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Thursday, May 23
The Indiana Daily Student

COLUMN: Reminiscing about Bloomington’s coziest places to avoid the cold this semester

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Choosing the perfect college was no easy task for me.  

I’m extremely picky and wanted to know where I was going was just the right fit. However, when I first arrived in Bloomington in the dead of winter, I fell in love with the school’s atmosphere. The campus’ charming limestone buildings have made the coldest of days worthwhile.  

I will be absent from Bloomington this semester as I write from Barcelona, and somehow, it makes me long for the Midwest — a sentence I never thought I would write as an East Coaster. 

I miss Bloomington, and when I return, this is how I will spend my next cozy winter day. 

The Inkwell Bakery & Cafe 

Inkwell, a picturesque hub for meeting with friends and grinding out homework, is the perfect spot to kickstart your day. I highly recommend indulging in their delicious avocado toast, and for an extra boost, try adding an egg — over medium of course. As for your drink, I’m a big iced chai fan, although the options are truly endless.  

The North College location, situated in the heart of town, is ideal for weekends as it offers a vibrant and central atmosphere.  

On the other hand, the Woodlawn & Atwater location is my go-to spot after finishing class for the day. Despite its smaller size, it exudes a cozy and homey ambiance, making it the perfect spot to catch up with a friend. Countless gossip sessions, family brunches and intense cram sessions have become memorable experiences at Inkwell 

Inkwell is open 8 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. Saturday through Sunday at 105 N. College Ave. It is also open 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Saturday through Sunday at 401 S. Woodlawn.     

Bloomington Antique Mall 

If there is anything you need to know about me, it is that I am a thrifter to my core. I find so much joy from exploring the treasures of people’s pasts. If your ideal day involves sifting through racks of vintage windbreakers or unearthing the perfect obscure vinyl, then the Bloomington Antique Mall will be your haven.  

My favorite find, my lucky brown leather jacket, is a staple in my closet. It serves as a symbol of the enduring and timeless styles you will discover at the mall. 

Some of my favorite spottings include a “Strawberry Fields Forever” Beatles-inspired jean skirt, a love power machine and an oral hygiene ad from Good Housekeeping’s May 1947 magazine publication highlighting a fictional Betty’s bad breath. Each piece tells a unique story, capturing a moment in time with many callbacks to Bloomington’s history. With unique local merchants, its website says, “if it’s not here, chances are it doesn’t exist!”  

The Bloomington Antique Mall is open 10 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Monday through Sunday at 311 W. Seventh Street. 

Restaurant Ami 

Head back to campus and treat yourself to delicious sushi at Ami. My semester wouldn’t have been complete without their rainbow roll and their iconic salad. Ami offers a comfortable atmosphere complemented by the best playlist of pop covers.  

Conveniently located near the Jacobs School of Music, it serves as a hub for students, but its appeal extends to locals too. When I chatted with my friends, they recommended trying the spicy crazy roll or any of the bento box options. 

I was introduced to this gem by my boyfriend back in August as I began my junior year, and immediately mourned the two years’ worth of missed meals. I’ve shared Sunday dinners with friends, met my future little in my sorority and fell in love with miso soup all at Ami.  

Restaurant Ami is open 11 a.m. - 9:45 p.m. Monday through Sunday at 1500 E. Third Street. 

Rose Well House 

If you can bear the cold for a few minutes, the Rose Well House should be next on your list. 

Located near Sample Gates, this limestone and stain glass gazebo has a rich history on campus. Although it is beautiful to sit down amidst the fall foliage, its charm remains in the winter. The limestone structure is my favorite spot and a must-see when taking a campus stroll. 

It is commonly known as a smooch spot, but if you’re a fan of the 1979 film “Breaking Away,” you can spot the Rose Well House in an iconic breakup scene. If you get cold outside, you can pop right into the IMU just a minute away for a coffee or a snack. 

IU Cinema 

Wrap up your day by catching a film at the IU Cinema — a true hidden gem on campus. Hosting a variety of cinematic events throughout the year, each experience is distinct and unforgettable.  

One of my favorite memories from last semester was the screening of National Theatre Live’s “Fleabag.” Beyond just screening films, IU Cinema provides opportunities for discussions and masterclasses with filmmakers. 

Whether you’re a film enthusiast or simply seeking a warm place to unwind with friends, this is the destination for you. Upcoming screenings include Stanley Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut,” James Cameron’s “Titanic” in 3D and Hayao Miyazaki’s newest film, “The Boy and the Heron.” 

IU Cinema offers pricing options suitable for all, ensuring it remains an affordable and accessible choice.  

I certainly look forward to studying abroad, however, I can’t wait to come back in August and enjoy these Bloomington treasures once again. 

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