Five minutes in a bustling café in downtown Manhattan is enough to make any writer put down their pen in frustration, but for those who know where to look the city and its neighboring islands can become a soothing sanctuary. Here are four spots recommended by New York City-based writers to help any scribe or general seeker of peace on their quest for concentration.
Who: Farryn Weiner, former Jetsetter editor and current global director of digital & social communications at Michael Kors
Where: Montauk, Long Island, montaukchamber.com
Why: For a weekend-long escape, Farryn loves “the quiet charm of Montauk. It’s got a chill, surf culture, balmy beaches, the best lobster rolls south of Maine and two hot-spots in case I feel like taking a break from blogging. Surf Lodge and the brand new Ruschmeyer’s are both ideal spots for writing by day, and mingling by night.”
How to get there: Take the Long Island Rail Road to Montauk. Consult oM’s public transit guide to Long Island.
Who: Sara Bliss, freelance writer and editor, hotelchicblog.com
Where: Wave Hill, Bronx, wavehill.org
Why: For Sara, Wave Hill is the perfect outdoor space to get in some writing. “Just 20 minutes from Manhattan, Wave Hill is heaven,” Bliss said. “With sweeping views of the Hudson, short hiking trails that transform with the seasons, and some of the prettiest gardens ever, it is an incredibly magical place. When I need to get away from the craziness of the city, (or try and cure a case of writers block) Wave Hill is hands down my favorite local spot to escape to.”
How to get there: Take the Hudson Line local train from Grand Central Station to Riverdale. A free shuttle runs every hour to Wave Hill.
Who: Huffington Post editor and writer Annemarie Dooling, frillseekerdiary.com
Where: The Full Cup, Staten Island, fullcupsi.com
Why: “I live in Staten Island so it’s always convenient for me to find quiet places to work in the boroughs,” said Anna. Those looking for the classic café setting might do well to take Dooling’s advice to visit the Full Cup. “It has good, cheap no-nonsense coffee and free wifi and I can sit there for hours working.”
How to get there: Take the X1 bus to Narrows Road North and Fingerboard Road. Transfer to the S52 bus and get off at Beach Street and Van Duzer Street.
Where: Wolfe’s Pond Park, Staten Island, nycgovparks.org
Why: Anna also suggested Wolfe’s Pond Park on the south shore of Staten Island. The sprawling green space has a dog run, beach and lots of fields with benches. “It’s completely relaxing to sit on the grass with the ocean in view and just pump out the articles I’m working on,” she said.
How to get there: Take the X17 bus to Marsh Avenue and Ring Road. Transfer to the S55 bus and get off at Hylan Boulevard and Cornelia Avenue.