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How does wasting away together in Metafilterville sound?
February 15, 2013 2:24 PM   Subscribe

Pursuant to this comment I made on the blue, (and ignoring what happened to the cruise passengers in that thread,) what does everyone think of our arranging a Metafilter cruise, resort or mountain cottages week-long getaway sometime?

We wouldn't fill up a whole cruise ship, of course, but surely it's possible that a few dozen of us would be able and willing to take a week's vacation together and have the most epic MeFi meetup ever. I know this is probably a IRL post, but this wouldn't be your typical meetup and I just wanted to float the idea here and see what the interest level and consensus was before we actually started making any definite arrangements.
posted by orange swan to MetaFilter-Related at 2:24 PM (453 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite

wasting away together in Metafilterville

Cortex, I have a request...
posted by scody at 2:26 PM on February 15, 2013 [9 favorites]


Maybe we could go to the Poconos or the Catskills...
posted by ocherdraco at 2:27 PM on February 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


My first thought was Ripplewood Resort (note: "resort" used extremely loosely) at Big Sur.
posted by scody at 2:29 PM on February 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


There was some talk once (maybe in Chat?) of some sort of MeFi Con or Camp MeFi or similar. I think it's a fun idea, though attending would probably be out of my price range.
posted by Rock Steady at 2:30 PM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure that this is the week I'd suggest a MeFi cruise, precisely.

But overall, I'd potentially be interested. Not interested enough to do any work, you understand, but potentially interested enough to pay money to attend.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:33 PM on February 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


I actually like all of the cruise, mountain cottage and resort ideas so much I can hardly pick one. Of course if we pick one and it's a success, there's no reason why we can't do the other ideas in subsequent years.
posted by orange swan at 2:33 PM on February 15, 2013


But overall, I'd potentially be interested. Not interested enough to do any work, you understand, but potentially interested enough to pay money to attend.

Yep.
posted by eugenen at 2:35 PM on February 15, 2013


Yaah! Let's do it somewhere central*, like ... New Mexico!

* Central is relative to your my current location, but srsly, New Mexico is pretty swell
posted by filthy light thief at 2:38 PM on February 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


Y'all should get a cabin in the woods.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:44 PM on February 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


Key Largo? Montego? Baby, why don't we go
Down to Cocomo?
posted by carsonb at 2:44 PM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Surely it wouldn't be that hard to arrange. Big groups go on cruises or to resorts together all the time and those in the tourist trade are used to dealing with it.

And I would totally be open to going to the Catskills or New Mexico. All I ask is that we pick a place and time of year that won't involve really hot temperatures (i.e., anything in over 30C/85F), because none of you will want to be around a sunburnt, postal me on your vacation.;-)
posted by orange swan at 2:45 PM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Provided my work/life schedule allowed, I would absolutely pay real dollars to go to something like this.
posted by dotgirl at 2:46 PM on February 15, 2013


Maybe we could go to the Poconos

You call the hide-a-way? A pack of franks and a big bag of Frito Lays.

I would be up for something on solid ground, or possibly on snow. I don't think I'd really be up for a cruise.
posted by bondcliff at 2:47 PM on February 15, 2013


Man, nothing could be better than a week long cruise except spending a drunken week hanging out literally anywhere other than a cruise ship. Is my immediate reaction.

Cortex, I have a request...

The weekend's recedin'
Obsessively readin'
Nothin' to show but this new FPP
But it's a fave magnet
A pug on a blanket
When I posted's a mystery to me

Wasted away again in Metafilterville
Searchin' for why your argument's wrong
Some people claim
That there's a user to flame
But I know
I should flag and move on
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:47 PM on February 15, 2013 [127 favorites]


Also, if arranging this sort of thing is too daunting for any one MeFite, I believe it's been traditional several years running now for MeFites to make up a large contingent of the MaxFunCon attendees.
posted by carsonb at 2:47 PM on February 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I would be up for something on solid ground, or possibly on snow.

How about a ski trip in Quebec?

Awesome Jimmy Buffet parody, Cortex. I vote we all make you sing it in front of everyone during the group vacay.
posted by orange swan at 2:52 PM on February 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Let's do this shit.
posted by ColdChef at 2:56 PM on February 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


I would love a MaxFunCon Meetup, but they're already sold out. Sad face.
posted by dotgirl at 3:01 PM on February 15, 2013


With the geolocations in profiles, we could easily find the most central point on the globe for the userbase. Scenic Azores, here we come!

(It's probably Death Valley or something. BUT IT MUST BE SO.)
posted by supercres at 3:02 PM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Central point for the MeFi userbase, weighted by number of comments. C'mon you GIS-wankers, get on it!
posted by benito.strauss at 3:08 PM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


The cruise is an awesome idea and we should pitch it to that Dutch company which organizes special magazine-themed tropical cruises separately for conservative magazine readers and liberal magazine readers. Maybe they could do a Metafilter cruise and a separate Reddit (*shudder*) cruise.

Famous moderators from the online communities could give lectures on their favourite posts and discussion threads (sort of a masterclass version of the Metafilter podcasts) .

I wonder which cruise community would do far better at surviving in a civlized way in the unlikely event of being marooned (Metafilter, obviously).
posted by Bwithh at 3:14 PM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Maybe they could do a Metafilter cruise and a separate Reddit (*shudder*) cruise.

Surely this would end with broadsides and boarding axes.
posted by Iridic at 3:26 PM on February 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


will mock naval battles be part of the intinerary?
posted by clavdivs at 3:35 PM on February 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


I must be a glutton because I have interest in helping to plan this thing. Making calls, setting things up, dealing with details = love that shit.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:48 PM on February 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Sorry I'm just imagining this turning into "And Then There Was None".

or Clue.


I'M SHOUTING I'M SHOUTING I'M SHOUT-konk
posted by The Whelk at 3:50 PM on February 15, 2013 [12 favorites]


Do we have scholarships?

/broke
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:50 PM on February 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


I could imagine being able to work out some sort of scholarship system.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:52 PM on February 15, 2013


you mean the christie story 10 little...
posted by clavdivs at 3:54 PM on February 15, 2013


never mind
posted by clavdivs at 3:54 PM on February 15, 2013


I say we take over Kate Pierson's Lazy Meadow in upstate New York. Retro digs for all!
posted by Kitteh at 4:01 PM on February 15, 2013 [11 favorites]


"Surely it wouldn't be that hard to arrange."

Famous last words.
posted by iamkimiam at 4:06 PM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I say we take over Kate Pierson's Lazy Meadow in upstate New York. Retro digs for all!

If so, I'm bringing the vault suit.
posted by The Whelk at 4:09 PM on February 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


With the geolocations in profiles, we could easily find the most central point on the globe for the userbase.

I'd be all for this, but that's because I'm willing to bet that Europe drags things a bit east from the geographic center of North America and Australia drags it a bit south. (Who wants to sleep on my couch?)

More seriously, though, if you want to do a camping thing for a thousand or so of your closest friends, and your not looking for a bunch of prepackaged local stuff (because you can make your own fun) might I recommend looking for a campground that already deals with a larger number of people who are at least as weird as you are?

I have a couple in mind:
Hog Rock in Cave-In-Rock IL
Cooper's Lake in Slippery Rock Pennsylvania

There are probably tons of others. (I can come up with another half dozen from just SCA event sites.)
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 4:11 PM on February 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


More seriously, though, if you want to do a camping thing for a thousand or so of your closest friends, and your not looking for a bunch of prepackaged local stuff (because you can make your own fun) might I recommend looking for a campground that already deals with a larger number of people who are at least as weird as you are?
posted by The Whelk at 4:13 PM on February 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yes, please. Preference for staying on solid ground if possible.
posted by yoga at 4:16 PM on February 15, 2013


I don't mind leaving solid ground, but I'd rather be able to swim back to it for lunch rather than count on someone else bringing it along.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 4:21 PM on February 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I was a speaker at a conference held on a cruise ship once. It was fun, sort of. Randal Schwartz is a killer karaoke singer, who knew? But it's certainly not cheap, it's pretty much a regular cuise in terms of price. Anyway, cruise ships are basically floating hotels and like hotels, cruise ships host conferences of all types all the time. Many ships have rooms specifically for lectures and meetings.
posted by GuyZero at 4:23 PM on February 15, 2013


I say we take over Kate Pierson's Lazy Meadow in upstate New York.

I WOULD RIDE THIS PONY WHILE WEARING A BEEHIVE WIG.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:31 PM on February 15, 2013 [8 favorites]


Empress, I wouldn't be surprised if each room came with a beehive wig.
posted by Kitteh at 4:33 PM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I would be forced to call everyone "chap" or "Little Buddy" or "sport"
posted by The Whelk at 4:34 PM on February 15, 2013


...what does everyone think of our arranging a Metafilter cruise, resort or mountain cottages week-long getaway sometime?

Sorted. Just need 24 of us and the MetaFilter Amex card, and we're good to go.
posted by Wordshore at 4:39 PM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


My picks would be for resort or cottages.
posted by brujita at 4:42 PM on February 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


More seriously, we could organize something conference-like or un-conference-like since I'm sure Mefites in general have a lot to share. I don't know if we could do as good as XOXO or RoflCon or MaxFunCon or whatever but hey, maybe. Although that would probably be a lot of work.
posted by GuyZero at 4:44 PM on February 15, 2013


I haven't ever been to the Poconos, but something about doing it in some weird ironic-appreciation-of-kitsch way with Mefites is ticking me in a place I can't reach.

Or we could all just do Vegas or something. Or one of the doo-wop motels on the Jersey Shore.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:45 PM on February 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


I don't think we could swing it this year but we'd need the better part of a year to plan something like this anyhow, right?
posted by immlass at 4:52 PM on February 15, 2013


Ripplewood, are you kidding me? What a dump. We might as well meet in my backyard.
posted by phaedon at 5:00 PM on February 15, 2013


doing it in some weird ironic-appreciation-of-kitsch way with Mefites

House on the Rock Inn and Resort
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 5:04 PM on February 15, 2013 [10 favorites]


phaedon: Hence my aside about "resort" being used loosely; they're pretty bare-bones, but they're also less likely to break the bank than other cabins/cottages in the vicinity. The additional advantage to Big Sur is that there are also campgrounds for people who want to go that route. If you've got other suggestions, by all means, put it out there. Is your backyard free?
posted by scody at 5:06 PM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I say we take over Kate Pierson's Lazy Meadow in upstate New York. Retro digs for all!

YES.
posted by lalex at 5:08 PM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm just saying if we end up in Ripplewood, somebody bring a canoe and let's do some Deliverance cosplay.
posted by phaedon at 5:10 PM on February 15, 2013


House on the Rock got me thinking - Wisconsin Dells! (But only because I want to descend on this place in waves of 50 or so of the biggest geeks I know (you guys).
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 5:10 PM on February 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


Key West in shoulder season: September.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 5:17 PM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


scody: How about Big Bear or Palm Springs.
posted by phaedon at 5:19 PM on February 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I would like to find a place like Kellerman's from Dirty Dancing but without the racism and botched abortion. Bonus points for end-week talent shows, late night poker games with cigars, elderly kleptomaniacs, and, of course, watermelons to carry to secret dancing, dirty or otherwise.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 5:19 PM on February 15, 2013 [14 favorites]


Yes, the Dells. With the option of camping at Mirror Lake Or Devils Lake State Parks. Besides the gazillion motels. We'd just have to go either before or after summer break. Only an hour away from House on the Rock.
posted by readery at 5:24 PM on February 15, 2013


I would like to find a place like Kellerman's from Dirty Dancing but without the racism and botched abortion. Bonus points for end-week talent shows, late night poker games with cigars, elderly kleptomaniacs, and, of course, watermelons to carry to secret dancing, dirty or otherwise.

*runs, jumps in the air waiting for McMike to catch him*
posted by The Whelk at 5:27 PM on February 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


I remember when Burning MeFite was cool. Now it's gone commercial. No thank you.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:33 PM on February 15, 2013


Fun fact, the Orginal use of the term " flame out" was in reference to the Metafilter Auto Da Fe.
posted by The Whelk at 5:38 PM on February 15, 2013


I would like to find a place like Kellerman's from Dirty Dancing

Last summer I had to plan a fancy work luncheon from several states away, and somehow we ended up in Lake Lure where the lake scenes of Dirty Dancing was filmed. I kept making watermelon jokes, sadly no one appreciated them. Regardless, I was lead to believe that vacation rentals were easily available. (I'll bring the watermelon.)
posted by librarianamy at 5:38 PM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Man, it's a pity Mt. St. Alphonsus is closed, because a couple hundred Mefites crammed into cells in an old seminary would be awesome. And the grounds are gorgeous.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 5:51 PM on February 15, 2013


a couple hundred Mefites crammed into cells in an old seminary would be awesome.

Although I suspect if it wasn't closed, it would soon have to be closed afterward. And purified.

Yeah, baby.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:59 PM on February 15, 2013


The competitive brandy making and pretzel twisting went too far.
posted by The Whelk at 6:02 PM on February 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I vote Alaskan Cruise.
posted by mannequito at 6:37 PM on February 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


A MeFi convention would be pretty cool, but let's not call it MeCon unless we're OK with having Dan Dare cosplayers gatecrash.
posted by subbes at 6:42 PM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


We could all live for a few months in a shopping mall, that could be fun.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:51 PM on February 15, 2013 [9 favorites]


I would like to find a place like Kellerman's from Dirty Dancing

If we go with a Kellerman's like place, will someone promise to come up to me and say, "Nobody puts Swannie in the corner"? [swoons]
posted by orange swan at 6:54 PM on February 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


A cruise sounds like fun. Will you all hold my hair back while I'm vomiting over the side of the ship?

(No, I'd really like to go on a cruise... I'm just scared I'll get seasick.)
posted by IndigoRain at 7:08 PM on February 15, 2013


IndigoRain, the accu-pressure bracelets work wonders. No sea sickness despite best efforts from the N Atlantic on my two-years-ago Greenland cruise.

I'm game for a week-long mefi meetup. On land or at sea - let's plan ahead and ensure that there's time for all interested parties to take the appropriate time off.
posted by seawallrunner at 7:43 PM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


You people should take this to MetaDough.
posted by Glinn at 7:50 PM on February 15, 2013


Y'all should come to Jim Thorpe. The east side has his actual corpse, and there's a train, and a river, and the incline that rollercoasters were invented on. Oh and coal. And art. And did I mention Thorpe's corpse?
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 8:22 PM on February 15, 2013


IndigoRain, the accu-pressure bracelets work wonders.

Err... they're a placebo. They don't actually do anything. Now, placebo is probably very effective at treating motion sickness so maybe I shouldn't have said anything. So we can pretend it isn't just a placebo like I do with zinc lozenges for my colds.
posted by Justinian at 8:24 PM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I would totally go, but not if we're going on a boat.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:29 PM on February 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


Please, no camping. Or at least a non-camping option for those of us who prefer the Great Air-Conditioned, Hot Showered, Blackout Curtained Indoors.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 8:32 PM on February 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


I like boats but I generally want clearer lines of retreat at big gatherings. I think we should find some inexpensive small city and take over a hotel. Kansas City is nice.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 8:35 PM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


The advantage of a non-cruise option is that it could be much less expensive, and also more flexible in terms of a time commitment. We could structure the groups gathering over a week, but individuals could come for three days or five days or whatever suited their budget or schedules.

Although I am not up for camping.
posted by orange swan at 8:46 PM on February 15, 2013


I would go to a resort or even a cruise, but I do not camp.

BTW, Las Vegas is the place to do this. Lots of hotels at different price points and every city has a direct flight.
posted by 26.2 at 8:47 PM on February 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Burlington Vermont does not have a direct flight. That said, I am fine with any non-boat option and will arrive and be cheery.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:49 PM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Seoul is pretty happenin...
posted by Joseph Gurl at 9:13 PM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Something midwesty or eastcoasty would be lovely. Honestly camping seems like the nicest and most feasible thing but reserving a block of motel rooms would be pretty cool too. I'm limited by my budget, though, too.
posted by wayland at 9:15 PM on February 15, 2013


I used to work at a Korean-owned company and a lot of my coworkers went to Seoul for various functions. The only stories I ever heard about them were about how unbelievably much alcohol was consumed.

So what I'm saying is, that is an option.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 9:15 PM on February 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


I ain't getting on no boat with none o' them Cow Orkers, is all I'm sayin'.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:20 PM on February 15, 2013


I think MeFiCon is a great idea but I also question the wisdom of a cruise. Norovirus and engine fires aside, Internet access on a cruise is typically prohibitively expensive, especially the way we freaks use it.

But I do like the Margaritaville aspect of this and I would vote for taking over a cheesy resort in a spot like Mazatlan or Key West.

Maybe we need a list of requirements and then come up with a destination:

1. fruity drinks
2. A stage for performances and karaoke
3. Internet access
4. Slosh-ball!
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:21 PM on February 15, 2013


Fuck it, let's just rent a couple of houseboats at Shasta. We'll tie em together, people can sleep on the floor and we'll bring jet-skis.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:27 PM on February 15, 2013


>I used to work at a Korean-owned company and a lot of my coworkers went to Seoul for various functions. The only stories I ever heard about them were about how unbelievably much alcohol was consumed.

So what I'm saying is, that is an option.


