After six years of living in the West Village, my husband and I thought we needed a change. So, we moved to the Upper West Side. While we had stunning views of the Hudson River and access to two of Manhattan’s best parks, I wasn’t happy. The reason? I worked from home, and there wasn’t a bustling freelance culture on 96th and West End Avenue.
The neighborhood was perfect for families who wanted a quiet residential locale after clocking in long hours at the office. But, my home and neighborhood were my office, and it became isolating. There weren’t cute coffee shops on every corner where I could perch for a few hours, and few clients were willing to make the trek uptown for a meeting.
In retrospect, I should have spent more time thinking about my day-to-day in my would-be neighborhood. Instead, we spent one year in our uptown digs before heading back downtown—crazily two weeks before my first baby was due—and I couldn’t be happier with the decision. But, rather than dealing with the headache of moving to test out a new neighborhood, let me fill you in on the best neighborhoods to live in if you work from home.
Here are the top five:
It’s no secret that this Brooklyn neighborhood has long been home base for creatives and those not working traditional nine-to-fives. That’s why there are tons of little nooks and cafes—Black Brick Coffee, Devocion and Freehold to name a few—plus co-working spaces like The Brass Factory and two WeWork locations if you need an office space to feel productive. Plus, even with the status of the L train in limbo, there are still plenty of options to get into Manhattan for meetings easily.
Photo: Citizens of Chelsea via Instagram
Thanks to the Highline, more people—and consequently businesses—ventured toward the Hudson. Now you have The Highline Hotel, which has free internet and stunning patio in the summer. Citizens of Chelsea has bar seats where you can work from your computer while sipping on an Australian-approved latte. And even the Starbucks on West 26th street has stadium-style seating with outlets galore. On warmer days, sit at a table upstairs at Fresh & Co. at Chelsea Piers; you’ll be treated to water views while working away.
The hardest time you’ll have in Cobble Hill is deciding which adorable coffee shop you want to work from. Konditori has delicious baked goods in addition to an open laptop policy. Devocion is plant-filled and perfect for those cold winter days when you need some greenery for inspiration. Then there’s laid-back local bar The Brazen Head. They’ll let you set up shop on their free wi-fi for a while after 12pm, and you can cruise right on into happy hour, which starts at 4 pm.
For work-from-home foodies, Soho is the ideal spot. While, yes, there are plenty of coffee shops like Kaigo Coffee Room. Why settle for just good coffee when you can have top-notch food too? Ground support has delicious salads. Maman is perfect for a morning work session where you can chow down on their beignets. And not only does Greecologies have the city’s best Greek yogurt concoctions, but also a hidden garden in the back where you can be productive during the spring and summer.
Photo: The Elk
You could walk down Hudson Street and turn left or right and end up at a cozy working spot. Grounded Organic Coffee and Tea House is home to tons of freelancers who pop in and out of the greenhouse-like space. 11th Street Café only has a couple of tables, but if you can snag one, you have prime people watching and food all day long. Just two blocks south is trendy coffee shop The Elk, which overlooks one of the prettiest blocks in the neighborhood. Then, around the corner, is popular laptop spot Joe & The Juice where there’s room to spread out a bit while sipping on a smoothie.
Staying in the city? Urban Jungle’s got you covered. Get in touch with an Urban Jungle Strategist to start exploring the best neighborhoods for your family.