“If it wasn’t for the coffee, I’d have no identifiable personality whatsoever.” ~ David Letterman
I know I use the words hidden gem a lot, but this place really is that. Located between first and second avenues on eighty-fourth street, walking in it doesn’t appear like much. A small room with a coffee counter covered in baked goods with a wide selection of different drinks ranging from lattes, to teas, to even the trendy and popular matcha latte. There are just a few tables lined against the wall and into a corner by the windows.
For tourists and first timers, I am sure many people say to themselves “This is it?” It is a place which has gotten many reviews and high praises, yet doesn’t look like much. But, like many New York establishments, it isn’t all what it appears to be. To the left there is a set of stairs and if you go down them a writers paradise opens up.
While the upstairs is small, the downstairs is humongous. Filled with mismatched furniture from coffee tables to large comfy chairs, to old fashioned desks to community tables, it could resemble a yard sale or an old attic, but it doesn’t. It works creating a comfy cozy. It really is a hidden oasis from the hustle and bustle of the city and even includes a small courtyard, that has a seating area for warm sunny days, or if you need to take a quick phone call. In many ways it feels like you are an escaped convict hiding out.
Despite it getting very crowded especially as the day goes on and on weekends, it is a very studious crowd. Some people have accused the place of being hipster, which I don’t discount, there are a lot of Mac books and tight wasted skinny jeans here. Joking aside, people tend to talk and gab upstairs making downstairs a much quieter almost library-esque atmosphere. The patrons are incredibly nice, and it is one of the few places in the city where I feel like I could leave my wallet wide open and it would still be there when I got back. People are exceptionally nice willing to share tables and space, respecting the quiet as we go about our work. It is quite refreshing.
While Starbucks and Think Coffee can get noisy there is something tranquil about Café Jax. During these hectic days as I work on my NaNo it is the perfect place to come and do writing binges. The staff is incredibly nice as well as efficient. As a coffee connoisseur it is second to none as using Stumptown Roasters. They will even put it in a huge mug, so you can stare at the foamy designs as you write.
It is like a second home to me. If you get a chance I recommend visiting this hidden gem.
Where do you spend your time writing or working?