Coworking in New York? Check out Bat Haus. In discovering this space, you might just re-discover the thing that makes coworking spaces so wonderful in the first place: the people.
Stepping out onto Wyckam Avenue from the Brooklyn-bound L train, you might feel a bit far from home in Bushwick’s aged industrial landscape. But as soon as you open the door to this quirky, beautiful space, you’ll feel at home all over again.
The Big Picture
Opened in mid-2012, this space was founded and renovated under the vision of Bat Haus’s dynamic duo, philosophers Natalie and Cody (they’re both philosophy majors). Bat Haus is a completely open space, in the most literal way possible – it’s a huge garage, from an old mechanic shop. Fixed up with series of long desks used by an eclectic collection of New York’s fascinating freelancers, you’ll find as much inspiration as much as you will camaraderie.
In short: you’re gonna work, and you’re gonna have a great time with fun people.
What You’ll Learn from this Space
You’re going to learn some pretty amazing facts about 1980s Italian horror films, the location of the world’s biggest picnic basket, what the latin word alibi really means and what Angela Merkel’s forehead looks like (yes, really).
Bat Haus has probably the best and most difficult trivia night in the whole world on every Thursday night (just started this January), and you’ll follow it up with some drinks at one of the super cool local Brooklyn bars.
Where You’ll Find the Space
The space is located in Brooklyn, specifically in the neighbourhood of Bushwick. To get there, just take the L Train (only about 20-25 minutes from Manhattan) to Jefferson St Station. The neighbourhood is a collection of old garages and workshops, which up until about five or ten years ago was a mostly commercial area.
But with an influx of people from west Brooklyn, more and more apartments are opening for rent, with boutique coffee shops, restaurants and coworking spaces. It’s still an area very much in transition, and most people say it’s the fastest changing part of Brooklyn. Young, dynamic and ready to have fun, Bushwick is an exciting place to be.
Where You’ll Be Working
Bat Haus is one of the local garages that was converted in mid-2012 to be a coworking space. It’s an impressive open space with a great, peaceful vibe. You’ll keep warm underneath their industrial-scale heater installed on the ceiling, and you’ll see well with their gigantic panelled windows where the garage door used to be.
It’s totally open space, so you can work anywhere. They’ve got a meeting room and kitchen in the old manager’s office above the shop floor, and a cute back garden for summer barbecues and space parties. They have beautiful strings of lights across the space to keep everything well-lit under a warm, homey atmosphere.
Tip! Take it from me: leave your headphones at home! This space might have the nicest soundtrack in the seven continents of coworking – a well-curated classical playlist from baroque overtures to classical operas.
Where You’ll Be Living
Often the tough thing about being in New York is that everything is expensive. However, this is often offset by the sheer jaw-dropping amount of choice that you’ll get – this is clearer than ever looking at NYC’s craziest and coolest hotels.
If you want to see Manhattan, but stay close to the L train, try The Bowery House – it’s on the old Skid Row of NYC, as an old flophouse (an old American term for extremely cheap accommodation). Or, if you want to stay in a century-old sailor hotel (where the survivors of the Titanic stayed) try The Jane.
Maybe the big city’s not quite your thing, and you want a Brooklyn charm? Then you’re in luck: right down the street from Bat Haus you’ll find the very well-priced New York Loft Hostel with huge windows, a hot tub deck and comfy beds.
The Events You Will Go To
Besides mind-blowing trivia nights, you’ll find a great community with Drink N’ Draw. Drawing coworkers and Brooklyn locals alike, this cult classic offers drinks and nude drawing every Wednesday night. Whether you’re a Picasso or a rookie, go along and draw what you want as you want. You’ll have a great time doing it!
What You Will Eat
You must try one thing – I promise, they will be some of the best tacos you’ve ever had (if you don’t think so, I insist that you write me an email or comment on the article). They’re the semi-legendary Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos. Fresh spicy pork double-wrapped tacos with salsa verde and fresh squeezed lime, along with a Mexican apple soda (all for less than eight bucks) will remind you just how good life can really be after a long day of coworking.
Tip! Bring a pen! You have to write all of your orders on small flashcards. But, it’s okay if you forget it, because they have plastic spoons taped to pens that you can use instead.
One coworker at Bat Haus told me that there are twelve new bars that have opened up just down the street in the past six months alone. The sheer number of nice bars is a testament to how much Buswick really is changing, and if you’re coworking at Bat Haus then chances are you’ll discover some of them with the guys who work there.
Just on the corner is Pearl’s Social & Billy Club (one of the most Brooklyn tumblrs you’ll ever see), with great mason jar cocktails. If you’re looking for something less… American, then head to the Gottscheer Beer Hall with a great selection of classic German beers, also just in the neighbourhood.
The Practical Stuff
The Copass Crew