Open House: BOB Coworking Space Saves Digital Nomad from Homicidal Rage

come to the dark side we have cookies

We also have an Open House this coming Friday, December 18th, from noon onwards
163 East Pender Street, Vangroover, BC
and yes, we DO have cookies. Or at least apple tarts.

Speaking of which:

Donations to the Food Bank encouraged.
There are some great suggestions for practical, welcome donations in my post at Miss604.
If I do say so myself.

Here’s Muskie’s much-more-dignified article on the new coworking space at BOB. If you prefer your news with a side of funky, read on here.

After months of digital nomadism (entirely overrated, thanks for the brainwashing, Fast Company!) bravely trekking my gear from web cafe to web cafe, always seeking that elusive chair with a view, a plug, free wifi, decent coffee, and at least one sturdy wall between me and any obviously dangerous lunatics, I’ve finally found a home.

And no, I won’t get Dooced this time. We already worked that out. “We don’t really care if you say anything nasty about us” is sort of a precondition of working with me, as some of you may have noticed.

I’ve found my new home just down the street from my house; in fact, it’s between my house and the Irish Heather, which pretty much guarantees I’ll drop in from time to time and get some work done. It’s on the ground floor of the offices of BOB, Building Opportunities for Business, which basically exists to attract and support business on the Downtown Eastside without displacing, well, the people who live here.

Like me.

So, BOB is my homeboy, and he could be your homeboy too, since there are 20 19 18 spaces left for people looking for a great place to work on their own stuff. In the tradition of the late, lamented Workspace, the BOB co-working space (which really needs a snappier name and I’ll get on that as soon as I’ve settled in) offers a variety of free-range desk space, a kitchen, a lounge area up front with a window seat (DIBS! DIBS!), some funky local art on the walls, secure bike storage, and all that a young genius might require in the way of whiteboards, projectors, inspirational company, etc. It’s fully accessible for the handicapped, and the ceiling is lofty enough that you could, without inconveniencing anyone on the ground level, comfortably house a family of tented Bedouin nomads on the ceiling, camels and all, provided they didn’t mind being upside-down.

I guess they’d have to be Australian Bedouins, then. But anyway…

The amenities, etcetera:

Access to the coworking space at all hours from 9am up until I decide it’s time for me to go home (and we all know that normally happens around sunrise) with a desk, wifi, and use of common areas like kitchen, bike parking and lounge: $200 per month. The layout was designed by grad students from Stanford, if memory serves, for maximum Satori-nosity and efficient use of space, which means basically if somebody sneezes no-one ELSE has to shower knowwhatimean?

It’s also available for meetings and special events, which is I believe $300 a day standard rate, or $200 for nonprofits, or if you’ve got a compelling reason for BOB to want your event in their space, pitch them. Or me. Because they are me and I am he and we are all together.

John Lennon i am the lolrus

We’re looking at installing lockers, which would be available for a small extra fee. There are no assigned desks; you move around to where you feel comfortable and there’s room on any particular day. And a coffeemaker is on the way, although buying the coffee is up to the coworkers: shall we collectivise? or shall I just take that over and call up Guido the Collections officer to make sure everyone puts some coins in the tin?

An espresso machine is being discussed, but no guarantees yet.

BUT…here’s the best part. Which is sort of the worst part, but bear with me.

The entire space is going to be taken over for an art project during the Cultural Olympiad. This means that working there will not be possible. So, why should you sign up now if you’ll have to go back to that crappy coffee shop for the entire month of February?

Because if you do sign up, you won’t be charged until March. And if there’s room for you upstairs during February, you can work at a spare desk in the BOB offices, just like a real BOBie. And if you do sign up for a 6-month stint, raincoaster here gets a small donation to the “anger management pharmacopia” and becomes, ever so slightly, more Sandra Bullock and less Joan Crawford.

So come by on Friday and say hi and eat all the free food and drop off your own donation to the Food Bank; cash or noms accepted.

funny pictures of cats with captions

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Unicorns, bitches!

I’m doing a little housekeeping in my meatspace space, otherwise known as offline, otherwise known as Operation Global Media Domination HQ, otherwise known as my office.

