Ranked: Student lounges
Because there are places to study other than Kimmel or Bobst.
November 15, 2021
Forty-degree weather means it’s time to find an on-campus spot to chill at for the winter instead of shivering in Washington Square Park. Whether you need to do homework, meet up with friends or just spice up your lounging routine, we’ve got you covered. We’ve ranked lesser-known, but superior, NYU lounges you can head to so you’re not tortured by Bobst’s aluminum screens during finals season.
At Washington Square
By Lorraine Olaya, Copy Chief
11. Riese Lounge at Tisch — 721 Broadway, first floor
The chairs are uncomfortable, the lounge lacks seating options, the lights are too bright and scaffolding blocks any sun from the windows. With plain white walls and a boring hardwood floor, it’s too ordinary to be a Tisch building and it’s painfully awkward to walk in when you’re not a Tischie. While I’ll give it some points for having microwaves and tons of outlets, Riese is kind of the worst.
10. University Hall Commons — 110 E. 14th St., lower level
UHall is only better than the Riese Lounge because the scattered decor makes it slightly less sad. The only seating options are regular chairs and green stools that have no back support whatsoever. Wack. It was underwhelming, off-putting and devoid of any windows. At least it has more than just white walls.
9. Kimball Hall — 246 Greene St., lobby
First of all, nobody knows where this is or that it even exists. Second of all, it only has hard plastic chairs. Some of you might be into uncomfortable seating and spinal damage, but I like couches, dammit.
8. Pless Hall — 82 Washington Square E., lobby and third floor
Pless Hall loses brownie points for the same crime against humanity of chairs as Kimball Hall. It has green swivel chairs with desks attached to them. The lighting’s pretty good and the couches are pretty modern. Plus, it lowkey has art studio vibes, with the plants and art on the walls. The view of Washington Square Park makes Pless a little more palatable, even if it’s somewhat covered by window decals.
The third floor of Pless Hall unearths some strong pre-K arts-and-crafts energy. It’s got haphazardly placed chairs and tables inside a carpeted room with a whiteboard and gross yellow lighting. Not gonna lie, I thought this was a classroom before I found out it was a study space.
Pro tip: Pless Hall is never full, so you’re likely to find a seat, even if those seats are mostly uncomfortable.
7. Silver Center for Arts and Science — 100 Washington Square E., first and second floors
Silver has several options for lounging, so if you don’t like one, try another. The Elstein Student Lounge emulates Bobst Library with its dimly lit room and eerie quietness. Though the chairs are minimalist, they’re surprisingly comfortable. This spot can get a little crowded, but it’s a good choice if you’re waiting for a class at Silver.
If it’s too full or if you’d rather sit on a couch, the Silverstein Lounge on the first floor is a better option. There are both squishy and textured couches for you to choose from, plus it has nice carpeting, decorative pillars and windows. Silver could have ranked higher, but the decals on the windows unfortunately block the view of Washington Square Park, and the red walls stress me out.
6. Global Center for Academic and Spiritual Life — 238 Thompson St.
The Global Center for Academic and Spiritual Life has a lot of sunlight. The only downside is that there isn’t enough seating, and the elevators are too slow for you to check every floor for any space. There are a lot of benches, but, unfortunately, they’re uncomfortable. In pre-COVID times, GCASL had couches, which would make the lounge rank at least fourth. However, due to the boring and socially distant furniture that has replaced my beloved sofas, I’m ranking it lower against my will.
5. 25 W. Fourth St., lower level
Before you say anything, hear me out: the basement of 25 W. Fourth St. is shockingly well lit, despite the lack of windows, and has plenty of seating. The seats are fairly comfortable too. I prefer the red swivel lounge chairs, but the sofas are just as good. 25 W. Fourth also has the bonus of vending machines and a printer, even if almost every time I need to print something I’m met with an out-of-order sign. I’ve only had French classes in this building. If I didn’t associate it so much with Quizlet, it could be a relaxing spot.
4. Tisch Hall (Stern) — 40 W. Fourth St.
While some people might hate the idea of walking into a Stern building, the lounges make it almost worth it. Almost. Tisch Hall offers a bit of everything for everyone. The modern building and seating options are appealing and don’t compromise on comfort. There are couches, tables, artsy chairs and lounging chairs — enough of them that you’re sure to find a spot somewhere. If it didn’t feel like a sin to walk into Stern, I’d probably rank it much higher.
3. Academic Resource Center — 18 Washington Place, first floor and lower level
Whether you like studying in sunlight or in a bat cave, the Academic Resource Center has it all. The ground floor offers a lot of natural and fluorescent lighting, and you have your pick between couches or regular seating with tables. It tends to be silent early in the morning and gets the busiest in the afternoon. Plus, it can get pretty loud when classes are let out. The lower level offers a plethora of options too. The couches, combined with the lighting, make for a comfy place for a power nap. With carpeting, several seating options and plants, the ARC is a solid choice.
2. 60 Fifth Ave., First Floor
The bright lights are the only downside, but sometimes I don’t even mind them. From lounge chairs and tables to couches, 60 Fifth Ave. has a surprising variety of seating. It has a New York Public Library vibe; don’t ask me how or why, it just does. I’ve only ever seen it empty, so you’re almost guaranteed a seat. Plus, there are vending machines on the lower level which is a bonus if you need a snack break. It’s a pretty solid lounge.
1. School of Professional Studies — 7 E. 12th St., First and Second Floors
The SPS building is a little trek from the center of campus, but it’s worth the 10- to 12-minute walk. There are floor-to-ceiling windows. Even though the seating variety is limited to lounge chairs and small sofa benches, they’re quite comfortable and squishy. There’s also some couches on the second floor, which is weirdly deserted. What really surprised me was how relaxed I felt. It’s quiet, but I don’t mind it because it feels right. 7 E. 12th St. has had my heart since my first year. I swear it’s because of the windows. Even after visiting all these lounges, nothing has come close to matching 7 E. 12th.
- 194 Mercer: It has those cute chairs to wait in before your classes, vending machines and windows. Listening to your breakup playlist on a Mercer chair and staring out the windows is inexplicably comforting.
- 726 Broadway, sixth floor: It’s a little out of the way if you’re not in Liberal Studies, but they have top-tier couches, and it’s been empty every time I’ve visited.
- 383 Lafayette St.: Even though it’s the StudentLink Center, floor-to-ceiling windows and comfortable lounge chairs are always the way to my heart.
- 10 Washington Place: It has a nice lobby with some wavy couches. Will the security guard watch me suspiciously if I only walk in to sit on these couches? Maybe.
- 12 Waverly Place: I’ve only been in this building once, but I still dream about the chairs on the lower level.
By Ryan Kawahara, Video Editor
5. Dibner Foyer in 5 MetroTech Center (Dibner Library)
There is usually someone practicing the piano, which gives the lounge a nice ambience, and the relatively narrow hallway means that the music fills the air. It’s particularly pleasant when you need to relax or get work done.
4. 6 MetroTech Center — seventh floor
This lounge’s proximity to a kitchen is crucial if you want to eat a snack before settling down to study. There are plenty of chairs and tables to choose from and a lot of natural light during the day. The best hours to visit are weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. because the staff members who work in the surrounding offices close the room when they leave at the end of the day.
3. The MakerSpace in 6 MetroTech Center
The MakerSpace is home not only to a bunch of cool machines but also a bunch of chairs and tables that are perfect for studying or hanging out. It feels like a coffee shop because the staff usually plays music. There are also plenty of outlets on the ground to charge your devices.
2. 370 Jay St. — 12th floor
370 Jay St. is the newest building at Tandon and houses several modern, well-lit lounges. The 12th-floor lounge is open on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and offers various places to sit as well as a nice view of downtown Brooklyn. The floor also has a kitchen and pantry where you can eat a meal or a snack. The only reason this isn’t ranked higher is that it isn’t available 24/7.
1. 370 Jay St. — second floor
The second floor of 370 Jay St. has both the newest Tandon dining facility — Café 370 — as well as plenty of seating for eating, studying and hanging out. If you like sitting in tall chairs where your feet can dangle, there are many raised tables. But if you prefer a cushy seat, there are also couches and tables in the lounge. It also has large windows that offer a lot of natural light. If you’re there during the hours Café 370 is open, you can get fresh coffee and a snack. This spot gets bonus points because it’s open 24/7.