Here’s your SIPA summer playlist

After a painfully long winter (2013-2014 was New York City’s 7th-snowiest winter on record), things are finally starting to warm up around here. So our former Program Assistant (and current temp), Lauren Podber, MIA ’15, came up with a fantastic idea to get our incoming Fall 2015 class in the right mindset for August’s Orientation Week.

So you’ve decided to come to SIPA…congratulations! As the Type-A person I know you all are, by now you’ve submitted your enrollment deposits and have (hopefully) checked off the to-do list mentioned on the Welcome Page. Thus, I’m sure you’re all super excited about moving to the city, and are meticulously planning your next steps for the big move. While the Admissions Blog will dive into specifics on local activities, places to eat, and sights to see in the coming weeks, for now I wanted to offer up my personal Spotify playlist, which was inspired by New York, the summer and Columbia University to get you excited about your upcoming adventures in the city.

As you’re already aware, part of SIPA’s appeal (in addition to hardcore academics and superb job placement) is the location: New York City.  I’ve lived in NYC since 2002, and I can honestly say I was thrilled to stay here for graduate school and I’m really excited to be staying here for my job! So while you’re packing up your belongings, sending SIPA your official documents and meeting new Seeple on Facebook, I hope this playlist, Summer in New York 2k15, will inspire you as you prepare for the next two years of your life.

Happy listening! (P.S. You must login to Spotify to listen to the playlist.)


Inspired by the Summer

  • “Hot in Herre” by Nelly: if you don’t know already, it gets hot in New York City in the summer. Get ready to sweat.
  • “Summer Love” by Justin Timberlake: you never know who will be sitting next to you at orientation!
  • “Blister in the Sun” by the Violent Femmes: I will take this opportunity to remind you to wear sunscreen while attending any and all outdoor events.
  • “Get on Up” by Big Gigantic: although it’s not technically in the running, I vote for this song for 2015 Billboard Song of the Summer. It’s very repetitive, but super catchy.
  • “Back it Up” by Prince Royce (featuring Pitbull): the summer-y dancehall feel will instantly motivate you to go out and explore the city. Plus, you know, Pitbull has to feature on this blog as he is the self described, “Mr. Worldwide.”
  • “Cruise” by Florida Georgia Line (featuring Nelly): the perfect song for an afternoon moving into your new place.
  • “Shut Up and Dance” by Walk the Moon: according to the Internet, it’s the “Some Nights” of 2015.
  • “Sugar” by Maroon 5: another pop anthem of 2015. Plus, Adam Levine is kind of a style icon for a decent subset of the Columbia population.

Inspired by Columbia University

  • “Campus” by Vampire Weekend: coolest band to come from Columbia University in a long time.
  • “Rebel Music” by Bob Marley: well, Bob Marley definitely conjures up a summer vibe. And Rebel Music is the title of SIPA Professor Hisham Aidi’s new book.
  • “Uptown Girl” by Billy Joel: because Columbia is uptown.
  • “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars: again, uptown is in the title. Enough said.  Also this song is amazing and I’m still into it.
  • “C’mon N’ Ride It (The Train)” by the Quad City DJs: you will be riding the subway to get places.
  • “Tom’s Diner” by Suzanne Vega: because you will take your friends on an obligatory tourist trip there, where you will be disappointed to learn that the food isn’t that good, and the inside (unlike the exterior) was not used on the Seinfeld set.
  • “Bills Bills Bills” by Destiny’s Child: hello tuition.
  • “Hey There Delilah” by the Plain White T’s: a song written for Columbia College alum, Delilah DeCrescenzo by an admirer. DeCrescenzo also received her master’s degree in Sports Management from Columbia.  And she was like a professional runner.  Another super cool alum.

Inspired by New York City

  • “Manhattan” by Kings of Leon: confession: I’m still obsessed with “Only by the Night” and Manhattan is one of the best tracks on it.
  • Jenny from the Block by JLo: a classic take on the American dream from a lifelong New-Yorker. Also a good one for an impromptu dance party by yourself in front of the mirror.
  • “Harlem Shake” by Baauer: you’re going to need a signature dance move for grad school, and this may inspire you.
  • “Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershwin: reminds me of Woody Allen’s “Manhattan.”
  • “Ditmas” by Mumford & Sons: have you heard Wilder Mind? I haven’t finished listening but it seems like most of the album is about New York City.  And what I’ve heard so far is freaking awesome.


  • “Empire State of Mind” by Jaz-Z (featuring Alicia Keys): my coworkers wouldn’t let me skip this one. Apparently it also makes an appearance at SIPA graduation, so if you don’t know it, you’ll want to prepare so you can hum along when it plays in two years.
  • “New York State of Mind” by Billy Joel: at some point or another, you may find yourself crooning this one during a karaoke night with your peers.