City Discussion

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ticklecricket
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City Discussion

Postby ticklecricket » Sat Feb 19, 2011 4:25 am

So, we're nearing the end of acceptance-season and moving into open house and decision season, so I thought we could share information about locations where others may be attending grad school.

I've been living in cambridge, MA for the past two years, so I can give advice to anyone looking at MIT or Harvard (Not that you need me to convince you to go to those schools)

Honestly, Cambridge is an awesome place, and I wish I could stay here longer. Cost of living is high, unless you are from NYC or California, but you have pretty much anything on hand you could ever want. The city is one of the most walkable places in the country and Cambridge is bountiful with bike lanes (Boston proper not so much). A car can be nice for grocery shopping and weekend trips, but is far from necessary. It gets pretty cold in the winter and we have gotten 70 inches of snow this winter, but that's above average. The weather in New England is also really indecisive. Two days ago it was 20 degrees, today it was almost 50. We got a thunderstorm tonight and I wouldn't be surprised if we got a snowstorm the next week. I've seen it 70 in the beginning of February and I've gotten snow days in March. That said, It's nice in the summer and cold in the winter; you get a nice range of seasons.

I currently live in the Inman Square area, and I'd highly recommend it to anyone looking to live off campus. Both schools are about 15 minutes away and there are busses that go directly to campus for those cold winter nights. It's got a lot going on for it and is relatively cheap (I pay $650 a month which is cheap for the city) There's a ton of great restaurants and jazz clubs out here and you're really close to the center of the city.

Harvard Square tends to be over run by tourists and visitors, but there are a ton of great bars and restaurants. Kendall Square (MIT) tends to be low key, with a lot of business people there during the day and empty at night. I could make a ton of suggestions for all different types of restaurants and music venues, but you probably wouldn't be able to see those during your open house weekends anyways. Suffice it to say, if there is something you want, there are probably two or three places that do a great job in 15 minute radius. (I could answer any specifics, but a decent scouring of yelp should lead you to the same conclusions) If I had one piece of advice for the city, it is don't fall into a rut. Keep trying out new places, there are a million options and one day, after living in the same place for two years, you will find a place you absolutely love and say "why didn't I ever eat here before?"

The one thing I do hate about the city is it is dead at night. A lot of restaurants close early, Liquor stores close at 11, The subway stops at 12 and bars close at 2. Even if you're not into that scene, it sucks if you're visiting friends across town and have to leave at 11:30.

If anyone has any more questions about Cambridge or Boston, I'd love to answer them. I can't speak much to the qualities of either school, but I know the city pretty well. But mostly, I'd love to see more people share opinions of cities and schools that they know, either from going to school there or growing up in the area. (Particularly anyone who knows Tucson, Houston or Rochester :wink: )

EDIT: I could also give info about the Urbana-Champaign area, I lived there for a summer.

DOUBLE EDIT: Ok, I'm bored and I can only press the refresh button on my inbox so many times before I get insane, so I will share my thoughts and opinions on Urbana-Champaign. I only lived there for three months over the summer, but I know a large number of students there so I think I got a somewhat decent scope of the area.

Chambana is pretty much the definition of a midwestern college town. You're surrounded by cornfields on all sides, but there's a nice city nestled around the university. Most stuff is close enough to walk, and there's a good bus system if you are farther away. A car isn't necessary, but having a friend with one certainly helps. Housing is cheap; you can get away paying about $300 a month for an apartment right around the corner from campus, but a lot of it is of poor quality. Most of the housing market revolves around undergraduates, so if you want a nicer place, you might have to pay more. Either way, don't get a place without seeing it first, lest you wind up in an apartment with concrete walls and a roach infestation.

There's plenty of restaurants and bars. Again, a lot more centered around the undergraduate population, but there are plenty of places you can go and escape the throngs of drunk screaming freshman. (Entry to bars is 19+ in Urbana) If you want great food and even better beer, check out Crane Alley. Also, make sure you go to the Canopy Club on Tuesday nights for piano man. Whatever your interest, it shouldn't be too hard to find a place that will match you.

It's only a couple of hours to Chicago, so you could make trips up there if you had some pressing interest. (You could also drive to St. Louis in a couple of hours too, but why in the world would you do that?) There are shuttle bus services that run from the school to the airport in Chicago.

All in all, a nice middle of the cornfields college town. Probably better suited to undergrads, but still plenty to do for a little bit older crowd. Again, if anyone has any specific questions about Chambana, I'd be glad to answer them.
Last edited by ticklecricket on Sat Feb 19, 2011 6:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: City Discussion

Postby WhoaNonstop » Sat Feb 19, 2011 5:43 am

I've thought about posting something similar to this as well. Anyways, I'm not going to give details about any of these places unless people ask, but I have substantial knowledge about these schools (either I've attended, visited them, or did summer research at them) and the communities surrounding them:

University of Florida
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
Iowa State University
University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Lehigh University

If you want to know more about one of these in specific, send me a personal message or ask on here.

