The other day, while reading Bill Bryson’s fantastic book Made in America, I discovered that Brooklyn was originally called Breukelyn when the Dutch settled in New York . I wonder if that’s what the owners of Breukelen Coffee House had in mind when they decided on their name. Then again, they could have named it after a region of the Netherlands.
I found my way to Breukelen Coffee House in Crown Heights to work, just like everyone else there was doing. Sure, I wanted good coffee, but mostly I was just in search of a space that would be more conducive to studying than my childhood desk. Living at university has certainly changed my attitude toward working spaces; I now marvel at my previous ability to work at home. It’s filled with distractions! The internet is there at your beck and call! All those books! The kitchen! Even the television becomes alluring.
So, I go to cafes. It’s a pretty good substitute and, luckily, New York is brimming with viable options where other people will be outside, trying to work. Breukelen Coffee House is a prime example of cafe-turned-office.
When I walked in mid-morning on a Friday, it was already filled to the brim with workers and their MacBookPros. People were typing, listening to music, holding meetings and thinking. More lively than a library and less distractions than my living room. In a word, perfect. Or at least, it should have been.
The coffee wasn’t bad — heck, I understand how incredibly hard it is to pour latte art, I’m not complaining — but it wasn’t exceptional. It was better than lots of other places and most certainly better than other neighboring cafes, but I was underwhelmed.
By all means, head to Breukelen Coffee House to work and a perfectly good cappuccino-masquerading-as-cortado. The coffee might not be life-changing, but it is noteable for the neighborhood What might be life-changing, however, is having a remote office. After all, this is a step up from the keurig machines that line most American offices.
Do you like to work in cafes? What’s your go-to drink?