FOGcon meetup
posted January 25, 2015 12:32 PM   RSS | iCal | +googleCal

Sat March 7 at 6:15 PM, Atrio (Walnut Creek Marriott)
2355 North Main Street, Walnut Creek, CA, USA (Map & Directions)
FOGcon, a literary sf convention, is happening on March 6-8 in Walnut Creek. This year's theme is The Traveller. "From The Odyssey to Dr. Who, Margery Kempe to Alyx, the Traveler is an iconic figure. This trope evokes a whole class of stories in both SF and fantasy in a compact and emotionally suggestive form....We will explore such topics as modes of travel, evolving attitudes toward the idea of an alien realm, the range of metaphors travel stands for, changing expectations about the experience of earthly or space travel, and how to be an extreme wilderness hiker - or an extreme hitchhiker. And lots more. Honored Guests: Kim Stanley Robinson, Catherynne M. Valente, Joanna Russ (posthumous)."
Original post: I know 6 weeks is a ways out, but I thought I'd give extra lead time because a convention is involved. I figure there are a few science fiction fans on Metafilter who might be interested in actually going. The schedule isn't out yet, but would anyone like to meet up during the convention or at dinner time?

The event takes place at the Walnut Creek Marriott, which appears to be BARTable (I haven't done it) and looks like it's also in walking distance of Pinky's Pizza, which was the site of a previous meetup, and a pho place. And of course, there's some kind of restaurant/bar thing at the hotel. Maybe actual WC'ers would have more suggestions. I think the hotel is also on the free shuttle route.

UPDATE (2/20): It looks like FOGcon has dinner breaks built in on Friday (6-8 PM) and Saturday (6:15-7:55), plus a lunch break on Saturday (11:45-1:30).

We could
a) meet in the hotel restaurant at lunch on Saturday (menu)
b) meet in the hotel restaurant at dinner on Friday or Saturday
d) take the shuttle to dinner somewhere in WC on Friday or Saturday

I don't know the restaurants in the area at all. I'm sort of inclined to support lunch at the hotel on Saturday, because it's convenient, nobody would have to worry about missing a panel, and we would get to meet each other before the convention ends. However, I have no idea about the quality of their food, and it would probably not appeal anyone not going to the convention.

UPDATE (2/22): I'm setting it for the Saturday lunch option, but if you still want to meet up and it doesn't work for you, get in touch. (We'll arrive Friday afternoon, and I'll probably be tweeting while I'm there, too.)

UPDATE (3/6): Dinner, 6:15 Saturday. Let me know if you'll be there!
posted by wintersweet to Meetup (47 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Oh, it's also in walking distance of The Bend, which is a food truck thing that I haven't tried yet. It's supposed to reopen next month.

Anyway, just want to see if there's any interest.
posted by wintersweet at 1:28 PM on January 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Google reckons it's a 13 to 15 minute walk from Ye Olde BART Station.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 5:39 PM on January 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that's walkable for some and not for others. I don't know if the Marriott shuttle stops at BART regularly, but it looks like it can be summoned (at least, if you're staying there? I don't know).
posted by wintersweet at 6:08 PM on January 25, 2015


I'd come out for a dinner meetup!

15m from BART sounds about right, although it's not a particularly pleasant walk. We walked there once for a race packet pickup.

I've never seen The Bend open any time we've driven past. It always seems a very jam-tomorrow kind of thing, although I do hope they can make it work; that parking lot's been disused for 10 years. Other food on that stretch of North Main is mostly fast food joints.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:11 PM on January 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'll be at FOGcon and would like to meetup with fellow MeFen.
posted by Zed at 7:25 AM on January 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


When the schedule is up, I'll post again and we can try to put together a dinner date and time.
posted by wintersweet at 11:17 AM on January 26, 2015


Oooh, this looks interesting. I'm close-ish (Santa Rosa), and I might come down for Saturday or Sunday.
posted by jcreigh at 9:47 PM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


ok, I've dug up Joanna Russ' The Female Man and Kim Stanley Robinson's Forty Signs of Rain/Fifty Degrees Below/Sixty Days and Counting as my official stack of stuff to try to read before FOGcon.
posted by Zed at 4:18 AM on February 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I need to do some reading/re-reading too. (I'm pretty sure that Robinson's Mars books are in that tiny category of "good books that I always forget that I've already read," but I'm going to make sure.)
posted by wintersweet at 10:11 AM on February 1, 2015


