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Five Brooklyn cafes with free wi-fi
Are you more of a Manhattan girl or a Queens boy than a Brooklynite? Don't worry. I'll come up with some great café picks for other NYC boroughs later this week.
Smooch. 264 Carlton Avenue, Fort Greene.
What makes Smooch so lovely? Is it the smiling antipodean barista slowly pulling your flat white? Is it bare bones interior, seen not long ago in scenes of HBO's contemporary noir Bored to Death? Is it the creative menu or the perfect coffee drinks? Actually, it's all of these things as well as its outdoor benches, which make for a friendly alfresco social scene.
Glass Shop. 766 Classon, Crown Heights.
Glass Shop has a fabulous, unfinished look and feel. It's a stylish, minimalist spot that gives New York City's other Australian cafés (Smooch above, Ruby's, and Milk Bar) a run for their money. The espresso drinks are perfect and there are often ANZAC biscuits on offer as well. The atmosphere in the interior is sedate and studious, with most patrons bent over their laptops. There is a back garden, which is also unfinished and scrappy.
Tillie's of Brooklyn. 248 Dekalb, Clinton Hill.
The most traditional American coffeehouse among the five, Tillie's of Brooklyn feels like a college town café. The proximity of Pratt Institute no doubt feeds this impression. All the coffee on offer is organic, and wi-fi is free with purchase. Thursdays witness a 7:30 pm open mic event. Many of the café's guests are here to work. Located at the corner of Dekalb and Vanderbilt, Tillie's straddles the Clinton Hill/Fort Greene border.
Vox Pop. 1022 Cortelyou Road, Ditmas Park.
The collectively run Vox Pop (café slogan: "Books, Coffee, Democracy") is a Brooklyn landmark, a cooperative-run cafe with over 200 owners. Vox Pop is a hell raising hotbed of political passion, often with three scheduled events a day. Sing-a-longs, movie nights, blues nights, jam sessions, and story hours fill up the calendar. Vox Pop's late hours are another plus.
Baked. 369 Van Brunt Street, Red Hook.
Baked, Red Hook's outstanding baked goods emporium, may have spawned a quiet industry (a cookbook, accolades from Oprah, and a Charleston, South Carolina spin-off) but it's also a downright pleasant and poppy place to have a coffee and get to work. And don't forget that, as unquestionably tasty as the in-house pastries may be, Steve's Authentic Key Lime Pies sells its very delicious swingles (chocolate-dipped frozen key lime pies on sticks) just a few blocks away.
(Image: Flickr/Global Jet)