Best Of 2016

As Voted By UCSB Students

The Daily Nexus brings you the Best of 2016, chosen by our readers, to showcase the food, music and places that bring life to Isla Vista. Read on or select from the list of categories on the left to explore what I.V. is offering.


Bagel Cafe

Best Breakfast, Hangover Cure

Christine Skari / Daily Nexus

It’s Sunday morning and although the weekend allured you with the glory and grandeur of an I.V. rager, the magic has gone and she has left you abandoned and with a migraine. You are unsure of your next move because one wrong step could send you rushing to the toilet for comfort. It seems like the world will never be the same. But there is a light at the end of this dark road; Bagel Cafe sits waiting for you like an old friend judging you for your life choices who wants to say ‘I told you so’ but will still comfort you because they have your best interest at heart and only want you to be happy.

This year, many of you have shared this experience because not only did Bagel Cafe win Best Breakfast but also Best Hangover Cure. To me this comes as no surprise because Bagel Cafe has become an important part of my life in I.V.

I love breakfast food, it’s probably my favorite meal ever. Morning, evening, night: there's nothing like a good scrambled egg to perk up your spirit. This is how my love affair with the “Eggle” came to be. I always get the original “Eggle” on a galaxy bagel, with cheddar cheese. Its warm and inviting persona begs me to take a bite! The egg is fluffy and oozing with a stringy and rich  cheddar cheese melt. The bagel is warm and fresh and covered in just the right concoction of sesame and poppy seeds, garlic and onion powder and salt, to create a flavor sensation that puts my tastebuds into overdrive. This bagel sandwich is filling and helps soak up all the sin and shame of Saturday night while still feeling pretty guilt-free and satisfying. The “Eggle” can be prepared with meat as well. Or, for those of you looking for something a little more complicated, Bagel cafe offers nearly 50 different menu items so you can find something to appeal to your appetites.

When my mouth is craving something a little sweeter I venture into a classic yet cinn-fully good menu item. Sex on a Bagel is rightly named; it’s purely orgasmic and no one can resist its temptations. A cinnamon glazed bagel drizzled with melted butter and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, imagine if a churro reincarnated itself into a beautifully balanced bagel. This would be its end product. It’s simple and light enough to feel as though you didn't just stuff yourself. Plus the price couldn't be better when you can have this glorious concoction for under four dollars!

The atmosphere is also something to celebrate, a laidback staff streams workaholics on their flat screen while cracking jokes and belting classic tunes to the radio. The guest come from all sorts of walks of life from the professional business woman grabbing her “Hampton,” to the barefoot surfer dude snagging up a “Pinche Ester” or even the family bonding over their “Hannah Bananas,” Bagel Cafe epitomizes the friendly and accepting community of Isla Vista.


Best Mexican Food, Drunchies

Lorenzo Basilio / Daily Nexus

UCSB has many aspects to its culture that it is famous for: beach life, strong academic culture, and of course, the party scene. Though UCSB’s reputation for being a party school has diminished in the last few years, students at UCSB are not strangers to getting too turnt on sensational spirits over the weekend. After hours studying and working, we enjoy letting off some steam with our best friends, much like on any other campus. However, we have something special nearby that most campuses lack. For those of us who get inconceivably inebriated and develop the drunchies over the weekend, there is a special place known as Freebirds World Burrito.

Freebirds was established in Isla Vista for UC Santa Barbara students in 1987. Since then, the burrito joint has expanded to locations in Texas, however, people commonly associate the chain with UCSB. Many people would say that if you attend UCSB and never have at least one Freebirds experience, sober or drunk, then you may have not attended UCSB at all.

So, you have gotten a small bite of the history of Freebirds, but what makes it the best drunchie location for locals and visitors alike? It begins with their huge portions. When you are drunk, there is nothing you want more than to further destroy your body with artery-clogging foods. In my personal experience, I tend to opt for their nachos; slathering them in delectable refried beans, sour cream, cheese, pico de gallo, onions and steak all piled into a beautiful box of Mexican food goodness.

Each bite of nacho is like a symphony of sensual splendor when accompanied by drunken pleasure. Crunches amplify to preposterous levels, the smells of guacamole and cheese tickle the nostrils, and it is easy to understand what the 1980s Wendy’s campaign meant by “where’s the beef?” Suddenly, you have transported to another realm beyond anyone’s understanding where all of life’s questions are answered. You forget about the bloat you are going to feel the next morning that will accompany your inevitable hangover and you certainly forget about the fact that you just dropped twenty dollars on a plate of nachos that took you twenty seconds to scarf down, solo or with friends.