-Riley

bfollinprm
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Re: City Discussion

Postby bfollinprm » Sat Feb 19, 2011 8:43 am

I can add the Virginia and Maryland schools (I drive around a lot, so that goes for all of them). Also UChicago, since I spent a summer there.

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midwestphysics
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Re: City Discussion

Postby midwestphysics » Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:07 pm

Cool idea guys...

I've got info on Chicago(U of C, UIC, more or less wrigleyville area and some downtown), Ann Arbor(U of M), Detroit (Wayne), Lansing(MSU, basically all of Michigan), New Brunswick (Rutgers), Princton (somewhat), New York City (No particular school just the city and Brooklyn). If I think of anymore I'll add them. Like Riley though I wait to be asked before writing it all out.

Edit: Nashville (I haven't been on the Vanderbilt campus but I know some parts of downtown Nashville, very cool city, laid back.)
Last edited by midwestphysics on Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Dayton1903
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Re: City Discussion

Postby Dayton1903 » Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:18 pm

midwestphysics wrote:Cool idea guys...

I've got info on Chicago(U of C, UIC, more or less wrigleyville area and some downtown), Ann Arbor(U of M), Detroit (Wayne), Lansing(MSU, basically all of Michigan), New Brunswick (Rutgers), Princton (somewhat), New York City (No particular school just the city and Brooklyn). If I think of anymore I'll add them. Like Riley though I wait to be asked before writing it all out.


I've gotten into Chicago and would love to hear your impressions of the city, Hyde Park, campus, etc. I don't suppose you know anything about Urbana? Though details would be nice I trust Chicago is an exciting place to live. Urbana worries me a bit.

signminus
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Re: City Discussion

Postby signminus » Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:27 pm

For anyone who doesn't know about it, the "City Guide" section of thegradcafe has a wealth of information about tons of places:

http://forum.thegradcafe.com/forum/18-city-guide/

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midwestphysics
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Re: City Discussion

Postby midwestphysics » Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:56 pm

Dayton1903 wrote:
midwestphysics wrote:Cool idea guys...

I've got info on Chicago(U of C, UIC, more or less wrigleyville area and some downtown), Ann Arbor(U of M), Detroit (Wayne), Lansing(MSU, basically all of Michigan), New Brunswick (Rutgers), Princton (somewhat), New York City (No particular school just the city and Brooklyn). If I think of anymore I'll add them. Like Riley though I wait to be asked before writing it all out.


I've gotten into Chicago and would love to hear your impressions of the city, Hyde Park, campus, etc. I don't suppose you know anything about Urbana? Though details would be nice I trust Chicago is an exciting place to live. Urbana worries me a bit.


First, congrats on Chicago!!! I don't know much about U of I Urbana, as for Chicago. Well, as with all the big cities you've got a good mixture of neighborhoods. My personal favorites are north of downtown, cubby fans are better than sox fans :). I'm not sure what kind of style of living you're from, i.e. country, suburban, urban. I grew up on the cusp of Suburban/Urban so I love the city feel. Wrigleyville, which is a couple minutes on the L, north from the center of downtown, it’s a really awesome place for people aged 21-mid 30's. Obviously the area is named such because it's in the shadow of Wrigley field. I'm assuming you haven't been to Chicago, but if you've been to say NYC it reminds me of a mixture of Brooklyn near Grimaldi’s and Greenwich village if that helps any, it may not. Anyway, if you’re a local looking to hang out with locals you tend to avoid downtown for the nightlife. They over price everything, it’s a total tourist trap if you ask me. Again, going back to Wrigleyville you’ve got tons of great food, tons of bars (4 am in Chicago for close times which is always nice). West Addison street by the stadium is loaded with bars, if you like bars, these are pretty good ones if you ask me. You’ve got the Taste of Chicago in the summer in Grant Park, it’s always packed but the food is awesome. Matilda’s on Sheffield and Barry is a cool small place to hang out for like football or anything really, cool people, good food. The thing you’ve got to remember is that you’re just a train ride from pretty much anywhere in the city. Forget the car, buy some comfortable shoes, and just explore the city. If the shop you’re looking at looks 50+ years old chances are they’re doing something right and you will probably be happy shopping/eating/drinking there. As for the Campus of U of C, you’re in the south, but luckily if you live off campus everything is accessible on the trains which are a short ride. I’m clearly biased, but if you plan on living off campus look north in the city. Don’t get me wrong, the Hyde Park area is nice, but more expensive from what I hear. Overall Chicago is awesome, it has everything you can think of and then some. Your best bet though to find out spots local to where you’re going to live is to talk to some of the students on campus. Also, talk to the social science, arts, or business majors because no offense but they tend to be more social and would know the spots (This is coming from a physics major). There’s so much in the area for every kind of personality. So, dismissing my biases and that of others, given the variety I think you’re going to be extremely happy and comfortable in Chicago. My only advice if you’ve never lived in a city is to go with the flow of things and realize that personal space is something that is much smaller than most who never lived in an urban area are initially comfortable with. You’ll learn to love the place though, almost everyone does.

