At long last I have finally come to Indy Hall, a coworking space in Philadelphia. Many people told me I HAVE to check it out, and now I see why. The web site has testimonials of people saying how it feels like home. I agree. I love it here!
I signed up for a tour on their very accessible page. The email said to reply with any questions so I replied and made sure they could assist me. Adam wrote back and said of course they could. He also checked out my blog and said it blew his mind. Good.
I don’t live far, so took a cab. The ride only cost me nine dollars. I stepped out of the cab and heard some people talking about hackers and knew I had found the right building. I pulled out my tobacco pipe and lit up. “Is that legal now in Pennsylvania?” a guy quipped. “This is just tobacco.” I said. “Oh I know.” he laughed. “But it will be legal soon enough.” I added. I think I will fit in just fine here.
I went inside and Adam met me at the desk. He wanted to know what I saw with echolocation. “I see a big space with a lot of desks.” I said. “That’s exactly what it is!” He showed me around the two floors. The actual tour didn’t take long. They have done a lot to bring a good ambience to the place. They have lots of art and plant life, as well as an aquarium with a turtle. They have a full kitchen, a healthy snack machine, and plenty of caffeine. And they have two wi-fi networks.
I didn’t really know what to expect at a coworking space, but I quickly got the idea. People rent desks, and the open area lets people talk and mingle as they choose, or work when they need to. Some people come in a day or two per month, some come every day. You can choose the plan that works best for you. And on Wednesday nights they have their night owl sessions. As a night owl myself I appreciate this, and will go to one very soon. “We also tend to drink more beer then.” “Then I’ll definitely have to go.” See I told you drinking beer made me more friends!
Adam found me a desk and said I could just hang out. I didn’t bring anything specific to do but figured I could read mail or something. I met Mike who sat across from me. I quickly dove into my email and spent a half hour doing that.
A friend of Mike’s named Corey came over and they started talking. I overheard something about the Shindig app of which I wrote about. I had wanted to talk to the developers about improving the app’s accessibility, and now by chance or design I found myself sitting with them. “That’s great! We’re all about that.” they said. Mike also runs the Philly Cocoa Heads group. Cocoa refers to the frameworks used in Mac OS and iOS. I promised I would show up for sure. They also want to know more about RubyMotion which I raved about despite still learning it. I spent the remainder of my time writing this article.
So in my first day I made some new friends, found a new user group, and a new place to work. I know i will come back here regularly. It feels so good to hear people talking about programming, HTML, games, whatever. They have created something very special here, one of Philadelphia’s gems. Anyone with similar interests should come to Indy Hall. The more the merrier! Oh and by the way they have seventy-two quartz of Baskin Robbin’s ice cream.