Adventures Outside the Cubicle

It was a pleasant cafe, warm and clean and friendly, and I hung up my old water-proof on the coat rack to dry and put my worn and weathered felt hat on the rack above the bench and ordered a cafe au lait. The waiter brought it and I took out a notebook from the pocket of the coat and a pencil and started to write.

~ Ernest Hemingway

I have a love-hate relationship with Starbucks.  The Atlantic says telecommuters may work best at coffee shops. But would Hemingway have been as successful if he’d only had access to SB? What do you think?

Sure, they’re everywhere. And yes, I have three Starbucks cards burning a hole in my wallet.  And while my local SB has decent seating and plenty of electrical outlets, it doesn’t make up for last week’s trauma.

You know you’re in trouble when it’s only 10:30 a.m. and you find yourself sandwiched between two feuding teenage girls toying with the power inherent in the C-word.  Their respective boyfriends finally took the discussion outside so they could explore each other’s faces with their fists.

This was followed by 20 minutes of nails-on-chalkboard screeching made by the window dresser who decided it was time to scrape off last month’s marketing. Did I mention this particular Starbucks is in a corner space of the strip mall (with 30 feet of windows on each side)?

I had just given in and was packing up my stuff when the police arrived to interview witnesses.

Suffice it to say, I will not be going back to that particular Starbucks.  At least not if I want to write anything.

So today I’m trying a different coffee hang out: Moonbeans.  It’s small, locally owned/operated and there are no teenagers in sight.

Moonbeans Coffee in San Jose

Moonbeans Coffee in San Jose

I’m sitting in that chair you see in the bottom right corner of the photo.  Yep, that one. There’s also a big comfy couch and a couple of overstuffed arm chairs. But this is the spot with the electrical outlet.

So far, so good.

Yes, it’s noisy. The roaster (which is just 5 ft from me) is a bit loud.  But it smells like heaven in here.  And my latte and bagel were actually brought to my table by the barista. AND the cream cheese was smeared on for me (none of that pre-packaged crap that SB hands you with a plastic knife). I believe even Hemingway could write something here.

What about you? Where are you most productive?



Filed under Creativity, Writing

2 responses to “Adventures Outside the Cubicle

  1. Just say no to Starbucks unless you’re out and about and in need of a bathroom!

    (For what it’s worth, I am easily distracted and do much better at home.)

  2. It might be a zoo but at least they give out their used coffee grounds, and that is a huge plus for me!
    As for being productive, some place without too many loud noises, or other distractions. Flashing lights and screeching tires…

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