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Maria Hampton

Meeting… Chance meeting.

Saturday morning I woke up with a purpose.

Since Friday I failed at my plan to go out into the world and work remotely, I decided to get up early and GET GONE.

Carolina emailed me and asked if I wanted to meet at 1pm in Oakland.  PERFECT.  So I get moving.  I used a public transit app (that shall remain nameless) that did okay but really left me guessing quite a bit.  First, I walked to the wrong place, missed the first bus, and then it left me hanging after getting to Embarcadero.  The description had touted that it would navigate me through MUNI as well as BART.  Well, it lied.  I was still able to get where I was going though.

Because of all the confusion and delays, it took me so long that it was closer to 2pm by the time I got to Oakland.  Carolina would have to leave at 3 but I was determined.  When I arrived at the Merritt Lake BART station I called Carolina, she gave me directions to get to Merritt Lake Park- which turns out is the same place we were at the night before at the party.

She wanted to meet me at least to make sure I went to the right place (and avoided the wrong ones lol).  We met at the lake and walked to a cute little coffee shop (Merritt Station Cafe) right across the street.  I had the dirty iced chai tea and it was beyond delicious.


We ended up talking until a quarter to five.  Her insight as a former investor and founder herself was gold.  She also suggested that I use the HOPSTOP app to navigate back. We wrapped up and I began my trek back to the BART station.  I strolled leisurely around Merritt Lake, enjoying the beautiful weather, when I heard someone say, “Maria!”

Wait. What?  I’m in OAKLAND.  Okay… maybe they are talking to someone else.  “MARIA!” I looked up and saw Morgan- the lady we rode up on the elevator with the night before.  She was slacklining and invited me to give it a shot.  It was addictive, though I had to hold her hand the entire time I was up.  She offered to give me a walking / driving tour of Oakland.  OF COURSE, I accepted.  So for about an hour and a half, she drove me around- top dropped on the car- showing me all the non-touristy things she could think of.  I was in heaven!



She asked me detailed questions about what I do and my views on certain issues that others in similar fields faced.  The conversation was great.  She took me to the BART station and offered her phone number to keep in touch.  Cool!

As I waited on the train back to SF I noticed a poster for a Filipino festival.  It was the one I saw at Yerba Buena Gardens one of the times I got confused by that horrible first app!  It was for Saturday and Sunday only, but I had to get on back before dark so I made a mental note to get back there before it ended.  Cool.

My ride back to the apartment was easy- since I went back pretty much the same way I came.  All was well and I was most definitely glad that I made the trip.

My chance meeting became the second dot that will become a line! :)



Day 1 & 2- Hit the Ground Running

Monday was a blur.

I arrived at the NEWME offices directly from the airport- luggage in tow.  Justin Dawkins, who Matthew and I met in Atlanta, greeted me at the door and helped me with my monster suitcase.  What a relief.  I went upstairs where the rest of my fellow founders were sitting around the large table in the common working space.  Some I knew, some I did not.  All were friendly and seemed to be a bit apprehensive like me.

There’s Brit from Memphis, Charleson from Memphis as well, Jarrett from Atlanta, Brian from Detroit, and Kwame from Arlington.

We spoke a little and got some introductory instructions then we headed to the NEWME house via Light Rail.  The house is walking distance from the office but since Kwame and I both had luggage we decided to take the easy way.

By the way, when I left Memphis it was about 110 degrees out and as we waited on the train it was about 57 degrees.  I WAS FREEZING. lol

So we made it to the house where  I made a quick wardrobe change and we headed out to Public House (in the front of AT&T stadium) for dinner.  I was put at ease.  While I am still missing home I find that I’m in the company of some really cool people.  We had drinks and some appetizers.  I was full.

ATT Park


Somehow we started a joke about something called the “Trap App” which will show you where to find your local trap house and/or street pharmaceutical clients.  I’m not sure where it came from but it’s a hilarious running joke now.

When we got back, I unpacked some of my things and found this card from Matthew that made me smile and cry all at once.  At the end, it said that he’d put something else in my bag as well.  I looked and found his binky! The Rocawear jacket that he loves so much. :) I beamed uncontrollably.  That man knows me so well.  BUT what he didn’t know is that I took his t-shirt from Saturday, his pajama pants, some of his socks, and my favorite pair of his boxers. lol (Again, on the same wavelength!)

Then, it dawned on me that I would have to actually climb the bunk bed to go to sleep… A concept I didn’t grasp or even consider at first, even though I clearly knew that I would be sleeping in the top bunk.  It proved to be a much trickier task than I could have ever imagined and to top it all off, every move I made would make the frame squeak. GEEZ.

I attempted to do some work but jet lag smacked me in the head and I fell right to sleep.

Beans WorkingThis morning we got to the office and got straight to work.  Lunch was at a Peruvian restaurant named Limón Rotisserie and it was FAWESOME.  Cheap too!

Limón Food

I cannot wait for Matthew to get here.  He is going to love it.

Later in the day we had a Founder’s Appreciation gathering at an outdoor, organic pizza spot named All Good Pizza.  The food was great and the atmosphere was just as great.  Lots of NEWME alumni were there, mentors, lawyers, VCs, etc.  All Good Pizza

I met an alum named Carolina who gave me some fantastic advice and invited me to keep in touch.  I think she will be a great mentor for me and I’m super excited!

More work back at the house after the gathering, and I’m pooped.  I wanted to complete the mock-up for the BOSS App but I’m just too beat.  I decided Beans the Pig and I would move our mattress to the floor and try it out. Beans no bunk I got a second wind after showering but it’s burning out pretty quickly now. lol