Digital Dumbo

Forget Dull Indoor Offices, Let’s All Go Work Under Bridges

"Work."
 Forget Dull Indoor Offices, Lets All Go Work Under Bridges

The scene of the gathering, during last year’s Dumbo Arts Festival. (Photo: flickr.com/glans)

We knew Dumbo’s vacancy rates were low, but we hadn’t realized they were this low. The Wall Street Journal reports that yesterday Dumbo techies gathered at an unusual outdoor watering hole: Underneath the Manhattan Bridge.

Perhaps the roar of the traffic overhead provides a kind of natural white noise?

Office-sharing startup Loosecubes organized the event, setting up shop with the three essential ingredients for an outdoor summit of tech folk: picnic tables, Wifi and beer. The Dumbo Improvement District also participated, but it sounds like this little shindig was primarily about selling folks on the beauty of flexible office space. After all, the company does start charging fees this fall:

While large companies like Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. have offices in pricey neighborhoods such as Chelsea and Midtown, younger tech entrepreneurs want a laid-back, almost entertaining atmosphere for work. What’s more, they don’t want to commit to one location.

“We think of our customers a lot as local nomads,” said Campbell McKellar, founder of Loosecubes.

Careful there, Ms. McKellar. Given the nature of this promotion, you might not want to harp too hard on the concept of your customers as transients.

It also sounds like this perhaps wasn’t the most productive afternoon these folks have ever had:

Most of about 50 casually dressed people at the event Thursday stood around drinking beer and eating sandwiches at what sometimes felt like a festive cookout. But a group of about a dozen toiled away at four picnic benches littered with empty iced coffee cups.

That said, developers working while their non-technical coworkers socialize probably isn’t entirely unheard of for a summer Thursday, either.

If the concept appeals, the event will be held every Thursday for the rest of August.

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com