those places that inspire us

This week, I finished up with a project that was 3 years in the making. Now that my brain has started to temporarily rebuild itself (part of the process is drinking wine, listening to Hall & Oates loudly on the car radio, and watching reruns of Seinfeld), I’ve been thinking of some of the places I would go to work on this aforementioned project. Also, a few days ago subtlekate wrote a post about writing haunts, “[t]hose magical cafe’s and hotels that have hosted the best can inspire us to keep going.”

One of my faves is The Hungarian Pastry Shop. Okay, so this place can be packed and the coffee is sub par, but if you go in the morning or during other “off” hours and just stick to the made in-house pastries and lattes, you’re set. Also, the outdoor seating is perfect for people watching. I am always especially productive here when I’m dealing with jet-lag. Up before everyone else, I hit up the laundromat right when it opens and then take my notebook and make my way to the Hungarian, where you’re joined with the two or three others with sleep woes.

Last year, Untapped New York ran the article, “The Hungarian Pastry Shop, a literary outpost.” Michelle Young writes,

When author and professor David Grahame Shane (of Recombinant Urbanism) asked me to meet at the Hungarian Pastry Shop on 111th and Amsterdam, I knew it was going to be a great place. You see, Shane’s speciality is on heterotopias–those places within cities that trigger creativity and spur urban evolution. In fact, he says they function as cities in miniature and that’s kind of what the Hungarian Pastry Shop is like…The shop puts the book jackets of its patrons on the walls…It’s also where a scene in Woody Allen’s Husbands and Wives was filmed.

Some photos that writer took:



  1. Looks like a great place, but I can never write in such places. Too many distractions. I write best in my repurposed bedroom (the kids have all finally moved out!). And for just musing and note taking, the shady porch at my little Ozark cabin is the best for me.

    1. I can’t write at home. That proves to have too many distractions. The Hungarian is great because everyone keeps to themselves and there is no wi-fi for wikipedia perusing, but other places, I can’t do it!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s