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As soon as I hit New York City I usually hole up in the hotel for hours. It’s awful, but it can get pretty overwhelming when you’re out wandering the streets looking for a place to park your rear. Doesn’t matter if it’s for a cocktail, to open your laptop or have a cup of coffee – it can seem a bit cliquey and crazy to the everyday wanderer. This week I headed to Manhattan to prove the anxiety-driven explorers wrong – there is a couple of spots left to hang and not feel like staff is giving you the stink eye. I started from West 24th Street between 5th and 6th Avenue, and everywhere I wandered was within walking distance.

Come Buy – Drawn to its Taiwanese roots because of my recent venture to the country, and an obsession with Bubble Tea, this spot is busy but fun. I walked in during a slump and though it might be perfect for me to set up the laptop – literally 10 minutes later the place was completely packed. Staff are too busy noticing me clacking away, but I feel bad sitting here too long. Even though I ordered a tasty milk bubble tea and hibiscus donut, I think it was time to move on.

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Stumptown Coffee Roasters – Don’t let the name fool you – when I strolled in here I was thoroughly confused, because I had to order a latte at the bar. This made it perfect toward the end of my day to transition from coffee to booze though, so I’m not complaining. It seems like everyone and their mother with a start-up or casual client meeting has discovered this dimly lit, contemporary hotel lobby, but I had no issues finding a cozy corner. I settled for a spot on a big leather couch, then was promptly cornered in by a blind date and two girls in blazers with really red lipstick. Guzzled by pretty pricey wine, closed my PC (the only one in a sea of Macbooks) and made my way out.

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Argo Tea – This wasn’t bad, but wasn’t great either. However, it can be a good introduction while your unchaining yourself from Starbucks and branching out a little more. It’s a similar setup, with many choices of loose-leaf style tea, ranging from a cold Earl Grey latte to a steaming, super sweet chocolate mint concoction. Grab a beverage and enjoy Wifi for a couple of course and watch the world rush by.

Maison de Macaron – My heart feel when I found out there as no Wifi is some charming Parisian-ish spot, but I quickly realized it would deter from the whole ambiance. Patrons tucked into overstuffed couches and along worn wooden tables, waxing poetic over newspapers and cups of tea was enough to transport you away from the chaos outside. I had them fill a six count box for me of some of the most delectable French macarons I’ve had in a long time. Wish I could have spent more time there getting fatter and happier. Stand out flavors included rose, champagne, some crazy purple and gold deliciousness and banana/nutella.

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Kati Roll – Sounded like sushi, but I knew I was way off when I walked inside. Bollywood and top 40 music blared while staff scrambled behind a small counter to conquer the lunch rush. Their speciality is these super dense and amazing Indian/style wraps. I grabbed chicken tikka and beef, was totally satisfied chowing down in a little corner next to a bright orange wall. Clientele ranged from hippies and vegetarians to business suits and urban girls – everyone was obviously there for the food. Me too.

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EileenCotterWright

Author EileenCotterWright

Eileen Cotter Wright is a Boston, MA expat living in London, UK. She is a freelance writer and owner of group travel site PureWander.com. Despite losing her passport the first day she left her home country, she's continued to roam the earth with gusto for about a decade. You can keep up with her hot mess adventures on Twitter @Crooked_Flight.

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Join the discussion One Comment

  • Anwar says:

    I love this little tour of NYC. What a great time there, and some really nice places. I love how nomadic you were trying to find a place to sit for a bit. The indian wraps sound really really good as do the macarons. I wish DC had a bit better selection of coffee shops to hole up and type the day away in.

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