ticklecricket
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Re: City Discussion

Postby ticklecricket » Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:13 am

Dayton1903 wrote:I've gotten into Chicago and would love to hear your impressions of the city, Hyde Park, campus, etc. I don't suppose you know anything about Urbana? Though details would be nice I trust Chicago is an exciting place to live. Urbana worries me a bit.


I posted some thoughts on chambana in my original post and I think it could be a really fun place to live. However, if I could choose a place to live, I would definitely choose Chicago over Urbana. I would echo everything midwestphysics said about wrigleyville and the city as whole. (I've never seen a taco bell so packed in my life as I did in wrigleyville at 5 am) If you are coming from an urban environment and can't imagine living in a smaller town, Urbana might be too small for you, but don't sell it short.

If you're at UChicago, you'll probably be on the other side of town, however. So you'll probably be living in a completely different neighborhood. I don't know anything about Hyde Park other than I have heard it is near some not so nice neighborhoods. But people like to over exaggerate those sorts of things and it's probably not as bad as some people make it out to seem. Either way be smart about it. (This applies to any part of any city)




Midwestphysics, what town are you from? I grew up on the wisconsin border down the street from the six flags, but I went to high school in Aurora and my dad lived in the south suburbs for a while, so I know the area pretty well.

bfollinprm
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Re: City Discussion

Postby bfollinprm » Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:37 am

I'd echo the stay out of hyde park vibe. Boring, no real good eats, and more expensive than it should be. The 6 can take you to campus from downtown in an hour, and the red line is even faster from places along the route. Many professors live in the southern suburbs, like Oak Park. The extra hour travel is well worth it for the culture imho.

EDIT: I wouldn't call hyde park dangerous though. Especially around 55th street, it's fine, and the closer to the water, the better. There is a LOT of minor property theft though; don't expect much sympathy if your bike gets stolen from outside your class/apartment, even if you lock it well. I've heard past 58th is bad, but when I was there it didn't seem that big of a deal (certainly not as bad as Baltimore around JHU or College Park even).

Also, post your profile!
Last edited by bfollinprm on Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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midwestphysics
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Re: City Discussion

Postby midwestphysics » Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:53 pm

Yep, Bfollinprm and ticklecricket are on the money with their assessments too. I think you're going to love Chicago if you pick it, and going to a school that good only helps the matter.

Tickle: I'm from the mitten, very very close to the D, maybe that's why I too always thought the Southside of Chicago was not as bad as they make it out to be for the most part. Still, I've spent A LOT of time in both Chicago and New York(and NJ around Rutgers, and Princeton a little bit.) So I know those areas pretty well, and obviously the mitten very well. I've never been to Wisc. but it would be nice to see a Green Bay game against a better team than the Lions

Oh and it's funny you talked about taco bell at 5 am, we once beat on the door of a closed Nathan's until they open up for us. The guy was realy cool about it actually.
Last edited by midwestphysics on Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Dayton1903
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Re: City Discussion

Postby Dayton1903 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:06 pm

Thanks for all the info about Chicago! I'm very excited to visit. Also, profile posted.

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midwestphysics
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Re: City Discussion

Postby midwestphysics » Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:20 pm

Dayton1903 wrote:Thanks for all the info about Chicago! I'm very excited to visit. Also, profile posted.

Not a problem, hopefully you'll find out it's what you're looking for in a school because I think big city living is something everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime, and other than L.A. and NYC it doesn't get much bigger than Chi-town. Oh yeah, and don't forget comfortable shoes :)

Dayton1903
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Re: City Discussion

Postby Dayton1903 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:33 pm

midwestphysics wrote:
Dayton1903 wrote:Thanks for all the info about Chicago! I'm very excited to visit. Also, profile posted.

Not a problem, hopefully you'll find out it's what you're looking for in a school because I think big city living is something everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime, and other than L.A. and NYC it doesn't get much bigger than Chi-town. Oh yeah, and don't forget comfortable shoes :)


Haha, well as it happens I live in LA now, which I like very much, but a different big city would be a good experience.

