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JordanJames

Riverside, CA

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That is indeed a good form of coffee :D When is your visitation weekend anyway?

 

I would love to have some (impossible :( ) statistics on what things really make people choose the schools they choose. I imagine things like ego (basically how you would feel telling other people about what school you study at), coffee shops, weather, etc are often every bit as influential as actual fit.

The open house for the English department is in the middle of the week. 3/12-13. 

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm thinking that my choice might come down to that most sacred of determining factors: the number of faculty and current grad students who can lead a swingout and are willing to randomly bust out some lindy hop moves in the middle of the department. I can't see how I can reasonably be expected to make a decision without that taking that statistic into consideration.

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The open house for the English department is in the middle of the week. 3/12-13. 

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm thinking that my choice might come down to that most sacred of determining factors: the number of faculty and current grad students who can lead a swingout and are willing to randomly bust out some lindy hop moves in the middle of the department. I can't see how I can reasonably be expected to make a decision without that taking that statistic into consideration.

True. I guess most of the visitation weekends probably don't overlap. Political Science is on the 21st of March, I think. As an international political economy student, my decision will be heavily based on how many foreign languages I hear when I take random walks across campus and how many pickup soccer games I come across. 

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True. I guess most of the visitation weekends probably don't overlap. Political Science is on the 21st of March, I think. As an international political economy student, my decision will be heavily based on how many foreign languages I hear when I take random walks across campus and how many pickup soccer games I come across. 

I suppose that makes sense; spreading it out makes it easier to accommodate us all. At least they are fairly soon. Davis isn't doing theirs until 3/31! That seems like forever from now.

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I lived in Riverside for about four years as an undergraduate.

 

My advice-- get a house with some friends in the Canyon Crest area. I have helpfully attached a map of the safest place to live.

 

Don't live near Blaine and Iowa. I lived in that area before. It was cheap, but I also spent a few terrifying afternoons/evenings hiding in my bathtub clutching my dog to my chest after hearing gunshots in the complex. My car (shitty old Honda) was broken into multiple times, and TWO of my friends had their cars jacked. 

 

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I moved houses/apartments every year, but my SO stayed in a house on Apache for all four years. If I had a close group of friends like he did, I would have done the same. Wish I knew better back then!

 

 

 

 

Also, the UV Starbucks sucks. The best one is the drivethrough on Blaine. There is also a Bakers across the street-- it's DELICIOUS.

 

Best Thai food is in Moreno Valley, at a place called Rice & Spice or something. Best Thai used to be good, but the quality deteriorated rapidly. 

 

Don't buy a Lot 30 parking pass. So many people get mugged there... it's unsafe. Buy whatever pass you need to park at the parking lot near the Science Library. Not only will you have a short walk to the science library (those study rooms are better than the ones in the Humanities library), you'll also be safer.

Edited by Sophisticate

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Sophisticate, that's terrifying. And with kids, it's hard to justify living somewhere even moderately risky. Gunshots… no. Even the recommended areas of Riverside have pretty awful public schools (according to the "numbers," which I realize must be taken with a grain of salt), so I'm starting to think it would be best for me to embrace the idea of a commute. :-/ I'd love to be close to campus, but wow.

 

I guess it would be a good idea to find out how many days per week I'll realistically have to be physically present on campus.

Thanks for the detailed (and helpfully illustrated!) response.

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Sophisticate, that's terrifying. And with kids, it's hard to justify living somewhere even moderately risky. Gunshots… no. Even the recommended areas of Riverside have pretty awful public schools (according to the "numbers," which I realize must be taken with a grain of salt), so I'm starting to think it would be best for me to embrace the idea of a commute. :-/ I'd love to be close to campus, but wow.

 

I guess it would be a good idea to find out how many days per week I'll realistically have to be physically present on campus.

Thanks for the detailed (and helpfully illustrated!) response.

 

To be honest, the area I circled is actually really, really safe. I have no idea why. There are also a lot of homes near the golf course at Canyon Crest that are very safe. I would NOT commute, unless you only have to be there two or three times a week. The freeways are rage-inducing. Riverside is basically sitting in the triangle of some of the worst traffic ever, so I would stay close to campus :x.

 

Off topic-- I studied English for my BA at Riverside. It was amazing and to be honest, some of my best memories in college are of my actual classes. One of the graduate students brought our section homemade truffles to our last discussion. In another class, we analyzed ZOMBIES. Have a great time at my alma mater :).  

 

 

Anyone know anything about Lake Elsinore and what trying to take public transportation to UCR (at least for the 1st year) would be like? 

 

It's a very far commute from what I know. The public transport for UCR is the Highlander trolley, and it's great. However, I would not recommend commuting outside/away from campus. The public transit here is terrible (LA in general), and is nothing like NYC or SF. Plus, there are a lot of crazy people on the buses, and they small like urine. . 

Edited by Sophisticate

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Good to know! That said, is the Highlander trolley ok? Also, I would love to hear more about your experiences in the English department.

