We all know Japan is an enthusiastic, card-carrying member of the international “I <3 Brooklyn” fan club, but it’s not like their affection is entirely unrequited. We’ve eagerly adopted bits and pieces of Japanese cuisine and culture in New York, like ramen, pocky, sake, karate, anime and Hello Kitty. And taking our shared obsession with adorable, frolicking felines to the next level, another Japanese phenomenon recently pussyfooted its way across the ocean and onto American soil. We’re talking about cat cafes, which allow laptop-tapping, coffee-sipping patrons to exist side by side with a roomful of pert-eared, flickity-tailed furballs.
Granted, NYC’s very first all-kitty-all-the-time establishment, Meow Parlour, is actually in Manhattan, not Brooklyn, but there are certain stories so momentous that they defy all borough-imposed boundaries. Which means, we here at Brooklyn Magazine would gladly hop a train and cross a bridge, if it meant we could report on Bushwick-themed board games and Bedford Avenue Apple Store openings from a happy refuge, filled with scratching posts, feathers on strings, and rideable cardboard ice cream trucks.
Co-owned by Macaron Parlour Christina Ha, the adjunct Meow Parlour has cleverly sidestepped potential DOH objections by existing in an entirely separate space. Although that won’t stop you from carrying in baggies of delicate, pastel-colored cookies (some of them have sugar noses and whiskers!) and cups of Blue Bottle coffee—in fact, the fledgling novelist haven largely depends on it (let’s all learn from our mistakes regarding Tea Lounge, people). Not that it’s a grab a couch and stay all day freelancers free-for-all; you must reserve time in the sought after sanctuary…$4 for half an hour, for up to five hours. Which means that Meow Parlour probably isn’t destined to become your new home office, not if you barely eke out a living stringing together blog posts.
Operating in collaboration with KittyKind, an all-volunteer, no-kill rescue group located in NYC, up to eight cats are on the Meow Parlour premises at all times, ready to walk their way onto your keyboard and right into your heart. Just try to resist signing adoption papers for Squinkles, a peppy calico that “likes” nooks and crannies and “dislikes” wet umbrellas, or her tabby sister, Spot, who “likes” getting your attention and “dislikes” chillwave. Just try.
The funny thing about Tea Lounge was, it always reinforced our enduring disinclination towards parenthood. And the thing about Meow Parlour is, it’s seemingly cemented our destiny to become crazy (but content) little cat ladies.
46 Hester Street, (212) 999-9999