Columbia vs. NYU location

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re-applicant
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Columbia vs. NYU location

Postby re-applicant » Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:40 pm

I've read tons of Columbia vs. NYU threads here, that always seem to end in something like: both schools are very good, choose the on that you'd be happiest at.

People always talk about each school's immediate neighborhood, but I wonder if their differences are overblown. I come from the Bay Area in California, where I frequently drive 45 minutes to get into San Francisco. By contrast, Columbia can be a 20 minute subway ride from NYU. Are people who say that Columbia's location is bad just spoiled by New York City? Is it that hard to venture away from Morningside Heights? The whole island is only 23 square miles (13.4 x 2.3 miles at its longest and widest). By contrast, San Francisco is 47 square miles (approximately 7 x 7 miles). Or is Morningside Heights like some kind of dead zone?

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St.Remy
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Re: Columbia vs. NYU location

Postby St.Remy » Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:53 pm

Many people like Morningside Heights better, but it's all a question of personal taste. Morningside is closer to the Met and Central Park, still has plenty of restaurants and bars in close proximity, and generally has a more grown-up feel in my opinion. No matter where you go in New York it won't be a dead zone, so neither place is a bad choice. If you are trying to decide between them the most useful thing is to visit.

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2ofspades
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Re: Columbia vs. NYU location

Postby 2ofspades » Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:18 pm

re-applicant wrote:Are people who say that Columbia's location is bad just spoiled by New York City?

No.

re-applicant wrote:Is it that hard to venture away from Morningside Heights?

It's not so much that it's hard to get places from Columbia as that it's substantially easier to get places from NYU.

re-applicant wrote:The whole island is only 23 square miles (13.4 x 2.3 miles at its longest and widest).

13 miles can be quite long when the MTA is operating your subway train.

re-applicant wrote:Or is Morningside Heights like some kind of dead zone?

It wouldn't be fair to call it dead...I think the main point is that those students who were interested in Columbia and NYU at least in part because they enjoy the idea of living in the city are, in general, more likely to have their expectations fulfilled in the Village.
Last edited by 2ofspades on Fri Sep 10, 2010 6:49 am, edited 2 times in total.

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re-applicant
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Re: Columbia vs. NYU location

Postby re-applicant » Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:30 pm

Thanks for the responses. I visited both last year. The sense that I'm getting is that Morningside Heights might be comparable to a lot of other big cities, save maybe places like Michigan Ave in Chicago or Union Square/Market in San Francisco, but NYU area is a whole different degree of city. Is this a credited conclusion?

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Blindc1rca
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Re: Columbia vs. NYU location

Postby Blindc1rca » Sat Sep 04, 2010 8:41 am

I've visited both as well and I feel like Columbia's location is waaaay more appealing, but again that's personal preference for you. I like morningside because it's more manageable. I'm from a southern city of about 200,000 residents and I don't think I could handle the ultra-urban insanity of lower-manhattan all the time. Morningside heights has more of a neighborhood feel, and like you said, it's still in NYC proper so it's not like there's nothing to do.

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thrillhouse
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Re: Columbia vs. NYU location

Postby thrillhouse » Sat Sep 04, 2010 8:56 pm

Hanging in the village is definitely more fun than hanging in Morningside, but living is a completely different story.

Purely anecdotal, so take this as you will:

In the decade I've lived in the Northeast, I have known at least 10 people who thought it would be great to live in the village because it is a happening place. Turns out, they loved partying in the village, going out in the village, but hated living there. As a consequence, every single one of them moved (save one woman who I'll get to). For some, the experience was so terrible it ruined NYC for them entirely and they moved to another state. Others move just moved to other parts of NYC (usually Brooklyn).

The woman who didn't move? She couldn't move because she owns the apartment. So, what does she do? She drives to another house she owns in Central Jersey every day and goes back to NY to work (dentist). Moral of the story? Driving hours each day to live in Central NJ is better than living in the village.

spondee
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Re: Columbia vs. NYU location

Postby spondee » Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:20 pm

To counter the above, I know a lot of people that live in the Village and LOVE it. If I could afford a good apartment there, I would.

Morningside Heights can be a good neighborhood if you've never lived in NY before because it balances big-city and local-neighborhood feels. But not everyone needs that. And there are many other neighborhoods that offer that. Most of them are more fun than Morningside Heights, and nearly all of them are closer to NYU than to CLS.

Choosing between the locations is something to do yourself. Go to each and visit and see how you feel.

But, first, get into both schools.

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2ofspades
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Re: Columbia vs. NYU location

Postby 2ofspades » Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:56 pm

spondee wrote:Morningside Heights can be a good neighborhood if you've never lived in NY before because it balances big-city and local-neighborhood feels. But not everyone needs that. And there are many other neighborhoods that offer that. Most of them are more fun than Morningside Heights, and nearly all of them are closer to NYU than to CLS.


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SupraVln180
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Re: Columbia vs. NYU location

Postby SupraVln180 » Fri Sep 10, 2010 1:44 am

I grew up on the Lower East Side (of Manhattan, if you guys don't know what that means) so I may be biased, but I absolutely hate Morningside Heights, it will be cool for 2 weeks and you will be sick of it, believe me you will hate the surrounding neighborhoods (project housing developments on Amsterdam Avenue). It will start to become a nuisance. However, Columbia IS still the better school. But, strictly location-wise, at NYU you will have a much more rewarding 3 years. More bars, better people and way more cultured... Morningside Heights while at times can seem more "grown-up" it can also seem more frat-boy-ish.

