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Housing Reviews 2018: Harmony Hall

I totally didn’t reuse this photo.

Welcome to Harmony Hall, a luxurious (but distant) pre-war building located in the Upper West Side.

Location: 544 W. 110 St, between Amsterdam and Broadway

  • Nearby dorms: Carleton Arms, 110.
  • Stores and restaurants: Westside Market, H-Mart, Duane Reade,  Chipotle, Five Guys, Koronet, Panda Express, Thai Market, Mel’s Burger Bar, Hungarian Pastry Shop, Insomnia Cookies, 1020. You can graduate, have two precocious children, make a smart career change from the advice of your childhood friend, open a rival store to Pressed Juicery, and foster a career as a social media influencer without seeing a soul.

Cost:

  • Standardized at $9,538.

Amenities:

  • Bathrooms: Floor 2 to 8 each have two bathrooms with either one or two stalls, a shower, and some sinks; these bathrooms may be gendered, depending on the RA/floor’s decision. Although these bathrooms are shared among around ten residents, I sometimes have to use the gender-neutral bathroom because someone’s using the stall or because I don’t like the person in the bathroom. Floor 5 and 6 have gender-neutral, handicap-accessible bathrooms. Floor 1 and Mezannine each have one bathroom for five residents. Each weekday, bathrooms are cleaned.
  • AC/Heating: No A/C, but memories of the hot, blissful summer are easily replaced in these regions. If you’d rather not, you can try to live in the gym, which has its own A/C. Heating is sufficient in the rooms, though the kitchen gets chilly.
  • Kitchen/Lounge: The building lounge has a comfy couch and a table. Every floor, other than 2, combines a decently sized kitchen with a “lounge” (a table and four chairs). These kitchens have communal fridges and plenty of cabinet space. Floor 2 separates its small kitchen from its spacious lounge. All lounges/kitchens have TVs. These kitchens are cleaned three times per week.
  • Laundry: Four washers and four dryers in the basement.
  • Fire escapes: None, sorry.
  • Bike storage: In the basement.
  • Computer/printers: One printer and one computer in the building lounge.
  • Gym: In what used to be room 203, there is an air conditioner, two treadmills, an arc trainer, a mat, a single five-pound plate(?), weighted armbands for running (???), and a TV I can’t find the remote for (????).
  • Intra-transportation: One small and rather convenient elevator, which nobody uses because only ghosts live here. It’s a bit difficult to fit blue bins in it, but you should never give up. There are two sets of staircases: one that is spacious and nice, and another that’s narrow and spooky.
  • Hardwood/carpet: Hardwood floors. I need to vacuum mine.

Room variety:

  • 80 singles and 7 doubles of various shapes and sizes. Floor 1 and Mezz each have one suite; the Mezz suite has more room (135-153 sq. ft for singles; 214 for the double) than Floor 1 (108-139 sq. ft for singles, 186 for the double).  Floor 3 through 8 each have 11-12 singles, each floor having one particularly large single (~140 sq. ft), decently large corner singles (~110 sq. ft) and middle singles (~110 sq. ft). The smallest closet is Room 807, at 79 square feet.

Numbers:

  • Singles: 2016: 10/1225. 10/2200 has historically been the approximate cutoff point.
  • Doubles:  10/2832 – 10/1773 have marked cutoffs for doubles.
  • Suites: 2016: 21.67/2280.

Bwog recommendation:

Harmony is a great choice for those who want to have a single, a kitchen, and the chance to enjoy a quiet life without seeing Butler in their periphery. Instead of Butler, you have several groceries and restaurants; resources are readily accessible. With few residents, facilities tend to be clean, though use can get a little competitive. Harmony’s “commute” might appear daunting, but not only do you grow accustomed, you also discover a new tautness in your posterior.

Resident opinions:

  • “The commute to and from Harmony has increased my attention span and Tinder range to downtown Manhattan.”
  • “Everything tends to be clean, and people tend to mind their own business. Sometimes the walls are thin, though, and I want to have a confrontation with my neighbor who thinks she’s Mariah Carey.”
  • “It’s very nice to not have to walk right onto campus, and to have the chance to go to Westside at 12 am in your PJs and subsequently binge on peanut butter.”
  • “I feel like I got some sort of lung disease from the gym.”
  • “The elevator has really good selfie lighting.”
  • “I once had to physically run to brunch on 123rd, but otherwise the distance is okay.”

Gallery:

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