Reading Period is quickly approaching, promising countless days and nights filled with countless hours of catching up to do. But instead of flocking to Cabot and Lamont, explore the untapped potential of a variety of other spots.
Henrietta's Porch, 1 Bennett Street
Amidst the flowers and umbrellas of the Charles Hotel courtyard, this patio area provides the perfect venue for outdoor studying minus the distractions of the Yard and the Mac Quad. Order an iced-cappuccino from the bar inside the famous brunch/power-lunch mecca, Henrietta's Table, or indulge in a treat of a muffin or fresh fruit from the market stand. This peaceful sanctuary benefits from all the amenities of the Charles, including telephones, ATMs and lavish restrooms.
Cafe Pamplona, 12 Bow Street
This subterranean enclave serves cappuccino, gazpacho and flan to black-clad clientele. The tres chic and bohemian alike ponder over Nabakov until one in the morning, long after Lamont has gone to bed. The quieter hours during the day are more conducive to studying, perhaps on the outside patio, but conversation overheard at Pamplona is always temptingly distracting.
Lowell House Tower Room, 2 Holyoke Place
The infamous tower, gracing every postcard sold in the Square, is indeed accessible. After a never-ending hike to the top of the tower, the intrepid visitor can behold a large whitewashed room well-equipped with lamps, a chalkboard, a table with chairs and a grand piano. With large windows on every wall, this classic chamber's panoramic view is unbeatable. Best of all, privacy is ensured because the key to the door of this beautiful retreat is given out only to one party at a time.
University Museum Courtyard, 24 Oxford Street
This micro-park just behind the Peabody Museum is a lovely refuge. A grille, picnic tables and benches take care of summer needs for even the least natural naturalist. The biggest draw is the beautifully landscaped park itself. Its pretty foliage promises a quiet and restful haven for anyone who happens to wander in.
Students too homebound to leave the immediate radius of cozy dormy comfort always have the steps in front of one's entryway. A great choice when pressed for time or when equipped with heavy books, the stoop is as constant as it is loveable. Best of all, cordless phones can be brought along for the ultimate home-really-close-to-home fix.
The Charles River
Looking at this scenery while flipping through the Ec-10 sourcebook may inspire you to join House crew--or to take a nap. Dotted with blankets, chairs and picnic baskets, on sunny days the river bank might aptly be named Harvard Beach. But bring a friend; the peaceful sanctuary of the River is easily disturbed by the stray shady character strolling along Memorial Drive.
House Courtyard/Harvard Yard
They're all beautiful, all accessible and all a convenient distance away from dining halls, computer labs, rooms and centrex phones. Courtyard study venues capture the picture-perfect admissions brochure. These acres of red brick and green lawns are the stuff tuition checks are made of.
Leavitt & Pierce, 1316 Mass. Ave.
This smoky lounge provides an atmosphere reminiscent of an era long gone by. Savor your Macanudo in the upstairs parlor overlooking the rest of the shop. An apt place to muse over Hemingway and O'Neill, its hospitable environment also fosters study breaks for the chessmaster as well as cigar aficionado.
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