The writer's first feet is discipline. It's all about putting pen to paper day after day, no matter how and where. Ideally and most romantically you write at a Parisienne cafe, espresso and cigarette in hand or at a bucolic cottage in the midst of untouched nature. A whole subway cart of jaded New Yorkers just laughed at me. As much as I'd love to follow Hemingway's footsteps and write bestsellers in seedy bars, my modern day reality looks more like a laptop pillow (thank you Ikea) and earplugs (jackhammers are the bane of my existence). To escape my "home office" aka expensive AC bills and domestic distractions (looking at you laundry basket) I spent the past few years searching for the most inspiring spots to write in New York City. Now I want to share them with you, fellow wordsmiths.
1. Ace Hotel
Far from being a "secret spot" the Ace Hotel's lobby is still a wonderful place to practice your typemanship. The creative atmosphere is enforced by the space's dim lighting, the gorgeously dark interior, complementary wifi and delicious Stumptown coffee. The evening crowd can get a bit distracting but the daytime working bees create a concentrated and creative environment that keeps you focused for hours.
20 W 29th Street, New York City, NY 10001
2. Rose room - Public Library
Although closed for renovations earlier this year, the Rose Reading Room at the Public Library at Bryant park is as good as it gets. The old world architecture, grand chandeliers, floor to ceiling book shelves and pin drop silence are an instant inspiration. Only drawback: no food or drink allowed. At all. How can a human being survive without a snack?
42nd St 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018
3. Madison square park
The location obviously is dependent on the weather, which can be a bit unpredictable in New York. If it IS nice though Madison Square Park is a lovely spot to work and play; there are shaded tables, free wifi, gorgeous greenery, every subway you can think of and some of the best food options in town (Shake Shack or Eatly for lunch anyone?!)
Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010
4. McNally Jackson bookstore
McNally Jackson, one of the best indie bookstores in New York, hosts a cute cafe with a mellow crowd. The lack of wifi forces you to get off your social media and lets you focus on literary research and undisturbed creative writing. Plus: they serve deliciously refreshing iced tea and great small plates.
52 Prince St, New York, NY 10012
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of co-working spaces in New York but they all come with a (sometimes hefty) price tag. But not Wix. It's a bit of a mystery why the web development company offers a beautiful office space free of charge (trust me my jaded self was very confused) but it also restores your faith in mankind. If the free wifi and common tables weren't enough they also offer complimentary coffee and tea! The only complaint (even though I don't think I'm really allowed to complain here): their opening hours. The space holds strict 9am-5pm work days...Even Dolly Parton would snicker at that!
235 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011
*Update: word on the street is that Wix recently changed their policy and requires you to work with a Wix website template in order to get free access to their office space.