Friday, November 04, 2005

NYPL's Allen Room

At a party tonight, I spoke with a writer who told me about how much he loves working in the Frederick Lewis Allen Room of the grand main branch of the New York Public Library. It's a space in the library set aside with study cubicles for writers on book contracts to go and do their thing amid other great minds. It's free, but there's an application process. Go there these days, I was told, and you're likely to find Pulitzer Prize winners researching and writing. Robert Caro, for instance, wrote that 1975 Pulitzer Prize winner about NYC icon Robert Moses, The Power Broker, while in the Allen Room. Interesting to know that there are these free places available at a time when such for-a-fee spaces like Paragraph are opening. Still, the writers-on-contract stipulation is somewhat self-selective to begin with.

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