Potluck in the Great Outdoors
posted July 22, 2014 7:47 AM   RSS | iCal | +googleCal

Sat September 20 at 1:00 PM, Olympia Shelter in North Park
303 Pearce Mill Road, Allison Park, PA, USA (Map & Directions)
Update: Confirmed, for Saturday, September 20th, between 1 and 2 p.m. Olympia Shelter, in North Park. Many thanks to librarianamy! Per this thread, there's been some promising talk of holding a potluck in a county park while the weather's still amenable. Please offer any suggestions!
Developments thus far... as posted by librarianamy in the previous thread: Going back to the potluck thought - are we serious? Serious enough for me to investigate park shelters? It looks like we could get one in a county park for $30.

HECK YEAH we're serious.

librarianamy: The county parks include Boyce (out near Monroeville?) and both North and South Park. I really don't have any one park in mind, and would lean towards whatever one people could get to easily. City parks, fwiw, look to be between $75 and $150 for a shelter, versus the $30 for the county ones. Other parks include Deer Lakes, Harrison Hills, Round Hill, Settlers Cabin & White Oak. And Hartwood Acres, but their facilities seem shockingly wedding-centric.
posted by Iris Gambol to Meetup (35 comments total)

We're 100% flexible on location. I'm not familiar with any of the city parks (save for the one by our house), so if that's a better suggestion and we want to go shelter-free and pick a few trees instead, I'm game.

I was thinking a weekend in September, after Labor Day? The 13-14 or the 20-21?

I'm confident that I'll end up bringing a ridiculously decadent dessert, and I'll con fixer into some sort of side salad - maybe a cold couscous Greek salad.

Also we should throw out for any major food allergies. I don't want to smear peanut butter all over anything and have someone get sick.
posted by librarianamy at 9:34 AM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Maybe keeping it in-city makes for wider transportation options? Also, while it's lovely in September I wonder how many would-be attendees will be caught up in back-to-school madness (for themselves or their kids).
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:32 AM on July 22, 2014

Woot, potluck is ON!

I'm pretty flexible with dates, either of those weekends sounds good to me. Might have a +1 or +2 depending on the date.

The last time I checked, you can bus to the doorstep of either North or South parks. (I might just end up doing a Zipcar for the afternoon.) If we do North Park, I'd recommend trying to get a site that's away from Babcock Blvd. due to the traffic. County parks seems like a good idea, we can all chip in for the rental. $75-$150 is waaaaay more than I would have expected for a city park shelter! O_o

I can do veggie burgers or hotdogs + fixin's and I make a tasty vegan chocolate cake. No food allergies here.
posted by cardinality at 10:41 AM on July 22, 2014

I'm in for potluck, also probably with a +1 or +2, pretty much anywhere, and willing to chip in for rental. Late September might be nice, as it'd (hopefully) be cooler, and I think that edging into the latter half of the month means that most of the back-to-school crazies are over.

I am annoyingly and fatally food allergied, but carry many epipens and am ok asking before I eat things.

I'm flexible with bringing things, and am relatively happy to try to fill any apparent holes in the menu.
posted by MeghanC at 1:29 PM on July 22, 2014

Sounds like fun! Nakedmolerats and I have nothing planned in September yet, so as of now any weekend would work for us. We can bring some manner of dip and - eh - something else that strikes our fancy when it gets closer to the time. No allergies here.
posted by DingoMutt at 7:31 PM on July 22, 2014

Oh no, we'll have to leave the city for a meetup! Seriously, sounds fun. I'd prefer North Park just for ease of the drive but we could get to any of them.
posted by octothorpe at 6:36 AM on July 23, 2014

Depending on the weekend, Octothorpe and I would definitely be interested. We can pitch in for the shelter and will bring along salad or cookies or deviled eggs or salsa. We live on the Northside, so if someone wants to take a train/bus over close to us we're happy to drive 1-2 more folks out to one of the parks or take them back to more frequently running public transportation. I've only been to North Park, and used to live in Murrysville, so have hung out a fair amount at Boyce park. Settler's Cabin Park has the new Botantic Gardens that should theoretically be open, partially, to the public by then, which is my idea of a fun adventure.
posted by DarthDuckie at 6:40 AM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Well darth and I obviously didn't co-ordinate our posts but "what she said".
posted by octothorpe at 6:42 AM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm in! Willing to chip in for the rental, flexible on location and date, and if anyone needs a ride from the East End, let me know.

