Of course public libraries usually do the trick, or a park if it's nice out, but a veritable quiet study space is difficult to come by. I discovered Poets House in Battery Park City the other day. It's like a library but more artsy. It's a rad eco-friendly building on River Terrace in Manhattan overlooking the Hudson River, Jersey, and the Lady Liberty herself.
The space boasts 50,000 volumes of poetry. Founded by the American poet Stanley Kunitz, the space is ideal for reading and writing. Expect books. No public computer terminals. You can either read your own book or a poetry book available from the shelf. There is a room especially reserved for quiet in the back. It has couches!
I go on Saturdays sometimes. The last time I went they served free wine and beer!
Poets House | 10 River Terrace | New York, NY 10282 | (212) 431-7920 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Hours: Tuesday–Friday, 11am–7pm, Saturday, 11am–6pm | Children's Room: Saturday, 11am–5pm
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Location:110 River Terrace, NY, NY