So I am taking a week off from work to get my groove back, creatively and emotionally. Been working a lot of six day weeks and even though it isn’t labor intensive work, working with the public does after a while, unravel the mind. So, I decided I needed some R and R, and also some time to re organize and do some deep cleaning. Need to make my environment more conducive to productive living and help me channel more productive thoughts. Been just surviving when I want to do so much more.
I have a mental list of things to get done, among them, writing. So, I took the laptop out with me today and went to a local coffee shop. I think I will do this throughout the week, maybe going to different ones.
This time I chose Rainshadow Coffee, because honestly I have been here before and it just has a great vibe to it. I feel like I get a lot done and it is just perfect. There is food if you are hungry, fresh locally roasted coffee which is awesome, and plenty of electrical outlets which is invaluable when you are using a laptop from 2009. Which I am.
One thing about old laptops, it has had a ton of its parts upgraded so it isn’t that slow actually, but yeah, it lasts for maybe 15 seconds unplugged from the wall, so, yeah, need an outlet, battery will not take you far with this one.
But, in defense of using an ancient laptop, a lot of the newer models you cannot upgrade at all, they fuse the parts to the motherboard. Apple started this trend, so blame them, they have been doing this for years.
Shame on IBM/Lenovo and others for joining them in their desire to force people to buy an entirely new machine every few years instead of replacing parts.
I mean, how wasteful! Think about it? Perfectly good computers that just don’t have the video cards to handle modern games or applications, go into the trash because they can’t run anything anymore, but most of the parts work just fine.
GRRRR. My laptop has a fairly new hard drive, which I installed myself, along with a WiFi card, and new better dual channel ram. All for much less than a new laptop would have cost me. Much less. Plus, the monitor and casing isn’t in a landfill somewhere, or the toxic motherboard isn’t poisoning children in India tasked with getting the mercury or some such evil thing. Doing my part, no matter how small.
Anyway, yeah, good food, great coffee, and WiFi plus electricity equals the perfect equation for a happy writer. Thumbs way up to Rainshadow.
I hope the competition is half this good, although I know of at least two other places that are in range. Scooter’s coffee, has WiFi, and an abundance of outlets, food and coffee. They actually have Rainshadow roasted beans, ironically. All locally produced deli items which is amazing.
Hurricane Coffee is another place I frequent. They have an advantage that when I am with my son they are the only one with ice cream.
So, if you have a child, immediately Hurricane has an edge. This edge is also a minus however, as it is also a local hang out spot for teens, so after school hours, they kinda take over half the place and tend to be kinda noisy.
You need some good sound canceling head phones to work in there at those times. Rainshadow is the most spacious of the the three by far, all three are in proximity of down town and are convenient. They are all good, and the food is decent at all places, although I would give Rainshadow the top marks on food because they offer breakfast burritos and hot foods while the other two are more sandwiches and bagels and that kind of thing.
Price wise, I think Scooter’s is the most economical if you are sticking with drip coffee. If you are getting food or espresso, I would say they are all within range of each other. All are great places for inspiration and public writing spaces. There is something to be said for being in your own world while simultaneously surrounded by people. It is just a completely different feeling than being at home in your jammies with your computer. although that is good too.
There is also Starbucks, of course, but Starbucks is the same wherever you are pretty much. The McDonald’s of Coffeeshops, unless you count McDonalds which also has free Wifi and coffee, so, yeah, also an option. But I prefer to support the independents when I can. The little guys have the best atmosphere, the best vibe, and you can’t replicate or buy that, it just is.
And some places have it and some places don’t. I can’t explain it. It is an emotion not something quantifiable. I just know it isn’t something chain stores can cultivate. Starbucks culture is so snobbish and highbrow. It is kinda artificial and forced. It isn’t a natural culture. It is something marketed to itself by somebody in Seattle somewhere.
They try, just when you become big, something happens. You lose the dynamic culture of something crafted for a small audience, you start to cater to the masses, and the masses are a lot more blase and boring than a more specific audience ever is.
The smaller place will always have a more eclectic and interesting feel. I need to try Suzon’s as well. I remember it being cozy and having decent coffee but being more quiet and contemplative. Not a good option to take a kid, but those without children might prefer a quiet space. There is a place for everyone it seems even in a small town.