MONDAY, JANUARY 11 Hello and welcome to the very special Strangercrombie edition of Last Days, brought to you once again by Office Nomads, the Capitol Hill coworking space that's purchased this column for the past three years. For those who don't know, "coworking" is the practice wherein a bunch of people who'd typically work from home or coffeehouses come together in a fully functional office space. "Coworking is not a desk rental business," explains the Office Nomads website. "It's not about the printers or the conference rooms. Coworking is about people. Coworking spaces bring together independent workers and provide them with a space in which they can work alongside one another in community." Regarding the potentially off-putting c-word: As Last Days wrote last year, "All fears about 'Community!' were patiently dispelled by a roomful of individuals with shit to do, who nevertheless come together momentarily throughout the day to make small talk or big talk or laugh at videos of cats running into sliding glass doors. From what we can tell, the natural ebb and flow of the socializing is just about perfect. (Meaning, not once did we ever have to remind someone we were there to work, not communitize.)"
Reporting today for a third year of duty, Last Days was happy to see plentiful growth, including what looked like double the worker-members of last year and a real-live paid employee behind the front desk, allowing co-honchos Jacob Sayles and Susan Evans to devote themselves less to day-to-day office operations and more to their own work in their custom-built coworking utopia. As for the past year's national recession, co-honcho Jacob tells us Office Nomads didn't suffer a major impact. "We've just been growing steadily, as more and more people hear about what we're doing." Also helpful: smart marketing like last winter's Pink Slip Special, wherein freshly laid-off individuals were offered a free month of Office Nomads membership. (Speaking of which: Office Nomads offers a variety of plans, from Resident Membership [including a dedicated desk and never-ending access to the space for $475 a month] to Daily Drop-Ins [full access to everything the space has to offer for $25 a day]. For full membership options, see www.officenomads.com.)
TUESDAY, JANUARY 12 The week continues with Last Days' second day of work (this year) at Office Nomads, which we should mention is located on the second floor of the old Heath Printing building just north of East Pine Street on Boylston Avenue on Capitol Hill. During sporadic bouts of procrastination, we toured the ever-more-tricked-out space, which spans several large, open rooms and houses an on-site kitchen, shower, and two fully equipped conference rooms. One new addition: art, with a series of portraits by Mychal Richardson chronicling ACLU success stories lighting up a number of walls. As for community: Last Days politely gawked at a number of strangers plugging away at their respective work stations and happily encountered two old friends who'd been drawn into the Office Nomads universe, one a freelance writer whose home workspace had been complicated by the arrival of her newborn son, the other a pro photographer/traveling teacher who plops herself down in the ON space once a week to work on her new book. Also today, a horrific earthquake struck Haiti, but we'll deal with that tomorrow.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 13 The week continues with the horror in Haiti, where yesterday's magnitude 7.0 earthquake brought a level of devastation we'll still be struggling to contain and comprehend by the time you read this. For now, let's deal with the immediate Day After, when every hour seemed to bring a fresh wave of horrifying news/photos/video, and when Last Days sent the following query to the Office Nomads e-mail list: "How are you all are dealing with, or not dealing with, the horror unfolding in Haiti? Watching videos/viewing graphic photos and sobbing? Carefully avoiding all graphic photos/videos to avoid sobbing? Sending money? Praying? Finally getting around to assembling your own disaster preparedness kit? All of the above?" Numerous Nomads acknowledged donations to Mercy Corps and other disaster-relief organizations, while Nomad Alexandra shared an illuminating personal tale: "This summer, I was in a part of Peru that was hit two years ago by an 8.1 magnitude earthquake. The area is still completely devastated, and I couldn't believe how these people had been forgotten by the Peruvian government and the international community. After seeing that, I promised myself to take action when such a tragedy strikes again. I've donated to the Red Cross but wish I could do more. I'm at the edge of my seat just hoping a call to arms will go out and I can volunteer there in some manner. At the very least, this is a kick to finally enroll in some of the Red Cross classes."
THURSDAY, JANUARY 14 Nothing happened today, unless you count the ongoing horror in Haiti, the Office Nomads' January Open House party (chronicled in full in this week's Party Crasher—see page 47), or this report from Office Nomads Hot Tipper Catherine: "When I was out running today, I heard a noise that sounded like someone stomping on a squeaky toy. It turned out to be squirrel love. For some reason, I thought of Last Days right away."
FRIDAY, JANUARY 15 The week continues with a dip into the collective consciousness of Office Nomads, in search of the single greatest lunch item available within a nonridiculous walking distance from the Office Nomads office. Earning the most mentions: Hot Mama's Pizza, with several Nomads praising the pizza joint's veganism-conquering charms. (Said Nomad Brian: "Hot Mama's chewed up my attempted veganism, spit it out, and danced on its grave, throwing red pepper and Parmesan cheese in the air as it did.") In a four-way tie for second: Pike Street sandwichery the Honey Hole (which earned particular praise for its Dirt Burger and cheesy El Guapo sandwich), Mia's Off Broadway (celebrated for its hefty, spicy teriyaki wraps), the Baguette Box (home of a highly beloved tofu and avocado sandwich and truffle fries), and Kyoto Teriyaki, located in Harvard Market (next to the AT&T store), and praised by more than one Nomad as "the best teriyaki in Seattle."
SATURDAY, JANUARY 16 The week continues with Saturday, commemorated by Office Nomads in a variety of ways, including working, hiking, highly comedic dog-sitting, and extended fretting about Haiti. Today's featured Nomad: Ryan, who "saw a freakin' amazing show by Bryan Free, the Thoughts, and M. Bison at the Josephine in Ballard. Bryan Free sang about friendship, the Thoughts sang about winter and death, and M. Bison sang about foxes and quoted Frank Zappa."
SUNDAY, JANUARY 17 The week ends with Sunday, also commemorated by Office Nomads in a variety of ways. Today's featured Nomad: Catherine, who "took a trip into 'Space, the Final Frontier.' No, seriously, I went to a warehouse in Everett that had been converted into the set of the fan-fiction series Star Trek: Phoenix and watched them shoot a scene about the aftermath of a transporter accident. A friend of mine is one of the producers, and plays a Trill. I got a little choked up seeing the reproduction of the starship, the badges, the uniforms... yes, I'm a geek."