Posted by: Gwen Shaw | 5th Apr, 2017

Why I love living in Brooklyn

Earlier this year, the blog featured a post on why you should live in Queens.  Queens is a wonderful place, with excellent museums, including the Queens Museum and PS1, as well as the Socrates Sculpture Park, and awesome Thai food like SriPraPhai in Woodside.  The post is very convincing, and enumerates Queens’ many advantages, such as close proximity the GC via many subway lines, and affordability.  However, I am unwavering in my commitment to another borough: Brooklyn.  Since moving to New York City seven years ago, I have lived in Upper Manhattan and, for the last five years, in Brooklyn; I fell in love with the county of Kings.  I don’t think I will ever want to live anywhere else in NYC, for a great many reasons.

First, Brooklyn’s arts and culture are formidable, with free concerts, art openings, pop-up galleries, and food fairs throughout the year.  We also host the first distilleries in New York City since Prohibition, and have several wineries, which are making Brooklyn their home base for wine production and retailing.  There’s also the Brooklyn Brewery, Sixpoint Brewery, Kelso and a burgeoning homebrew community. There are lots of places to get excellent food, including the borough’s own Fairway Market in Red Hook, Sahadi’s in Brooklyn Heights (better than Zabar’s!) and various shops and stores by neighborhood.  In addition, the borough is one of the most accessible by bicycle!  Brooklyn’s neighborhoods are distinctive and relatively discrete, and most importantly, easily navigated by dedicated bike lanes that can get you from Brooklyn, to Manhattan (if you are comfortable riding there), and back—hey, why give the MTA all your money if you don’t have to?  (NYC and Bike CUNY have resources on safe riding, and even a savvy cyclist road safety course!)

In terms of entertainment/distractions, Brooklyn has the newly finished Barclays Arena, host to the Nets, as well as the Brooklyn Cyclones, excellent in their own right but also a farm team to the Mets.  There are also excellent music venues of all stripes, from the live-music Mecca Zebulon, to Jalopy (featuring old-time music, Americana, and more) to the Bell House in Gowanus, The Knitting Factory and Music Hall of Williamsburg in Williamsburg, and other independent venues in Greenpoint, Bushwick, Ditmas, and beyond.

Finally, the neighborhoods and architecture are beautiful.  Brooklyn is often known for its “Brownstone Crescent,” an architectural feature sweeping across north/central Brooklyn from Brooklyn Heights, to BoCoCa (Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill, and Carroll Gardens), through Bedford Stuyvesant, and south through Park Slope and beyond.  Brownstones are beautiful all year round, but, covered in snow make the sometimes-harsh winters in NYC bearable because of their beauty.  Not to get too poetic about this, Brooklyn is also as affordable as you want it to be; neighborhoods in North Brooklyn can be more expensive, as can other neighborhoods near Downtown Brooklyn, but deals abound, especially if you take the time to look and go through a no-fee broker. (I have used and would recommend Rapid Realty.)  Other affordable neighborhoods, popular with students and recent graduates, include Crown Heights, near the express stop for both the 2,3 and 4.5 train lines at either Franklin Avenue or Utica, as well as neighborhoods such as Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, across the park from Park Slope, Ditmas Park, located near Victorian Flatbush in all its turn-of-the-century glory, Sunset Park, and quiet, family oriented Bay Ridge (albeit a far trek on the R train).

What do you think?  Did I miss any neighborhoods that stand out to you?  Let us know in the comments section below!

Posted by: Marisa Panzani | 2nd Apr, 2017

Registration and Orientation information

Please be advised that new student registration at the Graduate Center is scheduled to begin on August 16th.   Registration information will be sent by email in early August.  Please make sure that you update us if you make any changes to your email address between now and then.  Send those updates to admissions@gc.cuny.edu prior to registering.  After you have registered, any updates to your contact info should be directed to registrar@gc.cuny.edu.

New Student Orientation will likely be scheduled on August 22nd.  More information will be made available on this site later on in the early summer.

You can see the full academic calendar at http://www.gc.cuny.edu/CUNY_GC/media/CUNY-Graduate-Center/PDF/Registrar/Fall-2017-Academic-Calendar.pdf?ext=.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: Christina Katopodis | 30th Mar, 2017

East Harlem: Culture and Community

HarlemArt

Harlem is a great place to live. I live in the Graduate Housing building on 118th Street between Lexington & 3rd Avenue. My commute to the CUNY Graduate Center is easy, and I live within walking distance of several grocery stores, a Target, a community garden, a butcher that makes delicious chorizo, and some of the best Cuban food I’ve had in my life. Kids and young families walk around outside when the weather is nice, people wave to each other from across the street, and some elderly folks sit in the garden all day and talk.

