Another day, another desk: GigaOM tests out New York’s coworking spaces

General Assembly

General Assembly

The backstory: If you want to work here, you’d better not call General Assembly a “coworking space.” The founders — Brad Hargreaves, Jake Schwartz, Matthew Brimer, and Adam Pritzker — prefer the loftier “global network of campuses for technology, business and design.” General Assembly opened in New York last year, and fueled by $14.3 million in venture capital, has expanded around the world, to London, Berlin and other major cities.

General Assembly 2What we liked: If you want to be at the center of the startup community in New York, this is a place to be. General Assembly offers dozens of weekly courses taught by members and others in the tech community (which members can attend at a discount). The amenities – including a full kitchen, bike room, conference rooms, media labs, and lockers – are all top of the line. Also, it hosts regular happy hours and attracts a constant stream of heavy-hitters from the tech world and beyond — earlier this fall, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Kanye West made separate visits to check it out.

What we didn’t like: Despite the cachet afforded GA startups, some in the greater tech community think the scene is over-hyped. I was told by a few members that dogs aren’t allowed, but I got a friendly visit from a King Charles Spaniel while I was there.

The people: Given its profile, it attracts a high caliber set of startups, like Dwolla, Y Combinator-backed Daily Muse and Food52. Alums include daily deals site Yipit and “Kayak for event tickets” startup SeatGeek.