This is the document I wish I’d had when I started my life at Centenary College of Louisiana in the SBC. This list won’t include the givens: everyone knows (or quickly learns) that Strawn’s has the best pie, Rhino Coffee is the best off-campus study spot, and students get in free at the Robinson Film Center. This guide, then, covers the things I learned to appreciate too late in my college career/stay in Shreveport. Trust it; hang it on your dorm room fridge; don’t do Life at Centenary without these gems:
R. W. Norton Art Gallery (+ gardens)
4747 Creswell Ave
a remarkable, super-diverse art gallery
beautiful gardens, great for picnicking, studying, walking/running
the huge (and I mean huge) wind-chimes in the gardens; just too cool
Go during Azalea Week, the approximate week in the spring when the azaleas are in bloom. Imagine pink and white blooms as far as the eye can see.
Know that the Folks Who Be recently banned photography and pets; I still Instagram it every time my dog, River, and I hang out there.
Texas Avenue Makers’ Fair
Corner of Texas Ave and Elvis Presley Blvd
locally- produced products: visual art, food, apparel, housewares, etc
Be sure to carry with you money and a big shopping bag. Seriously.
Meadows Museum of Art
on campus (you’d think this convenience would mean students would take full advantage of this lovely part of the world . . . but no)
Jean Despujols permanent collection
outrageously cool, never-boring visiting exhibits
Attend show openings; (delicious) free food and drink aside, they’re just a lot of fun—cool people, great art, stimulating dialogue.
Follow the Friends of the Meadows on Facebook; you don’t want to miss any of their events.
On Stoner Ave, where Centenary Blvd becomes Market St
graves (duh) of tons of people really important to Shreveport’s history, including four mayors and the namesakes of various landmarks around town
an informational area, complete with a map and description of the area
a surprisingly lovely pond and fountain
Lace up your sneakers, take your camera, and set aside a couple of hours (or at least one hour; I could spend three or four there, but I do recognize that I’m perhaps strange in this regard).
6104 Line Ave
dining environment that lends itself to college-kid casual (yoga pants) and fancy shmancy
delicious food (duh)
a great little porch that’s perfect for sunny days
Order the Bleu Cheese Chips (or the non-bleu ones, if you’re lame). Your life will never be the same. During particularly rough schoolwork weeks, my roommate and I have been known to call-in cheese chips and eat them at home.
6123 Line Ave
as you surely know, they’ve got great Mexican food
What you probably don’t know is that they have the best dessert ever: The Holy Grail. I think it’s listed on the menu as ice cream pie, but it’s totally known as The Holy Grail, for reasons that will be made clear to you the moment the spoon enters your mouth.
Jabez & Jabes
4460 Youree Dr
delicious and affordable food; best sushi in town
Order the Fuji Mountain. Proceed to revel in your elevated coolness.
4861 Line Ave
typical market fares—meat, produce, packaged food, libations
not-as-typical fares—phenomenal dips, marinades, breads
prepared food section
made-to-order sandwiches and burgers
Call ahead to order any hot sandwiches.
Don’t skip the fountain drink; their ice machine has good ice (like Sonic ice).
Their rosemary bread is to die for.
4834 Line Ave (not on Kings Hwy . . . )
some women’s apparel
k up on the Caldera linen spray. Your dorm-mates will love you for using it, and you’ll be even more excited to get into bed every night (slash every time you take a nap). It is a product of the gods.
And now, A Few Pieces of General Advice:
Learn how to get around via bicycle (also, own a bicycle). Our neck of the woods is pretty bike-able; you can easily get from campus to Rhino, the Norton, Brookshires (both the Kings Highway one and the fancy Line Ave one), even the health food store on Youree. Not only will this knowledge allow you to travel sans-automobile, it will also help you learn the fastest routes via car. The easiest way to start figuring out the lay of the land: ask someone (probably a professor or staff member) (or me) to draw you a basic map of the Highlands. Then start pedaling; you’ll figure things out pretty quickly.
Work hard not to forget how beautiful campus is. Crumley Gardens? Outrageously pretty. The Hardin porch swing? The perfect spot to read, write, have philosophical conversations. Even interiors, like the English Department Lounge, are lovely. Enjoy every second you get to spend here.
Decide what you love, and then do that—and leave everything else alone. Don’t join an organization because you like the idea of being in that organization; join only if you will love more than the idea of it. Be selective and then generous with your most precious resource, your time. College passes in four (or three, or five, or however many) years’ time whether you’re spread too thin or luxuriously free. I’ve been both spread too thin and miserably bored with too much time on my hands; neither situation is good.