I’ve been working downtown, on and off, for a few weeks now. So far, I have mixed feelings about it.
3 reasons I hate working downtown…
- Commute/Driving/Traffic – I’m no stranger to a 30 minute commute. I’ve pretty much had one for the past 15 years, sans my 4 month stint in PHX, where my commute was 4 minutes :) However, the normal 30 minute trip downtown is usually more like 45-60 during rush hour. It doesn’t help that there is roadwork between 35E and 280 on 94. Once I’m downtown, it’s not so bad…unless there’s a Twins game. Then forget it.
- Parking – There’s no way around it; Parking costs money downtown. If I get in before 9am, I can get the early bird rate at Ramp C. Otherwise, I just grab a meter and pump eight quarters into it, set an alarm for two hours, then add eight more. Granted that only gets me four hours of parking, but that’s all I need sometimes, and it’s way cheaper than the ramp at full price. Speaking of the ramp…on Tuesday, I did get there before 9am for early bird pricing. However, when I left, I had to pay $10! I blame this on the Twins too.
- Walking – Let me preface this by saying that I don’t dislike walking. I rather enjoy it. However, I know that when summer actually kicks in, I’m either going to bring my lunch or limit my travels for lunch to Pizza Lucé. I don’t think this will be an issue in the winter. I can always add more layers to stay warm. However, I can only remove so many for summer. I don’t think it would be appropriate to walk around in boxers. Maybe.
3 reasons I love working downtown…
- Food/Things To See/Do – There are TONS of eateries within a block or so of the office. All different types of food too. If you walk a little further, there’s even more. There are also several coffee shops nearby, so getting an afternoon chai is no problem. While out eating, or what-not, the people watching is great. Folks working. Folks visiting. Folks eating. Also, there is plenty of things to do in the area. The Mobile Twin Cities and Google Technology Users Group are both within walking distance. Target Field is right there (if you’re into that sort of thing). Have I mentioned the people watching?
- Status – I know it may sound pretentious, but I think it’s neat to say “I work downtown”. A LOT of people can say that. I’ve never been able to. Someday I want to also be able to say “I live downtown/uptown/whatever”. I’m DONE with living in the ‘burbs.
- The Team – I work with some great guys. I don’t think I’d be able to find the same mix of folks by working for a company in the ‘burbs. There are exceptions, but not many. There’s something to be said about locating your office in the thick of it. There’s easy access to some of our clients. There’s plenty of meeting space (a.k.a. coffee shops). I think there’s some ‘status’ that goes along with it too.
A couple of clarifications…
- I am investigating public transport. The last bus leaves Cottage Grove at 7:37am (ew) and that same last bus leaves downtown at 5:34pm (ew again). I think there are some alternate lines that run that route during off-peak hours. I’ve also thought about picking up the lightrail somewhere.
- My company is pretty lenient with regards to me telecommuting. The only time I really HAVE to come downtown is for a meetings. And, if it’s just me meeting with a client, I can schedule that where ever is appropriate. This week, I met a client in Roseville, then just worked at the ‘bou for the rest of the day. As I write this, I’m sitting at Urban Bean Coffee, sipping on a blended hazelnut latte, about to work on some docs :)
In summary, and in conclusion, while I’m still getting into the rhythm of working there, I think I’m going to enjoy my time downtown. If you work/visit downtown often, let me know. We’ll do lunch.