If people come to Seoul, I will buy many, many beverages for people. Many.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 9:38 PM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


The main benefit of a cruise over, say, a mountain cabin is the capacity to hold more than a dozen people, but taking over a small hotel in a cheap-ish area would probably fulfill the same requirements without the claustrophia.
posted by Phire at 9:55 PM on February 15, 2013


WISCONSIN DELLS OR POCONOS WOULD BE AMAZING.
posted by PinkMoose at 11:31 PM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


IF WE GO TO THE DELLS (A LIFE AMBITION) WE COULD GO TO THE WORLDS LARGEST WATERPARK. WE COULD ALSO GO TO BRANSON, BUT THEY DO NOT HAVE A LARGE WATERPARK.
posted by PinkMoose at 11:34 PM on February 15, 2013


http://www.noahsarkwaterpark.com/

IF WE GO TO THE POCONOS, I WANT TO SHARE A HEART SHAPED TUB WITH THE WHELK.
posted by PinkMoose at 11:36 PM on February 15, 2013


Hey, maybe taking over some old boy scout camp with all the different cabins?

OH OH OH! CAMP METAFILTER!

With the mystery meat and the bug juice and the campfires and making random crap with lanyards and canoe races and sneaking trashy magazines in past the counselors and Color War and capture the flag and campfires and people sneaking off into the bushes after lights-out and -

(pants slightly)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:38 PM on February 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


I am the BOSS of lanyard-making.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 11:40 PM on February 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Justinian: "Err... they're a placebo. They don't actually do anything. Now, placebo is probably very effective at treating motion sickness so maybe I shouldn't have said anything."

I'm totally okay with tricking myself, if it means I'm not nauseated or constantly taking anti-nausea drugs.
posted by IndigoRain at 12:04 AM on February 16, 2013


I'd love a camping meetup and hey BC is a great place to do that. There are places that mix camping sites and group camping with cottages/cabin and/or lodge accommodation. I've got what I remember from years ago as being a good place but the spelling is escaping me so I can't search for it. I'll have to consult my SO. But really there must be dozens of places.

carsonb: " I believe it's been traditional several years running now for MeFites to make up a large contingent of the MaxFunCon attendees."

The problem with MaxFunCon is it's a) sold out practically immediately and b) it's hellish expensive. My whole family vacations for two weeks for what it costs a single person to attend the weekend at MFC. Any meetup that is going to cost $400 a night plus travel expenses it way out of my budget.

Vegas is nice because it's cheapish to get there (at least from Canada/the US) and there is a wide range of accommodation prices. However there may be a bit too much to do, large groups can become easily fragmented with everyone off doing their own thing.
posted by Mitheral at 12:24 AM on February 16, 2013


Maybe it's because have become a bit of an old hippy, but somewhere with trees would be good. I like trees. Trees you can hug and connect with.

Boats unnerve me as have been in three that have sunk, or started to sink. None of my relatives will go on a boat with me as they think am some kind of unlucky boat staying-afloat charm.
posted by Wordshore at 1:28 AM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


That settles it. Wordshore's not invited.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 1:35 AM on February 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Seoul? Piffle. In about a month and a half, it'll be Hanami season in Tokyo. Getting trashed sitting on blue plastic tarps under just bloomed cherry trees surrounded by thousands of others doing the same isn't just a great time, it's damn near a cultural imperative.

Did I mention drinking in public is down right hunky dory here? Because it is.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:07 AM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I love every aspect of this. Crested Butte CO is probably the only set-up I could realistically manage, though.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:24 AM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Central point for the MeFi userbase, weighted by number of comments. C'mon you GIS-wankers, get on it!

I wouldn't use number of comments; lurkers are always welcome at meetups.

Using the 7768 geolocated US based MeFites (and 628 Canadians in a metro area, which is virtually all of us) and a county-level road distance matrix, the county that has the shortest driving distance to the MeFi userbase (that is, the county that has the lowest average distance for all geolocated US/Canada MeFites to drive to) is...

... Lake county, Indiana; principal city: Gary. Average distance to users: 1083 miles.

The least accessible in the lower 48 is Curry county Oregon (2132 miles); in fact, Team Mod is pretty poorly situated for the task of driving to every MeFite individually. restless_nomad has the shortest average distance, 1436 miles, followed closely by jessamyn at 1450. Matt, cortex and pb in Portland have an average distance of 1963 miles, reduced a little bit because there is such a large userbase there.

The most accessible CMA in Canada is Windsor (1152 mi / 1853 km); Halifax and Victoria are almost equally distant around 2140 mi / 3440 km.

Average distances for 15 major cities:
Chicago - 1090 mi
Washington - 1235 mi
Minneapolis - 1240 mi
Philadelphia - 1267 mi
Toronto - 1269 mi
Atlanta - 1270 mi
New York - 1295 mi
Austin - 1436 mi
Montreal - 1449 mi
Boston - 1436 mi
Los Angeles - 1823 mi
San Francisco - 1909 mi
Portland - 1963 mi
Seattle - 1980 mi
Vancouver - 2107 mi

A brightly-coloured map is available here. The purple flecks are the point data; there are black dots next to the min/max: in Lake Michigan next to Lake County, and in the Pacific next to Curry County.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 2:50 AM on February 16, 2013 [28 favorites]


I like the idea of trees, camping. The more off the grid, the better. There's just something neat about the idea of a giant MetaFilter meetup with no internet. (what is possibly going on out there in the woods???) Then we'll pop out the other side and count heads. See who survived.
posted by iamkimiam at 2:53 AM on February 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Washington it is. We can all go protest something in front of the White House after a nice brunch.
posted by empath at 2:53 AM on February 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


I like the idea of trees, camping. The more off the grid, the better. There's just something neat about the idea of a giant MetaFilter meetup with no internet.

Kinda was thinking of, wanting to, suggest that, but am still kinda new here and didn't want to be considered the mad newbie. But, yes, trees and stuff. This is the mantra.

Trees are great. You can touch them, listen to them, climb them (don't damage), sit in them and look at the view, or the branches moving about you.

Or just look at them, in awe.
posted by Wordshore at 3:02 AM on February 16, 2013


moving to middle-of-nowhere IN has finally paid off!
posted by wayland at 3:04 AM on February 16, 2013 [6 favorites]


I think for this maiden venture group vacation we should plan something that will be an attainable and attractive option for the greatest number of people. So, judging from what I read here, that means staying on land rather than going on a cruise, and while places like Seoul sound wonderful, the reality is that most of us are North Americans weighted towards the eastern seaboard and we don't have huge amounts of money to spend on airfare. Let's keep in mind, too, there may well be future MeFi group vacations. If you don't get what you most wanted this time, it could easily still happen on some later trip.

We'll be needing a venue with accommodations at varying price levels. A hotel and/or group of cottages with campsites just down the road would be ideal. We'll need readily available internet access, some interesting stuff to do and local sites of interest to visit, and alcohol. We should also probably allow at least six months' lead time so that people have time to save up for the trip. This means August at the earliest.

Perhaps the thing to do is pick three or four general locations, pick a venue for each location, and then we can all vote on which location/venue combination we'd prefer and let the resulting tallies decide.

So... let's talk location. I'm thinking New York State, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., or Wisconsin might be good options. Less likely are Maine, Nova Scotia, New Orleans (IF we go late in the fall or in the winter), or maybe B.C. or New Mexico.

Your thoughts?
posted by orange swan at 3:35 AM on February 16, 2013


Of course, there's always a trip to Ye Olde Englande, a place adored by Americans? Perhaps somewhere pleasantly rural such as Devon, where everyone drinks tea, wears a bowler hat and is most charming in their manners and conduct?

Glances at local newspaper billboard.

Perhaps not, on reflection. The midwest of the USA it is!
posted by Wordshore at 4:14 AM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Kid Charlemagne wrote:
I'd be all for this, but that's because I'm willing to bet that Europe drags things a bit east from the geographic center of North America and Australia drags it a bit south.

Best not limit it to the surface then. Cortex! A pony request: where's our center?
posted by Songdog at 5:23 AM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


IF WE GO TO THE POCONOS, I WANT TO SHARE A HEART SHAPED TUB WITH THE WHELK.

Okay but you have to agree to a Karaoke duet to " I had the time of my life".

Camp Metafilter

I am now vividly imagining an 80s coming of age movie trailer.
posted by The Whelk at 5:59 AM on February 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


I love this idea, but for me conditions of participation at this time would be "within a few hours' drive and relatively cheap like a campground, and I could only stay one, *maybe* two nights."

I am 100% for camping (whether that means rented cabins or honest to goodness tent camping) but appreciate that not everyone is into that.

I wonder if mini regional events might be the way to get the ball rolling... think of it as "IRL+".
posted by usonian at 6:03 AM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'd be totally down for this, and would force wallabear to attend with me.

Can we just do it in 2014? I've sort of filled my 2013 up with events already. :(
posted by hippybear at 6:06 AM on February 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


As long as the location has plenty of snowflakes, I'm in.
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 6:49 AM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


usonian's mini-regional idea is probably the practical way to go, and I know a bunch of groovy campgrounds between DC and the northern Virginia mountains. I'm afraid a meetup in Gary or Vegas or Seoul will attract only those folks who have significant extra money and/or time, or who just happen to live close by.

We could even glom onto one of the many music/barbecue/arts festivals in the area. I go camping several times a year at various fests within an hour or so of the DC metro area, and it would be trivial to stake out an extra-large area for Metafilterians. No one would have to front a bunch of money for reservations and facilities, and we could gather around a campfire and play guitar and drink beer and such.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:09 AM on February 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've done a lot of organizing and attending of big group events. While ease of access is certainly important, I think the requirements for "good vacation meetup location" are more functional than geographical. For it to work well, it needs to be both in an isolated location (not just a business hotel in some city - people would never really hang out and the social dynamics would get awkward) and needs to offer a lot of options for things to do. Depending on the resort, that could be boating, volleyball, BBQs, skiing, hiking, campfires, hot springs, shuffleboard, ice rink, etc. An outdoor lodge type destination makes sense to me, with plenty of porch/common room space for talking, board games, and get-togethers. I used to love the Mohonk Mountain House for this, but it's gotten a lot moire hoity-toity lately.

I've had great experiences at two places in New England with big groups: Martha's Vineyard and Block Island. Both are contained and removed from the bigger world, but are full of good things to do, and both offer very large Victorian-style hotels where you can book in big groups - the Wesley or Pequot on Martha's Vineyard, the National on Block Island. All those hotels have big porches/patios and common rooms. In both locations the activity choices are many...biking, boating, windsurfing, beach, shopping, live music, bars, birdwatching, clambakes, walking/hiking, etc.

So it may be more productive to start from with people saying "Hey, I know this absolutely great place to have a big group resort getaway" than picking locations out of a hat that may not offer the right physical setup for the goals of the adventure.
posted by Miko at 7:29 AM on February 16, 2013 [11 favorites]


I don't know how many MeFites it applies to, but it would be great if the site(s) chosen had accessible options for folks with mobility issues. I use crutches to walk and a mobility scooter for longer outings. I love the great outdoors and the *idea* of camping, but would not be able to participate unless there were accessible cabins and/or hotels nearby. I'm probably not the only one.
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 7:39 AM on February 16, 2013 [8 favorites]


A lot of reginal vacations has a decidedly different "flavour" than one big thing. Not that that's a bad thing, but probably not in the spirit of what orange swan suggested. It's the difference between the original idea of having a giant-ass party in NOLA and inviting everyone for the MeFi 10th, and the dozens of satellite meetups that ended up happening. The satellite meetups were awesome and I made a lot of friends that day, but it was a different beast than one big shindig.

MeFites seem to be really good already at meeting their particular regional cluster of people. I'd love an opportunity to see the usernames that live far away from me, for once.
posted by Phire at 7:47 AM on February 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


If Matt & the mod squad have no objections, organize it. For many tours, the organizers gets a great deal on the trip. If you can get 25 or so people, you can probably get some good discounts.

Like meetups, any tours will vary in terms of who can/ will participate. A MeFi package to some geek-ish event would likely be popular. If you choose a land location, esp. a US national park, people could choose to stay in a lodge or camp.

I think a pilot project is a swell idea.
posted by theora55 at 7:57 AM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is a rad idea. If I can afford it, I will go.
posted by k8lin at 8:01 AM on February 16, 2013


You all can come hang out with me in the rainforest next year! I'll show off monkeys and horrible snakes and it would be lots of fun!
posted by ChuraChura at 8:09 AM on February 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


Although I'd LOVE to go away somewhere, the mention of Gary, IN above made me think of The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. I do a Chicago to Michigan charity bike ride that overnight's in the dunes, some folks camping at the National Park group camp and others of us staying at local hotels. I always stay at one of the mom & pop motels along the strip close to the beaches (the beaches are protected along here, so about a half mile inland). It is cheap, if a bit down market, but hey. Most people stay at one of the nicer chain hotels closer to Michigan City.

On the upside, there's nature. The area gets pretty booked summer weekends. But they have a local planner. And a casino in Michigan City for the Vegas action.

Oh, and the South Shore Line stops all along the way here out of Chicago. It's walking distance to a campground from the train station.

All that being said, I'm not tied to it as I wouldn't mind seeing somewhere different.
posted by readery at 8:21 AM on February 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Based on budget and work, I totally come to an event in New England but probably not anywhere further west than, say, eastern PA. I love Miko's Block Island idea and would definitely be in for that.
posted by gauche at 8:25 AM on February 16, 2013


Will there be birds?
posted by jquinby at 8:26 AM on February 16, 2013


Attended a conference at the Tarrytown House Estate. It was lovely and lively and fun. In the winter, it has kind of a The Shining vibe. That may be a plus or a minus.
posted by houseofdanie at 8:27 AM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


This sounds wonderfully fun and there is no way in hell I could afford it.
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:33 AM on February 16, 2013


Will there be birds?

Block Island's known for it!
posted by Miko at 8:41 AM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


[Further thought] I also think a 3-day weekend might make for a better pilot than a weeklong vacation.
posted by Miko at 8:51 AM on February 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


I love the island ideas. At the same time, I'm concerned that dropping $30+ on a ferry ($100 with a car) just to get to the destination may be creating time and money logistical hassles for people who aren't really versed in ferry-based recreation. I may just be raising non-essential concerns since I could afford a ferry but for people who want to keep costs low and were thinking of driving in, it might be better to think about something like partly-off-season seacoast with parking and accessibility built in. That said it just may be that there need to be a few of these at differing price-points and locations. MeFites span a wide range of age/economic/geographic points and there may be no simple way to accommodate everyone easily.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:59 AM on February 16, 2013


We used to rent out a YMCA camp for an outdoor leadership function every year. It was somewhat cheap, with small cabins and areas for tents, and even a couple larger houses for families. There was a function hall with large kitchen (group meals FTW), a campfire area, and plenty of places to wander around. Our place was Camp Lyndon in Sandwich, MA, though I'm sure there are tons of others. I ended up renting it out for my wedding.

That place was cheap because it was mostly a summer camp and we rented it during the off season.

A place like that, with hotels nearby, might work for different financial levels.

I'd be concerned with any place where people might be trapped, such as on a boat or island. People should be free to come and go or just leave if they're not enjoying themselves. And as much as I love to camp, rain or bugs or even humidity can really put a damper on an event like this.
posted by bondcliff at 9:22 AM on February 16, 2013 [8 favorites]


That and the machete wielding maniacs in the woods of course.
posted by The Whelk at 9:38 AM on February 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


"I love this idea, but for me conditions of participation at this time would be "within a few hours' drive and relatively cheap like a campground, and I could only stay one, *maybe* two nights.""

Don't know if it's been metioned, but there could be several of these trips, bases on region. Peeps on coast go cruising, others in Midwest go camping. Those in Midwest could go on cruise if they choose, of course. But a couple of different ideas might work for different wants and price ranges.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:42 AM on February 16, 2013


Could we rent a dungeon, somewhere? Haven't been eaten by a grue in a while.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:42 AM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Camping, trees, rustic cabins, more than a mile of totally private beach. Accommodates groups of up to 140+ people, with a main lodge & commercial kitchen to prepare meals in. I give you Camp Westwind on the Oregon coast.
posted by dersins at 9:52 AM on February 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


I am shocked no one suggested Detroit considering all the Detroit posts we have had over the years. As mentioned, a variety of price points (or Windsor for the "really afraid of guns" people just a bridge away), squats for the broke, lots of art/music, somewhere Americans can look south on Canada, and urban exploration plus it would be putting our dollars into a community that would appreciate as much tourism and positive publicity as possible. I think Detroit has all major transportation options (bus, train, plane and of course highway) for people to get to it. And of course, the Monorail! The visit Detroit link has a special reunion section with suggested activities including celebrating the oft-neglected Black history of America.
posted by saucysault at 9:57 AM on February 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


Could we rent a dungeon, somewhere?

I've seen that Fetlife Mefite group mentioned a few times. You should probably ask them.
posted by bondcliff at 9:57 AM on February 16, 2013


A few large regional meetups at the same time, not too dissimilar to what happened for the 10th anniversary, might be more feasible. Although having one massive gathering is definitely appealing.
posted by Diskeater at 9:59 AM on February 16, 2013


one massive gathering

Excellent idea. Let's just meet here in August.
posted by dersins at 10:03 AM on February 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


I suggest this. with aerial refueling we can stay for a week. Also, high data rate satcom!
posted by backseatpilot at 10:16 AM on February 16, 2013


Camp Metafilter

I want a t-shirt.
posted by mayurasana at 10:57 AM on February 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


My wife's family owns land in southern Idaho. We're there most weekends in the summer.

