Barnard College's Monthly Magazine
by Meave Kelly
Longing for a study spot with more neighborhood flavor than Starbucks? An accessible, quiet cafe removed from campus life? Look no farther! While the study options in NYC are endless, we’ve captured a few of the quaintest, most comfortable coffee shops on the Upper West Side that are simply perfect for your caffeine-fueled afternoon study sessions.
Kick off your coffee tour downtown at the Aroma Espresso Bar on 72nd and Amsterdam Avenue. The contemporary cafe and lunch spot caters to the hardworking type; sink into a cushioned chair or claim a table on the spacious outdoor patio. Whether sitting inside or out, patrons will find the cafe atmosphere comfortable and friendly. We suggest that you take advantage of the free Wi-Fi, sample the shop’s broad assortment of blends, and settle into this homey space.
For a change of pace, venture a few blocks uptown to New World Coffee. The local joint, located at 80th and Columbus Avenue, sits across the street from the picturesque Theodore Roosevelt Park and the Museum of Natural History. Sidle up to the bar for a prime view of the park and bustling avenue—but be warned, people watching can quickly turn from a fun study break to an addicting distraction! With all that over-stimulation, take a break by sampling a raspberry mocha latte, the whole bean French roast, or a signature apple pumpkin muffin.
Continue your trek uptown to Caffé Mocias, located between 94th and 95th streets on Amsterdam Avenue. Its cozy interior lacks space to spread out, but the cafe is a quiet neighborhood treasure. Bring your laptop for free Wi-Fi and stake out a spot along the bar. If weather permits, bring your work to the outdoor patio.
If you’d like to stick closer to campus, check out these more local study spots:
We know how important it is to stay healthy year-round by eating right and keeping physically active. In honor of all conscientious Barnard women—especially those current, or aspiring, health nuts—below are a few suggestions for activities that take you beyond the four walls of the fitness center.
Choose a sunny Saturday afternoon for your first walk, which will begin at Columbus Circle. Set out along the park and try to keep a steady walking pace. Continue uptown for several blocks until you hit the Tucker Square Greenmarket on 66th Street, between Broadway and Columbus avenues. Take a good fifteen minutes to peruse the stands of fresh fruits and vegetables, handmade delicacies, and organic treats. After you’ve picked up a few items (the bulkier your bag, the better), spend the duration of the walk toning your biceps by carrying a bag in each hand. This is an often overlooked, albeit effective, way to build muscle mass in all the right places. Continue your walk uptown to 79th Street, past the Museum of Natural History. Turn into the green sanctuary of Central Park for the rest of your trip, and escape the hectic city with a brisk walk or jog.
Venture out on a Sunday afternoon for your second walk of the weekend, this one a little more strenuous than the first. We suggest starting this walk where you left off before—around the Museum of Natural History. Before you take off, stop by the GreenFlea Market on77th Street and Columbus Avenue for a healthy bite to eat. Cut over to West End Avenue and head uptown. The walk from 85th street is entirely uphill, and good for building leg strength while upping the cardio factor. But don’t get too absorbed with exercise. Remember to take in the pre-war West End architecture, characterized by the brownstone townhouses and arched doorways that define the residential neighborhoods.
Finally, let loose after a satisfying workout: kick back and relax over a drink with friends at one of the Upper West Side’s most historically treasured bars.
History buffs will love the Dublin House on 79th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam avenues. The bar has been around since Prohibition! This historical Irish landmark was transformed into a bar in 1920 and quenched the thirst of Irish sailors who docked at the 79th Street boat basin. Venture inside the local hangout for a relaxed evening and leave your own mark on this piece of city history.
In keeping with historical tradition, we continue our walk uptown to The Dead Poet on 82nd Street and Amsterdam Avenue. Although this bar was built in 2000 and doesn’t boast the same long history as the Dublin House, it still speaks to our old-world sensibilities. Soak in the traditional feel of this unique hotspot dedicated to the lives of famous writers and poets. Its walls are adorned with portraits, quotations, and philosophical musings that are sure to you have you musing after a pint or two.
The final stop in our bar hop is Prohibition, which is a relatively modern hangout despite its historical moniker. Located on Columbus Avenue between 84th and 85th streets, the spacious and swanky bar serves original concoctions, but the more adventurous drinker might want to sample a traditional spirit from the Prohibition era. Grab a front row seat for a live jazz, rock or blues performance. This local gem also proves an excellent date night location.