Monday, October 24, 2011

Study Breaks: Coffee Shop Edition

While many residents of the northeast are savoring the crisp fall air and idyllic trips to the apple orchard, Penn students are visiting the library in droves. Midterm season is upon us and with that comes important decisions: where to study and where to snack. While libraries are the obvious choice, I like to mix it up every now and then with a visit to a coffee shop. Studying in a coffee shop offers an entirely different intellectual experience. Instead of feeling trapped in a library, you are an intellectual expanding your mind in a cozy setting. You seem at once hardworking, sophisticated and classy. In short, coffee shop studying is a win-win situation.

A good study snack is satisfying but quick, a real escape that won’t take hours to consume. My first recommendation is Metropolitan Bakery at 40th and Walnut, more specifically, their chocolate chip dried cherry cookie with sea salt (pictured). Metropolitan Bakery has the added perks of staying open until 7 pm and a 10% Unieats discount. I also recommend the pound cake. It’s deceptively simple but refreshingly delicious.

Another worthwhile spot is Café Clave, located at 43rd and Locust. While this University City destination is a bit of a trek for some students (ahem Hill/King’s Court), the added walk ensures that you will work for a solid few hours, so as not to have wasted your journey. Café Clave is a place to settle in and get stuff done. My GA introduced my suite to Café Clave, and it’s a real treasure. The best part is the little known quiet back room, which features desks, chairs and outlets aplenty. It’s a perfect place to study while the front room is good for chatting or working. Outdoor tables are nice during warmer months. The coffee is good and they are famous for their empanadas, which run out quickly. I recommend their parfaits and grilled cheeses (although definitely not together) with an iced coffee.

Lastly, and not to be overlooked are on-campus coffee shops, notably Williams Café. As a humanities student, I visit Williams Hall at least four times a week. Its central location makes Williams Café the perfect spot to grab a snack and coffee during the day, filling those awkward half hour breaks between classes. Grab some coffee (it’s La Colombe, not Starbucks) and one of their notoriously flaky croissants and grab a seat, either in the Café or Silfen Study Center. Newspapers are readily available, and a few minutes of relaxation or reading does wonders for a stressful day. Even better, there are opportunities for free stuff with punch cards that give a free small or medium drink every 10 drinks. For the social media savvy, you can follow @WilliamsCafe on Twitter to find out about free drink giveaways (the first one is this week).

School is stressful. Routines are easy to establish but hard to break. Deviate from your routine just once; study at a coffee shop; try a new flavor of tea; spend 10 minutes eating a croissant and just thinking. A little study break makes all the difference.

1 comment:

  1. keep eating, drinking and is fun to read your blogs....Lois



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