What makes writing, reading, studying or coding more fun than when you do it at home? Doing it at a coffee shop where you’re surrounded by like-minded New Yorkers trying to get work done while enjoying a flavorful cup of coffee and a tasty pastry. If you’ve been searching high and low across the five boroughs for a laptop-friendly, Wi-Fi-equipped coffee shop with quality coffee served in a classy atmosphere, here are five places you should consider:
The name of this chain gives away its most important feature: inspiring New Yorkers who set out to engage in creative thinking. Think Coffee shops across Manhattan are ideal for studying, reading, or writing, particularly the West Village and Greenwich Village locations, where you can enjoy free WiFi, in addition to the fair trade coffee acquired directly from Nicaragua, Brazil, or Southern Ethiopia. They have five locations across the city. Location and Features: 73 Eight Ave., West Village Open M-F 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sat-Sun 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; accepts credit cards, Wifi 248 Mercer Street, Greenwich Village Open M-F 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sat-Sun 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., accepts credit cards, Wifi
Cafe Grumpy This cafe serves exotic blends of coffee including Toarco Toraja from Indonesia, Chire from Ethiopia, Las Flores from Honduras, Maganjo from Kenya, and Heartbreaker Espresso – a blend mixing coffee beans from Honduras, Guatemala, and Costa Rica. They will surely inspire you to write great blog posts or papers, or zoom through that philosophy reading. If you’re planning to do work that requires the internet, Greenpoint is the place to be; it’s the only location with Wifi (which also happens to have a roastery). Location and Features: 193 Meserole Ave., Greenpoint, Brooklyn Open: M-F 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Sat-Sun 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; accepts credit cards, Wifi, roastery
Birch Coffee Birch Coffee’s Manhattan locations are ideal for working and studying. Whether you’re in Flatiron District, the Upper West Side or the West Village, you’ll find a shop that will satisfy your needs. For example, you can purchase a quality coffee from Kenya, Honduras with a side of homemade granola and yogurt or egg, cheese, arugula and goat cheese grilled cheese! Location and Features: 750 Columbus Ave., Upper West Side Open: Daily, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.; accepts credit cards, Wifi
21 E. 27th St., Fashion District Open: M-F 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sat 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sun 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; accepts credit cards, Wifi
56 7th Ave., West Village Open: Daily 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.; accepts credit cards, Wifi
Stumptown Coffee Roasters at Ace Hotel This Portland-based cafe has been serving its New York customers exotic blends of fair trade coffee across the world since Labor Day 2009, when it opened in the lobby of New York’s Ace Hotel. If you’re feeling adventurous, Stumptown also has a location in Greenwich Village, where you can enjoy public tastings at 2 p.m. Location and Features: 18 W. 29th St.
Open: Daily, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.; cash only; WiFi 30 W. 8th St. Open: Daily - Espresso 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the Brew Bar 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., accepts credit cards, Wifi
R&R Coffee A coffee shop off the beaten path (unless you’re a regular in the Financial District), R&R Coffee has all the studying or working amenities (coffee, pastries, and Wifi) you may want. It’s also conveniently located five minutes away from South Street Seaport where you can take in the sights of Brooklyn across the water, especially now that the weather is finally getting warmer. Location and Features: 76 Fulton St. Open: M-F 6:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.; Sat 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.; Sun 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.; accepts credit cards, Wifi
Camping is one of the most popular tourist activities in Utah, with destinations like Deer Creek and Snow Canyon State Parks regularly receiving over 350,000 annual visitors, according to the Utah Department of Natural Resources. Utah boasts plenty of camping opportunities beyond the state parks, with national parks and local campgrounds also proving quite popular among visitors. Camping serves as a respite during backpacking trips and ATV adventures, as well as a form of recreation in its own right. From Kings Peak to Jordan Pines Campground, visitors can choose from a vast array of excellent camping destinations in the state of Utah.
