Coffeehouse Culture: The coffeehouse as office

by Sandy Ikeda

My earlier post on “Coffeehouse Culture: New York v. Elsewhere” focused more or less on how groups interact in coffeehouses. But it’s no secret that people don’t always go to a coffeehouse for conversation or even for the coffee. In my favorite neighborhood hangout, for example, the coffee quality ranges from okay to burnt tire rubber. For people like me, the coffeehouses is a kind of “office.”

Coffeehouses are filled with solitary figures who quietly read, write, or, more and more these days, stare into computer screens (although as mentioned in my previous post, some places ban computers, including two of my favorite NY coffeehouses – thank goodness!). The question is: Assuming they really are working and that they have the space to do it at home, why do they choose to work in a public place? Continue reading