Though Freebirds may satisfy those drunken cravings, it is important to note that everything is done best in moderation. You do not need to get blackout drunk in order to enjoy your nachos, nor do you need to eat an entire plate all by yourself. Freebirds nachos is a quinntessential aspect of I.V. and arguably the epicenter of a Gaucho’s life.The employees piling the fillings in your burrito may make you feel judged while charging you an arm and a leg for guac, but they’re ultimately providing you with the most I.V. experience you can partake in.

Blaze Pizza

Best Pizza

Effie Sklavenitis / Daily Nexus

Surging as the next best ‘made to order’ food chain, Blaze Pizza provides customers with the same thrill felt as a kid in the candy shop. With an assortment of meats, cheeses, veggies, sauces and seasonings, one trip to Blaze will reveal your pizza-connoisseur side you never knew existed.

Whether you prefer veggies, meat or even a gluten-free crust, Blaze Pizza provides the suitable ingredients to create a pizza that’s not too overbearing or bland.

With an array of signature pizza combinations such as the ‘Meat Lover,’ ‘White Top,’ ‘Green Stripe’ and more available to order, there’s options for those who prefer to eat a meal without having to exert the brain power to create it.

Yet, the most appealing option for enjoying the optimal pizza-experience is Blaze’s ‘Build Your Own’ option.

For the price of $8.25, excluding tax, the journey of pizza galore is experienced with the build your own process. A popular choice for many, the ‘Build Your Own’ feature is key for piling on your likes and excluding those distasteful dislikes.

Offering its classic or spicy red sauce, white cream sauce, mozzarella, parmesan, goat, feta, vegan cheeses, Applewood bacon, grilled chicken, italian sausage, meatballs, and an array of other toppings that may suit your taste buds, Blaze adds uniqueness to a league of pizza chains that commonly imitate each other.

Aside from its offering of salads and dessert in the form of a s’more pie, Blaze has thrived with its commitment to perfecting the craft of pizza. It’s this allegiance to quality that has allowed Blaze to become the top choice in pizza during the day or when winding down after a fun night in Isla Vista.

South Coast Deli

Best Sandwich

Lorenzo Basilio / Daily Nexus

Need a reasonably-priced sandwich that tastes like it was made in your kitchen — without all the work? South Coast Deli is the place to go for a wide variety of sammies, paninis, salads, breakfast sandwiches, coffee and other drinks. Boasting a menu that doesn’t go over $11, South Coast is a great call for morning energy, a post-run salad or toasted sammies with friends on a warm summer night. An underrated aspect of South Coast Deli? Its bread. Many sandwich shops give you bread options that all taste like an inflated paper bag — South Coast bread tastes like the real thing. The atmosphere is metallic and pleasant, with the warm combination of breeze and humans inside. Depending on when you come in, you can either hear folk or hip-hop music on the speakers, and usually catch ESPN highlights on the TV. The outdoor courtyard is hidden from the busyness of Pardall by a wall of bamboo shoots, creating a tranquil atmosphere to enjoy your delicious Cheesy Veggie, Phatty, or Italian 3-way. But even when the last crumbs have been devoured and there’s seemingly nothing left of your culinary experience, a cheery dum-dum lollipop included with your order promises to be a carefree way to finish off the meal.

Woodstock's Pizza

Best Place To Grab A Beer

Christine Skari / Daily Nexus

From Woodstock’s you can give a shout out to friends strolling past, with the toasty mid day sun feeling almost as good as the Ballast Point in hand tastes. Do you want a cold one before or after class in Embarcadero Hall or I.V. Theater? No problem, it’s across the street. Heading to DP and can’t wait till you get to the party? Woodstock’s is there to hydrate you.

If you and your friends are feeling a little more genius than on your typical weekday, trivia nights on Tuesday are the perfect time to come and drink from Woodstock’s tasteful variety of beer. Whether it’s a smooth Budweiser that unlocks your brain’s full potential, or a 9% double IPA that gets you goin’, both are perfectly acceptable to hydrate competitors.

Also known for their pint nights, Woodstock’s perhaps most festive and economical night to grab a beer or seven is Wednesday evening. Pints go for just four dollars. From there, no matter what type of beer your first pint was, you now get discounted pints for the rest of the night. That Bud just turned into a discounted Stone IPA; it’s practically alchemy. When the good times stop rolling at Woodstock’s, you get to take your glass home with you! There really isn’t anything better than keeping a memento of great night while also adding to your glassware collection.

