Surprising Study Spots
Great places to go with groups – beyond the standard Starbucks or local library.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
The Rollicks Internet Cafes and East Village Coffee Lounges of the world are great places to gather a study group. But there are less obvious, equally appealing options out there.
JACKS PEAK PARK | 25020 Jacks Peak Park Road, Monterey, 755-4899
Packs of undergrads are about as common as mountain lions up here, but if students knew about the big picnic tables, soothing views and beautiful-study-break trails, that might change.
THE BLACK BOX CABARET AT CSUMB | Building 81, 4th Avenue (between Campus Health Center and University Police Department), Seaside, 582-3597
Most think of the BBC as the campus’ premiere rock/hip-hop venue. But its ample lighting, large desks, and comfy couches make it a surprisingly ideal study environment. Plus there’s coffee and pastries.
QUOK MUI TEA ROOM | 774 Wave St., Monterey, 655-2033
It’s better known for yoga, jazz concerts and its ancestry, but this comfortable spot and its heated stone bench (next to a living wall’s waterfall) should get more play as a study venue. The café serves a selection of over 80 different teas (including bubblegum and blueberry cheesecake); the health-conscious can snack on organic chocolates and vegan cookies.
INDIAN SUMMER HOOKAH BAR | 220 Olivier St., Monterey, 372-4744
Sure it’s a bar, but the fire-heated outdoor garden is an underrated spot to gather a group to stage a study gathering. Trade in the cocktails for a non-alcoholic lassi – a homemade sweet yogurt drink mixed with mango pulp, rose syrup, or even roasted cumin – and stay fueled with oven-cooked paneer tikka. And the 30 hookah flavors offer a social way to close the meet.
TANIMURA & ANTLE FAMILY LIBRARY | Fifth and Divarty, Seaside, 582-3000
The nice surprise here: You don’t have to be an otter to enjoy smartly appointed reading areas, the curved ceiling that soars over the light-filled main atrium, or the small-group skyboxes that overlook the beautiful, barrier-free ground floor. Same goes for the expansive Peet’s-peddling cafe, the sweeping views of Salinas Valley to the east and, fog willing, the ocean to the west. This venue was created to be a campus and a community hub. It earns an A+.
PARK ROW | Romie and Acacia, Salinas
Few think “study” in the same synapse as Park Row, but in pickings-slim Salinas, beyond Cherry Bean and Rollick’s, it is well worthy. Parking is plentiful, spaces to spread out and chow down include the Pizza Factory and Royal Deli, and the not-so-creatively named Health Food Store offers a swarm of smoothies and energizing elements. Like the sandwich-serving Loose Caboose, virtually all of the businesses are locally owned.