New York’s Transformation Into Silicon Valley Won’t Stop For Sleep

Terrified at the prospect of a Manhattan ruled by tech start-ups, as envisioned by Doree Shafrir in New York a few months ago? Here’s another reason to worry: those website whippersnappers are wired in more ways than one!

The Times today shines a light on the New York Nightowls, a group of 30 or so programmers and developers that meets in Chinatown on Tuesdays to work through the night. Some advance side projects separate from their day jobs, but others are “there to chip away at the mountain of unanswered e-mail messages that pile up during the day.”

The article interviews a developer of “productivity software,” who said that working at night can be a useful way to cut down on distractions. Apparently, most people visit some 40 websites on an average work day, assuming they have the luxury of unrestricted internet access.

“We’re New Yorkers,” said Allan Grinshtein of, who founded the group. “It’s not like we sleep anyway.”  

Sinatra probably wasn’t talking about staying up until 4 am to answer work emails but, sure, that’s a thing people say about New Yorkers.