Coworking in San Francisco: PARISOMA

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What should you expect?

Ping pong tournaments, the mayor of Paris, Game of Thrones cocktails and enough classes to help you become an expert on everything.

The Big Picture

For coworking in San Francisco, you’ve got to head to PARISOMA. It’s a pure distillation of the thing that makes the city great.

Whether or not you’ve been there, you probably have a lot of impressions about San Francisco. The city of technology! The progressive, European-inspired modern left-leaning American dreamland. The definitive centre of alternative social movements. The city of many hills and Victorian homes.

Keith Cuddeback Follow san francisco from treasure island The story is in my blog

PARISOMA is a space on a mission: to help make you a better person

Whichever side of San Francisco actually leaves the greatest impression, any of its key aspects are underlined by a strong concern for the wellbeing of its people.

From the radical social movements of the 1960s that rocked Haight-Ashbury to the soup kitchens of the Tenderloin, from the bombastic and cheery Pride Parades to the humanist optimism of its cutting-edge tech firms – you’ll find a desire for human improvement in every part of this complex and colourful city.

The big picture is this: it’s a distilled vision of self-improvement, cultural cohabitation and just good ol’ fun that will keep you wanting more.

What You’ll Learn from the Space

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With this background, you’ll see that PARISOMA is a space on a mission: to help make you a better person. Through an ongoing selection of amazing classes in everything under the sun, to their regular bi-monthly ping pong tournaments (yes, with a real trophy), this space is not just “a place where you work.” It’s a positively beneficial transformational experience.

With momentum from Silicon Valley, fuelled by a network of people from around the world, directed through a network of likeminded startups, and held together by a tight-knit community, you’ll learn that PARISOMA is a wild ride in the Wild West of northern California. Expect to be catapulted through all of these things in your learning experience at the space.

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This is proof that coworking is much more than working – it’s about bettering oneself and one’s community through skillsharing and collaboration.

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Yes, you will learn how to crowd-fund and maximise your SEO, but you’ll also learn about the future of food in the internet of things. But you’ll also have fun while doing it, having met some inspirational and unexpected people, all while networking through Silicon Valley innovators and some of the Bay Area’s best coworkers.

Where You’ll Find the Space

You’ll find PARISOMA in one of San Francisco’s most compelling neighbourhoods – evident in its name – SoMa (South of Market). Since the 1940s, the neighbourhood was home to light industry and warehouses, most of which remain up to today, and with sailors and transients, it gained the reputation of a “skid row.”

Daniel Hoherd Looking over SOMA

With the later development of Embarcadero, it became home to the city’s LGBT community with ex-industrial clubs and bars. After the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, many of these establishments were closed by the city, and it was largely disused except for commercial purposes until redevelopments in the 1990s and 2000s.

Today, it’s home to many more upscale bars and restaurants, as well as wealthy real estate developments and other cultural venues, such as the established San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

And this is the context in which you’ll find PARISOMA. With easy access to public transport and Market Street in the city centre, and well-located nearby some nice residential developments and the cool good-vibes district of Haight-Ashbury, this space will give you a great cross-section of the city, at the heart of San Francisco’s complex and fast-changing urban landscape.

Where You’ll Be Working

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On the bottom floor, you’ll find the open workspace and hotdesks… on half a dozen high quality ping-pong tables.

The space is what you would expect from an older industrial neighbourhood. It’s a huge two-story open-floorplan redeveloped warehouse, with plenty of room and natural lighting. Wherever you’re working inside, you’ll feel like a movie star – as the sun pouring in from outside and reflections off of car windshields on the street offer film-perfect lighting quality.

On the bottom floor, you’ll find the open workspace and hotdesks… on half a dozen high quality ping-pong tables. The space is super flexible, as they often move things around and clear the floor for events and classes.

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There’s also an open glass-sheltered kitchen in the corner with fresh ground coffee and awesome Mighty Leaf Tea, a high bar table to eat and work at as well as a sofa lounge to chill out when you need it most.

Where You’ll Be Living

San Francisco is notoriously expensive, and thus finding a place to stay is often quite an ordeal. Of course there’s a natural selection of AirBnBs you can take – but they’re often overpriced here, and very often overbooked. And if you’re searching for budget hotels, you might end up with something like the Bel Air Hotel. (Something we might not explicitly recommend, although it is a fantastic cultural experience…)

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Our recommendation is easy: stay at The Red Victorian, a co-living space on the Embassy Network. We held our first-ever USA Copass Camp at this charming and inspiring old Victorian townhouse right on Haight St in May, and we can’t recommend it enough.

You will have a lot of fun while learning a lot from people you’d never expect to meet in things you’d never expect to know.

