Oswego Review: Kampai Hibachi Steakhouse

Yes, you read that right- there’s hibachi in Oswego.

We’ll start with what you’re most interested in:  

Food and presentation: I cannot speak for all of the hibachi chefs at Kampai, but the one I had I wouldn’t recommend to a family with younger teens. He says, “Oh yeah, baby,” as if he learned his English by watching Austin Powers over and over. This is while he’s squirting water into your mouth, which on it’s own isn’t a big deal, but he’s doing it with a doll of a small boy who has his pants around his ankles and the water…yeah you get the picture. All together, a little strange. Maybe it’s a culture thing. I have no idea. It was a little funny when he was doing it to the table over from us, but the uncomfortable faces of our neighbors soon became our expression. Luckily it was only for a few minutes.

The presentation of the food was pretty good. He twirled around his utensils, dropping the once or twice, and scaring me half to death.

“This is where I’m going to die- eating Japanese food prepared by a creepy hibachi chef.”

Anyway, he did the onion volcano and had a few big flames from oil poured on to the stove. Nothing amazing. Cool, but not amazing.

The food was good, but not as good as Hanabi, especially not at the price. However, you will be full when you leave, which is the point of going to get food, so there’s that.

Service: This part is interesting, maybe another part of Japanese culture I don’t quite understand. The hostess was a little rude, granted her English wasn’t great, she manged to have a not-so-happy-to-see-you  tone in her voice. Our waitress was very nice, formal, but very nice.

Price: $$/$$$ – Pretty expensive, but worth a visit for the experience.

Overall, give this place a shot and see for yourself. I will definitely go back and try out some other dishes to form a better opinion. They say call ahead for hibachi, but we were at one of 5 or 6 hibachi stations and only 3 others were filled at any one time. Probably safe to call, though.

Address and info: 311 W Seneca St (Bridge Street) (315) 343 8889)

The Negatives of SUNYPartyStories

On my TweetDeck dashboard I have a column dedicated to the Oswego and SUNY Oswego hash-tags. Most of the time it’s all of your “OMG this sunset tho!” photos from Instagram. Well done. Real Original.

However, scrolling through many of you and your peer’s tweets on a Saturday and Sunday morning give me the impression no one understands some of the negatives of posting things to accounts like SUNYPartyStories, SUNYBoobs, and the like.

Before I go in to something I think is very wrong, disrespectful, and irresponsible, I do not want to give off the impression that no one should be having fun.

Go do whatever you want, and hey, if you want future employers to see you unconscious on the sidewalk or that you posted a picture of someone else, more power to you. Thanks for making it easier for the rest of us to get a job.

And the rant starts.

(Deep breath)


The one thing I don’t understand are the pictures of people who are clearly unconscious from drinking laying on the sidewalk, in elevators, or anywhere else in public.

What kind of person takes a picture of someone else, guy or girl, passed out in the middle of town? Just having looked at the column, there’s a girl passed out in the elevator and on the sidewalk. Do you have an ounce of self-respect or respect for others? Instead of helping this person who is clearly incapacitated, you decided, “Hey, this would be funny on twitter!”  Newsflash: Even though what you’re doing is wrong and terrible, there are worse people out there than you. I know, imagine that. What if someone just decided to, I don’t know, take her? Then what? Exactly. Instead of trying to get SUNYPartyStories to retweet you so you’re twitter famous for 4 minutes, why don’t help them out so they don’t get seriously hurt or worse.

With that said, let’s be a bit more responsible while drinking. As much as I think people should help you if you do pass out from too much alcohol, do not put yourself in a position to be involved in a bad situation.

There a bunch of terrible things I’ve seen on twitter from the SUNYPartyStories account, and frankly, it’s hard to imagine any of you really want photos of you very, very drunk out in public with your twitter handle attached.

Please be responsible. All of these types of accounts will turn around and hurt you in the long run. It isn’t funny to see someone passed out. No one cares if you drew male genitalia on your friend’s face.

Be a community. Help one another. And most of all, respect one another.

Rant over.

