10 posts tagged martha
10 posts tagged martha
Loosecubes, Friday, February 3, 2012
This is our first company office with co-working spots, versus a pure co-working space. Quite a different dynamic. The co-workers are put in an area to the side, while the company works in the main space. 3 out of the 5 co-working desks are used all of te time, so there’s really only 2 guest spots. On Feb 3, we were the guests.
This is a great space to try for a day but not necessarily to settle into for good. There are 3 folks who work here on an on-going basis, but they pretty much keep to themselves. The split between office and co-workers is clear.
It is however a great space to overhear others talking about the concept of co-working. Very cool on that! We had hoped for more of that though. They really sounded like any other tech startup talking about resumes and wireframes.
There are still co-working spaces popping up all of the time in NYC and we still plan to review all of those fabulous places. However, we plan to expand our blog this year to get into talking about co-working on a higher level. We’ve already laid out some awesome questions and features that we want to cover. But hey, why not ask you what you want to know?
Please reply with questions you care about and we’ll try and address them.
Martha’s take on Greenspaces (NYC location) on November 11
Wow, time flies when you are having fun, doesn’t it? Laurea already wished you a happy holiday and I echo that and wish you a happy future holiday, too. All of em!
Anyway, on a lovely sunny but crisp day, Laurea and I checked out Greenspaces, just a block south of New Work City, aka 3 blocks south of Canal on Broadway. We walked into a lovely but small lobby and took the elevator up to the 5th floor, right above a karate studio and below a design studio. We were greeted by a very bubbly and nice receptionist who gave us the tour and then came back and chatted with us after we settled into the open area in the back.
The space is split into private desks in the front and communal working in the back, near the kitchen and bathroom areas. There are 2 conferences rooms that have glass walls. As you’d hope from a “green” aka “environmental” space, most of the furniture is reclaimed, giving it a cozy feel. The kitchen area has an elaborate recycling system, splitting out cans, paper and composting. There is also a nice little sitting area with coaches near the kitchen, so you could take a break there. Some people really do use that area as a break because we saw a guy sleeping there half he day with jackets all over him. No one said anything or thought oddly of him.
It seems that coffee supplies are a concern there, because I had to ask to have a new pot made and the coffee was taken out of a secret spot. Good coffee, though! And good to know: da coffee be hidden, ask for more!
Everyone there has a green slant to their work, including various internet designers, writers, investors, someone who works for GOOD and NPR, and others. There are various green oriented meetings there for both networking and community knowledge purposes. Certainly a place to check out if your primary industries are green oriented.
The crowd is a bit older than the tech spaces, some folks seem more established, others seem like they’re struggling a bit (we overheard a lot of “I’m working on my resume” conversations). But everyone seemed a laid back. We did get a noise complaint(Laurea and I are talkers and we bring a lot of energy with us), so do speak quietly. We found that noise travels in general in that space, we could overhear meetings in their conference rooms. So, be aware of that!
Onto the random Martha list (you know to go get the facts in Laurea’s take):
All in all, this space feels like a real community. There seems to be something about organizing a space around basic shared values. Not sure this is where we’ll join, though, I love green politics and putting money where my mouth is, but it may not be the perfect fit. I would be happy to go to events here, though!
Martha’s take on Hive at 55 on November 3
I had been part of a couple of meetings here with Live with Design, so I had already had a sense of the space at night and for giving classes (pretty smooth in the back room, a really great venue for group work in the big space, btw). BUT, I had no idea what it was like to work there during the day. So, this was a fun treat to see a new angle on a place I’d been to already.
First off, it’s in the Financial District which makes it a bit more difficult to find, but is still pretty convenient from my part of Brooklyn (I live on the 2/3, among other trains). So, if you’re not an expert on the Financial District, be sure to bring your favorite mapping app (FourSquare, Google Maps, HopStop, etc). Hive at 55 is located on the 13th Floor of a build owned by the city and is part of the Alliance for Downtown NYC. So, the entire building is a fun mishmash of mostly non-financial companies (including the Reputation Institute, which is a name we are intrigued by. If you work there, do email us and tell us about your work.) Unlike most of the co-working spaces we’ve seen, Hive at 55 is only part of a floor. (Co-working spaces seem to take entire floors of big and small buildings on the norm)
Daria, who mans the front, was quite friendly and gave me the tour (which she’s done many times considering that this space is 2 years old). She gave me the password and told me how to pay the $25 drop-in rate on their website (quite easy).
