Best spots for silence

Enjoy absolute quiet.



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  • New York Public Library

  • New York Society Library

  • Proteus Gowanus

  • Yelo Spa

New York Public Library

New York Public Library
With its central location and free admission, the main reading room at the NYPL’s Beaux Arts landmark is one of the city’s most accessible, if predictable, no-noise locales. If you’re seeking silence and solitude, go get lost in the stacks. Fifth Ave at 42nd St (917-275-6975,

New York Society Library
Formerly a residential townhouse, this subscription library in a historic landmark building offers members access to an upstairs reading and silent study room. You’ll pay to belong, but the luxury—and stillness—of the space may just be worth it. 53 E 79th St between Madison and Park Aves (212-288-6900, Memberships start at $125.

Proteus Gowanus
This interdisciplinary gallery and reading room’s newly launched study-hall program offers members a quiet space to read and work, complete with free Wi-Fi, coffee and the occasional baked good. They take their silence seriously here (you’ll be asked to sign a code of conduct)—but instead of detention, you’ll incur the wrath of your fellow members should you forget to hush your cell. 543 Union St at Nevins St, Gowanus, Brooklyn (718-243-1572, Memberships start at $50.

Yelo Spa
Slip inside a YeloCab, one of the spa’s signature cocoonlike cabins, for a customized power nap. You have your choice of aromatherapy, lighting and sound options; you can also opt for a totally muted experience. 315 W 57th St between Eighth and Ninth Aves (212-245-8235, Naps start at 20 minutes for $15.

Zen Buddhist Temple
To nurture your inner peace, try a Sunday morning meditation service at 10am; chanting and a talk from a dharma student or senior temple member are bookended with two 25-minute periods of blissful silence. 360 W 28th St between Eighth and Ninth Aves, No. 1C (212-255-2487, Suggested donation $10.

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