Urban Studies


Retail Ghosts of Brooklyn Center (Big Box)

1. Circuit City
2. Best Buy
3. Kmart
4. Office Max

The future is now.

San Francisco Coffeeshops for Computering

Simply if you need to work on a computer, where you should and should not go. 

Not for Working

Philz Coffee Castro - Too many tourists and dogs. Barely enough outlets, but more so barely enough tables “inside.”  Too small and crowded and gets far too loud. 

Blue Bottle Coffee - There should be a category called coffee kiosks, because all Blue Bottle is, is a counter facing a pedestrianized street.  Of course you can’t really be on a computer in such an environment.  The slab seating is generally too low and not enough trees for shade.

Starbucks Castro - Getting a seat is tough but it’s comfortable.  Only half the outlets are plugged and getting to the bathroom is tricky.

Okay for Working

H Cafe - Totally spartan but provides ample varying spaces for sitting and plugging in.  Larger space with even sound acoustics.  Quiet corner.

Fourbarrel Coffee - Epitome of Seattle Fourth Wave, huge cavernous space that doesn’t seem to get too loud or excited.  Ample wood slab seating with plugs on one side of the shop but the fight for a spot is tough.  Window and outdoor patio lets you wait out the crowd.

Tully’s Coffee - There are only about 4 spots in which computering is fine.  Outlets are everywhere but not all seats are very accommodating. Free wifi at least.  Daytime may be an issue as the sun really blots out half the seating.

Ritual Roasters - Large open space with lots of tables.  Enough wall space to find a niche and plug-in.  Free wifi.  Great coffee at a premium 4th wave price. Somewhat inappropriate music but you can deal.

Great for Working

Philz Coffee Noe Valley - Huge, spacious, comfortable tables.  Outlets mounted atop with fast wifi.  Not too busy but enough to feel a pulse.  No busy traffic to destroy concentration.

Luv A Java - Lots of different seating areas. Good wifi. Low prices.  Most quiet of all places.

The Journey Starts

I think of how Jane Jacobs speaks of cities as economic powerhouses, drawing in the hinterland like a construction claw draws dirt to reshape the physical and metaphysical region.  The Nation might be thought of as islands of glittering lightbulbs, with darkness between them.  Perhaps we as the workers are the ions and lumens which power this light.  But eventually we too fire between the bulbs. So too I launch from one region to another.  

The Freeway Era certainly has given way to a fifth era, perhaps the Technology Jetliner Era - an era that transports our knowledge great distances across the globe but still requires the physical global transportation.  You wake in New York but sleep in Shanghai all the while brokering deals back and forth.  On a smaller scale I too wake in the Heartland and sleep on the West Coast.  The rails and freeways which guide me to the departure airport, take me away from the destination airport.  And so begins only one leg of a journey which looks at the consciousness of Person and City.

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