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midwestphysics
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Re: City Discussion

Postby midwestphysics » Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:57 pm

Haha, well as it happens I live in LA now, which I like very much, but a different big city would be a good experience.


Ha, well given that I don't think you'll be able to handle the isolated living that I assume Urbana offers, besides if you ask me U of C is just too good to pass up unless we're talking the obvious other big names. I've been to L.A. a couple of times so to compare them is somewhat easy. L.A. is a lot more spread out, you have a lot of people there but there not nearly as packed in. You've got a million more people in L.A. but in Chicago there are 1.5 times as many people per square mile. Not too mention they really are worlds apart in terms of style and mentality, the big three cities really are different, in good ways if you ask me. They have things in common too, I think you'll like being on Lake Michigan in the summer.

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grae313
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Re: City Discussion

Postby grae313 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:06 am

A classmate of mine did her undergrad at UIUC and describes the students as depressed and the town as boring. Go there if you like cornfields.

CarlBrannen
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Re: City Discussion

Postby CarlBrannen » Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:24 pm

grae313 wrote:A classmate of mine did her undergrad at UIUC and describes the students as depressed and the town as boring. Go there if you like cornfields.


That is so weird. I was doing some work in Moses Lake, WA, which is about as out in the middle of nowhere as you can get (and the number-one corn producer for Washington State). I found the rural environment wonderful.

I love cornfields. I like looking at them in the winter when birds cruise around them looking for spare grain. I like the plowing; it makes me think of sex. I like it when the sharp green knives of new corn plants first come out of the ground. I like the time in the spring when the corn reaches high enough that the ground is hidden. I like the way the flaxen heads wave in the wind. I like the way the stalks are just barely able to hold the heavy ears, pregnant with the next generation. I like the harvest when fascinating machines drive through the drying fields and steal the grain. I like the satisfied look of the fields after the harvest.

Yeah, I like cornfields.

And they should get their entertainment on the net.

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midwestphysics
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Re: City Discussion

Postby midwestphysics » Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:47 pm

And just like that things got creepy. :?

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grae313
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Re: City Discussion

Postby grae313 » Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:34 am

CarlBrannen wrote:
grae313 wrote:A classmate of mine did her undergrad at UIUC and describes the students as depressed and the town as boring. Go there if you like cornfields.


That is so weird. I was doing some work in Moses Lake, WA, which is about as out in the middle of nowhere as you can get (and the number-one corn producer for Washington State). I found the rural environment wonderful.

I love cornfields. I like looking at them in the winter when birds cruise around them looking for spare grain. I like the plowing; it makes me think of sex. I like it when the sharp green knives of new corn plants first come out of the ground. I like the time in the spring when the corn reaches high enough that the ground is hidden. I like the way the flaxen heads wave in the wind. I like the way the stalks are just barely able to hold the heavy ears, pregnant with the next generation. I like the harvest when fascinating machines drive through the drying fields and steal the grain. I like the satisfied look of the fields after the harvest.

Yeah, I like cornfields.

And they should get their entertainment on the net.


Heh, that's cool :) I grew up in a town with more cows than people (although less than an hour from San Francisco), never lived closer than a 20-30 minute drive to a grocery store until college, and am now living and loving it in Ithaca, NY which is basically nowhere so I'm definitely not hating on the rural-ness -- just the flatness and, well, cornfieldyness.

Nothing wrong with liking cornfields, I'm just giving fair warning.

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midwestphysics
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Re: City Discussion

Postby midwestphysics » Wed Feb 23, 2011 1:06 am

grae313 wrote:Heh, that's cool :) I grew up in a town with more cows than people (although less than an hour from San Francisco), never lived closer than a 20-30 minute drive to a grocery store until college, and am now living and loving it in Ithaca, NY which is basically nowhere so I'm definitely not hating on the rural-ness -- just the flatness and, well, cornfieldyness.

Nothing wrong with liking cornfields, I'm just giving fair warning.


:) I've spent enough time in the country as a child to appreciate being surrounded by nature and the beauty of crops right before harvest, but never has the sight of a combine nor a plow rolling through a corn field made me think about sex :lol: I may be alone in this but I stand by my post saying that made things creepy real fast.

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: City Discussion

Postby WhoaNonstop » Wed Feb 23, 2011 1:57 am

CarlBrannen wrote:I like the plowing; it makes me think of sex.


midwestphysics wrote:And just like that things got creepy. :?


Hardest I've laughed on this forum ever.

