I should probably tell you this, first: I don't like to work in public spaces. Probably for the same reason I don't like to wear sandals. It just doesn't seem necessary. Almost ever. I know some people think it's fun, logical even (again, like wearing sandals), but it just makes me feel uncomfortable (again, like wearing sandals).
This applies doubly hard to coffee shops.
But when I was stuck, in need of WiFi to siphon in the middle of the day, in the middle of New York's coffee shop-littered Soho, I was warming to the idea of sandwiching myself between an aspiring reality show script writer and a 300 lb Ukrainian guy who keeps refreshing the same Wikipedia page over and over again to finish a pressing project.
There was one catch. Every single coffee shop in the immediate-to-kind-of-far vicinity was tighter than the khakis on that hypothetical Ukrainian guy I was talking about, above. I could not find a spot to plop my Mac. I could not find a space to sit. The mobile office eluded me. I said "fuck coffeeshops" and almost gave up and decided "work" is nothing but a capitalist construct, until I saw a bar, advertising their "more than proficient, we assure you" WiFi. The light switch flipped.
Bars have computers. Bars have internet. Bars also allow people to sit in one spot for an inordinate amount of time as long as they order -- and continue to order -- beverages.
I walked into the bar. There were more seats in there than a 4:30am Megabus to Camden. They were playing Exile on Main St. The bartender was reading a book.
I ordered a beer (happy hour prices!) and wondered how... and why... coffee shops ever became the de facto "professional" office-away-from-the-office anyway?