best seats will be a recurring feature wherein i potentially ruin the best seat in any cafe by writing about it on the internet. key contributing factors to my naming a best seat include: internet availability, access to A/C power, proximity to the baristas so you can bullshit with them while they work, and a view out the window. obviously it has to have good coffee or i wouldn’t even be in there. i am sure that after this blog gets sensationally popular, ahem, these best seats will be permanently taken and i will be standing up in cafes for the remainder of my days.

best seat: cafe grumpy (chelsea), new york, new york


we have a problem. i was long intending to write about the best seat in cafe grumpy (which was for a short time my call for best cafe seat anywhere) when suddenly it changed. a month or so ago they disconnected the power outlet at the window seat in the northwest corner of the cafe. horrors! no more electrified lingering at grumpy. that said, if you are fully charged, or a luddite, this remains one of the nicest seats in any cafe in north america. to wit: an unbelievably pleasant window. a ledge, on which your friends can sit and ridicule you, or if you are travelling heavy, you can toss all your stuff. it is the closest seat to the bar, so if there is an interesting conversation about coffee happening, or you simply wish to harrass or flirt with your barista, you are right up in the action. wireless internet may or may not leak in from outside, but you have a better shot at it here than anywhere else in the cafe. on snowy or springy or pretty fall days you have an amazing view of weather and fire escapes, and at any time of year your chances of seeing a cute dog parked outside are higher than on normal sidewalks.

that said, i may now be roosting at the opposite end of the cafe now that there are stools around the common table in the so-called rose room. this table is tall and boasts festive yellow stools — more amenable to leaning over one’s work, or I suppose, one’s coffee, than the wooden chairs in the main room — and if you sit at the south end of the table, you are afforded perhaps the best vista possible of the entire cafe. this includes the window (the afforementioned winter, rain, leaves, though cute dogs may be too far to see) and anyone that may come in. since access to internet and alternating current are dodgy anyway, you may as well have a kingly seat downwind of the week’s fresh bouquet of roses and within eavesdropping distance of couples critiquing each others’ personality flaws, while taking breaks to chat with you until they are possibly even your new best friends. order another and lord over all you survey! just make sure you clear out and make room when i arrive.

5 Responses to “best seats no. 1: 20th street, nyc”

  1. Erwin Chuk

    Say it isn’t so! I agree…that window seat is/was the best. As nice as those new stools are, I would still choose the northwest window seat (we need a better name) for its proximity to the barista, espresso bar, and window. Even with the “wobbly” tables, this area is great for lounging with a few friends as well. But I guess if one needs to be working, your seat would do. Seating is dicey there anyway which is fine by me as I’m standing at the espresso side most of the time (sorry people for getting in the way ;). I’m glad we won’t be fighting for the same seat although I’m sure they won’t appreciate us shouting across the room.

  2. liz

    We could name it the Erwin Memorial Seat, though that sounds like you’re dead. As for the shouting, I’m sure they’re looking for people to replace the din no longer made by Kyle, so it might be okay…

  3. caroline

    There will always be room for you two :^)
    …but working outlets and small coffee shops are a tough call!

  4. admin

    I guess you’ll just have to make it bigger!

  5. Mike

    Not to mention all the Shakespearean actors walking by…

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