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Welcome, New York 'Dores

Welcome to New York City! With over 6,600 alumni in the Big Apple, we have a unique opportunity to reconnect with former classmates, make new friends, and network with other members of the Vanderbilt community from across the globe.

Our upcoming calendar is full of events and activities that appeal to all ages and interests. Stay tuned for the following: game watches, seasonal/holiday parties, cultural and educational experiences, alumni spotlights, Vanderbilt faculty lectures, round-table discussions, informal networking breakfasts, formal networking nights, opportunities for engagement with the New York City community, and much more.

If you would like to receive our weekly newsletter detailing our upcoming events, please update your mailing address and email address in your VUconnect profile. Also, please follow us on Facebook and Instagram for real time updates. 

Have any questions, recommendations, or eager to try something new in our great city? Drop one of us an email and we'll help put together an event!

Anchor Down!

It’s no lie that NYC is the most expensive city to live in, but trust me, it’s well worth it. There’s nothing like being young in NYC. ’13

Where to Live

You will have to choose between location and amenities. Yes, you will always have a friend who finds a “dream” apartment with all the right amenities in a great location, but situations like that account for a drop in the bucket of the usual apartment hunt in New York. You will be best served by having a set of bare minimums that you will require for your apartment and taking the first or second place you find that is within your budget that meets those thresholds. Otherwise you might seriously regret having passed on something acceptable—not to mention how grueling the apartment search can be in NYC to begin with. ’11

Live in Harlem, Queens, the Bronx, or Hoboken if you want to get bang for your buck. Otherwise, find some people you don’t mind being close to...very, very close to. ’13

Brooklyn is full of adventure. With the parks, bars, flea markets, gardens, museums, music, food and the subway itself, it is your own fault if you’re bored. ’13

Lots of Vandy grads and recent college grads in general tend to live in Murray Hill, but find the neighborhood that is right for you. Each area has its own charm, and you also need to factor in your morning commute. It is very easy to get to anywhere in Manhattan from Union Square or the area around Penn Station. Popular areas for young people to go out are Meatpacking District and Lower East Side. ’15

Hoboken is a 10 minute PATH ride away from Manhattan. While you don’t have all the luxuries of being right in the city, Hoboken is quiet, fun, and full of young professionals. There are a ton of great restaurants and fun bars here, all within a 10-minute walk. Being outside of Manhattan allows you to get more bang for your buck as far as rent goes also, which is really nice. ’12

  • Murray Hill – A lot of recent graduates move to Murray Hill. It is a fairly central location and can be reasonably priced for amenities that will make your parents comfortable (like a doorman, for instance).
  • East Village and Lower East Side – Great nightlife and has become very popular, making rentals go up in price. You can still find good deals but you may have to search a bit more. There are fewer accessible subways, but buses are convenient.
  • Upper East Side and Upper West Side – You can typically get more space for your money and both areas have more of a neighborhood feel. It can take a bit longer to commute to work or to see friends.
  • West Village – Can be much more expensive, but a great neighborhood with lots of restaurants. Accessible by the majority of the subway.
  • Williamsburg – One of the most convenient neighborhoods in Brooklyn for getting to and from the city. Be forewarned, the L train that makes it so convenient is shutting down for a couple of years for repairs.
  • Jersey City, Hoboken, Brooklyn and Queens – You can oftentimes find more affordable and more spacious rentals if you think outside Manhattan. Many neighborhoods in Brooklyn are close to or just as expensive as Manhattan, but as a general rule of thumb, the further you go the less expensive it gets.

Other things to know about NYC Housing

  • Look up reviews of landlords or your building’s management company.
  • Consider things like the closest grocery store if you like to cook or the closest gym!
  • You’ll often have to pay a brokers fee when looking for a rental. These fees can break the bank so be sure to look for no–fee real estate companies and no-fee apartment buildings as well.
  • Look for apartments using Craigslist and asking friends. Join fraternity/sorority alumni email lists. Networking can make it easier to find no-fee rentals.
  • Rents in Manhattan are on the high side, so consider living in Brooklyn (Williamsburg, Cobble Hill, Greenpoint), Queens (Astoria) or New Jersey (Jersey City or Hoboken). They all have public transportation to Manhattan.
  • Get to know the personality of any area you’re considering and visit 
  • at different times of the day. To save money you can convert an apartment by adding a wall to create an extra room. Make sure your building allows this and keep in mind the wall may not extend to the ceiling.
  • Live close to the subway. If you are far from a subway, buses and Citi Bike are often a good alternative.
  • If the apartment building does not have a washer/dryer, make sure that there is one nearby. Wash & Fold can be worth it.

