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Photograph by George Sakkestad

Making the Grade: Carolina Sanchez cracks the books at the Ugly Mug.

Get Smart

Study Hangouts

By Jessica Lyons

POP QUIZ: Name three criteria for a respectable study hangout. Time's up. Put down those pencils. Half-credit for the following: late-night hours, laptop-friendly tables and electric sockets. Full credit for caffeine, tasty victuals (preferably chocolate, pastries or any combination of the two), flirting and sufficient distractions to ensure no real studying is accomplished.

Of course, it's unrealistic to expect any studying to take place before 8pm--and even that's generous. Hence, the need for caffeine. It's safe to say that coffeehouses are always a best bet. Factor in time to decide between an icy drink or a hot drink, chocolate or vanilla, coffee or tea--and would you like a biscotti or chocolate-chip cookie with that espresso? That puts us at 9.

But once sufficiently settled in, studying may lose its appeal. Distractions are a must. Either bring some--magazines or trashy novels are always a nice substitute for the history of ancient Rome--or plan accordingly. Study hot-spots along Pacific Avenue, like Lulu Carpenter's and the Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting Company, for example, offer a virtual cornucopia of distractions, from nearby bookstores to window shopping and people watching.

Textbooks and computer screens will wreak havoc on the eyes, so remember to give 'em plenty of study breaks. Why not go strike up a conversation? When it comes to weighing the pros and cons of a potential date for Friday night or a potential A on the O-Chem midterm, there's really no contest.

Now the coffeehouse is closing. Time to retire for the night. Isn't studying fun?


Aptos Coffee Roasting Company
19 Rancho del Mar Shopping Center, Aptos, 685.0100

Cafe Pergolesi
418 Cedar St., SC, 426.1775

Lulu Carpenter's
1545 Pacific Ave., SC, 429.9804

Mr. Toots
221 Esplanade, Capitola, 475.3679

Pacific Coffee Roasting Company
7554 Soquel Dr., Aptos, 685.2520

Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting Company
1330 Pacific Ave., SC, 459.0100

Surf City Coffee Company
9105 Soquel Dr., Aptos, 684.2750
3070 Porter St., Soquel, 465.0106

The Ugly Mug
4640 Soquel Dr., Soquel, 477.1341

Borders Books
1220 Pacific Ave., SC, 466.9644


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From the September 13-20, 2000 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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