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The Third Place

I always wanted to belong to a club that has a cool clubhouse.  A home away from home. An impressive place to take your friends to.  A place to drink some espresso and read a book. 

The rich and well educated have their clubs - the Harvard Club, the very impressive New York Yacht Club <a href="">(I wrote about that some time ago)</a>, etc. But what about us?

When I was in high school, I found a nice little cafeteria near Sheepshead Bay Q train station where I would take my friends to for a cup of coffee. I nicknamed it "The Dead Programmer's Cafe" (which is also <a href="">the title of my blog</a>).  Right now, the title belongs to the awesome espresso bar that Rupert Murdoch built for Newscorp employees on the third floor of the building where I work.

But that cafeteria closes at 6.  So the question is this: what cool third places do you know in New York? An interesting club geeks could join? A place where one can enjoy an amazing view?  A hole in the wall place with amazing coffee?  A rooftop garden on the top of a skyscraper that is open to public?  A place with an amazing collection of science fiction material  like the <a href="">NESFA clubhouse</a>? I was very intrigued by the story of the "NESFA Shaft".

Michael Krakovskiy
Friday, March 14, 2003

I've always been a sucker for late night diners; they have the BEST conversations to eavesdrop on.  My 24-hour haunt is Gramercy Cafe on 17th and 3rd.

Yaffa on St Marks is also 24 hours, and although it lacks the intense flourescent lighting of Gramercy it makes up for it with a more exotic crowd.

Neither of these places are geek-oriented and that's fine with me.


Charles Lewis
Friday, March 14, 2003

Ah, the third place. Haven't heard that term in a while.

First of all - WHOO HOO, Sheepshead Bay! That's where I grew up and I'm not far from there now...

Ahem. Yaffa's cool, NYC as a million bars and restaurants and cafe's (MacDougal street & Bleeker anyone?). And in a couple of weeks I think they're all gonna be smoke free!

Around where I worked on Park Ave near 57th, there was Central Park, a couple of rooftop gardens & public areas on 57th street, most notably in Trump Plaza by Nike Town, an awesome waterfall to go to during lunch next to a synagogue, the front of some building that happened to have water fountains and the occasional band playing. When we moved to LIC we were forced to live with a nearby park and little else, but took long lunch trips to Grand Central's food court, or the food court/public areas of the Citigroup building and 875 lex (just south of the lipstick building). There's a Starbucks on every 3rd block in the city.

Then there are parks in midtown... I forget the name of the one right by the library, just look on a map, Union Square and Washington Square are great hangouts, as are the floors of St Mark's & Avenue A if you can avoid the desire to shop.

Battery Square park, that park that runs along the west side highway uptown. Just walk around and you'll discover stuff. Talk to people who work in the area, though most don't bother to explore like I did. Go to Barnes & Noble (another good 3rd place) and look at the local interest books. Some like the "50 places to..." series are good for this type of thing. My "welcome to the neighborhood" package for friend who got jobs in the area used to include a few photocopied pages out of the book "50 places to find peace and quiet"
Saturday, March 29, 2003

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