We have a meetup set for April 25.
The good news is it is a Friday evening, when hopefully many of you will be able to drop by.
The bad news is it is a Friday evening, which is prime time in restaurants and bars.
At the last gathering, which we did on a cold Tuesday night in January, everything in the end worked out fine, even though the setup was in some ways less than ideal (everyone had to sit at a table but Lambert and I table hopped). But the 40 or so of us were able to take over a largely-empty upstairs room at a bar, so everyone was in close proximity.
Unless one of you can arrange for us to have a private room (someone at the last meetup offered to do that, but I’ve contacted the person that I thought made this kind offer and have yet to get a reply), we might have trouble with having everyone be reasonably comfortable and able to mix.
If we can’t get a room where we can bring in some wine, beer, and munchies, the next best option might be to find a place on the Lower East Side, where before 8 PM is the geriatric hour. If we start at 5:00 or 5:30 PM at a roomy enough venue, we might be OK. The big drawback of the Lower East Side is it is much less well served by served by public transportation than other areas of Manhattan.
Please provide suggestions in comments. One ground rule is you folks need to agree or at least narrow down options among you!
Look forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks!
I recall a grill-style establishment in Rockefeller Center. Staircase down to a large dining area, but the name escapes. Rockefeller Center has advantages when you can’t anticipate the turnout: sheltered gathering space, spontaneous options, and most of the casual dining clientele has departed for home by Friday evening.
Here’s something a few other meetups are doing that evening.
The Rubin Museum of (Himalayan) Art, at the former Barney’s on 17th off 7th, offers free admission on Fridays 6-10 pm, during which time it runs its coffee shop as “K2”, a wine and tapas lounge with DJ. There’s a system for groups to reserve adjacent space well in advance, but individuals can seat themselves. And if it gets too crowded or noisy, some can cluster off into the museum.
The Rubin Museum of Art
150 West 17th Street
New York, NY 10011
K2 Lounge: http://www.rubinmuseum.org/pages/load/122
(There’s also a film at 9:30 for anyone who runs up a $10 K2 tab. On the 25th, it’s Red Beard, Kurosawa’s final B&W film. So that’s a potential Beard sighting, and you know those three hours of cinema will fly by. )
This is a SUPERB idea but they were booked. But this is what we will do next time!!!
Slainte, Bowery b/w Houston and Bleecker, and The 13th Step, Second Ave. b/w 9th and 10th. Both fairly large. I think Slainte is larger and would be pretty empty at 5pm. The 13th Step has two party rooms but I imagine you pay extra for that.
The upstairs room at Old Town on 18th Street near Union Square comes to mind (can’t give you a direct link to the exact page, since the site is partly based in wretched Flash), though I have not been there on a Friday night in ages, so I don’t know what the traffic is like. They do make the room available for private parties, but, again, it’s Friday night, and that might be an exception (or it might go for a premium).
Were I in town, I’d stop in and find out what the story is (usually works better for me than a phone call), but I’m out of the country until May. Alas, that also means that I’ll miss the event altogether (again).
45 East 18th Street
(apologies if this comment shows up twice; the upload stalled, so I canceled it and tried again)
That was where we went last time. It was awkward but workable. I don’t think we can take over the upstairs the way we did in the winter.
Mary O’s 32 Avenue A? Not all that big but for 40-50 should be fine, and 5-8 on a Friday will be empty. Mary doesn’t open until 5 & might agree not to open until 8.
The Whole Foods on Houston Street between Third Ave/Bowery and Second Avenue has an area on the second floor where there is seating for people that have bought food. While most of this is open seating, there is an area that is semi-secluded that also has stadium seating that would be perfect for a small to mid-sized group to gather.
There are three tiers of seating. After dinner, a group could assemble there and have a discussion, led by a speaker (Yves, others) that all could readily participate in.
This would be a different format and different type of venue than previous gatherings which have tended to be somewhat noisy bars with seating/standing that greatly limits group discussion.
I wish I lived in NYC!!
You might consider the bar/lounge at Dixon Place, a theater on the lower east side. It’s often roomy unless there’s a show in the lounge. If there’s a 7:30 show in the main theater – as there is that night – it gets packed at 7:15 then empties out when the show starts.