What is the best environment for doing work? Do you prefer the staid silence of the library, the beeping-ringing-rushing of an office, the coziness of your own home? Everyone has an atmosphere that promotes the intersection of their own concentration and creativity.
For me it’s a coffee shop. When I focus on a project, I enjoy action around me, but not involving me. There is music, there are people. Being at a coffee shop makes me feel like I’m connected to the world, not locked away all day in a room with my computer. Yet, I can still convert all the music and chatter into background noise while I write or plan or organize.
Obviously I’m not the first person to discover the creative power of the coffee shop. Visit a cafe on any given day, and it is usually full of readers, writers or students with laptops and books scattered over the table tops. Coffee shops and cafes also have a historical presence as homes of great thinkers and literary scholars.
My love of coffee shops began while living in Edinburgh. I began to study at a coffee shop, the Elephant House, on the George IV bridge. The same cafe known for where J.K. Rowling wrote the first books of a certain popular series about british wizards. Sitting at a table in the back room, overlooking the Edinburgh castle and graveyard below, I can certainly see how she was inspired!
Here are some of my favorite coffee shops in Philly:
- Chapterhouse – 9th & Bainbridge
- L’Aube – 17th & Wallace
- Ray’s Cafe – 9th & Cherry
- Cafe Ole – 3rd & Quarry