Starbuck's is full today. A girl studying. Several people reading books. A couple engaged in intense and animated–and apparently joyful–conversation (I think it’s budding love). As pleasant a server as you could ever imagine is working behind the counter. Not today, but often people are here having job interviews, work meetings, or study groups. Laptops typically open. Pen and paper on most tables.
My computer and work papers are spread in front of me. This is a good place to work. The conversation and street noise provide a work-enhancing kind of white noise that is missing from my quiet home office when my house is empty and is different from the distraction of conversation that I want to be part of (instead of working) when my house isn’t so empty. It's more than a good place to work. This is a good place to think. My quess is that the other people that frequent this corner coffee shop would agree. My high-school son finds this a good place to think also. In addition to coming here alone to work on papers, he also meets his friends here once a week for a study group in which they actually do get things done.
It's helpful to know of easily accessible places that makes it easy for one's mind to click. Like this ad (which I found in a magazine) for Columbia University about Einstein’s preference for thinking on the beach. Whether Einstein really preferred to think on the beach or not, I don't know. I can imagine it's true, however, from personal experience of the effect of sand and water and salty air on my thought production when I've been lucky enough to be in such a place. Usually I'm land-locked, however, and so content myself with neighborhood walks and coffee shop visits for day-to-day out-and-about thinking venues.
What places set your mind clicking?