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Correntians Meet Up: The Timing Poll

[I'm very touched by this thread, and especially the people who are going out of their way, and inventing places and times to meet that weren't originally mentioned. It's a Versailles antidote! -- lambert]

[I'm not seeing convergence on an actual date. And I think it makes sense, at least at the start, to use the same date for all "clumps," for impact (if only on ourselves!). So I'm going to propose one in early summer: The weekend prior to the summer solstice (June 21), that is June 19-20. Maybe we can get blessed by a witch! If that date doesn't work, then let's converge on another one. --lambert]

In the depths of winter, several Correntians expressed the desire to meet up in RL, and Valhalla was kind enough to post this on what people's geographical preferences were. I think maybe we're ready to ask what people's preferences for timing are.

Skimming the earlier thread, I'm seeing that Philly* is a clear winner for the East Coast -- be still, my beating heart -- but that central states and west coast locations were also discussed. A powerful argument was made for small towns, but it's also critical that transportation to the sites be as cheap as possible (i.e., Chinese busses or bolt).

My thought on geography, then, is to say we've agreed on a clumps model, and perhaps at the end of this thread we can get some kind of organizing committee together to hammer out that detail and make concrete proposals (including cheap places to stay).

So, on this thread, could we discuss when the meetups should be? I'd argue that they should be simultaneous, for the impact on Correntians, if nobody else, but even that is up for discussion.

NOTE * Philadelphia also has a great historical aura; the Constitution and all that.

NOTE I should also do some technical work to support the planning and signup process; get the Calendar truly working, and all that. As of now, the only thing I've done is that mysterious CSE utilities thing on above the body on the edit tab, which allow you to encrypt at least one part of the text of your posts. One would hardly wish to put a real address out on the web, even in a private forum. If people want to experiment with that tool, that would be great.

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penolan's picture
Submitted by penolan on

Seems to me it will take a couple of months to organize.
Fourth of July sounds like a good time to be in Philly. But most summer weekends are a good time to hang out anywhere.
I'm happy to help with research, arranging group hotel rates, etc, but I'm not particularly tech savvy. I can also commandeer the 2 Dozen brownies my stoner son forgot in the freezer. I already decided that he can't have them back unless he gets a 2.0 this semester. It may be better for everyone if they went to the Correntian Cause.

mass's picture
Submitted by mass on

I'll probably drive so summer or fall.

illusionofjoy's picture
Submitted by illusionofjoy on

I don't presently own a car, but renting is within my budget so a summer/fall trip to Philadelphia would likely be doable - especially one that was set over a weekend.

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

just need to know in advance - it's not easy to get a car for a summer weekend in New York City!

Also, will be gone for a couple of weeks before/after Fourth of July.

scoutt's picture
Submitted by scoutt on

I'm on the outer outer outer outer circle at corrente but if a spot were close, I'd love to meet the other tribeless, lost souls out there. Anytime.
Instead of a 'Burning Man' it could be a 'Burning Status Quo' par-tay.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

I have weddings and other required trips most weekends in July. Also, a European wedding the first week of Sept. Given my busy travel plans this year (I don't even believe in marriage!) I'm reeeeeeeeeally hoping a NW meeting would take place in Seattle. I live a brief walk to the Pike Place Market and can show anyone around that area . . .

Joe's picture
Submitted by Joe on

I'm one of the Philly residents who spoke up last time and said that I'd be happy to have several people crash in my huge apartment.

Unfortunately, since saying that, for various reasons, my roommate and I decided that we're moving out of this apartment on May 1. My next apartment will be much much smaller (probably a studio, but I don't know yet), so I may only be able to pack in a couple people.

I won't really have a good estimate until I actually move my crap into my new place though. But for now I'll say 2 people.

Joe's picture
Submitted by Joe on

also just want to say that Megabus just started running buses from DC to Philly. I just took it yesterday actually. Took 3 hours. I slept for 2 of them. It was great.

I'm a huge bus fan. Very cheap way to travel.

I recommend not coming with a car. Just bus in, get a SEPTA day pass, and you can get to anywhere you need to go on subways, trolleys, and buses.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

Though I'm not sure about a holiday weekend. I don't "do" crowds like I used too, heh.

And I'd love some brownies, Penolan.

sisterkenney's picture
Submitted by sisterkenney on

But I could travel, depending on the date. Pittsburgh, Cleveland (Rock n Roll Hall of fame, anyone?..altho it pi$$es me off they got it instead of Motown, for crying out loud). But on the "brownie" note, big push here in MI, due to new legal MJ laws, (and the nearly 25% unemployment rate) for growing/providing to patients. Great article in the Metro Times:

http://www.metrotimes.com/news/story.asp...