Things to do

Sign up for local magazines and newsletters, like Time Out New York, pulsd, or the skint.

You’ll always know what’s going on in the city! ’14

Take advantage of the free things. New York is an expensive city, but subscribing to newsletters like “TimeOut NYC” will give you a list each week of the city’s coolest happenings in addition to things you can do that require nothing from your wallet. ’16

There are lots of great free events in the summertime (concerts, festivals, etc.). Try soup dumplings in Chinatown and Dominican food in Washington Heights. You will spend an inordinate amount of money on everything all of the time. There is a great network of people from almost every city and country you could imagine (including plenty of Vandy alumni that you will run into intentionally and unintentionally). Go to all of the bottomless brunches. ’13

Sign up for the skint email newsletter for free/cheap things to do in this always–expensive city. There are lots of great restaurants everywhere, and great places to eat and drink in East Village. ‘15

  • Central Park – Great place to go running and there are areas to run along the East River and Hudson River as well.
  • Museums – The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Guggenheim and Museum of Natural History offer free entrance at some point during the week.
  • Broadway or Off–Broadway shows – Half price tickets available at TKTS discount booth. Broadway Week happens a couple of times each year so look for half price tickets then as well.
  • Sailing or Ferry Rides around Manhattan – Circle Line, NYwaterway.com or the FREE Staten Island Ferry.
  • Kayak in the Hudson River – downtownboathouse.org.
  • Brooklyn Botanical Garden – Great place to go and relax. Conveniently located off of the subway!
  • Zog Sports – City sports league that is easy and fun to join! Cost depends on number of teammates and sport. Typically around $75 – $100 each person.
  • Governor’s Island – Free ferry ride from NYC. Different events each week, such as polo matches, concerts, and art exhibits. You can also rent bikes and tour the island on your own.
  • Movies in the Park – Bryant Park shows movies every Monday night throughout the summer. Bring a blanket, some food and wine, and enjoy some old films.
  • Upright Citizens Brigade – Great comedy improv theater frequented by the cast of SNL. You never know who is going to make an appearance! You won’t spend more than $10. newyork.ucbtheatre.com/
  • Breweries – Brooklyn Brewery, Sixpoint Brewery, several Beer Gardens around NYC
  • Smorgasburg – Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 5 and Williamsburg open Spring–Fall. Food market where you can purchase samplings of dishes from hundreds of vendors.
  • Shopping – Great shopping in Soho and Bleecker Street in the West Village. There are unique boutiques in the East Village, especially on 7th–9th streets between 1st Ave and Ave A.
  • Sample Sales – Check on theclothingline.com or nymag.com.
  • Concerts and events – Check out New York Magazine’s website (nymag.com) for information on upcoming events and SeatGeek.com for tickets to concerts and games
  • Live Events – There are tons of live events going on in NYC every night, making it really easy to see some of your favorite performers and teams.

Most Popular Gyms

Wait and see if your company offers a negotiated discount with a gym before joining one—oftentimes you can get a great deal by joining one through your company ’11

  • NY Sports Club – Option of joining one gym or getting a passport to gyms across the city
  • Equinox – Nice facilities and good classes
  • Crunch – Good classes
  • NY Parks and Recreation – Gyms around the city that you can join for $50 a year
  • Boutique fitness studios – join or pay per class (SoulCycle, Bar Method, Pure Barre, Pilates, Yoga, etc.)
  • ClassPass – an alternative if you prefer to take lots of different boutique classes versus belonging to a gym

Getting Around/Transportation

  • Subways – Quickest and usually most convenient way to get around the city. If you take the subway (or bus) to and from work every day then look into getting a 30-day unlimited Metrocard (many employers offer these pre-tax).
  • Buses – Can take longer to get around based on traffic, but can be convenient options when you are not close to a subway. Buses are good for going cross-town or up 1st Ave. and they are available on every major avenue and street.
  • Car – Unless you need a car for your job, leave it at home or sell it. Garages are very expensive and traffic/parking can be a nightmare.
  • Check hopstop.com for the quickest routes to where you’re going (subway, bus, or taxi)

New York - By the Numbers

  • Alumni: 7,695
  • Students: 810

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