Federico García Lorca
Frederico García Lorca was a famous Spanish poet who spent a year, from June 1929 to March 1930 in New York and who enrolled in the Columbia University Summer Session, during which he lived both in Furnald. In winter 1929-30 he moved to the twelfth floor of John Jay Hall. Lorca raved about the views from both dormitories in the letters to his family Poeta in New York.
View from Furnald
"The university is marvelous. It is located on the bank of the Hudson River, in the heart of the city, on the island of Manhattan, the best part, and is very close to the great avenues. And yet it is delightfully quiet. My room is one the ninth floor, and it overlooks the playing fields, with their green grass and statues. To one side, below the windows of the rooms just across the hall, is Broadway, the immense boulevard which runs from one end of New York to the other."
View from John Jay
"Returning to the university is like returning to another country. It is completely quiet. The grass and the statues of Hamilton and Jefferson soothe me with their color and their broad faces of eighteenth-century revolutionaries. ... My room in John Jay is wonderful. It is on the twelfth floor of the dormitory, and I can see all the university buildings, the Hudson River, and a distant vista of white and pink skyscrapers. On the right, spanning the horizon, is a great bridge under construction, of incredible grace and strength."
He also had some funny things to say about Columbia students. "I have never seen more innocent creatures in my life than these Columbia students, or kinder, or more savage. This is a totally barbarous people, perhaps because there is no class system. These boys [his companions in John Jay Hall] stretch and yawn with the innocence of animals, they sneeze without taking out their handkerchiefs and are always shouting, everywhere. And yet they are open and friendly, and they truly enjoy doing a favor for you. But how different they are from Spaniards who have been brought up properly!" (Poet in New York, ed. Christopher Maurer).
- Poeta in New York, p.203 and following