So..no worries, mates ;-)

annabellep's picture
Submitted by annabellep on

If possible. Summer/Fall works best. Philly is good!

Submitted by lambert on

Certainly before July 4.

I have a feeling of onrushing events, and I would like to meet sooner rather than later.

How about near the summer solstice, June 21, maybe the weekend before, at least in Philly?

Submitted by gmanedit on

sooner rather than later.

Any date works for me.

Card-carrying_Buddhist's picture
Submitted by Card-carrying_B... on

Boston! Boston!

Submitted by lambert on

I agree there could be a strong Boston contingent, and there could be both Philly and Boston.

I still say summer solstice. Maybe we could get a witch to bless them ;-)

michaelwb's picture
Submitted by michaelwb on

I'll try to do Philly if that is what shakes down. But I really still would like Boston since it is local if a strong one develops too.

Since the Summer Solstice is on a Monday, I'd say the Saturday before late in the day (late PM or early evening) that way folks can't get off Monday or Friday could still have time to travel and attend.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

Blessing given!

The weekend before Solstice could definitely work for me, especially as my best friend and roommate wants to come with me to Philly, to do some meetups with some of his online friends. We could do Solstice together in Philly.

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

on Corrente. I love this place!

I do have commitments, that weekend, but I could get together for mid-Saturday afternoon into Saturday evening events. Philly is just a hop skip and a jump from Manhattan.

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

I can't stay till Monday, but thanks for the laugh - both you and Aeryl!

cellocat's picture
Submitted by cellocat on

late spring/early summer's also good. I wonder if meeting in various locations on the same date is practical, but some RL, hopfully morale-boosting conversation would be wonderful.

Submitted by hipparchia on

like cellocat says, meeting at the same time might be impractical, and besides [should i ever win the lottery] i want to go to more than one of these cities. a series of meetups starting in april or may and going through june or july [or all summer] might actually be a nice momentum-builder.

Submitted by lambert on

Solstice in Philly seems do-able and supported, though. I'll commit to attending at least that East Coast meetup.

Do the Northwest folks want to commit to a different date?

How about the Boston folks, of which there are at least two?

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

When and where?

There was some talk about SF, Portland and Seattle. When last we had this discussion I was not invited to multiple weddings and other functions so SF probably won't work for me anymore. Seattle is my top choice, Portland second.

Timing for me would be early May or early June or later in the Summer. Seattle has some of its best weather in August and Sept so I'd vote for early-mid August and late Sept. first, early May second, June last.

If this is going to happen, we need to be a bit more explicit about locations and dates rather than "early spring/summer" which is a four of five month window with almost no narrowing down of preferred times. Sorry, I've organized enough events to know that you'll never get anything accomplished if you don't start getting concrete plans.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

I've seen a lot of east coasters pick that date, none of us actual Northwesterners have, though. At least not yet.

I'm personally gonna be with buddies at a pub or something watching the World Cup at that time. The World's Game brings people from all over together to support their teams...and to talk a lot of trash.

michaelwb's picture
Submitted by michaelwb on

Hey at least our ocean is on the normal side! ;-)

Submitted by lambert on

The solstice only operates on the East Coast?

The World Cup is only viewable on the West Coast?

A Meetup and World Cup viewing are mutually exclusive?

* * *

There's always going to be a conflict of some sort. For example, Memorial Day weekend and the Indianapolis 500. People are going to have to come to decisions about what their priorities are, I guess.

So far, I've seen some happiness with the Solstice. If there are better alternatives, propose one!

illusionofjoy's picture
Submitted by illusionofjoy on

Barring acts of vengeful gods, that looks doable. A quick drive down the Turnpike and there I'd be. Wouldn't even have to take Friday or Monday off as a four to five hour drive is nothing for me.

cellocat's picture
Submitted by cellocat on

in Seattle. That's for my own convenience, I admit, but what do the rest of you West Coasters think?

Submitted by hipparchia on

don't feel left out!

i've got family in all those areas and there's a small possibility that i could do a family reunion trip this year in which case i'd happily make a side trip for a corrente meetup in any of these cities.

uni.mo's picture
Submitted by uni.mo on

Anyone want to meet in Denver or northern Colorado?

uni.mo's picture
Submitted by uni.mo on

Among those who have expressed interest in Denver/Boulder, you seem to have the most constrained schedule.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

I haven't bought my plane tickets yet, but I have a wedding on the 31st. I can go a day or two early if anything is planned. I have to leave early the day after the wedding so Sunday doesn't work for me.