Y'all are welcome to bring a tent, RV, ATV, SUV, UB-40, what have you.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:25 AM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


We are moving away from discussing the Dells.
posted by PinkMoose at 11:35 AM on February 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Next summer in New Orleans. 2014 is the 15th anniversary of MetaFilter (and more importantly: the fifth anniversary of MeFiNola). Big things are going to happen.
posted by ColdChef at 11:39 AM on February 16, 2013 [12 favorites]


Yeah, I think ColdChef might be right - given the necessary lead time to organize something like this, we should consider focusing on making the New Orleans thing As Awesome As Possible.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 11:41 AM on February 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


I really like the "one massive gathering" idea; without that, it just doesn't feel important enough to make the effort. The opportunity to mix with people from outside my area is the really tempting part. Even if the gathering were a 3-day weekend, people could make a week of it by tacking on their own vacations.

As far as cost, having gotten these things together for friends, family, church, camp, Slow Food, etc., - you can work on price point, and there's a big range starting at about $75 a day and going up from there, but you can never make such trips free. The cost to entry - even for a 2-3 day getaway - is going to include travel to and from, something for meals, and something for accommodation unless someone can hook us up with land or a place. It's just about impossible to pull something off for under $75-100/day per person, before travel but including meals, even at bare bones. What you do for food makes a difference- pay on your own, throw money in together and elect a cooking team, go for all inclusive - but $75-100pp assumes self-cook.

We could debate endlessly about what/where/how much, but it comes down to a leadership thing. Someone must call something, whether it's orange swan or anyone else with a good idea. And others will have to look at it and decide whether it can work for them or not. Camping will appeal to some, repel others. Hotels will be non-negotiable for some, unimportant to others. Expense will work for some, leave out others. It's kind of the way it is. It's kind of hard in a big giant discussion, too. I wonder if it would be productive to have a super interested group of people explore options offline and bring back a few to present.

Ideally the "call" would be far enough in advance (like, a year) that people can budget for it if that's possible for them. I think it would be great to aim for a lower-budget category, but not too likely to bring in a 3-day weekend-length trip for under $250 per person.

I'm not married to an island, seacoast off-season sounds great, but still costs. I'm a big fan of York Beach, ME (as many of you know). It's spread out but there are a range of hotels, from budget to luxury. The beach is amazing even during shoulder seasons, especially fall. Downside, there's not that much to do, but we could plan some beach campfires and stuff and it would be more hangy-outy.

A mid-Atlantic beach town could be fun, too. I'm not that familiar with beach towns in Maryland, Del., VA etc but if anyone has a suggestion, that'd be good.
posted by Miko at 11:41 AM on February 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


2014 New Orleans could be fun.
posted by Miko at 11:42 AM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


We are moving away from discussing the Dells.

As soon as there's all caps screaming I'm not interested. I grew up in Philly and I've raised three girls - I've heard enough screaming for a lifetime.
posted by 26.2 at 11:43 AM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Cortex has spoken on Camp MetaFilter.
posted by Wordshore at 11:45 AM on February 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


I volunteer to be on a committee (or whatever we want to call it) to look into organized travel options/room blocks/events for MeFi Massively Multiuser Meetup 2014, NOLA edition.
posted by Miko at 11:45 AM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


2014 in NOLA sounds great, but you seriously don't want to be there in the summer. Seriously.
posted by blurker at 11:53 AM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am from NW Indiana, and NO. That would not be all that great.

Chicago would be too expensive. I say let's go to the Dells. They have a RIPLEY'S.
posted by bibliogrrl at 11:53 AM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


2014 in NOLA sounds great, but you seriously don't want to be there in the summer. Seriously.

Hot, steamy weather is required to sweat away all the calories you'll consume. Also: you may get a bonus hurricane! Weather cowards need not apply.
posted by ColdChef at 12:02 PM on February 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


(Seriously, we've got air conditioning and everything down here.)
posted by ColdChef at 12:03 PM on February 16, 2013


"(Seriously, we've got air conditioning and everything down here.)"
posted by ColdChef at 3:03 PM on February 16

Seriously, were you recently watching the same Superbowl I was?
posted by paulsc at 12:21 PM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Heh.
posted by ColdChef at 12:24 PM on February 16, 2013


Cleveland. Close to the geographic center as determined above, cheap, and we have pierogi buffets.

(Sorry. Just came back from Slavic Village and I am FULL of pierogi).

For what it's worth, though, my studio is in a ginormous old factory building and we could hang out and make lanyards and then go terrorize the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or something.

It's food nerd heaven here and the beers are cheap.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 12:31 PM on February 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


I could maybe make a New Orleans thing. Other than that this is an awesome Idea.
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:38 PM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


/hail to thee Camp Mefi
On the shores of Big Blue Laaaaaake/

posted by The Whelk at 12:45 PM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I would be down for camping, or renting a camp. That would be sweet.
posted by Elly Vortex at 12:54 PM on February 16, 2013


MeFi loves patron saint DFW too much for this to succeed, surely.
posted by Eideteker at 12:56 PM on February 16, 2013


Shores of Lake Erie! Ok, it's more the Grey than the Blue, but...
posted by bitter-girl.com at 1:22 PM on February 16, 2013


NOLA would be close for sure, but Oregon sounds so lovely. Haven't been there in years and would love to take the fam up there.

I don't really care about location, though outside the US is probably not going to work for me. I just need someplace to crash inbetween activities that is not too hot or too cold to sleep and not overrun with bugs.

I assume this is a no-kids event? We should probably make that clear.

Someone(s) are going to need to take this over planning wise for it to work. Are we organized enough for that to happen? It will not be me, but PinkSuperhero seems excited about the idea.
posted by emjaybee at 1:26 PM on February 16, 2013


MeFi loves patron saint DFW too much for this to succeed, surely.

Personally, I prefer DEN to DFW, but to each his own hub, I suppose.
posted by dersins at 1:27 PM on February 16, 2013


What is this New Orleans 2014 thing of which you all speak?

If I wasn't invited, that's okay.

Dear Ask Metafilter, All my internet friends are having a party and they didn't invite me. What should I do?
posted by Elly Vortex at 1:32 PM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I fully support a Massive Metafilter Meetup in NOLA in 14 cause that would put me in close proximity to fried oysters.
posted by The Whelk at 1:34 PM on February 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


(oh yes and cherished friends and co-horts whatever)
posted by The Whelk at 1:38 PM on February 16, 2013


NOLA is always a good idea. And a bad idea. It's one of the reasons I love that city.

/knows what it means to miss New Orleans
posted by smirkette at 1:43 PM on February 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


MeFite jacquilynne and I have been to several RL gatherings of Imaginary Internet People and probably can offer some tips. We've been to larger gatherings in Key West and Las Vegas and smaller ones in DC.

One of the things that has worked very well is to have activities scheduled in central gathering places while allowing for "accommodations" to come together more freely. In Key West, we had a party in a reserved area of a bar, a lunchtime meetup, a scavenger hunt and a cruise. About 15 of us rented a massive condo, while others rented a house with a pool and cheap motel rooms. Impromptu gatherings took place at both the condo and the house-with-pool, and we had many opportunities to break into factions while having meals or escaping from the crazy.

Because oh yes, was there crazy.

In Las Vegas, we once again rented a house for about 20 people. Another several people rented hotel rooms. It was pretty awesome because we still got to take in all the fancy crap at the Bellagio and the MGM Grand, etc. (TOM FUCKING JONES, people!!!) but, again, didn't have to spend a royal crapton to do it. We had a lot of fun doing a group barbecue one day. Airfare was fairly reasonable, too.

So I'd love to see some sort of hybrid solution where we have enough activities and "home bases" to encourage community, but multiple avenues for exploring/sleeping that give people options for different monetary/activity needs.

I'm willing to serve on a planning committee, were one to exist. (Also, I call the third seat in The Whelk's heart-shaped hot tub, Mr. The Whelk be damned.)
posted by Madamina at 2:01 PM on February 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


2014 in NOLA sounds great, but you seriously don't want to be there in the summer. Seriously.

I have been there in the summer; my brother used to live there. It's hot. Seriously. But like the Chef says, indoors is mostly air-conditioned, and you adjust...go slow, avoid being in the glaring sun in midafternoon, and live for nighttime. The real bonus: no crowds, stuff is cheap, and it feels less touristy.
posted by Miko at 2:19 PM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I would subscribe to this newsletter. I'm really into working flushing toilets, though, so real wilderness or cruises are out.

I've been to several summertime imaginary internet people convocations in New Orleans, with a bunch of goths, and while it was stunningly hot not a single one of us burst into flames. There's a lot of infrastructure there for not having to be outside for any real length of time.
posted by Lyn Never at 2:29 PM on February 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


What a delight to find that the center of the MeFi universe is Gary, Indiana. Never would have imagined it. Great map, Homeboy Trouble.

I love the island ideas. At the same time, I'm concerned [with] dropping $30+ on a ferry ($100 with a car) just to get to the destination

That was my first thought as well. On the other hand, lots of islands are connected to the mainland by bridges. (Where I live, the bridge is even toll-free.) My island is pretty nice, actually, but sadly, it's about 1,250 miles from Gary, Indiana.
posted by LeLiLo at 2:33 PM on February 16, 2013


Does this have to be in summer? If we have a year, I nominate spring, the kinder, gentler season.
posted by Room 641-A at 2:35 PM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


If we're voting I'd prefer the fall, since the spring tends to be wet and gross and autumn is beautiful and crisp and you get to wear sweaters.

But summer is cool with me, too.

/not spring-ist
posted by Phire at 3:02 PM on February 16, 2013


Summer in NOLA allows for more luxuriant self-fanning and cool drinks.
posted by The Whelk at 3:05 PM on February 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


I say we have one for the 20th anniversary.

(I can't make it for a few years)
posted by ODiV at 3:18 PM on February 16, 2013


It's a pity this place doesn't exist anymore.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 3:22 PM on February 16, 2013


In for NOLA 2014.

My dad owned a timeshare there when I was a kid, and we used to go in the summer (because no school). It was hot but not unbearably so, and as noted there's lots of stuff in the AC.

Of course, we were coming from Houston, so hot wasn't really a new thing for us.
posted by jeoc at 3:35 PM on February 16, 2013


Is it too late to put in a plug for the bunny island?
posted by asperity at 3:44 PM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I support this idea of a giant meetup not on a cruise ship and would travel anywhere in North America for it (or potentially farther than that, but it gets expensive).
posted by jessypie at 4:11 PM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Now everything is going to pale in comparison to the bunny island (unless there is a puppy island out there somewhere).
posted by Brody's chum at 4:16 PM on February 16, 2013


come to southern indiana! we can dive into the quarries from Breaking Away and visit John Cougar Mellencamp's front gate.
posted by wayland at 4:49 PM on February 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


As much as I like the idea of NOLA, i think that the isolation, and fun summer camp element might be more in the spirit.

But, New Orleans has cocktails, and also Po'Boys.
posted by PinkMoose at 4:56 PM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Haven't found a puppy island, but...

If there is one island that is ideal for MetaFilter, surely it is this one? Heck, should do a FPP on this place.

More on a Tumblr, the Wikipedia entry, and - good news - they got through the tsunami okay.
posted by Wordshore at 5:00 PM on February 16, 2013


I went to NOLA a couple years ago in late May and it was hot as hell but we solved this by going out at night and having drinks in the pool during the day. It was quite a brilliant solution.
posted by bondcliff at 5:07 PM on February 16, 2013


Camping requires gear. There's a certain level of logistics that camping requires that NOLA or any urban location does not. Even cabin camping requires that you haul in food and necessities. That's going to add rental cars and driving into the mix.
posted by 26.2 at 5:08 PM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


not if we go to someplace like the Dells or the Pocononos or Big Sur or Branson or Hilton Head or Maine or the Keys, or any number of places in the states that have infastructure but also something rustic.
posted by PinkMoose at 5:16 PM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I hear Camden, New Jersey is nice this time of year.
posted by item at 5:59 PM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just spitballin' here, but Memphis in May, is, well, Memphis in May, 2013 or 2014 edition. Barbeque at a serious national competition, or ribs from the Rendezvous, Corkys, or about a thousand other joints. Music Festival. Beale Street. AAA Minor League baseball. Graceland. The Pink Palace. The Zoo. Overton Park. Shelby Forest. The Trolley. Mud Island. Mid-Town. The Bluffs. The River (and, at Memphis, in May, it is often very pleasant to sit on the bluffs, and watch Ol' Man River roll by). The Memphis Martyrs Memorial. The National Civil Rights Museum. Stax Museum. Ducks at The Peabody. Camping at historic T.O. Fuller State Park, and many other commercial camp grounds.

But Tennessee ain't a cheap or particularly easy state to drink in, and tourists had better still stick together and keep their wits about them. Still, Memphis remains the only place in the world where hallowed grease gets a police escort, when such is needed.
posted by paulsc at 6:57 PM on February 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


I suggest this. with aerial refueling we can stay for a week. Also, high data rate satcom!

I was really hoping that was going to be a link to the Helicarrier.
posted by maryr at 9:24 PM on February 16, 2013


I don't know if this event will ever take place, but I'm definitely bookmarking it for vacation ideas.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:25 PM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was really hoping that was going to be a link to the Helicarrier

Please like they'd ever let me back after that hash cake cafeteria mix up.
posted by The Whelk at 9:26 PM on February 16, 2013


(which is probably a good idea, since my comment in this thread already proves my ideal resort is a fictional one from fifty years ago from a movie that is twenty-five years old)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:26 PM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


My suggestion to throw in the ring: Let's take over the Movie Manor Motor Inn in the San Luis Valley of Colorado. I don't have a really persuasive argument or anything. I just had a blast last time I stayed there. It's near the Great Sand Dunes and conveniently located hours away from both Denver and Santa Fe/Albuquerque.

That aside, I like the idea of a more natural, low-key destination (say, the Poconos or Cape Cod off season) and more indoor activities. Lots of board games and drinking and group cooked dinners and drinking and sing alongs and spontaneously produced plays and movie nights and drinking.

Regardless of where we go, there absolutely must be a Talent Show, because y'all are hella talented.

And as the evening progresses, it can devolve into an Untalent Show, which I believe would be karaoke, coin tricks, and long stories that end in a single terrible pun. Because after all the drinking, we'd all end up untalented and it'd be really funny.
posted by maryr at 9:35 PM on February 16, 2013 [7 favorites]


(Some of us started untalented, natch.)
posted by maryr at 9:37 PM on February 16, 2013


This is just going to come down to somebody just picking a place and being willing to organize it. We could beanplate the merits of various locales for several years, but I doubt we'll see a magical consensus just arise. It will require someone to just act.
posted by Miko at 10:00 PM on February 16, 2013


Homeboy Trouble: " ... Lake county, Indiana; principal city: Gary. Average distance to users: 1083 miles."

HELL YES! You're all coming to my house!!!!
posted by IndigoRain at 10:46 PM on February 16, 2013


In Bar Harbor, ME, there's a term for the people who come off the 2-3 cruise ships berthed in the harbor daily: "Cruise Shits".

They are not liked, and with good reason.
posted by dunkadunc at 4:20 AM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I agree that a place with many choices for activities lends itself to large groups. Logistically, if it's land-based, distance to major airports should factor in as well as transportation options from there.
posted by Red Loop at 4:55 AM on February 17, 2013


What I would like to do is pick three or four of the suggestions in this thread and have everyone vote on it. I don't know how to set up a voting widget. Can anyone offer to do that?
posted by orange swan at 6:46 AM on February 17, 2013


If we're gonna do this, I'd say pick the location that's likely to get the most people from the most places on year one and the same time you announce that, announce a plan where to do it in the future.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 8:19 AM on February 17, 2013


For two or three years in advance.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 8:20 AM on February 17, 2013


Setting up a voting widget is easy, ping me in PM, by email, or on FB and I'll do it for you.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:39 AM on February 17, 2013


Las Vegas has been mentioned several times up-thread. It may be worth knowing that the American Library Association annual conference will, in 2014, be there in late June. These are big events (very roughly 20,000 librarians at the annual summer one). So, there'll already be a fair few Mefite Librarians there, which may be a good thing.

Schedule of ALA conferences through to 2021.
posted by Wordshore at 8:57 AM on February 17, 2013


SurveyMonkey is a great simple tool for voting.
posted by Miko at 9:18 AM on February 17, 2013


Obviously Rio meetup in 2014. Futebol and mefi-themed swimwear, what more could you ask for?
posted by villanelles at dawn at 9:40 AM on February 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Someone once told me that a resort is like a cruise that you can drive out of anytime.

How about a lakeshore-type resort near Gary, IN and Chicago? Maybe with enough people we could get a great discount.

Gary, Indiana: the center of the Metafilter US-iverse.
posted by amtho at 10:10 AM on February 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Just chiming in to say that I am SO EXCITED about this. Also, someone mentioned upthread the possibility of doing group food with a cook team, and I would love to volunteer my unprofessional services should that happen. Because I would have a blast feeding all of y'all. Any MeFi caterers willing to spearhead an effort in that direction? Also, this isn't superclose to anyone, but just to add to the options, Camp Paxson in Seeley, Montana is a great and fun event space. Hauling in food wouldn't be necessary and they are used to handling groups like this.
posted by Polyhymnia at 10:19 AM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


What if we get into fights? Will the moderators still be moderators? Can we flag each other? And if someone's flagged too many times, can we throw them overboard?

