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May 10, 2010 02:01 PM

A True Literary Cafe Anywhere in New York??

I am looking for the ephemeral Euro-style cafe that is actually Euro-style and does not just pay homage to a cafe experience that even New Yorkers seem genetically incapable of having. Does it exist?

Here's how it will go: I will order my coffee (I don't give a hoot if it's cafe au lait, Japanese-pressed or made from ground unicorn antlers, as long as it's strong and I pay less than $3.00). I will find my sunny table by a window or on a velvet divan not encrusted in brownie crumbs. There will be NO or VERY LOW music playing. I will open my Richard Ford novel and read for the next hour. NO STAFF will bother me in the next hour. They will not ask me if I want something else, if am feeling peckish, if I'm okay, etc, etc. NO PATRONS will talk on the their cell phones or have overly loud conversations about their roommates. NO ONE will tweet anyone else. Preferably I could smoke at some point but I know that likely impossible without legal recourse.

I'm looking for all of this to happen in an unpretentious setting, hopefully below 14th Street or Bklyn.

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        1. Ultimate irony: the closest to this fantasy is Starbucks. Try the ones on lower Broadway.

          1. i like the housingworks bookstore cafe in soho- it gets crowded and sometimes it can be loud...theres music playing, but you can sit all day and nurse a cup of coffee if you want to.

            ceci cela in soho is also fantastic- the back room is usually not crowded, coffee is fine but the pastries are divine and you can definitely spend an hour or two sitting and reading. i see people do it all the time, and ive done it myself...although when it gets busy i feel badly hogging a table