I need a new place to go blog and be unemployed during the day with my computer… ok, with wifey’s computer. My requirements are simple. It has to be reasonably close to home, or at least in NYC. It has to be cheap (by which I mean free) and near food and a bathroom. It has to be quiet enough that music through my headphones will drown out any noise. And no one there can care how long I stay. Oh yeah, and it must have unicorns, and rainbows ending in pots of gold. Does anyone out there know of such a mythical place? I’m willing to give a little on the unicorns and rainbows. However, the pots of gold are mandatory, a deal breaker. No pots of gold… no Norm.
I’ve spent much of the last few months working at my dining room table. It’s one giant mess that wifey puts up with but probably secretly hates down to the very core of her existence. Let’s set the scene, shall we? The space where I work is closest to the kitchen facing the wall and a painting of kids on a carousel in France somewhere. I would sit opposite myself (and often do during out-of-body experiences) facing out into the apartment if squeezing into that space weren’t so difficult. My chair has no padding left, so I sit on an old pillow, prompting the occasional hemorrhoid reference from wifey. There’s a pile of printouts, business cards and computer wires pushed off to my left. The cats sit and drool on it whenever they decide to spend quality time with me. I often type with one hand and harass one of them with the other, because I’m ambidextrous like that. When they knock the pile to the floor, I put it back on the table, inevitably mixing it in with the assorted newspapers and magazines strewn about. The salt and pepper grinders stand tall – like beacons of domesticity in a job search wasteland – until I knock them over and scare the cats away.
My spot is nice and central, letting me be a part of wifey and the cats’ madcap escapades. It’s basically the center of my apartment, which is near the center of Jackson Heights, which is the geographical center of New York City. And everyone knows that New York is the center of the universe. So by extrapolation, my workspace is the center of the universe… which explains a lot. But spend enough time anywhere and you’ll tire of it. There has to be another spot.
My desk, where one would think I’d work, is piled high with papers and books and all the other things I’ve been meaning to go through and haven’t. It’s a disaster area, which the city keeps threatening to condemn, and removed from the rest of the apartment besides. I experimented with the couch as a daytime work spot. The TV remains off, because it really wouldn’t be work otherwise. But my urge to watch remains a distraction. So too does the amazingly hot battery in wifey’s computer. An hour of work leaves giant sweat marks on my pants, which would likely raise questions should she come home midday. The UPS guy gives me odd looks too.
My local options are limited…
Brooklyn is the blogging capital of the world. It has more bloggers per square inch or per capita or per something than anywhere else. Understandable, since Brooklyn also has more subsidized, tech-savvy white people who are filled with angst, blessed with free time and convinced that everyone cares about their “struggle” than anywhere else on the planet. Maybe that’s just
If I were a freelancer or a small business with any sort of steady income and I lived closer, I’d join the Brooklyn Creative League. The space – a decked-out floor of a warehouse with exposed brick walls, shiny wood floors, an open layout, various office necessities and a friendly, accomodating owner – is stellar. And the rates are quite reasonable. Alas, I do not have the wherewithal. But I did take the opportunity to look out a different window down on a different block (Carroll St. and Whitewell Pl.). From my perch, I observed an empty lot with an overflowing dumpster, an elementary school and the back of the