Hana Kitchen

Best Boba

Effie Sklavenitis / Daily Nexus

“Number 58!” the server’s voice rings out, as you look down at your crumpled receipt and subsequently leap up with joy. Your eyes light up and you begin to salivate as you briskly approach the counter to claim your order. Piercing the clear film with a black straw, you are soon rewarded with an icy cold mouthful of delicious tea and chewy pearls made of tapioca.

Whether you’re looking for a snack on your way home after class or craving a sweet treat after a night out, you can always count on Hana Kitchen to provide the best boba in I.V. to quench your thirst. Santa Barbara’s year round summer weather makes boba drinks perfect for any time, any occasion.

Choose between classic milk teas, fruitier options or refreshing slushies paired with boba for a delightful texture combination. Don’t forget to order a warm teriyaki chicken bowl slathered with spicy mayo alongside your drink to create a sweet and savory balance of flavor. Despite the constant line, Hana Kitchen always has Friends playing on TV to keep you entertained while you wait.

Hana Kitchen remains a staple for Asian food and drinks in I.V. amidst a wide array of burritos, pizzas and sandwiches. The only thing I can think of that would make Hana Kitchen even better would be if they served alcoholic boba.


Best Coffee

Spencer Brandt / Daily Nexus

Caje is not a pizza joint, nor does it sell falafel. The less discerning foodie may, however, be confused by the location of this sweet little coffee pot. In fact, if Caje did not emanate a seductive aroma of coffee during its open hours, one may miss it completely.

This is the draw of Coffee, Art, Juice, and Entertainment, pronounced with the j in jello, not the h in habañero. The place is small, unassuming, but pulls you in with the vigor of a caffeinated lover. Caje carries coffee beans from Handlebar Coffee Roasters, which emphasizes a commitment to environmentally conscientious products. The menu includes bagelwiches named after Isla Vista streets, espressos named after Santa Barbara landmarks, and artistic representations of local foliage in latte art.  If you’re in need of a fun, daily activity, make a personal goal to try each flavor of the Alternative Baking Company’s vegan cookies, assembled in an appealing row near the checkout. Space is difficult to come by during finals week, but the shop has both indoor and outdoor seating for sunny days. Caje also boasts accommodating hours, open until midnight on weekdays and 11pm on weekends, made for the caffeinating of night owls and the warming of souls.

I.V. Drip

Best Dessert

Christine Skari / Daily Nexus

As the one place in I.V. to get a “cookiewich” with delicious McConnell’s ice cream, it is no surprise that I.V. Drip wins best spot to pick up dessert. This quaint and homey shop located in the downtown business district is the go-to place for sugar fiends everywhere. With ice cream flavors as simple as “Santa Barbara Strawberry,” as unique as “Eureka Lemon and Marion Berry” or as eclectic as “Whiskey & Pecan Praline,” I.V. Drip is there to fulfill all your sweet tooth tendencies. Frappés, smoothies, milkshakes, floats, and acai bowls are also well in abundance. On the warmer side, customers can try homemade cookies, brownies and cupcakes, or they can sip on a wide array of coffees, espressos and teas.

For those looking for something different, I.V. Drip offers booze cupcakes made with alcoholic drinks like Guinness beer. On St. Patrick’s Day, the shop offered its signature “Irish car bomb”—chocolate cupcakes baked with Baileys Irish cream.

It is also no stretch to say that I.V. Drip took the gold for having some of the kindest and most upbeat humans behind its counters (how can someone not be nice in an ice cream shop?). If you have ever applied to work at I.V. Drip, then you know that their application process includes decorating a brown bag—a test in creativity only suitable for a place with as colorful a personality as this I.V. favorite. The people whom you see happily shmooshing a scoop of ice cream between two cookies seven days a week are the winners of this sweet contest. There’s no better way to piss off your dentist than to enjoy some cold, sugary treats under the warm embrace of smiley servers. Sure, getting cavities sucks, but so does missing out what is hands-down the best dessert spot in I.V.

Blenders In The Grass

Best Smoothie / Juice

Effie Sklavenitis / Daily Nexus

Many of us living in I.V. bear the everyday burden of standing at a fork in food consumerism road. At the end of one path are wise dietary choices and holistic approaches to food. This path leads to peace of mind and optimum physical health, with the promise of luminous Instagram-worthy aerial shots of tastefully mismatched acai bowls sitting on a bohemian picnic blanket in the middle of a somehow summery day in winter with your boo-thang. At the end of the other path is ice cream. This path leads to, uh, ice cream, and all the pictures you forgot to take before eating it.

