CBS Students live all around New York City, Westchester, and New Jersey. However, many students choose to stay near campus and most students tend to stay on the Upper West Side of Manhattan (North of W 60th Street and South of W 125th Street). In terms of choosing a location, there are a few things to consider:
- If you live very close to campus, there is not too much around in terms of shopping or bars, but it is very convenient to get to class and learning team meetings (especially during the sometimes cold winter weather) – just be prepared to go to other areas at night.
- Anywhere near Broadway in the 70’s and 80′s is a quick (15-20 minute) and easy commute up to Columbia. The subway line (the 1/2/3) is very reliable and runs frequently.
- Quite a few Happy Hour after parties and some school/recruiting events are located downtown, so while it may take you longer to get to class in the morning, you may end up saving on cab rides after a night out!
- For those with an iPhone, a current LBS student has created a very helpful guide to moving to NYC which includes neighborhood descriptions http://bit.ly/l9d0hD
- NY Mag also has a decent neighborhood map with a description and travel times by neighborhood http://bit.ly/mMlMy2
In terms of rental timing, the Upper West Side is a ’15-30 day’ market. Apartments turn quite quickly, so people looking for a place should plan to look no more than 4 weeks before your expected move-in date. (Tenants aren’t required to give more than 30 days notice.) You can try looking 6 weeks before, but your search would be more for gathering information (on pricing, neighborhoods, etc). Anything more than that and the landlords won’t want to speak with you. Typically, there is only a 2-week gap between signing a lease and moving in.
If you are planning on looking for an August 1 lease, you should probably come to town the first or second week in July to spend at least two days getting an apartment. There are a lots of good apartments but you have to move fast and be resourceful. It’s tough to do much research before getting down here as the market moves very fast. Generally, the only chance to lock something down earlier is if you find an apartment under renovation.
Finally, if you find an apartment that you like, don’t delay in signing a lease. Often these apartments are shown to dozens of people each day, and if you don’t act quickly, you might find that someone has taken your perfect apartment.