Another day, another desk: GigaOM tests out New York’s coworking spaces

coworking-collage

The Alley

The Alley

The backstory: The Alley is one of the newer entrants to the city’s coworking scene, but it’s already made a name for itself with regular hackathons, demo nights, educational events and club-style parties. Its co-founders, Jason Salzman and Jonathan Ende, also launched paperwork-automation startup Bizodo.

What we liked: This was my first stop on the circuit, and it set a high bar (although, admittedly, its newness helped, as appliances and furniture haven’t had a chance to suffer much wear and tear). The lounge near the entrance has a lively student center feel, and the desk area is open and bright. Members get access to discounted healthcare, as well as free legal and accounting advice. Another big bonus: in-house yoga classes once a week.

The AlleyWhat we didn’t like: The cofounders will say that The Alley’s location near Penn Station gives members easy access to downtown startups, potential midtown clients and anyone who takes the train in or out of the city. That may be true, but it’s still smack dab in the middle of chaotic midtown and not as close to the city’s tech centers as other locations.

The people: The founders like to say it’s for “hustlers, hackers and hipsters.” A few companies I met include education app developer Brainscape, Democracy.com and theater-meets-new-media group Lively Productions. I’m told Founder Collective investor and entrepreneur Micah Rosenbloom works there, too.

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