books

11th St. Cafe & McNally Jackson

BY TARA BURKE

Another café review coming your way! For the past week I’ve been working from cafés and I always find it kind of difficult to find a café in Manhattan that I can set up in for the day. A lot of NYC cafés and bookstores are pretty small and some even have table time limits, which doesn’t work if you want to spend at least 3 hours diligently working in one space. After filtering through several yelp reviews and asking people for recommendations I ended up at McNally Jackson one day and 11th St. Cafe the next.

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McNally Jackson was recommended to me because it has little individual college style desks for doing work in their café. It is primarily a bookstore with two floors of great books to peruse through and is located on Prince St. in Soho. Their café area is pretty tiny and can get packed, but if you get there at the right time on a weekday you will most likely be able to grab an individual desk. If you have a lot of stuff that you have to spread out or a large laptop this might not work for you, as they are intended for the good old days of pen and paper class note taking. They have approximately 8-9 small tables for two though that would work perfectly. I recommend McNally Jackson if you have a paper to write or just want to have a good cup of coffee and read a book. There is NO WIFI so don’t go there if you need to use the internet, which I did. I didn’t think to check if they had wifi, so I ended up just enjoying my coffee and doing some writing. A little unexpected downtime is always welcome. 🙂

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I had no idea where I was going to go to work the next day, so I ended up just heading downtown. I found myself at the 11th St. Cafe  in the West Village. It is also small, but has a large menu that includes both food and drinks. You won’t go hungry working here! They had maybe 6 tables for two that are placed tightly together, but they had wifi and plenty of outlets right against the seats. It wasn’t too crowded when I went, so I don’t think they were enforcing the 45 minute table limit, but during a rush time keep the time limit in mind. It is also on a pretty quiet street during the day, so if you’re anything like me and get distracted by people watching try this place!

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NYC Christmas Day

BY CAILIN BURKE  

Before we were to head home for the holidays, we wanted to have a stereotypical Christmas day in the city. Well… actually it was Tara’s idea, so we called it Tara’s Christmas Day! Since New York has amazing window displays, lights, and shopping this time of year, we wanted to devote time to see it all. Since we had already seen the Rockefeller Tree and I had been to both the Grand Central and Bryant Park Christmas markets, we already had a few things checked off the list. We started off the day by getting up as early as we could and had brunch at St. Balmain, a cafe in Brooklyn.

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After we were ready for Christmas shopping and made it to the only Christmas market I had yet to see, the one in Union Square. It was definitely the biggest market of the three and seemed to go on forever! They had a huge variety of booths, with some of my favorites being the succulent Christmas ornaments (our roomie bought one!), the different pastry stands (there were beautiful macarons and donuts), and the booths that sold a ton of knick knacks.

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After the market, we headed to the Strand bookstore, which is pretty well-known in New York, for being this cool secondhand bookstore that seems to last forever! Of course I couldn’t help myself when I found a great deal on one of my favorite authors, Irving Stone. I found three of his books, Lust for Life, The President’s Lady, and The Agony and the Ecstasy all together in one huge book, for only $9!

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We continued our shopping escapade all the way down Fifth Avenue, stopping at cool stores like ABC Carpet & Home and Fishs Eddy. Then we went to see some of the biggest window displays, starting with Lord & Taylor which had an amazing animal-themed display.

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The best window had scenes depicted from famous novels with little mice everywhere. When you think of Christmas in New York, Macy’s in Herald Square also comes to mind and we were blown away by their window displays too. Each window was a different planet and it told the story of a boy who gets to see Christmas on each planet! We went inside Macy’s as well to write a letter to Santa and then headed home since we were so tired after going to Brooklyn, Union Square, the Flatiron District, and Midtown all in one day! Christmas in NYC is definitely a must-see!

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