The LAT had a nice little article the other day about Kaldi Coffee & Tea:
The cafe is narrow, with a dozen little tables and a gray concrete floor. Nothing too fancy. Nothing too shiny.
No espresso poured into designer porcelain with a dusting of organic cacao and a layer of orange-infused, textured milk. No movie stars. Or hardly ever.
But Kaldi Coffee & Tea is home to a community of dreamers who share a singular ambition: They want to be part of the movies.
Since the silent film era, people have flocked to L.A., seeking stardom. Hollywood may change, but the calculus remains the same. Chasing the elusive, living on shoestring budgets yet needing places to think and talk, write and edit.
Places like this one. Where nobody bothers you. Nobody asks you to move after half an hour. Where laptops are like coffee cups — plentiful and always in use.
Pete Merryman, a former “South Park” animator who is quietly working on pencil sketches with his wife, animator Amy Winfrey, became a regular because he was looking for two things.
“The first being really good coffee,” he says.
The second? “A really unpretentious vibe.”
That’s Kaldi. A world apart from bustling, showy cafes, it even has an address that fits: funky, down-home Atwater Village, about five miles east of Hollywood.
I have never been able to write in a public venue, too easily distracted. I need to hole up in a cave, close the door, and draw the blinds to conjure up the muses. So I’ve always been fascinated by the many writers with whom I intersect who not only like to write in public, most notably coffeehouses, but actually need to.
So a four-part question for the GITS community:
* Do you write in a public venue? If so, why? If not, why not?
* If you like to write in public, where is your very favorite spot?
* If you frequent a coffeehouse, what is it? What are its particular qualities that make it such a comfortable place in which to write?
* For LA-based writers, I would think seeing all those laptops around you opened up to Final Draft would raise your anxiety level, spotlighting how much competition you have. But if you frequent coffeehouses in LA, you must have learned how to resolve those issues. So what is your reaction to being surrounded by a sea of screenwriters?
For more of the article, go here.
UPDATE: Courtesy of Teddy Pasternak, here is a take on writing in public from “Family Guy”: