Friday, August 6, 2010

Putting in Work: My List of the Best Places to Write in the City

Oh how I love a cafe. You know the kind that provides solace from a tiny New York apartment without AC. AND of course, said cafe must have conditions conducive to writing. Now, I get extremely picky when it comes to where I write. The only thing I'm pickier about is bars. My friends know, Grace does NOT go to dive bars. Don't even ask me:)

So, what are my requirements for a good writing spot? Well, it must have free wi-fi and plenty of outlets for Langston (my laptop). That's just the bare minimum. It also shouldn't be too crowded, have comfortable seating and the music or the people cannot be too loud. I'm not done. Since I will likely be hanging out there for quite a while, a good writing spot should have cheap, good food, a friendly staff and tea (Not a coffee drinker). Finally, the spot should be cool with you buying one cup of tea and hanging out all day. So here is my list for the best spots to write in NYC.
Housing Working Bookstore, 126 Crosby Street, NYC
I wish I lived closer to this place, because it's pretty amazing. What makes it great?: Free wi-fi, lots of outlets and power strips that line the wall. The seating was comfortable and the tables were a good size. It was very quiet and not very crowded the day that I went. The food and tea was very cheap and good. Also, all the proceeds of the sales here go to help people living with HIV/AIDS not lining the pockets of some evil corporation.

Max Cafe, 1262 Amsterdam Avenue, NYC
This was my default place while I was in film school. It was a 10 minute walk from campus and is a very relaxing place to get your write on. Very comfortable worn couches, free wi-fi and sufficient outlets. There are some drawbacks though. Depending on who's working that day, the music can get very loud. Also, you may get this one evil waitress with the permanent sneer. It's a gamble. The food is pretty good, but the prices are way too high and also since you are dealing with waitstaff and not a walk-up counter, you have to factor in a tip to the expenses. Overall, it's worth a visit.
Soy Cafe, 115 Greenwich Ave, NYC
 I recently discovered this place. It's very cute and the food is very healthy. So if you don't want to go into a carb-induced coma from muffins and bagels, this is a spot where you can get food that actually gives you energy. The wi-fi is a bit slow, but you SHOULD be doing work anyway, not on Facebook playing Sorority Life (I type, guiltily). It can be a bit cramped, but the staff is friendly and it's not too crowded.

Muddy Waters Cafe, 2185 Adam Clayton Powell, NYC
This is a great little place in Harlem that is pretty new. The seating is comfortable, there's free wi-fi and the sweet treats are delicious. This place is never crowded, which is a definite plus. However, the outlet situation is a bit dire. And the lady in there will talk your head off when you are trying to get work done. She's very sweet and funny, but can be distracting when you're trying to focus.

Society Coffee, 2104 Frederick Douglass Blvd, NYC
This place is near my apartment and is a pretty good spot.  It has the required free wi-fi and a decent amount of outlets. Also, if you're single, there are plenty of sexy, young professional types doing work there. The food is OK, but sometimes arrives luke-warm and it is too expensive. Also annoying is the fact that the credit card machine often isn't working so you should bring cash. The service is not the greatest and they do not allow laptops on the weekends, a big minus. However, it is a calm, quiet place to work and worth a visit.

Grounded, 28 Jane Street, NYC
So, I just tried this one out today and I liked it. My breakfast wrap was delish and the chai was good. Free Wi-Fi, plenty of outlets and a chill vibe. There were lots of people also doing work so it's easy to stay focused because there's not much to conversation going. I'll be back.

That's my list. What are your favorite places to write in the City?

1 comment:

  1. i like a few of these but there are a couple essentials you MISSED!!!

    Tea Lounge! Coffee Den! Hueman Cafe!!!

    And the Starbucks on 118 and Frederick!!!!


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