The Dumbo Loft Digital Dumbo

Image representing Andrew Zarick as depicted i...Image via CrunchBase
So last night I was at my second Digital Dumbo. I even got to say hello to Andrew Zarick, (@a2z) the guy who got me started with Digital Dumbo last month, the organizer. Andrew is from Louisville originally. I have spent a few years in Kentucky. But Louisville is like Kentucky's own New York City. I was in a small town. He might not relate.

The evening was as fabulous as I expected it to be, although the next time I think I am going to pull a Miko Mercer (@mikomercer) and not drink any beer. Only a few days back I learned Ann Curry is half Japanese like Miko. (Ann Curry Commencement)

All beer drinking is obligatory drinking for me. I don't enjoy the process. I enjoy the effect even less. I far more enjoy working the crowd, hopping from one puddle to the next and next.

I paid my compliments, first at my blog in the morning, and then in person to Andrew in the evening. I was 15 minutes late, and still one of the first to show. Digital Dumbo is what the NY Tech MeetUp after party should be, I said.

"I am friends with Nate," he said. If Andrew Zarick is a Louisville guy, Nate Westheimer is a Cincinnati guy. Between them they have all the bases covered. Nate organizes the NY Tech MeetUp. Of course I am familiar with Cincy too. And I am friends with Nate. His is a delightful presence on the local tech scene.

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I really like the Dumbo name, and it can't be all technology, although it is the only geographical locale of its kind in the city. The name Dumbo reminds me of Appu, the mascot for the Asian games in Delhi in 1982.


My family and relatives call me Pappu, not Paramendra. Paramendra is the name they came up with when it was time for me to go to school. And a good name too, totally Google friendly. Elephants and mangoes are so India.

One day a high school friend showed up at our house - my grandfather was out on the verandah - and he made the mistake of asking for Paramendra. He was promptly asked to keep walking down the street. My grandfather did not recognize the name off the bat.

I really appreciated the space. The Dumbo Loft is special. I hope they stick to the venue. They might not have anything better in Dumbo. To a few people I said, this space, and this floor, makes me want to practice my kicks, throw around my lower limbs, try out some basic martial arts.

You had to enter your name on a computer when you got there, and the computer would generate a name for you. Mine was DJ something Dog.

The guy serving beer remembered me from last time. Why not? I was the guy who asked for water.

I liked working the room. I would go from one group of two people to another group of three people, until I was tipsy and no longer effective. I left around 9 PM. Most people had formed small groups around people they worked with, people they showed up with. I'd show up and stir the water a bit.

This event had the healthiest male female ratio of any tech event I have ever been to. How did this happen? I think it was pretty much half and half. That sure was not the case at the last Digital Dumbo. And that sure does not happen at the NY Tech MeetUp. I was impressed but also perplexed. I got into a lengthy conversation with this one woman coder. I asked her why she thought most coders were men. She said, beats me, your guess is as good as mine.

You gotta ask, what is Andrew Zarick's secret sauce?



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