Archive for the ‘ Places to Write ’ Category

Poet-Ghosts In The Attic: Vesuvio

This is a 5-star review

Vesuvio

255 Columbus Ave
(between Broadway St & Jack Kerouac Alley)
San Francisco, CA 94133

Up here on my second floor perch at Vesuvio, the table is too small and sticky for spreading out papers. The raucous conversation of the party of nine at the table beside me has crescendoed to hollering. And there’s no wifi. In fact, my phone won’t work at all.

But I am still writing. It feels like every word I write might have a breath of genius in it, like a beat poet’s ghost might take me by the hand and help me along. I scribble madly. I drink cheap wine. I smirk at a bus load of tourists snapping pictures in the muraled alley below.

Vesuvio isn’t just a good place to write. It is the place to write in San Francisco. Shake off that fear of artistic cliche, grab a pen and a tattered notebook, and show up for happy hour at 3pm on weekdays. I’ll see you there.

Take yourself out to a cafe to write. It’s good for your writing and good for the economy too. This review has been cross- posted on Yelp, where you can read all The Sexy Grammarian’s cafe reviews as well as reviews clients have written about our services.

Wicked Grounds: Where the Sex Geeks Write

This is a 5-star review

Wicked Grounds
289 8th St at Clementina
SoMa, San Francisco

If you’ve never spent time in the kink community, you might not expect it to be as geeky as it is. You might imagine the whips and chains party spaces to feel more like a beefcake gym than a campus study room. But anybody who’s spent any real time at a sex club or dungeon in this town knows that plenty of the players in our kink community are total brain-iacs: writers, scientists, educators, and health care researchers.

Don’t believe me? You don’t have to creep around in the shadows of a sex club to see this celebrated subculture in action. Go sit in a café, mind your own business, and soak up the friendly, sassy, study hall vibe at Wicked Grounds.

There’s no better place for such a gentle introduction to the world of kink than this  café/gallery/playspace/community center. The vibe is warm–and hot–just a teensy bit cruisey. The wifi works great, and there are plenty of people writing on laptops, so yes, you can also come to Wicked Grounds for my favorite café pastime: writing. Folks are studying here. My table is stable. And my cookie is fresh baked. The music is familiar and pleasant. The customer service is top notch.

Wicked Grounds welcomes anyone with an open mind to come on in and participate at whatever level makes you comfortable. Flirt with the adorable and knowledgeable baristas. Purchase a naughty birthday card. Take in an erotic painting. Get down on the floor and sip your coffee from a doggie bowl, you dirty little pig! You can dabble, or you can go all the way. Nobody’s going to judge you. Nobody cares.

Take yourself out to a cafe to write. It’s good for your writing and good for small businesses in your neighborhood too. This review has been cross posted on Yelp, where you can read all The Sexy Grammarian’s cafe reviews as well as reviews clients have written about our services.

The Family Business: Wild Hair Ranch

This is a 5-star review.

The Wild Hair Ranch

San Luis Obispo, California

We had not set out for a writing retreat weekend. We did not go to The Wild Hair Ranch to bathe. But in this magical and well-appointed country farm house where our extended family gathered to share a roof for a wedding weekend, I found inspiration and a bathtub I’m still pining for.

The owners have pulled off a rental-by-owner miracle, inviting renters into their everyday home rather than a weekend or in-law space, and they do it with a sense of generosity and pride in their dream home. Outdoor features included a trampoline that entertained kids and adults alike, an abundant and welcoming vegetable garden, a lively chicken coop, a hidden tree house, and a wood-stocked fire-pit. We played hard, and when we retreated indoors, we enjoyed a kitchen large and sturdy enough for a family full of cooks, a playroom with a fire pole, musical instruments, and dreamy beds for all twelve of our clan.

Industrial Chic, my dad called the design aesthetic. He’s got a way with words. The modern architecture straddles the folksy comfort of a farmhouse barn and the urban pragmatism of modern architecture. The Wife and I scored the guest room, which adjoins the master bath, and there we found Wild Hair Ranch’s most luxurious amenity, a soaking tub with room for two and a sublime view of the surrounding fields and hills.

There’s something about getting away, out in the country, or being in a professionally decorated environment, or on a farm, or under an architecturally innovative roof–I’m not sure which–that inspires me. So in spite of our harried wedding weekend schedule, in spite of a house full of family, in spite of my preoccupation with my tiny niece and nephews, I found myself up early each morning, parked in some sunny, comfortable nook or other, writing.

So is it a place for a writing retreat? Maybe. Maybe you could plan a raucous one with a dozen of your best writing collaborators, or perhaps a business retreat for you and a handful of your company’s leaders.

Writers and small business owners, we suggest you whisk yourself away on a writing or strategy retreat. This review has been cross posted on VRBO, and on Yelp you can read all The Sexy Grammarian’s cafe reviews as well as reviews clients have written about our services.

