With a fire station and hospital located nearby, if you regularly start uncontrollable fires in your kitchen and routinely need to be hospitalized, Guest Writer Nicholas Ward thinks this is the place for you.

Location: 506 West 113th Street (sometimes known as “Arlington”). Located right next to the SIPA Admissions building and two buildings down from the fire station.

  • Nearby dorms: Watt Hall is on the same block. 506 West 113th, however, is part of Columbia Residential (NOT Columbia Housing)—it houses GS students, graduate students, and faculty. Yes, even faculty.
  • Nearby stores/services: FDNY Engine 47, Mount Sinai Hospital, Town Pharmacy, The New York Basics, Symposium, University Hardware, The Hungarian Pastry Shop, Tom’s Restaurant, 
  • Cost: $1,450.00 a month (all utilities included) for a shared two-bedroom apartment.


  • A/C & Heating: No A/C. There is heating—NYC law requires that—and it works well. The building is pre-war, however, and those old pipes make a LOT of noise when the heat is running.
  • Kitchen: Yes. Some units have very large kitchens. In fact, the kitchen is large enough that there is a dining table in there. My unit had almost the entire kitchen replaced, with a new stove, new countertops, new cabinets, and a new sink installed in the last four months.
  • Elevator: Yes. It works perfectly fine, even though it is really old and you feel like it will break down at any moment. On the plus side, every elevator ride gives you a chance to really consider your life choices.
  • Lounge: None. You do have a large gorgeous mirror in the front entrance though.
  • Laundry: In the basement, which is only accessible via the elevator. Laundry is not free, and figuring out how to add funds to your laundry card is insanely convoluted. The laundry card and machines are run by a third-party company. If you ever need to call them—and honestly, you probably will—try to meditate beforehand. The stress of dealing with them may cause increased blood pressure and/or a brain aneurysm.
  • Computers/printers: No. There’s no lounge, so there would be nowhere to put them.
  • Flooring: Hardwood. It’s better than carpet and, honestly, fun to slide around the hallway with your socks on.
  • WiFi: No. Internet service is provided by Spectrum (it’s quite fast) and it is included in your rent. You will, however, have to buy your own WiFi router. You can buy a Wi-Fi router from CUIT, but they are only willing to sell it to you in a manner suspiciously similar to a drug deal: “…router sales are conducted via on-campus handoff. A technician will meet you at an agreed-upon time at the Alma Mater statue on the steps in front of Low Library to exchange a configured router for a check/money order.” 
    • Just go to Best Buy and purchase a router. 

Bwog Recommendation: 

  • Overall, not a bad place. There’s a lot of noise from ambulances at the nearby hospital, but that’s true of every Columbia housing unit close to campus. The revamped and large kitchen is what makes this apartment worth it. Just remember: the walls are paper thin—I can absolutely tell when my upstairs neighbors’ bed is rockin’ at a steady rhythm late at night.

506 West 113th Steet via Columbia Residential