Meeting spaces in UWS New York
February 23, 2015 5:00 PM   Subscribe

What public, free, indoor spaces are there in the Upper West Side in New York where a group of academics-activists can meet and discuss? For a couple of hours at a time.

This is a a group of 10-12 individuals in their late twenties up to forties. Discussions are political-ecological, always civil and mild mannered. We don't mind decor, but we'd rather avoid music. We do not mind other people around, but a food-court type plaza would not probably do. Somewhat isolated spaces would be best, I guess. Time is usually any-day evenings after 6pm. Can we use spaces at say Columbia campus? Or other venues? Anywhere between 60th and 120th Street.
posted by carmina to Society & Culture (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Check out the David Rubenstein Atrium - it's a gorgeous space, with a cafe inside, students studying, and can be quiet enough to have a conversation with a group.
posted by suedehead at 5:34 PM on February 23, 2015

I don't believe you can enter beyond the lobby of any Columbia building without an ID, but I feel like this kind of gathering is just what the nearby Hungarian Pastry Shop was invented for.
posted by the_blizz at 5:47 PM on February 23, 2015 [2 favorites]

Yeah, people have been having pretty much this exact meeting at HungPa for the last fifty years. Added bonus, if you want to switch from coffee to beer once the sun goes down it's two blocks from the Lionshead, which is the best bar in Manhattan.
posted by Itaxpica at 6:17 PM on February 23, 2015

Not to be a downer, but though it indeed feels meant for this kind of academic-activist discussion, it can be very, very hard for a group of 4, not to mention 10 or 12, to be able to sit together at the crowded Hungarian Pastry Shop.
posted by third rail at 6:59 PM on February 23, 2015

Thank you all. I know both the DR Atrium and the Hungarian Pastry shop. I love both spaces and go there for small meetings. We need something a little quieter and less distracting. I think third rail is right. But, I can't figure out what...
posted by carmina at 7:31 PM on February 23, 2015

Hmm, it looks like some of the branches of the New York Public Library have community rooms. It's a little hard to find information online (example) about who has them and whether they are reservable, but I bet you could call the individual branches to find out.

Or, there's this one at the main branch (not on the UWS, I realize...).
posted by the_blizz at 6:05 AM on February 24, 2015

(The Morningside Heights branch definitely has a community room, so maybe start your inquiries there.)
posted by the_blizz at 6:11 AM on February 24, 2015

Thank you! I think I will be looking into the NYPL. Sadly, the one in our neighborhood is only open till 7pm.
posted by carmina at 6:42 PM on February 24, 2015

You might want to look at other POPS (Privately Owned Public Spaces) here : the atrium I mentioned above is one, but there should be others around the UWS.
posted by suedehead at 5:41 PM on March 4, 2015

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