bar. I’d get a cheeseburger, I think — some kind of burger — and cheese fries, then dip them in ranch dressing. Oh, and you’re gonna laugh, but the nice place we’d go when somebody’s parents were in town and treating us, was Bennigan’s.” (A Google search shows that Deluxe and Bennigans are permanently closed.) She also recommends a place humorously dubbed “Chicken Oil Company,” which almost sounds like the output of an East Texas-themed random word generator.

After getting over the fact that my mom probably squandered a fairly lucrative career in the world of competitive eating to pursue her degree in business administration, I posed my final question: what if you’re not hungry or thirsty, then what do you do in College Station?

“We didn’t do much besides eat or drink. If we wanted to have fun we’d go to Austin or Houston or other places. Also when we were in school, MTV was in its hey day, so we spent a lot of time watching music videos.”

You heard it here first, folks.

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