I recently joined a writer's space in Brooklyn. My previous writer's space - the Starbucks near my apartment - cost $3.84 per diem and came with a latte and hours upon hours of free laura nyro music. The space I used before that - my own apartment - became psychologically impossible many months ago because of the calming effect of cats and the disorienting effect of EVERYTHING I OWN WITHIN REACH. That included the television, stereo, fig newtons, Tekken 4, pornography, and a giant cardboard box filled with grown-up clothes, eyeglasses and meerschaum pipes for games of dress-up.
The new space seems OK. For now, my arrangement is part-time, which means I have access from 6pm - 6am on weekdays (sadly, my prime writing hours are 10pm - 4am) and full-time on weekends. It coincides nicely with my cellular phone service plan. I think I'll use the space, providing it's quiet, but I already have a few reservations.
The space has somewhat low ceilings. That's not terrible in itself, but combined with the work areas - staid, fabric-walled cubicles with artificial cherry wood and gold trim - it sort of approximates a second office. Will other writers wile away hours playing minesweeper on their computers? Will I wind up hitting on the cleaning lady? Will they let me hang my 'successories' poster up in my cube? (i just had my "SUBTLE CONDESCENSION" poster dry-mounted.)
I'm also a little concerned about some of the hidden costs. On top of the quarterly fee, there was a $50 administrative initiation fee (for xeroxes?), a $20 refundable key deposit, $5 monthly locker charge, $18 bully tax, $30 first-person bildungsroman fee, $200 protagonist - just - laid - off - from - big - dot-com - company - and - is - now - selling - all - his - cool - tech - gadgets - on - ebay - and - write - his - first - novel fee, and a $450,000 rape poetry surcharge. I guess they know their business better than I do, though.