There’s a church across the street where they sing carols at Christmas and a fruit and vegetable vendor around the corner that sells the most amazing strawberries, lettuce, apples, you name it. Our building is brand new and rent is average for the neighborhood for a new building, the gym downstairs is well-equipped, and all the staff members are friendly and quick to attend to any questions or maintenance issues you might have. I’ve never lived in a better apartment community where you hear people talking philosophy over laundry or watching basketball downstairs. It’s a convenient location, the rooftop view is lovely, and it was a great introduction to living in New York City. I have friends who live nearby and they also love the area.

There are also fantastic restaurants in Yorkville and the Upper East Side and plenty of coffee and sandwich shops to study in or meet friends. On the same block as the building is the Silberman School of Social Work with a cafe downstairs where you can get cheap coffee and breakfast, and two blocks away is the Family Health Center of Harlem (linked to Mount Sinai) where I go to the walk-in clinic and see my regular Primary Care Physician. The wait is short and the healthcare quality excellent.

If you like exercise, the jog to Central Park is quick and easy, and along 5th Avenue as you head downtown into the Upper East Side you’ll find the Metropolitan Museum and the Guggenheim. If you’re into race culture, definitely join the New York Road Runners (NYRR) and sign up for one of their half marathons! I go to the Super Runner’s Shop on Lexington & 89th Street. If you like biking, I often ride down to Central Park.

East Harlem is a great place to live, from 120th Street down to Yorkville and the Upper East Side. East Harlem is generally more affordable than other neighborhoods, from the rent to the groceries, and has been a great introduction, for me, to living in New York City. I would highly recommend it for anyone.

If you’ve applied for housing and are waiting on the wait list, it can sometimes be frustrating not hearing back or knowing exactly where you are on the wait list. I was on the wait list, and I got pulled up over the summer. I had a friend also on the wait list who they pulled up with me so we could be in a 2-bedroom together. My recommendation is to just be patient. Finding a place to live in NYC often happens at the last minute. What I did to find a roommate was I got an email list of new students from my program’s APO (assistant program officer) and emailed them personally to ask if anyone was moving to the city to start the program and looking for a roommate.

Christina Katopodis
English PhD Student
Adjunct Lecturer at Hunter College
Posted by: Gerry Martini | 5th Mar, 2017

Why You Should Move to Queens

Moving to New York is quite daunting if you are an out-of-towner, as I was. The city is huge, expensive, and haphazardly designed; how’s a non-native New Yorker to know what neighborhoods to look at apartments in? Well now you’ll know (because I am telling you!) what I learned by chance: you should move to Queens.

Forget Manhattan, especially anywhere south of Central Park, right away. This is graduate school—you don’t have the cash for that sort of thing. Brooklyn has been the place du jure for grad students, but I have found the neighborhoods less accessible by the subway (in the areas that you will be able to afford at least) to the Graduate Center, more expensive, and a little too hipster-ish for my taste. Plus there are all those buildings with that ugly plastic siding. Who thought that was a good idea?

Queens, on the other hand, is slightly more affordable (though admittedly that is slowly changing in some areas). Many of the neighborhoods that I know best (like Long Island City, Astoria, Sunnyside, Woodside, Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, etc.) are a single subway line (either the 7, N, or Q, depending) away from the Graduate Center, making for a total commute of less than 45 minutes or even a half an hour. Plus there are more besides these that make for a short commute as well (the F and M lines are also easy ones).

Queens is also the most diverse county in the nation, so we’ve got some killer food of all stripes; you name it, we’ve probably got it. And it’s just generally invigorating being around that variety of people (when we were first looking at apartments in our neighborhood, we heard at least six languages on the street in one afternoon on a walkabout).

I take a lot of pride in the neighborhood that I live in—in embracing it and all it has to offer. We go to the farmer’s market every Saturday chat with many other shoppers (and our favorite vendors); we frequent our neighborhood shops with their local owners; we eat at the many restaurants that make it such a great locale. But regardless of whether you take my advice and choose one of the neighborhoods in Queens, these are the sorts of things that you should do when you move to any area of NYC. Being integrated into your local community—not just the academic community in which grad students often find themselves totally absorbed—will really help you enjoy this fantastic city all the more. And a happy grad student is a productive grad student.

