Sunday, December 11, 2011

Coffee & a Book

One of my favorite ways to spend a lazy Saturday is to try out a new coffee shop and do some reading. New York City has a reputation for being coffee snobs... however, I'm not much of a snob about coffee. I usually order regular drip coffee with skim milk and have a hard time telling the difference between what's good and what's not. So my opinions below are based mostly on atmospheres that are conducive to a pleasant reading environment.

think coffee
There are several locations throughout Manhattan. The Bowery shop is good to check out when the weather is nice as there's a patio in the front that's perfect for people watching. The Mercer St. and 4th Ave. shops are both really classic on the inside. Out of all the coffee shops I've been to in the city, in my opinion, the Mercer St. location reminds me most of the coffee house featured on Friends. There's a couch in the big room towards the back and it made me think of "Central Perk" my first time there.

Housing Works Bookstore & Cafe
I happened to find this place by chance one afternoon and fell in love at first sight. They sell old books and have a tiny cafe with coffee and snacks. They encourage browsers to stick around read; there's an upstairs balcony area that has table and chairs to post up. They do host a lot of events in their space, so it's best to check this place out earlier in the afternoon.

Variety is located off the Graham L stop in Brooklyn. It's a magnet for the uber-hipster scene, so be prepared to wear your glasses to fit in. :) My two favorite things about Variety: there's seating by the front window, so if you need a break from your book, it's great for people watching. Second, there's a chalkboard out front that they update daily with witty sayings. I used to live near this stop a few winters ago and seeing what message they'd write each day was always the highlight of my 10 minute, frigid walk to the L.


All-time favorite coffee shop EVER:

Sam Weller's Bookstore; Salt Lake City, UT

This charming bookstore was one of my favorite places to go when I lived in Salt Lake. It's a locally owned, bookstore with three magical levels that has new, used and rare books. The Coffee Garden takes up the front portion of the store and it provides a wonderful place to kick it and dive into your book. If you ever find yourself in Salt Lake, make a point to visit this bookstore and enjoy your purchase with a nice cup of coffee.

I love exploring new places to read, so if you have any coffee shop recommendations, please let me know!

Happy Holidays!!

Kill E. Kapowski


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