Something Funny Happened at Seattle’s Best…

I needed a quiet place to finish a file (due in a few hours) so I dropped by at Seattle’s Best at MoA. It had a serene ambiance (far from the madding crowd), looked fairly quiet, and seemed like a nice spot to spend a few hours in.

After paying for my order, I settled at a table facing the walkway. Before long, I was deeply immersed in my work, and barely even looked up from my laptop screen. So, you can imagine my utter astonishment when this loud, jarring sound broke through.

It came from the direction of the main entrance, which faced the bay. Heads swiveled from all corners as startled patrons tried to focus on what caused the sound. After what seemed like a timeless pause, we saw — wait for it — that this sleepy-looking guy (in his 30s, I think) had walked (or rather, CRASHED) into Seattle’s Best glass door!

Apparently, the man did not realize that there was a glass wall separating Seattle’s Best from the outdoors and just walked in (or at least tried to) without breaking his stride. His momentum propelled him forward and the force of it made him bounce off the door and rattle the glass wall. For a moment there, he looked supremely alert and a look of utter astonishment settled on his face like a mask.

It was a scene right out of a comedy film or a cartoon feature. I could feel the laughter rippling through my throat, but I managed to gulp it back. Yes, it was pretty hilarious, but I also felt sympathy for the guy. If that had been me, I’d be probably hoping for the floor to swallow me up, and fervently wishing no one would remember my face while beating a hasty retreat from the scene.

Surprisingly, no one laughed. For a moment it seemed like we were all waiting for the first one to actually break the silence, but no one did! And despite the obvious pain he felt — as well as the slight damage to his dignity — the guy went on with his business. After claiming his coffee, he went out quietly.

Umm… it’s kind of crass for me to say this, but somebody did giggle uncontrollably the minute he was out of earshot. And before you start pointing fingers, nope it wasn’t me. By that time I had lost all my desire to laugh. (But I did laugh loudly when I got home and replayed the scene in my mind.)

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Pictures from Starbucks Japan

I am a big fan of Starbucks Japan — specifically, its Twitter page (@Starbucks_J). Sometimes I go there just to look at the pictures and sigh over the strategically arranged food and wares. For some reason, this seems to make me feel better equipped to face the rest of my chaotic day.

Now, I know that Starbucks is generally good at selling/promoting its brand, as there is a plethora of Starbucks-related material (images, promos, links, etc.) littering the Web these days, enthusiastically proliferated by customers, bloggers, and coffee fans, but its Japanese arm is really taking things to a higher level. Those guys really know how to highlight their message with a deft mixture of colors, lighting, and props. They certainly know what it takes to achieve more with less fuss and clutter.

Below are a few examples:

So, when I see a nice picture that I particularly like, I can’t help but save a copy of it in my local directory — with some vague plans of writing a post about it later.

Well, I guess this is it. 🙂

 

In Search of a Good Coffice

A coffice (coffeehouse + office) is a place where one can get coffee, but also where one can set up a laptop computer and do office work.

coffice

Despite my fervent hopes that somebody (business, interest group, enterprising individuals) would finally open a fully functional honest-to-goodness coffice (see how an actual coffice operates in London; Ziferblat London, pictured above) here in Metro Manila, it looks like it won’t be happening anytime soon.
So, to satiate my craving for a nice coffice, I am instead going to point out a few coffee shops that have become my favorite “working” haunts (as a freelancer). As I am fairly mobile, I can usually be found working away in some cafe in various parts of the metro. I find that this constant scenery change works best for my mercurial working habits, and coffeehouses have literally become my office of sorts.

Usually it takes me 30 minutes to 1 hour to decide if I “liked” the place well enough to consider it a favorite, which means that there is a very high probability that I would be coming back to that establishment sooner rather than later. Other times, I can tell right away that I’m going to like the place just a few seconds after I enter the store entrance. Typically it requires a quirky combination of factors — even seemingly inconsequential ones —  but when they do hit the spot, it just makes your work a little easier.

Anyway, here they are in no particular order.

1. Caffe Bene (SM BF, Paranaque City)
Pros: Fast internet, spacious, includes a walled smokers’ area, relatively near
Cons: Can get fairly crowded on weekends, closing time is rather early (9:00 pm)

Caffe Bene (SMBF)

2. Starbucks SM Aura (Bonifacio Global City, Makati)
Pros: Spacious with high ceilings, numerous convenience outlets, not too crowded
Cons: Too far, closing time is rather early, no wi-fi

3. Bo’s Coffee (Glorietta 4, Makati)
Pros: Good food selection; increased number of chairs, tables, and convenience outlets; fairly accessible; open for 24 hours; free wi-fi (for up to 2 hours)
Cons: Can get too crowded pretty quickly

4. Starbucks Bluebay Walk (EDSA cor. Macapagal Blvd., Pasay City)
Pros: Numerous convenience outlets, spacious, great lighting scheme, piped-in music, free parking, not too crowded (for now), long operating hours; a perfect place for reviewers
Cons: A bit far, no wi-fi

There you go. I am fairly certain that I will be expanding this list soon, but for the moment these are the places that I consider premium — which means that working in these particular coffeehouses can be a breeze. Also, I will be blogging about each of these establishments in detail later (when I have more time at my disposal).