Cathedral Gardens, colloquially known as CG, located on 110th St and Manhattan Ave, is the farthest undergraduate residence hall owned by either Barnard or Columbia. Senior Staff Writer Ramisa Murshed lives there, and she documented her walk from CG to campus.
As I leave my suite on the third floor of Cathedral Gardens, I head towards the elevator to go down to the lobby to begin my adventure for the day. I have one destination, the Diana Center. However, like that one quote you see all the time, it’s not about where you’re going, but it’s about how you get there. I don’t know what today’s journey will have in store for me, but I’m excited. Yesterday, as soon as I left CG, I spotted two children in a yellow toy car driving across the street, but since it’s a Sunday morning, I’m not sure what exactly to expect. Will there be lots of people out? Will there be no people out? I’ll only know once I see it for myself.
I finally make it to the lobby, putting my Airpods in and greeting the access attendant at the front desk as I walk out the door. To my surprise (but not really), the first thing I see upon leaving CG is a dog being walked by its owner. The weather is lovely, so it makes sense that dogs would be out being walked at this time. On the other side of the street on 110th St and Manhattan Ave, I see a family with a small child being carried in a baby stroller. So I get the idea that lots of people are going to be taking walks today.
As I turn and head toward Columbus, I hear a lot of noise coming from the nearby Morningside Park, including the sound of a toy horn that could almost be mistaken for a car horn and a man screaming “NO!” followed by a child similarly screaming. There are lots of storefronts, but none of the stores seem to be open yet. It is 10 am on a Sunday morning, so I didn’t expect many things to be open at this point. I also see someone walking as they carry a floor lamp and a laundry drying rack. The reasoning behind the possession of these items on the street is still under heavy speculation. I will not comment further on this.
I get ready to cross the street at the intersection of 110th and Columbus. I see some people on bikes. In fact, since I’ve left CG, I’ve seen lots of people on bikes. I glance over and see people running through Morningside Park and people just running on the sidewalk. I then cross and pass by lots of buildings, some being apartment buildings, and a parking garage. I also see a man carrying a watermelon on his shoulder. It’s watermelon season, I guess. On the other side of the street, I can also see the Cathedral of St. John the Divine as I head toward Amsterdam. At the intersection of 110th and Amsterdam is a big sign advertising “Bloomingdale Family Day,” which is apparently happening today beginning at 11 am.
Since I’ve only been living in CG for about two weeks now, I still have yet to be acquainted with my surroundings. However, at this point, I’m able to see a familiar face: 1020. It’s odd seeing 1020 in broad daylight, without people waiting in line to get in. I pass it almost every day on my way to class now. I think I’ll eventually get used to it. I continue on my journey, this time crossing Amsterdam and walking to Broadway. I see a person on the street wearing a big sticker on their shirt that has a number on it… are they a marathon runner? Perhaps. I pass some more apartments, then I pass Harmony Hall, and finally, I reach H Mart.
I’ve finally stepped foot onto familiar terrain. Last year, I lived in 110 (for those of you unfamiliar with Barnard housing that isn’t the Quad, 110 is on 110th and Broadway). Last year, these landmarks would signify the beginning of my walk to campus, but now, it indicates that I’m very close (but still kind of far). Sometimes, when I walk past 110, I’m able to connect to the wifi from my room last year. I don’t check if I can today, but I don’t see why I wouldn’t be able to. Broadway is in fact much dirtier than both Amsterdam and Columbus and Manhattan Ave. It’s probably because there are more people. I’m finally able to jaywalk freely due to all the one-way streets, something less common the closer you get to CG.
About 7 minutes later, after passing familiar storefronts like Sweetgreen and Morton Williams, I make it to the Diana Center. I’ve had a long journey, but I’m finally at my destination. It took about 15 minutes, a longer trip than those from every single Barnard- or Columbia-owned residence hall (even Carlton Arms), but it was honestly a nice walk. It’s going to suck in the winter though.
Morningside Park via Wikimedia Commons