Quincy, The People's House

Sophie Gonick

It’s 6 p.m., you’re near the Yard, you’re hungry and you’re not a Yardling.

You’ve racked up an ABP bill to rival your Coop bill and you just can’t afford one more sandwich.

Annenberg is closed to you. Dunster and Mather are way the hell down by the River, and Currier, Pforzheimer and Cabot are conveniently located just Yardside of New Hampshire.

Thus begins the odyssey to find a dining hall that will feed you.

As you ogle the half-empty dining room in dark and stately Adams, the Checker—with help from a newly-deputized student helper—turns you away.

They need to preserve their House Spirit.

(Somehow, this imperiled House Spirit—apparently defined by exclusion—seems like the antithesis of a free-lovin’, naked-backstrokin’ Adams beloved by Communist revolutionary John S. Reed ’10 and poet extraordinaire e.e. cummings).

Next, all the way down Plympton Street, bustling Leverett, once an oaf among dining halls and now a prize, also turns you away.

Kirkland and Eliot, which instituted restrictions after athletes returning from Allston bombarded their dining rooms, would also turn you away—if you even got that far. So you trek back up Plympton Street.

But at the shiny ballroom that is Lowell, you also get turned down. They, at least, have a good excuse: Lowell is putting up Eugene Onegin, a Russian opera, in the dining hall and they’ve lost a lot of seating to the stage. (Besides, they never seem to have any food in Lowell anyway.)

Heading back across Plympton Street, you are resigned: Quincy it is, the house of last resort.

We admit it: Quincy House, with its summer camp-ambience and food quality, is not the Michelin Guides’ three-star restaurant of Harvard University Dining Services (HUDS).

Yes, the carrots in our salad bar tend to be covered in ice cubes, for some unknown, unappetizing reason.

Yes, when HUDS surveyed the student population on dining hall quality a couple of years ago, Quincy came up at the bottom.

Yes, we often run out of food before dinner technically closes.

And when you’re done with your meal, we have no Lowerator or tastefully-hidden conveyor belt to whisk your tray away into a doldrums washroom.