When I walked in, the first 2 things that stood out to me instantly were: This space is unusual because there are private offices right off of the main space and it’s smaller than other spaces. There’s coffee, coffee mugs, 3 conference rooms, a more casual couch area for phone calls, and a table in the kitchen. People works in a variety of industries. I overheard conversations in tech, real estate, development, beauty and design.
We found that the smaller size had 2 big affects on the community: People are a lot friendlier with each other (they can clearly hear each other’s conversations) AND it felt cozier. Being physically close to others was nicer than we originally thought it might be. The one draw back to the smaller space is a bit of a battle for the best spots, not that it isn’t hard to be close to windows, but there does seem to be a bit of strategizing by the more experienced folks to get their favorite spots. Since this is the day that our lovely friend Sandhya joined us, I was a bit nervous about being able to get us all together (luckily we did that just fine, phew!)
Lunch and Happy Hour options all seem to be best on Stone Street. There is a strip of bars and restaurants that are well frequented by the financial community (aka men in blue button down shirts and women in suits). We didn’t find them to be our people, but if you are comfortable with those types and overhearing conversations about derivatives and the like gets you excited, this is a good part of town for you. If you’re starved for creative folks, this probably isn’t your best part of town to be spending time in. Hive at 55 is also fairly close to Battery Park, could be a good outdoor lunch option as well.
OK, now for the silly Martha points:
We liked Hive at 55. Not so sure we’re huge fans of the part of town it’s in, but we liked the space and it felt homey. Certainly worth checking out!
The Grind, Meeting Edition, October 3 & 7
So, Laurea and I have been busy little working bees, as we’re sure you little bees have been as well. Laurea was fortunate enough to book a workshop this week at Grind Space so she got to really take advantage of the fancy conference room action.
I needed a conference room last Monday evening and the only space I could find was Grind Spaces. So, only makes sense we update you on what it’s like to run a meeting at The Grind, yo!
Some background on my meeting:
One of the 8 million projects I work on is Ignite NYC (www.ignitenyc.org), as the presentation guru. That means that I chase the speakers to get their slides, make sure they are in the right formate, load them on the presentation machine, run the machine during the event, and oh yeah, coach and rehearse all the speakers. The rehearsing and coaching is really the most time consuming but also the most rewarding (I love seeing people improve. Shameless plug for my services: www.thepresentationschool.com)
Anyway, to do that I need a monitor for the presentation machine, water, a clicker, reception to have food delivered (presentation deliverers gotta eat), work space for presenters to work away like crazy people on their slides, WiFi for file transfer, and privacy so everyone can give presentations.
The conference rooms here were perfect for this! At the beginning of your meeting, the lovely staff brings you ice water in a pitcher, glasses to drink it out of and they set up your machine with whatever cords you need to get your meeting going. They’re also super accommodating with coffee, tea , directing folks to you, and receiving deliveries of food at reception.
People who got there early had a lovely area to sit and chat in. I felt pride in bringing the oh-so-impressive speakers to such a cool, beautiful and professional space. It was also super easy for everyone to come in, no hassle with security stuff.
Our meeting went smooth outside of the items I left at home (let’s call my bed a bad co-working place, it eats my Flip camera and power cords – no wonder I’m hunting for a new space). Everyone felt comfortable, we had plenty of space to move around the room, had no technical difficulties once we were up and running. AND I had the added bonus of being able to write on the wall so I was able to put some high level tips up there for people to focus on while talking.
Really a great place to have a meeting! BTW, it’s $35/hour for members. First come, first served. I liked it so much, I’m talking to them about using the room regularly for Presentation classes.
*Note image above is me being a ninja and taking a picture of Laurea in her meeting in the conference room. She wasn’t in the know hence the “mer, what are you doing Martha?” look on her face. Ha!