I don't know that you should go around my schedule, since it would be a Thursday evening or a Friday when I'm available. But if you do, I'll alter my travel plans accordingly.

uni.mo's picture
Submitted by uni.mo on

So either of those dates will work for me.

Edited to add: I was replying to coyotecreek @Fri, 03/26/2010 - 8:58am, but something weird happened to the nesting.

cellocat's picture
Submitted by cellocat on

to go to Boulder/Denver to visit friends, but will be in St. Louis at the very end of July. What specific dates were you all thinking?

uni.mo's picture
Submitted by uni.mo on

My schedule is pretty open at this point.

Let's see what gqmartinez's wedding schedule is...

And I wonder if Historiann would like to join us?

cellocat's picture
Submitted by cellocat on

My parents' 50th is in STL on the weekend of 7/31 & 8/1, but we can come to Denver for a few days before that, so if the 29th works best, I think I can swing it.

I think another meetup in Seattle would still be good.

cellocat's picture
Submitted by cellocat on

We're deciding between Boulder/Denver in May, and in July. Is this going to happen? If so, I'll go ahead and plan to be there from probably the 24th or 25th through the 29th. If anyone's still reading this thread, let me know...

Diane D-R's picture
Submitted by Diane D-R on

I haven't posted here since before the election, but my husband, WRhouse, delurks a bit more often. And, we both follow the site pretty regularly. We're in the Philly suburbs, and I work in the city. It's a very walkable place, so a hotel in Center City would make the most sense. Depending on the hotel selected, your interests, and how active you want to be, you can walk to a lot of fantastic places, and there are plenty of terrific restaurants in a variety of price ranges.

Philly is a very under-appreciated city. We have a world-class art museum in a gorgeous setting in Fairmount Park; the smaller Rodin Museum which includes the works of some of his contemporaries; the Academy of Natural Sciences and the Franklin Institute, all within walking distance of each other on the Parkway near Logan Circle (from about 19th and the Parkway to 23rd and the Parkway). We have a thriving theater district on the Avenue of the Arts not far from that, Chinatown a stone's throw further (the bus lines usually terminate in Chinatown, across the street from the major regional rail line hub) with the historical district maybe ten blocks further east and five or six further south. Those with a taste for 19th century literature might want to visit Edgar Allan Poe's house at 7th and Spring Garden Streets, though it is a bit off the beaten path. Although Finnegan's Wake at 4th and Spring Garden seems to have become a huge hit with the twenty-something crowd for drinking and dancing. Anyone who has a passion for archeology should definitely make a point of taking a trip to the Museum of the University of Pennsylvania (3260 South Street), which has a wonderful collection of antiquities. That might require transportation, or at least a cab, but would seriously be worth it.

Why, yes, I do love my native city. Why do you ask?

Submitted by lambert on

Everything that Diane D-R says is true, only more so. To her list I would add the history (Independence Mall), a wonderfully humna-proportioned street grid with lovely squares, a thriving BYOB restaurant scene for foodies, an excellent Chinatown, Reading Terminal Market and, of course, drunken transvestite longshoremen playing musical instruments and hurling -- I use the word advisedly -- beads to little children during the Mummer's parade, which, alas, is not in the summer. (Philly, spiritually, has a touch of NOLA.)

We'd need a cheap, cheap space though (and in general, I think we need to take a lightweight approach to everything).

Any thoughts? I wonder if maybe University of the Arts would have some dorm space, for example?

Diane D-R's picture
Submitted by Diane D-R on

LOL on the hurling beads. In college I had an apartment at 13th and Spruce, so on New Year's Day, my room-mate and I would make a big vat of chili and have an all day party, running out to the parade, walking back when we were too cold or too hungry to stay out any longer, then running back to the parade... I mean, who needs New Year's Eve parties when you've got the Mummers.

No immediate thoughts on cheap space, but will check into things over the weekend. Will try to find time to call the University of the arts tomorrow, but I'm not terribly hopeful.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

If we're going to meet for a meal, I recommend the Hard Rock Cafe, as far as price goes.

It's located at 12th and Market, and I have no idea where that might be in Philly.

But, they offer group menus, where a large group gets a restricted menu options, but you get a reduced price. You have to pay a deposit, but I figure we could set up a paypal account, where everyone pays for their meal in advance to cover that.

I'll be swinging by Hard Rock regardless, but it's an idea.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

I just don't know where it is in relation to other stuff in Philly.

