According to Wikipedia, the definition of a mind meld is,

A technique for sharing thoughts, experiences, memories, and knowledge with another individual. […] The mind meld can be considered a terrible intimacy because of the strength of emotions and the strict psycho-suppression disciplines in which they are trained, and thus not one to be taken lightly.

Nothing could more perfectly describe last week’s reunion of the Atlas team in New York City. 

Despite generally crappy January weather, our travels brought us from all corners of the country, whence we gathered at Observatory and Morbid Anatomy’s Library and Cabinet to hash out our vision for the Atlas in 2011. Though the Atlas has been off-and-running since June of 2009, this marks the first occasion in which we’ve all met in-person! At first, it was a little daunting. Allison M. described it as feeling like the first day of high school all over again. I thought the meeting’s precursors resembled an internet addiction support group:


Atlas Obscura Gathering - Internet Support Group Meeting - Brooklyn 2011


Ahead of time we’d joked about playing get-to-know-you games and performing team-building exercises, like having a dance-off to Boney M’s “Rasputin”… but it was roundly agreed upon that 10 am is far too early for such nonsense. Instead, we ate bagels and imbibed Dunkin’ Donuts coffee from big cardboard jugs. The populated scene looked like this:


Atlas Obscura New York City Meeting - 2011 Observatory Mind Meld

 Roll call: Josh, Dylan, Annetta, Seth, Nick, Dan (no Atlas profile yet), Allison M., LilyAllison E, and me.


Throughout the day, we had many a breakthrough. We’re going to make things (yes things!) that will be available for purchase and prize-winning, enabling you, faithful Obscuraphiles, to rep hardcore in the real world! It has also been decided that April 9th’s second annual Obscura Day will kick the crap out of last year’s festivities. Also, thanks to newest team member Developer-Dan, we’ll be increasing the site’s functionality (like making that damn search bar actually work, among other things!) and overall sexiness.


Application of our collective brainpower for purely practical pursuits had created a dire situation: we were ravenous and parched. Pizza and beverages were had. They were delicious. Then yours truly took a nap, after which we all went out to the local watering holes to come up with bigger and better ideas. Some took notes on those falling into the “better” category:


Meeting Notes - Atlas Obscura Get Together 2011 - Monkey on a Goat


The following days saw various team members taking in the city’s sights, including Annetta and me gallivanting throughout the Natural History Museum, chilly adventures in Central Park guided by Allison, a whirlwind visit to The Met’s Egyptian Collection, and a group tour of very exclusive Explorers Club! Stay tuned to the blog for more detailed accounts of these excursions, forthcoming this week.


Is something missing? Perhaps a group photo from our shennanigans? Yeah, we didn’t think of that until it was too late.  Next time!