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October 18, 2005

The Week Ahead


I've been at Spot Coffee a lot lately, trying to get out of my apartment while finishing my Capstone project for school. While I have broadband at home, my desk is small, cramped, and a bit isolating for the 4-5 hours spent sitting there after work doing more work.

And I'm not alone. There's a univeral need to venture out for a little bit and be social, even if it means going to the coffee shop with your notebook, typing away or reading while the headphones keep motivating (I call it cranking) music thumping in my head. Here's the cranking playlist.

Wired's article describes this feeling pretty well. It's a topic one of my best friends and I have discussed before: is going to the coffee shop with my notebook and headphones and sitting there typing away sociable? Needless to say, we disagree.

I don't always end up chatting with someone but more often than not I do as the Wired article suggests. The kind of people at coffee shops are typically of a different nature. Do I go because I want to hang out with people who are like me or is becauset I want to hang out with people who are intellectual, creative, and otherwise cool people?

I'm looking for a place with energy and although Spot Coffee is an oasis, Rochester as a city does not have energy. Although I've posted about Richard Florida before, the excerpts below clarify what I so ineloquently described above. From his speech at CC almost a year ago:

" You have to understand, I’m pretty darned conventional. I have no idea what’s going on. I’m going into it with an open mind, then I start asking people, especially young people graduating colleges and focus groups. We start to ask them, “How do you pick a place to live and work?” Young people, and we’re assuming they want a good economic opportunity, and I start to hear this weird thing. “We want to move to a place that has energy.” “Yes, we want to go to a place that has energy.” ....

...As one of my interview subjects said, “This isn’t about playing. It’s about recharging our batteries, about becoming more focused on work, about release… regenerating ourselves.” We’re getting ready, as she said, to work a second working day. A second 8-hour day. So people wanted to be involved, and in arts and culture, the same thing...

...I put my two boys through Purdue, and they graduated Purdue and they had a ton of offers in the Indianapolis area, and neither one of them stayed. And when I asked them, ‘Boys, why didn’t you stay?’ They said, ‘It’s not enough for us just to have a great technology job. We’re creative. We’re creative. We want to be challenged in arts and music. We want to be challenged by the sports we do. We want to be challenged in the other people we meet.’” He said, “My boys moved to Seattle and San Francisco. They’re challenged when they walk out their door in the morning in all facets of their life.” Challenged...

...Creative people don’t want to have stuff handed to them. We compete on merit. That’s what these focus groups tell us. We compete on merit. We AR meritocratic people. We want to know we’re gonna get by on our skills and our capabilities and how good we AR, not on who mom and dad AR and how many connections we have. That’s what people were looking for, and these were the visual cues that they could go to a town, they could go to a town and see that it was based on merit, because there was all these people part of the mix, and it was open. "

Event from Last Week: Dr. Brian Greene speaking on String Theory
Event for this Week: The Lounge's Snowboard Movie/Rail Jam on Sat. night


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