Many of you are leaving school this month, probably screaming like mad people and vowing never to darken the doors of academia again. Others are preparing to enter college for the first time in the fall, and it's to that latter group I come bearing gifts. Specifically, the gift of a place to study.
Maybe you've got a quiet place at home, free from distractions, and if so then this song ain't about you. This one goes out to people with children, roommates of the rambunctious nature, and parents who just don't understand. If you want a great place for concentration I suggest...
10. Japanese Gardens Gazebo 6000 Fannin St. It's a toss up because if there are more than a couple of other people there you're probably not going to get much done, but if you're the sort of person who thinks best outdoors then the gazebo at the Japanese Gardens in Hermann Park is both shaded and lovely. It's an especially great place to listen to a lecture with headphones or read a book for English class. More in-depth work is probably better done elsewhere, though.
9. House of Pies 6412 Westheimer I know several people who owe their degrees to the filling food and the endless coffee at House of Pies. The long tables are great for group study sessions, and there's nothing like celebrating academic victory or commiserating academic defeat over a Bayou Goo. Be warned, though, crowding is always a problem.
8. Starbucks (Shepherd at West Gray) For a lot of us the local Starbucks is a great go-to place to study because you can't mess up coffee and free wi fi, but there are two Starbucks in Houston I want to point out specifically. The first is at the End of the Universe, as Lewis Black puts it. There's a Starbucks on both the southeast and northeast corners of Shepherd and West Gray, as well as another Starbucks located inside the Barnes and Noble. That's three different Starbucks within a literal stone's throw of each other. Surely one of them will be quiet and uncrowded.
7. Starbucks 2521 Post Oak Blvd This Starbucks is not the best place in town. The service is slow, it's often crowded, and the wi-fi isn't very good. It however has one thing that no other Starbucks has going for it; It's open 24 hours a day. If you're a night owl who needs to get out of the house to work this is one of your better options.
6. Agora 1712 Westheimer Rd Despite its size Agora can be cramped because of the crowding, and the parking situation isn't ideal. Plus, it's one of the more expensive cafes I've listed here. You know what Agora does have than no one else does? You can go out on the patio to smoke. I don't indulge myself, but for the nicotine-addicted student Agora is your most welcoming venue.
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5. Houston Central Library 500 McKinney St What better place to study than the hub of all knowledge and resources in the city? The enormous central library is filled with plenty of space to study, and all the supplemental information you could possibly desire. The only downside to the poor student is that it's $2 an hour to park ($16 maximum), unless you go on Sunday and park on the street when it's free parking. If you can get a drop off it's great, though.
4. Ben's Beans 1302 Dallas St You're not going to find a more welcoming atmosphere than at Ben's Beans. It's nestled right in the heart of Houston and within walking distance of Discovery Green if you need a brisk walk to clear your head. The staff there is super friendly and you're apt to be surrounded by plenty of artistic folks. Also, they offer a 15 percent student discount.
3. Bohemeo's 708 Telephone Rd There's a tremendous amount of ambiance at Bohemeo's that I find particularly conducive to studying. Surrounded by great local art and a fine selection of craft beers, you just feel like you should be accomplishing things if you're in there. Weekends and evenings you sometimes get live music, so it's usually better as a day study place unless you check with the staff first.
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2. Te House of Tea 1927 Fairview St This one comes strong on the recommendation of Glass the Sky's excellent keyboardist by night/entertainment lawyer by day, Erin Rodgers, who says she never would have passed the bar without Te House of Tea as a study spot. The atmosphere is extremely low key and calm, which can be good on the frazzled nerves of science and law students. Plus, the tea is excellent.
1. Inversion 1953 Montrose Blvd The best place to study outside your home in Houston is Inversion. First of all, the wi-fi has the strength of ten lesser shops, and is great for streaming lectures and other video. The parking is reasonable, the prices for the food and drinks even more so, and you're surrounded by pieces produced by the nearby Art League. It's definitely a place more geared towards the individual than a big group, which is a bonus for those who need to focus, and there's usually food trucks if you want something a little more filling. A fantastic place to pursue your studies.