Like so many of you, we at the Monterey County Weekly have been riding the wild bull called change – and we’ve been at it for nearly 27 years now. We plugged that floppy disk into that first desktop computer and haven’t stopped marveling at how this new world of email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, texting and lightning-speed Internet searches amaze, entertain and overwhelm.

We’re aware all of us are trying to calmly integrate this free access to the entire universe of content as if somehow it is, well, normal (it is). And even though we often appreciate the excitement surrounding technology, the virtual domain often remains a virtual experience, and a lonely one at that.

Part of our company’s mission is to build a more conscious community. For us, that translates to enhancing opportunities for more personal connections and conversations, etc. When the Weeklybrings you together with others who share your interests or values, we all benefit. It may be to discuss the news. It may be to take in some arts event, some music. It may be breaking bread. When enough people gather in support of some event, that fosters others to do more of the same.

It may surprise the naysayers that say print is dead, but the readership for the Weekly (and our website, mobile platform and e-newsletters) is at its highest level ever, despite – and because of – that bull. As print journalists and long-time newspaper junkies we have a deep appreciation for well-crafted stories, and evidently, so do you. We get titillated when our graphic designers enhance a story with creative use of typography, striking graphic layouts and compelling photography, and fortunately, so do you. Clever, well designed ads make the wheels turn around here. We’re fortunate they bring you together with the business community that supports independent media.

Enter The Press Club at Monterey County Weekly’s headquarters.

It’s designed to be a dynamic, public multi-use space inside our Charles Moore-designed building in Seaside, to put the face on the Weekly, to connect you to other readers and our staff, to help create and build community, to establish a third space.

Inside The Press Club you’ll discover a cafe serving cold-press juice made by Perfectly Pressed, along with coffee, beer, wine and some nibbles; exhibit space for journalists, photographers and artists to show their creative work on the gallery’s two-story concrete walls; a meeting and presentation space for speakers, arts and new media; and a stage area and sound sytem for live music. Add in big, beautiful redwood tables, along with WiFi access, that allow for studying, surfing, reading and all manner of gathering, and there’s every reason to make The Press Club your new place.

It’s not an exclusive “club;” in fact, it’s open to any and all. You’re all members of The Press Club.

The Press Club has been a creative notion on our to-do list for some time. Over the past two years, we’ve put this vision before the Seaside Planning Commission and Building Department, moved to the build-out, spent a bucket-load of money, and now, with you, are working out the kinks of a new multipurpose business.

We hope you’ll attend an event, or simply come and take in the expression on the walls while nourishing yourself with delicious treats from Perfectly Pressed.

Next Thursday, The Press Club is hosting our longtime contributing cartoonist, Tom Tomorrow (of This Modern World). You can read Editor Mary Duan’s interview with Tom Tomorrow’s creator in this section and come to hear him share his personal tales from the eyes of an editorial cartoonist, while you view a special retrospective of his work on the walls.

See you at The Press Club Feb. 12.

Founding Editor & CEO of the Weekly, September 1988. Bradley serves as the Free Speech Chair on the board of the national Association of Alternative Newsmedia.

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