Downtown Low-Down: Tips for The Newest New Schoolers


Are you “New School”? If you’re reading this, chances are you make the grade. You know that being New School means being new, fresh, and forward thinking. So to keep you New School, we polled your peers and compiled a list of crowdsourced tips for making the most of your new neighborhood: the Village. For those of you who already know the city inside and out, read on, we’ve also included an update of what’s new on campus, so you can make the most of your first weeks back.

One of the first things you’ll notice about Greenwich Village is that it’s pretty. Really pretty. You can spend hours browsing at the Union Square Farmer’s Market, or just wandering its townhouse-lined streets, imagining yourself as the next Bob Dylan or Jack Kerouac. And, since you’re probably not paying a mortgage, you get to enjoy it all for free. Or almost free. If you need to stop for refreshments or entertainment along the way, present that good-looking NewCard of yours. The NewCard gives you access to discounts and free admission at shops and cultural institutions in the neighborhood and across the city.

The New School is renowned for its public programs, and most are free with the NewCard. Check out the events calendar for more information. In the city at large, the NewCard provides New School students, faculty, and staff with free admission and movie tickets to the Museum of Modern Art, textbook discounts at the Barnes & Noble store on Fifth Avenue at 18th Street, and discounts at art supply stores including A.I. Friedman and Pearl Paint and at a number of neighborhood businesses like J Crew, Club Monaco, Madewell, Bar Six, and the McBurney YMCA, to name a few. In addition, the Office of Student Development and Activities offers discounted and free tickets to movies and other cultural venues all over town. See the Student Handbook for more information. Keep logged into my.newschool.edu to watch for announcements about events and special offers.

In addition to your NewCard, there is one other card that you’ll want to become friendly with: the MetroCard. This all-access bus and subway pass can get you nearly anywhere in the city for only $2.25 a ride, or less, if you buy a monthly or weekly unlimited card. Our campus is located at the nexus of three of the city’s major subway stations: 14th Street/Union Square, 14th Street/Sixth Avenue, and West 4th Street. Put a few dollars on your card, and carry it with you for those late summer days when you’d like to explore the city’s storied parks and beaches. It will be good practice for the future, when all of your friends move to Brooklyn.

Right here in our backyard, you might benefit from a guide to what’s new with the university’s growing campus: Our facility at 6 East 16th Street has expanded with the addition of new 12th floor studio and research spaces for most Parsons graduate programs, including the Transdisciplinary Design and Design and Technology, as well as a new home for the DESIS Lab (Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability. The floor also includes a small lounge and caf√© and will soon feature student art and design installations to provide some food for thought while you enjoy your coffee. And keep your eyes peeled for rising stories coming up on 14th and 5th–the structure of the first floors of the University Center should be visible by December.

At Arnhold Hall, 55 West 13th Street, the university has installed a number of technology improvements, including a new print output center and wireless printing capabilities, a new isolation booth for audio recording, and a new online equipment reservation system. Find out more at the academic technology website.

Speaking of technology, you’ve likely heard by now that The New School has gone Google: all student email is being switched over to Google Apps this summer, with faculty and staff soon to follow. This will provide more flexibility and space for email storage and better software for interactive communication and collaboration. Learn more about the big switch at the New School Google page.

In gearing up for the new academic year, we asked our Facebook community for other tips that they would share with their fellow students. What did we learn? Signing up for Amazon Student enables you to discounts and free shipping on their products; you can (and should) use your already-included-in-your-tuition printer credits in the university computer labs; and free concerts offered throughout the year by students from Mannes College and The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music make for a great cheap date. And that’s just the beginning.

Read more recommendations and submit your own (we at the New_S are always looking for more and better falafel in the hood), by becoming a fan of the New School Facebook page.