Wix Lounge Sept 23, Martha’s take This space is free. It’s sponsored by Wix websites, which are easy to use portfolio sites for design professionals. It’s in a really awesome location near Union Square on 18th Street, right near a lot of ad agencies. We were greeted by a lovely British lady, who was very informative and helpful. Lots of personality at her desk, quite a homey feel. After giving us the password and the information of where things are (free coffee and tea, bathroom, etc), she asked us to sign up on their site so they could track all that marketing stuff that is good to do. There are couches all over that are nice and tables with chairs that were not nice. Our desk was somewhat wobbly. Cell phone reception was spotty all arund, so I had to move around a bit, not always fun. In the front there was a photo shoot happening all day, which is kinda neat to be around. Looking over people’s shoulders, it seems that most people are designers and developers of some type. So, in line with the Wix brand. On average, there seemed to be a bit of a struggling artist/student vibe to the space. Kinda dorm like, but friendly. People did get up and chat with each other throughout the afternoon. The bathroom is clean and has paper towels, good thing. There is no conference room and it’s only open during the week from 10-8 (typical designer hours). the pros: Cons This is a good place to hit up if you don’t want to make a commitment and really want to get out of your house.
Wix Lounge Sept 23, Martha’s take
This space is free. It’s sponsored by Wix websites, which are easy to use portfolio sites for design professionals. It’s in a really awesome location near Union Square on 18th Street, right near a lot of ad agencies.
We were greeted by a lovely British lady, who was very informative and helpful. Lots of personality at her desk, quite a homey feel. After giving us the password and the information of where things are (free coffee and tea, bathroom, etc), she asked us to sign up on their site so they could track all that marketing stuff that is good to do.
There are couches all over that are nice and tables with chairs that were not nice. Our desk was somewhat wobbly. Cell phone reception was spotty all arund, so I had to move around a bit, not always fun.
In the front there was a photo shoot happening all day, which is kinda neat to be around. Looking over people’s shoulders, it seems that most people are designers and developers of some type. So, in line with the Wix brand.
On average, there seemed to be a bit of a struggling artist/student vibe to the space. Kinda dorm like, but friendly. People did get up and chat with each other throughout the afternoon.
The bathroom is clean and has paper towels, good thing. There is no conference room and it’s only open during the week from 10-8 (typical designer hours).
This is a good place to hit up if you don’t want to make a commitment and really want to get out of your house.
We Create NYC Sept 23, Martha’s take
So, we went up in an old school elevator with an elevator operator. We were greeted by some dude on the phone, who stayed on the phone most of the morning (he’s apparently the founder). There were some folks in a conference room with the door closed the entire time we were there. And no one else. We’re told other people work here. It was apparently an off day. We did however find 7 dead plants, no paper towels in the bathroom, poorly painted, desks, cheap chairs, fast internet, and 2 windows overlooking a bunch of apartments. The windows were huge, though and there are some lovely skylights above.
We were shown free water and the internet password. No other free beverages available. Apparently there is free business coaching.
They also have a venue in London, that apparently has 250 members. They’re looking to expand into Detroit and Hong Kong as well. The plan is for some art links between the various cities.
The whole concept is apparently based on some cognitive research and brain wave theory. All color selections and layouts had that in mind. Everyone has to face each other because they want the members to have conversations. There are plans around having workshops around the concept of freelancing and something else around engineering and cognitive, brain something or other. Talk of showcasing new art on a regular basis, ideally from new artists.
BTW, they’re sad about the plants being dead, too.
The people who work here include a social media app tech start up, someone who freelances with Unicef and has an interest in game mechanics, a lawyer, an accountant, and someone related to Herman Miller some how. So it’s more varied than some of the other spaces.
If you need a place on the cheap, check it out. Fees here: http://www.wecreatenyc.com/services/workspace-membership/
Martha’s Take on The Grind Sept 16
PIC: Laurea Working Liquid at The Grind.
So, the second location in our journey was The Grind. You can only go there by being invited by other “grindists,” in our case Jalina and Marcus from TEDxHarlem.