Would cortex be obligated to to utter a short, witty epitaph after throwing someone overboard?
posted by Afroblanco at 10:53 AM on February 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


Blue and gold sungas, people!
posted by villanelles at dawn at 12:35 PM on February 17, 2013


Camp Paxson looks amazing. I would love to go there.
posted by Miko at 12:59 PM on February 17, 2013


Camp Paxton does look ideal. I'm guessing a lack of email contact means no internet access though. Anyone phoned John Torma yet to inquire about rates and availability?
posted by Mitheral at 1:07 PM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I would not mind no internet access.
posted by Miko at 1:19 PM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Then how would we talk to each other?
posted by villanelles at dawn at 1:21 PM on February 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Local wifi repeater.
posted by Mitheral at 1:25 PM on February 17, 2013


through movement and odor.
posted by The Whelk at 1:25 PM on February 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


Remind me not to share a tent with The Whelk.
posted by Mitheral at 1:27 PM on February 17, 2013


movement and odor

I see I've been scooped on my dissertation title.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 1:29 PM on February 17, 2013


It's the Society of Jane Austen Scholars that suffers though!
posted by villanelles at dawn at 1:34 PM on February 17, 2013


Then how would we talk to each other?

1. Ouija board
2. Pigeon courier
3. Semaphore
4. Smoke signal
5. Cuneiform tablets
posted by Miko at 1:47 PM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Latent telepathic ability.
posted by The Whelk at 1:48 PM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Footsie, duh.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 2:10 PM on February 17, 2013


Maybe we can play flag football.
posted by mlle valentine at 2:12 PM on February 17, 2013


Okay, so I've been reading through and making a list of appealing places. Before I create the final short list and set up a voting thingamajig, I have some questions.

Camp Paxson in Montana only accommodates 125 people, which may be too small for us, what with people wanting to bring their partners and possibly children. Are there enough other accommodations nearby?

The Poconos got quite a few mentions, but no one suggested a specific place where we could stay. Can anyone suggest a good resort?
posted by orange swan at 2:21 PM on February 17, 2013


Then how would we talk to each other?

1. Ouija board
2. Pigeon courier
3. Semaphore
4. Smoke signal
5. Cuneiform tablets


Been watching Monty Python skits recently?
posted by benito.strauss at 2:23 PM on February 17, 2013


Hilariously, there is a Dirty Dancing resort. It's the one used for the location in the movie and it's in Virginia. It won't be on the shortlist, but it might have been if it had been in New York or some such. Heh. How cool would it have been for us to do a Metafilter/Dirty Dancing getaway. Whatever parts of our brain it is that do irony would have short circuited.
posted by orange swan at 2:34 PM on February 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


I do sometimes wonder if you guys like me now that I can dance.
posted by The Whelk at 2:37 PM on February 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


We like you now that you can dance, The Whelk, but we won't still love you in the morning.
posted by orange swan at 2:39 PM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Maybe we can play flag football.

Team Fantastic Comment vs Team HTML/Display Error.
Team Ask vs Team Guess.
Team Sits-To-Wipe vs Team Stands-To-Wipe.
Team Meh-Fee vs Team Mee-Fie.
Team IANAL vs Team DTMFA.
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:40 PM on February 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


I would be really surprised if more than 125 people signed up for the first round. That would be, like, an incredible success. That sounds like about the right size venue to shoot for. Worst case scenario, a few people want to sign up and can't: that only means it's a desirable thing and you should act faster next time.

It may be a good idea to make a decision on kids/no kids now, because I imagine that would affect a lot of people's decision to attend or not attend. Perhaps that's something to include on the survey.
posted by Miko at 2:40 PM on February 17, 2013


As much as I love living in Northwest Indiana, do not pick Gary itself. It is not a safe place. Murders/gangs/crimes. Pick Michigan City or Merrillville/Hobart or maybe Hammond. As pointed out, we do have the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore (for those of you who have never seen the Great Lakes and don't have a grasp on size, Lake Michigan goes all the way to the horizon like the ocean) and casinos, and I would be happy to help make any arrangements if we have it up here. The South Shore train provides easy access to Chicago and South Bend. Merrillville is right on I-65 and Michigan City is easily accessed by the Indiana Toll Road.
posted by IndigoRain at 2:41 PM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


We like you now that you can dance, The Whelk, but we won't still love you in the morning.

That's okay, you don't have to say you love me, just be close at hand.
posted by The Whelk at 2:43 PM on February 17, 2013


Pfft, The Whelk, Dusty Springfield's "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" wasn't on the Dirty Dancing soundtrack.
posted by orange swan at 2:46 PM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


In a ideal world it was orange swan.
posted by The Whelk at 2:46 PM on February 17, 2013


One consideration for large group gatherings that aren't, by design, essentially self-contained, and that hasn't been explicitly mentioned in this thread, is access to medical care. I hope no one attends to settle scores from gun threads on the Blue, but if a fellow MeFite collapses of a heart condition, being able to meaningfully call 911 on their behalf should, I hope, outweigh the delights of the most rustic circumstances feasible. This may, to the tastes of some, unfairly favor urban or near urban settings, but it may also be a factor in particular choices of MeFites with children or pre-existing medical conditions to attend.
posted by paulsc at 2:47 PM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Speaking of children attending, shouldn't we speak about children attending before we select a location? Maybe there should be a vote about that first, and then based on the outcome of that vote we'd have a better pool of people to vote on the location.

I know that if this is shaping up to be a more family-oriented event, I probably won't be as interested in participating and would then leave the location decision up to those who are more interested, and I'm sure there are plenty of people who feel vice-versa about it.
posted by Brody's chum at 2:59 PM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


At some point during this event, whereever we end up, there should be a screening of Foodfight.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:01 PM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


As much as I love the idea of Camp Metafilter ("Camp Metafilter, we hold you in our hearts! And when we think about you...") I really, really think staying close to civilization is better. I worry that if it's more of a camp setting, you'll get folks who are super-enthusiastic to hang with Mefites, but they end up having a miserable time because they didn't bring enough food/gear/whatever and feel trapped.

Vegas may not be my favorite place in the world, but it's absolutely tailor made for this kind of thing: lots of flights, cheap hotels, and there are genuinely fun things to do besides drink and gamble (like the Pinball Hall of Fame!).
posted by Diagonalize at 3:02 PM on February 17, 2013


I too would be surprised if we filled Camp Paxson especially considering it is so far from NYC and other big population nodes.

I'd be really surprised if Camp Paxson didn't have at least pay phones. The groups that use it have the same concern regarding communication.
posted by Mitheral at 3:03 PM on February 17, 2013


I agree with paulsc. There is some precedent for online-community-does-campout over at Autostraddle and that seems to take a huge amount of organisation.

Might be better to go for the Sonar-type model where you have a lovely city with plenty of self-sourceable accomodation and then lots of individual events hosted by up-for-it members and co-ordinated centrally with online listings. More 'MeFest' than a big-ass meetup. So I'm voting for NOLA 2014. Pale British skin be damned!
posted by freya_lamb at 3:05 PM on February 17, 2013


I don't quite know what to say about the kids thing. I don't like to tell people they can't bring their children, but I can also understand that it would be a more relaxed, worry-free environment if we just had an adult-only event.
posted by orange swan at 3:05 PM on February 17, 2013


"I don't quite know what to say about the kids thing. ..."
posted by orange swan at 6:05 PM on February 17

I get that, really, orange swan. But for some of us old MeFites, 99% of those of you who might show up are "kids," and we'll worry about you the whole time you're with us, regardless of what you do or don't drink, and who you do or don't play with.
posted by paulsc at 3:11 PM on February 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Speaking on behalf of the Indiana Dunes, it is a National Park so there are park rangers at hand, and I know of two hospitals within 10 minutes of the area we'd likely be in (between Michigan City and Beverly Shores). The city is close by and there are both cabin rentals and hotels because again, it's right on the toll road and the interstate. In the past couple of years, I've been able to go almost right up to the lake and get a cell phone signal on AT&T.

There's a great blend of nature-y stuff like hikes and wildlife for those so inclined, and there is an outlet mall and casinos for those who like city life.

I hope I'm not pushing too hard for this, I'm just excited about where I live and would love to show it off. :)
posted by IndigoRain at 3:13 PM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Indiana Dunes would be great - it's a good mix of nature and urban stuff. Of course it's close for us midwesterners but is easy to get to.
posted by leslies at 3:36 PM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Next summer in New Orleans. 2014 is the 15th anniversary of MetaFilter (and more importantly: the fifth anniversary of MeFiNola). Big things are going to happen.

Hmm. There's a good reason I don't live on the Gulf Coast anymore...what was it? Oh yeah, IT'S F***ING HOT THERE IN THE SUMMER. AND HUMID - LIKE BEING IN THE MOUTH OF A VERY LARGE DOG!!!
posted by BillW at 3:37 PM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


If you exclude kids, that means a bunch of people who aren't going to be able to go. Allowing families doesn't exclude anyone. I'm cool if you want to say families in one section. But considering all the askmes and metatalks about kids and babies, there are a lot of people here with kids and I'd be sad if all of us were excluded from a community event.
posted by HMSSM at 3:38 PM on February 17, 2013


"... I hope I'm not pushing too hard for this, I'm just excited about where I live and would love to show it off. :)"
posted by IndigoRain at 3:13 PM on February 17

I think your enthusiasm is charming, IndigoRain, and the Great Lakes in summer are lovely, and your suggestion has merit on many points.

But even though I no longer live anywhere near there, I would politely point out that getting a parade event permit for Overton Park in Memphis is pretty cheap and easy, and if it came to that, I'd be willing to volunteer as Parade Marshall and get the permit. Yes, I'm talking parade, people. The Inaugural MeFest Parade, so to speak.

Now, who's in?
posted by paulsc at 3:42 PM on February 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


It's true - there are lots of people here with young children and they'd pretty much all quite reasonably decide they couldn't and didn't want to come. That's part of why I don't want to make a no kids rule.
posted by orange swan at 3:49 PM on February 17, 2013


Just a few notes on Paxson. It's near to the town of Seeley, which would make motels an option for those who prefer a little bit more luxury, but it is also near to campgrounds so people who felt like camping could do that as well. Or you could camp on the grounds of Paxson, which I have in fact done. Actual accommodations at the camp are cabins with separate bathrooms and showers available. There is a dining hall, and food can be part of the deal, though I will be honest that the food wasn't that great when I was there. They are used to dealing with dietary preferences/needs. In terms of things to do, Seeley is quite a Montana vacation spot, but it's certainly not New Orleans, and we'd probably want to plan ahead a bit to make our own fun. I somewhat prefer an in the woods festival type feel, with planned activities, lots of time for hanging out, etc. rather than something in the city where the experience will be a bit more disjoint. But I will attend any kind of event we organize like this no matter what! Montana is also expensive to fly to, and you will need transport from the airport to Paxson, as it is several hours away.

Another note on summer camps, Paxson is certainly not the only option. Many summer camps host groups and events in the off-season as a way of making some extra money and can be great venues for this kind of event. Check out this New York Times article for some ideas. Your childhood summer camp might be available as well!
posted by Polyhymnia at 4:03 PM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hmm. Seems like the options that got the most approval in this thread and thus made my shortlist are remote enough that they would involve driving to - and I can't drive. Surely there would be at least a few other people who won't have a car with them because they flew and who won't want the bother or expense of renting a car. Is public transit an option for some of these places?
posted by orange swan at 4:28 PM on February 17, 2013


I would be less enthused about a gathering with children. It changes the entire dynamic, and IMO, there are already many many options for families with young children to get together at shared travel destinations. It's much rarer to find groups of adults that get together for the kind of fun they prefer.

It's true about camps. I know of one in CT and one in NJ that are easy to rent.

As far as people who don't drive, it would be pretty easy to arrange carpool options with other people who are traveling. Limiting it to places with public transport would pretty much rule out most non-urban locations in the US.

I hear what y'all are saying about Vegas but I really wouldn't want to do this in Vegas. Not even a small bit.
posted by Miko at 4:39 PM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wonder about a camp on Cape Cod. There are plenty, I know of a nice one in Brewster; it's relatively easy to get to, it's beautiful off season, and there are many daytrip destinations.
posted by Miko at 4:42 PM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Seriously, we've gone from outdoors, on the cheap camping/cabins, to air conditioned digs in a major city (NOLA/Lost Wages). Think we need to work on the vision thing. Or we can try to do both with city folk staying in cities and camping folks staying in nearby country.

Meanwhile, something around a major hub is a good idea as is near the center. DFW, DTW (not a good hub - I live near DTW), DEN or ORD seem to be the best choices.

1. ORD (aka, Chicago) is near Gary and Lake Michigan which cools things off and has camping around Indiana Dunes (as has been observed) with easy access to Chicago, which has good food, music, theatre and the Cubbies for those who like culture. (Well, OK, maybe the Cubs not so much, though thought of 1000 Mefites at a Cubs came is something to ponder... :)

2. DEN (aka, Denver) has mountains and a vibrant city life. Mountains are cool in both senses of the word.

3. DFW (aka, Dallas) is hot, but fairly dry. Camping on the Texas prairie in summer (and I've done plenty) is a sweaty business nevertheless but the city is a modern metro, though a little bland for my taste (sorry y'all from Texas).

Thoughts?
posted by BillW at 4:43 PM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Think we need to work on the vision thing

I think more people are adaptable to either than one might expect, and though some will be alienated by camping, others, like me, would not be super excited about most big cities since it would just feel like conference travel and would not encourage interaction quite as well. It's often a pain in the ass to try to do big things in groups in big cities - we'd have to set up 2 or 3 main points of interactivity with reserved spaces and prepayment and all that, and then leave people to do stuff in smaller groups in the meantime. It's miserable trying to get a seating for 29 people at a basic restaurant, etc.

It'll come down to whatever people vote up, I suppose, and hopefully the voters are actually also the likely attenders and not just idly kibitzing.
posted by Miko at 4:46 PM on February 17, 2013


If you guys would reconsider doing a cruise, may I reccommend one of these. There would be plenty of plates of beans to go around!
posted by Nanukthedog at 4:46 PM on February 17, 2013


When I saw "Beck" I thought it was the musician, and I'd be afraid of getting recruited into Scientology.
posted by Miko at 4:48 PM on February 17, 2013


Since we are perhaps nearing a bogging down point at which we could hover forever offering vague ideas, may I make a suggestion about process?

1. Have a nomination period. Within the next week, ask everyone who wants to to nominate specific places for a meetup location. Not just "Chicago" but "X hotel as the central location." And perhaps have a field for one or two highlights about that location that would be appealing. SurveyMonkey or even just MeMail can be the place to collect these nominations.

It may be wise to require the person nominating the site to be willing to assist in organizing, since presumably they are familiar with it. That would also reduce the tendency for people to throw out ideas without having much of a clear sense of what they're proposing.

2. Create the shortlist and vote. Gather up the nominations, weed out any that undesirable/unfeasible (for whatever criteria we want to apply, like "within 2 hours of a major airport) and present them back in a second survey at which we choose from the nominated locations.
posted by Miko at 4:52 PM on February 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


I have a great kid but would prefer that kids not come.

I will attend whatever, whenever! Someone really ought to just pick a place and risk failure. You can't do worse than the meetup at "bathroom".
posted by the young rope-rider at 4:55 PM on February 17, 2013


The primary beef I have with camping is that it presents inherently more logistical issues than a city gathering would. Out of towners would have to not just make travel arrangements (which become more complicated the further away from a major hub you get), but there are also gear requirements which start to come into play. Even if you like camping in your hometown, you might not be prepared to hop on a plane to an unfamiliar place with your sleeping bag, towels, bug spray, cooking utensils and provisions all stashed in your carry-on. Traveling to a city may have less inherent "charm" for outdoor types, but you have to worry far less about fitting all your survival gear into an overhead bin.
posted by Diagonalize at 5:18 PM on February 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


One consideration for large group gatherings that aren't, by design, essentially self-contained, and that hasn't been explicitly mentioned in this thread, is access to medical care.

Just about any place in New England, short of Northern Maine, is going to be close enough to medical care. I'd guess the same would be true for most of the Northeast. I can't speak for other areas of the country but I don't think anyone is looking at a true wilderness experience. Most campgrounds that include cabins, function halls, and plumbing are off a main road somewhere.

I guess I don't care about kids either way. I'd expect the main nighttime activity would be drinking and most parents with kids would do something else. During the day families would probably go off and do family things with other families and non-parents would hang with whoever they wanted to hang with.

Probably the thing to do, rather than just say "no kids", is to plan the event as if it were adults-only and parents could plan around that. Most people with kids can safely navigate around adult-oriented activities and plan kid-friendly things to do.

That said, I don't imagine I'd be bringing my kid along.
posted by bondcliff at 5:34 PM on February 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think the main think to think about is whether this will be a "We all go to the same city, arrange meetups and meals" type of event or "We all go to literally the same place and make meals and plan events more or less as a group"

I went to NOLA10 and except for the one main event, there were a lot of ad hoc events, meals with more or less of the whole crew in attendance. This was good for people who came late, left early, weren't feeling well or whatever. I've also been to events that are basically destination events. You all go to a place and either camp or do sort of cabin/dorm/lodge style accommodations and all the meals happen at more or less set times (either prepared by the group or with some sort of catering aspect) and there are some set events and people are welcome to come and go as they please. MAXFUNCON tried to be this sort of event and mostly was. At the far end is real camping or Burning Man style stuff where everyone brings a self-contained apparatus and people share a space and maybe resources. Everyone will have their own preferences and it might be worth a basic survey about where people lean and then narrow down to locations from there?

A few things it seems like will need to be nailed down preferencewise in that "we will have to make choices here" way

- big city vs. destination location vs. rural location?
- families or no families?
- cook in or eat out?
- accessibility: internet access? public transpo access? ADA accessibility?
- budget vs. comfort vs ????

And I'm sure I'm not alone in being totally willing to carpool with folks and/or being willing to chip in for expenses of other people if cost is the one thing keeping otherwise interested people from going.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:36 PM on February 17, 2013


That's the advantage of a place like Camp Paxton (not saying this camp specifically all these places are similar) they have a spread of facilities because they are often setup for kids to show up with nothing but a suitcase. People who want to camp in everything from ground sheets to massive Class A land wags can be accommodated. People who need shelter have it available from bunk houses and cabins. And food prep facilities are provided in a lodge. Or from what Polyhymnia says actual hotels are a short distance away.