 

Highlander Trolley is ALWAYS crowded, the seats will hurt your ass, and you will slid into others if you sit.  Other than that, it's great :). One of the hidden secrets is that there is one that takes you to the Canyon Crest town center with a Coldstone, a Starfish Sushi (omigod so good, especially the roll with mango in it), a Ralphs, Starbucks, and some other REALLY good places to eat. I think it's the red trolley route 23.

 

I was only in the UG English department, but overall it was amazing. I think I mentioned before-- avoid the humanities library, go to the science library. The study rooms there are a million times better. 

 

As an UG, I remember that I really hated the classes with mandatory attendance, but it seemed like all the humanities classes did that. Also, stockpile blue books on midterm and final days, and if you're really evil you can sell them to your students for a dollar each haha. If you can, let your students buy their books from half.com, and please don't require specific editions unless there's a REALLY, REALLY good reason.

 

If there's anything specific you wanted to know about, just ask me directly and I will answer to the best of my memory. It can be about the professors, the TAs, how the classes were taught, the campus, the food, the student stores, etc. 

 

Ooh, when you get the chance, take a group of friends and hike to the C! Bring water, snacks, and a camera :). My friends brought beer once. It was gorgeous. If you go at night, bring a flashlight. 

 

UCR gets a lot of hate, but I honestly miss it very much. It was a wonderful experience for me. . 

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I have to take some issue with certain things that have been said here. First, in relation to Riverside being dangerous: it's a huge place, there are some horrible parts, and there are some beautiful parts. It's impossible to make blanket statements, and different areas are practically different cities. The area around the university (canyon crest) is generally very safe and would be a good place to live. I can't speak to schools, but we can certainly get you in touch with a grad student with children if you would like to ask questions. 

 

Though, if you are willing to commute 15 minutes, Redlands has some very well ranked schools and a very, very good private school. 

 

In terms of commuting: I've commuted in the area for 6 years. I've been late to a class once. It's not an issue. Traffic can be bad at peak rush hour if you're commuting to/from LA, and is generally pretty bad on the 91 after 3, but other than that it's very manageable and never that bad. I come from a similar direction as Lake Elsinore, and you won't have much problem at all. 

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I have to take some issue with certain things that have been said here. First, in relation to Riverside being dangerous: it's a huge place, there are some horrible parts, and there are some beautiful parts. It's impossible to make blanket statements, and different areas are practically different cities. The area around the university (canyon crest) is generally very safe and would be a good place to live. I can't speak to schools, but we can certainly get you in touch with a grad student with children if you would like to ask questions. 

 

Though, if you are willing to commute 15 minutes, Redlands has some very well ranked schools and a very, very good private school. 

 

In terms of commuting: I've commuted in the area for 6 years. I've been late to a class once. It's not an issue. Traffic can be bad at peak rush hour if you're commuting to/from LA, and is generally pretty bad on the 91 after 3, but other than that it's very manageable and never that bad. I come from a similar direction as Lake Elsinore, and you won't have much problem at all. 

rdsull89, thanks for your comment here! Would you mind if I PM you with a few questions? :) 

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Feel free! 

rdsull89, will you be at the open house, by any chance? I know there's a current student panel, so I thought perhaps you might be on it.

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mmorrison I heard back from the DGS, she gave me some of the details about the open house and teaching load (1 course per quarter). She said she has been meaning to call us but recently got sick and has been, as you suggested, trying to firm up the details. She said they can cover $300 for travel and they will cover two nights at a hotel, plus a few meals throughout the two days. 

Have you talked with Tina yet? I spoke to her the other day for about an hour and got a lot of details about the program. I think she's working her way through everyone, so you might have already BTDT, but let me know!

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rdsull89, will you be at the open house, by any chance? I know there's a current student panel, so I thought perhaps you might be on it.

 

 

Yep! I will definitely be at open house in some capacity--and for sure at the grad student dinner on night 2. 

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Hi all,

 

I'm seriously considering Riverside for the philosophy Ph.D. program and I had a quick question about the area. My issue is that I kind of love not having a car, or at least not having to use one at all regularly. So, I was hoping to live walking/biking distance to both campus and some cafes/restaurants (sorry, but starbucks doesn't count in my book!).

 

From what I can tell, however, these options seem to be mutually exclusive in Riverside: people have said that I can either live near downtown and walk to cafes/restaurants but have to take the bus or drive to campus, OR I can live near campus but that the surrounding area is much more 'suburban' without local amenities (it seems most people are recommending that the best area near campus is next to a mall, which isn't really what I'm looking for).

 

Is this true? Is there anywhere within a mile of campus that has cafes and is on a bus route to downtown? I'm not that worried about crime: I've lived for several years in 'questionable' neighborhoods of Oakland and Washington, DC and didn't really mind.

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Hm. There isn't a mall near campus... There is a shopping center at Canyon Crest, but it has a grocery store, half a dozen restaurants (a very popular/hip sandwich shop, a tapas restaurant, a taco shop, etc) and things like that. There are bars, restaurants, and some more night-life things "downtown" which is about 2-3 miles from campus/canyon crest. Realistically, you can live there without a car, but it could get a bit frustrating. There are a decent number of things that are biking distance though. I do know grad students who don't have cars, the usual work around is getting close to people who do have cars. 