Hunh. I'm on two panels at FOGcon. Apparently someone, and I'm not saying who, didn't understand the difference on the poll between saying he was interested in attending a panel and interested in being on it!
posted by Zed at 9:36 PM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ummm...congratulations, Zed? (If you really don't want to be on one, or if they screwed up, I'm sure they'll let you off. Otherwise, make sure you let us know so we can attend. ;))
posted by wintersweet at 10:06 PM on February 3, 2015


I don't think I'm the best person for one of them, but I figured I'd just roll with the other, Tenses for Time Travelers and Other Abominations of Language, Friday at 3. (Though I hadn't originally planned to take Friday off to be there early and had better make a decision on that right quick.)
posted by Zed at 8:37 AM on February 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm gonna be participating in Please Wash Your Hands (on epidemics) and This Is The End (on apocalyptic fiction). Both are on Saturday :)
posted by Strass at 11:24 AM on February 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Would anyone like to carpool? I'll be driving from Palo Alto to Walnut Creek on Saturday (I have to check the panel schedule again, but I think I'll only be attending one day).
posted by Strass at 12:51 PM on February 11, 2015


I'm going to go over the schedule this weekend and I'll either post a time or...something. Don't miss the Walnut Creek Corners Tavern Big Swanky Restaurant Bar Meetup on that Sunday.
posted by wintersweet at 4:04 PM on February 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


It looks like FOGcon has dinner breaks built in on Friday (6-8 PM) and Saturday (6:15-7:55), plus a lunch break on Saturday (11:45-1:30). I'm not used to such civilized schedules...

We could
a) meet in the hotel restaurant at lunch on Saturday (menu)
b) meet in the hotel restaurant at dinner on Friday or Saturday
d) take the shuttle to dinner somewhere in WC on Friday or Saturday

I don't know the restaurants in the area at all. I'm sort of inclined to support lunch at the hotel on Saturday, because it's convenient, nobody would have to worry about missing a panel, and we would get to meet each other before the convention ends. However, I have no idea about the quality of their food, and it would probably not appeal anyone not going to the convention.

Feedback? I'd love to pin this down and make it official (especially since it looks like I'll miss the other meetup on Sunday).
posted by wintersweet at 9:39 PM on February 20, 2015


Update: Free valet parking at the Marriott as long as you tell them you're with FOGcon.
posted by wintersweet at 8:55 AM on February 21, 2015


The hotel restaurant is typical hotel fare: expensive and adequate but not especially good. Walnut Creek's big restaurant selection is about a mile away.

Google says this Food Truck hub is a 4 minute walk; it's open Friday night but closed Saturday and Sunday.

I found Saroor Indian Cuisine to be very good; Google calls it a 12-minute walk, but it's an unpleasant walk across the mouths of exit ramps and such -- it's not an especially pedestrian-friendly part of town, and this is the worst direction for walking from the hotel.
posted by Zed at 12:43 PM on February 24, 2015


The food truck thing is discussed above--I would want confirmation that it's open before settling on it. It was actually where I was hoping to go, but they haven't updated Facebook in a month, their Twitter is protected, and their website is in "maintenance mode." Not promising!

If people want to try taking the shuttle to downtown, that would be great--as long as someone has a specific restaurant suggestion that the shuttle can take us to. (Not sure if that includes Saroor? I don't know much about Walnut Creek.)
posted by wintersweet at 8:29 PM on February 24, 2015


No new Yelp reviews on The Bend since November, either. I'll drive by on Friday night if I remember.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 9:46 PM on February 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


What about Pho Huynh Hiep 6 - Kevin’s Noodle House? Walking directions, menu, photos. It's only .3 miles, so it ought to be doable...however, I've never walked in this area, so I have no idea.
posted by wintersweet at 8:51 PM on February 25, 2015


Not sure if that includes Saroor

No, Saroor is in the other direction from downtown.
posted by Zed at 10:48 PM on February 28, 2015


I'm actually not sure where all the Marriott's shuttle will go. It sounds like it's on demand.
posted by wintersweet at 11:15 PM on February 28, 2015


Since it's Wednesday, I'm just checking in. Should we cancel? I'm not getting a clear idea of what people would like to do, so perhaps it's just not meant to be and we should just say hi when we bump into each other at the con. :)

(I'm sorry I didn't come in with a clearer plan; I just don't know Walnut Creek very well at all.)

