Posts Tagged 'neighborhoods'

Where to live?

I chose to live off campus because I already had a house in the Columbus area in the suburb of Worthington. Worthington is located roughly 8 miles north of The Fisher College of Business. In making the decision about where to live, there are several important factors to consider when choosing a housing option.

  1. How do you want to get to campus? If you’re interested in walking or riding a bicycle to campus, it’s probably not a good idea to live far off campus. The weather in Columbus can sometimes be enough of a deterrent against riding a bicycle, but we do have a nice time frame of fair weather. Something to keep in mind – many students will be in business casual daily, often business professional attire. I don’t want to ruin a suit or cause an excessive increase in my dry-cleaning bill! Parking is easily accessible around the Fisher campus and is pretty reasonable in terms of affordability. Keep in mind that there are also motorcycle parking lots, bicycle racks, etc.
  2. Class/Group Implications. Nearly every single class within the MBA program in the initial term has some aspect of group work. In addition, most students get involved with student organizations and opportunities for other extracurricular. That being said, if you’re going to travel to campus more than once a day – driving each time can get pricey. If you live far off campus, like me, you may not have a choice. No one wants to be a slave to the gas pump, especially on a student budget.
  3. Fisher Commons. The Fisher Commons is an apartment complex which is designed primarily for students of the Fisher College of business. Although I do not have the statistics, many students choose to live at Fisher Commons. Arguably the largest attraction – many students/classmates live at Fisher Commons.  If you have a homework/study question, it’s just a walk across the hall to a classmate. It’s also a natural social hub for events like tailgate events, parties, etc. There are certainly perks.  However, there is a price to pay for the convenience. Fisher Commons is expensive, with many substitutes within the marketplace being 20-30% less.
  4. Neighborhood Personalities. Many surrounding neighborhoods within the Columbus market have their own flavor and personality.
    • Dublin, Powell, Worthington and Westerville comprise the northern portion of the Columbus suburbs. These communities provide great school systems and are very family friendly, generally having a small town feel. The pace slows in the evenings, and these areas are generally quiet all day/night.
    • Clintonville, “The Short North”, Italian Village, Victorian Village, and German Village are very popular among young urban dwellers. These neighborhoods have a rich, diverse history and are vibrant in terms of nightlife and dining options.
    • Campus Area properties are generally going to have an “undergrad” feel.  Although locations may be convenient, the Friday/Saturday parties and traffic congestion may detract for some people. These rentals will often be the most affordable option.

In the end, this is just a snapshot of what options and amenities are available around the Columbus area and is by no means intended to be exhaustive. Where anyone chooses to live is ultimately a personal decision, likely to include consideration of several of the above factors. Do your research and make a decision that’s best for you. In the end, remember that you’ll literally have to live with whatever choice that you make for at least a year.


The Key to Graduate Housing

We are almost finished with spring quarter and I am shocked by how rapidly my first year ended.  With its end, so arrives the end of my apartment lease.  My roommate and I have decided to move.  We get along well, enjoy living together (will for another year), and desire a nicer apartment.  After hunting for a few days, we found our new abode, signed our new lease, and will move at the beginning of July.

The Class of 2011 will soon receive their MBAs and many will depart from Columbus, starting new lives beyond b-school and vacating many apartments.  The new 2013 class of full-time MBAs is slowly but surely gathering on Facebook and has already entered into a variety of discussions.  As I watch passively, I am reminded how clueless they are . . . which is totally normal.  To help them out (as well as any of you considering a full-time program), here’s a quick checklist along with several resources to get you started “apartment hunting”.

1. PROXIMITY: “Location.  Location.  Location!”  To live a happy grad school life, do not underestimate this critical decision.  Be as close to campus as possible – but not so close that you’re surrounded by undergrads.  The closer you live to campus, the easier it is to stop home and grab a bite to eat, change clothes, or take a nap.

Specific to Columbus: This is not Cleveland although it also snows here from November through April.  A “normal” commute from one place to the next is 15-20 minutes; a 30 minute drive is a long commute.

