<< ccny towers index

As an alumni of The City College, Class of 1993, I remember what it was like going to school here; and as one who helped build this dorm, I got to experience life in the hood once again for several months.

The dorm is located in a largely residential, and family oriented neighborhood. Crime, deliquent kids, and a few poorly performing public schools do surround the college, but just as long as you are aware of your surroundings, and don't stray off the beaten path, you can largely beat the odds of being a crime victim; haha, maybe.

There is not much in the way of shopping, and amenities right near the dormitory. To get any type of shopping done, one must walk 5 minutes over to either 125th St, or to Broadway.

Banks. Commerce Bank (300 West 125th St), North Fork Bank (2310 Federick Douglass Blvd), Banco Popular (231 West 125th St), Chase (300 West 125th St, 322 West 125th St), Washington Mutual 8 West 125th St, CitiBank (201 West 125th St). HSBC (139th St, and Broadway).

Supermarkets. The nearest supermarket is Econo/Associated supermarket on Amsterdam Ave and 130th St. The best supermarket in the area is Fairway Supermarket on the Hudson River at 132th st. It's somewhat a hike, but you can get everything you need there in terms of regular groceries, fresh meat, dairy, gourmet foods, kosher foods, and imported products. Citarella---a high-end gourmet shop---is located on West 125th st btwn Amsterdam and Convent Ave. Supermarkets that require a longer walk, or bus trip, is Met supermarket on West 124th st; and Amsterdam Ave, C-Town on 125th and Broadway; Pathmark (a large regional supermarket specializing in national brand names) on East 125th st and Lexington Ave. There are also several Latin groceries on Broadway on West 136th St, and a Mexican grocer on West 137th St, and Broadway. Sea and Sea, a fishmonger, is on St. Nicholas Ave and 125th St next door to the Dunkin Donuts. About everywhere else you will find a bodega---a small grocery store---selling not much else besides soda, and junk food. The closest one is on 129th and St. Nicholas Terrace.

Restaurants. Not too many in the immediate area. A few are located along 125th St, and others on Broadway. Some good lunchtime choices are Sea and Sea (St. Nicholas Ave, 125th St) for steamed fish. La Flor de Broadway (138th St and broadway) for Cuban sandwiches. Floridita (Broadway and 129th St) for Spanish food, and pastries. If you go across the park to 135th st btwn St. Nicholas and Frederick Douglass, there are a couple of small cafes there too. In the evenings, the Tamale Lady sells tamales right outside the 1 train station on 137th St and Broadway. There's also a McDonalds on 138th St and Broadway, one on 125th St and St. Nicholas Ave. A Golden Krust Carribbean bakery on 125th and Amsterdam, some fried chicken places and two dunkin donuts also on 125th St.

Clothing and Misc. 125th St. for clothing, etc. and Broadway for others.

Crime. None of the streets surrounding CCNY is 100% safe, but as long as you are aware of your surroundings, and are street smart, you can be relatively naïvely safe. The Dormitory is supposed to be protected by several security, and police forces. The NYC Parks Department Police patrolling St. Nicholas Park, the NYPD patrolling the streets, City College campus police patrolling the campus areas, and DASNY hired security patrolling inside the residence hall. The two nearest police stations are the 26th Precinct at 520 W 126th St. and the 35th Precinct at 250 W. 135th St.

I remember when I graduated this college back in 1990's, the last day, I had an pistol pointed at me in an attempted robbery as I was jumped right behind the science building by several black youths (located next to a fucking high school that is on campus). There was this other incident few months back when I was walking on convent avenue right behind two black kids; a 12 yr old with a 9mm had an 8yr in a head lock, and was walking him down the street, he waved the gun at me telling me to "beat it", I just walked away, the gun appeared unloaded as he kept moving the slide back and forth. and the puerto ricans, forget it, lots of harassment if you stray away from campus. and drugs? best stay away... dominicans? well they invented crack cocaine in this very neighborhood back in 1982. I remember being called up for jury duty, and was placed in a special grand jury for narcotics. many of the cases I heard testimony involved drugs sales located so close to campus.. all those pretty buildings you see off St. Nicholas avenue? some of them were drug dens back then. but hey, don't let all that scare you.... apparently crime is down thanks to gentrification and aggressive police tactics (bullshit). with the economy down in 2008/2009, crime will definately shoot back up again.

An aside, in January 2008, a group of thugs jumped a guy at 139th st and St. Nicholas avenue just outside of campus. in confusion, that wounded victim stabbed a good samaritan multiple times trying to help him. The good samaritan later died, and the victim was convicted of second degree murder.

So.... what do I think of the dormitory in general? it's nice city college has a dorm now, but it's location isn't that great. And as an insider who had a first hand view of the construction, I would say for the price you pay for rent, you AIN'T getting a lot of quality... for an example of cost cutting, take a look at the ceilings; rough, unpolished, it's crap. every wall between the hallway and dorm rooms have just one SINGLE sheet of drywall instead of the nyc standard double-sheet for improved fire rating and sound-proofing.

Home Photo Gallery

© Copyright 2006 by RK Chin. All rights reserved.