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New York jumps on the Lunch 2.0 bandwagon

The trend of midday networking-and-food parties that's swept Silicon Valley has headed east to New York.

Free food at Lunch 2.0, courtesy of TheLadders
Brett Petersel/Lunch 2.0

There are a lot of cool things going on in NYC these days when it comes to technology (do I really have to say that anymore?)--so many, in fact, that you can't hit them all up. On Tuesday, unfortunately, I missed a handful of pretty awesome-sounding CMJ Music Marathon panel discussions about digital music because I was listening in on that Facebook press conference. Priorities, priorities.

Facebook's legal developments, alas, also prevented me from spending more than a few minutes at New York's inaugural Lunch 2.0 event. Lunch 2.0, as the San Francisco Chronicle explained this spring, is an informal dining circuit that connects networking-happy tech enthusiasts with companies that are willing to feed them (and maybe find some Ruby developers in the process). They're all over the Bay Area, and have since spread to other cities like Los Angeles and Seattle.

The first New York Lunch 2.0 was held at the lofty west-of-SoHo office space occupied by TheLadders, an online recruitment and employment-search service that specializes in six-figure jobs. The event attracted about 150 techy types, mostly in business-casual attire and coming from local start-ups and new-media consulting operations. I, unfortunately, was only able to gape at the awesomeness of the post-industrial building (complete with freight elevator!), say hello to a few people I knew, grab some kung pao chicken, and zip away to the aforementioned press conference. (Mark Zuckerberg, you really do run my life.)

Bloggers from CenterNetworks and Valleywag were able to spend a bit more time there--sounds like folks had fun and snarfed down some tasty Chinese food.

Additionally, organizer Brett Petersel has a photo repository on Flickr, featuring I'm In Like With You founder Charles Forman's favorite face-obscuring gangster sign.