As the date for phase three of the NYU housing lottery looms closer, I can’t help but notice the number of hits that I’ve been receiving from people’s search queries of some variant of “Gramercy Green NYU;” of course what you’ll soon realize is that I mention the residence more so in passing as opposed to offering a review of some sort. I’ve hesitated for some time about weighing in on the dorm since I don’t really have any photos to offer you, but I’ve finally decided to give in, and should probably direct you to better photos of the room set-up if that’s really what you’re looking for, such as here.
To give you a better idea and to preface this entry, I lived on the seventh floor in a studio (room 718) during the 2009-10 academic year, and faced the courtyard; so as you can imagine, I did not have the bragging rights that some of my friends did what with their floor-to-length windows or view of the Empire State Building. But with that said, my positioning does little to affect my living at Gramercy Green.
Given that it’s a studio in Manhattan, it’s a pretty sweet deal in terms of what you’re paying (electricity, heating and internet are included in your fees); you are equipped with gas stove, dishwasher, touchscreen microwave (I’ve personally never figured out why people are so marveled by this), stainless steel fridge, marble counter-tops, fairly spacious wardrobe space, bathtub/shower in what I would estimate to be an almost 400 sq ft apartment (feel free to correct me, my estimating skills aren’t always the best). My living situation was a tad different since my roommate moved out before the start of second semester, and she didn’t properly cancel her housing, so I ended up living in that space all by myself at no extra cost.
The apartment itself is pretty great. I made use of the kitchen pretty much every day, and made quite a few delicious meals. In terms of problems, I had few issues. If I did, however, I could easily send in a work order request, which would be taken care of the same or following day.
Do note that the walls aren’t all that thick. But it’s not so thin that you are so easily rattled by your neighbor’s movements or thumping bass. It’s just a side note that I thought I would mention in the event you were thinking of moving that large sub-woofer into the apartment (and that probably is the same situation for most of the dorms). With that said, the RAs (resident assistant), at least in my year, aren’t so painful in terms of cracking down on you for having loud music; as long as everyone else is all right with it, then it’s all good.
For those lacking a computer (as I did for one week leading up to finals – my motherboard fried itself and had to go into repair at Apple, and this one of the few times that the computer has to be sent out), there is a computer lab, which houses brand new computers (the lab opened in late 2009) and printers. That means that you won’t necessarily have to drag your sleep-deprived body to Bobst if you are having computer issues. As to which level it can be found, I can’t quite recall the exact floor, but I do remember it being either the fourth, fifth, or sixth.
Garbage chutes are located on every floor, which is a relief if you are a freshman coming from the Paris Oberkampf residence (no more going to the basement for you!). Laundry is located, I do believe, on every other floor, or something to that effect. The seventh floor had laundry machines, so I can’t really be an authority on how the machines are distributed. Although, I can tell you that the machine makes use of your NYU campus cash, eating up $1 for each load of wash, and another $1 for each round of drying.
The location of the residence isn’t as far as some people make it out to be. The walk to campus is about twenty minutes to twenty-five minutes depending on your pace. There is also a bus (route E) that does take you directly to campus; but be warned that it is often packed when all the kids are heading off to their early morning classes and coming home in the evenings. Also, take into account that there are 900 students living in the building, and only three operating elevators. So if you have a 9am class, your best bet is to leave a few minutes than you think you should so as to ensure you catch the elevator. Your nearest subways would be the 23rd street stop for the 6 train (Lexington and 23rd street), and for the NRW (5th avenue and 23rd street), which just so happens to be next to Shake Shack.
On another note, freshmen have asked me if there is a gym, and yes there is a small one. Don’t be expecting something of the Palladium caliber, the gym has several treadmills/elliptical machines, along with a few weight training/muscle building machines. With that said, it should be sufficient enough if you are just looking to keep fit, but are not looking into some massive muscle building or activities like rock climbing. The gym, though, can get full quite easily because of its small capacity, so you may want to think about when the best work out time is for you. And in that basement level that houses the gym, you can also find a study area, and two large rooms, which are equipped with televisions, along with pool and Foosball tables.
The huge downer? Cellphone reception. If you are with Verizon (and if you know me well, you know that I abhor the network for lack of SIM cards) then you will have no problems. But users of AT&T and T-Mobile beware (especially if you don’t have those large windows to let in those cellphone tower waves), you’re going to either look like a spiffy business pro with your Bluetooth head set or become best friends with the window since your face is going to be pressed up against it much of the time. And if you’re wondering, I spent my time looking spiffy with a Nokia N97 and a BlackBerry Bold 9000 (and then 9700) on both networks. To clarify, my Toronto based phone was set to roam and it would affix itself to AT&T but my main carrier for my US phone is T-Mobile.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed living at Gramercy Green. Some students have complained about the distance from campus, but that is in itself what I found charming about this particular dorm. It provides the illusion of not really living on campus, but while still maintaining some sort of a community (look to the faculty fellows in residence for some great events, such as those of Phil and Will). The residence is still close to a lot of things, including the Union Sq market, the East Village, and the subway if you are planning some sort of far-off adventure. So there you have it: my general write-up of living at Gramercy Green, feel free to pose any questions.