URBAN LIFE ||
John Ebel gets Rochester. He is founder of the Smokestack Cowork here in the city, and is positive on our future. He believes that we are a richly spirited place, flowing with not only beautiful waterfalls running through the heart of the city, but also an abundance of talent and creativity. Yet there's this undermining annoyance we have heard of here - many of us have called it the bright flight.
John hits the nail on the proverbial head as he describes this phenomenon in this video produced for the Smokestack, thanks in part to producer Joel Witwer.
And if you haven't quite pressed play on the video yet, John's answer to the bright flight? The Smokestack Cowork of course!
The Smokestack is a community of artists, entrepreneurs and other creative types that rent space in the loft to work, study, and collaborate. It's a place where people can share their ideas, energy, and talents - and ultimately not have to leave Rochester in the process. In the shadows of a once highly coveted Rochester jewel, the Smokestack is set amongst grittier warehouses that were at one time or another purposed for supporting a city's - and world's - desire for photographic film.
You're in the right area if you've been to High Falls lately to check out the Pont De Rennes bridge, maybe you've come to the Greentopia Festival this past September, or you are one of the few locals who still are under the employ of Kodak. Make your way up the stairs to the 3rd floor of the building at 429 State Street (owned by local developer Lyjha Wilton) and the Smokestack gives off that cool, loft- like vibe.
Open the door, enter, and this is what you find - no longer just a vibe, it IS a cool, loft space simply set with a TV, a couple of relaxing leather chairs -
a fair share of coffee and supplies -
...and complete with tap for those who might want to relax with some barley and hops at the end of a long workweek.
But don't let the amenities fool you - the Smokestack is about real, tangible work produced by serious creatives who just might be developing - no, not film anymore - but the next best thing here in Rochester.
Be on the lookout for the Smokestack in the headlines in the near future - you won't want to miss what creative, outside-the-box thinking can produce when it comes to events mixed with giving back to the community. As seen here in the Latte Art Throwdown, turns out that collaboration, a little ingenuity, and maybe a bit of coffee can produce great things for the world's benefit.
This success sound familiar? Seems like John and the Smokestack are filling the shadows of that bygone era just fine.