Chicago meet-ups not involving bars March 20, 2010 4:06 AM   Subscribe

Chicago's last meetup sounded great. I would totally have gone if I had known what the secret was. I would even have gone if I had just known the secret wasn't another bar, because Mefites generally sound like great people whom I'd like to meet in person. As someone who can't pass a card-check (and isn't such a fan of the whole loud-and-dark ambience anyway), can Chicago's next meet-up similarly have a portion that isn't drinks and dinner in a bar?
posted by d. z. wang to MetaFilter Gatherings at 4:06 AM (58 comments total)

The Goat--where we meet-up--isn't a bar. It's a hamburger joint which has a liquor license. There is no carding at the door; it is brightly lit with no jukebox; it's formica tables and cafeteria chairs. Please don't let your non-card-check status keep you away from our monthly meet-up! Wednesday, April 7, after work at the Goat, under Michigan Avenue. I wouldn't call the Goat "dinner", either; it's more like edible stuff that comes wrapped in wax paper.

We often leave the Goat for vague adventures at local places (the tall buildings--one of which is a bar, but again, no i.d. check at the door, for instance), but we're pretty comfortable with the Goat as a regular spot. It's equally inconvenient to everyone (except Kaz, who works upstairs, and me, who know works up the block and WE WIN!); it's not equally (un)friendly to beer folks, whiskey folks, pop folks. Not too tough on student budgets. Easy to seat large groups of people for long periods of without management getting antsy or other patrons glaring and trying to steal your seats. Plus, now, we're friends with Payne.

So! Please come! Don't let the "bar" notion put you off. Some of these folks (SpiffyRob! halaonine!) are awesome. Some (hydrophonic, slack-a-go-go, readery and more!) are really interesting. Some are droll (adamdschneider and more!). Some are fun to talk to (MCMikeNamara, miskaz, iridic and more!). Some will incite riots (eamondaly). And some are just really great (julietbanana, evisceratordeath and more!). And some (you know who you are, asuprenant, me3dia, kevin, mrs pants) never bother to show up anymore!

In the alternative, you should just decree your own meet-up, some night other than the first Wednesday of the month, and people will show. Although the idea of a beer when they get there really helps.
posted by crush-onastick at 6:32 AM on March 20, 2010 [2 favorites]

I hear your frustration all over man, but crush-onastick is right. If you want something ELSE to happen, YOU or you and a co-conspirator need to make it happen.

Tokyo was my favorite meet-up place (I wish I could've gone more) because loud dark bars were the EXCEPTION. I went to an awesome aquarium Halloween meet-up, but also remember plans to go to a member's wood-cut print shop, a picnic, and a waffle/brunch place (not average Tokyo). Maybe some of that will poke you into making a new thread soon about your awesome Chicago meet-up plan.
posted by whatzit at 7:48 AM on March 20, 2010

Let me start by saying that the takeaway here is this: go for it. The Chicago Cabal* is absolutely open to alternatives. Here are some basic requirements for a good meetup venue:

- Must accommodate anywhere between 3 and 30 people without a reservation. This is the toughest part, hands-down. YOU CANNOT TRUST A HEAD COUNT. NOT EVER.

- All ages. This isn't as hard as it might seem (most places don't card if they serve food), but do call ahead and make sure the younger MeFites can join in.

- Relatively low background noise. TVs are fine, jukebox is probably fine, packed bar is not fine, live band is super not fine.

- Walking distance from public transit. In Chicago, that means the El (not buses, not Metra).

- Tables and seating for everybody. The Internet is lazy and brings a lot of crap like phones and cameras and moleskins with it.

- Food. Unless your meetup is on the weekend, people will be going there straight from work and will be hungry. Veggie is not a necessity but it's a big plus.

- "It" factor. No one feels good meeting at Bennigan's, no matter how convenient. It's got to have some charm, history, or mystique that pushes those on the fence into showing.

Not easy, right? Back in the day, the Chicago Cabal* would hem and haw for days about when and where to meet, trying to accommodate everyone. Half the time the thread would just fizzle out and we wouldn't meet, and the other half we'd get together only to discover the people most insistent about the food or the locale or the time bailed. So now we just go to the worst place on the worst day and we all whine for four hours. And really, isn't that what MeFi is all about?

posted by eamondaly at 9:30 AM on March 20, 2010 [3 favorites]

I obviously did not do my homework on The Goat. It sounds fine now that I actually know what it is. See you guys next month, if school doesn't eat me first.
posted by d. z. wang at 3:32 PM on March 20, 2010

No other venue has beers tiny enough for me.

Also: I'm not sure what to do with the news that crush thinks of me as awesome, even going so far as to mention me in the same breath as halonine, spelled correctly or not. I also challenge the idea that anyone is as droll as adamdschneider.