Somewhere along these two paths there is a convergence point. This is where Blenders stands. This unassuming little smoothie shop is where man’s primal inclination for natural, nourishing sustenance meets its consummate ability to give in to guilty pleasures. It is a magical place where the three scoops of ice cream or frozen yogurt in your smoothie are easily nullified by the Trim & Fit supplement you add as an afterthought. It is where the I.V. Deli buffalo chicken fries bubbling in your belly are soothed by each sweet, sweet sip of the refreshing 24 ounces of Tropical Guava you acquired just by walking across the street. It is the place where the bitter remembrance of having slept in instead of going to the gym this morning is put out of mind quickly with the knocking-back of an equally bitter Wheatgrass Shot.

Beyond beverages, Isla Vista’s Blenders location is a bustling one which encourages its patrons to maintain a healthy “keep moving forward” mentality by offering no place to sit and linger while sipping away. This makes it the perfect place for non-committal meetups with that person to whom you’re always saying, “We need to catch up!” but whom you always forget to call. So call Felicia up and ask her to meet at Blenders – it will be easier on both of you, and I’m sure you can find a supplement to counter the awkwardness when you get there.


The Olés

Best Local Band

Lorenzo Basilio / Daily Nexus

Somewhere in downtown Santa Barbara, not too far from State Street, is a small room nestled in between an auto parts store and an office space. It’s quiet, unassuming and not easy to find. This is where the The Olés, Isla Vista’s most famous reggae band, spend their time practicing, perfecting their setlist and fiddling with a faulty air conditioning system.

When The Olés first formed in 2012, they used their house in I.V. to have casual practices. But when those practices moved outdoors, they began to gain attention from passersby on Sabado. Matt remembers, “One time we were having band practice and our friends were playing drinking games in the front. Then more and more friends came over, and it kind of turned into, ‘What should we play next for these people?’” The casual beginnings of the band are a direct reflection of their sound: rhythmic, sunny and all around feel good. Unsurprisingly, Matt cites Slightly Stoopid, Van Morrison and the Dave Matthews Band as major influences.

Although the band is relaxed, it would also be accurate to characterize them as hardworking. After shuffling around the lineup, which now includes drummer Westin Byerly, they released their debut full length. “We just released our album Strictly Speaking in January. Sooner than later, we’re going to go back in the studio and do a four to five song EP,” Matt says, appearing to have the group’s entire schedule planned out in his head.

Live shows are important to The Olés and are arguably the largest influence on how they play the music they write. House gigs in I.V. can either be a huge success or fall flat with the crowds of inebriated party-goers. “The pace of the town really influences our music. We play things that really get the crowd moving at shows,” Cole says. “Drinking beer on rooftops while looking at the ocean and drinking beer on the beach” are the two images he jokingly cites when describing his local inspirations.

Despite their small town roots, the five piece do have big things in front of them. Thoughtfully, Matt considers The Olés’ home fanbase. “We have some energy behind us and people are really responding positively. So we’re just excited to just continue that.”

Danny, the band’s reserved bassist, adds, “It’s really good that we get to play California Roots because I know a lot of the bands that I looked up to growing up are playing there.” California Roots is a reggae festival in Monterey with headlining spots filled by Rebelution, the Marley Brothers and the band’s previously mentioned heroes, Slightly Stoopid.

Agreeing with Danny, Matt points out the slow but steady success that they have reached over the past couple of years. “We’ve been really lucky to be noticed by the reggae scene,” Matt adds. “We’re at the bottom of the list this year, but people saw what we were doing and thought that we were big enough to play a major festival.”

As everyone begins to migrate outside to take a photo, trumpet player Nick Marks joins in without skipping a beat. They climb into the open bed of Matt’s truck and form a sort of semicircle, all wearing the same half smile. Because of where they started, The Olés will probably always be content.

The Olés are going to play the Nexus Best Of Festival in Storke Plaza next Wednesday, April 20.


Best Local DJ

Jenny Luo / Daily Nexus

Cameron Gable walked up to a spot in the shade outside the Life Sciences Building where Artsweek was waiting for him to come down from his research lab to take a break and chat with the Nexus. He first told us all about his crazy adventures on Saturday night riding on a land shark for the first time, and then we delved into the details of his vibrant DJ career which began in his sophomore year at UCSB.