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Thomas Jefferson
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Re: Columbia vs. NYU location

Postby Thomas Jefferson » Fri Sep 10, 2010 2:02 am

Columbia > NYU

10 block radius of NYU >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 10 block radius of Columbia

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sgtgrumbles
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Re: Columbia vs. NYU location

Postby sgtgrumbles » Fri Sep 17, 2010 1:22 pm

I transferred to and graduated from NYU as an undergrad and have lived in the city for almost four years now. While I haven't applied yet, I have a feeling I'm going to end up deciding between Columbia and NYU (or abandoning the city altogether for Ann Arbor, Philly or Chicago because I'm honestly kind of sick of living here - that's a subject for another post, but I can elaborate if people are interested). This is going to be a biased response because of personal preferences that may not hold for everybody. I find Morningside Heights to be a little homogeneous and square. The Upper West Side is primarily very wealthy professionals or extremely well-to-do Manhattan families. The degree of privilege and the disconnection from the reality of life for the rest of New Yorkers is a little off-putting to me. Largely because of this, and because of Columbia's vibe, too, the neighborhood is very preppy, another turn-off for me. However, I'm not a fan of the Village, either. The conspicuous consumption is the same, the crowd is just hipper and younger. FWIW, my progression of neighborhoods lived in has been Chinatown (NYU dorm), Williamsburg, Clinton Hill and Park Slope (the latter three are all in Brooklyn, if you're not familiar). All of these neighborhoods have their own cliches and downsides associated with them (Williamsburg especially), but I like the low-key vibe of Clinton Hill and Park Slope over any neighborhood in Manhattan. I've enjoyed living in genuinely diverse neighborhoods that have a mix of middle- and working-class people and young people and families, honest-to-goodness green spaces and public parks and a greater feeling of inclusiveness than most Manhattan neighborhoods, in my experience. If you live in Brooklyn, there's even a chance that your neighbor will say hello to you! I grew up in a modest, eclectic neighborhood in Atlanta and find that the neighborhoods in west Brooklyn, close to Manhattan, mimic the best aspects of my home neighborhood: diversity; affordability; access to cultural events; cool cafes, bookstores, restaurants, music venues and so on. I have neither the desire nor the salary to move back to the city; considering Columbia will involve a tough decision about whether I'm willing to do that - or commute one hour each way from my Park Slope apartment. Again, this is just one person's opinion. I don't mean this to come off as especially sanctimonious, though I imagine it may. Take it with a grain of salt.

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sgtgrumbles
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Re: Columbia vs. NYU location

Postby sgtgrumbles » Fri Sep 17, 2010 3:32 pm

Oh, also, you could toy around with the Livability Calculator from statistics wiz Nate Silver's Best Places to Live In NYC feature from New York Magazine. Essentially, he attempted to quantify the desirable characteristics of neighborhoods. You can choose to place greater importance on some aspects, e.g., affordability, creative capital, and less emphasis on others, e.g., schools, night life, then calculate which neighborhoods are best suited to your preferences. It's pretty nifty.

Livability Calculator: --LinkRemoved--

The Best Places to Live in NYC: --LinkRemoved--

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JG Hall
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Re: Columbia vs. NYU location

Postby JG Hall » Fri Sep 17, 2010 3:40 pm

You don't have to live in the neighborhood you go to school. If I went to NYU I'd still live in FiDi (new apartments at a more reasonable rent), and if I went to CLS I'd live somewhere between Lincoln Center and the 90s.

dissonance1848
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Re: Columbia vs. NYU location

Postby dissonance1848 » Fri Sep 17, 2010 4:03 pm

Is OP talking about living by CLS/NYU or attending CLS/NYU?

If OP can go to either, it better not be about location. OP should go for CLS and then live wherever they see fit, obviously.

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M51
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Re: Columbia vs. NYU location

Postby M51 » Mon Sep 27, 2010 4:34 pm

Assuming you want to live close to the school (which has many benefits as the subways start taking forever, ~15min wait each, to come past midnight), where the schools are located should matter to you. Also, New York is very neighborhood-y, so each neighborhood will have a fairly distinctive feel to it, and we're very proud of that.

It's not like Morningside Heights is a dead zone, it's just not filled with crazy teens and pre-teens every time the weekend rolls around, and you really don't need to worry about the b&t crowd (I would know, I used to be part of that crowd). On the flip side, you also do legitimately have less options for bars (only around a dozen) and less options for food (only around fifty) than you would living by the village. I think most people would find those stats more than enough, but it is really hard to drag friends up here from other parts of the city, so expect to do a lot of subway/cabbing on your end. You also do get a nice college-town feel from the Morningside heights area though, which is a definite plus.

Most of the actual nightlife for post-grads in NYC centers around the east village, lower east side, williamsburg.... all of which are actually fairly difficult places to get to from Morningside (take a 20 min cab ride, or a 40-50 min subway ride), and you can at least halve your travel time if you lived in the west village.

But hey, if you want to commute to school (which some people do), or if your immediate surrounds really don't matter at all to you... then you can safely ignore the difference.

sophie316
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Re: Columbia vs. NYU location

Postby sophie316 » Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:04 am

I go to NYU. Last year I lived in the W vill and hated it(the neighbourhood as a place to live in, i like the school). This year I live in Morningside and commute. So much happier.




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