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San Francisco, CA  —  Organizer: blithecatpie

San Francisco Planning Thread
May 8, 2009 10:24 AM   RSS feed for this thread Subscribe

Well, someone needed to step up! And being a relative newbie around here, I thought I'd fully cement my membership by organizing a MeFi bash. Brave? Or foolish... Now let's go about picking a date, time and location.

I'm voting for either Saturday (18th) or Sunday (19th) evening. Friday will work for me, too, but only if the party's at, say, 8PM or later (work woes). But it really all depends on you guys.

And I'm completely open to suggestions on the location.
posted by blithecatpie to San Francisco, CA at 10:24 AM (45 comments total)

Thanks for stepping up. As for the date, I don't even know what I'm doing 2 days from now, much less July, but I'm sure whatever will be fine.
posted by danny the boy at 10:47 AM on May 8, 2009

Why don't we do it next weekend as a Bay to Breakers float?

OK, maybe not.

Also, thanks for stepping up.
posted by GuyZero at 11:00 AM on May 8, 2009

Yay for blithecatpie for stepping up!

I looked at events on the weekend of July 17-19, and the only one I could see was the opening of the new Harry Potter movie, the previews of which look very cool. Would it be totally lame to meet at a cafe/bar/something for a bit and then go to a late night showing?
posted by jasper411 at 2:08 PM on May 8, 2009

If it involves Harry Potter (or anything else, for that matter), I'm in.
posted by derogatorysphinx at 6:54 PM on May 8, 2009

I'm fine on any of the dates.

Having lived out of the city (I'm a peninsula dweller) for so long, I no longer have any idea what would be a good location. But I wouldn't say no to anywhere that the Tamale Lady might appear.

I'll probably be taking my daughter to a nice early showing of Harry Potter though, so that's neither a dealbreaker nor dealmaker for me. Anyhow, since I have kids I haven't seen a movie on opening weekend that didn't include a Pixar short in like, seven years.
posted by padraigin at 11:08 PM on May 8, 2009

My suggestion (just throwing this out there): have a doubly event. An afternoon event in the park with scones, cupcakes and tea, and an evening event at a bar with booze and ... more booze. Increased chances of people being able to come since there will be two events at two different times, and the unemployed social butterflies can come to both!

(I'm eh on harry potter.)
posted by patr1ck at 2:58 AM on May 9, 2009

Yeah I'm not hot on the movie idea since I think it kind of cuts down on opportunities to socialize. Hard to meet and talk with folks in a theater.
posted by danny the boy at 10:55 AM on May 9, 2009

Thanks for the responses, everyone!

jasper411, big fan of Harry Potter over here but since it's opening weekend I'm not sure if people would want to endure the long lines, large, loud crowds and the changing of locations--unless people chime in to tell me otherwise. Also, I feel that a movie would cut into the time that people could be spending talking, which is why I'm leaning more towards a bar/lounge/restaurant setting.

A double event might be kind of nice! Maybe a smallish event at Dolores Park (other suggestions welcome), followed by the main party event (I'm assuming more people would come for the drinking). I'll definitely think about this and if it happens, I'll most likely set the date for Saturday.

Right now I want to narrow things down to either Friday (which is wide open now) or Saturday.

I want to allow some more time to let the maybes chime in before making any firm decisions. And any suggestions on location?
posted by blithecatpie at 11:11 AM on May 9, 2009

Oh hey, I'll be in SF in July. Totally in; know nothing about the city or my schedule, so consider this an abstention from the preparation. But I'll be there where- and whenever it is.

(Actually, patr1ck's idea for an afternoon and an evening event sounds good)
posted by electric_counterpoint at 2:09 PM on May 9, 2009

Bonfire on ocean beach? Free, fun (depending on weather, of course).

Rent a boat for a cruise on the Bay?

Go entirely crazy, invite the entire Bay Area, and rent cellspace ($250-500 on Sundays)?
posted by jasper411 at 6:45 PM on May 9, 2009

I'm interested but also don't have any idea what I'll be doing then. Even though the movie appears to be a nonstarter, I think it sounds like fun; gives people something to start talking about if we hang out after rather than before. The park sounds good too. I'm less likely to come to a bar/lounge-type event (personally, I think they *suck* for getting to know people), but most people are probably the opposite, and I'm still new around MeFi, so...don't listen to me.

I'll keep checking in!
posted by wintersweet at 9:52 PM on May 9, 2009

I'm in, and pretty flexible where dates and times are concerned. I like the bonfire on the beach idea (a lot). I'm also with wintersweet on not liking a bar/lounge meet-up, at least initially (I find it hard to hear anything people say in most bars). Maybe if things start at the park/beach then move to a lounge after, that would be good.

