Thanks to an incredibly generous friend, I’m lucky enough to have found a day job in NYC that supports my writing life. I work at Rockefeller University 3 days a week as an administrative assistant in a lab full of some of the sweetest and brightest people I’ve ever met. If you live, commute, and work in any big city, you know how difficult it can be sometimes to find a quiet place to work. A lot of people I know go to cafes, which is great if you have headphones and the baristas don’t mind. I actually used to pay for a membership at one of those studio spaces just to have a quiet, dependable place to go after work and get some words down on the page. Now I have access to the Rita & Frits Markus Library.
Where do you write?
If you live in NYC, don’t want to spend money on a space, but are looking for a place to work, here are some of my other go-to spots, all FREE:
NYPL – Schwarzman Branch: This is the fancy library with the lions out front next to Bryant Park. Gorgeous and inspirational space, quiet, open until 8pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Ace Hotel: Free wifi, open 24 hours, long tables with plenty of outlets, can order food and drinks when you’re there, but no worries if you don’t – they won’t bother you. A bit noisy so bring your headphones.
The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen: requires a membership, but the cost is a nominal $50 a year and you practically have the entire place to yourself. To me, this spot feels like a hidden secret. Open on weekdays: Monday-Thursday until 6pm and Fridays until 5pm.
NYPL – Science and Business Branch: Open on Saturdays. Open most weekdays until 8pm. When I worked at my previous company, I loved that this spot was so close I could just pop in right after work.
The Highline Hotel: I have a thing for working in beautiful spaces, and this space definitely falls into that category. I’ve written in a little side nook off to the side of the main lobby bar.
Poets House: Once she saw this post, my dear friend Ann suggested adding their library and reading room to the list. She’s a classy lady so I’m inclined to trust her judgment. Hours are Tuesday-Friday, 11am-7pm and Saturday 11am-6pm.