I can bring a vegetarian main-ish dish - I'm thinking tomato pie or spanakopita right now.
posted by punchtothehead at 6:46 AM on July 23, 2014

jon1270 and I are likely, with a slight preference for the 13th or the 20th, and we're happy to chip in for the shelter and bring whatever fills out the menu - we make a really good vieggie pasta salad with sundried tomato and spinach, or brownies.
posted by deliriouscool at 8:45 AM on July 23, 2014

I'm interested, but bus-bound.

I have some ideas about food-things, possibly some sort of seafood salad, or perhaps "chicken pigs": pigs-in-blankets, but with chicken sausage.

I suppose I could also whip up some of the chocolate-covered garlic I spoke of here.

I can happily throw in for the fee, too.

No food allergies I can't manage.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 9:39 PM on July 23, 2014

I'm tentatively in but it depends on location (I'm probably not going to bus out to a non-city park) and timing (I'll be in another state the second proposed weekend.) Should it happen to end up a time/place I can attend I'd be happy to chip in for any rental costs, and to bring my insanely chocolate brownies.

No worries at all if most folks want to do a farther-away park, though. I may be able to arm-twist my partner into attending, and he can drive us if he signs on. If so, I can probably get him to bring either his ridiculous bacon cheddar deviled eggs or his yummy layered dip thing.
posted by Stacey at 4:28 PM on July 24, 2014

Just poking this thread, and offering another vote for Sept. 20.
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:24 AM on July 30, 2014

posted by punchtothehead at 2:01 PM on July 30, 2014

Ok, so if we shoot for Saturday September 20th, are we ok with North Park? That seemed to be the only one that anyone stated any preference for...

I just printed out a parks map, and the shelter permit. I have to submit it in person, but it lets me list four potential shelters - I'm thinking away from Babcock (as suggested) but as close to bathrooms as we can pull off. If anyone has any favorites to suggest, I'm game.

Do we have a time preference? I need to list a start time on the form - though for the life of me I can't find the park hours anywhere on the website (bad librarian!).

I figure once we have time & location finalized we can discuss potential ride sharing or pick up spots from near bus stops. I can't do the shelter permit this weekend, but can do it next Saturday. So as long as we finalize before then, I think we should be ok.
posted by librarianamy at 11:19 AM on July 31, 2014

Oh, and one other thing, if we're planning on any of the following: tents, inflatable devices, carnival rides, pony rides, DJs, bands, petting zoos, beer trailers, oversize grills and pig roasts, it's an extra ten dollars. :) So if you've got a secret petting zoo or bounce castle, speak up now.
posted by librarianamy at 11:21 AM on July 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

It's probably for the best, as I've gotten entirely too attached to the pig.
Librarianamy, thank you so much for handling the permit business! You're right, the website is a beast; I tried calling the two North Park office numbers listed for autumn weekend hours, but they were both busy for half an hour straight (end of the business day). I will try again tomorrow.
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:08 PM on July 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

Park will open at eight a.m., and with a permit one can stay until midnight. I would think we'd be aiming for the afternoon, though, given the bus-connection angle.
posted by Iris Gambol at 9:30 AM on August 1, 2014

Hi! I do not check my mail or, like, ever post, but I'm here! And I may need a sock puppet named Secret Petting Zoo.
posted by MsMacbeth at 9:14 PM on August 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Ok, I think what I'm going to do is go ahead and put something like noon on the form, and then we can formalize times once we have the shelter name. We're planning on stopping up on the morning of the 16th to do the paperwork - my weekend plans have flip-flopped and I can go up at the crack of park opening that morning.
posted by librarianamy at 7:41 AM on August 6, 2014

We are now official - I have our permit in hand. We drove around the park on Saturday to scope things out and went with the Olympia Shelter based on a few things - ample parking, handicapped accessible, bathroom proximity, shade, and relatively un-crowded despite how beautiful it was this weekend. So let's go ahead and make this official - Saturday September 20th. We'll shoot for being there between one and two.

