We didn’t know how it would turn out, but Berkeleyside’s inaugural Open Office Wednesday evening was an unqualified success — thanks to the many readers and fans who came out to say hello, share in great conversation and partake in some delicious pizza.
An estimated 80-100 people dropped by Italian café PIQ in downtown Berkeley between 5:00pm and 7:00pm and joined the lively, informal forum. PIQ served batches of pizza, and the customers on the first floor who had come to spend a quiet evening working on their laptops had to contend with quite a noisy crowd (apologies for that — everyone was very stoic and plowed on regardless of the boisterousness around them).
We met grad students and young professionals, Berkeley veterans and new arrivals, potential contributors and avid walkers — several members of the fabulous Berkeley Path Wanderers came by. We met UC Berkeley’s new social media whiz and the owner of Berkeley’s only free chocolate shop (a story we will no doubt regale you with soon). There were even some under 10-year-olds who we assume were only there for the margherita slices, but we appreciated their presence nonetheless
Tracey Taylor, Frances Dinkelspiel, and Wendy Cohen were there as Berkeleyside hosts, while Lance Knobel hosted a live webchat while on a non-Berkeleyside related assignment in New York City. We were also delighted to have Berkeleyside’s designer, Doug Ng, there, regular contributors Kim Aronson, Andrew Gilbert and Anna Mindess, as well as KimberLeigh Schartz who’s been doing some work for us too.
The photos here give you a flavor of the event. Apologies if we can’t identify everyone in the pictures. Let us know if you’re in the photos and we’ll add your name to the captions.
We very much enjoyed meeting readers face to face and intend to make Open Offices a regular occurrence. Hope to see you at the next one.