Transitioning from an office in New York City to a home office one flight down the steps from my bedroom has its advantages. Flexibility, anonymity and autonomy to name a few. But after several years working solo in my study, I can now see that many of these advantages are disadvantages at the same time.
I no longer need to search through my closet to find something to wear to work in the morning; yet on the other hand, there’s rarely a reason to get out of my pajamas. I don’t “waste” an hour and half commuting to and from the city; but it seems that those three hours a day are just more hours available for work. I am not disturbed by loud conversations on the train – but I have also lost track of my train buddies and seem to have less time -- rather than more -- to read the newspaper, complete the crossword and keep up with my New Yorkers.
And then there’s the solitude. Since people rarely use the phone anymore, long stretches can go by without any conversation whatsoever. There’s no one to admire a new scarf, take the last cup of coffee or commiserate about the nasty boss.
At least there wasn’t until I discovered a new co-work space called watercooler in Tarrytown. Now almost a year old, watercooler allows freelancers and independents to work in a shared space on an hourly, daily, weekly or monthly basis. The space is equipped with desks, a kitchen, copies, printers, Wi-Fi and even a beautiful conference room where those without an office can hold meetings in a respectable, quiet space. Members can purchase their own dedicated desk or buy time by the hour in a variety of pricing packages. Best of all w@tercooler offers community, and members can share everything from a joke to business resources while they network and kick around ideas.
The space is the brainchild of Jenifer Ross of Sleepy Hollow. Ross, a longtime resident of the area wore many hats before opening her latest venture. She had her own art gallery, worked as the Assistant Village Administrator for the Village of Tarrytown, and as Development Director for the library. She is well known for revitalizing downtown Tarrytown by launching Tarrytown Third Fridays, an event that brings art, culture and commerce to the area. She utilized these contacts and talents to launch watercooler which she manages with grace and expertise. Jenifer is so helpful and pleasant that I bet many members stop in everyday just to chat with her.
The loft-like space is welcoming and includes desks as well as a central gathering spot with a coffee table and couches. Attractive artwork lines the walls as Ross has allowed the artists she met as a gallery owner to display their work at watercooler. On the day I visited, one of the members who works in food distribution offered me a yogurt from a new line he represents. Other benefits include morning yoga classes, discounts at Village retailers and restaurants and workshops of special interest to entrepreneurs and freelancers. The site is also used for meet-ups, professional association get-togethers, and workshops of interest to entrepreneurs and on “Unemployed Mondays,” Ross allows those who are out of work to use a desk at no cost.
If you’re intrigued, June 7th is FREE co-working day, and Ross invites you to stop by for a complimentary visit to w@tercooler . Also, if you think this sounds neat and would like your own “watercooler” nearby, please comment below!
21 North Broadway
Tarrytown, NY 10591
Monday - Friday: 9am to 5:30pm
Saturday: 10am to 5pm (if booked in advance)Sunday: Closed
Full-time members have extended hours
(Pictured at top: Jenifer Ross. Photo by Margaret Fox, www.margaretfoxphotography.com )