Things of note:
* None of the shelters have grills, but we can bring our own. We have a small, tailgaiting sized one that we can bring if anyone is interested.
* I'm going to go ahead and pack Apples to Apples, and maybe Clue?
* I'm also going to get some MeFi colored balloons to tie somewhere visible to flag folks down.
* Our permit currently doesn't cover alcohol. It's $50 to add that in, and we could do so up to a week before the event. So if that's something that is important to you, let me know if it's $50 important.
* For those folks who aren't drivers - if you're interested in carpools or bus stop pick ups, shout out?
posted by librarianamy at 5:15 AM on August 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Thanks for taking care of this librarianamy!

If anyone wants a ride from the Allegheny (the last stop) subway stop we can pick you up and take you back. Subway is free from downtown to the Northside. We have room for 2 or 3 people depending on how friendly folks are. Probably want to stay a few hours depending on how competitive the Apples to Apples gets.

I'm pretty agnostic about the alcohol, but we'd be willing to chip for the permit if other folks are interested.

Petting zoo...I'm considering trying to leash train one of our (formerly) outdoor kitties who seems sad to be stuck inside (cars are scary!). He likes to be petted. :) (So give us a heads up about allergies if you're thinking about riding with us - its purely in the theoretical at this point anyway.)
posted by DarthDuckie at 8:56 AM on August 19, 2014

oh hey. i had completely forgotten about this....

as i add it to my calendar: It's worth noting that Pitt has a noon home game that day---and the Pirates have a game at 7. the North Shore is going to be a mess, all. goddamn. day.

I will probably try to bike, because I'm goofy like that. It'll take me about two hours, because I'm slow like that. Anyone interested in joining me? (I'm starting in Lawrenceville; route will vary depending on where we want to meet, etc., but a fair amount of climbing is unavoidable...)
posted by FlyingMonkey at 10:27 AM on August 19, 2014

Hi, lovely people. Just giving this post a nudge into "Recent Activity" status, in case anyone needs to pick up ingredients this weekend in preparation for next weekend.
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:06 AM on September 13, 2014

Thanks Iris Gambol - meant to do the same but things were nutty at work on Friday.

So items I plan on bringing:
Cooler with ice
Paper products we have in the house (so no mocking any theming)
Apples to Apples
Balloons to mark the shelter
Most likely a greek-ish couscous salad (leave the cheese on the side for vegans? anyone?)
Some sort of dessert

Is anyone interested in me bringing our mini grill?

And does anyone need a ride?
posted by librarianamy at 6:35 AM on September 15, 2014

Hi all, we're still interested - coming from Forest Hills, so if you need a ride from the east, MeMail me before noon. librarianamy, if you bring your grill, we can bring protein and we'll bring some other tasty thing too.
posted by deliriouscool at 6:47 AM on September 20, 2014

Hi, Darth and I are planning on being there. Not sure what we're bringing yet, we're always so bad at figuring out food.
posted by octothorpe at 7:13 AM on September 20, 2014

Almost on the way, so.... see folks at 2-ish.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:04 AM on September 20, 2014

Still on the Northside but have cookies and mexican soda, made a salad and we'll be up in 30 to 45 minutes.
posted by octothorpe at 10:13 AM on September 20, 2014

Hey all, I'm sorry I can't make it today. I had to go out earlier this morning and I'm done in for the day, thanks to some crappy health issues at the moment. I hope y'all have a good time and report back about how it went...it's a gorgeous day for a picnic!

If any of you are birdnerds, there was a Great Egret hanging around North Park as of 9/16, plus it's migration time...should be some good birdwatching there today. Have fun!
posted by cardinality at 10:34 AM on September 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

... or 2:30ish. You know, some time.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:39 AM on September 20, 2014

Great day, thanks for coming out everyone.
posted by octothorpe at 4:47 PM on September 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

Hmm. the way I phrased that it sound like I had something to do with organizing which I didn't. So thanks to those who did.
posted by octothorpe at 5:40 PM on September 20, 2014

Great job everyone! We will have to have another Kale Battle sometime.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:02 AM on September 21, 2014

Thanks for hanging out everyone - we had a really nice time. Already looking forward to Battle Kale Part Deux!
posted by librarianamy at 4:40 AM on September 22, 2014

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