Okay so you’re basically not allowed on campus again until after graduation, and now you’re all mopey because Snoop is gone from your life and you have nine papers due tomorrow. Good news, friends! Snoop may not be comin’ back, but we have it on the best authority that there are three (3) lovely destinations within walking distance of campus where you can get your sundress and day-drank on – or review of the entire trajectory of western philosophical thought, depending on your interpretation of the term “symposium.” In the interest of getting you off campus at least once this semester, Bwog’s Senior Tree Hugging Correspondent Diana Clarke presents: Which Park Should I “Study” In?: The Definitive Guide.
Option 1: Morningside Park
Pros: The closest park to Columbia’s Campus, Morningside Park delineates the eastern edge of Morningside Heights, stretching from 110th to 123rd Streets between Morningside Avenue and Morningside Drive (sometimes the forthright approach is best). From its peak along Morningside Drive, one block east of Amsterdam, the park tumbles down a steep slope laced with ambling paths, stone steps, and furls of green. The ground pools flat, opening into a waterfall, a track and baseball diamond, playgrounds full of adorable neighborhood children, plus plenty of grass to flop down and read on, and lots of sun. On Saturdays, visit the farmers market at the park’s southeast corner, on 110th and Manhattan Avenue!
Cons: If you go down the steps, you’ll eventually have to climb back up. There are no snacks, except on Saturdays, and if you tell your mother where you’re going to study she’ll probably call Public Safety.
Study Break: Visit the shockingly clean and functional public bathrooms at 118th and Morningside Avenue.
Option 2: Riverside Park
Pros: Obviously, the river, and the wind whipping off it (and views of Jersey at sundown as it turns into a glittering mass of lights on the far bank). Loads of benches, walking paths, basketball courts, traveling rings, a snack cart on 115th street, lots of sun. Also, this is definitely where you’re most likely to run into other Columbians (if you’re into that kind of thing; elsewise, file under “Cons”).
Cons: Bizarre obstructing fences all over the grass, nubbly ground that people actually use (less comfortable for lolling), and sometimes there’s too much highway viewin.
Study Break: Visit the Amiable Child Monument, tucked into a corner of the park on 122nd across the street from Grant’s Tomb. (Bonus bonus points: the amiable child was named St. Clair Pollock!)
Option 3: Central Park
Pros: You’ll feel like you have wandered into magic tourist brochure New York, there are little kiosks selling ice cream and soda all around the perimeter, the gates have charming names (Strangers’ Gate! Pioneers’ Gate! Woodsman’s Gate!), there are all sorts of little ponds (plus the Harlem Meer), and big ol’ glacial boulders will remind you of life outside Manhattan. Not to mention all sorts of delicious oddities like the statues on the southeastern side of the park, and excellent people-watching.
Cons: You have to walk all the way to 100th Street or so to find good grass for sprawling, and there are no bathrooms on the West Side before the tennis courts at 96th street. Plus: tourists.
Study Break: Walk over to the East Side and visit a museum for freeeee!