I would prefer something where people are all together to get the feel of a big meet up rather than a cluster of mini meetups that would probably happen in a place like Vegas.

orange swan: "Surely there would be at least a few other people who won't have a car with them because they flew and who won't want the bother or expense of renting a car. Is public transit an option for some of these places?"

I'm sure car pooling wouldn't be a problem. Heck if it turns out that it would be a problem at that point demand would allow us to rent a bus and driver or something for the duration.
posted by Mitheral at 5:42 PM on February 17, 2013


"... Is public transit an option for some of these places?"
posted by orange swan at 7:28 PM on February 17

Well, if you're comin' to Memphis, glad you asked, orange swan.

Those flying commercial would probably arrive at beautiful Memphis International Airport. International travelers, such as yourself, might appreciate being able to clear customs there on direct flights, or avail themselves of excellent air freight connections and brokerage services for special baggage. If you're comin' in private, you could base either at Memphis International, or, depending on your runway needs, at General DeWitt Spain Airport, which is really convenient to downtown, and easily served by all the local cab, limo, and rental car companies.

Depending on particulars of season and river stage, and the time you have available, you could still come by river boat, too, but don't confuse these options with local Memphis riverboats, which mainly offer fun, short term river cruises, as another local entertainment option. Amtrak, alas, is the only train service into Memphis, these days. Greyhound Bus Line still serves Memphis from many, many North American boarding points, not to mention any number of point-to-point private lines which connect in nearby cities like Nashville, and on which, in combination with Greyhound, you might find great deals and reasonable schedules.

Those driving have, of course, their choice of routes. But if coming from the Southeast, as I might, you have the choice, depending on the time you have, to come in via Highway 61, or follow the Tamale Trail.

Once you're actually in the Bluff City, you have the Trolley on certain downtown routes, MATA bus service city wide, and of course, all the usual cab, car and limo/van service options you'd have in any metro area. I think it would be fabulous if some out-of-town folk flying in got together, rented and decorated a few limos as parade floats, and drove along Overton Park roads hanging out of the windows and skylights, waving and throwing popcorn and beads to passerby...

I think I know of a family up in Dyersburg, TN that still has 4 palamino horses and gear, and will march in any parade that invites 'em. So our equestrian unit needs are covered, if we do decide a parade would be fun. I suppose we can easily make up a leashed Dog Unit, and a separate leashed Kitty Unit, from AskMe, but of course, I suppose that brings up the whole Pet Policy issue (personally, I'm for including dogs, and against cats, but if you admit the one, I suppose you've got to have the other, too). I'd hope MeFiMusic could come up with a marching band, or at least some musical folks to ride in the back of driven-in pickup trucks, further decorated as floats...
posted by paulsc at 5:45 PM on February 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


I would prefer something where people are all together to get the feel of a big meet up rather than a cluster of mini meetups that would probably happen in a place like Vegas.

Me too.

As for the gear thing, a Paxton (or similar, see my BRewster link) does not require full camping gear. And where stuff like bug spray might be required, we could simply establish a slush fund and buy spray for sharing out of that. I used to participate in a long-running beach vacation with a dozen or so friends. Rather than bring a dozen sunscreens, etc, we would all throw $50 into the house pool and we bought all our sunscreen, bug spray, food, booze and snacks from that and then redistributed any remainder equally amongst us at week's end.
posted by Miko at 5:49 PM on February 17, 2013


Seriously, why don't we just have a meetup in Portland for the next MeFi anniversary? Portland is a wonderful town -- I try to visit at least once a year. And then if we get sick of each other, we can go off and eat amazing donuts or see a band play or something.
posted by Afroblanco at 6:38 PM on February 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


"... And then if we get sick of each other, we can go off and eat amazing donuts or see a band play or something."
posted by Afroblanco at 9:38 PM on February 17

Seriously, Afroblanco, I've proposed a location which can plausibly offer: and all you got is "amazing donuts"... "or something."?

Well, great.

Let me further mention And let me not forget to remind you that, the Rev. Al Green would be pleased to see you at the Full Gospel Tabernacle Church, if you were walkin' in Memphis on some Sunday morning.
posted by paulsc at 8:03 PM on February 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


FWIW Memphis really is totally awesome.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:06 PM on February 17, 2013


ColdChef: "(Seriously, we've got air conditioning and everything down here.)"

Plus, if it does kill you, one-stop shopping, courtesy ColdChef.
posted by scrump at 8:18 PM on February 17, 2013 [10 favorites]


Two suggestions:
posted by scrump at 8:23 PM on February 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Plus, if it does kill you, one-stop shopping, courtesy ColdChef."
posted by scrump at 11:18 PM on February 17

I gotta admit that's a tough choice. Being buried by ColdChef, or sung to Heaven by Rev. Al Green's choir.

It's gonna come down to the fried chicken, the barbeque, the po-boys, the gumbo, and the fried catfish, and the entertaining knife fights, and blues bars, idinnit?
posted by paulsc at 8:27 PM on February 17, 2013


For the record, when I proposed "Camp Metafilter," I didn't mean the tents-and-sleeping-bags-and-complete-wilderness kind of camping. I was thinking more cabins-and-running-water kind of camping. You know, less "Into The Wild" and more "Wet Hot American Summer."

Just saw a bunch of comments that it looked like people were assuming the tent kind, and no.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:30 PM on February 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


No Internet access. Instead, there needs to be, literally, a giant MeFi-blue bulletin board and a nearly infinite supply of index cards and Sharpies.

I have no idea who filled all these index cards with pictures of cats or why...
posted by Nanukthedog at 8:32 PM on February 17, 2013


Just saw a bunch of comments that it looked like people were assuming the tent kind, and no.

What if Edward Norton is scoutmaster?
posted by shakespeherian at 8:48 PM on February 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


"I have no idea who filled all these index cards with pictures of cats or why..."
posted by Nanukthedog at 11:32 PM on February 17

They're probably all coordinating that perfect moment to jam 'em into their scanners...
posted by paulsc at 8:49 PM on February 17, 2013


I would go to NOLA just to hang out with ColdChef's kids

but they're probably too cool for me
posted by shakespeherian at 8:54 PM on February 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


I am not stepping on a carnival-like cruise ship for any of you. Though I might consider something like this or like this.

Could do NOLA, I think. Even in summer. It doesn't sound that much worse than a DC summer.
Could do Detroit.
Could also do a camp-fest, assuming I could get to it.

I have to say, paulsc's hard sell of Memphis is starting to draw me in...


I would be really surprised if more than 125 people signed up for the first round.

Are you counting possible friends and plus-ones? Or the possibility of roving gangs of mefites venturing out from the big cities? ;)
posted by zennie at 9:06 PM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Vanuatu in July is pretty much perfect. Granted, it's a bit out of the way...
posted by orrnyereg at 9:12 PM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


It doesn't sound that much worse than a DC summer.

It's not really. The difference being that the architecture and lifestyle accommodate it all a lot better. Caribbean-style.
posted by Miko at 9:20 PM on February 17, 2013


Seriously, Afroblanco, I've proposed a location which can plausibly offer: [...] and all you got is "amazing donuts"... "or something."?

Yeah, but Portland is a place I'd visit regardless. Like, I could see myself & my girlfriend planning a trip to PDX and dropping in on the meetup for a few hours, and maybe hitting up a brunch or something the next day. Same goes for NOLA, except we're already going there for Jazz Fest. (BTW, ColdChef -- we totally need to hang out again!)

So yeah, completely selfish motives. I'll probably wind up in Portland this summer anyway, so who knows, maybe I'll make a surprise appearance at a meetup like I did last summer :)
posted by Afroblanco at 9:35 PM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


"I am not stepping on a carnival-like cruise ship for any of you. ..."
posted by zennie at 12:06 AM on February 18

zennie, your comment spurred a thought, but one that requires a bit of explanation for those unfamiliar with Gulf waters, to wit:

The western Gulf is lousy with oil rigs. Not so much that I'm not happy for every barrel of crude they pump that keeps my truck in gasoline at decent prices, but still, for those landlubbers with imaginations, and sailors looking for blue water only... The eastern Gulf, and therefore, the West Coast of the Florida Peninsula, not so much.

If a group of folk wanted to charter a boat, or boats, for blue water fun, this may well be the last decade to do so, where places like Tampa and St. Petersburg and other eastern Gulf Florida ports might still show up in a Google search. Otherwise, you're on the colder Atlantic side of Florida's ocean choices, headed out for Bimini, and Bermuda, presumably with licensed captains at the helm.

Fun for 1 or 2 boats worth of adventurous, yet instructable, people. Tougher, by far, for 500 folk. And nobody that steps on a charter sailboat should reasonably think they might need meds or a doctor for weeks.
posted by paulsc at 9:56 PM on February 17, 2013


orange swan: "Is public transit an option for some of these places?"

With regards to the Dunes, the Dune Park train station is *in* the Dunes (as is the much smaller and not-as-nice Beverly Shores station) and is one mile from the Lake. I'd be happy to ferry people to and from the cabins and the train station, either in my car or I can borrow my mom's SUV, and I could probably ask pjern if he wants to help.

(The current one-way fare from the farthest station - Millennium Station - to Dune Park is $7 and change.) I believe there are both buses and trains available from O'Hare and Midway to Millennium Station. There are also plenty of buses from O'Hare/Midway to the area as well as the ChicaGo Dash which comes to Valparaiso, a van service. You would also have the option to fly into the smaller Gary or South Bend airports and grab the South Shore train. We could see about either chartering or renting a bus but I don't have a CDL re the latter.

Michigan City has a bus system and the South Shore train stops there. If we are interested in the casino, the Blue Chip Casino/Hotel/Spa has a bus system as well and offers group packages. The Lighthouse Place Outlet Mall (yes, Michigan City has a lighthouse) has a listing of local hotels and bed & breakfasts.

The Dunes has accessible attractions and beach facilities. (If you're exploring the website, Michigan City is in LaPorte county, and some of the Dunes and the State Park itself are in Porter County.) Most of the beaches are free. The ones that are not are A. more crowded and B. have the lifeguards. :/ There is an RV and regular campground.

There's a water park, Deep River Waterpark, in Merrillville. (Ignore anything you read about Splashdown Dunes Waterpark, it's closed.)

I'm really dreading telling you all this, but alcohol is not allowed on the beach proper.
posted by IndigoRain at 9:57 PM on February 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think something important we need to consider is time of year. I don't want to go to Memphis or NOLA in the worst part of summer, and I'd really rather not go to Montana in the winter.
posted by IndigoRain at 9:58 PM on February 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


For budget control and group size, we need shoulder season wherever.
posted by Miko at 10:06 PM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


IndigoRain, you make a good case for a gathering at the Great Lakes. And yet, for those with any imagination, what is most impactful about standing on the shore of any Great Lake, to my mind, is to be there, with wind in your hair, and blue water before you, and then to imagine for yourself the mile or more thick ice sheet, above the water in front of you, that science tells us carved the darned things.

What's on your side, my friend, is imagined majesty, of a scale not possible, further South.

Then again, you ain't got barbeque, or gumbo.
posted by paulsc at 10:09 PM on February 17, 2013


Joseph Gurl: "Seoul is pretty happenin..."

Excellent idea. I've heard great things about that city. Plus, we can take a sightseeing trip to the DMZ!
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 10:20 PM on February 17, 2013


Vanuatu in July is pretty much perfect. Granted, it's a bit out of the way...
Not so out of the way for everyone ...
posted by dg at 10:23 PM on February 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


What I see right now, is two kinds of options

One of a major cities, mostly in the states:

a) Chicago
b) Memphis
c) New Orleans
d) Portland.
e) Las Vegas


One of the retreats:

The Dunes near Michigan City
A summer camp in Maine (like this: http://www.kingsleypines.com/?gclid=CND73Ieev7UCFYje4AodZm0ACw)
Somewhere near the Poconos (http://www.malibududeranch.com/)
That Place near Big Sur.


three problems i can see with point a
a) getting there
b) weather
c) expense

three problems i can see w. point b
a) accessibility
b) internet issues
c) boredom (that might not be the best way of putting it)

we still need to figure out
a) the kids issue
b) what we want from this retreat
c) how we are dealing with scholarships and the like
d) problems of numbers
e) the American issue--there has been discussion of Seoul, Vanuatu, and maybe others, but I am not sure if they were serious.

I think that we have ruled out an actual cruise ship, but that might not be true.
posted by PinkMoose at 10:37 PM on February 17, 2013


I'm not even American but I think it's pretty clear something of this scale would have to happen there. It's where the site and the majority of users are based.

I'm liking the Portland and Montana suggestions because they are both driveable for me. Then again I've been looking for an excuse to visit New Orleans for years and would probably shell out for a flight down there.

I could do either camping or city, but I lean towards camping/cabinning.

Based on years of Burning Man, I'd say it is possible to have an event that's both family/kid friendly and late-night rager friendly as long as it's planned that way (ie. if it's a camping spot, a designated family camping area away from the late-night noise).

oh and if all works out and it's somewhere out West, I could offer spots to a few other Vancouver/BC-ers to carpool down.
posted by mannequito at 11:00 PM on February 17, 2013


If kids are coming, I'm out.

No offense, but hate 'em.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 11:03 PM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


... "b) what we want from this retreat" ...
posted by PinkMoose at 1:37 AM on February 18

With all due respect for your effort to summarize, PinkMoose, but I'm not sure that what we are talking about, at any venue, is a retreat.

Not pickin' at you here, in any way.

But what I've been proposing involves kids, dogs, cats, equestrian units, limousines, great food, kooky side attractions and a fun parade. What IndigoRain has been talking about seems like an invitation to imagine the very nature of time and natural majesty, in a beautiful place, with lodging levels suitable to all. What ColdChef and the Nawlin's contingent have offered is, well, sweat and a decent burial, and po-boys and gumbo. I dunno, yet, what the folks pushing Portland, OR, or western desert locations think would draw the rest of us.

I suspect that 500 MeFites showing up, otherwise unannounced in Vanuatu in July of any year, would overwhelm local resources, and constitute a riot.

But I think I know, from this discussion, that any destination/plan, that is discouraging for kids, dogs, cats, folks without passports, folks that are confused, folks that aren't like me, and those without a sense of humor, or a willingness to compromise, probably ain't my crowd.

I, for one, want to advance on life; I'm too old to retreat.
posted by paulsc at 11:22 PM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


lurkers are always welcome at meetups
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 2:50 AM on February 16

First-time-poster-long-time-lurker-just-got-the-guts-to-register currently swooning over a Camp Metafilter idea, and thankful for the love of MeFites.

A quick n' dirty search of camps that rent out to groups turned up Camp Cayuga. Some higlights:

- Two separate campuses on the same land (potential for "kid-friendly" and "kid-free" zones)
- Activities galore (zip line, trapeze, giant trampoline, football fields, hockey rink, scuba diving and circus clinics?!)
- On the cheap (rental fee is typically less than $40 per day per person which includes use of the facility, an overnight & 3 meals)
- Have previously accommodated groups up to 600
- Located in the aforementioned Ponocos

Potential drawback: Located in Honesdale, three hours away from Philly and NYC. Travel could be a pain, and severely cut into the limited amount of time for a three-day weekend.

If it doesn't tickle your fancy, plenty of other camp facilities available for perusal here (includes search by capacity option).
posted by idealist at 11:26 PM on February 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


instead of retreat, i will bow to paulsc and call it a forward
posted by PinkMoose at 11:31 PM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


but alcohol is not allowed on the beach proper

What about the beach improper?
posted by pjern at 11:41 PM on February 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Portland is beautiful in July and August, not THE most expensive place in the world, and it's a place people actually want to go to without having to be convinced. Plus, there is precedent : the 8th anniversary party in PDX was well-attended and lots of fun.

As for kids -- bring 'em to daytime events, leave them out of night time events.
posted by Afroblanco at 11:43 PM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


"... As for kids -- bring 'em to daytime events, leave them out of night time events."
posted by Afroblanco at 2:43 AM on February 18

And your proposal for pets/co-critters?
posted by paulsc at 11:54 PM on February 17, 2013


Not my problem. That's why I don't have them. Besides, you really want people showing up at late-night bar events with children in tow?
posted by Afroblanco at 11:56 PM on February 17, 2013


"... Besides, you really want people showing up at late-night bar events with children in tow?"
posted by Afroblanco at 2:56 AM on February 18

Buddy, I'm hopin' for all the participation we can get, and for parents who know when to put the kids to bed, and hire a sitter, or stay with the kiddos, or come out to bars with bats, or parrots, or honey badgers in tow.
posted by paulsc at 12:00 AM on February 18, 2013


Yeah, I'm not going to a nighttime bar event where children will be present.
posted by Afroblanco at 12:01 AM on February 18, 2013


Would you knowingly go to a nightime bar event where pet parrots were going to be present?
posted by paulsc at 12:06 AM on February 18, 2013


Only if they're accompanied by pirates. Also, grog should be available.




I like grog.
posted by Afroblanco at 12:07 AM on February 18, 2013


"... I like grog."
posted by Afroblanco at 3:07 AM on February 18

And I like you, Afroblanco. What I'm not clear about is whether you might, or might not, depending on the time of day, like my dog's pet parrot, in the circumstance of meeting the bird without me in full pirate costume, in a place in Portland, OR, that was willing to serve anybody present, anything resembling alcohol.
posted by paulsc at 12:12 AM on February 18, 2013


Also, I have a loose definition of pirate.