-Riley

CarlBrannen
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Re: City Discussion

Postby CarlBrannen » Wed Feb 23, 2011 1:58 am

midwestphysics wrote::) I've spent enough time in the country as a child to appreciate being surrounded by nature and the beauty of crops right before harvest, but never has the sight of a combine nor a plow rolling through a corn field made me think about sex :lol: I may be alone in this but I stand by my post saying that made things creepy real fast.


So reaping doesn't bring to mind reproduction? Doesn't harvesting make you think about death? Don't we use "winter" as a word for old age?

Maybe I should put some cultural references in here. A couple BOC songs:

Mistress of the Salmon Salt
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePskTD61oH0

Harvester of Eyes
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yu5bPJ-b6Nw

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sphy
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Re: City Discussion

Postby sphy » Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:29 am

Can somebody provide some information about Buffalo area like the locality, any recreation centre, cost of living, and one more thing that is weather. Thanks in advance.

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midwestphysics
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Re: City Discussion

Postby midwestphysics » Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:57 am

Well, Carl I guess you could romanticize it, but personally I think of blood and blisters because that what it takes to plow a field at least using the old school ways, which is when I would guess these romantic views originated. All I can say is that I clearly see a life cycle going on but I don't think about sex. You may not agree with me, but never have I said to myself.
"Umm, germination... I don't know about you honey but this is getting me hot." :lol:

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midwestphysics
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Re: City Discussion

Postby midwestphysics » Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:05 am

sphy wrote:Can somebody provide some information about Buffalo area like the locality, any recreation centre, cost of living, and one more thing that is weather. Thanks in advance.


Played hockey in Buffalo several times and about all I can tell you is that it's nice to have Canada next door, and in the winter prepare for more snow than pretty much anywhere else you can think of because the lake effect coming off Erie is insane.

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grae313
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Re: City Discussion

Postby grae313 » Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:39 am

sphy wrote:Can somebody provide some information about Buffalo area like the locality, any recreation centre, cost of living, and one more thing that is weather. Thanks in advance.


Weather = le suck.

Buffalo is a dying city. You could do worse though.

bfollinprm
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Re: City Discussion

Postby bfollinprm » Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:15 am

grae313 wrote:
sphy wrote:Can somebody provide some information about Buffalo area like the locality, any recreation centre, cost of living, and one more thing that is weather. Thanks in advance.


Weather = le suck.

Buffalo is a dying city. You could do worse though.


As a result, it's cheap. And the Anchor Bar is the best place in the world. MMMNNN Hot Wings.....

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satyad18
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Re: City Discussion

Postby satyad18 » Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:20 am

How is Pittsburgh area?

bfollinprm
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Re: City Discussion

Postby bfollinprm » Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:03 am

satyad18 wrote:How is Pittsburgh area?


Should have included this in the places I can talk about. I personally love it, and think it much better than cities much bigger than it. It's located in Appalachia, which turns some people off, but it has great hiking, decent skiing nearby (and great skiing not too far away) and has lots of good cultural centers. Actually, Pittsburgh was just rated the #1 most livable city in the US (according to some story on NPR I heard last week). It's definitely cheap; a studio can be had for less than $300/month.

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satyad18
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Re: City Discussion

Postby satyad18 » Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:39 am

bfollinprm wrote:
satyad18 wrote:How is Pittsburgh area?


Should have included this in the places I can talk about. I personally love it, and think it much better than cities much bigger than it. It's located in Appalachia, which turns some people off, but it has great hiking, decent skiing nearby (and great skiing not too far away) and has lots of good cultural centers. Actually, Pittsburgh was just rated the #1 most livable city in the US (according to some story on NPR I heard last week). It's definitely cheap; a studio can be had for less than $300/month.

Wow! Good to know that. :)
I'm actually waiting to hear from other schools too. Lets see how things fair.

kapil_ds
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Re: City Discussion

Postby kapil_ds » Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:01 pm

bfollinprm wrote:
grae313 wrote:
sphy wrote:Can somebody provide some information about Buffalo area like the locality, any recreation centre, cost of living, and one more thing that is weather. Thanks in advance.


Weather = le suck.

Buffalo is a dying city. You could do worse though.


As a result, it's cheap. And the Anchor Bar is the best place in the world. MMMNNN Hot Wings.....



Since I believe sphy is Indian, let me add an Indian flavor to this. I gathered the following from my 2 visits to SUNY Buffalo -
1. There are plenty of Indians around. There are a couple of Indian restaurants and Indian grocery stores close to the campus. So, food won't be a problem.
2. The Indian students association is reasonably active and will help you in getting set up.
3. SUNY buffalo has two campuses - north and south. Most of the indians are living close to south campus though I don't know why.
4. As others have said, brace for weather. You have to start liking the winter and snow otherwise you will be miserable. From my own experience, I can tell that it is possible though. I certainly like snow.

