As Poet Laureate of the City of West Hollywood, I’m always looking out for writing nooks to inspire the muse. These are some of my favorites from the past year serving as the official poet of the city!
Nestled on Laurel Avenue between Fountain and Sunset, this pocket park features shady tables and benches on the grounds of a historic house from 1914 that are open to the public. At once tucked away and bustling with people and dogs, this is the perfect spot for a few hours of concentrated reading or writing with a sack lunch — no wifi!
The obvious champion, the LA County Library branch in West Hollywood boasts spectacular views of the Pacific Design Center and infinite research material, alongside good wifi, 2 hour parking, and helpful staff. Just make sure to wear your mask and hide your drinks! With the new park opening outside, this area is about to get a lot cooler.
A little gem above Sprouts on Santa Monica Boulevard, this femme-focused co-working space boasts indoor and outdoor seating, a library, and coffee/booze for all your focus work and networking needs. Memberships run a few hundred a month but they host plenty of open days to get a taste of the offerings.
WeHo’s premiere people-watching park, Plummer Park is a great destination for a few hours of outdoor work when the weather is nice with lots of tables and different areas to awaken the muse. Come be lulled into the creativity by the screaming and laughing of Russian children!
A personal favorite, this hole in the wall branch of the chain features a tucked away succulent garden nook that, coupled with caffeine and wifi, is sure to inspire the most reluctant writer.
Ever feel like a gay bar could be the perfect people-watching place to inspire your story? Trunks opens at 2pm. The happy hour is cheap, clients and friendly and respectful, and you can tuck yourself away in the dark or drink out on the street and watch the local flora and fauna go by. Make sure you bring your electronics fully charged — bars don’t do outlets! But they do have wifi.
If you want a little Australian feel (and corresponding yummy deserts), check out this quant little coffee shop on Havenhurst just off Crescent Heights. It’s just removed enough from the main drag to be a great quiet option for a few hours of creativity.
We’re deep in coffee shop land now, aren’t we? The food here is great as well, and you’re sure to overhear plenty of ridiculous LA industry conversation to spark your screenplay. Don’t forget to stop into BookSoup to get your book fix after.
If you’re wanting a Melrose fix, Verve has a great little patio area set back from the street and just waiting for you to fill it with the sound of typing and scribbling.
Back to the gay bars! Rocco’s has a whole range of food and is open from noon on, with some of the best people watching on Santa Monica Boulevard. Plus, noon to 7pm is happy hour!
What are your favorite spots to write? Where am I missing? Let us know in the comments!
About the writer:
Brian Sonia-Wallace is the 4th Poet Laureate of the City of West Hollywood and a national 2021 Laureate Fellow for the Academy of American Poets. He has been published in Poets.org, Rattle, Rolling Stone, and The Guardian. Brian has spent the last decade writing poems for over 10,000 strangers based on their stories in a string of unlikely residencies ranging from Amtrak to the Mall of America. These adventures and poems appear in Brian’s memoir, The Poetry of Strangers (Harper Collins, 2020) which the New York Times called, “full of optimism and wide-eyed wonder…he charms us.” More at briansoniawallace.com and @rentpoet.