Varsity Heights

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Varsity Heights, as viewed to the northeast from over Union Drive West.

Varsity Heights is a neighborhood in western Algonquin, Liberty City. It is bordered to the north by Topaz Street (North Holland); to the east by Frankfort Avenue (Middle Park); to the south by Quartz Street (Middle Park West); and to the west by the West River.

Character

Much like Middle Park West to the south, Varsity Heights is an upscale, affluent neighborhood. Home to Vespucci University in the heart of the neighborhood, students are a regular presence in the neighborhood, though the area also attracts young adults, artists, and cultural workers. Varsity Heights is generally a sleepier, more quaint alternative to the livelier Middle Park West neighborhood to the south.

The layout of the neighborhood is virtually identical to Middle Park West: luxury high-rises apartments line the eastern border of the neighborhood along Frankfort Avenue, offering sweeping views of adjacent Middle Park. Townhouses and shops are the main stock in the central area, particularly along Galveston Avenue and the northern side of Silicon Street. Also in central Varsity Heights lies the aforementioned university's campus, spanning from Galveston Avenue to Ivy Drive South and Quartz Street to Silicon Street. Finally, west of Ivy Drive South to the West River is a public park, based on Riverside Park.

Places of interest

Given that Varsity Heights is generally residential, there are few places of interest to be mentioned in Varsity Heights. Aside from Vespucci University, there is an LCPD station is located at the intersection of Galveston Avenue and Silicon Street.

The area is made up mostly by Vespucci University, whose buildings resemble those of Columbia University, the Ivy League school located in the Morningside Heights section of New York City. Landmarks include a miniaturized Low Memorial Library and Butler Library.

Panorama of Vespucci University in GTA IV.

Influences

The skyline of Varsity Heights at the Frankfort Avenue end, fronting Middle Park.

Varsity Heights based off of the real life New York City neighborhood Morningside Heights, with Vespucci University obviously meant to replicate Columbia University. Ruby Street between Galveston Avenue and Ivy Drive South is a pedestrian-only pathway mainly used by students of the university to travel through the campus; it is directly influenced by the College Walk span of 116th Street.

Similar to Middle Park West, two high-rise apartments along Frankfort Avenue appear to mimic upscale apartment buildings along Central Park West, including an unnamed, largely nondescript twin tower apartment facing Middle Park, mirroring multiple twin-towered apartments along the real life Central Park West, including The Century Apartments (25 Central Park West), The Majestic Apartment (115 Central Park West), The San Remo Apartments (145-146 Central Park West) and The Eldorado (300 Central Park West); the game's rendition appears to adopt neoclassical motives at the base, similar to the San Remo. The Beresford (http://www.nyc-architecture.com/UWS/UWS037.htm 211 Central Park West]) has also been replicated into the game, but has been cut down in size to feature only the eastern half of the building facing Middle Park, and is far less ornate than its real-life counterpart.

Transportation

The Liberty City Subway serves Varsity Heights at Quartz West. The station is located at the intersection of Quartz Street and Ivy Drive South, at the neighborhood's border with Middle Park West. This stop is located on the university campus, offering convenient access, and is just across the street from the park. The station is served at all times by the Algonquin Outer Line.