New York City has been attracting screenwriters for many years now. It has given so many great screenwriters to Hollywood. For many writers, it is not just about the career. Rather, it’s a challenge to make it big and see if they can win over the city. New York can be your place to meet an enormous crowd of creative people and has some great places to hang out, just like in Los Angeles.
Out of so many dreamers, some do really make it successfully and some leave the city to make a living or life elsewhere. But for the time they live in the city, do you know where they like to hang-out and try to make most of their careers? Before you start moving to New York for starting a screenwriting career, give a close read to this.
You can expect to meet your career buddies at some point, in these places.
1. The Writers Room
740 Broadway, New York
The Writers Room at 10 Astor Place is like a home for the writers in New York. I say ‘home’ because you can visit this place anytime you want. Be it any hour or day of the week. It has napping areas, kitchen, dining area with added benefits like complimentary snacks.
The quiet vibe of the place and the support from the writing community will make your procrastination go away. This place keeps 45 partitioned desks available for the writers. What could be a better place for you to fuel up your writing?
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2. Rose Reading room – New York Public Library
Public Library, 476 5th Ave, NYC
The Rose reading room of New York Public Library is so quiet that it speaks of unmonitored obedience. Everyone is so engrossed in their work, it’s like devotees from everywhere have come for worship.
You will hear no one chit-chatting, no food or drinks can be found, no headphones. This place is filled with people who pay for their space. The Reading Room has served as a treasure for so many authors, screenwriters, researchers, scholars since its opening in 1911.
Some books written on this Reading Room are The Power Broker by Robert Caro, The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan, Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow, etc.
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3. Algonquin Hotel
Algonquin Hotel has quite a reputation and plays a significant role in setting a literary style in the 1920s, all thanks to the Vicious Circle. Vicious Circle was a group of critics, writers, actors who used to gather each day at the hotel. When the first gathering started, it was just a fun group of journalists that served in World War I.
Later, they were joined by other writers and critics after an invitation. Their gatherings were filled with alcohol, witty banter, etc. Some of the well-known writers, who were regular in this group were Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, Robert E. Sherwood. Society columns would generally identify them as the Algonquin Round Table.
The drama film Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle(1994) is based on the group Vicious Circle.
It is still an excellent place for screenwriters to hang out considering there is so much literary history here. You can visit their website here
4. Pete’s Tavern
18th St, New York
Bars and writers are like old buddies, a look back at the common bars will tell you so. Pete’s is as old as 1864 and has entertained a lot of creative people serving them with space and drinks.
Ludwig Bemelmans, the Austro-American writer, wrote his first book, Madeline, at Pete’s tavern. And so did O. Henry wrote The Gift of the Magi. Judging from the fact that Pete’s tavern has also been featured in short stories(The Lost Blend), it is quite safe to say that the bar is pretty well known.
With a rich sense of literary history, Pete’s tavern still reserves spaces for new and emerging writers and locals alike. You can expect delicious food and signature drinks as well.
Here’s a link to their website.
5. The Drama Book Shop
250 W 40th St #1, New York
A screenwriter staying in New York and not visiting the Drama Book Shop is the same as a Potter head staying in London and not visiting Harry Potter Studio, Warner Bros. My point is, as a screenwriter, this place can help you with lots of screenwriting materials and inspirations.
Although because to some reasons the shop was about to close forever, a few people related to theater and arts came out to help and make this store thrive. You will soon realize that Drama Book Shop serves as the soul of the New York theater community. It’s a great place to meet people, learn, and find wonderful books and music
6. Ground Central Coffee Company
This is a growing coffee chain and they have a couple of coffee shops around New York. One of the best things about Ground Central is they have an app through which you can book your order and get rewards if you’re a regular customer. You don’t have to wait in line for coffee anymore.
They have ample space for chilling out. It has a dim atmosphere, inside but if you’re a writer who likes privacy and no disturbance at all, this is the place for you. No one will if you’re even there in a corner finishing your manuscript.
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7. Black Cat
Lower East Side
This is a coffee and tea house where study groups, locals, and writer enthusiasts visit often. No one’s in a hurry to leave when you enter this place. It has a cozy ambiance and a friendly vibe.
This cafe has a free-Wi-Fi, a printer, comfy seating, and a night the space comes alive with free events which include open-mic and comedy shows, academic lectures, and themed movie nights.