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Hm. There isn't a mall near campus... There is a shopping center at Canyon Crest, but it has a grocery store, half a dozen restaurants (a very popular/hip sandwich shop, a tapas restaurant, a taco shop, etc) and things like that. There are bars, restaurants, and some more night-life things "downtown" which is about 2-3 miles from campus/canyon crest. Realistically, you can live there without a car, but it could get a bit frustrating. There are a decent number of things that are biking distance though. I do know grad students who don't have cars, the usual work around is getting close to people who do have cars. 

Thanks--this is really helpful. I guess my decision comes down to being between downtown and canyon crest (or some other neighborhood near campus). I have two specific questions that would help me make that decision:

 

1) How good is the public transit from downtown to campus (how often/late do the busses go)?

 

2) Is the shopping center really the only game in town for restaurants/cafes/groceries, or is it simply the highlight mentioned most often in this thread for the reasons you mention (e.g. good sandwiches--which is a definite plus), and there are other things as well?

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Have you talked with Tina yet? I spoke to her the other day for about an hour and got a lot of details about the program. I think she's working her way through everyone, so you might have already BTDT, but let me know!

sorry I missed this post. Yeah I talked with Tina, she was fantastic. Gave lots of great details. Though as a poor grad student whose stipend runs out May 31st I'm not that excited about the first pay from UCR coming in October (I think? I guess I'm getting paid two ways due to fellowship/stipend). Regardless, this program is the best fit for me. Are you still considering UCR highly? Your signature is impressive! 5 acceptances?! I have three but am only really deciding between two, and one of them isn't in southern California, if you know what I mean. What is your field of interest? 

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sorry I missed this post. Yeah I talked with Tina, she was fantastic. Gave lots of great details. Though as a poor grad student whose stipend runs out May 31st I'm not that excited about the first pay from UCR coming in October (I think? I guess I'm getting paid two ways due to fellowship/stipend). Regardless, this program is the best fit for me. Are you still considering UCR highly? Your signature is impressive! 5 acceptances?! I have three but am only really deciding between two, and one of them isn't in southern California, if you know what I mean. What is your field of interest? 

UCR is one of three schools I'm seriously considering and planning to visit. I'm going to decline the other two soon, but I just want to have a positive campus visit experience at one of the three before declining anywhere!

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@perpetual - public transportation isn't bad--but there are many shopping centers with a variety of stores and restaurants close by.

 

@arober - Yes, the first 1/3 of the stipend comes the first official day of the quarter (which is usually the last week of September). It can be a painful wait. 

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A few more questions… What are the on-campus parking options, and what are the prices? I have heard about several schools with outrageous parking permit costs, and I'm wondering how much that should factor into location decisions (for me or anyone else deciding where to look for housing). Also, how is the on-campus family housing? The places look tiny but decent on the website, but everything looks good in the ads, right? What's the real story?

I'm planning to stay an extra day to check out the area; if I feel good about the campus visit, should I consider getting serious about specific rental options this early? How far in advance should one shop for housing? I really would rather be in a house or condo/townhome rather than an apartment complex; does that make a difference in terms of timing? I'm a bit concerned about the lack of responsiveness that aspire[…] is experiencing from landlords/property managers. 

 

Besides looking at neighborhoods, any other advice for a day of "checking out" the area?

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As for parking, it's actually shockingly reasonable compared to other UC campuses. It's about $37 per month or $99 per quarter for the general pass, and the blue pass (which is much closer and without the bass , but has a waiting list of about 3-6 months) is about $40 per month more, so $120 per quarter. I believe it's around $300 per year, then for parking, or about $360 for better parking. There is an option, once on TAship to have it taken out of your salary monthly as well. There is free transpiration from a number of local areas, particularly around canyon crest if you wanted to do that, or I believe they offer a special program for students who walk/ride bicycles to school that gives you a number of free "rainy day" passes too. 

 

I don't know much about the campus family housing, but the little I've heard is that it is nice, but not in a good area. I would definitely look into it more, but I don't actually know any grad students who live in campus housing, if that says something. In terms of finding a house to rent, I wouldn't get too attached to finding one right away. A friend of mine joined the program last year and bought a house, but the housing market is strong right now, and both houses for sale and for rent have been turning around in a matter of days, so that would probably need to be something closer to the time--but complexes of condos or townhouses would probably be good to look at sooner. I think there is a part of one of the days that explores some nearby areas, but I'm sure a couple of other grads would be happy to help guide you to areas a bit better (since I don't live in Riverside, I'm not the best authority). But, if you want to e-mail me I can put you in touch with somebody, or Prof. Brayman Hackel probably can as well, or at open house I'm sure there will be a good amount of discussion on this. 

 

I am surprised about the lack of responsiveness there too, I wonder if it could be an e-mail thing...perhaps calling might be more affective? 

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