Cool Places to Work in Mid-Town Manhattan
November 14, 2012 5:41 PM   Subscribe

This non-New Yorker is looking for personal recos for an awesome place (coffee shop, library, resturaunt) to work from in mid-town Manhattan tomorrow. Requirements: cheap WiFi, not too far from a subway drop, and doesn't mind me hanging out for basically 10 hours on my laptop.

I know, I could Google or Yelp this. But there are just too many choices to go through. I prefer personal recos.
posted by JPowers to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (14 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Science, Industry and Business Library on Madison and 34th St is pretty great.
posted by Pineapplicious at 5:47 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

The lobby of the Ace Hotel, on 29th between 5th and Broadway, if you want someplace with comfy chairs where you can order coffee and snacks and have some interesting people watching.

Most cafes in Manhattan have free WiFi. Many will not notice how long you're there (though ten hours is a bit much if you don't plan on ordering anything). In midtown you're rarely more than a five minute walk from a subway.
posted by Sara C. at 5:54 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

I know fuck-all about Manhattan, and yet somehow I know that the Ace Hotel is a great place to sit all day and work. So Sara is clearly onto something here.
posted by waldo at 5:59 PM on November 14, 2012

I like Argo Tea; there's one in flatiron and one in columbus circle. You have to buy a drink to get 2 hours of wifi but then again if you ask for a wifi ticket they'll usually just give you one.
posted by lhude sing cuccu at 6:03 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Just go to the research library! It's the greatest.
posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? at 6:09 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

Upstairs at the Food Emporium on 59th and First.

-Not a bad walk from the 59th/Lex stop
-Awesome space...underneath the Queensborough bridge. Soaring ceilings, pillars.
-Quiet enough to focus, but nice ambient store noise
-Vaguely nest/perch-like feel is very conducive to people-watching
-They had wifi when I lived nearby in 2010... (no promises)
-You can sit for hours because it's very uncrowded, and you don't really purchase anything upstairs, so no employees are tacitly judging you.
-A whole gourmet supermarket for snacking!!! Coffee? Check. Fruit? Check. Fried chicken? Check. Sicilian olives? Check.
posted by keasby at 6:28 PM on November 14, 2012

Most hotel lobbies are good for this kind of thing.
posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy at 6:31 PM on November 14, 2012

Definitely recommend Ace Hotel lobby. You can stay there forever and there are comfy chairs that will make you feel like royalty.
posted by sweetkid at 6:55 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Does the Ace Hotel lobby have free wifi if you're not a guest?
posted by DMelanogaster at 7:07 PM on November 14, 2012

My understanding is yes, but it's been a while since I used it. Surely buying something at either the adjoining coffee shop, the lobby bar or cafe, or eating in the Breslin (or the other restaurant there which I can never remember the name of) would entitle one to use it.
posted by Sara C. at 7:11 PM on November 14, 2012

nthing Ace Hotel, Science and Business Library, and Argo Tea (especially the University Place location, which has abundant tables and outlets). I'd also recommend he main reading room of the New York Public Library, on Fifth and 42nd.
posted by lsemel at 7:59 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

The Ace Hotel is generally overcrowded and insufferable. The NYPL reading room is great.

You should also shop through the list of privately-owned public spaces for central midtown and east midtown to find locations that suit your preferences; Each of those links to maps of the spots, and some even have photos of the venues.

The ones coded as "destinations" like Park Avenue Plaza or 590 Madison should suit your needs.

Also useful is Foursquare; here's a search for "wifi" near 42nd and Lex. Here's a good list of wifi working spots. These are all the NYC lists that mention wifi. Modify to suit your needs.
posted by anildash at 10:08 PM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: I went with the Ace Hotel, and I'm typing this from there right now! Thanks for all the recos. It is crowded, but it's pretty awesome.
posted by JPowers at 9:57 AM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

You chose wisely, JPowers.
posted by sweetkid at 10:05 AM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

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