I have to give credit to Starbucks for being the one to invent the notion that someone could sit in some dining (or coffee establishment) for four or more hours and tap away on their laptop. To me it was always a joke that some idiot would grab their little pretentious Macbook (God, I actually wish I had one right now!) and sit for hours at some overpriced coffee house trying to write the great American novel while nursing a $5 latte and never actually doing any work. 2009 changed all that. With so many unemployed “consultants” setting up shop in Starbucks all over the city, and Starbucks itself closing locations left and right, it became impossible to find a seat. Then one day, I stumbled into Panera Bread.
There’s one right off of Woodhaven Blvd near Metropolitan Avenue in Glendale, Queens near my home. I always wondered why anyone would even go there. It’s out of the way and not near any public transportation…and near a Home Depot. What’s the point?
But let me confess something right away: I love it there! I hate this notion of laptops and free wi-fi, but at Panera I can actually write and get work done and eat or drink pretty damn good food. Actually, I really, really love this place. I won’t spend three hours there, but to go for a couple of hours, work on my laptop and change the pace? There’s no better wi-fi place in all of NYC. This is THE BEST!
For starters, there’s more than just good coffee and it’s not as pricey as Starbucks. There are really good Panini sandwiches and even better breakfast choices, like the three cheese soufflé. I love that soufflé! Never as packed as a Starbucks, it’s already generally more spacious, has less traffic and great, free, accessible wifi with lots of outlets for my non-Mac piece of shit laptop. So today I found THE BEST Wi-fi hotspot in all of NYC…and my new office out of the office when I would rather look at the pretty unemployed “consultants” hanging out there than my cat and dog running the house, or worse yet, having to deal with some long train ride into the city to work!
Know of a better wi-fi spot? Shout it out. In the meantime, I be hanging out at Panera.