In any case, I've yet to go to a meet-up so I'm pretty excited!
posted by Pecinpah at 10:40 AM on May 10, 2009

I'm always up for a beach bonfire, weather permitting.
posted by galleypage at 12:48 PM on May 10, 2009

Beach bonfire = YES!

Harry Potter movie = not so much (although I am a Pot(ter)-head, I just don't think a movie is the way to go...)
posted by hapax_legomenon at 1:00 PM on May 10, 2009

Beach bonfires are the definitive summer thing for my people while in the city... that idea gets another big YES from me.

A meet up in Dolores Park is also never a bad idea, and certainly easier to organize.
posted by StrangerInAStrainedLand at 9:31 PM on May 10, 2009

If something happens in Dolores Park I'll most likely show up, 'cuz I can bring my dog and it's like ten feet away from my front door.
posted by trip and a half at 5:55 AM on May 11, 2009

I really, really like the bonfire idea, as well.

So I have a more concrete suggestion: Saturday, July 18th, a picnic gathering in Dolores Park in the afternoon (around 1 or 2PM) followed by a bonfire on Ocean Beach in the evening (weather permitting, of course). I’m not sure how early I should get there to make sure we get a pit, though. People can choose between either event, or go to both!

I can provide wood, some blankets, scones, cupcakes (as suggested, yum), s’mores, hotdogs/sausages, etc. and people are welcome to bring whatever they wish.
posted by blithecatpie at 5:39 PM on May 11, 2009

I can just drop in for a short while and say hello. Dolores Park or bonfire, any day.
posted by dirty lies at 9:50 PM on May 11, 2009

Yes! Love the beach idea. I already said Maybe to the Portland thread, but looks like I won't be able to make it there after all. I'll be at the SF meetup, wherever it is (fingers crossed for beach!)
posted by iamkimiam at 6:57 AM on May 12, 2009

Just FYI, here are the policies for bonfires at Ocean Beach. (I have no idea why this document is entitled "San Francisco Bean Bonfire Policies". Note that a special permit is required if more than 25 people attend.)
posted by trip and a half at 7:38 AM on May 12, 2009

dolores park + beach bonfire sounds awesome. I would totally lurk all over that.
posted by episteborg at 8:07 AM on May 12, 2009

I would totally lurk all over that.

posted by danny the boy at 10:06 AM on May 12, 2009

Beach bonfire ---> hell yes.
posted by patr1ck at 11:37 AM on May 12, 2009

Obviously, the solution is to have a bonfire in Dolores Park.
posted by ooga_booga at 4:12 PM on May 12, 2009

As a point of possible interest, the SF Symphony is having a concert in Dolores Park at 2:00 PM on that Sunday. Might be of interest to Mefites, though it'll surely crowd the park. I think a park afternoon thing followed by a beach bonfire sounds awesome, although it's possible that the significant and I will be up in the Portland area that weekend anyways.
posted by whir at 9:40 PM on May 12, 2009

As usual, I have nothing to contribute to the meetup thread except to say that if anyone would like to carpool from the South bay, I'll be coming up from San Jose and would be happy to give anyone a ride.

Me-mail me if you're interested. Don't let a lack of transportation prohibit you from attending what always has been and surely will be a great time!
posted by sambosambo at 1:18 AM on May 13, 2009

Bonfire on the beach sounds awesome! If I'm in town, I'll do my best to BART over there from Berkeley.
posted by spitefulcrow at 1:34 AM on May 13, 2009

Although I too am a big fan of lazing about on a sunny afternoon in Dolores Park, it's actually a lot easier to get from Golden Gate Park to Ocean Beach. I mean, it's within walking distance -- granted, it would be a 30-45 minute walk, depending on where you set up shop in the Park, but it's certainly doable -- I just walked there and back the other night with a friend. Just a thought...

There are also picnic tables and grills in certain areas (can't remember what they're called atm) which could also be convenient.
posted by hapax_legomenon at 7:58 AM on May 14, 2009

Hell yes, there are picnic areas in GG Park!
posted by jasper411 at 9:02 AM on May 14, 2009

Agreeing with hapax . . . there are so many open spaces as well as hidden groves in GG Park, we could surely find a suitable spot that's both somewhat public and kinda private. Dolores Park is not only VERY far away from Ocean Beach by public trans, but it's usually jam-packed on sunny weekends.
posted by treepour at 6:57 PM on May 15, 2009

Yeah, you guys are right. I think they'll allow us to reserve the spots, too, which would be really nice. I'm checking out that flyer jasper411 linked to see which spots are closest to the beach.
posted by blithecatpie at 8:22 PM on May 15, 2009