Specific to Fisher: It is easy to find housing within three miles of campus so your door-to-door travel time is approx 15 minutes.  Arriving late to class is a BAD idea.  If you are not a morning person, find a place near Fisher.  If you do not have a car, find a place near High Street or one of the main campus bus routes.

2. COST: Keep things reasonable especially if you will assume student loan debt to pay for b-school.  If you live like you’re rich now, you’ll have to live like you’re poor later.  Want a nicer place?  Get a roommate.

Specific to Columbus: If you live alone, plan to spend around $600/month for a decent place to live.  Any lower than that means you are sacrificing something (i.e. location, amenities, safety, privacy, peace & quiet).  Make sure you know what you are sacrificing.  With a roommate or a shared living arrangement (like a boarding house), you can find reasonable living accommodations for $350/person/month.

Specific to Fisher: If you’re not receiving housing assistance . . . or if you’re not independently wealthy, you’re smart to find a roommate to split expenses.  Use Facebook, the Graduate Housing Google Group, or OSU’s Off-Campus Student Services Roommate Search.

3. COMMUNITY: Do your research and ensure the type of community you live in matches your lifestyle.  You may want a family-friendly community with a yard, an urban landscape, a quiet community, or a communal area crawling with students.  The better the match the happier you will be.

Specific to Columbus: There are areas that cater to each lifestyle choice.  Some research online will help you determine what’s best for you.  One good site to use is www.metro-rentals.com.  They explain the various communities here and provide a link to the suburbs in case that may interest you.

Specific to Fisher: You will be busy . . . so, unless you like to study at the Library (which incidentally is very nice), figure you will need an atmosphere at home that allows you to study.  Choose wisely and don’t get hung up on a bunch of amenities; there’s no need to pay for a bunch of extras you won’t use.  The RPAC and ARC blow away any apartments’ workout facilities.

HOUSING RESOURCES for Fisher MBAs:

Fisher Commons is an option available to Fisher MBAs and is great for camaraderie . . . which means you’ll sacrifice a bit on privacy.  Football tailgates are a norm in season and pre-event festivities are common in the courtyard.  Residents are primarily MBAs but not exclusively, other grad students (law, med, etc) call it home too.  Rent is relatively expensive without housing assistance but moving and commuting are made easy.

OSU Off-Campus Housing Services provides rental information, lease assistance, roommate contracts, roommate search support, and other helpful information to consider when moving to the OSU campus area.

www.metro-rentals.com is a website that lists various independent rentals available in various areas of town.  It includes a description of communities around the city as well as a link to suburban rentals.

www.padmapper.com is a handy website that scans Craig’s List and other apartment posting sites and displays the results visually on a map.  You can filter the results and easily stay informed of new rental opportunities as they become available.  It’s also offered as an app for your smart phone.

www.apartmentratings.com is another handy website to peruse before renting in a local apartment community.  Sometimes you don’t always get what you pay for – this site helps advise you.  It’s important to realize the audience is self-selected.  The massively disgruntled will find the time to post commentary.  Some fans post reviews as well . . . it’s up to you to filter through the info available and make an informed decision.

My final advice: the shaded areas on this map will be filled with undergrads because they are in walking distance of campus.  As a b-school student, I encourage you to explore the Outside University District areas.

Good luck and see you in the fall!

University Area Map


Some ideas for expeditions for those new to C-bus

Even though I’ve been living in metro-Columbus for the past two years, there are ALWAYS new, exciting things to do! Let me give you some examples:

1. The Chihuly exhibit at Franklin Park Conservatory, which goes through November. Dale Chihuly and his studio members create some of the most beautiful glass objects in existence (in my humble opinion)! There are currently THREE separate exhibits of his work in Columbus – it’s hard to believe he’s not a Columbus native! There’s the exhibit at the Conservatory, one at the Columbus Museum of Art, and one at the Hawk Gallery. Check out some of the pictures of his works.

