kalessin in Madison, WI - Memorial Day Weekend
posted May 18, 2015 8:58 AM   RSS | iCal | +googleCal

Sun May 24 at 2:00 PM, The Great Dane
123 East Doty Street, Madison, WI, USA (Map & Directions)
LAST MINUTE VENUE CHANGE DUE TP HOLIDAY AND WEATHER! Normally found in the SF Bay Area, I am going to be in Madison, WI from 4 p.m. Thursday May 22 to about 10 a.m. Tuesday May 26th.
I'll be staying at the Madison Concourse Hotel near the capitol.

I have no firm plans and could be up for whatever. I also have no car so would love to invite Madison and Milwaukee and WI interested MeFites to come see me somewhere nearby. That said, I am interested in and able to use public transit/cabs/accept rides. Since I also want to explore on my own, let's keep it to one or two possible meetups depending on others' availability, interest and silliness?

Anyone interested? I'm not in any way someone who considers emself a celebrity, but I like to think I'm occasionally interesting. :)

If we firm up plans, I will be happy to make the confirmed IRL posting as well.

For ideas, perhaps check my AskMe?

If this meetup time/date/location doesn't work for you, please drop me a note!

(For any MeFites attending WisCon, with apologies, I cannot meet up within the con spaces or related parties but will be staying at the con hotel.)
posted by kalessin to Meetup (54 comments total)

I'd be up for a drink or coffee or something. My time is pretty taken up with family and friends, so meals aren't so great, but I would make an effort to show up if something gets proposed.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:48 AM on May 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

Aw yeah! I'm going to ping divined by radio to see if 1) she has thoughts on Madison and 2) if she wants to carpool with me. I'd prefer something not too late in the evening because it's about an hour and a half drive. Like, happy hour drinks or something. Thursday & Friday are pretty much out for me because I don't want to drive 3 hours after I've worked all day. Sat/Sun/Mon work fine though.
posted by desjardins at 11:21 AM on May 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

Not just yes, but HELL YES. Count me in!
posted by divined by radio at 11:39 AM on May 18, 2015

Okay, we'll narrow it down to Saturday/Sunday/Monday! Yay!
posted by kalessin at 11:43 AM on May 18, 2015

I'm interested! Preferably staying within Madison and ideally downtown (although Le Tigre) because I'm also car-less.

For grabbing a drink if it's nice, the terrace at the university.
posted by hydrobatidae at 12:15 PM on May 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

Anyone got any ideas where/when? I am up for anything I'm not allergic to (strawberries, scallops, walnuts and horse dander - which, if you ask me, sounds like an interesting party!). Did I mention I can be quite silly?
posted by kalessin at 2:38 PM on May 18, 2015

Sunday would probably be best for me, although I can probably do a Saturday thing if it started early enough (like 4-ish)
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:47 PM on May 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'll be in town but things are fairly chaotic for me, so rather than post the details of my availability I'll just say "maybe" and hope I can join you!
posted by yomimono at 1:36 AM on May 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

Sunday is going to be best for me too.
posted by desjardins at 5:35 AM on May 19, 2015

Okay, Sunday it is! Shall I look through suggestions and my own research and pick a place? Union Terrace sounds popular though I don't know exactly where it is. Or does anyone have a particular spot that's their favorite?

I'm not particularly special snowflakey, and would be willing to go pretty much anywhere reasonable myself. By reasonable I mean anywhere that doesn't force me to eat only foods I'm allergic to: strawberries, scallops and walnuts. :)
posted by kalessin at 5:37 AM on May 19, 2015

Union Terrace is OK if you like sitting outside and drinking beer (unless it's changed; correct me). It's maybe 8 blocks from the hotel, and fairly easy to find.

