WHA Creatives: Bettina—Escapeyourdesk
We first stumbled across her cafe filled Instagram page through an intriguing hashtag “#escapeyourdesk” a few months ago. With more than a few hundred cafes down her belt, she continues to awe us with her new and delightful cafe photos.
Bettina is a southern California native who just celebrated her first anniversary as a New Yorker. The city has become her best friend and it fills her life with the greatest adventures.
She is passionate about designing experiences that evoke emotion and create lasting memories in her work and through her leisure. Whether she’s building a marketing campaign or taking a photo of her favorite coffee shop, she wants to leave people feeling curious and inspired.
Current Favorite Cafe?
This is such a tough choice! I’m going to have to go with 2 spaces: one on the east and one on the west. The west coast choice would be the one that started it all – the Intelligentsia on Abbot Kinney. As for the east coast, the Toby’s Estate Coffee in Williamsburg was one of the first coffee shops I worked from in NYC and is still one of my favorite spots.
Why and when did you start @escapeyourdesk??
@escapeyourdesk was born out of necessity, and has evolved into my source of inspiration.
It was 2012 and while working in my pj’s was fun for a while I found myself yearning for a source of motivation. At the time I lived in Orange County and started working from my neighborhood Starbucks on a daily basis. And while this helped me focus, it was my first visit to the intelligentsia in Venice that kick-started the @escapeyourdesk passion project. After this fateful day, I stopped searching for places to work from and started seeking places that inspired me.
When I stepped into the intelligentsia for the first time I was awe struck by its beautiful open design, sky lit lighting and impeccable décor. It felt like so much more than a coffee shop – it was an experience. After my visit I decided to start documenting spaces that encourage me to leave the confines of my every day mundane “desk”, and inspire me to live an experiential life. My hope is that people will see these spaces and find their perfect escape.
How many cafes have you visited since you started?
I’ve visited over hundred different cafes and try to find a new spot every week.
My hope is that people will see these spaces and find their perfect escape.
When did you get into coffee and what do you usually order from a cafe?
I didn’t get into coffee until my late 20s. Visiting specialty shops and wanting to be a part of the experience got me into coffee culture. I’m not a coffee expert by any means, and tend to take the look and feel of a space into account as much as I do the quality of coffee.
As for my drink of choice, whether it’s winter or summer, I almost always order an iced latte.
What makes a good cafe? and what do you look for in a cafe before you think it can be featured on @escapeyourdesk??
Sometimes it’s the decor or the ambiance of a cafe that make me fall in love for the first time. Different elements may catch my eye, but I know it’s love when it makes my heart skip a beat. If I spot a good one, I would visit the venue at least 5 times to snap enough photos for a feature. I’m someone who will sacrifice a comfortable chair and wifi to hang out somewhere that keeps me inspired.
Any cafes that you wanted to visit but haven’t had the chance to??
There are so many cafes I see other igers post that I would love to visit. These are my top 10!
Odin | Yoronto, Canada
Sightglass coffee | SOMA San Francisco, CA
Ritutal Coffee Roasters | Mission, San Francisco, CA
Kit and Ace | Toronto, Canada
Saint Frank Coffee | Russian hill, San Francisco, CA
Monocole Café | London, UK
Trouble Coffee | West Oakland, CA
Upper Left Roasters | Portland, OR
Coava Roasters | Portland, OR
Stumptown at the Ace | Portland, OR
I noticed you mentioned NYC and S0-Cal in your profile, is there big difference in the coffee scene between the two?
One of the biggest differences between the coffee scene in NYC and So-Cal is obviously related to space. we live in close quarters, so it’s only natural that in NYC you’ll find that people have no problem sharing the tiniest of tables and benches. In so-cal, people tend to sprawl out their workspace, and there were multiple times I’d run into someone who had set up shop with their iMac in tow.
How often do you work from cafes?
I work from a café at least 3 times a week.
Are you working on any personal projects you’d like share?
I am working on building a website for @escapeyourdesk. I want to create a permanent home for all of the spaces I visit. There are so many photos that haven’t made it onto instagram, so it will be a collection of both new and old content.