Have Laptop, Will Travel

Most writers place “environment” near the top of their essential needs lists. Some require absolute silence in order to work; others a stiff schedule with timers to measure their productivity. Not me. I am a junkie for stimulus, needing the whir of cappuccino makers and lyrical voices of others to lull me into a writing mood. In my quest to find the right balance of comfy chair, openess to long hours of patronage, and availability of laptop plugs, I have explored a great many of San Francisco’s cafes. Here is a list of my favorite laptop-friendly venues:

1. Dolores Park Cafe

Great lattes, excellent sandwiches, and hassle-free staff await you at this Mission cafe. Not only is there ample room to type away for hours, those suffering from writer’s block will be adequately stimulated by the rotating art gallery, the New York Times available for purchase, and views of tan tennis players at the park across the street. (For those with weak computer batteries who aren’t crazy about sitting on bar stools, try hard to get the table next to the ATM: an extention cord is available to plug your baby in.)

2. Samovar Tea Lounge

This yoga lovers paradise is equally suitable for those with a bent for writing. With seemingly unlimited amounts of hot water available to keep your green tea flowing, the words will pour out in this serene cafe located in the Castro. Music is varied and inoffensive (and the waiters are open to suggestions), and there are assortments of small and large snacks to keep your energy up. Best of all, floor sitters will be well accommodated by the large table with floor cushions in the back.

3. Grove Fillmore

With all due respect to the two listed above, you can’t get much better for writing than this Pacific Heights cafe. This funky place has sockets at almost every table, comfy cushions on half the seats, great food, and a constant buzz of enthusiastic gabbers. You may have a wee bit of trouble finding a seat but, once you get one, you are set for the day.
Feel free to jot down your favorites. Am always keen on a new cafe to explore!

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