Kings Peak is one of Utah’s most popular backpacking destinations. As the highest point in the entire state, Kings Peak offers amazing scenic views. However, reaching this view requires quite a bit of strenuous hiking. The Kings Peak trip is not one that should be taken on by complete beginners. Intermediate and advanced backpackers choosing to enjoy this journey can enjoy comfortable backcountry camping near Dollar Lake. This is a popular place to stay the night, as it offers a nice view and reasonably comfortable sleeping conditions. Keep in mind the elevation at Dollar Lake is 10,785 feet; take precautions to avoid altitude sickness at this high elevation.
One of the most popular ATV destinations in the entire United States, the Paiute ATV Trail serves as an excellent introduction to off-road travel, although the trail also offers plenty of challenge for more experienced individuals. According to Marysvale.org, the trail follows several old roads winding through the Fishlake National Forest. The amazing scenery includes vast panoramas of old-growth forest, as well as frequent elk and deer sightings. Although backcountry camping is allowed in the Fishlake National Forest, many visitors prefer staying at Lizzie and Charlie’s RV and ATV Park. The equipment requirements for this approach are less extensive, particularly as travelers can use an online store for ATVs to gear up.
Located near Ogden, Weber County Memorial Campground is an excellent destination if you’re looking to enjoy a basic camping trip with your friends or family. The park is home to sixty individual campsites, as well as three large group areas that accommodate more than 200 visitors. Other amenities at the park include running water, a volleyball area and electricity access at the large group sites. What’s more, Weber County Memorial Campground is located near the Causey Dam, a popular destination for fishing and boating.
Many hardcore outdoors enthusiasts dream of winter camping in Utah. This can be a life-changing experience, but it requires a great deal of advance preparation. Jordan Pines Campground is one of the few Utah sites in which winter camping is actually allowed. However, as the United States Forest Service clarifies, you’ll need to apply for a winter camping permit prior to your trip. The best months for winter camping are November and December, although, depending on weather conditions, you may be able to camp in January and February. Be aware that there is great potential for avalanche activity. You are advised to participate in an avalanche awareness and skills course prior to your vacation.
Just when you thought you know New York like the back of your hand, you stumble upon a new area to explore or hidden place to discover that will make you fall in love with the City all over again. Here are seven such off-the-beaten path treasures:
1. Roosevelt Island A residential community filled with parks with extraordinary views of Manhattan, Roosevelt Island has come a long way from its original purpose: to host prisons, poor houses, and hospitals. Now, you can take in gorgeous views of the East River on the Western Promenade and see a 19th century lighthouse in a park at the northern end of the island. But if you’re looking for a truly memorable experience, your best bet is the Roosevelt Island Tram, which glides over the East River and makes you feel like you’re flying into the City.
Visit: Take the F train to the Roosevelt Island stop or take the Tram from E 60th street.
Located on the south shore of Long Island and enriched by a long history of waterfall hunting and shellfishing, Fire Island National Park is the ideal place to explore nature and history. The island hosts the abode of one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence — William Floyd’s estate “Old Mastic House” — dating back to the 1720s. The Island also has two 19th century lighthouses — one built on the westernmost end of the island in 1826, the other dating back 1858, with a revolving first oder Fresnel lens. Visit: You can access Fire Island by ferry from mid-May to mid-October, from Bay Shore, Sayville, and Pathogue on Long Island. Fire Island Lighthouse and Wilderness Visitor Center are accessible by car year round.
Sounds weird, doesn’t it? The Bay received its name in the mid-1850s when horse-rendering plants that used the carcasses of horses and other animals in New York City to manufacture glue, fertilizer, and other products, surrounded this Brooklyn beach at the western edge of a marshland. Around the turn of the 20th century, the area was repurposed as a landfill. Today, you can find thousands of 100-year-old vintage bottles, old telephones, and other nostalgia collectors’ treasures in the sand.
Visit: Take the 2 train to the last stop at Flatbush Avenue/Brooklyn College, then the Q35 bus going toward Rockaway. Get off before the Marine Parkway Bridge.
As the NYC subway 6 train reaches its last stop at Brooklyn Bridge, it loops around to go uptown and passes through an abandoned City Hall station. Opened in 1904, the architecturally ornate City Hall station was intended to be a gallery showcasing commemorative plaques dedicated to those who built and designed New York’s underground system. Unfortunately, the station closed its doors to the public in 1945 due to its low daily use and because of an unsafe gap on the platform.