Other places we could look at would be The Old Fashioned (might be a wait to get in), The Great Dane (Beer and Food); I think they will take reservations for 8+. There are a bunch of places on King St that keep turning over -- they are more dinner and cocktails sorts of places, but someone might recommend something, I know nothing about the Buck and Badger, but I think they are in a space that is fairly large and could take a moderate sized party, and I like the look of the Ivory Room for cocktails, but I can't tell from their website when they are actually open, and not everyone wants a cocktail. All of those are a bit closer to the hotel, which could be good or bad (easy access, but more likely to have convention goers).
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:20 AM on May 19, 2015

I might end up in Minnesota this weekend - but if not, I'd be glad to come. But just as far as venue goes, I don't think I've had too much trouble with busyness most places in Madison any time but Friday and Saturday nights. But if it's memorial day weekend, it could be different. If it's a super busy night everywhere, the Brickhouse Barbeque by Broom and Gorham has enough space they can open up that I've never had to wait there. Their barbeque is OK and they have a pretty good beer selection.
posted by Zalzidrax at 8:18 AM on May 19, 2015

This is all great advice. Being a cocktails geek, I am also of course drawn to something like the Ivory Room, but I also think it's a great observation that not everyone wants cocktails. Also, to be frank, I am a total lightweight, so as much as I enjoy tasting cocktails, if they're to be all of the meetup, I won't likely be coherent for long enough to be any fun.

I am thinking that I should get boots on the ground and on Thursday or Friday make the final determination on where we should meet up, taking all your good advice in mind. Does that sound okay? Or does anyone who wants to come need to know more in advance than these couple of days?
posted by kalessin at 8:16 PM on May 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

Depending on your plans, I'm interested in joining too!
posted by mjcon at 7:12 AM on May 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

Just popping in to say I LOVE COCKTAILS and am also a lightweight, but going 1:1 with cocktails:pints of water lets me enjoy the delicious flavors while keeping me coherent and awake enough to hang out and be merry with MeFites. I only wish my usual watering hole, Genna's, opened before 8 PM on Sundays because I think it would be a perfect meetup venue, cocktails or no.

Oh, and even though I'm vegan, I wasn't always, so I'd like to preemptively suggest that you should try at least two of our local dairy-based specialties: [deep-fried] cheese curds and frozen custard. The former can be had on their own or along with a stick of summer sausage in a Bloody Mary; the latter is best enjoyed shortly after consuming a butterburger and fries, 'cause that's how we roll in Wisconsin.

Safe travels, kalessin! See you soon!
posted by divined by radio at 7:52 AM on May 20, 2015 [2 favorites]

I know I'm primarily a US coastal MeFite but my sweetie grew up in Rice Lake, WI, and she's not the first midwestern girl for whom my flames got fanned, so I am familiar with and LOVE squeaky cheese, though the one time I had 'em deep fried, the experience wasn't great. The frying oil wasn't hot enough and the whole thing was a soggy, melty mess. THAT SAID, I would love to try again. Also, having lived in Baltimore and Boston and points nearby, I am familiar with frozen custard as well. For an Asian type (Hapa) of my generation, I eat/drink, still, a lot of dairy products.

It looks like Culver's is around the area in Madison but not exactly within walking distance of my hotel. If we have transit/transport options, then I think a meetup would be an excellent time to go get a butterburger. If not, I can decide whether to hire a ride (bus or cab or bike, I suppose) to do it. :)
posted by kalessin at 8:24 AM on May 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

Yeah, Culver's is not a good meetup spot. Too noisy and they'd give you the side-eye if you hung out for more than an hour. I'd be happy to pick one up and bring it to you when I/we come to the meetup.

