John Babich / Contributing Photographer

We’re all guilty of a slightly creepy, yet endlessly entertaining pastime: people watching. Campus is ideal for getting your fix when it comes to stranger-gazing. Some of us prefer to imagine the lives and daily drama going on between people, while others scan crowds for potential mates. Regardless of your goal, consider staking out in these spots on campus for prime people watching.

1. Einstein Bros Bagels

Aside from the jalapeño schmear and fresh-squeezed OJ, one of Einstein’s main attractions is the globe-like structure of its seating area. Once you grab your food, sit just about anywhere in the fishbowl for a clear view of people walking to Lecture Hall or Science I for class. The glare on the fully-windowed room makes it difficult to see inside, so you’ll have no problems being subtle.

2. The benches along Lois B. DeFleur Walkway (the Spine)

The Spine is typically packed with students right before popular class times. On the rare “Springhamton” day (over 40 degrees and not cloudy), there’s nothing better than grabbing a bench, or even a patch of grass, along the Spine with an iced coffee, a book and a pair of sunglasses to hide your people-watching eyes. Who knows, maybe you’ll even end up being snagged out of the crowd by Humans of Binghamton University for a photo. Or watch it happen to someone else, at least.

3. College-in-the-Woods Dining Hall booths

The upper level of the CIW Dining Hall isn’t just for bacon cheeseburgers with a side of shame at 1 a.m. The booth tables give you a perfect view of the main seating area below. During typical lunch or dinner times, it’s easy to spot a friend, a person you want to be your friend (a friend crush, if you will) or a hot stranger from the booths. Shouting at them from above and then hiding is optional.

4. Glenn G. Bartle Library lobby

The library lobby is full of traffic pretty much all day long. Students pass through for a shortcut to avoid the cold, to print 200 textbook pages or to grab coffee at Jazzman’s. From the seats along the lobby wall, you can catch all of these people while hiding behind a book or even a copy of Pipe Dream.

5. The Marketplace

For some of us, the most exciting parts of the new Marketplace aren’t the food options, but the people-watching spots. The booths and couches around the periphery, though highly coveted by people actually getting work done, provide an excellent view of the action at the center. If you wait long enough, you’ll be grateful to have the best seat in the house for a couple fight or a budding romance over Mein Bowl.

Use these tips to enhance your people-watching experience, but with caution — we don’t want everyone catching on to us.