- Photographed by Michael Popp Studio
NYC has always had a one-stop-shop for everything from laundry to takeout. The only thing not on the menu is peace and quiet. Personal space is a commodity in a city with more than 8 million dwellers. Breather, and it’s big time investors are banking on the sale of just that commodity: personal time. In Founder Julien Smith‘s words, “The essence of Breather is we fit into the cracks of a city,” in this case, New York. We spent an afternoon in The Nomad Breather space and have answers to questions you might have about how it works and what it’s like.
I had a chance to hang for 3 hours in The Nomad Breather room-for-rent in the Kiamie Arcade Building north of Madison. Like a good New Yorker I was there on the wire, huffing and puffing with a big bag holding my computer stuff and things for my waiting tables gig after. The Breather App prompted me to check-in, and with the tap of my phone I was supplied with a door key code. I felt like Ethan Hawke in Gattaca minus the inferiority complex.
The door opened easily, I put my bag next to a large mirror, hung my coat on a hook, and took in the sparse sitting area. I’d booked one friend hang, one meeting with a possible interior shoot, and a content meeting with my photographer Mike Popp. I told Mike to get there at 12:30 so I had half an hour to myself. The first thing I noticed was the quiet.
The room was set with a yoga mat, two nice floor pillows, three window facing chairs, a long wall mounted desk, a dry erase board and a mod chair with plush pillows. The details are where #Breather gets it right. A jar of tootsie rolls, a nice blanket, and a copy of the most recent KinFolk Magazine brought it home.
Style and function put you at ease. An iPhone 5 charger was set next to a jar of pencils and erasable markers, so I hooked up my phone and lay down. There is something weird about treating what is inherently a shared space like your own, but that feeling dissipates as you relax. I decided I’d try to take the advice at the core of this business’s concept and just lay down for a moment and relax. I breathed in the breeze from the window and the muffled hum of the street noise outside.
When it was time to get to work I connected to the Wi-Fi easily with a cheeky password. A knock at the door meant it was time to get started. My content meeting was great and everyone in attendance said they’d be looking into a Breather stay for themselves. The reasons ranged from needing a home base in-between errands and a work shift or freelancing with the ability to take phone calls and listen to Jill Scott.
Here are my tips for your next Breather stay:
1. Don’t be late. The whole function of this departure from your every day routine is meant to be relaxing. If you’re running behind and feel pressure to make to your relaxation time doesn’t that sort of defeat the point?
2. Freelancers, Don’t over book yourself. Go with a project or two in mind to work on; If you’re staying for 2-4 hours the time constraint is a great way to task manage yourself.
3. Water, Coffee, Snack. If you’ll be there for a while come equipped with edibles or plan on ordering in. We used Seamless to get lunch and it was just like at your regular office or apartment. This also means you’ll be maximizing your time there, as you don’t want to be stepping out too much.
4. Make a meeting. This is a great opportunity to have a business meeting, strategize an upcoming trip, call that family you don’t get around to, or even have an old friend over and just gossip.
5. Breathe. This is your time. Take it to unwind and just daydream. There is a pad of paper to draw on, windows abound, some latest copies of magazines and Chronicle Book titles. A yoga mat encourages a few judgment-free downward dogs. Just Breathe.