But yes! Come! Hooray!
posted by SpiffyRob at 3:47 PM on March 20, 2010

it's true--achieving droll at the level of adamdschneider is a rare achievement. as for awesome, there was this little conversation once, but it's okay if you don't remember it. I'm sure you have such awesome all the time.

Anyway, d.z.! Hooray, see you next week!
posted by crush-onastick at 10:44 AM on March 21, 2010

d. z. wang: I obviously did not do my homework on The Goat.

Well, here's a handy-dandy FPP for you.
posted by WCityMike at 9:30 PM on March 21, 2010

I make a point of never remembering anything ever.
posted by SpiffyRob at 8:40 AM on March 23, 2010

How the hell did I miss this?
posted by adamdschneider at 4:43 PM on March 24, 2010

Also: I appreciate being labeled as droll, but am not sure how to feel about being left out of "awesome," "really interesting," "fun to talk to" and "great".

Inciting riots, on the other hand, is definitely eamondaly's specialty, though I have been known to join a good riot from time to time.
posted by adamdschneider at 4:47 PM on March 24, 2010

Hey, don't kvetch -- at least she actually mentioned you. :)
posted by WCityMike at 8:08 PM on March 24, 2010

I have been slacking and haven't been to one in a while. Will April be the month in which my STEAK AND EGG HIATUS is broken?

We can only hope.
posted by sparkletone at 9:12 PM on March 24, 2010

I'm droll too, dammit!
posted by Windigo at 7:53 AM on March 25, 2010

posted by adamdschneider at 2:08 PM on March 25, 2010

I like how two of the last three meetups have essentially had two simultaneous threads going for them.
posted by SpiffyRob at 2:58 PM on March 25, 2010

What the hell are you talking about?

posted by SpiffyRob at 6:37 AM on March 26, 2010

wcITYmIKE: when was the last time you was at a meetup?

also, others of us incite riots. just of a different sort
posted by crush-onastick at 8:21 AM on March 26, 2010

crush-onastick: wcITYmIKE: when was the last time you was at a meetup?

Agreed. I was teasing. My attendance at meetups has not been very regular. That will change, though.
posted by WCityMike at 3:31 PM on March 26, 2010

Good, Mike! You can start soon.

i think a teasing font is more useful than a sarcasm hamburger
posted by crush-onastick at 9:53 PM on March 26, 2010

And I think I need to take myself less seriously and realize when I'm being teased right back, too (or playfully needled or (insert metaphor conveying non-seriousness here)). :) *d'oh*
posted by WCityMike at 10:53 PM on March 26, 2010

I am interesting and droll. Or have attempted to be in the past. Will try harder.

And crush, that answer about how to hire an attorney was hands down the most concise and useful bit of info I have read on Ask. Besides DTMFA.

You are truly the most awesome!
posted by readery at 8:20 AM on March 30, 2010

readery: you have an incredible sense of style! but are also interesting to talk to. it's hard to focus on the interesting when i cam coveting your coats.

Will you be out in April?

thanks! the profession makes itself as mysterious as possible and that is a very bad thing
posted by crush-onastick at 1:43 PM on March 30, 2010

Prior engagement may keep me away in body but not in spirit. I may have time to stop for one tiny beer tho. Two if I drink fast.
posted by readery at 10:45 AM on April 1, 2010

i think that i will come, though i am a newbie and a little nervous.
posted by PinkMoose at 5:12 PM on April 1, 2010

No need to worry, PinkMoose: I'm the only frightening one, and I'll be all the way up on the north side that night.

Speaking of which: if you people end up at the Bong, call me.
posted by eamondaly at 7:06 PM on April 1, 2010

PinkMoose, this is as easy as falling off a log. Easier.
Remember, these are self described nerds, often full of social lubricants. What could be less intimidating? Scary on many levels, but not intimidating.

And I must say for those that missed it last night, our own evisceratordeath ia a rock god. Adam and citteh/MT can attest and will I'm sure fill you in on details and show the video wednesday.
I left kind of early being all wimpy and employed.
posted by readery at 8:09 AM on April 2, 2010

posted by eamondaly at 8:22 AM on April 2, 2010

Wait, there's a video?
posted by evisceratordeath at 3:32 PM on April 2, 2010

Mariateresa took a video on her iPhone. I will post it to Facebook when I sober up.
posted by adamdschneider at 10:44 PM on April 2, 2010

I know I promised video, but the compressed version her phone emailed to me is really quite bad, with sound that cuts out after 5 seconds, but it's ok because it's completely incomprehensible for those 5 seconds anyway. I think you overwhelmed the mic. :D
posted by adamdschneider at 4:14 PM on April 4, 2010

what time is this again? I will be there!
posted by PinkMoose at 9:56 PM on April 6, 2010

Oh, about whenever. I don't get there until 6:30 or so, but people are there from 5:00 or 5:30 onward. We generally congregate to the left as you come in, but sometimes get pushed off to the right. Some of us have profile pics, and you can always ask for Matt Haughey.
posted by adamdschneider at 10:15 PM on April 6, 2010

I doubt I can make it. I have company coming in tomorrow and a hella lot to do at home.
posted by Windigo at 4:47 AM on April 7, 2010

Aw, thanks crush!! The Cabal, not that it exists, is a kind and welcoming Cabal, at least to those 5% who survive the initiation, whose atrocities make the very gods tremble. The memories are too much... I shall speak no more of it.

