If you have researched or visited Penn, I am sure that you have heard all about the four undergraduate schools, Locust Walk, the Palestra, and maybe even very “Penn” majors such as PPE (Politics, Philosophy, and Economics) or BBB (Biological Basis of Behavior). However, there is one part of the Penn experience that you might not have heard about: Magic Carpet.
No, Magic Carpet has nothing to do with a carpet, but it has everything to do with magic. Magic Carpet is a food cart that serves vegetarian, middle-eastern-focused food around Penn’s campus. Students flock to the cart for their Veggie-Burger-Wednesdays, magic meatballs over salad, and oatmeal cookies every day.
Lunchtime at Magic Carpet is my time in the day to take stock of what has already happened in the day, prepare for what's ahead, and just relax. It is a time to continue on my conversation with classmates in my Financial Meltdowns class as we wait in line for veggie burgers on Wednesday. It is a time to grab a falafel salad, plug in headphones, and sit in Wynn Commons basking in the sun.
Besides the delicious food and excuse to eat a cookie most days (shh dont tell my mom), Magic Carpet provides warmth and hospitality. The cart’s owners brave all types of weather to serve the Penn community. They know student’s names and make a point to ask students about their days. On a campus of over 10,000 undergraduate students, the interactions at Magic Carpet could make that number feel like 1,000.
Where I eat lunch most days might seem insignificant, but it is a daily part of my life here at Penn. I remember when I was looking at schools, I always asked students where they ate around campus. Although Magic Carpet is a food cart that is driven away from 36th and Spruce at 3:30 every day, its place in my Penn experience is lasting.