I’m in between meetings, so I decided to hit a coffee shop to kill a little time. It’s a miserable, dreary day in Seattle. Gray and rainy with lots of traffic. Sitting on the West Seattle Bridge this morning, I was questioning my decision to come back here in the middle of spring… but then after a great meeting, then finding rock star parking, I’m here at Victrola drinking a delicious latté, listening to some Indy rock, feeling cozy and happy I’m out of the house.
Victrola is one of my favorite coffee shops. Great coffee, hipster crowd, lots of seating, and free wifi.
West Seattle Bridge Traffic, 2 Union Square – 43rd Floor
I’m back in Seattle for the next few months and I’m excited to have so many great coffee shops to visit. One of my favorite neighborhood places to work is the Uptown Espresso in the West Seattle Junction. It’s usually empty and quiet, so not great for people watching but great for focusing and working. What they do have is really good coffee, and specifically great lattés. “Home of the Velvet Foam” is their tag line, and indeed it’s velvety. Yum!
I’ve been living-full time in Seattle for nearly 17 years now, and every winter there is a point when I seriously consider packing it in and moving back to Florida (to New Smyrna Beach in particular). This year I’ve made the fantasy a reality and have escaped (parts of) the long, miserable Seattle winter for sun and the beach.
New Smyrna Beach (NSB) is a little town of about 22 thousand residents. This is roughly half the size of my West Seattle neighborhood. Everything is within a 10 minute drive (or less) and parking is never a problem. NSB is, however, sadly lacking in internet cafés, but it more than makes up for it with the beautiful beach, starry skies, and 75 degree temperature (I hear it snowed in Seattle yesterday).
Since I can’t really work at the beach and there aren’t a lot of cafés, I mostly sit here at the kitchen table. I can see a little canal and lots of wildlife, like egrets and anoles, and I can WFH (work from hammock) when I have thinking to do.
On the left, an Anole; on the right, some type of Tern (Caspian Tern perhaps?)
I’m finally realizing my dream of wintering (at least partially) in Florida. I just arrived yesterday and since I’m in need of a bed and some other household items, I got up at the crack of dawn to drive my mom to work so that I could borrow her car (car shopping is next on the list). I haven’t quite made it to the mattress store yet, but I did luck out and find a restaurant filled with retirees and German tourists that has decent food and free wifi. Awesome!
I’m at a cozy cabin on Mt. Hood to celebrate my friend Tim’s 40th birthday. I use the term “cabin” loosely, since this is, in fact, a 3 bed/2 bath house with with everything that would be found in one’s own home. Plus, a hot tub, a rec room with ping pong and foosball tables, and sleeping space for 10. I think what makes it a “cabin” is the wood burning stove, the alpine A frame styling, and the excessive use of cedar.
The problem with working at a cabin, is that what I’d rather be doing is sitting by the fire with a glass of wine and a book. I’m going to stop typing this so I can finish up and make that happen!
Today I had a couple of meetings at the foundation and am now waiting in the Atrium for my last one to begin. While it’s a little weird being back here as a vendor instead of a FTE, it’s great that I such a nice place to sit and work, and really nice to see some of my work colleagues and friends. The new campus is quite beautiful, and it makes even the rainiest of days seem less oppressive. Plus they have a full kitchen with great food, unlimited fountain drinks and coffee, and really fast wifi. And since I’m here on official business, I get my parking validated.
As a self-employed person, I’m working from home (WFH) more often than not. I do have a home office/art studio, but since the table in that room is usually covered with an art project of some sort (currently encaustic paints), it’s easier to find a spot at the counter or dining room table. When I sit at the table, my cat Luna likes to lay across my arms making it impossible to work. Therefore, I’ve moved to the counter where Luna is relegated to my lap. Sitting on a stool with a cat on my lap may be bad for my posture, but it is good for my psyche and work productivity. Meow!
Ok, yes… I’m working at a bar. And yes, that isn’t just ginger ale in that glass… but in my defense, it is happy hour, and I’m meeting a friend. Also, the wireless access here is about 1000x better than at the coffee shop down the street (where I spent the previous couple of hours).
Drinks: Happy hour specials (plus, actual ginger ale, not the kind made with bitters and sprite)
Music: G&R (makes me work faster)
Outlets: I spot one I could use should I have the need
Wifi: Full bars
Downside: you can smoke in here… strange after all the years in sterile Seattle bars
I’m starting out my bi-coastal living/working situation at, as far as I can tell, the only coffee shop in New Smyrna Beach. I flew in from Seattle last night and couldn’t get the internet to work at my moms house (suspect a faulty ethernet cable). I have no wheels, so I had to find someplace quickly that I could walk to where I could sit and work, and so here I am at Chuckeyta’s. When I lived here in high school, this used to be a surf shop. It’s a great building. Apparently built in 1910 from a Sears and Roebuck mail order catalog.
Coffee: OK (Seattle has spoiled me)
Food: Salad- delicious
Outlets: Not many, but they let me unplug a lamp to plug in my laptop
Music: Right now, great: Ella Fitgerald. Earlier, not good: Country
Wifi: Only one bar, so not good. But, as Mom says, beggars can’t be choosers
Bonus: I can walk on the beach to get here from Mom’s house.
Thanks once again to my friend Deanna’s generosity, I had the good fortune to fly business class back from Amsterdam. She wasn’t kidding when she said I would be ruined forever for flying in coach. I mean, who wants to pay $5 for a crappy cracker pack when you can get hot nuts, fresh baked cookies, pillows, blankets, and seats that recline into beds. Business class is indeed both a blessing and a curse.
Part of the blessing is the airport lounge, which is where I’m sitting while I await the last leg of my journey. I’m enjoying complimentary wine and snacks, free wifi, nice restrooms, and comfortable seats. Makes working 3/4 the way through a 15 hour travel day much less painful. Now I’m off… Hot towels and champagne here I come!