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Where to work?

My home office is a lovely place to work, with far more natural sunlight than my old office, but sometimes I like to get out of my apartment for reasons that do not involve imminent starvation. I have been testing some places around town, and my only real necessity is that they offer free wi-fi. Here is the rundown.

The Library

PROS: The downtown Indianapolis Library is beautiful, sunny and doing much better ever since they fixed those silly foundation problems. There is even a café on the first floor where you can buy sodas and yogurt parfaits and more. The tables lining the windows have outlets for my laptop and there are shades that automatically lower or rise depending on how sunny it is.

CONS: The downtown Indianapolis Library is also popular amongst homeless people and vagrants who have nothing else to do but roam the building. It’s also not as quiet as you’d think. Yesterday a woman had a 10-minute long cell phone conversation at the table behind me. Parking is also difficult to find because there is no lot for the library, just street parking where you have to feed the meter.

Panera

PROS: I love their hazelnut coffee and selection of salads.

CONS: Every Panera I have ever gone to has a different layout, and the one nearest my apartment doesn’t have any nice nooks or crannies for freelancers to squat in. The one near my old place had a lovely little alcove tucked away from the crowd that I could spend hours in without being disturbed. Another downside is that Panera is the home of the cinnamon crunch bagel, which I have been known to run a 10K just for the joy of eating one. Hanging around the bread shop all day would not be good for my health.

Starbucks

PROS: I like coffee. Their yogurt parfait is also tasty.

CONS: To access wifi at Starbucks, you have to buy something using your Starbucks card and even then you only get 2 hours. I suppose too many freelancers were taking up space from paying customers, so they are trying to encourage turnover.

The best place to work so far is still my home office. Anyone have suggestions for other places in Indy I should try?

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22 Comments

Abby • August 25, 2009 at 10:01 am

Hey – I personally love The Abbey (for obvious reasons) on Indiana Ave. I was trying to see if they had a website for that location and found this…

http://www.openwifispots.com/neighborhood_free_wifi_wireless_hotspot_Indianapolis_IN_Chatham_Arch_1060.aspx

Also, I don’t know how far you are from Greenfield, but Rock Paper Scissors on 40 (downtown Greenfield, just west of the square) is a kinda great and quiet most of the time.

Good luck!

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Jaime • August 25, 2009 at 10:03 am

Do you have a Barnes & Noble nearby? Their wi-fi is free now. And, you can still get your Starbucks!

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Lesley • August 25, 2009 at 10:07 am

Can’t you park in the underground parking garage at the downtown library? The first 15 minutes are free.

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PastaQueen • August 25, 2009 at 10:09 am

@Lesley – There’s an underground parking garage? Where? I totally missed it!

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DanaDanger • August 25, 2009 at 10:15 am

@Abby – Is the Abbey still open? A friend of mine mentioned seeing a “For Lease” sign in the window the other day.

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Jenny • August 25, 2009 at 10:18 am

Mo’Joe coffee house is nice. It can get crowded but not too bad. All the IUPUI student go there so prepare to feel 150 years old.

http://www.mojoecoffeehouse.com/

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Abby • August 25, 2009 at 10:20 am

@DanaDanger – oh no! I haven’t been there in awhile – now I’m a tad depressed…

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Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit • August 25, 2009 at 11:15 am

Get a wireless modem hookup and work in the park. Fresh air is the best thing to spark creativity.

Parking garages are nice, too. (j/k)

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Liza • August 25, 2009 at 12:25 pm

Yes there is underground parking at the library it is off of Meridian just before St. Claire.

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Laura • August 25, 2009 at 12:39 pm

@Laura – A branch library would have wifi and might be more quiet. I saw this list on a guy I follow on Twitter not too long ago:

http://blog.philthevoid.net/2009/08/wifi-at-indianapolis-restaurants.html

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Rachie • August 25, 2009 at 12:54 pm

I have a lovely home office as well, complete with 22″ monitor and a big fluffy work chair. But 97% of the time I still work on the couch with my dogs curled up at my side. It’s just so comfy. So, I suggest your couch. :)

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Jenni • August 25, 2009 at 1:02 pm

I saw a quick presentation on the joys of “coworking”. And if I didn’t have an office at work and have to work at work, I would totally want to do it. I love the idea. And in no way am I affiliated with it, I truly just think it is a cool idea.

http://coworking.pbworks.com/

Maybe they have an office near you, maybe they don’t.

Good luck in your hunt!

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Tori • August 25, 2009 at 2:01 pm

@PastaQueen – Entrance is on Pennsylvania

Parking is $1 for an hour

1-3 hours: $2

3-6 hours: $3

6-8 hours $5

8-12: $12

12-18: $24

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Sara • August 25, 2009 at 2:51 pm

Fun post. I’m not familiar with Indy, but since I’m always looking for free Wi-fi (I can’t get real high speed internet at my house in rural-ville), here are the places around me that offer it:

Local Technical College – I’ve taken classes there, but you don’t need a student ID or anything to go there and sit in the library or cafeteria – and you don’t need a password or anything to log on to the Wi-fi.

Laudromat – I have a washer and dryer, but still use the laudromat for large blankets. :)

Other restaurants include: Culvers, McDonalds (I think there’s a fee), and Applebee’s – though none of these seem as easy to work in as Panera or Starbucks would be.

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Denise • August 25, 2009 at 3:15 pm

Perhaps any college in addition to the technical college suggestion? I live in NJ but my old college offers wifi in areas on campus that you would not need an ID to access.

What about driving back to the Panera near your old place? Or is it too far?

I too was going to suggest a branch library :)

Happy wifi hunting!

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PastaQueen • August 25, 2009 at 3:30 pm

@Tori – Thanks! Wish I’d known that sooner.

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Amy • August 25, 2009 at 4:49 pm

Check out Lazy Daze in Irvington! http://www.lazydazecoffeehouse.com/

I was going to let you know about the library garage too, but someone beat me to it. :)

I think there’s free WiFi on the circle if you feel like sitting outside.

Check out http://www.wififreespot.com/in.html and scroll to Indy locations. No idea how current this list is.

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AmandaLP • August 25, 2009 at 7:56 pm

Unless it has changed, at Starbucks you just need to make one purchase every 30 days on the Starbucks card to get Wifi. Still its nice to buy something :)

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Jen Hughes • August 26, 2009 at 10:15 am

McAlister’s also has free wifi (and awesome iced tea). It’s crazy at lunch time, but fairly quiet in the late afternoon.

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Kathy • August 26, 2009 at 10:59 am

Hey Pasta Queen – I work at the Central Library and we would love to have you. The underground parking garage is off of Pennsylvania and fairly reasonable unless you’re there for many hours. You can usually scout out a nice table along the windows – try the fifth floor overlooking the garden – not as many vagrants and it tends to be a quieter floor. Good luck – hope to see you there.

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PastaQueen • August 26, 2009 at 11:10 am

@Kathy – Thanks for the tips, Kathy!

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Dyan • August 31, 2009 at 1:35 pm

Do you want the Starbucks Black Card that I won from you back?

I think it provides unlimited WI-FI!

I can send it, no problem!

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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