My sister went to suny buffalo. Let me know if you have any specific questions and I can ask her.

Kapil

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sphy
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Re: City Discussion

Postby sphy » Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:49 pm

Thank you all for your awesome advices and one thing I am getting straight is that the winter is a killing force there and most of the time throughout an year it's cold. OH.

Well I have this problem. I love water and spends couple of hours in water during bath. So I can't definitely do that in anyway there near freezing temperature. May be if I am willing to have hypothermia then it would be fine for me. But I don't want hypothermia and If I don't take a long bath then I may feel lack of concentration. :?



@Kapil: Thanks. I'll definitely let you know if I need any thing to be asked about buffalo. But right now I am enraged.

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HappyQuark
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Re: City Discussion

Postby HappyQuark » Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:00 pm

CarlBrannen wrote:
midwestphysics wrote::) I've spent enough time in the country as a child to appreciate being surrounded by nature and the beauty of crops right before harvest, but never has the sight of a combine nor a plow rolling through a corn field made me think about sex :lol: I may be alone in this but I stand by my post saying that made things creepy real fast.


So reaping doesn't bring to mind reproduction? Doesn't harvesting make you think about death? Don't we use "winter" as a word for old age?

Maybe I should put some cultural references in here. A couple BOC songs:

Mistress of the Salmon Salt
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePskTD61oH0

Harvester of Eyes
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yu5bPJ-b6Nw


When you said "a couple of BOC songs" I immediately thought to myself

"I've never heard of either of those songs and I own just about every 'Boards of Canada' album they've produced".

ramathorn
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Re: City Discussion

Postby ramathorn » Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:41 pm

bfollinprm wrote:EDIT: I wouldn't call hyde park dangerous though. Especially around 55th street, it's fine, and the closer to the water, the better. There is a LOT of minor property theft though; don't expect much sympathy if your bike gets stolen from outside your class/apartment, even if you lock it well. I've heard past 58th is bad, but when I was there it didn't seem that big of a deal (certainly not as bad as Baltimore around JHU or College Park even).


I did my undergrad at UChicago and lived quite happily on 60th street all four years. Nothing stolen, no muggings, etc. There is a scary part, it's about from 62nd street southwards(namely the 63rd/Cottage Grove El station). But I'd recommend you stay and live in Hyde Park, it's a fun neighborhood and very convenient. Average rent for a 1-bedroom around 750-800$/mo, in my experience. Closer to the water is nice but then you get wind off the water, meaning you may freeze to death. My freshman year there was so much snow and wind that they tied a rope across the Midway(no joke) so you could help pull yourself across the street.

I thought I'd hate Chicago because I'm not a big city person but now I miss it more than anything. I think you'd have a great time there.

tapauly
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Re: City Discussion

Postby tapauly » Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:43 pm

HappyQuark wrote:
When you said "a couple of BOC songs" I immediately thought to myself

"I've never heard of either of those songs and I own just about every 'Boards of Canada' album they've produced".


Same! I didn't think Boards of Canada were all too popular, cool to hear of someone else enjoying them.

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kubikat
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Re: City Discussion

Postby kubikat » Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:14 am

Have anyone here been/lived in New Haven? How was it?

Astro-K
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Re: City Discussion

Postby Astro-K » Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:20 pm

Anyone lived in Honolulu or Hawaii in general? Do you get too claustrophobic in the islands? Is it affordable on a grad student stipend?

ticklecricket
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Re: City Discussion

Postby ticklecricket » Fri Feb 25, 2011 2:15 am

bfollinprm wrote:I can add the Virginia and Maryland schools (I drive around a lot, so that goes for all of them). Also UChicago, since I spent a summer there.


Thoughts on College Park?

guthria
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Re: City Discussion

Postby guthria » Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:21 am

Anything about Rochester?

axiomofchoice
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Re: City Discussion

Postby axiomofchoice » Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:40 pm

guthria wrote:Anything about Rochester?

I visited Rochester for a scholarship interview back when applying for undegrad. The whole spiel about their underground tunnels that connect buildings so that even when they have the 10000th feet of snow you can still go to class scares the crap out of me :lol:. But then I'm just not an arctic person.

ticklecricket
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Re: City Discussion

Postby ticklecricket » Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:33 pm

axiomofchoice wrote:
guthria wrote:Anything about Rochester?

I visited Rochester for a scholarship interview back when applying for undegrad. The whole spiel about their underground tunnels that connect buildings so that even when they have the 10000th feet of snow you can still go to class scares the crap out of me :lol:. But then I'm just not an arctic person.


