Shortly after moving in, a tag appeared on the side of the building that read: “atomik”. Through conversation with a friend and colleague in Montréal, we were reminded about atomism in the Epicurean sense, and we began to see intriguing parallels between the values motivating this place and the values espoused by the ancient Greek philosopher, Epicurus (341 BCE – 270 BCE).

Epicurus’ atomic materialism framed his belief that superstition-free knowledge about the workings of the world, and the pursuit of pleasure founded on mutually beneficial interactions, were essential to living justly. His advocacy of moderation can be understood as an early call for voluntary simplicity, and while it is true that his vision was considerably more ascetic than we necessarily want for ourselves, the basic points he raised prioritize sustainability and the importance of minimizing harm. Most significantly, Epicurus’ philosophy emphasized friendship as the basis for happiness and we’re definitely in support of that!

Depressing update:

As of October 5, 2011, we’re sad to say the tag for which the buiding as named was buffed by the city without any request/approval on our part. This is truly a shame since we really did plan to preserve this for the long haul.  Maybe atomik will come back one day? Until then, the building’s namesake is no longer visible. We’re glad to have this photo at the very least.