Now, originally my office was in my apartment, which looks like this, only without the vintage Burgess Meredith:

Burgess Meredith on the Twilight Zone

Then, one glorious day, I got a slot at Workspace, which looked like this:

Duane Storey Workspace Interior during Blogathon

but now Workspace is no more. Indeed, there I was, sitting at my desk, typing away (or more accurately I was surfing Gawker and monitoring drunken spats among my Followees on Twitter) at one in the morning, when a cheery Asian fellow walked in and started unplugging the routers and pulling the art down off the walls.

Normally, this would not bother me, but I quite liked that art and besides, I was only there because I was acting as a fierce, even vicious replacement for a guard dog, keeping Workspace safe for all the bloggers of Gastown, and I thought I should at least try to earn my keep.

I raised an eyebrow.

Apparently, I do so in a very menacing fashion, for he immediately began apologizing.

Aha, he’s Canadian! I thought. I’m very used to intimidating Canadian men (ask any of them): the only ones I can’t seem to intimidate are Albanians, but I think that’s just because they are too thick to understand the danger.

I got some mumbled excuse about “doing a changeover.” Well, sure, I’ve only been here a few weeks, I thought. Maybe they DO bring in fresh art in the middle of the night on Tuesdays. How would I know?

And so, because I am Canadian and, thus, good at rationalizing when faced with a polite young man in techie-approved cargo shorts, I let it go.

Well, almost.

In fact, I hit up the only cop I know on Twitter, which has the benefit that you can use it while the perp is still in the room and he probably thinks you’re just reposting a lolcat or some damn thing. Alas, the cop was away on vacation (and why doesn’t 911 have text input? Eh? Wouldn’t that be darn handy? Sure as tootin’ it would be!) and so my tweets went into the void.

More than usual, I mean.

So I go out to the kitchen to make myself a coffee, to find yet another guy packing up the espresso machine.

This was getting serious. You Do! Not! Fuck! With my right to espresso.

So Yet Another Guy was, in fact, someone I’d already met, again in the middle of the night at Workspace, and when I did he seemed quite startled to find me there. He told me he was the owner, and then farted around here and there, not doing any work, but also not settling down and doing any thing at all, just sort of haunting the place and keeping an eye on me. I outlasted him that time, and left with the dawn.

So I have, at this point: one stranger dude and one “I’m the owner. No, really” dude, and I’m getting a “this isn’t the whole truth” vibe off both of them. So what do I do?

I give them the espresso test.

“Gee, I was kinda hoping to make myself a coffee,” I say, wistful-like, for if there’s one thing any Vancouverite can sympathize with, it’s caffeine withdrawl.

Quick as a flash and quite palpably sincerely, Yet Another Guy offered to fire up the big, professional espresso machine that only the daytime pros get to use and make me a latte.

He passed the espresso test.

I mean, in all likelihood 40% of burglars in Vancouver have at least some barista training, even if they flamed out in the first week. Let’s face it: in all likelihood 40% of Vancouverites overall have barista experience, and the only reason it isn’t more is all the old people and babies. But they very rarely show visible familiarity with the machines they are trying to disconnect and cart off.

So, espresso test passed, I leave the guys to get on with their de-Workspacecombobulation.

The next day, Hummingbird604 tells me Workspace is kaput. Well, technically, kaputting on Friday. Whereupon I hit up Twitter and Facebook and start screaming all over the internets, looking for another sweet deal of the same nature or, really, just a swivel chair in some drafty hallway.

Will Blog For Shelter.

Which brings me to my new home: The Network Hub. Which looks like this:

The Network Hub

which is a great deal more “Silicon Alley loft” and a great deal less “stunning view over the water to the mountains and inside there are always models wandering around” but still unquestionably more than I deserve. Hoping to move Eve the laptop and sundry papers over in the next 24 hours, and quite probably a wall hanging or two. Ah, I remember my first day at an office job for Starbucks; they were taking the new corporate accountant and partner relations manager around and introducing them, and I was pinning up a batik so I didn’t have to stare at the grey tweed of a cubicle all damn day, and I didn’t even get off the desk to shake hands. I think they were impressed.[oh well, it was good while it lasted (3 days?)]


More later…that’s a threat!

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