The freelancer's guide to NYC public spaces

Change the environment to break up the monotony of working from home. Here's your guide to public spaces in NYC.

As a freelancer myself, I get nervous about working too much in my home. I've read various studies that combining your resting space with your working space can lead to restlessness and because I live in a studio, I try and get out to work as much as I can. For me, the ideal space is somewhere quiet but not too quiet. I like to have a little bit of background noise and if I am meeting a client, it has to be a place where we can carry a conversation. In my freelancing experience, I've mapped out my favorite spots across New York City to meet, write at, and get work done at. Check them out below!

Washington Heights

I live in Washington Heights and it's important to have a place nearby that I can go to break up the monotony of working from home. My favorite spot nearby is Filtered NYC on 184th and Broadway. Filtered is fairly new and I've been a regular since they opened. It's super spacious with varying seating for every possible need. They have large tables, perfect for working and bar style seating overlooking the sidewalk if you want more of a view. They even have a few intimate two person seating areas where you can have a meeting. The vibe of the space is great with friendly baristas and a great selection of coffee by Counter Culture, pastries, gluten free options, and my personal favorite, avocado toast.


As rent increases in NYC I feel like the majority of us entrepreneurs, artists, and freelancers live further uptown. We've recently seen Harlem become a vital meeting place for people who live in various areas uptown. My favorite place used to be The Chipped Cup, but lately The Hamilton Bakery has taken the cake located just off the 1 train on 146th and Broadway. Literally, their cake is really good. Boasting amazing coffee and pastries (especially their cinnamon buns), this multi-level, spacious spot is perfect for meetings and a great spot to get some work done on your laptop before heading home.


Because I'm an actress as well, I often find myself in midtown waiting on auditions. I'll typically schedule meeting with potential artist-clients during audition lunch break which is 1-2pm. I'm usually around Penn Station, so my favorite spot to meet is at By Suzette. By Suzette is a nice spot because they offer both savory and sweet crepes, so if you're hungry for lunch you can indulge without succumbing to a muffin instead of a meal. Is that just me? By Suzette has some seating downstairs, but the real value to the spot is their upstairs oasis. Big tables, a charging station, and free Wifi make it the perfect space to recharge and get some work done midday.


Lululemon's flagship location has a beautiful public space in their basement that is free to use! It's a nice quiet spot to meet, take a mental break, or work on your computer. Located just a few blocks away from the Union Square Station it's perfect for East Siders and Brooklynites needing to meet in the city. Bonus: You can get your shopping in upstairs before or after you work.


If I'm meeting with someone for the first time and want to make a good first impression, I'll invite them to my #1 favorite spot in the city Bluestone Lane. It's an easy commute for East Siders and West Siders both as it's off the A, D, B, and C trains. Though their pricing is a little inflated in my opinion, they no doubt make the best latte in the city. Their small but specific menu boasts yummy and healthy dishes perfect for a business nosh. The aesthetic of Bluestone is their biggest plus. The calming blue-green and gold decor makes it a relaxing spot to meet someone new and the pretty presentation of their food and drinks is sure to impress.


One Girl Cookies is a great place to relax and get work done in Dumbo. Just around the corner from Brooklyn Bridge Park, it's super close to many major train lines. There are tons of cool spots like this in Dumbo but what sets One Girl apart is its spaciousness and of course it's delicious cookies. It can sometimes get loud especially on the weekends when kids are out of school so this isn't the best spot for a meeting but if you don't mind background noise it's a great spot for writing, reading, and answering emails.


When in Williamsburg Toby's Estate is a great meeting place! Located just off of cultural hub Bedford Ave and near the Bedford train station, it's a very convenient meeting spot to those in Manhattan and Brooklyn alike. The high ceilings and spacious cafe allow for gatherings large and small. The clean, industrial aesthetic is perfect to get some work done not to mention their coffee is amazing, one of my favorite brews in the city. If you're there between 7am and 3pm you can enjoy some of their in house breakfast classics and they have a variety of prepared treats available all day like macaroons from Danny's Macaroons, Doughnut Plant donuts, and more.


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