Now that I'm in grad school I have a lot of reading. Between the reading I want to do, the reading I need to do and the reading I wish I could do, I am lost in a swirl of wordly to-dos. I can't even begin to keep up with my New Yorkers, my New York Magazine or even my Sunday Times. When I read for school I either need to do it in bed, early in the morning, or I need to do it outside, away from distractions like the internet, cable or the kitchen.
And so, getting to know New York and exploring like I am known to do, I have started to put together a list of my favorite places to read:
1. A bench in Soho. Loosely this bench is on Thompson street between Prince and Spring. This bench is my absolute, hands down number one spot. The bench is under some trees so it's never under a hot sun, it's on a semi-quiet street so I'm not distracted by blaring horns. There are people walking by but not too many. If I sound like goldilocks well, you've got my number. The last element to making this particular bench perfect is that my feet easily hit the ground and not only that, but it's at a height that gives me a nice bend in my legs, many benches, and you may not know this, but many benches are pretty high up off the ground, which means my legs hang a bit or I have to stretch or I can't cross my legs comfortably. This bench, this bench I love.
2. A bench outside of The Little Cupcake Bake Shop on Prince Street. This bench is a nice place to stop and have coffee and sit and read but, it can also be very distracting. It's got great people watching potential. During Fashion Week it was fabulous. Shoes, outfits, you name it. I didn't get much reading done. So, this is a good spot but I have to stay focused.
3. La Columbe, see my post. The best cup of coffee, if made by the right person, and a good place to sit, although like above I can easily get lost in people watching or conversation listening.
4. A bench outside of Grumpy's Cafe in the Lower East Side. Great cup of coffee, comfortable bench and only a bit of distractions: Chinese men yelling, or maybe they're just talking but to me all of their talking sounds like arguing. And only a sprinkling of hipsters walking back and forth. Their baked goods are by far the best on this list. Which, may not be a good thing. I'm actually still thinking about their almond cake.
5. Inside the cafe at McNally Jackson bookstore. I stopped in here one day last week to step out of the rain and pick up a book. The rain continued so I sat down awhile to read. They have small nooks next to the wall with a one person shelf perfect for a cup of coffee and an elbow to lean. It turned out to be a good place to read because I could occasionally look up, out the window or at the people around me.
I know winter is coming so look out for the next list, more warm places, less outdoor benches.