Starting from the very beginning, he spoke about the origins of his stage name.

“I always wanted to be a college basketball player and played varsity basketball in high school … I came up with a lot of really creative names, and Bucketz was one that I thought was both relevant and kind of silly, and I thought that was … a quality that was important. I think, as much as I love music, it’s really about having fun and doing what you love.”

Though his fellow undergraduate researchers in UCSB’s Proulx laboratory lovingly know him as DJ Phishdickz, Gable has established a promising following under stage name Bucketz.

Looking back nostalgically on the early years of his career here at UCSB, the fourth year said, “When I came to UCSB, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do. I knew I liked science … but it wasn’t really enough, and so a couple of friends and I went to our first festival sophomore year … EDC. We kind of just jumped right in and went to the biggest thing we could go to … and I kind of knew right there that just going to these events wouldn’t be enough, and I wanted to play at some.”

With a distant smile on his face and pride in his eyes, he said, “My favorite event, one of the best days I’ve ever had, was opening for a DJ named Ghastly … He played downtown at SOhO, and that was a lot of fun. It was the first … big event that I had ever played, and it was a learning experience.”

Now, almost done with his time as a student, he is looking forward to working as hard as he can to make it in the music industry. Though the biochemistry/molecular biology major plans to maintain a career in the field of science, Gable still says that after college, “I’m gonna probably give [DJ-ing] my all.”

“I think the end goal is really to mix at things like festivals and stuff where there’s a big crowd; you can entertain as many people as you can imagine and show them … yourself on an emotional level.” Gable said. “I think that really is the end goal, but it’s definitely not a realistic thing for me in the short term, and I understand how much work it’s gonna be, and I think Santa Barbara is a great place to really hunker down and start working as much as I can to get better.”

Bucketz is staying around Santa Barbara for at least a year, so you should keep your eyes open. You may be seeing and hearing a lot more from him in the near future.

Bucketz is going to play the Nexus Best Of Festival in Storke Plaza next Wednesday, April 20.

Santa Barbara Bowl

Best Music Venue

Lorenzo Basilio / Daily Nexus

The live music scene in Santa Barbara has seen incredible growth in just a few years, and the Santa Barbara Bowl has played a huge part in that. Originally built in 1936 for Santa Barbara Fiesta pageants, the Bowl has stood the test of time, undergoing major, multi-million-dollar renovations in 2000 that upgraded the facility technologically and aesthetically. Today, the Bowl is home to state-of-the-art A/V technology that make it a competitor for major venues in Los Angeles like the Greek Theatre and the Hollywood Bowl, and a coveted stop for major national and world tours.

From the moment you enter the gates, you’re greeted by uber-friendly community volunteers that (hardly) pat you down and scan your tickets. Ascend the brutal hill to the actual venue and you’ll find multiple gardens filled with gorgeous greenery and plant life, a contrast to the stacked sandstone that surrounds the entirety of the venue and the stage. Once the uphill battle is won, patrons are rewarded with breathtaking views at the top of the seating area, where most will flock to to use the restrooms, buy beer and wine or take photos of the ocean-lined cityscape that only Santa Barbara has to offer. The views don’t end there as the 4,974 capacity seating — small for a venue of this caliber; compare to the capacity of 17,376 at Hollywood Bowl — make every seat a good seat, whether you were lucky enough to snag a pit ticket or end up sitting at the top benches.

For years, the SB Bowl has offered an extremely diverse set of acts every season, a testament to the mission statement of the overseeing SB Bowl Foundation. Huge names like Katy Perry, Lorde, Florence + the Machine, The Weeknd and Sigur Rós have graced the massive, pavilion-style stage in the past, and since Goldenvoice became the Bowl’s concert promoter in January 2016, season lineups have only gotten better. In the next few months, The 1975, G-Eazy, The Lumineers and Ryan Adams will bring their unique sounds to our little beach city. Additionally, keeping to its roots, the Bowl hosts annual Día de los Muertos celebrations and various community events such as Westmont College’s Spring Sing and the Bowl’s Education Outreach.

Community values, dope acts and one-of-a-kind facilities make the Santa Barbara Bowl the best local music venue of 2016. If you’re looking to visit Santa Barbara, getting sick of the Isla Vista scene or simply need to go to another concert, hit up the Santa Barbara Bowl for a night you will never forget.


Campus Point

Best First Date Spot

Alex Nagase / Daily Nexus

Campus Point is famous for its reputation as a first date spot given its inherently beach-y and romantic air as well as its low, low entry price of free. A moonlit stroll down this comparatively tar-less stretch of sand is sure to get you that goodnight kiss you’ve been thinking about since you first got the courage to ask out that special someone. Just a hop and a skip away are the elusive labyrinth — a vaguely secluded rock maze just awaiting your sexual escapades — and, of course, the pickle weed-strewn cliffs perfect for watching a sunset or for spotting dolphins. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, climbing that giant concrete cube that’s on the beach for no identifiable reason is both easy and exhilarating. Campus Point also occasionally offers an even more romantic opportunity; for example, Halloweekend 2014 brought us a shipwreck just east of the main beach. Although it was covered in police tape, a boy brought me on a second date (I know this is about first dates, but bear with me here) to explore the beached schooner. After scaring away a family of raccoons who had already begun to build a home inside of it, we climbed the wreck and saw a few stingrays swimming under the full moon. Such is the magic of Campus Point. So don’t let “hot guy from history section” and “funny girl from chem lab” remain just that; muster up some courage and ask them to take a walk to Campus Point. It’s not just a staple move for the chi-five freshies, it’s a foolproof swoon-inducer.

Inspiration Point

Best Hike

Stephen Manga / Daily Nexus

We are mountain people. For those of us who struggle to surf and sunburn far too easily while lying on the sand, we find comfort in peaks and mountain-top views. Despite choosing to spend our four years of college at a beach-side paradise, the first thing we looked for was an uphill climb through the trees and hills and discovered our inspiration at none other than Inspiration Point. The trek, found in a quaint neighborhood of Montecito, offers hikers an escape from campus and I.V., as well as a view of Santa Barbara County from the top. As we catch our breath and take our selfies with the landscape in the background, we are reminded of how small and connected our city is. With Storke Tower to our distant right and the Santa Barbara pier reaching out into the ocean to our left below, we can appreciate the scenic magnitude of being only 1,800 feet above Santa Barbara. Whether Gauchos want to sprint up the mountain or take endless water breaks along the way, Inspiration Point can be taken at any pace, unlike the stressful grind of our everyday schedules. So here we stand at the lookout, the mountain people and ocean lovers alike. Regardless of the backdrop or the trail we walk on, Inspiration Point is more than a hiking destination: It belongs to the Gauchos who love it so much and who may find their own bit of inspiration every time they make it to the top.

Davidson Library

Best Sex Spot

Alex Nagase / Daily Nexus

The ambiance of Davidson Library fosters a sense of learning, productivity and undeniable sexual energy. Nothing says “I need to be sensually ravaged right here, right now,” like the tasteful and artsy white pendant lights hanging overhead. Inhaling the musty scent of antique textbooks and dust is an aphrodisiac like no other, so it’s no wonder Davidson is once again UCSB’s best place to have sex on campus. In the name of true romance, pull your lover up onto a desk of elegant reclaimed particleboard. Treat yourself and the one you love (to be inside of) to a romp on vintage polyester carpeting. Take a study break by breaking into the new private study rooms. Tons of students have come (heh) and gone through the original eight stories on the ocean side, so don’t forget to leave your legacy before graduation time comes. Whether you and your special someone make some memories together or you decide to embark alone on your own personal adventure, we wish you all the best. May you never get caught by authorities or by carpet burn.

UCSB Library

Best Study Spot

Eric Swenson / Daily Nexus

My first quarter here, I stepped foot in the old library only once to finish up my all-time favorite pastime that was summer A.L.E.K.S. homework. While sitting in a little cubicle on the dark, dank second floor staring at the final objective I had already tried 10 times to complete, I decided I would avoid studying in the library from that point on to keep from turning into a reclusive, sullen vampire. But lo and behold, a beacon of hope for library dwellers everywhere came in the form of the much awaited "New Library." Once Winter Quarter 2016 came around, the grand opening of the renovated library brought light to the students — literally. The highly anticipated architecture allows for an extensive amount of natural light to enter the various rooms and study spots the New Library provides. No longer do they have to fear the debilitating effects that artificial lighting and ugly ass carpeting can have on the fragile college student psyche. Now, with aesthetically pleasing interior design and a hip, overpriced café, the New Library gives students the opportunity to people watch through floor length windows as they type their essays and sip their $8 Frappuccinos. It truly is the best place to study on campus. But good fucking luck trying to find an empty chair in that place. My advice — get there at 8 a.m. so you can have an entire floor to yourself to question your life choices, all while admiring the minimalist furniture and hundreds of available outlets at your disposal.