Thanks!
posted by wintersweet at 11:09 AM on March 4, 2015


I'm still hoping to come. (Sorry I'm still in the "Maybe" column...I came down with something this morning, so I'm not sure if I'll feel like trekking down to Walnut Creek on Saturday.) But yes, if I'm make it down, I'd love to eat with Mefites.
posted by jcreigh at 9:46 PM on March 4, 2015


Hope you feel better, jcreigh!
posted by wintersweet at 10:16 PM on March 4, 2015


How 'bout we do the really obvious thing and just eat at the hotel restaurant? We could ask everyone to commit to a number of guests by 5 PM on Saturday so someone (wintersweet? or I could do it if you didn't want to) can make a reservation for, say, 6:15.
posted by Zed at 8:17 AM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


That's what I'm thinking, just for the ease of things, and I'll post to Twitter if we're going to the pho place on another night as well. :)

So, dinner then? 6:15?
posted by wintersweet at 10:59 AM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'll be there with a plus one, but it's ok -- she's a Friend of Mathowie, too. (We still say that after the regime change, right?)
posted by Zed at 7:41 PM on March 5, 2015


Of course!

I'll change the event details, and if anyone else RSVPs by tomorrow afternoon, I'll put them on the reservation when I make it.

In the meantime, my Twitter name is the same as my Mefi name, and you can DM me for my phone number.

Looking forward to the convention!
posted by wintersweet at 7:52 AM on March 6, 2015


Where do we meet at the hotel? I'm a little bit twitchy about turning up alone and walking around and around trying to find you...
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 9:01 AM on March 6, 2015


I think that noodle place mentioned upthread would be great for another IRL meetup, fwiw...
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 9:06 AM on March 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Checking out the Atrio - this is hilarious: they quote Erma Bombeck on their menu.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 9:40 AM on March 6, 2015


We'll look like the bunch of geeks from the internet. Oh, wait.

The hotel lobby isn't that big and I just packed my I [+] Metafilter t-shirt, and I'll wear it tomorrow night. And the congoers will all have name badges, too.
posted by Zed at 10:55 AM on March 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh! Great, okay thanks. I mean I would recognize wintersweet, but this is reassuring.

But If I do end up walking around and around, it's good for your health, anyways. :)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 2:45 PM on March 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


I meant to make a sign, but spaced. I'll try to get a table up front!
posted by wintersweet at 8:28 PM on March 6, 2015


I've made a reservation under my real name for 6:15. MeMail me if you need to know my name!

The restaurant is on the main floor. Basically, there's the front desk, a sitting/bar area, a bar that serves as a divider, and the "restaurant" area is behind that. The host's podium is to the left of the bar when you face away from the front desk.

I'll be wearing a greenish shirt, and I'll try to keep an eye out for people. (And I've met Zed, hurray!)
posted by wintersweet at 9:36 PM on March 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


At the con! Sitting in the From Hoth to Mars panel, planning on going y'all for dinner tonight.
posted by jcreigh at 10:28 AM on March 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm in the same room as you, then. *creepy music*
posted by wintersweet at 10:57 AM on March 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


The comment is coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE!
posted by Zed at 1:02 PM on March 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


I am excited to meet you all. I'll see you at 6:15 (wintersweet check your memail please). In the meantime, I'll be part of the panel "wash your hands before attending," at 3, so come if you want to learn about terrible ways to die.
posted by Strass at 1:11 PM on March 7, 2015


I enjoyed Zed's panels very much and hope some of you make it to Strass's--I've got a writing workshop then.
posted by wintersweet at 1:55 PM on March 7, 2015


Fanghorn Dungeon LLC and I are hanging out to the left of the host podium until 6:15.
posted by wintersweet at 6:03 PM on March 7, 2015


Thank you all for coming! It was great to meet you/see you again.
posted by wintersweet at 8:37 PM on March 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Thanks for arranging - this was alot of fun! BTW the hotel restaurant was a lot nicer than I expected - I think they just redecorated or something.

Who doesn't like Breaking Bad??? I mean, honestly... Strass, giving you the side-eye... 👀 :D But at least we could agree on Broad City.

Also: the Mofatt-bashing was cathartic and all too brief. Glad I'm not the only one who feels like Doctor Who is a chore lately..
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 9:03 PM on March 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


I had a great time today and it was fun to meet you all. Thank you so much wintersweet, not only for organizing the meetup but also for introducing me to such a fun con.
posted by Strass at 10:16 PM on March 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


really great meeting you all! thanks for organizing, wintersweet!
posted by Zed at 1:36 PM on March 8, 2015 [1 favorite]



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