Through the last EIGHT months of ‘quarantine’, we all tried our hardest to persevere and come up with creative & innovative ways to stay busy and inspired. I should mention that the DOD team are now all qualified professionals when it comes to zoom & making pineapple margaritas at 11:45am.
Yet, as we push into the winter months, things are starting to get back to some sort of normality and we can get out of the house, albeit socially distanced and masked up. I want to bring you some of my top places in New York to escape your apartment, get some work done and get re-inspired to travel.
1. Soho House (https://www.sohohouse.com/en-us/): “Work-life balance is a myth – it’s about integrating the two as best you can”. I believe this quote is the basis of what Soho House was built on. Through its lounge spaces, spas, pools, screening rooms, hotels, and restaurants, Soho House caters to the young, city-dwelling creative class, providing them with beautiful spaces in which to be young and creative together.
Each club is a reflection of the city it’s placed in and they can now be found in some of the hottest cities in the world. My top choice for those days I know I need to get a lot done but also am meeting a friend or colleague for drinks later in the day.
This is an exclusive members only club – if you’re trying to get in, emphasize your LOVE for travel, cultures, collaborating and creativity! P.S. they have an under 27 membership which gives you great perks and discounts, fantastic for meeting young, like-minded people. You will also occasionally see celebrities in the houses, it is a ‘safe’ space for them as one of the main rules is that you can take NO pictures *pretends to act casual*. New York Locations are in The Meatpacking District, Lower East Side and Dumbo.
2. Soho Works (https://sohoworks.com) has built a community of people from creative industries who work and collaborate together in spaces that are designed to inspire! Before this year I had heard whispers of these popping up around the world, but I had never looked into it. While we were not able to work in Soho house due to quarantine and social distancing regulations, Soho works offered us complimentary access for a few months. I’m not sure I’ve ever been so productive in a workspace!
They also offer you complimentary coffee & water and you can bring in your own food as they do not have a kitchen on-site. Being surrounded by others eagerly typing away brought out new ideas in me. I had underestimated or perhaps forgotten how motivating an office type environment could be. Click here for membership options https://sohoworks.com/membership/ (Existing Soho House members get a discount).
3. Devoción Café (https://www.devocion.com/pages/cafes), known for being coffee bean connoisseurs. I’m not typically a lover of coffee shops for working as I find they can be very distracting as they are appealing to the many characters of New York. However, when I do feel like making the trip across the bridge, Devoción is always my first choice. I would say it pulls a coffee loving, creative crowd.
Headphones in to shut the world out type of crowd. Get sh*t done type of crowd. It is also a big plus that it may be one of the most architecturally stunning coffee shops… maybe in the world? It boasts New York’s greatest kinks – exposed original brick, a live plant wall and look up to huge sky lights! Top tip: get there early during the week to beat the rush and get a good spot!
4. The Library at the Nomad Hotel (https://www.thenomadhotel.com/new-york/dining/) – Feeling particularly grand? This two-level space is my go-to on a day where I feel like getting dressed up and stepping out to live my best Sex in the city-esque life! This Library ooses with rich history and culture, the staircase is even imported from the South of France!
The shelves are lined with an eclectic collection of books from around the world that you are free to peruse and pull inspiration from. I have actually met some of my favorite New Yorkers sitting in this library sipping on a coffee & brainstorming for my next adventure. They serve finger foods if you get peckish, as well as wine and cocktails if that helps you think better… no judgement!
5. Central Park – in the warmer months this is my escape from my apartment. This park still amazes me every time I step into it. It makes it so easy to forget that you’re in one of the busiest cities in the world! Grab a picnic blanket, a cushion and some snacks and you’re set for the day.
Most places throughout the park you can hop onto NYC free Wi-Fi or use your phone as a hotspot. It offers an abundance of fresh air, peaceful surroundings, beautiful scenery and natural light – all the makings of a great physical work environment, which, studies have shown can decrease stress and increase productivity (we’ll forward those studies to your boss)!
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I’m sure the majority of us have been on a coronacoaster this year: the ups and downs of a pandemic. One day you’re loving your bubble, doing workouts, baking banana bread and going for long walks and the next you’re crying, drinking tequila for breakfast and missing people you don’t even like… I hope I’m not the only one.