I've narrowed down a few spots and I'm going to check them out tomorrow. I'll keep you guys posted!
posted by blithecatpie at 11:50 AM on May 16, 2009

Another yes! to something outdoors, either beach-y or park-y or both.
posted by needs more cowbell at 10:41 AM on May 17, 2009

oooooo bonfire. I'm in.
posted by potch at 10:24 PM on May 17, 2009

oh, bonfire on a saturday nite would be awesome! can't make it to a friday nite event (flipper are playing at dunord). but saturday is totally open -- and a picnic in either park would be delightful, too.
posted by lapolla at 5:52 AM on May 18, 2009

I might be in SF, especially on Sunday. Please keep me posted!
posted by lukemeister at 11:15 AM on May 19, 2009

So I think Golden Gate Park will be a go! They have great and easy to find picnic spots along MLK Avenue (tables, grills available and beer/wine OK) and they can be reserved. And it’s a nice little walk from Ocean Beach.

I’m going to suggest the date and time of Saturday July 18th, 2PM. I’m thinking we’d hang out at the park then head down to the beach between 630-730PM (or whenever seems right), early enough to claim a pit for our great MeFi bonfire. Now’s the time to pipe in, otherwise I'll take that as your tacit agreement to the plans :)

There will be a thread to discuss the specific details of the event soon, once I can confirm the date and time.
posted by blithecatpie at 6:30 PM on May 19, 2009

I’ll make a call to the park tomorrow to see which spots are available for that weekend.
posted by blithecatpie at 6:33 PM on May 19, 2009

I would suggest getting down to the pit earlier than 6:30 if possible...those things get grabbed fast! If there are non-park goers, maybe one of them can find a spot early and put out the word. (If I end up at the beach and not the park, maybe that's what I'll do.)
posted by iamkimiam at 8:07 PM on May 19, 2009

Rats. Ok, I'll see if anyone here would be able/willing to get to the beach early to snag a pit for us. Anyone? If not, I, or a few of us, can head out there early.
posted by blithecatpie at 8:50 PM on May 19, 2009

The 'bean bonfires' link above is not the official page, but it is now close to the top of 'beach bonfires' thanks to this thread.

These are good:
Ocean Beach bonfire regulations.
PDF Brochure.

Basically, no alcohol, no glass containers, must bring own clean firewood and groups of more than 25 have to call (415) 561-4300 to get a permit ($50 I think).

I don't know if paying for the permit means one can reserve a fire pit, it would be good to find out. I am going home after an all nighter, I delegate further fact finding to the organizers.
posted by dirty lies at 5:52 AM on May 20, 2009

Thanks, dirty lies! I checked out the regulations and got in contact with the people a while ago and found that, unfortunately, paying for a permit does not mean we've reserved a pit--it's first come first serve, which seems a bit ridiculous if you have to pay for the permit and then are not able to get a pit.
posted by blithecatpie at 9:27 AM on May 20, 2009

I just got off the phone with Golden Gate Park to see which sites were available. Elk Grove Meadow (26th and MLK), Lindley Meadow (JFK and 30th) and Marx Meadow (JFK and 26th) have spot available. Elk Grove, however, does not have bathrooms. I think I'll go ahead and reserve a couple of tables in Lindley Meadow as there are tables and grills and it's beautiful there with tons of open space.

Also, the Ocean Beach people said that they recommend we get there at 4PM to get a pit.
posted by blithecatpie at 10:43 AM on May 20, 2009

Sunset is at 8:30 on July 18th. If the picnic starts at 2 and someone should reserve a pit at 4, that's a long day til the bonfire. What'll we do for all those hours? 3,000 piece puzzle? frisbee? talk to each other? zomg, suppose there's no wifi?????

How does someone "reserve" a pit anyway? Stand there and walk around it looking official while glaring at others? Do we need someone scary looking to fend off invaders? Or just someone who's proficient at jedi mind tricks? Last year on July 18th the temperature was 60, so it might be cold enough that there won't be many people on the beach. But then again, it might be hot/warm. The average temp for that day is 71. I think there'll need to be a contingent of people to reserve the pit, just to keep each other company, if nothing else.
posted by jasper411 at 12:45 PM on May 20, 2009

Back from the long weekend!

I called Golden Gate Park to see what spots they had available and reserved a couple of tables (3 & 4) in Lindley Meadow, which is located on John F Kennedy Drive and 30th Avenue. I'm thinking of making the picnic a little earlier than previously planned and as for how and when we're going to claim our pit at Ocean Beach...we'll figure that out later :)

I'm going to confirm July 18th as the date of the event since I haven't heard any disagreement so far. Hope you all can make it! More detailed plans will be discussed in another thread.
posted by blithecatpie at 11:04 AM on May 26, 2009

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