Submitted by lambert on

... this.

I may be -- well, er, am -- a food snob, but I also can't help thinking that a little restaurant in Chinatown or South Philly, or a BOYB, needs our money a lot more than Hard Rock cafe. We could always go over there to hang out...

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

Love All, Serve All, and that's hippie enough for me.

The one here in Louisville, offers group menus, the smallest for a group of 10, at $12/per person, and getting cheaper the larger the group. Philly's policies can be different, you'd have to check with their Marketing Manager.

My best friend who will probably be traveling with me, works at the restuarant here, so we have to go by there to visit and pick up a sale pin for my daughter. But I don't want that to dictate what everyone else has to do :D

Also, for all the non-east coasters, I'd still like to have a video chat, so all those who couldn't attend can still participate.

Submitted by lambert on

I actually know how to do that. The advantage would be anonymity, at least some, but also permanent store for real discussion (streaming video doesn't always store, and video is also huge).

Diane D-R's picture
Submitted by Diane D-R on

The Hard Rock Cafe at 12th and Market is a block or two from Chinatown, and it is about 8 blocks west and 2 north of Independence Hall. So, pretty much in the middle of things. It is literally on top of that major train line hub I was talking about, the Market East Station, which is below ground. The Hard Rock Cafe is on street level. Not sure it's the best value for money, but I will do some research.

I'm about to meet with my writer's group, and probably won't be done for several hours. When I come back, I'll try to find some links to some decent street maps to give everyone a better idea of how things are laid out in Center City.

Submitted by lambert on

I need to set up the ability to do small group planning. Soon!

Diane D-R's picture
Submitted by Diane D-R on

After Google gave me links to some very unsatisfying maps that purported to show Center City Philadelphia, I just googled "Philadelphia City Hall, Philadelphia, PA" and clicked on the terrain view, rather than the satellite view. Zoomed in two clicks and it became pretty easy to see. Use the arrows for navigation, and you can get a very good feel for how things are laid out. Market is the major artery/line of demarcation running east and west, Broad Street (equivalent of 14th street, which does not exist in Philadelphia) is the same running north and south. Our City Hall sits on the area where they would converge if the building weren't there.

Hope that helps.

Diane D-R's picture
Submitted by Diane D-R on

As I mentioned before, I wasn't able to call the University of the Arts to check into the availability of dorm space, but I'll try to do that on Monday. Do not get your hopes up. From what I read on their website, their dorms are more apartment style housing, and dorm space is so scarce it's limited to freshmen.

Meanwhile, I checked out prices of local hotels. To do so, I went to a union website to find out which hotels in Philadelphia are unionized, then selected the ones in center city that were not too far afield of the interesting tourist spots. The union website used is here:
http://www.hotelworkersrising.org/HotelG...

I discovered that the unionized hotels near the Penn's Landing area on the waterfront were somewhat more expensive than the ones closer to City Hall, so I’m not listing them. I assumed a two night stay, Friday June 18 and Saturday June 19, checking out on Sunday the 20th, in a room with two adults. Some listed the same price for either night, some gave a figure of an average price with one night being twenty dollars cheaper than the average, and the other night twenty dollars more. Prices given were before taxes, which adds another 15.2% to the cost.

Now, keep in mind that these are internet rates, but not the cheaper Advanced Purchase rates, because Advanced Purchase must be fully paid at time of reservation, and is not refundable. Also, some of these places offer discounts to members of AAA and AARP. Further, you can buy "packages" that will include admissions to museums or tour packages. I just checked no frills best price rates, without the Advanced Purchase discount. If you are willing to take the risk, you can research the Advanced Purchase rates, or try one of the discount sites like Expedia or CheapTickets.com for rock-bottom rates. Just be aware that they will be non-refundable.

The lowest price was for the Hampton Inn Philadelphia Center City - Convention Center at 1301 Race Street. This includes "complimentary hot breakfast" and "free high-speed internet access."

http://www.hamptoninn.com/en/hp/hotels/i...

$119 per night gets you either 2 double beds or a King. ($274.18, including tax, for a two night stay, for one or two adults in the room. $297.22 for 3 adults, $320.26 for 4 adults again including tax.)