They should at least have copied an MP3 at some point.
posted by Afroblanco at 12:13 AM on February 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Both you and the dog should be pirates. Or if that is not possible, you should be a pirate, and you should refer to your dog as "a salty dog".
posted by Afroblanco at 12:14 AM on February 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


"... They should at least have copied an MP3 at some point."
posted by Afroblanco at 3:13 AM on February 18

I DID! I DID! THOUSANDS OF 'EM.

But alas, all from rips I made on an old computer, from CDs and vinyl records I owned. There was no other way to migrate from XP to Windows 7...
posted by paulsc at 12:18 AM on February 18, 2013


And by the bye, the damned dog is certainly a pirate. He chomps down anything edible that I might first notice, and might pay for, about 10 seconds before the merchant before whom we both upright try to stand, can possibly record the transaction.

It's nothing but Hell for a Christian man, to live with a beast whose soul is so blackened, and who has a pet parrot...
posted by paulsc at 12:55 AM on February 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Long range thoughts on where: sticking to just the continental US, I'd go with a cycle that went something like: North Central, South West, North East, South Central, North West, South East (starting anywhere on that list, but cycling in that order or reverse that order) so that it would be in everyone's region at least every six years and in an adjacent region every other year or so. Once this becomes a happening thing, squeezing in some out-of-the-US events should be easy.

As for how they should be structured, I think a large portion of that is going to have to rest with the folks who run the individual events and what facilities are available, and they're going to have to be absolutely honest so that if all they have facilities and crew to support is liver abuse, people who are looking for something with a bit more substance know to give that year's MetaFest a miss.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 1:19 AM on February 18, 2013


I'm voting for NOLA. We had an epic 10th anniversary meetup there.
posted by y6y6y6 at 1:19 AM on February 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


As a mefite who is likely to be travelling very far regardless of which of the options get chosen (I've always wanted to visit vanuatu, but I'm guessing that's an unlikely option) I think transport is going to be important, especially if you want an epic meetup with as many far flung mefites as possible.

So... nearish an airport?
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 4:59 AM on February 18, 2013


Would it be advantageous at this point to have some sort of survey asking how many are hoping to attend, whether you prefer city or country, will you need public transport or will you drive, kids or no kid or some hybrid thereof and maybe activities that you'd like to see offered, restaurant or group meals, etc. Maybe it could be set up by some of the people upthread that have offered to organize (miko, orange swan, madamina, the pink superhero off the top of my head and maybe others). It seems like we are going round and round at this point and maybe some concrete information regarding possible number of attendees and their preferences would be helpful.
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 5:35 AM on February 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Would it be advantageous at this point to have some sort of survey

Of course it would. This is one of those situations where someone really needs to take some organizational leadership. I am normally the type that loves that stuff, as you note, SweetTeaAndBiscuit, but even though organizing travel for MeFites is very tempting red meat to me I have pledged not to take on any more volunteer tasks of any kind until I finish my master's degree (even though I already offered to help organize NOLA if that is a destination - it was an attempt to get something moving). However, it kills me to sit aside and watch everyone note that "someone" should do something. Here are some concrete tasks that anyone could do right now:

1. Ask for destination nominations to MeMail and also cull this thread for nominations of specific places.

2. Compile a list where each is similarly formatted.

3. Go to SurveyMonkey and make a simple survey where people can rank those destinations in order of preference and answer those other questions. Be sure to include a likeliness-of-attending question.

A decisive leader could also bypass most of this and just pick a place that they'd really like to organize and start getting volunteers to help put it together. People tend to respond well when presented with structured alternatives, but will circle forever in the absence of concrete options.

I suspect that 500 MeFites showing up, otherwise unannounced in Vanuatu in July of any year, would overwhelm local resources, and constitute a riot.

I think we should be very clear that nobody is showing up "unannounced" anywhere. If we are successful in picking a destination, one or a small group of people needs to manage logistics. And that includes identifying accommodations, making group reservations, identifying meal plans and activities, and connecting with any local tourism boards or governmental authorities or whatever is entailed in the plan.

discouraging for kids, dogs, cats, folks without passports

If we hold it within the US, then anyone coming from outside the US needs a passport.
posted by Miko at 6:16 AM on February 18, 2013


I would love to help out with logistics but I don't think I can take leadership of a meetup in an area I've never been to and can't visit beforehand (like NOLA). I could set up a survey in the next few days, though- maybe cut off for nominations by Friday evening and survey open for business on Monday? Send them my way, people (please include city as well as possible venues); I'll cull from this thread, too.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:31 AM on February 18, 2013


I am now compiling a Google Doc of destination choices based on this thread. I'll share it here so you can put your nominations into it, TPS.
posted by Miko at 6:33 AM on February 18, 2013


Fabulous.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:38 AM on February 18, 2013


OK, here's what we have so far in terms of specific destinations offered. If you have something to add, please MeMail to TPS. Also, please do be as specific as possible about the destination and think through the feasibility of accommodating a large, active, independent-minded and hard-to-control group.
posted by Miko at 6:54 AM on February 18, 2013


I like the idea of a preliminary survey as SweetTeaAndABiscuit suggests. Once we have those results, we can compile a short list of possible locations and vote on that.

I'll be on the planning committee but won't be in charge of it. I'm good at internet research and can organize but don't have any experience with large event planning and don't have any real executive ability.

I'm very much against a hot weather New Orleans trip, which would put off too many people including me — I can barely handle July in Toronto! I don't want a Las Vegas trip, but that's just a personal preference as I've been there and don't care to go again. If the majority does want to go there, I'll respect that of course.

Also (again, personal preference) I'd love it if the place we choose is near the ocean or at least a large lake. We could get Matt to make MeFi beach blankets, bikinis, and speedos for us to buy for the trip.;-)
posted by orange swan at 6:54 AM on February 18, 2013


I'm happy to work on event planning logistics when the time comes and have experience at that.
posted by Miko at 6:59 AM on February 18, 2013


I wonder if we could conscript pb into opening up a mildly-modified IRL thread for us, where people can mark themselves down as attending without there being a firm date or location? We could of course kludge it and just set an arbitrary location and date while we plan, but that's probably suboptimal.
posted by Phire at 7:32 AM on February 18, 2013


I'll say this about Vegas as a possibility -- I did something very much like what we're attempting here, a gathering of friends from the internet, in Vegas a few years ago. It was a smaller group, but we picked Vegas not because of Casinos and Clubs because of inexpensive, often direct flights from all over North America and other parts of the world and for a plethora of accommodations options. Plus a ton of restaurants and other food options. All in a variety of price points and totally geared toward handling groups of people.

Vegas doesn't have to be the Strip and the strippers. There's a whole city there that's not the Strip at all, but still benefits in terms of tourism infrastructure.

When our group went to Vegas we did go see Tom Jones, and a few people went to a poker tournament one morning, but mostly we played board games in one of the houses we'd rented. Don't eliminate it from consideration because you might personally not be all that keen on the OMG Vegas experience -- Vegas can be a great host for an event like this without it being about Vegas at all.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:37 AM on February 18, 2013


I wonder if we could conscript pb into opening up a mildly-modified IRL thread for us, where people can mark themselves down as attending without there being a firm date or location?

We've been looking at some IRL tweaks that will involve people being able to RSVP to proposed meetups but I think if this is going to happen it's really going to have to be unofficial in scope. I'm happy to play cruise director while there or help in any sort of capacity (other than leading the charge) but I think for maximum usefulness we should be working on a thing that won't require official infrastructure support.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:43 AM on February 18, 2013


Vegas has appealed to me for a while as, from hearing other people's accounts, it can be done on the cheap and it's easy to withdraw once you've had your fill. So, can explore the casino's and the gaudy neon et al, then when it gets a bit ridiculous can say "enough" and go back to base and play board games with like-minded people.

Also, it's got the Atomic Testing Museum and the Springs Preserve. But what sounds best of all, for a group of MetaFilter people to go to and live-metafilter from, is this room...
posted by Wordshore at 8:02 AM on February 18, 2013


Vegas would work for me, I'm idolized in Freeside.
posted by The Whelk at 8:10 AM on February 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm personally not keen on Vegas. I'd like to visit there someday as sort of an exercise in American studies and then move on quickly to the Grand Canyon, but if I'm just going to play board games I'd like to be somewhere much more naturally beautiful, and if I'm going to be going to gambling palaces in big groups, I just don't want to go. Yes, it's cheap, but so is the Southeast, Midwest, Maine. Also, there was a fairly large MetaChat meetup there several years ago, so it feels a little like old ground.
posted by Miko at 8:11 AM on February 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I hate Las Vegas - its only merit is cheap flights and good access to wilderness. Surely we can come up with a destination that's desirable for more than being inexpensive to get to and stay at while meeting those entirely desirable things.
posted by leslies at 8:16 AM on February 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


As long as wherever we go has enough space to keep me far away from The Whelk I am okay with it.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:17 AM on February 18, 2013


BUT WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT VICTORIAN NARRARATIVE PAINTING
posted by The Whelk at 8:19 AM on February 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sit here by me, Whelk.
posted by Miko at 8:20 AM on February 18, 2013


If you can't say anything nice about Morally Instructive Social Realism then don't say anything at all.
posted by The Whelk at 8:26 AM on February 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm personally not big on Vegas or New Orleans in summer --- I hate heat! --- but, if it ends up somewhere east coast-ish I can get to and is towards the end of the year, I'll break out my Santa suit and do a gig for y'all.
posted by easily confused at 10:42 AM on February 18, 2013


I don't love Vegas, but it definitely doesn't deserve full-on hate. Don't get me wrong, it's far from perfect, but I've been there dozens of times for family reasons, and I don't gamble or drink, but I still have a fun time. There is a whole world off of the Strip, and it's eminently worthy of Metafilter consideration.

For example, Vegas has an excellent Asian food scene, maybe not quite on par with L.A. and NYC, but it's pretty damn close. I say this as an Asian foodie who grew up in the heart of the San Gabriel Valley. You want cheap pho, fancy dim sum, or crazy Korean-Mexican fusion, they got it.

I have zero interest in fishing and hunting, but the Bass Pro Shop in the Silverton Casino was one of the more amazing highlights of my last trip. Seriously, this place is bananas. It's like an amazing Americana theme park with fishing lures and wildlife dioramas. I spent hours hanging out there and also marveling at the gigantic saltwater aquarium set up just outside the entrance. And just down the road is the Zombie Apocalypse Store, one stop shopping for all your undead survivalist needs.

And for those in search of natural beauty, Red Rock Canyon is about 15 miles away from Vegas proper, and it's absolutely stunning. In addition to hiking and what looks like killer rock climbing, they've even got wild burros! As long as it's not high summer, it's an amazingly beautiful slice of the desert to visit, and it doesn't feel like typical "Vegas" at all.

I'm not saying everybody should move to Vegas, but don't just write it off because of associations with scuzzy bachelor parties and soul-sucking work conventions. Like everywhere else, Vegas is what you make of it, and I know MeFites would definitely make the most of Vegas.
posted by Diagonalize at 10:59 AM on February 18, 2013


BUT WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT VICTORIAN NARRARATIVE PAINTING

That reminds me, let's also bring a bunch of costumes and props and do tableaux vivants too.
posted by maryr at 11:17 AM on February 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


I call dibs on Liberty Leading the People
posted by The Whelk at 11:18 AM on February 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


My feelings about Vegas include thoughts of cutting off my right arm and beating everyone around me to death with it.

Whether the Whelk would like to schedule that spectacle before or after his Delacroix moment, I leave to him.
posted by scody at 11:29 AM on February 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


Vegas may indeed have much to offer us, but my feeling is that there's going to be so much knee-jerk ill-will towards it (deserved or not) that choosing it as a venue is likely to turn off a lot of potential attendees (and unnecessarily prejudice the more reluctant people who do end up attending).
posted by Phire at 11:35 AM on February 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


I could have sworn we were just talking about The Raft of the Medusa.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:43 AM on February 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'll race you through the Louvre shakes.
posted by The Whelk at 11:46 AM on February 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I could have sworn we were just talking about The Raft of the Medusa.

Bringing the cruise theme full circle.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:04 PM on February 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


If Las Vegas is the choice, it would be fun to rent a big house like this as a home base. Nice to have access to a kitchen so not all meals have to be in restaurants. I would totally be a member of the food/cooking committee.
posted by Daily Alice at 12:05 PM on February 18, 2013


In fairness, I wouldn't put Vegas at the top of my list either, but it's also been the only suggestion that some people are actively bashing on, despite having been presented by several other folks as a reasonable option. If it's not your cup of tea, that's cool, but hyperbolic statements about cutting off your own arm rather than visit a town that millions of people happily visit every year strike me as slightly mean-spirited. I mean, I love you guys, and I'd happily hang out with you just about anywhere. If Vegas makes that happen more easily, it doesn't seem right to just totally rule it out.
posted by Diagonalize at 12:14 PM on February 18, 2013


Logistics are tricky. It's a numbers game. The bike thing I do that has a stop in the Dunes hosts about 200-250 riders. About a third camp and eat at the campground. About two thirds stay at a motel or hotel, most of which eat a dinner somewhat together. It takes about twelve people to serve a mostly catered pasta dinner for 150 with kegs of beer and people eat in shifts. As it's a summer thing, folks hang out while waiting.
To keep everyone part of the evenings activities a bus is rented that continually circles the motels/campground/rented dinner enclosure from 6-10. All this relies on reasonable weather. If there's rain or unseasonable temps, we'd be better served at a scout camp/religious camp/conference center. That would be the only way to go to do any kind of group activities like the tableaux that now I am sure we are all desperately waiting for.

State parks may be the way to go, ones with lodges, cabins and common areas that people rent for weddings, etc. Do we have any wedding planners in the house (a job that always seemed like a special kind of hell to me)?
posted by readery at 12:31 PM on February 18, 2013


We're gonna find out that Camp Metafilter was in our hearts all along, aren't we?
posted by The Whelk at 12:59 PM on February 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


I hope so because then I don't have to put on pants to go there.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:03 PM on February 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


but hyperbolic statements about cutting off your own arm rather than visit a town that millions of people happily visit every year strike me as slightly mean-spirited. I mean, I love you guys, and I'd happily hang out with you just about anywhere. If Vegas makes that happen more easily, it doesn't seem right to just totally rule it out.

I was under the impression that we could share our preferences in this thread, in which case my preference is never to set foot in Las Vegas ever again. That said: hey, if there's something about its appeal and logistics that makes it easier for a large group to go, great. I just won't be there. And I truly don't mean that in a BE FOREWARNED THAT YOU WILL BE DEPRIVED OF MY PRESENCE sort of way; I just mean that I've visited Vegas enough to know how unpleasant I find it, and therefore I know that I am unlikely to consider attending the way I'd consider attending virtually any other suggestion in the thread (e.g., I dislike heat and humidity, but would happily go to NOLA; I don't camp, but would happily go to Montana or Indiana or any outdoorsy suggestion, as long as there is a slightly-less-rustic option; I've never wanted to go on a cruise, but I would make an exception for Metafilter). This is not to cast aspersions on any of the fine people who enjoy Las Vegas.

Besides, I live in L.A., so I guess I'm used to people talking shit (hyperbolic or not) about "a town that millions of people happily visit every year." I try not to take it too personally.
posted by scody at 1:06 PM on February 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Here is where I once again offer the emminently reasonable suggestion that we do this in Portland. Amazing food, very walkable (you won't need a car), good public transportation, beautiful weather in July and August, friendly people, kickass music scene, two MeFi mods, not insanely expensive, fun outdoorsy stuff nearby, a strong track record of successful meetups -- what's not to like?
posted by Afroblanco at 1:15 PM on February 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


My vote(s) are for PDX or New Orleans, mostly because I've been wanting to visit those places for a while anyway and if I only have to spend money on one hugely indulgent trip, all the better for my bank account.
posted by Phire at 1:18 PM on February 18, 2013


If this happens at Martha's Vineyard/Block Island I will shuttle people over from the extended Boston area in the plane. If you're nervous, we can even do the fun A-Team bit where we drug you unexpectedly and you wake up on the island.
posted by backseatpilot at 1:28 PM on February 18, 2013 [6 favorites]


I'd vote for PDX because, yeah, I have a new nephew there and it'd be nice to see him! Plus of course mathowie and cortex are there, and what is a Mefi Camp without our two loveable rogues?

(although I would also find a cruise super-fun as well! Not as boring as you might think from DFW - last one I was on, we had some great time playing euroboardgames with people we met online!)
posted by adrianhon at 1:31 PM on February 18, 2013


backseatpilot: If you're nervous, we can even do the fun A-Team bit where we drug you unexpectedly and you wake up on the island.

That's going on my bucket list.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:45 PM on February 18, 2013


I prefer a city-based visit at least in part due to the kid issue: it would be very difficult to internally justify taking the costs of a week or even a three-day weekend away from my family's limited vacation budget (speaking of both free time and money here) to spend just on myself. If the location is city-based, my spouse and child can find something interesting to do with themselves if the consensus is no-kids-at-metafiliterville. However, if the location is more isolated, the choices essentially come down to my being selfish and attending alone or what, locking the kid in a cabin while the adults frolic in the lake?

While I'm not completely sold on Memphis as a location, I feel like paulsc's framing of the event is in the spirit that accommodates the most.
posted by jamaro at 2:03 PM on February 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am confused are we voting now. Because Cayuga has a foto lab we could use, to make arts and crafts projects, which would make it easier to make erotic versions of Victorian Narrative painting or 19th century Tableux Vivants--I call Gomer's Gladiators.
posted by PinkMoose at 2:11 PM on February 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Besides, I live in L.A., so I guess I'm used to people talking shit (hyperbolic or not) about "a town that millions of people happily visit every year." I try not to take it too personally.

