nate_2001 goes to visit some schools.

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nate_2001
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nate_2001 goes to visit some schools.

Postby nate_2001 » Fri Feb 15, 2008 3:42 pm

Where did this story begin?

Last fall, I rode my bike down the West Coast of the US, telling people I would probably stop and visit some schools along the way. I didn't do that. Actually, most of the time I go for a law school visit, I never actually make it to the school -- with two pretty important exceptions. What can I tell you about the schools I (didn't) visit? Everything important.

I saw UW's campus by bicycle but I didn't stop at the law school (I don't really even know where it is). A friend of a friend rode around Seattle with me and pointed out cool things. They lived on Capitol Hill, which is a cool neighborhood. They make reload messenger bags there, you can buy a vintage couch that someone took out of your great grandmother's house for $600, and people are super friendly. Actually, they might be too friendly. I hear you don't even really need to lock your car doors at night. Things don't get stolen. All the hipster girls smile at you. It almost never snows. And the buses run nearly exclusively on electricity. Something about the city seemed off to me. Despite my trepidation, it would be cool to live there. Make sure you bring tight black jeans, an $80 hoodie, and your fixed gear without brakes and toe-clips.

The best part of Seattle was sitting around with a bunch of East Coasteners telling true crime stories about Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and D.C. The Seattle folks (who are kind soft) got a little scared.

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Vintage?

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Bike Polo?

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Handmade messenger bags!

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nate_2001
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Re: nate_2001 goes to visit some schools.

Postby nate_2001 » Sat Feb 16, 2008 2:56 pm

I didn't look at any law schools in Portland -- I'd been somewhat interested in Lewis and Clark until I realized that I had choices further up the rankings. Despite my lack of knowledge concerning law schools in this city, I feel more than qualified to blog about them.

The quality of life in Portland for law students is high. The quality of life for everyone in Portland is high. You can ride your bike to the beach in 1 day. If you don't want to ride 90 miles in one day, you can take a bus round trip for $15. There are a million bars and breweries in the city. There is a 24 hour donut shop downtown that crusts fruity pebbles and other shit onto their pastries. Portland is also home to a nice river and the largest independent book store I've ever been to. I also hear the young people are loose and the sex is casual. Meth is the drug of choice and the hipsters all seem to be on it. They dress like it, anyhow. That's one of the great things about Portland -- as a self-proclaimed hipster capitol, the hipsters are constantly outdoing each other with wild fashion and ridiculous snobby attitudes. They are to hipsterdom as Zoolander was to male modeling. The whole thing is outrageously entertaining. If you ride a bike, there's even more to laugh at and do.

Portland has an elaborate bicycle infrastructure and considers itself to be on the forefront of urban planning. I am anti-bike lane (they contribute to global climate change) and benefit from urban planning, so this is a wash. However, there are lots of cyclists. You can race, drink and ride, ride and drink, drink and race, and cruise around the city all as part of some organized sub-clique of cyclist. Maybe there's a group for law students that rides, drinks, and cites cases. I don't know.

If you go to school here you're definitely going to want to bring your bike. If you want to be hip, you want to bring your scarves, your fixie, your attitude, and some sort of post-faux-hawk hair style.

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What says fun and hip better than an upscale cupcake only bakery?

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nate_2001
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Re: nate_2001 goes to visit some schools.

Postby nate_2001 » Sat Feb 16, 2008 2:58 pm

The day I arrived in San Francisco, I was tired. I'd been traveling for two weeks on my own and was really looking forward to having a good time in a metropolitan area that has such a good reputation for being fun and interesting. I wasn't prepared for battling hundreds of tourists with pale sun-deprived legs wearing fanny packs and tight khaki shorts. The Golden Gate Bridge is interesting but hard to concentrate on for the crowds -- and it was a Monday.

I stayed in the Mission. I recommend the Mission. Where else can you drink $1-$2 beers and sing karaoke with ultra-cool hipsters, socially awkward and awkwardly rich Google employees, and neighborhood alcoholics? San Francisco reminds me a little of my home town but it actually has an economic base and a vibrant population. Actually, I guess the only real similarity is that they're both old cities. San Fran also has restaurants that offer vegan mole sauce and most corner stores have a small bulk section. Only in California, right? The book stores were also good and I found several radical books that I'd been interested in for a while.

