What’s it all about?
The New York City 2600 meeting is a monthly gathering of local hackers, phreaks, nerds, geeks, sympathizers, and others of various labelability as well as anyone who find themselves curious about what’s going on in those crowds.
The 2600 meetings were started by Emmanuel Goldstein and 2600 Magazine as an open forum for hackers and technology enthusiasts to meet, greet, teach, learn, and simply hang out. They happen all over the world, with new ones popping up regularly, and New York City has been home to one since the start. In keeping with the spirit of 2600’s meeting guidelines we meet in a public area, keeping things accessible to everyone.
When and where?
The meeting takes place on the first Friday of every month. Regardless of any holidays or other events it conflicts with the day never changes, though in the case of major holidays or happenings (for instance, we sometimes fall on the Fourth of July or New Year’s) there may be another meeting the following week to balance things out for those who couldn’t make it; you can keep an eye on this site for updates on those cases. Rarely, outside conditions have caused the meeting to be called off for that month; this has only happened to date in the cases of extreme weather conditions or, from 2020 through the first half of 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic.
The meeting is located in the food court in Citigroup Center, 53rd Street and Lexington Avenue, lower level.
Who goes to NYC2600?
Attendees are a varied bunch. Ages range from children bringing their parents to senior citizens. Attire includes any and all styles which allow people to exist in public. Everyone is welcome regardless of level of expertise, job, political beliefs, gender expression, favorite text editor, ethnicity, number of nostrils, or any other personal categorization.
What happens there?
You can simply come in and claim a table. Or – better yet – seek out a table occupied by some hackers, introduce yourself, and join in the conversation.
If you prefer, you can feel free to introduce yourself as your nickname, screen name, or other online handle. Nobody will think it odd, or pressure you for your actual name. We understand the value of a good pseudonym, and the innumerable reasons for choosing one. We personally have some 2600 pals we’ve known for many years whose legal names we still don’t know, and that’s totally fine. It’s not an issue.
The meeting officially starts at 5:00 PM, but sometimes things will take another hour to really start up. By around 6:00, many of the tables in the central area are occupied by meeting-goers. People chat about all kinds of subjects from hacking, to phreaking, to infosec, to politics of all types, to how many fish you can name, to what your favorite cartoon is, or absolutely anything else. You can wander around and join any conversation which catches your ear, you can sometimes chat with 2600 Magazine staff, readers, and writers who float around, you can play with gadgets people sometimes bring, or you can just eat some food-court food. If you see any of us around, please stop by and say hi, as we love meeting new meeting goers! We’ll also be happy to answer any questions you may have to the best of our ability.
The meeting officially lasts until the venue starts kicking people out at around eight or nine-ish, but it tends to wind down before then.
After the meeting, some people go their separate ways. Many regulars like to stick together to get dinner at a local restaurant. Our main collectively favorite place has varied over the years; we’ve usually got at least one place in mind which can handle our crowd and whose service we dig, but sometimes people will decide to try out a new place entirely. Hopping from one place to another in a big unruly group has been known to happen. People will be shouting to gather groups to head out to eat together, so if a group catches your ear, feel free to join.
After dinner, you might want to keep your ears open. There have been parties, gatherings, and side quests known to spontaneously spring up. We have occasionally found ourselves on spur-of-the-moment outings to a movie, cybercafe, tourist trap, aimless wandering through the City, or some other misadventure. Use your judgment when it comes to this stuff, as by this time the “official” event has ended.
Does any of this interest you? Come to a meeting! Bring a friend! Bring an enemy! Bring gadgets! Bring trash! Bring toys! Bring nothing! The only thing you really need to bring is yourself, and a positive frame of mind.