Tuesday, September 25, 2007

By the way, if you're ever up by Columbia

Check out Labyrinth Books. They're by far the best academic bookstore I've come across, better even than the bookstores around Harvard.

But Columbia. I went to NYU for a bit and so, well, there's something of a rivalry, at least on NYU's part, between NYU and Columbia, with NYU seeing itself as the school more in touch with reality and Columbia as being a sort of Ivory Tower place isolated from the real life of New York City. And if you go by the Columbia campus you can see why this is. You half expect people to be walking around there with frat beanies on their heads and women (at Barnard) chasing wooden hoops down hills with sticks. NYU, by contrast, has no campus and is instead a collection of buildings located in Greenwich Village surrounding Washington Square Park.

Of course there's a little irony in NYU considering itself more in touch with reality than Columbia. Like Columbia, NYU is a very expensive private college, and like Columbia you can find yourself in a class with a person who lived in OJ's neighborhood in L.A. and a person from one of the ruling families of Bahrain, as I did.

*on edit: it seems that the Labyrinth Books by Columbia is now called "Book Culture"

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