I have lived in several cities over the last couple of years. Since I write primarily outside of my apartment, I tend to really prize having good places to work near my apartment. This is the first in a series of posts that should come out in the next month or so about my favorite places to write in a specific geographical areas. I am going to start out with the place I live currently, Brooklyn, and then shift from there. I am, as always, eager for suggestions.
Sit & Wonder
688 Washington Av, Prospect Heights
Jacob used to live near this coffee shop when we first met. It’s changed a lot since then and now is a fair walk to get to, however it is still a very good place to work. It fills up quickly and the seating is a little crammed, but there is more room in the summer because of the backyard, which has a covered area as well as seating under the sun. Although often it does fill up, so it’s best to arrive before 10 if you really want to get a seat. They shift most of the seating around pretty regularly, but there is always a coach in the back which is good to work on, except in the afternoon when it can get a little bright. It has reliable fast Wi-fi, a clean washroom. It also has good drip coffee (Stumptown), excellent ice coffee, fair cappuccino’s (they used to be better), and good pastries. They play good music and has a nice relaxed but working vibe.
326 6th St (between 4th & 5th avenue), Park Slope
Postmark Cafe is run by the Church! of Park Slope, which means all the employees are actually volunteers, and their tips go to charitable organizations like Heifer international. They are closed on Sundays because of this, also some of the volunteers know more about making coffee and various drinks then others. They have a fair amount of space that is not too crowded, they even have a back, children’s room that is sometimes loaned out for various meetings and such. Anyone can ask about using it. They serve lunch and because of this during the school year they are flooded by children at lunch time, but otherwise they are relatively quite and peaceful. They have a washroom (which has a shower), and good reliable wi-fi. The drip coffee is good, i’ve actually never got anything besides drip coffee and Italian Soda’s. Brownies are 1$ if you get a drink. The Air Conditioning is not great, so sometimes it gets really hot in the summer. In the spring and fall sometimes they open the big windows in the front and a pleasant breeze comes through.
646 Vanderbilt Ave , Prospect Heights
Joyce Bakeshop has an old fashioned feel to it, with wooden tables embedded with art, calm green walls, and friendly employees. I’ve actually never had their pastries, but the drip coffee (Gorilla) and tea is good. The ice coffee and tea should be avoided. They only have wi-fi on weekdays but it works well. It has a lot of foot traffic but usually there is a table or a bench available. They have a washroom.
Four & Twenty Blackbirds
439 3rd avenue, Gowanus
We used to go here frequently but a couple of months ago our routine changed. It’s a very nice coffee shop, it has beautiful tin walls, nice floors, art work, window box herb garden, light, a spacious seating area, and delicious pie. One of the reasons we stopped going was geography, Four & Twenty is an awkward distance away from our new apartment, and we stopped eating sweets. We also stopped going because their wi-fi, drip coffee, and staff became less reliable. It is a very nice place to go when you really need to work and you don’t necessarily need the internet.
355 5th Avenue, Park Slope
Cafe Martin is tiny, with church pew seating, little tables, a European vibe, a great owner who remembers your drinks, and boasts a good supply of reading material, from the New York Times to the Atlantic Monthly. Their drip coffee is great and Martin makes the best cappuccino’s. The iced coffee is good too. They don’t have internet, but I don’t mind at all. It’s best for reading and writing in a note book. In the afternoon it is quite and perfect for serious reading (and notebook writing).
It’s dark in the back, crowded in the front, smells, goes through frequent seating adjustments, and the backyard just doesn’t work. The drinks, aside from drip coffee are overpriced. Also one of the managers is creepy. It’s too bad, because it’s close by, has wi-fi, and is never very crowded.
Sometimes I really try to like Snice, it has good light and vegan baked goods. However it never really works out because their employees are often loud and obnoxious, the music can be dreadful, and you can’t use your laptop on weekends or on most tables between 12-3 each day. The wi-fi works though, in case you were wondering.
Dirty and Dark, sometimes crowded. I can’t bring myself to work here.
Park Slope, Two locations
The fact that they charge for WiFi, smell badly, and are grimy has stopped me from frequenting their establishments.