Posted by: Marisa Panzani | 1st Mar, 2017

Roommate matching!

This post should be used to match roommates.  Go ahead and list requests for roommates in the comments section.  Please do be mindful, however, that this is an open forum and you should not post information that is too personal (i.e. addresses or telephone numbers) and be sure to meet each other the first time in a public place.

 

Posted by: Marisa Panzani | 24th Feb, 2017

Housing information

If you are coming to New York from another location, you may already be starting to think about housing for when you get here. Keep in mind that if you are currently an out-of-state student who will be trying to establish NY State residency (for in-state tuition purposes) you will need to do so by August 25th of 2017 in order to be eligible for in-state tuition in Fall of 2018.  This applies to US citizens and US permanent residents only.

While the Graduate Center does have graduate housing, there are limited spots. You may want to contact Haslyn Miller, our housing specialist, at hmiller@gc.cuny.edu for assistance in how to begin your housing search.

The next post on this blog will be allow you to seek out roommates.  And we plan to have current GC students from out-of-state post about their experiences with various NYC neighborhoods.  Keep checking back in to read their perspectives!

 

 

Posted by: Marisa Panzani | 29th Jan, 2017

Welcome new students!

This blog is for newly admitted students to the Graduate Center, CUNY.

We would like to welcome and congratulate you! If you haven’t already accepted our offer of admission please do so by logging back into the online application.

Official Documents – Transcripts and Test Scores

All admitted students need to send official, hard copies of all their academic transcripts and those which were degree programs need to also list proof of degree.  These should be sent to the Office of Admissions prior to registration.  Questions regarding these documents should be emailed to admissions@gc.cuny.edu

Please have transcripts sent by mail to:

Office of Admissions, The Graduate Center

365 Fifth Avenue, Room 7201

New York, NY 10016

Official GRE/TOEFL/GMAT/IELTS scores need to be sent to The Graduate Center directly by the test issuer.

The official school code for GRE and TOEFL is: 2113

The official school code for GMAT is: XWT-S7-47

Immunizations

All new students are required to submit up to date immunization information prior to registration.

NY State Residency (F1 and J1 visa holders will not be able to file for residency)

If you are a US citizen and have lived at your current NY state address for more than a year, you will automatically be receiving in-state tuition.

If you are a US citizen and a NY state resident, but have lived at your present NY State address for less than one calendar year, please fill out the NY State Residency Form and return it to the Office of Admissions by mail or email.  Guidelines for completing the residency form can be found here.

If you are a Permanent Resident or if you are on a visa other than B, C, D, F, H2, H3, H4, J, M, O, P, Q, or TN and live in NY State please fill out the NY State Residency Form and return it to the Office of Admissions by mail or email.  Guidelines for completing the residency form can be found here.

Registration

Registration instructions will be sent to you by email usually in the second week in August.  Since that is several months from now, however, don’t forget to keep us informed of any email address changes.  (You can send those updates to admissions@gc.cuny.edu)

International Students

Applicants who will apply for Nonimmigrant F-1 or J-1 Entry Visas to the United States, and applicants already in the United States in F-1 or J-1 Student Status must complete the “Request for Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019) and Declaration & Certification of Finances for International Students.”

1.  United States government regulations require documentary evidence of financial support for the duration of a proposed course of study prior to the issuance of the Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20 or DS-2019).
2.  This documentation may also be requested by United States Consular officials upon application for an Entry Visa, by U.S., immigration inspectors at Ports of Entry into the United States, or by immigration inspectors when applications are made for extension of stay or change of Status in the United States.
3.  Submit original documents in support of this application and prepare an additional set of original documents for support of visa applications.

An applicant who would like to change Immigration status to F-1 Student Status should consult the Office of International Students for information on the correct procedure to follow.

Permanent Residents must document their status in the Office of Admissions.

All questions regarding Immigration Status should be directed to the Office of International Students at intstu@gc.cuny.edu

More New Student Information

We will update this blog regularly throughout the summer with topics that we hope you will find interesting and informative.  Please feel free to leave comments about what additional topics you might like us to cover.  Furthermore, we suggest take the time to explore the rest of the CUNY Commons.  It is a resource that will become fully available to you as a member and content creator once you have fully registered as a student and have a gradcenter.cuny.edu email address.

We look forward to you becoming a part of our intellectual community!

 

 

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