<ruffles hair affectionately>
As for the original topic, I applied to NYU, but only as a backup in case I didn't get into Chicago or Columbia (or maybe even Virginia). I never liked the Village area, I didn't like the no-campus thing, the school seemed way to the left due to stories about insulting Scalia, high public interest rate, and just my impressions from visiting. Also I don't care about tax or international law.
The vast majority of NYC is left. We are so left that it is almost always assumed in conversation that you dislike Bush. I guess nowadays that is the case in most of America, but we've been hating on Bush since 2000. Perhaps Columbia attracts more out of towners, but if you want to avoid the left, avoiding NYC is somewhat of a requirement. I'm a centrist Dem and I feel like a conservative comparatively.
Have any of you seen those bizarre self-storage ads that rip on bush / cheney? I've seen billboards and posters on the train with them. I forget what they say, but the jokes are bad to begin with (not that i have a problem with ripping on them, they just are poorly constructed jokes). It also seems like they automatically cut themselves off from the conservative self-storage shopper.