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Photos by Sara Konradi / Staff Photographer / Animation by Amanda Frame / Senior Staff Designer

Sweet, sweet readers,

For Columbia students, Amsterdam Avenue is the “other” avenue. When you tell someone to meet you at the Columbia gates, you don’t mean the ones on Amsterdam and 116th Street. There are more dorm buildings and restaurants on Broadway’s stretch of Morningside Heights. Amsterdam is quieter—we like to walk down it when we don’t feel like seeing people we know. And for this Amsterdam-themed issue of The Eye, we turn our attention to this less populated avenue.

Elizabeth Merrigan braves the cold to spend a night with Pericles Almanzar, a Public Safety guard who sits in the warmly lit booth at the “other” gates. She talks to him about looking out for students from behind his small window.

A few blocks south sits the towering Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the basement of which hosts a Sunday Soup Kitchen. Staff writer (and former head copy editor for The Eye) Madeleine Larson hunts down the Columbia students who volunteer there and looks at their relationship to community service.

One of the many iconic staples of Amsterdam is Insomnia Cookies, a business founded on a very simple premise: College students sleep late and eat late. In “Adventures in Late-Night Snackery,” The Eye’s resident morning person, grandma Jordan Allyn, explores the world of late-night eating at Columbia.

As an avenue located on planet Earth, one of Amsterdam’s concerns is climate change. (It’s a stretch, we know.) In “A Heated Debate: Climate Change in the Classroom,” Gavrielle Jacobovitz takes a closer at the politicization of climate change and how Columbia’s environmental and earth science professors are tackling this in their classes.

Also only tangentially related to Amsterdam, this week’s View From Here is a poignant look at the development of a sibling relationship. In her piece, Michelle Waters traces how her relationship with her brother Sam turned from a toxic mix of admiration and jealousy to that of a supportive best friend.

In our Blinks, nine Eye staffers, including ourselves (because we have to), pay homage to objects and scenes from Amsterdam. Take a walk downtown with us, from the schist formation on 123rd Street to Hungarian Pastry Shop, for a collection of funny and poignant vignettes.

For this issue’s edition of Tiny Dorm Concerts, we follow singer-songwriter and Barnard student Alice Williams down Amsterdam (and across 116th Street, to the 1 train on Broadway) to Crown Heights. Tune in to watch Alice talk about sexuality, play with her cat, and, of course, sing.

Regrettably, we can’t think of a way to convince you that our lead fits with our theme. But it’s one of the strongest pieces of the issue. In “Looking For Signs at CU,” Lyric Bowditch takes on the lack of sign language classes at Columbia. In 2008, Barnard became the only college at Columbia to accept transfer credit for ASL courses taken elsewhere, but after nearly 10 years of advocacy on behalf of students and faculty alike, why is ASL still not taught as a foreign language?


Rébecca, Parth, and Ana

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