Q: I’m trying to finish my first novel, but my husband the aspiring rock star is always practicing at home. I can’t concentrate! Where can I go—or where can I send him—so we can hone our crafts in peace?
A: Ah, the dilemma of New York apartment life: How do you avoid the distractions of home without succumbing to the temptations of Starbucks? Well, if you want to follow in the footsteps of A. M. Homes, Lawrence Block, and Julia Glass, there’s The Writers Room (740 Broadway, at Astor Place, twelfth floor; 212-254-6995), which offers 6,600 square feet of quiet workspace—40 desks, a typing room, a reference library, and a kitchen. Membership at the nonprofit costs about what you’d pay for a gym: $300 to $500 for six months, plus a $75 application fee (with a half-year waiting list!). Alas, the Writers Room does not offer personal trainers.
If, however, you want to get rid of your husband—temporarily, of course—send him to The Studio (251 West 30th Street, third floor; 212-967-6124). The nine rehearsal rooms range in price from $13 to $27 an hour and include everything from amps to songbooks to couches to grand pianos. “Not only can they practice here—they can jam as well,” says manager Denise Good, referring to the Studio’s Saturday-night open get-togethers ($15 with $199 annual membership, $15–$25 for nonmembers). There’s no guarantee your husband will be the next Jack White, but at least you’ll have a fighting chance at being the next E.B.