$139 gets a 1 bedroom suite with a King bed and a sofabed. ($320.26, including tax, for a two night stay, for one or two adults in the room. $343.30 for 3 adults, $366.34 for 4 adults again including tax)

Race is the next major street north of Market (although the smaller Filbert street is between the two). That means that the hotel's address at 13th and Race puts it just about on top of the Market East Train Station/The Gallery/Reading Terminal Market (from back when the Reading Train Line terminated at 12th and Market). So, if you were coming into town by train, or on the Megabus which Joe mentioned above, and were at 30th Street Station, and didn't want to make the near twenty block walk from there to the hotel, you could purchase a regional rail line ticket for a couple of bucks, and take any of the east-bound trains the two stops to the Market Street East Station, go up to the street level, and walk to the hotel. Or, if you were getting the Septa Day pass, you should be able to use the Market-Frankford Elevated line (known locally as “The El”) or perhaps one of the bus lines.

The Market East Train Station is at about 12th and Market. The Greyhound bus terminal is just across the street from one of the exits, at 10th and Filbert. If you came by Greyhound, you could walk the three and a half blocks from the bus station to the hotel, as well. The hotel is an easy three or four block walk to China Town, maybe ten or so blocks to the historical district. In the other direction, the Art Museum is at least 15 blocks away.

Next hotel on the list is the Sheraton Philadelphia City Center at 1700 Race Street, $129 for 2D/1K beds, or $159 for 1K bed in an "oversized room," (before the 15.2% taxes and for no more than 2 adults in the room). However, it's not quite as conveniently located as the other hotels. Still, if you want to check it out:
http://www.starwoodhotels.com/sheraton/p...

The Hilton Garden Inn is only $1 more than the Sheraton for the basic room with 2 double beds, ($130 per night for 1 or 2 adults) and is more convenient at 11th and Arch. Again, just about on top of the Market East/Gallery/Reading Market, so all the location pluses the Hampton Inn has, as they are only two blocks apart. Cost for a "junior evolution suite" with either 2D/1K beds is $140. (Those prices are before taxes, for 1 or 2 adults in the room.) Some of the rooms include microwave and refrigerator. Check for details at the website here:
http://www.hiltongardeninn.com/en/gi/hot...

The Holiday Inn Express Midtown, at 1305-11 Walnut Street is two blocks south of Market, so not terribly far a walk from Market East, if not right on top of it like the Hampton and Hilton choices. Average rate per night is $136 before taxes for 1 single or 1 Queen bed, $144 for a King, BUT, that's for 1 person. They add $10 per adult starting with the 2nd adult. Prices include a free hot breakfast and free internet access.
http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/ex/1/en...

The next hotel has a significant price jump: the Crowne Plaza - Philadelphia at 1800 Market Street. $180 for the basic 2D/1K/1Q room, $220 for rooms on the "Club Level" where there is free WiFy access. The more expensive rooms include a "free continental breakfast."
http://www.cpphiladelphia.com/

Just to give an idea of the Penn’s Landing area prices:

Comfort Inn Penn’s Landing:
Only one room left at $129 for the weekend in question. Other rooms start at $179.

Hyatt Penn’s Landing
Rooms start at $220

I hope the research and the links are useful, but it is just a starting point. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Submitted by lambert on

I think that free internet access -- now that I think of it -- is an absolute requirement for bloggers -- so that narrows the field some. I've been to the Hampton Inn and it's fine. Though it's at the upper limit of my price range :-0

Submitted by hipparchia on

i've done a lot of road trips [a lot] and haven't run into a bad one yet.

i stayed in some pricey hotel [i forget which one] right across the street from city hall -- really cool, but not really affordable.

Diane D-R's picture
Submitted by Diane D-R on

My pleasure.

Meantime a bit of clarification: The Hilton Garden Inn at 11th and Arch also offers free high-speed internet connection, and includes a microwave and mini fridge in each room. But no complimentary hot breakfast, and it's about $11 more per night than the Hampton Inn for the least expensive rooms. The Hampton Inn has the complimentary hot breakfast as well as the free high-speed internet connection, but does not list microwaves or refrigerators in the room. Those two hotels are probably the best bet for price and location, in the way of unionized hotels.

And...I still haven't called the UA. Gah! I'll have Walt call me to remind me, tomorrow. I'll also try to call the two hotels and get clarification on the internet connection.

ETA: Called, but couldn't get an answer to the question. Someone is supposed to call me back. We'll see.

Diane D-R's picture
Submitted by Diane D-R on

Finally heard back from the residency folks at the University of the Arts. Their dorm space is not available to the general public. Pretty much what I expected, but at least we tried.

penolan's picture
Submitted by penolan on

Blessed Be - I'm up for the solstice.
And I'll be driving my trusty Subaru from NYC if anybody wants a ride to Philly.

Are we meeting up on June 19 in Philly?
June 19th is also Juneteenth, you know.
There's a cause for celebration.