In our continuing coverage of Columbia’s sheen fading, Resident Artist Lauren Beltrone shows us the various paths to being totally over the dining halls:
To start up our In Defense Ofs this semester, Staircase Snob Alexandra Svokos decided to tackle one of the most universally abhorred features of Morningside Heights: the Ferris Booth Staircase.
Walking down College Walk this morning, I overheard two girls complaining that the university does not provide any space for students to actually interact with each other and meet new people. To that I say: but what about the Ferris staircase?! This glorious installment in our fine dining hall provides a perfect opportunity to introduce yourself and become quickly intimate, without the need for some social lubrication.
In fact, the staircase thrusts the sort of immediate intimacy one only sees on a crowded subway train. Suddenly, this stranger, walking up as you’re walking down, has to slide past your body in an acrobatic shimmy, giving you that physical interaction you’ve been craving since Saturday night. You become connected in this moment, both after a common goal: to not flip that bowl of milk onto the unlucky table directly below the staircase.
Let’s talk practically about the staircase. Spiral staircases take up less space than traditional ones. A traditional staircase in Ferris would cut down on the amount of tables that can fit in the space, and they’re already cramped and crowded now. Moreover, Ferris is in Lerner, meaning that we couldn’t just throw a regular old staircase in. Can you imagine if there were a shitty ramp shoved into Ferris Booth? Nuh-uh, not OK. Spiral staircases are also aesthetically pleasing, which is something we all undervalue in this world.
For your Sunday night viewing pleasure, enjoy this politically correctly titled video starring our very own Ferris made by some of our own esteemed colleagues! It’s good.
In case you haven’t dined at Ferris or needed an Add/Drop form yet, you might not have seen Lerner 4 & 5′s newest look:
Sometimes, fresh-people, in a seminar, or at a party, someone will reference something that used to exist and doesn’t anymore, and you will have to nod your head or laugh knowingly. Ah yes, Morningside is like, so gentrified, you will say.
We asked alumni of The Blue and White and Bwog for places, events, and trends that once were and are no longer. Here’s your leg up.
- When at least some people on campus wore fleeces and baggy-ish jeans
- JJ’s at 4 AM (now open until 2 AM, was a bar when your dad went here)
- McIntosh Hall and the old WBAR studio in it
- Flashing, not swiping, your CUID to get into Butler
- A respectable 1020 (was once an upperclassmen bar before the West End became Havana, now your first NSOP stop)
- Shit in the McBain showers
- Arson in the McBain shaft
- Using AIM
- The Village Pourhouse used to be Mona, a bar that was better than the Village Pourhouse. Before Mona, there was SoHa. Girls used to dance on the bar. “There would be massive drunken dancing,” one alum whispered over GChat, “and then you’d just start making out with random decent-looking girls.”
- CoBag (Columbia Bagels, open 24/7. Bwog editors coined the ‘Morningside Heights Happy Meal’: a 40 and bagel at 3 AM)
- “I once saw a rat in Ferris”
- The West End basement when Lil’ Jon was popular (fabled Columbia hangout of everyone, ever, including Obama and Jack Kerouac, with fantastic burgers and lots of beer pong)
- Creepy Wein doors that had horizontal slats at the top (for oxygen, we believe)
- The yearly letter Foner would write to Spec explaining that he is not a Gyllenhaal
- The old Westside
- Good Spec reporting (MEALAC!)
- Vampire Weekend performing at ADP and St. A’s
- CUCommunity (offered a share in Facebook, but they turned it down. Bummer!)
- Manhattanville protests
- 40′s on 40 without the playpen and drink tickets