One of my favorite things in life is walking into a place and recognizing someone. This is one of the very reasons that I like to have “regular” places that I go. I choose to do my work in a coffeeshop, for the most part. Yes, there is some measurable distraction that occurs when I have my job at the coffeeshop, but I can certainly tell you a lot more about people in general from my experiences. I can also tell you about environment and yes, I do have a decibal tolerance; a discovery that limited me greatly in productivity.
Some coffeeshops are more “hip” because of the baristas. Some are more “hip” because of the people, and others just have coffee and product that makes the trip worth it.
One of the coffee shops I visited that was cool for its baristas (I mean, besides the coffeeshop that I met my wife at, of course) was “Lugz” Coffee Lounge, in Vancouver, BC. I don’t know if it is still in business or anything, but the baristas there were always having fun and very patient. And it’s the only place I ever had macha and liked it.
The Starbucks in Burbank on Alameda Ave at the corner of San Fernando always had a great vibe to it. Very “family” feeling there.
There’s nothing like a coffeeshop that also has performances. The Flying M, in Boise, Idaho had such a fantastic “grovy” feeling to it that it was always a treat to shove as many of my college friends into a car and head there for a jazzy time. The MuddyCup, in Albany (now called Tierra Coffe Roasters) sported a great series of open mic’s that had people packed in for entertainment. Their outdoor patio was also wildly popular in the summer evenings.
Now, I park it at one of three shops and I see a friendly smiling face at all three of them. It’s great to be able to share stories in an ongoing way. I find support in humanity and at coffeeshops I can make friends with wonderfully diverse people.