5. The Library Bar in the NoMad Hotel Inside the Flatiron District’s NoMad Hotel, you’ll find a two-level library connected to the hotel by a spiral staircase imported from the South of France. Featuring literature on topics including the history of New York and cocktails, the Library is a nostalgic place to spend your time by day and an extravagant cocktail destination by night.
Visit: Take the 1, 2, F, M, or N, R trains to 1170 Broadway and 28th Street.
If you’re in the mood for a French burlesque experience in New York City, visit Bizarre Bar, the year-old Brooklyn-based creation of French film director duo Jean-Stephane Sauvaire and Greg Babeau. The bar’s minimalist basement has seen many a dance night brought to life by carefully-curated R&B and ‘90s rap DJ-run playlists, eclectic, Tim Burton-esque decor, films like The Last Tango in Paris screened silently on a wall, and “killer cocktails,” according to The Gothamist. Visit: Take the J, M, or Z trains to the Myrtle Avenue-Broadway stop and walk to 12 Jefferson Street (at Myrtle Ave), Brooklyn.
This Prohibition-era-inspired “speakeasy” cocktail lounge is cleverly hidden behind what appears to be a vintage phone booth inside Crif Dogs, an East Village fixture. Enter the phone booth and you’ll find high-end cocktails, a handpicked selection of wine and beer, and the chance to order food from Crif Dog’s menu. Call to make a reservation. Visit: Take the 6 train to Astor Place or N or R to 8th Street-NYU and walk to 113 St. Marks Place, New York.
A guest post from At The Pool member Timothy Martin. Raised on a Montana ranch, Tim is an avid hunter and outdoorsman who’s prepared for just about any emergency.
Despite the fact that Punxsutawney Phil declared there are six more weeks of winter, it’s time to start thinking about getting your adrenaline flowing on an awesome motorcycle trip. Whether you are planning to tackle one of Adenturebikerider.com’s 13 best roads to ride or cruising the backroads of your state, it’s time to start planning your next great adventure.
It doesn’t matter if you’re headed to Colorado to explore spectacular views at 10,000 feet or looking for some action on the sandy dunes in West Texas, chances are good there won’t be a corner drug store or McDonald’s within eyesight of your camp. Pack right for a great trip.
Make sure you have a reliable GPS. The Garmin zÅ«mo® 390 maps out a course with the rider in mind, leading you to the curviest roads in the area for heightened pleasure. Don’t forget to pack local trail maps — equipment can fail, signals can fade and accidents can happen. Backup maps help you find your way out when unexpected things happen.
Riding and Lounging Supplies
Pack lightweight clothing appropriate for the climate. Include flags, a head lamp, gloves, shades and headgear. Make room for plastic bags to store soiled clothing, shoes for relaxing, and hygiene items, including shampoo, deodorant, soaps, etc.
BikeVirginia.org recommends cyclists consider three main categories when packing: camping supplies, riding supplies and first aid. The detailed list is geared toward bicycle riders, but outfitting your trip for a dirt bike camping trip follows the same principles.
A tarp and a weather-tight tent are both essential for the rainy season. Be sure your dirt bike gear includes a hammock for those clear nights. Nothing compares to ending a full day on the trail with a relaxing view under a canopy of a million stars and the sound of the nature winding down around you.
Also include outdoor cooking gear like a pan, utensils, plastic food containers, small trash bags. Prepackaged-boil-in-the-bag entrees take up less room than groceries for meals. If you’re taking a tow vehicle with room for supplies and coolers, checkout the camp recipes at Scoutorama.com for camp-friendly ideas.
Safety and First Aid
Be prepared for bumps, bruises and things that bite in the night. Pack prescription medications, allergy medicine, topical creams, analgesics and bandages. Stock up on appropriate dirt bike gear before your trip — comfortable boots, helmet and riding pants and jersey can keep you intact during long days in the saddle.
Always explore with a buddy. Don’t ruin the environment for other outdoor enthusiasts — if you pack it in, bring it out. Some of the most amazing areas don’t have access to potable water. When in doubt, carry your own. Before you map out your journey, check with local officials to learn about the laws and regulations regarding dirt bike activities. Always respect the environment and private property boundaries.
