With its gothic architecture and stately dining hall, Mathey (prounced ‘Maddie’) looks just like Hogwarts. That, and the fact that it boasts Blair Arch, the largest arch on campus and home to regular a capella concerts, means that Mathey is the most featured dorm in Princeton brochures. Mathey-ites also brag about their location right next to Nassau Street, Princeton-town’s main thoroughfare, lined with ritzy clothing stores and restaurants.
Laundry: There are laundry rooms in Blair, Little, Hamilton, Joline, and Edwards. Because Mathey has some of the oldest buildings on campus, be prepared to walk 3-4 flights of stairs to do laundry. Otherwise, most of the facilities have enough machines to handle student demand (save weekend evenings).
Kitchens: There are kitchens in Blair, Little, Hamilton, Joline, and Edwards. The kitchens can get pretty nasty, though – and I don’t just mean unwashed dishes (Blair flooded last year). But if you can keep the space clean, kitchen access can be a wonderful thing: nothing brings together suitemates, on-the-rocks couples, and study buddies so much as a baking extravaganza. Keep an eye out for Mathey’s semi-regular cooking club in the Hamilton kitchen: previous menus have featured shrimp risotto, cheese fondue, and mushroom strudel.
Computers: There are printers in Blair, Little and Edwards. The main computer cluster is located in the Mathey-Rocky library, just under the dining hall.
What’s in the neighborhood: The U-Store is a hop, skip and jump away. This fact means that you can conveniently fuel up before pulling your writing seminar induced all-nighters.
Bugs and pests: Be clean, especially if you’re on the ground floor or basement. There’s nothing more frightening than a 3-inch centipedes stark against a white dorm wall. (See above: kitchen)
Library: An underground, dimly lit library that with shelves of old, leather bound, unread books. The best part of the set up: the library is connected via a ‘secret’ indoors staircase to the dining hall, which is useful when you want to avoid walking the gamut of diners and retreat immediately to studying post-meal. The library can be hard to find at first so be sure to ask your RCA or some other wise friend to show you around.
Noise levels/partying: Some rooms in Mathey are gigantic (for instance, the corner rooms in Blair) and are perfect for the occasional room party. If you are in Little entryways 8 through 14, be prepared to be entertained/annoyed by the energizing tunes blasting from Dillon Gym (Saturday morning Zumba, anyone?).
What’s on the floor: Your floors will be lined with wood – easy to sweep, but grab some carpets to make the room more homey.
Other amenity perks: A movie theater, game rooms in Joline and Edwards, the Blair Hall dark room, Alexander Beach volleyball court (this is permanently occupied during the warmer months, and thus a prime people watching location)
Bathrooms: No personal bathrooms. All hall bathrooms are pretty standard.
What it’ll look like on move-in day: You’ll probably spend a good time gawping at the Gothic architecture and stained glass windows before you even make it into your dorm room. But once inside, Mathey’s tiny entryways will force you to execute a skillful twisting and turning of furniture to fit everything in. A word about entryways: they can be isolating, so be sure to walk outside once in a while and say hi to the people on the other side of the wall.
The food: One of the only concessions I will make towards Rocky is that the kitchen, shared between Mathey and Rocky,tends to gastronomically favor the Rocky side. There, you will find plated options that are often better than the same old salad, pizza, and grill options on the Mathey side. The salad section is pretty subpar, considering the infrequent rotations of vegetables and lack of jazzy toppings like nuts, fried noodles, and craisins. That being said, the pizzas are starting to cater to the more adventurous (dessert pizza with spiced apple) and the sandwich section is still make-your-own – perfect for the hands-on types.