Unfortunately I have a birthday to celebrate tonight. Catch you next month!
posted by halonine at 12:23 PM on April 7, 2010

Ugh. Busy dying of the plague.
posted by kitarra at 3:56 PM on April 7, 2010

I guess school ate :-/
posted by adamdschneider at 10:52 PM on April 7, 2010

I can now confirm that what halonine says is truth: in fact, the ChiCabal is kind, even to newbies, and may give you (bits of) cupcake. You will not awake, the morning after, in an ice bath with stitches over some non-vital organ; you may have a bit of a headache though.
posted by tivalasvegas at 8:01 AM on April 8, 2010

You will not awake, the morning after, in an ice bath with stitches over some non-vital organ

Speak for yourself.
posted by PMdixon at 10:01 AM on April 8, 2010

Kind?!?!?!?! Good god, who did you meet last night? I mean, I've been in eamondaly's "safe space" and it hurts.
posted by crush-onastick at 10:16 AM on April 8, 2010

Mr. Daly wasn't there last night, so he got eased into things by misskaz, SpiffyRob, Iridic, hydrophonic, WCityMike, eviscerate or death and JB. I tried to make it as unpleasant as possible, but clearly my efforts were for naught.
posted by adamdschneider at 10:45 AM on April 8, 2010

Lessons must be Learned. Cuidado con Cinco de Mayo!
posted by eamondaly at 12:16 PM on April 8, 2010

El miercoles gigante: el meetup de muerte! Vamos a beber muchas cervezas pequeñas en ese dia, mis amigos.

(lo siento, mi español no es muy bueno)
posted by evisceratordeath at 1:47 PM on April 8, 2010

El Meetup de Muerte should be a yearly holiday, like Dia de los Muertos.
posted by adamdschneider at 2:27 PM on April 8, 2010

De Meetup van de Dood.
posted by SpiffyRob at 2:50 PM on April 8, 2010

la cerveza, la muerte, la meetup! bien.
posted by tivalasvegas at 5:50 PM on April 8, 2010

er... el muerte. my spanish isn't quite up to snuff either, evisceratordeath.
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:25 PM on April 8, 2010

I guess school ate :-/ (adamdschneider)

Um...d. z. wang goes to a school where people date things by counting weeks from the start of the term, so it's not immediately obvious that Wednesday of second week is also April 1st some years. But he has marked his calendar---Wednesday of sixth week, at the Billy Goat.
posted by d. z. wang at 6:47 PM on April 8, 2010

d. z. wang: Wednesday of sixth week, at the Billy Goat.

Nope. The first Wednesday of every month.
posted by WCityMike at 10:09 AM on April 9, 2010

I think he meant it's the sixth week of the term.
posted by adamdschneider at 10:29 AM on April 9, 2010

adamdschneider: I think he meant it's the sixth week of the term.

posted by WCityMike at 11:50 AM on April 9, 2010

It's the fifth Wednesday of the twenty-sixth week of the Spiffy calendar, which I suspect will be much easier to remember. Lousy Smarch weather.
posted by SpiffyRob at 12:39 PM on April 9, 2010

It is a high holy day of the Spiffyear.
posted by adamdschneider at 1:19 PM on April 9, 2010

Come on people, no photos up (yet)? I need to be reminded of what I'm missing.
posted by Green With You at 5:31 PM on April 9, 2010

Misskaz really needs to post the photo of the Mad Men-era eamondaly which we saw on the wall. It was rather spooky ... his eyes followed you everywhere.
posted by WCityMike at 5:42 PM on April 9, 2010

It doesn't do the resemblance justice, but to give you a preview, it's the second from the right here.
posted by WCityMike at 6:00 PM on April 9, 2010

are we still having brunch at big johns today
posted by PinkMoose at 5:14 AM on April 11, 2010

I don't remember that plan. When was that discussed?
posted by adamdschneider at 1:36 PM on April 11, 2010

i think it may have been just a couple of us, maybe just one. my memory is gone. also, americans, why does cheesecake factory suck so much
posted by PinkMoose at 5:07 PM on April 11, 2010

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