Our first impression was “wow! this is beautiful and fancy!” The furniture is really nice and eco-oriented. The tables are large, the chairs are really nice and there are outlets in the various tables. It feels like a professional buzzy office that designers work at. More importantly, this feels like the co-working space that you go to when you are ready to take yourself seriously.
Folks that work in the space work in all sorts of industries, not just tech like so many other co-working spaces. And everyone is enthusiastically conducting business all day. It’s totally ok to speak loudly, either at your table, in the phone booth, at one of the tables near the coffee or anywhere in the various private conversation booths. There are also fancy couches to sit in if you want a more causal conversation, or 2 blinged out conference rooms with white board walls, pin walls or digital monitors for presentations. 2 of the walls are all windows. There’s a professional lobby. It’s fancy.
Right now it’s $500 a month or $35 a day. They stay open until midnight, or until you’re done. The receptionist desk is quite chill and the people are super friendly. We really felt like we could walk up to any table and make friends and collaborate with people who are on the same level as we are.
Highlights of the day:
Having hip friends, one of them emailed me 2 days ago telling me to check this space out. I was all “Laurea and I are hip and cool, we’ve been there, done that, love that, gonna blog that!” My cool hip friend, Jesse, did have a contribution I wanna share with you, though. This video: http://www.psfk.com/2011/09/members-only-coworking-space-grind-opens-in-nyc.html
For our very first trip on our co-working journey, Laurea and I hit one of the very first co-working spaces in New York, New Work City. It was super easy for me to get to from North Park Slope via the N train (one whole stop!)
It’s located on the second floor of a Chinatown commercial building. To get into the space, you go down an aged metal hallway and up a flight of stairs, pretty old skool NYC stylee. when you get in, you are greeted by a nice receptionist who takes you on a tour of the space and answers your various questions. You can make copies, print, use a conference room, and drink free coffee.
The seating areas seem to be split between the more populous back area and the the quieter and brighter front areas. People seem to sit in the front to be more shut off or quieter from others, the back seems to be more social. Big chatting meetings seem to happen in the center of the floor.
There are 2 one-holer bathrooms that are clean and have nice soap and paper towels. Plenty of toilet paper so there is no awkward moment of yelling out to the other co-worker bees that you need some TP for your bunghole.
Desks are easy to move around, chairs are basic but better than folding chairs. The space is easy to reconfigure and they do for classes, happy hours and other social outings. They are really cool about social groups. So if you want people to go to the gym with, be at the office at 9 am with or anything else you can think of, you’ll find those peeps here.
There seems to be more of a programmer vibe, meaning it’s a bit more casual, bit more dude.
Yup, I’d go back. Is it our final home? Not sure. Partially because we’ve just started exploring and there’s just too much to see, first!
Odd thing from the day: I bought a bottle of water that I thought was in a black plastic bottle, turns out the actual water is black. Too weird not to share.
Update! I just had a meeting with one of the founders and their education director. The training programs they’re in the process of developing are something to really take note of. There’s a huge community orientation to it. If you take a training there, you’ll get to have office hours with the trainer for re-enforcement of whatever you’ve learned. New courses will be showcased in a Meet up style so you can get a sampling of the importance of that skill and a sense of the instructor. They already host 8 Meet Ups so they’ve got a sense on how to use the space.
Instructors are selected by quality of courses and if they jive with the whole New Work City vibe, which is now more focused on entrepreneurs, not just tech. Super cool!!!!!
…is to get the hell out of our apartments and work with other people.
We’re freelancers who both primarily work from home. Which on the positive side means we get all of our packages, have cleaner than average kitchens and know that all of our stuff is in one location. On the not so bright side, it means that we get sad and lonely sometimes. (And in Martha’s case, a little weird.)
The irony is that we’re professional village makers. We’ve chosen careers where we bring people together to network and transfer ideas (Laurea a professional conference producer, Martha a presentation designer and delivery coach).
So, we’re off exploring the world to see other people’s villages. We wanna work in awesome co-working spaces, meet awesome people, and do after work happy hour, like normal people (extra exciting for Martha). We’re excited about it.