Street Philosopher

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Columbia's interview guide lists hotels in the 200-300 range. I don't know about anyone else, but that seems a little high to me. All I need is a decent toilet, a working shower, and no insects or stains on the sheets. Where can I stay for cheap? Also, what is a good place to look for airline tickets? I think JetBlue has pretty good prices, about 300 roundtrip and it goes to JFK, but not La Guardia. I'm pretty much baffled by all these things, as I haven't travelled much and NYC is so big and complex looking. (for lack of better wording)

Is there a way to find information on NYC shuttle services online? Do I tip the taxi driver? (We don't use taxis in this part of the country =P)

I try to do things on my own and be knowledgeable about a lot of things, but this kind of thing I admit to being completely clueless about.

Thank you for reading; thank you further should you offer positive advice or information in my aid.
 
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Street Philosopher

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I was also wondering if hosteling is a good or bad idea. I was in a hostel for a trip in Europe and it was good enough for me, and the rooms are like 20 bucks a night. Are there any near the school or near the subways heading towards the school?
 

Yogi Bear

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does columbia let you stay w/ a student? if it doesn't and you're short on cash, you can try getting a place FAR from the campus. NYC's subways are pretty cheap ($4 for unlimited rides each day). Just find a hotel/motel about an hour away and commute via subway to your interview.
 
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DarkChild

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200-300 is high.
check this site out for some ideas:
http://hotels.newyork.com/
also dont sweat location so far as you're in manhattan (in an area lower than harlem - 125st) cabs, buses and subways abound.
worst comes to worst take a cab - I bet even from the WTC to CU its only going to be a $25 cab ride (tip included)
and yes you do tip cabbies and waitresses and bartenders...
;)
transportation around NYC is usually pretty quick, easy and affordable.
and if you do take the subway - remember you want the 1/9 trains to get to CU, not the 2/3!!!
if you do get on the 2/3 - no big deal, transfer at 96th street for the uptown 1 or 9.
remember - 1/9.
 

coolwaters

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I believe there are hostels in NYC. Jet Blue is the one of the best options for airfare into the city. If you're flying into JFK, there is a free shuttle that will come by the Jet Blue terminal and take you to the A train. It will however take you over an hour on this subway train to get up to washington heights - good part is you can get into the city for $1.50. Just budget an extra 2 hours than you would otherwise.
 

squidget

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A cheaper hotel that you may want to try is Hotel Newton (about $120 a night). It is right on broadway and 94th street, so you could take the 1/9 subway line to 168th street, the Columbia Presbyterian stop. From the subway, the admissions office is just a half a block away. You can ask anyone on the street where the P&S building is from the subway.

I have never stayed in this hostel, but I heard that it is *fairly* clean and decent (and certainly way cheaper than a hotel -- but don't quote me on this). There is a website for the hostel (http://63.70.211.212/cfdocs/hostels.cfm?CITY=New York) and it is also walking distance from the 1/9 subway stop, which you want to take. It is located at 103rd street, one block east of the 103rd subway station.

There are a ton of subway options, but I can understand if you don't want to mess with public transportation in an unfamiliar city (although it is relatively cheaper -- you can buy a metro card at ATM-like machines in each subway stop, $1.50 each way). You can also take a cab which wouldn't be horribly expensive, esp. if it is not rush hour (about ten to fifteen dollars from the places I mentioned above). A dollar tip usually covers everything.

Hope this helps!
 
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Street Philosopher

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WOWOWOWOW! I'm floored by all the good information. Thank you all so much!

I was wondering, do I need to arrange for the shuttle to pick me up ahead of time, or is it sort of like a bus in that they just come by and pick up whoever is there and needs a ride?
 

SMW

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Definitely stay with a student host. They are always very helpful and full of information about the school that you wouldn't get otherwise. They also help you get to your interview on time in the morning! (crucial for directions-impaired non-morning people like me!). I believe I just called admissions and asked for a student host (sorry, my memory is fuzzy about details of planning my interview trips last year).

There is a website called ny.com that has lots of good info about getting around the city and to and from the airports. Shuttles: Express Shuttle USA (formerly Gray Line) -- (800) 451-0455 or (212) 315-3006. Super Shuttle -- (800) 258-3826. These shuttles are door-to-door which I found invaluable being a country bumpkin from Alaska. Make an appointment if timing is crucial, (or to get to the airport on time when you're flying out), otherwise one should come within 20 minutes or so. Cab ride from JFK to Columbia is $30 + toll and tip. Shuttles were cheaper but, I don't remember the exact price. My info is all a year old, so I apologize if anything has changed.

Good luck, and make sure to schedule enough time there to have fun in NYC!! :D :cool: :D
 

chips

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hey street philospher,

if you're really pressed for cash/can't get a student host you can crash at my place in brooklyn for a night. i volunteer up at the hospital on saturdays and via express it takes me about 50mins to get to the med campus. pm me if you're interested.
 

saiyagirl

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ahh!!! a better option than the 1/9 is the A express to CU.
it is

SO
FAST.

because it skips practically every stop on the upper west side. coming from lower manhattan, the 1/9 (or actually just the 1, the 9 doesn't exist anymore) will take forever to get to CU....like an hour and a half or something...the A express will take no more than 45 mins.

there's another thread about this somewhere. search and ye shall find :)
 
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Street Philosopher

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thank you all for such great information! i did look at that other thread, but I wanted some more specific information. now I know what I should be looking for in terms of hotels and such. I've already secured a flight through STA travel. UCLA folks should definitely check them out for cheap fares, they are great!

chips, I'm not toooooooo strapped for cash, but thanks for the generous offer! i'm going to be arriving a day early like gower advised in a different thread, and do some sightseeing and relaxing before the interview.

i'm pumped!
 
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