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Sarah-Jayne Austin / Columbia Daily Spectator

Dear Avocado Toast,

Do you remember when we first met?

First day of classes. Freshman year. This was back when I still went on runs at 6 a.m. in the morning, back when I strutted to class in a skirt, heels, and my CUID stuck in a trusty navy lanyard—back before first midterms season hit and my confidence deflated like a tire punctured with a pin.

As soon as I bounded into Ferris that humid September morning—trying so, so hard to come across as nonchalant but, in reality, wound up tighter than a cuckoo clock—I saw you, green and oh-so-smooth and glistening in full glory under the soft yellow lighting, and I knew that my first year would be okay.

I piled you high with bacon and cheddar, fresh and sun-dried tomato, scallion and onion and cilantro and took the first bite.


Toasty. Crunchy. Silky. Salty. Complex.

I closed my eyes and sighed. The fact that I didn’t know where Pupin was, or what my major was going to be, or even that I was sitting alone didn’t matter because I knew I had done the impossible: I had found love in the city that never sleeps with the same person twice.


A year and some odd days later, almost everything has changed. I’ve traded my skirt and heels for leggings and sneakers, ditched the lanyard, and sometimes, unfortunately, I would wake up so late I miss the chance to see you. I’m a little bit smarter, directionless, liberal, and cynical—the way only Columbia can make you.

But, as long as I get out of bed before my fifth alarm, I’ll always go straight to Ferris to see you (and Coffee, though please don’t be jealous—she wasn’t so much a choice as a need). Though in the early days we weren’t exclusive; I briefly courted your friends Greek yogurt, oatmeal, and Cocoa Puffs; however, those were but short flings.

Over the months, I tried out every possible combination, from the English muffin with a dash of salt and pepper to rye with jalapeño to, of course, my favorite: pumpernickel with bacon, cheddar, sun-dried tomato, and scallion.

Is there really a better way to begin the morning than with you, toasted with a light schmear of guac (no, bagels do not hold a monopoly on the word “schmear”), piled generously with the freshest-looking toppings? What other breakfast food tastes as good, fulfills your daily dose of monounsaturated fat, and costs $9 in East Village (aka most bang for the buck)?

Sometimes I wonder what the other Ferris breakfast regulars think of me, there each morning with you at 8 a.m. on the dot. Maybe they think I lack spontaneity in my life. Maybe they think I’m a closet millennial. Maybe they think I’m stuck in 2013.

Whatever. In less than 80 days, hindsight will be 2020, and they’ll know we were right all along. I can only hope that our days left will be as good as they’ve been so far.



Staff writer Michelle Zhuang can be contacted at

Avocado toast Ferris
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