Viva La Vie Boheme!

City Travel, Food & Wine, New York City, The Lost Girls: The Book, Wifi & Internet Cafes — By on June 10, 2009 at 10:50 am

 Blame it on my television background/life-long passion for film, but when Amanda, Holly and I first learned that we were going to be book authors, a montage of romanticized images flashed in my mind: Lounging with my laptop in an East Village coffee shop surrounded by poets, artists and other quintessential bohemian figures…Discovering my very own Walden Pond-worthy hideaway, where I’d bask in the sun and tranquil solitude, penning deep thoughts in my journal for days on end…Jetting off to exotic locales with my fellow Lost Girls to hold self-imposed editing workshops on white sand beaches. Ahh! My new life as a writer was certain to be a sweet one, yes? Well, I did get the coffee and solitude parts right. But everything else? Hmm…not so much!

As it turned out, for me, churning out a memoir required only one scene on constant loop. Cue: The Jen character-dressed in sweats, pajamas and/or boxers and a t-shirt, hair in a pony tail, no make-up and glasses-sits all alone in her bed or on the couch in her parent’s den (during times when she felt forced to flee NYC all together) for 10-12 plus hours in a row with little to no interaction with the outside world. Needless to say, this oh-so-sexy existence only intensified during the final weeks before our deadline. Sleep time dropped to about 3-4 hours per day. Sunrise tallies hit an all-time high. Social calendars were ripped to shreds. Fingers bled. Tensions skyrocketed. And sanity levels plummeted to record lows! (in case you were wondering, my ability to overdramatize never waned).

musical broadway Luckily after a few weeks of down time between handing in our draft manuscript and meeting with our editor, our social calendars have been taped back together, fingers healed, tensions melted (thank you Riesling and Pinot Noir) and sanity levels raised back to their normal, albeit still questionable, heights. Recharged and ready to hammer out the final version of our book, the girls and I are officially knee deep in the editing process, but with one very important modification on my part. The goal? I am bound and determined to breathe new life into the Jen character’s writer persona by doing something radical: changing into clothes that don’t look bound for a Good Will bin, utilizing my contact lenses and perhaps even a little lip gloss, throwing my laptop into a bag and heading outside to enjoy being a starving artist in the city that perfected the concept. “Riding my bike mid-day past the three piece suits,” as my RENT ‘bible’ so eloquently puts it. Of course in order to not slip back into my old hermit habits, it’s imperative for me to find an inner city space that’s conducive to doing actual work and not just looking cool sitting with a cappuccino and my computer.

So…this is where you, dear LG readers, come in. Let this blog serve as an official call-to action to send us suggestions on the most fabulous, funky and brooding artist-worthy haunts in Manhattan. I will happily test as many out as I can and feature the best locations on the blog along with a shout out to the person who submitted it. To kick-off the list, I’ve profiled two freelance-friendly venues below that Amanda and I discovered yesterday.

Viva La Vie Boheme!!


An airy, sunlit cafe and gallery that was hailed as “the archetypal Village bohemian” by the New York Times;

Location: West Village (17 Perry Street at 7th Ave)
Ambiance: Cozy, Artsy, Lots of tables and couches, Great music (mostly jazz and classical when we were there), Friendly-vibe
WiFi: No
Placed to Plug-In: Yes, but limited
Caffeine Factor: Variety of lattes, espresso and steamed milk drinks (the Americanos were perfect strength -stiff, yet mellow -and served in large mugs)
Food: Breakfast (served all day), Salads, Sandwiches, Soups, Desserts, etc.
Bonus Features: Donate three current magazines (published within past 6 months) to the Doma rack on Fridays and receive a free cup of coffee; Beer and wine available

Photo by: Konstantin Sergeyev (see link above)

Soy Luck Club
A snug, vibrant juice bar/health food cafe;
Soy Luck Club Location: West Village (115 Greenwich Ave, at Jane Street)
Ambiance: Laid back, cozy, quiet
WiFi: Yes (FREE with staff-provided password)
Placed to Plug-In: Yes, Tons on all walls
Caffeine Factor: Soy lattes, Fair Trade Organic Coffee
Food: Breakfast, Salads, Crostinis, Crepes (meat/cheese and dessert)
Bonus Features: Sleek and comfy furniture, Extra electric outlet strips, Free ethernet broadband service

Photo by: Kate Attardo,

Tags: , ,