Coffee Shop in which to finish my novel
I live in Los Angels where there is not one good coffee shop. There are only cramped spaces that serve bad coffee and people yakking on their cell phones and smoking cigs and behaving extrovertedly at all times. Overlooking traffic.
I used to live in Portland, I used to be a slacker, I used to go to coffee shops (Stumptown Division, Belmont and downtown, Albina Press) and read and stare and daydream and fret but since I've moved away the Stumptowns and AP have become too noisy and too much of a scene (Albina Press is okay before 7 am).
Does anyone know of a place that's like the old days of say downtown Stumptown when it first started: a place to be alone in public, still loud but somehow conducive to spurts of creativity, interesting people (bike messengers), great coffee, sullen, stuck up baristas who make great coffee.
I'm willing to drive anywhere although I'll be staying in NE Portland. I need space for my laptop and space from other people. No cigarette smoke. Trees. Grass.
This one might be the ticket, in any case, it's all gonna be personal, isn't it?
First Cup Coffeehouse, 4103 SE Woodstock. Stumptown is served, the staff seems to know their stuff behind the machine, pull great shots, etc. Very quiet, usually only a few people inside, clean, bright. etc. Cross the street for lunch from Otto's Sausage Kitchen, quick and cheap. A bit away from NE, but, what, 10 minutes by auto to Otto (from NE...i couldn't resist that one).
I really think they can fill the bill, and the cup, good shots, but not horribly sullen as at S'town proper. Now, speaking of proper, Ms Novelista, i think you mean, "where's a good cafe to TAKE my three dogs!" !!!! bet this place will allow that, but not sure. I have seen dogs outside for sure, waiting for their own DOG shot.
One caveat: I don't think any of these places are anything like AP or Stumptown. But they might be places where you could work, and aren't too much of a scene.
Costello's on NE Broadway might work, although I think they get busy at lunch and have signs about not parking at a table during busy hours. They serve Caffe Umbria coffee, and the baristas are not at all sullen.
When I go to Tiny's on NE MLK it's not too busy (but I tend to go there if it's before 7 AM). It's a little funkier than Costello's and serves Stumptown and Voodoo doughnuts. This might be the most like what you describe.
Manhattan Cafe on ME Broadway (between Pour and Thatch) is very quiet--I'm a little worried that she'll go out of business--but I doubt that you would have a problem finding an open table there. They serve Caffe Vita.
Wholesome Blends on NE 47th and Sandy serves Stumptown, and has my eternal gratitude for being open this last Christmas day. It's quite small, and might be a little cosier than what you're looking for.
The World Cup Roasters on NW 18th and Glisan has huge windows overlooking both streets. It's great for people watching, as there's always lots of foot traffic. Always lots of new people thanks to the hostel across the street, and the usual brigade of regulars. The scenery is what you'd expect from this neighborhood: tree-lined streets and Victorian homes.
(For the record, I can't stand Albina Press.)
By the way, some Pacific Northwest-y coffee shops in LA you might like: Sabor Y Cultura. Also, Karma Coffeehouse. I personally like Groundwork's Hollywood location. The problem with all three: no parking.