I'm supposed to be in Rochester right now for an open house, but they cancelled my flight because of snow. Probably a bad sign, eh?

iostream
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Re: City Discussion

Postby iostream » Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:48 pm

Anyone familiar with Princeton, NJ? In particular, housing: I have no desire to be shacked up in a double with some other first-year grad student. What's the off-campus housing market like? Also, how easily accessible is NYC? I know Princeton itself has a reputation for being a tiny college town, but I like the big city.

Edit: In the spirit of reciprocity, I should mention that I'm extremely familiar with Cleveland, OH and Cambridge, MA.

bfollinprm
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Re: City Discussion

Postby bfollinprm » Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:53 pm

iostream wrote:Anyone familiar with Princeton, NJ? In particular, housing: I have no desire to be shacked up in a double with some other first-year grad student. What's the off-campus housing market like? Also, how easily accessible is NYC? I know Princeton itself has a reputation for being a tiny college town, but I like the big city.

Edit: In the spirit of reciprocity, I should mention that I'm extremely familiar with Cleveland, OH and Cambridge, MA.



Princeton is an hour to NY by train, which itself is a short bus ride from campus. The train costs 10 bucks one way, and you can get a pass if you go fairly often for some semi-significant discount. That's about as close and cheap as NY can be, because even living in Manhattan (Columbia, NYU) it takes 5 bucks in subway tickets and 45 minutes to get anywhere.

bfollinprm
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Re: City Discussion

Postby bfollinprm » Fri Feb 25, 2011 2:07 pm

ticklecricket wrote:Thoughts on College Park?


College Park is a city unto itself. There's a metro stop about 15 minutes from the west side of campus, and lots of good eats over there too. The area around campus is cheap, but dirty (like you'd expect frat houses to be). Nicer neighborhoods can be found in Silver Spring (you can rent a 2 bedroom house there, with a yard), and cheap(ish) living can be found in Tacoma Park. DC in general has a very good public transportation system (it's geared to tourists) and has a very active music scene (the 9:30 club is a popular warm-up venue for big-name bands, so it's a treat). The best areas of DC though are opposite college park, so expect a bit of a metro ride to get anywhere (everything is located near GWU or Georgetown).

Within easy short-trip distance (<30 minutes) are Annapolis, which is very cool, and Baltimore, which is only good for sports events or a night out at the power plant (bar complex). Northwest, about an hour away, are excellent hiking trails, and east about 1.5 hours is the beach (though its kind of dirty). Skiing is about 2 hours away (in WV), and flights out of DC are very reasonable (I think it's a Delta hub).

Also a warning: some buildings on campus don't have A/C, but that mostly affects undergrads, so not really a concern. Just be aware, because DC is incredibly hot in the summer (and cold and windy in the winter).

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midwestphysics
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Re: City Discussion

Postby midwestphysics » Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:09 am

bfollinprm wrote:
iostream wrote:Anyone familiar with Princeton, NJ? In particular, housing: I have no desire to be shacked up in a double with some other first-year grad student. What's the off-campus housing market like? Also, how easily accessible is NYC? I know Princeton itself has a reputation for being a tiny college town, but I like the big city.

Edit: In the spirit of reciprocity, I should mention that I'm extremely familiar with Cleveland, OH and Cambridge, MA.



Princeton is an hour to NY by train, which itself is a short bus ride from campus. The train costs 10 bucks one way, and you can get a pass if you go fairly often for some semi-significant discount. That's about as close and cheap as NY can be, because even living in Manhattan (Columbia, NYU) it takes 5 bucks in subway tickets and 45 minutes to get anywhere.


Beware though, the trains don't run 24 hrs. In fact they shut down a little early if you ask me so be careful not to get stuck in the city at night or you'll be paying out the *** for a room somewhere unless you've got friends living nearby. The campus is awesome if you ask me, probably the coolest one I’ve ever seen. Keep in mind you’re also not that far from Philly, so you have that as an option too. Sorry I can’t help you with the housing situation there.

graviton905
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Re: City Discussion

Postby graviton905 » Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:25 am

what about ann arbor? How it would be with 2160$/m?

strikershootingguard
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Re: City Discussion

Postby strikershootingguard » Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:32 am

Any thoughts on the area around Johns Hopkins?

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midwestphysics
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Re: City Discussion

Postby midwestphysics » Sat Feb 26, 2011 8:42 am

graviton905 wrote:what about ann arbor? How it would be with 2160$/m?


