Admissions Blog

Elliot’s NYC Bucket List

By Elliot Mur '24
Posted May 13 2024

Studying policymaking in NYC — and at SIPA — is a powerful combination. The city and the university offer opportunities to expand your skills and apply them. As a graduate student, living in New York has only enriched my education and ability to connect with various individuals and organizations, including the United Nations and other international bodies, as well as prominent companies in finance, media, and other sectors.

Aside from that, New York is just an overall fun city to live in, and just when you think you've seen it all, there is so much more to uncover. In one or two years, you've just barely scratched the surface. As my time at SIPA and possibly in New York ends, I want to ensure that all admitted students make the most of their time in New York and stay aware of all that New York has to offer. Just last month, Shakira did an impromptu concert in Times Square! 

Here are some activities that I've completed or am planning to do: 

  1. Comedy Shows: Attending comedy shows in New York is an absolute must-do experience. As the birthplace of numerous comedians and home to iconic venues like the Comedy Cellar, the city boasts a rich comedic legacy that continues to thrive. Other notable venues include The Comic Strip, Gotham Comedy Club, and Littlefield. I went to The Stand with a friend and sat towards the back to avoid getting involved in crowd work, but I had an overall great time! Whether you're witnessing the birth of the next comedic sensation or indulging in the timeless humor of seasoned veterans, the vibrant comedy scene in New York City promises an unforgettable and laughter-filled experience for all who dare to join in the fun.

  2. Manhattan Walk from Top to Bottom: Walking from the top to the bottom of Manhattan is the best way to see the city (for cheap!) and get some great exercise. The most common route is along Broadway, Manhattan's longest street, which stretches 13.3 miles into many of New York's famous neighborhoods. Walking through it provides views of numerous quintessential New York landmarks — from the comparatively tranquil neighborhoods of Inwood and the rich diversity of Washington Heights in the north through the historic neighborhood of Harlem and past Columbia Campus. The path heads onto the prestigious Upper West Side with its legacy of old wealth, navigates the chaoticness of Times Square and the Theater District, and passes by the renowned flagship Macy's store and the iconic Flatiron Building. Then, it cuts through the artistic enclave of SoHo and into the Financial District alongside the Charging Bull of Wall Street before completing at Battery Park at the southernmost point of the island, with a view of the Statue of Liberty. *Spoiler Alert: Elliot completed this trek with PA Angel on Friday!*

  3. Attend a Taping of a Daytime and Late-Night Show: New York City's vibrant entertainment scene is renowned for attracting diverse talent, from A-list celebrities to influential politicians and celebrated authors. In New York, there's an array of options, from "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" to "The Daily Show" or "The Drew Barrymore Show." Before starting my journey at SIPA, I attended The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and saw Jason Sudeikis from Ted Lasso! It was a fun experience participating in the behind-the-scenes production of a talk show. The best part is that it's completely free! All you need to do is request tickets online through 1iota.

  4. A Last Broadway Show: A Broadway show is essential to any New York experience list. The city's vibrant theater scene offers spectacular productions that cater to every taste and preference. From classic musicals like "Chicago" and "Les Misérables" to contemporary hits such as "Hamilton" and "The Lion King," there's something for everyone to enjoy. I scored tickets to one of the long-running Broadway shows - Wicked. You may also have the chance to get tickets through the SIPA Office of Student Affairs, which sometimes subsidizes tickets to Broadway shows, or the Arts Initiative at Columbia University offers discounted tickets.  

  5. Visit all Five Boroughs in One Week: I asked Micah Nelson '24 to share her experience conquering this trek. I mentioned casually to a friend at a party that I was accidentally taking a four-borough week -- an activity in four boroughs in seven days, proud of my adventurous social schedule. My friend responded excitedly, "How about we do it on purpose?". And so began our five borough week -- an activity in each borough over seven days. We cheered on the Staten Island Ferry Hawks, dined on ice cream and folk music at a venue in Brooklyn, sipped wine and ate pasta in the Bronx, laid on the beach in Queens, and laughed at a comedy show in Manhattan. It was a memorable way to spend a week in the city over the summer -- and we're already talking about doing it again.

Of course, this list is non-exhaustive, but I hope it provides a glimpse into what joining SIPA means outside of classes. If you haven't already, make sure to check out these blog posts: