1. The Quad
2. ASUCD Coffee House
3. Davis Farmers Market
People-watching is one of the cheapest and easiest pastimes — all you need is a functional set of eyes, a healthy imagination and ample fodder for speculation. As a focal point for campus activities, this makes the Quad a prime location for such an activity.
Even early in campus history, the Quad has been a central feature because of its proximity to the Memorial Union since 1970, the original dormitories and Dutton Hall, said senior anthropology major Lawrence Nguyen.
In conjunction with its historical centrality, the Quad often hosts throngs of people in and out of the context of organized gatherings.
“The Quad is a good place because it’s really diverse. There are all sorts of people who go there for food and coffee, and there are always active social events there,” said senior psychology major Morgan Blackburn.
Whether you wish to observe the everyday student, or if you’re pursuing a more unique category of subjects, the Quad houses them all. If you’re looking for the political minded, it has served as grounds for the Occupy movement. If you’re looking for the free-spirited, Whole Earth Festival takes place there in the spring.
Due to the sheer volume of people who route themselves through the Quad, for one reason or another, you’re bound to find someone of interest.
“Almost everyone walks through there at least once, which means you get to see all sorts of personal styles and characters,” said senior religious studies major Paige Minichiello. “I’m pretty sure I saw Hagrid once, with a full beard, hat, and trench-coat, but he was wearing a Hawaiian print shirt.”
Placing just after the Quad in second place, the ASUCD Coffee House is another popular site for observation. Located just north of The Quad, its large windows allow for viewing the first-place winner, despite inclement weather. In third place is the Davis Farmers Market.
— Alex Stanton