Several months ago, someone suggested I do reports of the cafes I go to and rate them based on their "laptop friendliness". I'm not sure if this is a good idea or not, but I can't think of a better place to start than this place.
As I wrote in my last entry, I tend to wander around more now that I just have to carry my notebook and pen. And since I wander around quite a bit, I discover lots of new places around my neighborhood. Usually I walk west towards Greenwich Village, but lately my feet have been pushing me east toward Alphabet City.
Most people are familiar with the number grid system of NYC. If you hear the phrase "8th street between 5th Avenue and Broadway", something about it sounds very New York. But there's a section of the city where the Avenues are given letters instead of numbers. It's a small stretch of city in the far East Village, north of Houston and south of 14th street. It starts at Avenue A and goes to Avenue D. Hence, Alphabet City. I love wandering through there, as it's grungy and dirty and still has an old New York vibe despite the gentrification.
Anyway, last week I found myself checking out a cafe in Alphabet City. It was a little indie place, which is unusual. It had huge wall-length windows that were wide open, and several ceiling fans, so it was nice and ventilated despite the scorching heat. I got a coffee and sat down and whipped out my notebook, where I whiled away an hour or two.
Normally I wouldn't mention this place at all, but I decided to go back the next day and I stupidly didn't have any cash on me. They didn't take credit cards, so I asked where the nearest ATM was. The woman at the register said "Eh, don't worry about it. You were here yesterday. I trust you."
So, yeah. That's never happened before, and certainly not on my second visit. Since they gave me a free cup of coffee, the least I can do is give the place a mention on this blog. I've gone back several times since then and the place is definitely worth visiting. It's called "Cafe Pick Me Up" and it's on the corner of Avenue A and 9th street. It's laid-back and unpretentious, the staff is super friendly, and it's got a great view of the street. As a bonus, the iced coffee is really tasty and comes in an actual glass, plus they've got an Italian menu that's even better (and wicked cheap!). The gnocci is especially good.
Anyway, to bring this blog post back on topic, they are very "laptop developer friendly", as they've got plenty of electrical outlets and will happily let you stay there for several hours as long as you order something. Their internet isn't free, but if you're looking to sit and work and not get distracted by web surfing, it's a great place to be.
So... who thinks this cafe review thing is a good idea?