Ann Arbor is the epitome of a college town, and I think you'll be more than fine with $2160/m. Locally outside of Ann Arbor itself you've got Detroit not too far away, trust me it's not as bad as people make it out to be. That being said, just be smart there and stick to downtown. You also can either drive, take Amtrak, or as they call it the party bus which I've never taken but know others who have to Chicago in relatively short time. As for Ann Arbor, I played hockey at Yost Arena for years which is the U of M wolverine’s home rink right on campus, and I can tell you that was one of my favorite rinks to skate. Everything is pretty much self contained in Ann Arbor, you don't need to travel outside to find very much. I'd say try to live in Ann Arbor if not right on campus, though the surrounding area is not bad or expensive, you're just going to miss out on a lot of the experience there. Also prepare yourself for U of M fanatics, of all the top schools, which I consider U of M, this one is probably the most sports oriented if you ask me. 90% of people in Michigan are either bleeding maze and blue or green and white for U of M or MSU, just know they get crazy around MSU and OSU game days, especially for football. The population isn't all that big, I think like 130,000 maybe, but like I said it's completely a college town. Still in the metro Detroit area there are a couple million. In Ann Arbor there's pretty good bars, good food, good people, and very little crime if you ask me. Weather-wise, nice springs, cool falls, hot summers with water everywhere in Michigan, and cold snowy winters. I think overall you could do a lot worse than Ann Arbor.

bfollinprm
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Re: City Discussion

Postby bfollinprm » Sat Feb 26, 2011 8:48 am

strikershootingguard wrote:Any thoughts on the area around Johns Hopkins?


Dirty, ghetto, and generally not-nice. They built the University there in an effort of urban renewal that never quite took. Baltimore spends 90% of its city beautification budget on the inner harbor, so anything else in the city is basically crap. Having said that, (1) JHU is definitely within easy distance of the harbor, (2) the campus itself is pretty, and (3) the rent around campus is really low for being in a city. Also, you can easily live in the suburbs (where UMBC is located, for instance).

graviton905
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Re: City Discussion

Postby graviton905 » Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:30 am

midwestphysics wrote:
graviton905 wrote:what about ann arbor? How it would be with 2160$/m?


Ann Arbor is the epitome of a college town, and I think you'll be more than fine with $2160/m. Locally outside of Ann Arbor itself you've got Detroit not too far away, trust me it's not as bad as people make it out to be. That being said, just be smart there and stick to downtown. You also can either drive, take Amtrak, or as they call it the party bus which I've never taken but know others who have to Chicago in relatively short time. As for Ann Arbor, I played hockey at Yost Arena for years which is the U of M wolverine’s home rink right on campus, and I can tell you that was one of my favorite rinks to skate. Everything is pretty much self contained in Ann Arbor, you don't need to travel outside to find very much. I'd say try to live in Ann Arbor if not right on campus, though the surrounding area is not bad or expensive, you're just going to miss out on a lot of the experience there. Also prepare yourself for U of M fanatics, of all the top schools, which I consider U of M, this one is probably the most sports oriented if you ask me. 90% of people in Michigan are either bleeding maze and blue or green and white for U of M or MSU, just know they get crazy around MSU and OSU game days, especially for football. The population isn't all that big, I think like 130,000 maybe, but like I said it's completely a college town. Still in the metro Detroit area there are a couple million. In Ann Arbor there's pretty good bars, good food, good people, and very little crime if you ask me. Weather-wise, nice springs, cool falls, hot summers with water everywhere in Michigan, and cold snowy winters. I think overall you could do a lot worse than Ann Arbor.


Great! Thanks for the response midwestphysics! And yes! Of course Ann Arbor! :mrgreen:
Can you also give me more information about Illinois Urbana Champaign? I am toward Cosmology/Astrophysics and I have just these 2 reasonable places to go! Which one do you think would be better for living and for studying? My conclusion till now is Michigan! But, just I want to gather more information to make my final decision! :?:

axiomofchoice
Posts: 199
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Re: City Discussion

Postby axiomofchoice » Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:42 pm

bfollinprm wrote:
strikershootingguard wrote:Any thoughts on the area around Johns Hopkins?


Dirty, ghetto, and generally not-nice. They built the University there in an effort of urban renewal that never quite took. Baltimore spends 90% of its city beautification budget on the inner harbor, so anything else in the city is basically crap. Having said that, (1) JHU is definitely within easy distance of the harbor, (2) the campus itself is pretty, and (3) the rent around campus is really low for being in a city. Also, you can easily live in the suburbs (where UMBC is located, for instance).


Disagree to a certain extent. JHU campus is very beautiful, and as long as you don't go too far away, things are nice and safe. ~10 blocks away, though, you'd run into ghettos. Meeeh, just don't go there. I'd say there are many nice spots in Baltimore beside the inner harbor (which is IMHO overrated anyway), like the Mount Vernon area. If you live on the JHU shuttle route, you won't have problem getting to school, and thus you have a few more neighborhoods as options to live. And yeah, the rent is cheap-ish in general.




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