The Art of People Watching

People watching is a fun, engaging activity that everyone participates in, though it appears most of us forget people are watching as we try to carry more cups that physically possible back to our table in the dining hall. But where are the best places to people watch? Here are a few:

Dining Halls: This is an obvious one, and not because I just mentioned it. Watching some  most people eat is both funny and usually unappetizing. Not only is the amount of food on their plate more than you thought you could fit on it, but how much they try to fit in their mouth at one time is also staggering. People with weak stomachs may want to block as much of this daily experience out as possible.

Lake Effect Cafe: The glass isn’t one-way or even tinted enough not to see the people inside, but sitting inside Lake Effect on a cold day with a cup of coffee looking at people making sure their hair is just right will make anyone’s day.  Watching people not slip and fall in the snow is also a plus.

Class: For some reason, students feel as if they can do whatever they want during class because there’s someone talking at the front of the room. Boy are they wrong. We see/smell you dude who didn’t shower pretending to stretch but really smelling his pits to make sure his deodorant is working.  Caught you girl cleaning out her ears with her pen then snap-chatting her friend with a dumb face. If you need a reason to go to class, let it be because it makes you feel better about you. Also, make sure this isn’t you.

Hockey Games: Though the fan-cam does a good job catching people not paying attention doing stupid stuff during a Laker blowout of some SUNY school you couldn’t get in to, there’s plenty to look at other than hockey.

What are some of your best people watching spots?


Man Arrested Twice in Four Hours for Stealing Beer:

(Information courtesy of the Oswego City Police Arrest Blotter)

3:45pm – “On 09/04/13 at approximately 1545 hrs Lehmann was arrested for stealing beer from Paul’s Big M
totaling $40.80.”

7:40 pm – “Lehmann was arrested for stealing a can of beer valued at $1.49 from Stewart’s 

Convenience Store.”

You know, I can understand the first one, not that I’m about to go out there and steal $40 worth of beer, but at least it’s seemingly a decent amount. The second one, though, I’m not so sure. At $1.49, the most it could have been was a tall boy of Keystone Light. This also leads me to believe that this guy tried to walk out of Paul’s Big M with two thirty-racks and a little extra in his pockets without anyone noticing. At least he smartened up and went smaller the second time around, though it ended the same way.

On top of that, this cannot be the only two times this dude was arrested for stealing anything, which makes it amazing that he was let out of jail in time to go right back at it again in a few hours. Only thing I can hope is it was my neighbor that sits on his porch every day that I see when I’m on my way in to work, at 9am.  At least this guy was consistent.

Let’s Clear Something Up:

As a SUNY Oswego student turned “townie,” I understand a little bit of both sides of the “college students are ruining Oswego” thing. However, let’s clear the air about some smaller things that tend to get overlooked…

1) Without the town, many college students wouldn’t have anywhere to live.

2) Without the college, many of Oswego’s residents don’t have anywhere to work

3) Without the college, 90% of the businesses, which are bars and restaurants, would close.

The latter two are what I would like to comment on because that seems to be forgotten by many of the people who live in Oswego that don’t live off of welfare, legally anyway, who are getting their panties in a bunch.

It’s a catch-22: If the college leaves, the city falls apart; if they stay, it’s a pain in the ass. I get it. Everyone gets it. But, and this is what you don’t want to hear, live with it. This is the type of city you live in. Oswego is like Portland, Maine or the Jersey Shore: a novelty. Yeah, tourist are annoying, but the money they bring in is just as green. As stated earlier in this paragraph, if the college leaves, the city falls apart. It’s a symbiotic relationship, for those who don’t like big fancy book readin’ words, that means an interaction between two different organisms living in close physical association, that needs to exist for the survival of both the college and the city.

Understand that students don’t want to live next to people who sit on their porch at 8:45am EVERY DAY drinking a beer (this is a real thing- I live next to this) the same way you don’t want to listen to that really chubby frat kid’s loud music on a Friday night. Like I said, I’ve been on both sides. I’ve been the loud kid and I’ve also yelled at girls who lock themselves out of their cars during Bridge Street Run and are too drunk to even put a full sentence together (also a real thing), though if you read some of the essays you students write that wouldn’t surprise anyone.

