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best place to meet an up and coming somebody (sofa awards 2012)

December 29, 2012

The ninth annual sofa awards… keep coming back as more recipients are revealed throughout the rest of the year.

18At 9AM, it’s littered with people, everyone on their MacBook Pro, returning a slew of emails. By 11:30, new faces are popping in to hold meetings with said MacBook Pro email returners. By half-past noon, the tables are littered with delicious food, from the award-winning lobster roll to the rich and chewy cranberry oatmeal cookies. The afternoon often sees a changing of the guard, with new visitors sipping on teas, snacking on flaky French croissants, while poring over articles/news items/Excel charts/etc. By 5PM, most of the morning folks are gone, but the crowd is still thick. And, as the evening turns into night, the flow remains pretty steady. This is a day in the life of Astor Row Café.

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Photo courtesy of 809sucio, Instagram.

During any given time frame, you will run into an eclectic mix of characters, from pop rock ballerinas to bakers to event producers; t-shirt designers to language coaches to dancers; small business owners to graphic designers to authors; this list could go on and on. But I think you get the picture. Walking in to buy a cup of coffee and leaving with someone who can design and tailor your wedding dress is the norm. The cool thing is that the space is small and a conversational atmosphere leads to just that: conversation. And that conversation begets action and the next thing you know, a new partnership has formed. It’s New York business at its finest, but honed in specifically on the creative class.

Stop by and meet Manny Pena, the owner and Head Conversationalist at Astor Row Café. It’s well worth your time. Plus, they have some of the best coffee in Manhattan. Yes, Manhattan, not just Harlem (Astor Row Café is located in Harlem on Lenox Avenue and 130th Street, which is known for their historic row houses). If you’re smart enough to stop by on a Tuesday, you will get the most eclectic mix of sounds your ears have ever experienced from resident deejay, DJ Amore. She is there every Tuesday afternoon, spinning everything from classic Disney songs to Ike and Tina to bachata to Talib Kweli. And while you’re there, chances are you’ll meet an up and coming somebody.

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other 2012 sofa awards:

best place to purchase a school bus and hang it on your wall

best reason to have a cup of coffee

most creative way of throwing stuff together and turning it into usable art

best new voice [tv]

best reason to judge a book by its cover

most breath-taking film

best reason to pay for premium cable

michelle obama award for physical fitness

best thing to hit reality tv since nene leakes

best new voice [film]

best reason to watch the lowest-rated show in history

most decadent reason to book a flight to nashville

most under-appreciated show

best reason to partake in sex and drugs. and sushi.

best tribute album

best guilty pleasure

best use of $3

best new voice [music]

best-named dessert house

best show for Kleenex to support with ad purchases

most unintended-yet-infectious lyrics

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Not yet following me on Twitter? Get on the sofa: @josephrileyland

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