Room shot Room shot Laurea and Sandhya

Martha’s take on Hive at 55 on November 3

I had been part of a couple of meetings here with Live with Design, so I had already had a sense of the space at night and for giving classes (pretty smooth in the back room, a really great venue for group work in the big space, btw).  BUT, I had no idea what it was like to work there during the day.  So, this was a fun treat to see a new angle on a place I’d been to already.

First off, it’s in the Financial District which makes it a bit more difficult to find, but is still pretty convenient from my part of Brooklyn (I live on the 2/3, among other trains).  So, if you’re not an expert on the Financial District, be sure to bring your favorite mapping app (FourSquare, Google Maps, HopStop, etc).  Hive at 55 is located on the 13th Floor of a build owned by the city and is part of the Alliance for Downtown NYC.  So, the entire building is a fun mishmash of mostly non-financial companies (including the Reputation Institute, which is a name we are intrigued by.  If you work there, do email us and tell us about your work.)  Unlike most of the co-working spaces we’ve seen, Hive at 55 is only part of a floor.  (Co-working spaces seem to take entire floors of big and small buildings on the norm)

Daria, who mans the front, was quite friendly and gave me the tour (which she’s done many times considering that this space is 2 years old).  She gave me the password and told me how to pay the $25 drop-in rate on their website (quite easy).  

When I walked in, the first 2 things that stood out to me instantly were:  This space is unusual because there are private offices right off of the main space and it’s smaller than other spaces.    There’s coffee, coffee mugs, 3 conference rooms, a more casual couch area for phone calls, and a table in the kitchen.  People works in a variety of industries.  I overheard conversations in tech, real estate, development, beauty and design.

We found that the smaller size had 2 big affects on the community:  People are a lot friendlier with each other (they can clearly hear each other’s conversations)  AND  it felt cozier.  Being physically close to others was nicer than we originally thought it might be.  The one draw back to the smaller space is a bit of a battle for the best spots, not that it isn’t hard to be close to windows, but there does seem to be a bit of strategizing by the more experienced folks to get their favorite spots.  Since this is the day that our lovely friend Sandhya joined us, I was a bit nervous about being able to get us all together (luckily we did that just fine, phew!)

Lunch and Happy Hour options all seem to be best on Stone Street.  There is a strip of bars and restaurants that are well frequented by the financial community (aka men in blue button down shirts and women in suits).  We didn’t find them to be our people, but if you are comfortable with those types and overhearing conversations about derivatives and the like gets you excited, this is a good part of town for you.  If you’re starved for creative folks, this probably isn’t your best part of town to be spending time in.  Hive at 55 is also fairly close to Battery Park, could be a good outdoor lunch option as well.

OK, now for the silly Martha points:

  • There are more men than women (it was roughly 1/3 female), 1/2 of the men were wearing button down shirts, most of those being blue.  Seems to be a uniform for this part of town.
  • People are in their 20s-50s, so a nice range of experience in the room
  • There are fun little coin snack machines for your inner 8 year old, who doesn’t like that?
  • Overall feeling is pretty casual and friendly.  Not sure it’s ideal for all client, but certainly fine for some
  • Decor is very yellow and green, couch is modern, plug-ins at table easy
  • My friend Nathalie Molina has a private office there, how fun!  I didn’t know until I was there :)  Oh the fun-ness you find! 
  • Internet is generally super fast (certainly compared to my home network)

We liked Hive at 55.  Not so sure we’re huge fans of the part of town it’s in, but we liked the space and it felt homey.  Certainly worth checking out!

marthadenton Posted by marthadenton