A few weeks ago, we asked our freelance readers to tell us where you like to spend your work days — outside of your apartment. With coffee shops around the city cracking down on laptop use, finding a good spot to sit down, plug in and caffeinate can be a problem.
You sent us lots of good responses and we’re going to try to visit them all and let you know how they all stack up. This week, our first visit was to Housing Works Bookstore Cafe in Soho.
Read on for the lowdown
Location: 126 Crosby St. (currently under scaffolding)
The crowd: Manageable. At 2:30 on a Thursday we spotted only about 8 laptop users, but the tables in the cafe area were mostly all filled with people reading or drinking coffee. However, we didn’t have a problem finding a seat because we don’t mind sharing with strangers.
Internet connection: The wi-fi connection was reliable, but password protected. The baristas, who are all volunteers, were super friendly and didn’t mind giving us the password at all.
Access to power: The major downside to Housing Works was the power outlet situation. We only spotted a few outlets along one wall and they were all taken by the time we got there. Worse yet, there were signs proclaiming that outlets are not available on Saturdays or Sunday “due to increased weekend traffic.” Bummer.
Coffee and snacks: There’s a great selection of food here, from $6 pre-made sandwiches and $4 knishes to quiche, cookies and muffins. And, of course, coffee.
Our take: The used bookstore has a homey vibe and is filled with hipsters, and their laid back attitude is contagious. We’d suggest a visit on your most stressful days. We liked it, and will definitely go back, but as you know, electrical outlets are the lifeblood of freelance writing. Housing Works’ lack of plugs probably explains the lack of computers we spied. But, the cafe and bookstore is so great on so many other levels — its mostly volunteer staffed, the furniture is donated and all of its proceeds go to charity — that it’s hard to complain.
What do you think? Start the conversation about Housing Works below, or send your suggestions about other good places to work around the city to us.
(Photo via Housing Works)