Oh, how the café experience has changed. Before café-goers turned them into their personal workspaces, they used to do all sorts of activities rather than staring into their laptops or phones: like striking up random conversations with strangers, reading a book or just plain old daydreaming. At Farley’s coffeehouse in Potrero Hill, there were sketchbooks. All were welcome to write or draw whatever they liked in them. During a recent visit my friend Ken pointed out dozens of these books still on the shelf above the boardgames. (Patrons used to play those, too.) Many dated back about twenty years. The drawings inside were personal, funny, crude and artistic. It’s pretty apparent social media has become the destination for all these emotions and creativity. If you’re ever in Farley’s be sure to check them out. They’re filled with all sorts of eclectic treasures.

Outside, the views along 18th Street are just as inspiring.