Apr

21

Freshpeople Housing Reviews 2016: Carman

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What it feels like to live in Carman

Hey, prospective students! We’ve given you a hard time these past couple of weeks (with all the crazy shit in your Facebook group, it wasn’t too hard), but to redeem ourselves in your eyes, we’re giving you an inside look of your digs for next year. Don’t worry, you’ll live through this next year. Probably.

Location: 545 West 114th Street, accessible from inside campus about 150 feet from the corner of Broadway

Nearby dorms: Broadway, Hogan, Furnald, and the Brownstones of 114th Street (windows look out on KDR and Beta)

Stores and restaurants: Café East and Café 212, Starbucks, M2M, Sweetgreen, Bernheim and Schwarz, Häagen Dazs, International Wines & Spirits

Cost: $7,928 (the cost of all first-year living)

Amenities:

  • Bathrooms: 1 bathroom per suite of 4, with a shower, a toilet, two sinks, and a decent amount of shelf space. They have poor ventilation, and are cleaned weekly.
  • AC/Heating: One of the biggest perks of Carman. Its AC and heating are strong, and rooms can control the fan speed of their climate control system.
  • Kitchen: Available in the basement only.

  • Lounges: Floor lounges technically exist. Lounges have a couch and chairs (pretty comfortable, but probably dirty), a table, and a television with cable and accessible HDMI ports. On the longer floors (6 and up), this lounge is at the far end of the floor from the elevators, while the shorter floors have this lounge next to the elevators. The (recently renovated) basement lounge is a pretty place to hang out, but the circular seating and low tables make it a bit hard to work in.
  • Laundry: 15 washers and 15 dryers in the basement. Still, with nearly 600 residents, it can get a bit busy. Also, the room tends to make the basement really hot.
  • Computers/Printers: The computer lab is where the first floor bathrooms used to be. It has two printers (for which there are occasionally lines) and 6 computers that shouldn’t fill up too fast.
  • Gym: Available in the basement with a TV, treadmills, and ellipticals for a total of 6 machines.
  • Intra-Transportation: Two big elevators of good speed provide most of the building’s transportation. There’s also a third, “service” elevator that lets out about two-thirds of the way down the hall on the upper floors. Assuming, of course, the elevators aren’t broken.
  • Hardwood/Carpet: Carpet hallways, linoleum tile rooms. The rooms are, thankfully, easy to clean.
  • Wifi: Good connection is available through pretty much all of the building.
  • Bonus: You get to meet some great security guards, and you might even get to hear their mix tapes. Occasionally, someone will have the bright idea to throw a paint party. It also has 3 snazzy new practice rooms.

Room variety:

  • All freshmen living in Carman are picking into suites of 2 doubles, for a total of four people. There are, by official numbers, 287 doubles, which includes one non-suite double (with its own bathroom) for a couple of lucky people on each floor. The doubles range from 203-231 square feet, which counts their ample closet space. Every suite consists of a small entranceway, with individual locked doors leading into each of the two doubles, and a third door to the bathroom.
  • The Mezzanine has 5 doubles, while the second floor has 12. These are normally single-sex floors, and they share an RA. Floors 3 through 5 have 19 doubles, while floors 6 and up have 27. The mezzanine does not have access to the service elevator, but it does have its own staircase to the first floor.

Bwog recommendation:

  • You won’t be picking which specific room you live in as a first-year. Don’t let that worry you, though. The differences between rooms in Carman is pretty minuscule.
  • If you don’t handle strangers well, this place isn’t for you. Don’t be fooled by the doubles – each suite really does belong to four people, and if you don’t think so, then just wait until the bathroom arguments begin. That said, knowing three other people right off the bat will get you a lot of connections moving forwards.
  • If you plan on hooking up a lot / have an S.O. you want spending the night, you should probably try to get a single in John Jay or Hartley-Wallach. If you do get placed in Carman but want alone time, try to get friendly enough with your suitemates that you can kick your roommate into the other double every now and again.
  • Carman doubles are notorious for their parties. But even looking past that, the size of the space makes it pretty good for hosting casual hangouts and viewing parties with your friends.

Resident opinion:

  • Despite the sardine-can conditions [of a Carman party], I hadn’t felt as uninhibited during NSOP as I did that night… living in Carman during NSOP has to be one of the most quintessential Columbian experiences I’m likely to ever have.”
  • “The bathroom ratio is great.”
  • “I kind of hated it at first, but I’m glad I lived here.”
  • “Carman is fluorescent lights and white walls and vomit-stained carpeting and crumbling ceiling tiles and glowing neon red exit signs—blunt and unpretentious.

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