New Yorkers live to hustle and hustle to live. Wolves of Wall Street get it, ivory tower academics get it, middle managers get it, and bleary-eyed commuters crowding into packed subway cars at rush hour get it. But not everyone who works hard is on that 9 to 5 grind. The much groused-about gig economy keeps growing, and freelancers, independent contractors, and entrepreneurs need somewhere to wheel and deal.
As luck would have it, the passing of the 40-hour work week has coincided with the baby boom of myriad charming coffee shops that cater to study sessions, meetings, and all manner of freelancing. Places with ample seating, working outlets, public printers, and reliable Wi-Fi. Places with enough caffeine to keep your heart rate up. Places where go-getters of all kinds are welcomed -- even celebrated -- as long as they follow the code of conduct.
I’ve spent a year scouring the city, laptop in hand, for the best espresso-infused workspaces where students, aspiring writers, established writers, and hustlers of all stripes can have a seat and get things done. I’ve battled feeble internet connections, dead outlets, wobbly chairs, and dreadful playlists in my quest to distinguish the serviceable spots from the cute facades. Here’s what I found -- Starbucks and Gregorys not included.