Writing Spaces

I write in various places. As a person who is always finding new perspectives and visuals to stimulate my mind, I can't just sit in my room all week and pound away on my keyboard or scribble madly on my notebooks. I like to find new spaces I can tuck myself in.

Physical space (material architecture) has a way of influencing the design of your mental space (psychological architecture). For instance, a coffee shop with large windows initiates a kind of photosynthesis in my brain. The sunlight and pedestrian shadows flirt on the walls, on my face, and so it evokes a certain mood. On the other hand, an airport lounge or hotel lobby allows me to be an anthropologist observing human behavior and interactions. Each person is a book filled with stories, and these stories play out in front of me as I sit in the corner, completely anonymous and blurred in the peripheral.

Here are a few writing spaces that I enjoy writing in. 


This is one of my favorite 24-hour French cafes in New York. It's on Park Avenue, but the place is low-key and down-to-earth. I can go here when I can't sleep. I never bring a laptop; just a notebook and pen. Whenever I go to L'Express, I don't eat heavily--just the 4Cs diet: camembert, crème brûlée, coffee & cigarettes.


Ground Central doesn't just have a witty name, it also has a great lounge with comfy La-Z-Boys and couches in the back. There are also bookshelves with some pretty interesting books. The staff is friendly and the music playlists are fun but not obnoxiously loud. It's a great place to meet other writers in the city. Granted they're not busy working on their latest future-Pulitzer masterpiece, feel free to strike up a conversation with the person next to you. Who knows, they could wind up being a collaborator or muse. 


This is a strange one, but hospital waiting rooms--at least in the better, newer ones like the hospital where my mom works at--are surprisingly good places to write. There are plenty of comfortable chairs, outlets, and this hospital has a 24-hour Starbucks and cafeteria. Hospital waiting rooms--heck, all waiting rooms--remind you of long hours of boredom, and that is exactly why it's perfect as a writing space. However, make sure you bring earbuds or headphones, because the PA system can be intrusive and disruptive.