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Photo by Sam Trotman on Unsplash

Welcome to the City!

Advice and recommendations from resident Concordia alumni for new grads moving to the city.

Your guide

Gerard Walsh, BA 71, native New Yorker

Favourite neighbourhoods

SoHo is a shopping paradise and artsy district in Manhattan that’s been a backdrop for so many films and commercials. You can shop on Broadway, walk to Little Italy, Chinatown, Tribeca or Greenwich Village. You have many niche parks in the neighborhood and quick access to Hudson and East River parks, too.

Murray Hill is known for its brownstones and tree-lined streets. Three of major attractions nearby include the Empire State Building, the United Nations and Bryant Park. You are also a stone’s throw from Grand Central, Times Square, Macy’s and the Theater District.

The Upper East Side is one of the most affluent areas in the city and is bordered by the East River and Central Park. Along Fifth Avenue is Museum Mile which includes the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The mayor’s official residence, Gracie Mansion, is located in Carl Schurz Park off the East River.”

Best places to meet new people or connect with Concordians

Alumni events! Our annual chapter events include the Terry Fox Run in October, a holiday party in December and various social events throughout the year.

We have also partnered as a university sponsor with the Canadian Association of New York to offer special privileges to our alumni.

Last year's annual Holiday Party at Maman!

Best coffee shops

This is the easiest answer: Maman. Concordia grad Benjamin Sormonte, BComm 05, and his lovely wife Elisa Marshall, are behind this popular Manhattan chain with locations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., Montreal and Toronto. Their chocolate chip cookies were named one of Oprah Winfrey’s ‘favorite things’ in 2017!

Places that remind you of Canada/Montreal

“When I think of Montreal, I always remember how the city bloomed in the spring. So I would recommend visiting the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. The Brooklyn garden is close to the Brooklyn Museum and Prospect Park. In the Bronx, also visit the Bronx Zoo and the campus of Fordham University.” 

Best restaurants

“As a person who worked in Manhattan for many years, I enjoyed frequenting Zagat-type restaurants. There is no shortage of restaurants in the city and, eventually, our alumni will discover their favourite neighbourhood places.

But I do recommend going to my favorite family-style restaurant, Carmines. There are two locations, one near Times Square and one on the Upper West Side. Reservations are usually required but not difficult to make. The Times Square location, as you might expect, is a hive of activity. The other location is more serene and a neighbourhood venue.” 

Hidden gems

“Summer is beach time in New York City. Although most people are familiar with Coney Island and Brighton Beach in Brooklyn, the Rockaways offer a special brand of sun and surf. Located in Queens, Rockaway is a peninsula bordered by Jamaica Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Unlike our Brooklyn beaches, the Rockaways are not crowded and offer a five-mile boardwalk, the longest on the east coast. The brand-new stretch of boardwalk has many concessions and entertainment stops along the way. Best of all, you can take a ferry from Manhattan or Brooklyn.”

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