University of Chicago Brand Ambassador, Rita Sokolova and friends ditch the comfort of cell phone service for a camping adventure only accessible by kayak. This is her story.
My belly was full of marshmallows. The sleeping bag felt like a marshmallow. My heart was a marshmallow. My feet were warm and wrapped in three pairs of socks. There were three people crammed into a one person tent and at that moment the world was soft and sweet.
A few weeks into fall quarter of my second year at university, a group of friends and I slipped off campus and went canoeing in the middle of Illinois. My college has a student organization called the Outdoor Adventure Club. Adventures are student organized, student led, and often end up being the semi-poetic stuff of movies. On Saturday morning, we piled into two cars, stuffing every corner of car space with sleeping bags and snacks and leaving behind whatever academic commitments we had for that weekend. The campsite we were heading to was only accessible by canoe and there was no cell phone service – we were essentially entering a secret vacuum in the world. I indulge in being unreachable as often as possible and find that too many people are uncomfortable when left alone with their thoughts, or at least digitally disconnected.
There’s something magical about entering a hidden realm in the world with a canoe full of friends and German biscuit cookies. I remember floating along the river, feeling a satisfying exhaustion like what you feel after a long day of being smacked by waves and warmed by the sun at the beach. As two of us rowed, the third played songs on her ukelele (painted to look like a watermelon). At moments like those, I recognize the best part about wilderness adventures: you’re forced to reevaluate what you define as “necessary.” It’s so easy to be happy with so little. Make sure to leave for some extra space in your head and heart though, because you’ll always come back home with a little more than you packed – some perspective and wonderful memories.
Dear Future Love Of My Life, whoever the hell you are;
I believe in you.
Now, I could believe in you like Cupid; that when I’m least expecting it you’ll take a shot at my heart and hit it so dead center I’ll be powerless to stop my adoration of you.
I could believe in you like the Easter Bunny; that one spring morning I’ll wake up, put on a pretty dress, go run outside, and you’ll show up to give me lilies and chocolate.
I could believe in you like the Tooth Fairy; that if I go through the growing pains of giving up the immature parts of myself I’ve outgrown, I’ll wake to a reward for my surrender, and proof that my pain wasn’t for naught.
I could believe in you like Santa; that if I’m good and I do everything right this year, and I don’t do anything bad, you’ll show up this winter after hearing my wishes, present me with everything on my list, and eat all my cookies.
I could believe in you like Mermaids; that I simply haven’t swum out deep enough to find you, but if I keep exploring different waters, just when I think I can’t swim any further, you’ll save me from drowning and be my hero.
I could believe in you like Werewolves; that one night at random you could turn on me and present claws, so I should be cautious about getting too close.
I could believe in you like Leprechauns; that you’ll scamper in one day with too much gold and I should be wary of things that are short and green and always chasing the next rainbow.
I could believe in you like Monsters in my closet. That you hide. And you won’t really show yourself to me and that scares me more than seeing you in the light, no mater how beastly.
I could believe in you like Vampires, that if I let you drain even a sip of life out of me now, no matter how hard I try tomorrow my cheeks will look less rosy to you, and the more appealing a new fresh victim will become.
I could believe in you like unicorns or ghosts or fairies or goblins or all sorts of other fantasy things I have yet to see or ever shake hands with.
But I won’t.
I will believe in you like rainstorms. That being real wont make you less spectacular. That being non-fiction won’t make you any less magical. That you may not arrive exactly when I thought you would, or where I thought you would, but I will be grateful nonetheless when you do. I will keep aware that if I allow too much of you to wash over me, I could get swept away, so please understand when I keep a few roots anchored. Yes, I will believe in you like rainstorms. I won’t build dams to contain you out of fear of drought; I’ve long since learned how to dig my own wells. But I’ll build up my thirst to appreciate you, and -okay, I’ll keep a few cisterns in my heart to hold what you decide to gift to me for safekeeping, because I’ll also accept the fact that you will have seasons, and many other parts of your life to water. And I will be grateful for that.
I will believe in you like rainstorms; so one day you will believe in me like land and let yourself fall.