Aaron Ho, owner of Black Cat LES is a criminology professor at a local university. He has a vision for the cafe where all like-minded intellectuals, teachers and students can come together and discuss their ideas with full enthusiasm.
You can visit their website here.
8. Coffee Tossy
This coffee shop offers a wonderful and delicious selection of pastries, sandwiches, salads, and fresh juices alongside its café drinks. Coffee Tossy has been honored by Sunnyside Shines with the annual Neighborhood Wow Award, which is awarded to businesses that have contributed to the locality in any way.
For writers and authors who like to stay in touch with the local community or hang out and chill after writing thousands of words a day, Coffee Tossy can be a place to unwind.
9. Bean & Bean
With four locations in NY, this coffee shop is one that you should not miss when in NY, regardless if you are a writer. Started by mother and daughter duo Rachel and Jiyoo Han, this shop is unique in every way.
They both want women to be empowered in the coffee industry and have equal pay. This is because they lack access to training and resources. That’s the reason they have an online course on coffee brewing, which costs $65.
With a perfect setup and a story for inspiration, I think writers won’t have to think much to come up with a script or a short story.
You can visit their website here.
10. Bluestone Lane
With coffee shops around the world and at least 3 in NY, Bluestone lane is quite well known for its own products.
This cafe on the third floor of an elegant building. Architecturally designed by Fahey Design Build, the floor to ceiling green-tiled accent wall creates an oasis-like atmosphere, complemented by ornaments of greenery and bright, beachy tones throughout the interior.
If you are from Australia, you must visit this place in NY. The menu is strongly focused on dishes that are healthy and progressive and reflects café culinary themes found in Australia.
11. Kinship Coffee
They have 2 other locations in Long Island and Pistilli River View East. This is more spacious than the other two. Some writers might find some buzz and interruptions around here as it is locally popular.
They have a lot of food and drink options like pastries and tea. This location is extremely spacious, with plenty of seating options and no pressure to leave if you need to plunk down and work for a few hours. It’s a fantastic place as an out-of-home workspace too.
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12. Grounded (West village)
This is quite a big coffee chain in New York City. They have their own organic coffee with fresh bagels from Murray’s Bagels. Natural light flows in from three sides. This can be congested sometimes, but you can visit in the afternoon on weekdays.
The shop has a 1 and half hour table limit, so I suggest instead of writing the whole script, this place would be great for jotting scenes and ideas for the script.
13. Brooklyn Kolache Co.
A well-known place in Brooklyn for coffee, Brooklyn Kolache Co is a scratch bakery specializing in small-batch Texas style kolaches; hand filled and baked fresh daily. In addition to kolaches they make cinnamon rolls, orange rolls and vegan/gluten-free energy cookies.
They have a sit out for a group of people and a nice and friendly staff who know how to brew their coffee well. Writers can sit around here for hours and come up with a nice story or a short. This is another great place for working out of the office.
14. Gotham Writers’ Workshop
You will be so thankful for this recommendation and workshop. Gotham Writers Workshop has helped writers and screenwriters alike. If you are all about screenwriting and going ahead with it, you would want to enroll in Gotham’s Friday night write-ups. Or you can sign up for a one-day intensive class for improving your Grammar skills.
This creative place will not only help you with your screenwriting, but this is also a place where you meet people with the same interest and great place to make friends and connections. You can register for an online course on their website too.
15. Ace Hotel
20 W 29th St, New York
Ace Hotel was opened with the hope and imagination that it would be a modern-day salon, where artists from everywhere would come and hang-out and share ideas over Stumptown coffee. Ace, today, isn’t less of a hotel but it is more what Alex Calderwood, the founder had dreamed it to be.
Ace Hotel is offering space for budding writers where they can grow their creativity. It always has that creative atmosphere, with dim lighting and a dark interior. You might find yourself in a crowded environment at times, especially during the evenings, but worry not, as the day times are just for you to focus.
Every writer is different, has their different sense of inspiration and different types of places they will feel at home and inspired. All the places mentioned above will hopefully help all types of writers.
Because after all, what are a screenwriter’s basic needs to get started? A place to be, some drinks to keep the body alive, and some inspiration to keep them moving. And New York has got them all.
Comment below your favorite places in New York and help us and your fellow screenwriters know more places to explore.