As a freelance writer surviving living in New York City I dwell in an apartment roughly the size of Carrie Bradshaw’s walk-through closet (as that is what is financially realistic for freelance writers, NOT brownstones with walk-through closets as Carrie would have us believe). Needless to say, I am constantly on the hunt for the perfect coffee shop where my caffeinated fingers can click-clack away at an alarming speed. Problem is that I bounce from shop to shop, never really finding much comfort as I dodge the heavy breathing of my table neighbor or balance my meh latte and drink adverse laptop on a precariously small ROUND table that always wobbles. (Why must coffee shop tables always be round!!) I then leave in a huff after wasting half an hour trying to get comfortable and vow never to leave my closet home again. That was until I stumbled upon this dirty little writers’ secret; one can work out of chic hotel lobbies with a plethora of benefits including but not limited to:
1) Much more comfortable seating. We’re talking brass-studded leather couches, velvet armchairs, and FIREPLACES (hellllooo, winter, I see you on the horizon!) Basically, you feel like as studious as Hermione and it’s glorious.
2) Clean bathrooms. Like, probably cleaner than my bathroom at home.
3) They serve wine. At any time of day. But especially at 5 p.m. when you have two more hours of work ahead of you.
4) Free and reliable wi-fi that you don’t have to wrestle a walrus for the passcode.
5) Their food is exponentially better than that coffee shop’s tomato and lettuce sandwich that is inexplicably soggy despite having zero sauce on it.
The only downside is that you might be mistaken for a very studios escort — kidding! But who knows who you’ll meet. A drink at a hotel bar is always my favorite start to a story. Below are some of my favorite hotel lobbies to lose an afternoon in while I click-clacking away:
Not only does The Ludlow have a fireplace surrounded by velvet couches, it also has a huge atrium with tables and chairs to sit at if you’re one of those people that believe a laptop does not belong on one’s lap (despite its name). HUGE bonus, you can order food from Dirty French without sacrificing an arm to nab a reservation.
Location: 180 Ludlow St.
Inside The Roxy lives The Roxy Bar. But don’t let the word “bar” fool you. By day it skews towards a causal downtown vibe hangout spot that seamlessly transitions to a super-cool downtown-vibe jazz bar by night. I’ve spent 10 straight hours here and I’m not even ashamed to admit it.
Location: 2 Ave of the Americas
The Bowery Hotel is Rihanna’s go-to hotel when she visits New York and honestly, I feel like that’s enough of a reason for you to give it a chance because if it’s good enough for Ri-Ri, it’s good enough for you.
Location: 335 Bowery
When I nab a spot at the Ace Hotel’s famed “library” table in their lobby, I get a little giddy. With its high ceilings and perfect nonchalant but deliberately cool aesthetic, this place has been known to be a black hole for my time. By night the lobby transforms into a bar so don’t plan on working past seven.
Location: 20 W 29TH Street
While Hotel Indigo LES is mostly known for its rooftop pool and bar space, Mr. Purple, one floor below that is their 14th Floor Sky Lobby. And it is just that, a lobby in the sky with sweeping views of the downtown skyline and a great coffee shop all nestled into one great package. When it’s snowing it feels like you’re in a snow globe.
Location: 171 Ludlow Street
Written by Veronica McCarthy
Feature image via The Ludlow Hotel