Photos, words, and audio by Clark Adomaitis
The following article appeared in the March 2020 edition of The Campus.
Need a place to study? Chill? Vibe? Relax? Eat? Meditate? Experience white noise? Hangout with friends? Look out into the sunset or skyline of Manhattan? I explored CCNY’s unique campus and found some great roofs, lawns, and outdoor spaces to vibe. I also recorded some high-quality audio at each location so you could feel like you were really there. The audio will add a third dimension to the reading to help you vibe. Here are the best spots on campus with great views and auditorily pleasing white noise.
After what seems like an endless march up ten flights of stairs, I approach a “STOP, Authorized Personnel Only Beyond This Point, Violators Subject to Prosecution” sign. How frightening! I continue through the door and I am hit with a breath of fresh air. The NAC stairwell behind me seems to breathe as well.
A grand spectacle encompasses me. This roof, on the largest building on campus, feels like it spans more than 360 degrees. The roof has corners and spots to roam and explore, making the vista more interactive. I can see various nooks and crannies of campus as well. To the north, I can see abandoned tennis courts on the second floor of Marshak, the Shepard field, and the skyline of Queens behind it all. Shepard Hall’s architecture and jagged corner molds look even more magnificent from this aerial vantage point. To the south, the view of midtown Manhattan is picture-perfect. To the west, I can see the Hudson River with New Jersey behind it. Tight.
This roof is a great place to get some fresh air and take in the beauty of our school’s location. This spot helps to get your mind off daily troubles and instead reminds you of the grandeur of the buildings we study in. If you feel anxious from the small fear of being caught by public safety… think, “who can see up that high?” I know I can’t…
Audio: Listen for some loud white noise and machine hum from mechanical rooms right below the roof. The wind is present but not unbearable.
Architecture Building Roof
This roof is full of life. It has a greenhouse, numerous entrances, and a seating area where 212 people can fit! This roof is the only one on campus where students are encouraged to enjoy the roof. It has a magnificent view of the two glass buildings on South Campus and the skyline of midtown Manhattan behind it. However, the view is not as great as the NAC roof’s because the NAC is taller.
Audio: The white noise is quiet here. Airplane sounds audible, street sounds are minimal. Very calm and chill overall.
The Quadrilateral is the central area where the Wingate Fitness Center, Harris Hall, Compton & Goethals Building, and Shepard Hall converge. The gothic architecture engulfs me at every location in the quad, making my 360-degree view full of brown and creme beauty.
The quad experiences packed and bustling moments during pleasant weather times as it is a large, open space for congregation. Stone benches, picnic benches, and metal chairs make finding a seat here easy. The ample seats make this spot more welcoming
Audio: Gentle and calm white noise fill this track. The quad is not as packed as other seasons because it is a drizzly and dreary day outside. Super relaxing and chill vibes.
Shepard Hall Roof
There is no grand vista of campus or the city from this roof because it is surrounded by walls. On the plus side, it makes the spot quiet and relaxing. There is even an old chair for me to sit on. Looking up, I see bone-colored gargoyles and spooky wall moldings that are specific to Shepard Hall. I feel peaceful up here because of the lack of a “do not enter” sign. Inside the walls of the roof are metal ladders that lead up to a grand view of Harlem. The view is wonderful, but I wish I did not have to climb a dirty ladder in a dark crevice to access it.
Audio: Listen to the flag flapping in the wind, a plastic bag dancing, and quiet white noise. Horns from street level are audible.
Advanced Science Research Center Lawn
Spacious lawns surround the two glass buildings on South Campus. During a break between classes, this area is a good space to frolic or meditate. Looking up, the sky is large because it is not obstructed by many large buildings as it is in other parts of the city. However, while the view of the glass buildings and the sky is nice, there is not much else to look at. The experience is kind of boring. Some dormitory residents walk to and from the Towers, making the space less lonely. Still, this area is one of the least populated places on campus.
Audio: The gentle white sounds of wind fill my ears. Car rumblings from busier streets float around quietly, providing a pleasant backdrop for this city lawn.