Ceiling of Chihuly glass

The Blue and Purple Boat

Blue Grass

Beautiful Flower

2. Shadowbox – a sketch comedy/live rock&roll club. This place is absolutely a blast – I’ve been with co-workers, friends, even my mother – and everyone has a great time. It’s composed of a very talented group of singers, actors, comedians, etc that perform cover songs, original music, and some of the funniest live sketch comedy around. As a bonus – they have student discounts! Located at Easton, it’s only a 15 – 20 minute drive from campus. Definitely worth checking out on a Friday or Saturday.

3. Gallery Hop in the Short North. This occurs the first Saturday of every month. There are lots of local artists and artisans selling their wares, along with free food and wine at some of the galleries. Personally, one of my favorite parts of the Gallery Hop is the people-watching!

4. The North Market. This somewhat hidden gem is in the Arena District. It’s a great place to peruse on the weekends – try some free samples of all kinds of cheeses, enjoy Jeni’s ice cream, sushi, all kinds of wild game, and much much more!

5. Dawes Arboretum – the home of the giant hedge! This park is in Newark, which is about 45 minutes east of Columbus. Admission is free. Many people take senior pictures and wedding photos here; once you visit, you will understand why! It’s a great place for a walk, a run, or a picnic dinner.

Dawe's Arboretum

6. The Longaberger headquarters and homestead. Also on the east side of Columbus, the Longaberger headquarters brings to mind the phrase “going to hell in a handbasket”…. Check out the picture to see why. This is a fun daytrip – tour the HQ, and check out the homestead.

Longaberger

7. Scioto Downs – live harness racing, a short drive southwest of Columbus. A fun time can be had here, although don’t aim to strike it rich!

Scioto Downs

Anyone else have any other “hidden treasures” they recommend to C-bus newbies??


The Book Loft: One Of My Favorite Columbus Places

Re-posted from shaymerritte.com/blog

So I went to the Book Loft in German Village. Imagine a fun house with all those wacky mirror, but instead replace all those mirrors with books. Now imagine a haunted house with a whole bunch of sketchy people in costumes but replace all those sketch people in costumes with books. Now imagine 30 other kinds of houses with some salient feature, but replace said salient feature with books. Welcome to the Book Loft, located on South 3rd Street, “The Loft”  is more than a block long and has 32 rooms of books, but also greeting cards, calenders AND OHIO’S LARGEST SELECTION OF JIGSAW PUZZLES. Now that I have your attention, I must apologize that the Book Loft doesn’t have any coffee or pastries, no re branded Starbucks crap here. This is a true, independent bookstore (with greeting cards and puzzles). On top of all of that, EVERY BOOK is at least 5% off the cover price, most are even cheaper than that. So if you have a spare couple of hours to spend to get lost in a labyrinth of literature, hit this bad boy up. please. Also if you have a few minutes and are feeling nostalgic about vintage web design and animated gifs… check out their website (I am in love with it).


Village, District, whatever the name, they’re all great!

A busy night in short north

A busy night in short north

Having grown up in Philadelphia, I was always surrounded by culture and different neighborhoods. I have been in C-bus (How the locals call it) for about three weeks now and i haven’t had a moment when i haven’t liked it. My first night after driving a uhaul for 8 hours from Philly, i needed a beer and found Short North to be an excellent fit. The area is just south of campus and offers a wide array of restaurants and shops with a great neighborhood feel. Over the past few weeks I have made it back to the area a few times and have also discovered other areas such as German Village and the Arena District (a place where i think i will spend a lot of time this coming year with fellow classmates as we have already had some great bonding time there). Best of all is that all these neighborhoods with their different offerings are all within a short distance of Campus.

South Campus Gateway

Eddie George's Grill below the apartments. A popular spot on gamedays.

When I was looking for a place to live I wanted to be surrounded by one of these “neighborhoods” but with not having time to make it out to tour buildings I had to search online and found South campus gateway, a new development on the south edge of campus to be a great fit. It offers housing for grad students (mostly law and med) and many restaurants, bars and shops. What makes it perfect for me is that it is a 10-12 min walk from Fisher, saving me the parking “enjoyment” many of my fellow classmates have told me about.

Have to run now, one of my new friends/classmates is coming by to watch Entourage but I’ll keep you updated on the more neighborhoods I visit as I continue to explore my new city.



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