Union Member House

Russ is kind of like Clark Kent turned SuperMan. When I met him he was that wrinkled shirt, big glasses wearing electrical engineer. Now he is a cool Marketer who always knows what the latest new thing is and keeps up with the most diverse group of interests.

He just joined a new “club” downtown called the Union Member House, a co-working meet up, place to grab a drink and bite to eat and join a group lecture or event. Since he just joined he asked me if I would like to go and check it out with him tonight and sit in on a lecture on “How to start a podcast.” Since I had hosted some podcasts for Durham Magazine I was interested in learning about the technical side, which I had nothing to do with.

The Union Member House is in and old building across the street from University Pres. Downtown. It is slightly hidden as the entrance is on the back of the building and it has a very unassuming small sign that is oh, so clubby. We walked into the “lobby” area where a Triumph Convertible sat inside along side a grouping of sofas and chairs. A nice young man greeted us and Russ had to sign his official “club” contract and get his finger scanned so he could get in the door by using his finger print. It was very “Get smart.”

Once the official work was done we were invited to literally go behind the velvet curtain into the big club room which featured one long meandering table down the center with many smaller conversational group seating areas on one side and a bar on the other. Immediately I was greeted by Meredith Martindale, whose parents live next door to us. She is working there and had seen Russ’ membership come through. Then Banks Anderson came up to say hello, the son of our across the street neighbors, who is also working there. Obviously this is where the hip young adults in Durham, work, belong and hang out.

Russ and I got a drink and went to sit at the back of the room where the presentation was going to take place. I met the guy sitting next to me who was interested in starting a pod cast about educational issues as he and his wife run a test prep business. The presenter was Danish, but had been living in Durham for three years since his wife is American and they prefer Durham over Denmark. That is high praise since Denmark is rated as having the happiest people.

We learned a few things about Podcasts and looked around a little more. The vibe of the place is very similar to private clubs in London that cater to specific industry groups, like the advertising club. It means that locals can have a place to go where tourist won’t over run them. I wonder if Durham has come to that?

It will be interesting to have a place to interact with the younger up and comers in Durham. I am glad Russ is so hip that he was able to join. I will just have to go as his guest. I am not so hip.

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