Sumeet Jain
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24 Oct 2010

Omaha

A Story of Tweets

OMAHA: Coworking today includes french press coffee (since drip is broken), and special guest star: @sumeetjain! NOT TO BE MISSED!Wednesday, October 20 via TweetDeck

It’s Coworking Wednesday™! My uncle posts his weekly tweet that he’s hosting any lone workers that want to work with others for a day. A handful of Omaha entrepreneurs, coders, and artists arrive in the morning - laptops in tow.

After introductions and a brief hunt for power outlets, everyone settles into their chair/couch/bed/desk and gets to work. The day is punctuated by geeky conversations - mostly about 80s music, the day’s Apple event (App Store for Mac?! Apple’s “netbook”?!), and the definition of “grilled cheese sandwich”1. I get some work done and make some new friends. This is a great weekly tradition.

I'm at @omahaplayhouse for A Thousand Clowns! Pretty excited...Thursday, October 21 via TweetDeck

My uncle is a member of the Buzz Team for the Omaha Playhouse. He gets free tickets to new shows, and - in exchange - will tweet to his 1000+ followers that he is attending.

I accompanied him to a showing of A Thousand Clowns. The show wasn’t bad. We ran into a few of my uncle’s friends. On the ride home, we discussed acting philosophy and the future of Omaha’s stage performance culture.

OMAHA FOOLS: Game night tonight, 8:30, our place. BYOBG, BYOB. msg for address. #gameNight #moreFunThanClubbing #clubbingSeals #sealsClub?Friday, October 22 via TweetDeck

About a dozen people show up for Game Night at the Guptas™. I recognize a few of them from Coworking Wednesday™ and the Playhouse. We play board and card games until 3am. It’s a swell time.

Museums

The Joslyn had a few exhibits. One of my favorites was a showcase of lithographic prints by Currier and Ives. From the 1800s, they are a fascinating depiction of American life.

A Spill Out on the Snow

Here’s an interesting fact about these prints: After the prints were produced in black and white, they were given to an assembly-line of women to color by hand - using a chart to ensure the prints looked the same in the end. This wasn’t very creative work - more like painting by numbers. Still, some women found a way to impress their uniqueness onto their prints. One woman, Fanny Palmer, started in a coloring assembly line but ended up gaining fame and eventually became the first woman in the United States to make a living as a full-time artist.

My other favorite there was the exhibit of pencil drawings by Kent Bellows. He achieved more realism and emotion using a paper and pencil than I have seen in most high-resolution photography. Magical work.

Sarah Sleeping

Lettuce Head

If you’re in or near Omaha, I urge you to visit the Joslyn - to support your community and to experience the fine art that’s on display.

I also visited the Durham - a museum built inside the now defunct Omaha Union Station. It is a train station from a time when trains were revered - and in a place where the railway held special importance2.

Lunch Date

I’m telling my uncle about an idea I have to improve education with technology. He listens patiently, and - when I finish - says, “You need to have lunch with Andrew”.

The next day, my uncle and I drive to Daily Grub3 and meet Andrew, who is an education improvement crusader. We eat together and chat about education and technology. I learn some things and make a new friend and potential future crusading ally.

This Omaha Life

Omaha is a great city. The people who live there are passionate about building their community, and there is an awesome level of camaraderie and collaboration. My uncle believes Omaha is “on the cusp” of something. I feel this, too. Every culture - from technology to food to the arts - is growing rapidly.

  1. For the record, a grilled cheese sandwich is any food item that consists of at least cheese surrounded by bread prepared on a grill. The presence of extra ingredients like veggies does not invalidate the food item’s status as a grilled cheese sandwich. So let it be written. So let it be done.

  2. Omaha is home to the Union Pacific Railroad company, who - in 1869 - created North America’s first transcontinental railroad (together with the Central Pacific Railroad). This road connected the East and West coasts of the United States - an achievement that would transform the country on every imaginable level.

  3. Delicious!