For 1L, I thought the NYU housing was fine. Small, but fine- how much time are you really planning on spending cooped up in your bedroom? I'm going to be living in D'Ag, which is where most 1Ls live, so I'll let you know how it is in a few months.
As for Chicago....I'm gonna get some hate for this, so here's my disclaimer- it seems like there are some cool people going to Chicago from this board, and I know a few nice people from college who are at Chicago, so the following certainly doesn't apply to all Chicago students. HOWEVER- when I went to their ASD, I couldn't believe how incredibly socially inept the group of student hosts were! It was PAINFUL- they couldn't make eye contact when they were talking, and I'm pretty sure some of the guys were scared of talking to the female admits.
That being said, I was impressed at the intelligence of my fellow admits and some of the current students. There's an incredible intellectually curious community at Chicago, which I thought was great. When it came down to it, though, I just couldn't see myself being happy at Chi for 3 years.
I definitely agree that there were a bunch of awkward student hosts. Maybe it has something to do with the type of student that would be a student host. (MTG and my student host, who are both awesome, are of course excluded from this). I tried to talk to as many students as possible who weren't hosts or working during the ASW in some capacity. (I did this at most ASWs where I was actually interested in the school). I found Chicago students to be just as socially normal as other schools that I visited (NYU, Duke, UVA, UPenn, etc).
Maybe I'll be a student host next year so I can help to fix the misconception. Hopefully I don't make it worse.