One of my particular pleasures in life is, when I have to go somewhere, go an hour early and explore with no goal in mind. Right now I'm in SF in a slightly random spot on Spear and Folsom. I have "discovered" Hills Brothers Coffee office building, which looks early 20th century built of warm brown brick and with arches and those fancy cornice things also out of brick at the top of the building, and a tall nearly windowless tower. In the entryway there's a statue of a Turkish-looking guy in slippers and turban and robe drinking a big cup of coffee - with a plaque that explains it was the Hills Bros. logo. The courtyard is breezy, sunny, fountainy; across the street loud bangs and drone of construction on an office tower. On the other side the windy sound of traffic on Embarcadero and the highway. I have a clear view of the first tower and arc of the Bay Bridge, grey against the sky, and it's very beautiful next to the brick. There are seagulls. People sitting or walking, hanging out, smoking in hardhats, unloading things, on the phone, clicking across the paving stones in their heels and pantsuits, with backpacks and briefcases, rolled up sheafs of paper which make me think there's a design or architecture firm nearby, mixed with the jeans and polo shirts of tech. I buzzed around to look at everything. I'm near that sculpture of the bow and arrow which I've only seen from my car. Other people's office windows show some rather upscale open-plan hipster cubes in there, like officey ikea-y living rooms.
My everything bagel double toasted with salmon and cream cheese & a latte = Nirvana.
I think this mild pleasure & habit developed over time. I can't remember when I started doing it. I think while I was temping in Oakland in the early 90s. You couldn't always count on buses, so it was good to go to work early. I'd end up in little corners of downtown, or far-distant office parks, always worth exploring for their atmosphere.