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is: Shut up. Just shut up. You can’t complain about a college that employs many of the city and county’s people or are supported by the stress drinking that the students do and then complain about the students. Sorry to get real for a second or even, dare I say, Oswego Lion on you guys, but this is something that bothers me, especially when people living in Oswego have such a huge problem with the students that help keep the city running. Yes, the students need to be respectful of where they live and that not everyone wants to stay up until 4am drinking Utica Club drawing on their friend’s face, but the rest of the city needs to understand the value of having students around.

End rant. Happy Sunday.

The Unofficial End of Summer:

Today you’re probably hung over and dreading the thought of thinking about anything other than gatorade and something greasy. Your professors are talking way to loud about things that hurt your brain even more than the volume of their voice. The kid in front of you smells like a frat house couch and burnt hair. And you? Well you’re in jeans you haven’t washed in a while and a hoodie that barely covers up the fact you haven’t showered since Sunday night.

(Most) Everyone gets off easy during syllabus week. You go to class, sit there for 30 minutes, and head back to the dining hall to stay on pace for the fasted 15 pounds you ever gained during college. Labor Day marks the end of more than just the end of summer; it marks the actual start of the semester. No more easy summer jobs with bosses who don’t count your hours or long lunch breaks that turn in to half of your afternoon. You have 5 syllabi, an internship, and for some reason you thought it was a good idea to tutor Math 102.

Well, just know we’re all in it together. We all want to have as easy of a semester as everyone else. So even though you feel like ripping your own head off today, keep your cool this semester. There are plenty of things on and off campus, besides drinking yourself stupid, that can help take your mind off of that midterm your professor insists on talking about on the third day of class.


I haven’t explored Oswego enough, what should I do?

Whether it was from a student that has been here for 3 years or a freshmen starting their college career at SUNY Oswego, we’ve all heard, or said ourselves, “What is there to do in this town?!” Here’s are a few things worth while:

You’ll be getting here in August, so make sure you enjoy the sun and warm weather while it lasts. You’ll regret it when Oswego becomes a frozen tundra. Head to Breitbeck park with a towel and some friends and a frisbee or with a basketball to try to avoid adding those extra 15 pounds from dining hall food. Afterwards, head towards the river and take in the beauty of the River Walk.

If you’d prefer a swim, head down to the flat rocks or find someone with a car that wants to go to the beach. Yes, that’s right, an actual beach. Though it’s not in Oswego County (it’s in Cayuga), Fair Haven State Park has a nice little beach WITH SAND. So, if big giant rocks aren’t your thing, head 20-25 minutes west on 104 (hang right at Ontario Orchards) and hit the beach. $7 for parking. Just tell your mom you need underwear.

Fingers starting to look like raisins from all the swimming? If you’re still interested in being active, you can head down to The Wall on West First Street. Before you go you can check out this recommendation from Ted Winkworth on his blog.

Getting tired from all that activity? On Tuesday nights at Old City and on Thursday nights in Penfield library (brought to you by Lifestyles) there are Open Mic Nights for you to sit back and enjoy or, if you’re nothing like me and an actual musician, participate in.

Like trivia? Need to make yourself feel better from all that debt your accruing from student loans? Mondays at the Raven Tavern, Tuesdays in the Village Commons (brought to you by Lifestyles), and Wednesdays at Green’s will help you legitimize your college degree.

Once your fingers are back to normal from all that swimming, you can head down to Lighthouse Lanes for some bowling.

Ok, so you’d rather drop a bowling ball on your foot than go bowling. Gotcha. Really not in the mood to leave campus either. I understand. Check out what the Life Styles Center has going on.

Need some food after all that physical activity? Need it cheap? Taco night at the Shed is on Mondays and on Wednesdays at Old City. Wing night at Greens are on Mondays.

Oswego also has a ton of museums: Fort Ontario, The Marine Museum, Richardson Bates House, and Safe Haven. Buy a passport for $20 bucks and get in to all of them!

Make sure you head out to Ontario Orchards. No, the actual orchard where you can pick the apples yourself, not the market, which is also very good if you’re into going local for produce.

When the days start getting shorter and a bit colder, what’s better than some hot coffee and a relaxing atmosphere? Check out any number of coffee shops around Oswego.

Well, that’s all I can think of. I’m sure I missed a few things. Tweet or leave them in the comments.