Cafes and Krakow

Ever since college I’ve always been one for cafes, having spent many an hour in them, reading books, working away on ideas and what not. In college in Athens, Georgia, I spent a great deal of my time at Joe’s by the 40 Watt until that closed, and after that until I left Athens I spent many hours daily at Blue Sky Coffee (which I was very sad to see was closed the last time I stopped by Athens.). Many of my thoughts on life and music were produced at these two cafes…

In New York and San Francisco both, I have long sought to find a cafe setting which I could really find myself comfortable enough to work away. In New York, the only cafe I really found myself enjoying very much was The Pink Pony, which I seemed to have discovered all too late, only a week before it had switched owners to become a sort of restaurant/cafe. I still enjoy the Pink Pony very much and find myself there usually at least once every time I go to visit New York, but still, it lacked a quality which I have long wanted to find. In San Francisco, Lisa and I will go to a few cafes, the Blue Danube on Clement St and Central Coffee come to mind, but I still find myself not quite comfortable.

Maybe it’s not the cafes though and that I am simply in need of a different setting now for my work…

Exploring Krakow’s cafes has been quite an enjoyable experience, as they truly have some of the finest I’ve been too. Not that the ones which I so enjoy are extremely fancy (though there are certainly those that are), but perhaps it’s that they simply have character, a degree of ambiance to them that’s very inviting.

The Dym Cafe Bar on Tomasza Street is a neat place where one can pick up a coffee and sit for a while uninterrupted. The place has a feeling of being well worn by people, the furniture aged by use, the room a bit smoky. The crowd seems to be very artsy, hipster-ish, but that’s okay. This was the first cafe I really found myself coming to and it reminded me a lot of the coffee shops in Athens.

Lisa and I found Cafe Migrena on Gołębia Street the other day somewhat by accident, looking first for a teahouse which ended up being closed that day. Lucky for us that this place was not a few stores down and that we should have ventured it. The interior had lovely and warm orange walls, some fantastic black and white photography of people at the cafe, and very good music at a nice quiet volume, very comforting. The clerk there was incredibly nice, and the house tea (Herbata Migrena) which I had was an absolutely delicious and smooth fruity tea. A very comfortable little cafe (only four small tables), I found myself wishing very much for such a place in San Francisco.

The last cafe I’d like to mention is Cafe Larousse, also on Tomasza Street. This small cafe (also only four small tables) is very dark inside, the walls are covered with pages from the classic French Larousse Dictionary. The cafe worker there was incredibly nice, the music again very good and also quiet, we found it to be a very nice place to sit and read, having an espresso and slices of very good cheesecake (sernik). We were both amazed at how fluidly the worker there was able to switch between Polish, English, and German, and of course her very warm demeanor.

There are just so many wonderful cafes here. It amazes me that the ones I mentioned above are all within a block’s radius from the main square, all just so fantastic for working. Perhaps I’ll find myself trying to search for a cafe like these in San Francisco, but I have my reservations that I’ll find such a place. If only I had a cafe in San Francisco that I could go and sit at to work away…

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