There is so much more to grad school than going to class, studying, and writing papers. For many people at GSE, this is their first time living in Philly (myself included). I have a fair amount of schoolwork to do, but I also really want to see all that Philly has to offer. So, I have decided to kill two birds with one stone during my time here by exploring the city for good study spaces. And I’m going to document it all in my new series – Hitting the Books in Philly.
To quote Lorelai Gilmore from Gilmore Girls (a.k.a my favorite show ever), “I can’t stop drinking the coffee. I stop drinking the coffee, I stop doing the standing and walking and the words putting into sentence doing.” That pretty much sums me up. I’m always on the lookout for a good cup of joe. If I stumble upon a place that has space to sit and get some work done, that’s even better. This brings me to my first study spot, HubBub Coffee.
I have admittedly become a bit of a coffee snob over the past few years. That being said, HubBub didn’t let me down at all. My first time here, I ordered an iced coffee which was perfectly brewed and packed enough caffeine in it that I felt like I could take off into space after a few sips! Their iced tea is also rockin, as are their chocolate chip cookies! They have a few other food options, including ice cream. Ice cream and coffee – what more could you ask for?
Another added bonus to HubBub is that because it is so close to campus, you pick up Penn’s wifi inside the shop. As I write this, I’m sitting by the back wall and I have full bars on my laptop. That’s a huge deal for me. So much of my coursework is done on Canvas and I need to be able to access it. What is Canvas, you ask? Canvas is an online tool that all of my professors use to post their syllabi, readings, and grades for each class. I use it to upload assignments and partake in class discussions, among other things. Access to it is crucial for class, so being able to log on to it is incredibly important. Hence, the need for wifi wherever I’m working.
The atmosphere is pretty chill and great for group work. I have met here with one of my English students, and we have been able to work without feeling awkward. Sometimes you walk into a place and it’s so quiet you can hear a pin drop. That’s not the case with HubBub. People like meeting up here, so it’s a good space for conversation and collaboration. They also have some community tables where you can sit with a few people to discuss a group project. At the same time, it’s by no means deafening and you can definitely hear yourself think.
Some drawbacks are that it is incredibly popular, so finding a table can be a little difficult. But to me, that’s the sign of a place doing something right! Also, there aren’t all that many outlets, so make sure you bring a fully charged computer.
HubBub has a few different locations, two in Philly and one close to Villanova. If you’re ever near one, I highly suggest stopping in!
Where: HubBub Coffee
Neighborhood: West Philly
Address: 3736 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Distance from GSE: 7 minute walk