Heh, I grew up in L.A., so don't worry. I don't take it personally if people out there hate L.A., Vegas, or Vanuatu. I just figure that if we're going to voice our preferences and suggestions, it should be in good faith with an aim towards constructive input.

I'd rather see this happen in NOLA or Portland, but having been to neither, I don't really have any useful information to put forth on those options. I never would have considered Memphis a viable option before, but I'm really hoping more people speak up like paulsc did and share juicy, tantalizing details about other potential locations. There are lots of places I'd rather be than Vegas or a summer camp bunk bed, but I live in hope that no matter where this ends up, Metafilter will show up and make it legendary.
posted by Diagonalize at 2:57 PM on February 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


If we're going to do tableaux, can we also do an Edwardian/Art Nouveau theme and take part in athletics dressed as Gibson girls and sun ourselves in Edwardian bathing costumes?

[has fetish for all things Edwardian/Art Nouveau]
posted by orange swan at 2:57 PM on February 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm really hoping more people speak up like paulsc did and share juicy, tantalizing details

So right now there is a window open for people to nominate locations they think would be good, and send them to ThePinkSuperhero, who will compile them into this document. After that it would probably make sense to have a round of salesmanship to flesh out each of these options.

Do we have any wedding planners in the house (a job that always seemed like a special kind of hell to me)?

I've planned a couple of 150-person summer camp reunions and a few conferences and I plan events for my job. Logistics are actually much, much easier if you are all in a centralized location where everyone is. Stuff like the bus shuttle and the 12-person catered dinner are more complicated if people are needing to come and go to all sorts of different housing options and are not roosting in one location. That's a level of luxury I don't think we could realistically provide.So one huge advantage to choosing a self-contained location like a camp or a single hotel or a group of tightly clustered hotels is that the schedule for 'get together' events is much easier to manage. If people want to make day or evening trips out from that, that's something they can self-organize and the trip committee doesn't have to worry about it. Also, feeding people when they reside at one centralized location is far, far easier than trying to coordinate meals out at restaurants or improvised "kitchens." Camps and camplike centers have ot only cabins but big meeting rooms, firepits, assembly areas, sports facilities like volleyball and basketball courts, kitchens and dining halls to accommodate all kinds of opt-in activities, so you don't have to scrounge around for gathering spaces and pay function fees. All your facilities needs are conveniently covered in one spot.

So for simplicity for the organizers, I do really hope we can select a camp or giant hotel location.

I will compile some tantalizing details about MV or Block Island or Cape Cod, all destinations I can promote without concern as fun, relaxing, scenic and seaside.
posted by Miko at 3:17 PM on February 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


I am opposed to Portland for the fact that it is way up in the corner of the country and there is like, no chance I could drive there, as opposed to somewhere more central like NOLA or PA or my home.

Although recent events have made me a little wary of cruises, perhaps that would be the easiest option, in terms of organizing, activities, and all of us having the same/similar experience. Plus then no one person or group would have to take on the option of say, organizing dinner, and everyone would maybe have a more equal chance of relaxing.

A question: if we reserved as a group on a cruise ship, can groups get a "conference" room on the ship to be like, a central meetup room with board games or chatting and stuff? Where we could all get together to hang, or to say "hey I'd like to do [activity] tonight, would anyone like to join me?" A place that could be just for us?
posted by IndigoRain at 4:30 PM on February 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm started to look at survey tools now, and here's what I'm thinking: the survey is going to focus on the very basics: the general location of the meetup (the city- or boat), whether people hope to bring kids/family, general budget, when people imagine this should take place, etc. The initial planning committee will then review the survey, discuss via e-mail/chat room/whatever and take the results under consideration when choosing a final location, venue and date. I would imagine this committee having anywhere from 3-12 members. Be thinking about whether you'd like to be a part of that; it would be helpful if you identify yourself now because then I can send you the beta version of the survey before it goes out to the masses.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:51 PM on February 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'll just leave this for orange swan.
posted by usonian at 6:27 PM on February 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


That store has pretty shitty quality for everyday ware but is fine for a photoshoot...


......at least that's what a ....friend ...told me....
posted by The Whelk at 6:36 PM on February 18, 2013


I daresay I'd look better in that than a MeFi Speedo...
posted by wallabear at 6:37 PM on February 18, 2013


It's great that people are taking initiative and getting the ball rolling and all, because it's exciting and that's how things actually happen, but might I suggest everyone drag out this first part of ideas and discussion just a little bit because many people might miss it for a little while, and also it's potentially a complicated proposition that should be as well-planned as possible.
Also, I nominate Asheville because it's great and very near to me, which, I think we all agree, is what should really matter in all this.
posted by Red Loop at 6:56 PM on February 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


No Vegas, No! Bad Vegas! Back in your corner.

I'm a desert rat by nature, but I'll happily go to NOLA before Vegas. At least Vegas as a destination.

BTW, "Just saw a bunch of comments that it looked like people were assuming the tent kind, and no."

Why not? As long as everyone doesn't have to tent. I have no problems tenting.

BTW, flew past the Google Doc. I suggested Denver area but wasn't more specific than that. Anyone in the Denver area that could suggest someplace near Denver but in mountains?
posted by BillW at 7:30 PM on February 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'd be happy to serve on the planning committee, TPS.

Near Denver but in mountains...the Manitou Springs area is lovely. Manitou Springs is at the base of Pikes Peak. It has a lot of character, a lot of cheap lodging, nearby camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities, and decent local restaurants and bars. The Garden of the Gods is just one example of the area's unparalleled natural beauty. It would be a decent mix of a camping-type outdoorsy area and Civilization.

It's not hard to get to from DIA or the Colorado Springs airport, either.

I would of course prefer that everyone come to NYC out of laziness or would be happy to go any number of places. I am quite agnostic (although I have been to Las Vegas and disliked a lot about it very much, sorry).
posted by the young rope-rider at 8:07 PM on February 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


the Manitou Springs area is lovely

I loved that place when I was there. Lots of little teeny motels to commandeer.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:16 PM on February 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


As a current visitor to the city, other pros for the Denver area:

- mild climate
- low humidity
- no bugs
- affordable

I would be fine with most places but I hate camping with the passion of seven burning hells, so would appreciate a hotel/motel/cabin. And even though they seem to have been discarded, I would also like to stand in solidarity with Pink Moose on the Wisconsin Dells or Branson, MO suggestions.

Also, I have always wanted to visit Memphis!
posted by young sister beacon at 8:19 PM on February 18, 2013


I'd like to be on the committee too. Thanks for taking the reins, TPS.
posted by Miko at 8:24 PM on February 18, 2013


Voting enthusiastically for Manitou Springs!
posted by faineant at 8:36 PM on February 18, 2013


Just sayin, if everyone comes to Chicago, I can promise endless tiring debates about pizza.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:45 PM on February 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Okay, it's because I live here.

And because it really is a terrific place, with all the natural wonders mentioned above, access to a full variety of tent/cabin/hotel/motel price points, fun tourist-y stuff, craft breweries, art galleries and museums, music venues, etc. etc. etc. Some awesome, easily accessible hiking, rock climbing, nature watching.

I would happily help make it happen here.
posted by faineant at 8:48 PM on February 18, 2013


Oooh, if we do Denver, maybe I could plan to take my dream 285 road trip at roughly the same time...
posted by maryr at 8:48 PM on February 18, 2013


Manitou Springs is a GREAT idea, young rope-rider! Plus, we can all get totally stoned legally.
posted by Brody's chum at 9:02 PM on February 18, 2013


IndigoRain, I went on a cruise with a group last year (we were a smaller group and sewing-related) and our group had a dedicated conference room for the duration of the cruise where we were able to leave our stuff (sewing machines and fabric and whatnot) and come and go as we pleased. It was below-decks, though, so there was no natural lighting and something about the air flow/air pressure in the room made some of us develop bad sinus headaches.

So, we could potentially have a dedicated room for our group, but it might be a very sucky dedicated room.
posted by Brody's chum at 9:07 PM on February 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the info, Brody's chum!

Kate, if it happens here at the Dunes, I'll be on the planning committee. If you want to include me until and unless it's proven we are not doing this at the Dunes, that's fine with me. :) (If it ends up being in Portland or somewhere I can't go, I don't think it would make sense for me to be on the committee.)
posted by IndigoRain at 10:48 PM on February 18, 2013


One thing about choosing a place where the main draw is "the Metafilter gathering is happening there" : you're going to self-select. You may as well hang a sign on it that says, "for hardcores only". May make spouses and other SOs less interested, for example.
posted by Afroblanco at 11:00 PM on February 18, 2013


Denver and Chicago show up on lists of "cheapest to fly to from the most places"; having it somewhere in the middle of the country does have that as a big advantage.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 12:13 AM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I really don't see cruise ships as being sensible given that quite a few people have said they could not afford a cruise ship.
posted by BillW at 5:39 AM on February 19, 2013


The other thing is that no matter what location is picked, it's going to really help to have 1 or 2 people (at least) who live nearby there and are "on the ground" to serve as, essentially, a host committee. Local knowledge is incredibly helpful. And if there's not a host committee, a scouting trip would be recommended. It's not essential but it's definitely best practice. So perhaps the selection committee could give some weight to locations where there's an eager point person to answer the 100 random question about transportation, weather, food, housing, etc., and to hook us up with stuff others won't even know about.

Manitou Springs sounds nice provided there are good opportunities to rent gathering spaces, function rooms, establish a home base location, etc.

Manitou Springs sounds nice - hot springs a big +++.
posted by Miko at 5:59 AM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I kinda dig Cripple Creek Hospitality House and Travel Park, which has a range of options from guest rooms in a Victorian hotel to tent camping and RV, and you can rent the whole facility. I could totally see renting an RV for this game, too. Found here, and I'm sure there are other such facilities around.
posted by Miko at 6:06 AM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm happy to volunteer for committee action from a UK perspective and/or draft stuff in survey monkey if you need a hand. It might be good to get some further parameters up for gauging initial interest, eg how long the event could be, broad times of year and a range for how much people would be willing/able to pay for accommodation.
posted by freya_lamb at 6:10 AM on February 19, 2013


I kinda dig Cripple Creek Hospitality House and Travel Park,

Plus one-ing. That looks marvelous!
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:44 AM on February 19, 2013


I think we should avoid deciding on trips that are rousing a strong vocal opposition: the cruise idea, NOLA during hot weather, Vegas. I'm not saying we should never do such trips in future, but this is our first attempt at a Metafilter vacation, and I would like us to aim to include and please the greatest number of people.
posted by orange swan at 7:50 AM on February 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


If it were up to me, a small bunch of you would come hang out here with me. It's a long way to go and would cost a lot. So maybe only when we have a Billionaire who wants to bankroll it.
posted by ODiV at 8:20 AM on February 19, 2013


I like the idea of sort of a Metafilter retreat / camp and I think an off-season summer camp or retreat center would be ideal. As much as I'd love to go to Vegas or NOLA I think both of those places would end up being a typical hotel/restaurant type thing and wouldn't have the same feel.

Assuming there is a place with a large kitchen (any summer camp would have this) group meals can be fun and are a great way to bond with different people. Basically, upon arrival, everyone signs up for one or two chores, things like Sat. Breakfast Prep, Sat. Breakfast Cook, Sat. Breakfast clean-up. People usually choose things that a) they're comfortable with and b) that fit in with their general sleep/party pattern. So morning people pick breakfast, etc.

One or two people are in charge of that meal (this would be done earlier in the planning stages). These people need to be comfortable in a kitchen and would most likely do all the shopping for their meal, reimbursed by the planning committee. They take charge and direct the meal prep.

I've been involved in a lot of functions like this and it usually works out. If someone doesn't show for their chore or more help is needed, usually other people are more than happy to chip in.

Any summer camp would be somewhat rustic yet still have indoor plumbing, regular beds, an a full kitchen. People could stay in tents if they prefer or in nearby hotels.
posted by bondcliff at 8:38 AM on February 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


This place is also near Manitou springs, a lot closer than Hospitality House also. Big self-cook kitchen. Sleeps 26.

Triple B Ranch is 17 miles away.
posted by Miko at 8:42 AM on February 19, 2013


bondcliff is basically describing my dream vacation.
posted by maryr at 10:36 AM on February 19, 2013


bondcliff is basically describing my dream vacation.

I forgot to mention the part that this all takes place on an island where humans are hunted for sport.
posted by bondcliff at 10:42 AM on February 19, 2013 [7 favorites]


BEST
posted by shakespeherian at 10:44 AM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, okay. I'm in, now. So long as there are pommel horses strategically placed around the island.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:48 AM on February 19, 2013


I will go just about anywhere, but if we end up at an outdoorsy place, I would prefer that there be an area in which I and my fellow indoorsers can sit in hermetically sealed comfort. It can be a parking spot for my Subaru if it comes down to that. I just have a limited tolerance for, like, fresh air and sunshine. And happiness.

My Swedish skin thanks you.
posted by Madamina at 11:13 AM on February 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


One thought about Denver, if we're planning on a short thing like a 3 day weekend, will adjustment to the altitude be a problem?
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 12:05 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


LobsterMitten: Personally going from sea level to working in Yellowstone National Park (Canyon Lodge, the highest location that's staffed pretty much) for the summer means a headache and some stomach butterflies for 3 days to a week.

I traveled through Denver a few times and did not experience the same thing.

YMMV.
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:33 PM on February 19, 2013


FYI, in case you care. I took Ginseng before my trip to Ecuador, they say that helps a bit...

Canyon Lodge, YNP: Altitude: 7,743 feet (2,357 m)
Denver, CO: 5,280 feet (1,609.344 m)
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:35 PM on February 19, 2013


Yeah, just to reiterate, I love you guys but I basically can't sleep on the ground any more. I am old and arthritic and require mattresses and climate control.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 12:43 PM on February 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


As with the job assignments for MetaTown, I am happy to pitch in as the camp pastry chef. I will make all of you many things with chocolate.

Also, love the idea of a summer camp. Some of them even have climate control.
posted by Sophie1 at 12:50 PM on February 19, 2013


I love you guys but I basically can't sleep on the ground any more.

I have slept on the ground or on snow hundreds of times and will continue to do so but if I'm getting together with 100 or so Internet strangers I would prefer to sleep on a mattress and shower every day*. I'm getting the feeling when most people in this thread are talking about camping they're talking about the kind with cabins and flush toilets. I know I am.

*I can't help but hear that sung in Paul Stanley's voice.
posted by bondcliff at 12:58 PM on February 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


Camping is when room service can't deliver from the bar or dinner menu after midnight.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:01 PM on February 19, 2013 [9 favorites]


You realize the more complex these plans become, the more likely people will be to bail out at the last moment.
posted by Afroblanco at 1:16 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Not once they've put money down.
posted by maryr at 1:30 PM on February 19, 2013


Yeah, I like backcountry camping but that's not what I'm talking about with the "camps" we're looking at. They have beds (bunk beds sometimes), mattress, flush toilets, showers, and hot water. They aren't roughing it exactly, though they're not high on the privacy meter.

Not once they've put money down.

Yes, this absolutely needs to be managed with a deposit.

It's true that we should pick a location likely to deliver basic comforts and amenities to the majority of likely participants, but also true that we will not please everyone with a single destination - it's impossible. "Basic" comforts are definitely covered by all the camps we've looked seriously at - walls and ceilings, beds, toilets. It's probably true that some very high maintenance travelers will not like a camp no matter how much hot water it has, and some very committed budget/crunchy travellers may not like the expense, stress, and more fragmented/less group-oriented experience of a city get-together. But both those perspectives are at extremes, and there is a big middle that will enjoy whatever the plan is, most likely.
posted by Miko at 1:44 PM on February 19, 2013


I still say all of us in the Northeast/Ontario/Quebec/Maritimes go in for Kate Pierson's digs. Because frankly, this whole "thing" is gonna be like herding cats so region by region seems the most sensible way to do it in North America.
posted by Kitteh at 2:15 PM on February 19, 2013


I checked the Lazy Meadow out - it's pretty small.

I'm completely confident that a single trip for any potential travelers who are in or can get to North America can work. With good planning and communication and an active group working on it, it's entirely possible. Yes, it is a lot of work (and no one should kid themselves about that), but people do it all the time.

Though if someone wants to organize a regional multiday meetup there's no reason not to.
posted by Miko at 2:23 PM on February 19, 2013


For those of us who have volunteered (or considered volunteering) for the herding of cats and/or beans, perhaps we should get another list going for names and areas of expertise/interest. What should we include?

Off the top of my head (and ABSOLUTELY NOT REQUIRED/LIMITED IN SCOPE WITHIN CATEGORIES): food, group activities, housing, travel, swag, communications...?

"Food" could include anything from making a list of nearby restaurants/grocery stores to planning the world's greatest BBQ/cupcake contest/vegan hootenanny. "Swag" does not assume that we will HAVE swag, but could include anything from t-shirts to, again, a sheet of paper with info on it about our locale.
posted by Madamina at 2:41 PM on February 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Though, being English, I much rather prefer hot showers, a pre-warmed well-made bed, cotton sheets of a certain thread, and my cocktails made by my butler, must admit I am finally taken by the concept of camping - after seeing this limited edition tent.
posted by Wordshore at 3:03 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I like the kind of camping they do in Citizen Kane.
posted by Madamina at 3:07 PM on February 19, 2013


Oooh, "vegan hootenanny"?