I had three goals in San Francisco -- Relax, Visit some old co-workers, and Check out Berkeley's Campus and Boalt in particular. The first goal trumped the other two, and I never made it close to Berkeley to visit the school or Oakland to visit the co-workers. Whatever -- I had a good time. I can absolutely see myself attending Boalt or any of the other good law schools in this city. Just be careful on the BART -- the seats are upholstered so you can't really tell if they're wet until it's much much too late.

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You can tell the good time I had by the red mark on my forehead. I hit a low vertical tree branch with my head at 4am. People kept asking me if I got into a fight.

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Good two and three layer stencil graffiti.

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Chilaquiles! The only real hangover cure!

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nate_2001
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Re: nate_2001 goes to visit some schools.

Postby nate_2001 » Wed Feb 20, 2008 8:13 pm

Earlier in the month, I went to visit some friends in Brooklyn. I thought this would be a good time to take a look at NYU's and Columbia's campuses. I was initially a little nervous because they both offer self guided tours, and there's really nothing more awkward than poking around school on your own trying not to look too out of place. To make myself blend in even more, I went out with two old friends from high school the night before my visit. Apparently the only thing that has changed since high school is the scenery, because the activities we choose to participate in certainly haven't. I made it back to the place where I was staying around 1pm the next day -- tired, dehydrated, a little confused, wired on caffeine, and yearning for new more comfortable shoes. I almost decided not to visit the schools ala UC Berkeley (see previous post), but I wasn't willing to give up this time! I didn't have any excuse not to look around so I did. I headed out looking the worse for wear (especially since I hadn't shaved in days) and hopped on the subway.

The first thing I saw at Columbia was this:

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I ask: who needs this many books? Clearly Columbia takes itself and it's royal charter very seriously if they're going to build a library like this. There's another library of similar size sitting opposite, too. Damn.

The law school is really nice on the inside, but it looks strange from the outside. It's well lit. Students are everywhere inside with their laptops and study groups. I didn't go into the library. CLS is right on the main campus in way upper Manhattan. There are lots of restaurants around and it seems ok. I have a friend who lives kind of nearby. He doesn't like the neighborhood a whole lot. I think it might not be real enough for him, but I'm not sure.

I had to meet a friend to go shoe shopping near NYU, so I had to leave Columbia. NYU is in the village and it's kind of a wild place in a few ways. First, the fashion is strange. I saw a million dudes biting Johnny Knoxville's style from a few years ago -- the aviator sunglasses, slightly baggy jeans, and a full zip hoodie. Lame. I saw a few women wearing black knee high galoshes with skirts and black tights. You don't think that sounds hot? You're wrong. I also saw one guy who looked and dressed like Herc from The Wire when he's undercover in season 1 or 2 -- Big puffy fur lined jacket, white sneakers, gold chain. I needed it. The shoe stores in lower Manhattan are ubiquitous and large. I didn't find my new kicks, however. Maybe in Boston?

After the people watching and the shopping, I took a quick look around the campus. NYU Law is pretty big -- there are two large buildings with an underground connection. The students I saw were pretty much all wearing suits (something was going on) and didn't want to talk to me. I felt like I should have shaved. I think I liked NYU's buildings a little better. The one had a bunch of historic photos on the walls. Who doesn't like historic photos?

The night life in Lower Manhattan is great. I went to an art show, a hip-hop club, and the nastiest bar I've ever been inside. The art party was dumb like art parties in every other city. The hip hop club was weird -- lots of youngish college type people grinding on each other but still maintaining about 6 inches of space between their bodies. I got screamed on by some young woman outside who told me 'to go back to my loft.' I laughed, standing there in my busted adidas thinking about how rich I'm not and how many lofts in LES I don't have. My boy started screaming about how he grew up in the projects (which is true). I was hyped. There is one bar somewhere around 1st in LES that still keeps it real. My man is the bartender so everything was free. We saw one fight and one shouting match. It was supposedly a tame night.

To sum up, all of the buildings at both schools are really nice and comfortable and accessible. To me, the Village is much more vital than CLS's area, but people in lower Manhattan are wild -- high fashion assholes.




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