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Beautiful, clean rooms with an intimate community of artists and musicians, travellers and entrepreneurs and a communal kitchen and huge shared workspace – you never know what you’ll get. One day, you will have a professional jazz pianist perfecting his chops, the next a topless fashion show, the next a local art exhibition, the next a night marathon of Buffy the Vampire Slayer – dubbed over in German…

If you want to round out the self-improvement experience of San Francisco you’ll receive working at PARISOMA, the Red Vic is the perfect counterpoint. With quirky events and dinners and hangouts, you will have a lot of fun while learning a lot from people you’d never expect to meet in things you’d never expect to know – like how to make lemon peel candies, how to experience the local music scene, and how to change the world through social innovation.

The Events You Will Go To

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The first thing you’ll be doing, is attending one of PARISOMA’s renowned bi-monthly ping-pong tournaments. Expect to meet some ping-pong pros, who participate regularly enough in the house competitions that you can be sure you’ll have to up your game first. Working on these tables day-in and day-out is a stern reminder that you’ll need to practice for the next one!

You can learn pretty much anything here.

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Outside of this regular event of physical and mental intensity, you’ll find that the classes that PARISOMA arrange to benefit the lives and livelihoods of their coworkers run the gamut. From the Art & Science of Negotiating to a hands-on introduction to wireframing, from an intro to financial modelling & valuation techniques to salary negotiations for women in tech, and from applying machine learning for startup growth to how to design your habits to optimise your wellbeing – you can learn pretty much anything here.

It’s refreshing to see a space with such a well curated events and classes schedule. In any given week, they might have three or four events – meaning that in a month, you could have anywhere between 12-20 options where you could learn something new! This is proof that coworking is much more than working – it’s about bettering oneself and one’s community through skillsharing and collaboration. We can dig it.

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Fun Fact! They even had the Mayor of Paris visit in 2010! How appropriate, given that the founders of Parisoma are from that lovely city…

What You Will Eat

World Bank Photo Collection Follow JPBR-1509-7-B World Bank  Another of the freely found foodstuffs, coconuts, provides nourishment without cost to the inhabitants of the Amazon region of Brazil, near Manaus. Brazil. Photo: © Julio Pantoja / World Bank

Tip! Okay – before we get to the normal stuff of what you would actually eat, we have to mention something you’ll drink. Head down to Dolores Park on a nice day, especially a weekend. Walk around a bit, and you’ll find a guy who carries around coconuts. Ask for a drink, and he’ll make you his special rum & coconut cocktail (nb, just by pouring rum into a coconut that he cuts in half RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU with a **SWORD**). Just fyi.

THE thing you have to know about San Francisco is the burritos. You could try them at a million places, but there are two in particular worthy of your stomach space. The first is La Taqueria. Rated the best burrito in the USA out of 67,391 food establishments, it’s a no-brainer. The first bite itself is worthy of a first-place prize.

You can also try Papalote on 24th St, for (allegedly) San Fran’s best burritos. Check their menu online, as they have a phone number you can call to avoid the lines (yes, it’s that popular for just a normal down-the-street burrito place!)

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If you’re a fan of waiting in line, then you’re in luck! Because you’ve got to try a legendary San Francisco brunch. We’d recommend Dottie’s True Blue Cafe for the full service classic brunch – with eggs, bacon, sausage, two pancakes, toast and unlimited coffee, it’ll keep you coworking (or sleeping) all day long.

Closer to PARISOMA, you’ve got three delicious brunch options to seek out: Mission Beach Cafe (not really near a beach though!), Straw and Kitchen Story (with amazing eggs benedict and millionaire bacon…)

Your After-Hours

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San Francisco is one of the cities best known for knowing how to having a good time. With amazing bars and some of the most beautiful natural landscape in the world at its doorstep – it would be difficult to find something not possible to do in and around the city.

There are three general districts with amazing bars in the city that we’d personally recommend: Mission, Castro and Haight. Without giving too much away (you should just go around and explore, and ask around to find what’s hot) we’d recommend first you check out Blackbird. Reputedly, here you can find the best cocktails in the city, and you can sit in a cosy speakeasy-like interior while you enjoy them. Very nice vibes here.

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Other cocktail bars you should check out (there are indeed many), are Two Sisters Bar in Haight (a European-inspired bookstore & cocktail emporium born on a train) and Hog & Rocks on Mission St (a self-styled “ham and oyster bar” with classic cocktails and killer and an original oyster menu).

If you’re not the cocktail-type (what’s wrong with you?) then you can find solace in one of these three fine beer-based Bay Area establishments: Shotwells pool bar in Mission / Zeitgeist beer garden / Tornado pub in Haight.

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And, enough with the alcohol! You’re in a beautiful place, so we’d recommend renting a bike and riding across the Golden Gate bridge into the Marin Headlands for fresh air and beautiful scenery. Or, grab a car and go camping + whitewater rafting on the American River – we’d recommend that for sure.

Tip! Blackbird has an amazing list of Game of Thrones-inspired cocktails, which we’ve reproduced right here for your enjoyment because they are just so AWESOME.

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The Practical Stuff

<<< Get all of the practical info for PARISOMA right here! >>>

Happy coworking!
The Copass Crew

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