The Perfect Retreat

The Wife and I both needed to work on our business strategy for the year, so we headed to the country, to Auburn, California to the most luxurious and well-appointed vacation home we’ve stumbled upon. The owners, Jeanne and Bob, provided everything we desired: a variety of pleasant work spaces, inspiring surroundings, and a relaxing environment–truly paradise for these two city mice.

Design and style-wise, much thought and effort have perfected this gorgeous place. We worked, yes, but we also reclined a lot and luxuriated in sumptuous details: arrival wine, exquisite flower arrangements, a gloriously comfortable bed, and a vast garden in full bloom. We spent work breaks in the pool or the hot tub or playing chaotic games of ping pong. The kitchen appliances and equipment made cooking a joy. The two fireplaces made lousy weather a non-issue.

And the birds! They entertained and serenaded us through several very serious meetings and brainstorming sessions. What an unexpected delight!

Small business owners, we suggest you whisk yourself away on a writing or strategy retreat. This review has been cross posted on VRBO, and on Yelp you can read all The Sexy Grammarian’s cafe reviews as well as reviews clients have written about our services.

Where the Professionals Work: Caffé Bianco

This is a 5-star review

39 Sutter St
San Francisco’s Financial District

Sometimes I like to hang out in the Financial District, land of the diagonal crosswalk, women who pair their corporate drag with sneakers, and men who still smoke cigars. When I’m here, I like to get lunch and a little writing done at Caffé Bianco.

This place feels like an old boys’ club hangout. The owner’s at the counter and has been for thirty years. Next door you can get your shoes shined. Suits huddle at tables, talking finance. I don’t know if they’ve got a wifi connection or many available electrical outlets, but nobody’s going to throw you out for opening your laptop either. People here are working, whether they’re puzzling a crossword on their lunch hours or sealing a mega deal with a venture capitalist.

I can get a pot of tea that’s properly brewed or a lovingly crafted espresso drink, and the lunch selection boasts hot pasta dishes, intriguing salads, and the usual sandwich fare, all at very reasonable prices.

I love the architecture too: the grand column in the middle of the seating area, the dark passage from Sutter to Market, and the great sunny widows, where I like to sit. When I want an even more serious focus in the air around me, I brave the treacherous stairs to the glamorous balcony, where the upper window, railing edge, and mirrored walls create an airy atmosphere that’s great for writing.

Take yourself out to a cafe to write. It’s good for your writing and good for small businesses in your neighborhood too. This review has been cross posted on Yelp, where you can read all The Sexy Grammarian’s cafe reviews as well as reviews clients have written about our services.

Elite Audio Coffee Bar Rocks

This is a 4-star review

893A Folsom St
San Francisco’s SOMA district

The service is top notch, and the concept literally rocks. Owner Michael Woods has a dream, and he’s making it happen in full surround sound right here on The Sexy Grammarian’s own block.
The blue bottle coffee is strong and brewed one cup at a time by super friendly baristas. They have a few pastries and a decent tea selection. The place is intimate. And although the seating’s not designed for a writer to camp out for hours and write, I found myself doing so  because the staff’s so welcoming, the music’s so good, the design’s so beautiful. And I’m only a hop and a skip from home, which is sometimes all I need to get myself writing: a half block walk.
The sign says coffee and wine, but so far it’s just coffee and tea. I look forward to their wine and beer license.

Take yourself out to a cafe to write. It’s good for your writing and good for the economy too. This review has been cross posted on Yelp, where you can read all The Sexy Grammarian’s cafe reviews as well as reviews clients have written about our services.

Mo’z Cafe: Canned Soup?

This is a 2-star review

36 5th St (near Market)
San Francisco, CA 94103

The man at the front counter welcomes me with a “glad to have your business smile” even though he’s busy. The menu surprises me, and although I haven’t tasted the soup yet, I’m already lusting after the guy’s salad next to me. Those are fresh-cooked, not crunchy canned noodles on top of that chicken salad! I review the menu while I wait. It’s abundant with food and drink choices, including beer and wine and a decent tea selection

I open my laptop. Wifi’s intact. People use this place for lunch as well as laptop work, so you can hangout and relax, whatever your café agenda. It smells good in here, and I even find the wobbly table easy to shim.

I’m happy until I have my soup. Disappointing. Canned.

I put a ton of salt and pepper in the soup, which is unusual for me. And I’m still too uninspired to actually eat the whole bowl of minestrone or get any real writing done.

Since it’s in my ‘hood, I’ll probably be back but not for food. Mo’z is one of those cafes that’s trying to please everybody by having an impressive menu, but they’d do better hiring a cook and letting that professional create a more delectable menu. Or maybe it’s just the soup.

Take yourself out to a cafe to write. It’s good for your inner writer and for the economy! This review has been cross posted on Yelp, where you can read all The Sexy Grammarian’s cafe reviews as well as reviews clients have written about our services.