YES PLEASE
posted by Kitteh at 3:10 PM on February 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Just spitballing, a couple of other possibilities -

Bretton Woods, NH
Pro: tons of hotel/rental condo space at varying levels of fanciness; lots of outdoors activities; historic and conspiracy appeal; drive up Mt Washington
Con: 2+ hrs drive from Boston or Portland ME; not in the middle of the country; maybe expensive

Lake Geneva, WI
Resort town on small lake, 80 mi outside of Chicago
Seems to have a bunch of fancy hotels, but also motels as well as camping, plus several retreat/conference centers that can accommodate groups (tho some of those are noted as "Christian" camps, maybe they only rent to church groups?)
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 4:08 PM on February 19, 2013


Oh, man, I've stayed at the George Williams College center - twice, actually - and it'd be lovely. Or so my twenty years out-of-date memory tells me.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 4:11 PM on February 19, 2013


Uh, reading the new Guy Fieri restaurant menu. If the gathering was nearby, we could eat there? #FlavorCamp
posted by Wordshore at 4:23 PM on February 19, 2013


That's the George Williams College conference center, across the lake from Lake Geneva WI?
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 4:38 PM on February 19, 2013


I am reasonably sure, yes. (It was a long time ago. But I learned to sail a boat there!)
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 4:45 PM on February 19, 2013


Just noodling around, here's a short article about the Lake Geneva area, sounds like it's 2 hrs from Chicago. Another site says the Metra commuter train goes part of the way there.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 4:48 PM on February 19, 2013


On the other side of Mt. Washington, there's Indian Head Resort in Lincoln, located next to Whale's Tale water park. It's a lot less classy than Bretton Woods.
posted by maryr at 5:47 PM on February 19, 2013


I'm not sure Northern NH is an ideal location. Closest major airport is Logan, 2 1/2 hours away. There's Manchester, an hour and a half away, but I don't know how many flights go there. Don't get me wrong, I'd be up there in a heartbeat, I just don't know how many non New Englanders would go.
posted by bondcliff at 5:59 PM on February 19, 2013


Oh man, seems I first suggested a MeFi cruise ten years ago and no one took me up on it.

I guess it was an idea that had to await its time.;-)
posted by orange swan at 6:30 PM on February 19, 2013


maybe expensive

It's totally beautiful and awesome, but it is expensive. That is, the resort complex itself is expensive, even the "motel" style units, and rooms in the actual main hotel are $200+ a night luxury rooms even in the off seasons. You can stay at other generic motels in the area but then you sort of lose some of the greatness of being there.

I love Northern New England a lot but agree it's probably not the low-hanging fruit, first-time destination.

But there are some incredible campgrounds in the White Mountains so if anyone wants to rough it and hike a lot sometime, let me know!
posted by Miko at 6:30 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, it's totally out of the way. I was more amused by the idea of the first Mefi mega-gathering being at such a notable historic place for bigtime dignitaries.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 6:50 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


That would be super cool. From then on, anything we decided could be called our "Bretton Woods accords."
posted by Miko at 7:21 PM on February 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


From then on, anything we decided could be called our "Bretton Woods accords."

That's definitely an argument in favor of a Lake Geneva Convention.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 7:22 PM on February 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


Well, fuck it then. Let's do this shit in Oslo and make it proppa!

(Camp David also acceptable)
posted by Afroblanco at 11:06 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


We could do Camp David... or we could do Thurmont MD, which is in the mountain foothills next to Camp David. Access to the Appalachian Trail, an hour-plus from DC. We could buy out The Cozy Inn, where the press stays, as long as the President isn't going to be at Camp David at the same time.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 11:48 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Cozy Inn's onsite restaurant is mediocre.
posted by brujita at 12:34 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


If this thing actually goes down and it's Vegas or NOLA (or within easy reach of any international airport really) you can definitely count me in. I'll get off my ass and get a new passport - just for YOU, Metafilter!
posted by ninazer0 at 1:08 AM on February 20, 2013


What about Minneapolis? Great and interesting food, surrounded by lakes and parks, airport hub?
posted by zennie at 4:42 AM on February 20, 2013


Miko: That would be super cool. From then on, anything we decided could be called our "Bretton Woods accords."

I say where ever this ends up happening, and whatever it ends up being, we refer to it as "Bretton Woods" to lend it an air of dignity and solemnity. As in, "Oh yes, I believe that in-joke about chicken poop started at Bretton Woods." or "Remember that time I was completely drunk off my ass at Bretton Woods?"
posted by Rock Steady at 5:45 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Pony request: travel-shares or carpools, please work this in to the framework, k, thx, bai.
posted by RolandOfEld at 6:13 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Working on the survey, looking to send it out to the planning committee. Drop me a MeMail with your email address if you want in.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:34 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I volunteer to drive! I don't own a car or anything, but I really like driving.

Dad lets me drive slow in the driveway.

I'm not wearing any underwear.

posted by maryr at 7:32 AM on February 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


Drop me a MeMail with your email address if you want in.

Maybe I missed it in the chatter but is this for planning folks or just anyone that wants in on the info-stream or both?
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:14 AM on February 20, 2013


Planners.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:15 AM on February 20, 2013


If you do decide to go off on a MetaCruise somewhere and leave this sad Englishman behind, then am mass mailing y'all this cheery card.
posted by Wordshore at 2:13 PM on February 20, 2013


Dear ___Recipient Name(s)__ I would like to wish you __Healthy Cruising__ and I hope you all are able to ___Share Memorable Moments_ and _Celebrate Good Times___

Sincerely,
____Your Name Here__
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:57 PM on February 20, 2013


Why is that card on the CDC website
posted by shakespeherian at 3:00 PM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


The family that contracts Legionnaire's Disease together, stays together.
posted by maryr at 3:12 PM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


The family that prays to the porcelain god together, kneels and sprays before Zod together.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:33 PM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I would like to participate in the planning committee. Many colleges rent space for 'conferences.' State and National Parks often have a mix of camping and hotels. I suggest establishing the date 1st.
posted by theora55 at 8:15 PM on February 20, 2013


also: Look what you started OrangeSwan! thanks.
posted by theora55 at 8:16 PM on February 20, 2013


theora55, while I love the National Parks, and have stayed at many of them, I can honestly say that most of the restaurants at the lodges have indifferent food.
posted by BillW at 3:36 PM on February 21, 2013


I know I prefer my food terrified.
posted by ODiV at 3:40 PM on February 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


theora55, while I love the National Parks, and have stayed at many of them, I can honestly say that most of the restaurants at the lodges have indifferent food

That is, sadly, so true. I think they're all managed by the same Sedhexo-like company - they know they have a somewhat captive audience, and it shows. Though I ate at Bryce Canyon Lodge last fall and had a pretty awesome braised bison thing, but it was way overpriced. No, you're better off self-cooking in the parks, or driving out of the parks to eat.
posted by Miko at 9:01 PM on February 21, 2013


I ordered the chili at Chisos mountain lodge in Big Bend, then started thinking "Oh god, they're in the back scraping it out of a Sysco #10 can right now, what have I done?" but it was actually pretty good. Pricier than the quality warranted for sure, though.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:26 PM on February 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


...accommodating a large, active, independent-minded and hard-to-control group.
posted by Miko at 9:54 AM on February 18

Whoever ends up booking the place - you might not want to lead with this. Just sayn'.
posted by zoinks at 1:49 AM on February 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Could someone update/correct the link in miko's comment, to The Pink Superhero's location nomination document? The ghosts of Elvis, the Colonel, and a ton of other long-gone, and still living Mid-South proud folk waiting to welcome you to Memphis, fry you burgers in century old grease, make you peanut butter, banana, and mayonaise sammiches, and help you don your parade costumes, smoke you the very ribs of infant porcine creatures, show you dead Indians, and the Jungle Room, and decorate your cars, campers and dogs as parade floats and mascots, are having a hard time checking that their suggestion for locale, are actually on the document that purports to be at that link.
posted by paulsc at 12:21 PM on February 23, 2013


One other thing that occurs to me to mention re:Denver and on up into the Rockies, and some points on the East Coast in the Adirondacks, the Allegheny Mountains, the Blue Ridge, or other beautiful parts of the Appalachian Mountains: altitude can be an issue. Folks with breathing issues, with heart issues, with weight issues, or kids/pets with health issues of many kinds are going to have worse problems at altitude, and there is little that they can do about it, other than recognize that fact for locations chosen up high, up front, and stay home. Don't get me wrong, I lived in Denver as a kid, and still go, annually, for a drive/long walk along the Blue Ridge, or sometimes still, somewhere along the backbone of this North American continent, and I love high country, and stars bright in high nights, but, still, in these later years, living at sea level, and vacationing occasionally in mountains and clouds, I know, freshly, that thin air has its own expectations of folk.
posted by paulsc at 1:56 PM on February 23, 2013


"... bondcliff is basically describing my dream vacation."
posted by maryr at 1:36 PM on February 19

Pardon me, but did I miss the part where B.B. King walks (or is respectfully wheeled) out on his own club's stage, carrying Lucille, and proceeds to either entertain (with some help from his friends) or testify?

Don't get me wrong, I love choppin' onions at 5:30 AM, but mainly for a sweet squeeze, knowin' she's still asleep, and has never had what they serve in Heaven for breakfast...
posted by paulsc at 2:23 PM on February 23, 2013


paulsc - I get that you love Memphis, but I've found it to be the most casually racist places I've ever lived and couldn't wait to get out of there. What did I miss?
posted by 26.2 at 3:08 PM on February 23, 2013


"... What did I miss?"
posted by 26.2 at 6:08 PM on February 23

I dunno. When were you there?

In the fall of '69, I got on a bus on Poplar Street, headed west, a little east of (then) Memphis State, about 7:00 p.m. on a Tuesday evening. The bus was full of black faces, and mine was the only bearded one. At the next stop, everyone but me got off. I naturally assumed the other passengers were all making connections.

Oh, hells yeah. Memphis is a seminal point in the history, and possibly the future, of the issue of race in America.

Whether or not it continues to be is, may I suggest, something only the flow of folk to it and through it will decide. In the meantime, folk there try, and barbeque is, and the blues were born there.
posted by paulsc at 8:21 PM on February 23, 2013


And by the way, if 500 Mefites all show up at the Rendevous, on the same night, they won't think it's a riot, they'll think we're all hungry for smoked meat, and that we're probably big tippers...

Well, sure we are, when pigs fly...
posted by paulsc at 10:04 PM on February 23, 2013


I wasn't born in 1969.

I was there less than 10 years ago. I actually left FedEx - a company I loved - because I found Memphis so dismal. I like Corky's and Interstate BBQ and the Rendevous. Just not enough to live in Memphis.
posted by 26.2 at 10:30 PM on February 23, 2013


"... I like Corky's and Interstate BBQ and the Rendevous. Just not enough to live in Memphis."
posted by 26.2 at 1:30 AM on February 24

I get that, and I haven't lived in Memphis, or even Tennessee, although all my children and grandchildren do, in more than 30 years.

And yet, I'm not talkin' about livin' in Memphis, I'm talkin' about walkin' in Memphis, once again, on some fine future May mornings, like you know come 'round.

And I'm askin', could you help us? Would you take some friends from far away down to the river? Would you laugh with them in the lobby of the Peabody Hotel when the ducks go by? Would you show 'em the monorail over to Mud Island, if some good band was playing there? Would you come, would you eat, would you squeak about some place better, for some time and future gathering, further along?
posted by paulsc at 10:50 PM on February 23, 2013


paulsc: "walkin' in Memphis"

If I get that song stuck in my head, paulsc, I'm coming after you.
posted by IndigoRain at 11:10 PM on February 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


"If I get that song stuck in my head, paulsc, I'm coming after you."
posted by IndigoRain at 2:10 AM on February 24

Well, then, you come on down to Memphis, and I'll get somebody on Beale Street to get it out!

Or, you can just catch up with me out in Germantown, and I'll feed you donuts, and Elvis sammiches, 'til you cry, and want to go down to gamble in Tunica.

I ain't takin' no whiners to Hollywood.
posted by paulsc at 11:25 PM on February 23, 2013


Would you come

No. I wouldn't. My husband and I went to Tennessee two years ago. We visited Nashville where I lived when I went to Vandy and Lynchburg were I had an internship at the distillery and we hiked in the mountains. I love Tennessee. We didn't visit Memphis because, well, I'm Anglo and he's Latino.

Like I said, I just don't get what you see in the place. It certainly has it's fine things, but I never felt comfortable there. I had some good friends there and I love when they come visit me, but the chances of me going there voluntarily are very, very small.
posted by 26.2 at 11:29 PM on February 23, 2013


"... I had some good friends there and I love when they come visit me, but the chances of me going there voluntarily are very, very small."
posted by 26.2 at 2:29 AM on February 24

Chances you'd come = "...very, very small."

I get that. Really I do. And

Would you come

"No. I wouldn't."

Well, you can't be clearer than that.

And yet

"... I love Tennessee. ..."

"We didn't visit Memphis because, well, I'm Anglo and he's Latino."

Are you saying (and I'm trying to be as clear as I can be here) that your man doesn't like smoked meat, or duck parades, or possibly MeFest parades in Overton Park, or zoos, or AAA baseball, or planetarium shows at the Pink Palace, or tours of the Jungle Room, because he's Latino? Because, I might get that. Really, I might, if I tried, oh so hard.

Except for the fact that he might, under the best circumstances, go all week in a Memphis MeFest Meetup just covered up in New York Puerto Ricans, Houston and Austin MeFicans of possible Latino origin, et al (including other unidentified Obama/Biden supporters).... Not to mention, really covered up in smoked meat and blues.

Aw, c'mon. I'll personally take you shopping in Germantown, if you can get those New York hoochies to keep your old man busy. And yes, I mean shopping. Just shopping, dammit. 40% off, etc. Limo service. Damn, you drive a hard bargain!
posted by paulsc at 11:58 PM on February 23, 2013


"... Like I said, I just don't get what you see in the place. ..."
posted by 26.2 at 2:29 AM on February 24

Fair point. I haven't lived there in decades, but I've had reason to go back, many times, since I did.

It's got great water, you have to admit. Everybody gives Memphis its great water. Nobody really wants to talk about Memphis schools, or Memphis politics. And up in Nashville, nobody, but nobody, wants to talk about Memphis, period.

But you get down to the very basics of it, in a sunset to the West, over Arkansas, and Memphis remains not a destination, but a place that leads to destinations. Draw a 50 mile circle around it, and it still is what it was when I was student there: the first city off the farms. At the earliest spring dawn to the east, you see that, standing, still, in Memphis. Wait a day, and look across the big river to the last fading red rays in Arkansas, and you get that sense of "first place off the farms" again. North, and South, coming in on the big Interstates and highways, Memphis looms ahead as the place to get to, when you're looking for place.

And when you've got there, whether from Tupelo, or Dyersburg, or West Memphis, Memphis holds you close. You don't forget its feel, you don't forget what it teaches you.

You can go away, and never come back. Or you can come back, and find it all again, any time.
posted by paulsc at 12:33 AM on February 24, 2013


I was only in Memphis a couple days, and I'm not speaking to it's desirability as a destination city, but I would like to say Corky's, Fuck Yeah. That was some great food.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:46 AM on February 24, 2013


"We didn't visit Memphis because, well, I'm Anglo and he's Latino."

Are you saying (and I'm trying to be as clear as I can be here) that your man doesn't like smoked meat, or duck parades, or possibly MeFest parades in Overton Park, or zoos, or AAA baseball, or planetarium shows at the Pink Palace, or tours of the Jungle Room, because he's Latino?


paulsc if you're really trying to get it - and I doubt that - it's because Memphis still holds its racial tension and anger close to its heart. You don't see a lot of mixed race couples there and the ones that do exist don't have it easy. I didn't want to spend my vacation taking shit about marrying someone who's a few shades darker than I am.

My husband isn't too dumb to "get" Memphis because he's Latino, but hey, thanks for asking.
posted by 26.2 at 10:20 AM on February 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


Fuck a Memphis
posted by Joseph Gurl at 3:07 AM on February 25, 2013


I haven't read the whole thread yet, but I imagine there are some students here who might like to attend but aren't easily available Sept-April.
posted by mayurasana at 10:33 AM on February 26, 2013


There's no time of year that will be good for every person, but the survey should reveal what general times of year work best for the most likely attendees.
posted by Miko at 11:22 AM on February 26, 2013


The survey! Please take it!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:29 AM on February 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


> But Tennessee ain't a cheap or particularly easy state to drink in, and tourists had better still stick together and keep their wits about them.

I know this is the annoying predictable "local has to respond to" thing, but I'm a transplant from New York who went to school in Pittsburgh and has traveled a bit all over, and I find Memphis totally reasonable to drink in (even the fanciest cocktails out are well under big city prices, not that we have a ton of them, mind...liquor isn't available in stores Sunday morning which is annoying religious bullshit, but otherwise) and not dangerous at all as long as you're not being silly about it (you know, if you wander around an uber uber sketchy neighborhood in the dark of night alone and are belligerent you might feel scared, but otherwise...). Though your point about sticking together is probably salient, I agree--visitors tend to say they feel unsafe because Memphis is emphatically NOT a pedestrian-friendly city. It's designed for cars to a crazy degree and walking alone is going to feel weird simply because nobody but the homeless are on foot, unfortunately.
posted by ifjuly at 6:01 PM on February 26, 2013


BREAKING: comedy podcast network Maximum Fun is launching a cruise
posted by Bwithh at 10:12 PM on March 1, 2013


The girth that is cruise director Julie.
posted by clavdivs at 6:36 AM on March 5, 2013


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