PLaces to Hang Out Around BCC
By Amina Khan
Finding a good place around Berkeley City College campus to sit down and focus on your work is hard at any time of the day, and is nearly impossible during college hours. Even going home is an inconvenience if you don’t live near the college. Thankfully, there are a lot of good places in Berkeley that provide a nice relaxing atmosphere to study and maybe even get a bite to eat.
85°C – 21 Shattuck Square, Berkeley, Calif.
85°C is a cute bakery and cafe that is anything but little. Sitting on the corner of University and Shattuck across from Citibank, this Taiwan-inspired bakery is bigger on the inside. Most of the seating areas are pushed off to the side making the restaurant look very spacious. There is an upstairs which overlooks the whole restaurant and you have the option to sit right next to the railings or at one of the bigger tables if you’re with a friend.
People’s Cafe – 61 Shattuck Square, Berkeley, Calif.
If you find comfort in being near other people, then the appropriately named People’s Cafe is the place to be. People’s Cafe is compact, and finding a place to sit can be a challenge, but its small size makes the space cozy. The constant chatter of all the customers inside creates a sort of white-noise effect, and since it’s almost always crowded, so the barista won’t notice if you slink inside without buying anything.
The Berkeley Public Library – 2090 Kittredge St., Berkeley, Calif.
If you’re seeking some peace and quiet, look no further than the Berkeley Public Library. The BPL is an ideal place because it has many resources you can utilize for free (but make sure you apply for a library card first). The library has six floors with multiple desks at which to sit. Most of their desks have or are near a power outlet so you can keep your phone and laptop fully charged. The only downside to the BPL is the fact that eating and drinking are prohibited, so if you’re the kind of person who likes to snack, this place might not be for you. Dominic Abney, a BCC student who recommended the BPL to me, said of the library, “It’s one of the few places I go where I can both study for a test and relax to the point of completely forgetting my worries.”
Paris Baguette – 2150 Shattuck Ave. #110, Berkeley, Calif.
Paris Baguette is similar to 85°C except that it offers pastries from France rather than Taiwan. Fortunately, it’s close to the BCC campus. Head east on Center Street and you’ll find the cafe immediately on your right, once you hit Shattuck, nestled within the Chase Bank building. Despite being so close to the campus, Paris Baguette is usually empty. BCC student Keiline Vertiz shared with The BCC Voice that Paris Baguette is her favorite place to hang out between classes. “The staff usually doesn’t notice or care if you sit down without spending any money, so I don’t have to cry constantly over my empty wallet,” Vertiz said of her main spot.
Pegasus Bookstore – 2349 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, Calif.
Although Pegasus Books is small, its bright blue façade is hard to miss. Because the store does not have WiFi, it isn’t ideal for studying, but it is a great place to pass time or do homework that doesn’t require the internet, which you can do on the table and chair in the store’s upstairs. Pegasus Books is like a secret garden without the garden part. It’s mostly empty, save for two or three people browsing. Added bonus: there’s a friendly cat that wanders around the store and likes to sit in laps.
At the top: Christie and coffee. Photo Credit: Amina Khan