For the record, I am just fine with going out for cocktails as long as I can eat before/after so I can drive back safely.
posted by desjardins at 11:21 AM on May 20, 2015 [2 favorites]

My weekend schedule is a bit up in the air, but like mjcon, depending on plans, I might be able to be there. Never actually made it to a MeFi meetup before!
posted by gillyflower at 8:35 PM on May 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'm getting all packed up tonight and we'll be leaving the house early so I can catch my flight. Stay tuned for updates. I will probably get a wild hair and start planning in earnest by tomorrow afternoon/evening, after my flight gets in at MSN (around 5 pm local).
posted by kalessin at 8:48 PM on May 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

At ORD waiting to board my puddle jumper!
posted by kalessin at 1:31 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

Welcome to Wisconsin! We ordered up some nice weather for you!
posted by desjardins at 4:10 PM on May 21, 2015

You did! It's fantastic. I've just checked into the hotel (fancy up here on the Governor's suite levels!) and am going to get myself some chow. This evening I'll commit to sketching out Sunday and tomorrow I'll commit to checking out possible places in person if possible.

Thinking about it, I think I will pass on the butter burger, thank you anyhow. It's my sense that more fun adventures can be had. :)
posted by kalessin at 4:31 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

Yesterday I went to The Old Fashioned for dinner. It seems like a good spot. The menu is pretty varied and has food, apps, beer, cocktails (including the traditional Wisconsin Old Fashioned, about which there's interesting cocktail lore), and soft drinks.

As I was leaving, I asked the hosts about Sunday afternoon, which they said was pretty quiet, and they said they'd seat groups of up to 14.

So how about a meetup at 2 pm on Sunday there?

Any objections or requests?
posted by kalessin at 6:40 AM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

I mean there's the farmer's market Saturday morning in the capitol square if you're not too busy with WisCon stuff. There's a couple places that sell reallly good cheese, as can be expected - my favorite is Forgotten Valley Cheeses, but I mena there is all sorts of stuff!
posted by Zalzidrax at 6:41 AM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Believe me, I plan to visit the heck out of the farmer's market. :)
posted by kalessin at 7:02 AM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

I haven't drank an old fashioned since I was a kid! I'm in favor. Day drinking is a Wisconsin tradition, after all.
posted by desjardins at 12:11 PM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

2 on Sunday is great for me
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:13 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Also the almost unreasonably well informed bartender in the private Governor's Club bar (private to the Governor's Club Suite stayers in the Madison Concourse Hotel) says that if for some weird reason we can't all get seated at The Old Fashioned, we should keep The Great Dane in mind. Apparently they have LOTS of seating available.
posted by kalessin at 3:48 PM on May 22, 2015

I got my hairs cut so I am ready to rock n' roll!
posted by desjardins at 7:21 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Maybe a dumb question, but I haven't been to any meetups more than a couple people before. How do I recognize a mob of Mefites when I get there?
posted by Zalzidrax at 9:14 PM on May 22, 2015

In the past, I've approached likely suspects with "are you from the Internet?" Lately, I've updated the meetup thread with what I'm wearing. I can't tell you what that will be yet since I haven't done my laundry.
posted by desjardins at 9:24 PM on May 22, 2015

Also, being somewhat nervous about drawing a potentially large group of MeFites around me, I may get there early. I'm 6'1, 240 lbs, beer belly, half asian, glasses, long brown hair with white hair just starting to show, usually wear it in a pony tail. Will be wearing jeans and probably a short sleeved T-shirt in grey or electric blue. Or possibly a button-down shirt, depending on how I feel about it. Oh, and if you're early (and I am almost certain to be), you may spot me noodling around with a phone in a magenta (pink) and white case.

I used to meet up with a different Internet crowd and they always had a plush parrot with them, but unfortunately I didn't think ahead enough to bring a mascot.
posted by kalessin at 4:26 AM on May 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

Time and place sound great. I will also update with my outfit tomorrow. Last time we had a meet-up also told everyone what my (awesome moth-covered) kindle cover looked like. I could also bring some sort of object from home to display?
posted by hydrobatidae at 11:53 AM on May 23, 2015

Just visited Madison today for the first time ever. Didn't notice any full-stack employees, but I spent most of my time in the Children's Museum with my granddaughter. We got to the Farmer's Market as it was breaking down, and left before the meetup started. Had lunch at Ella's, which was a hoot.
posted by MtDewd at 2:34 PM on May 23, 2015

Meetup's tomorrow! :)
posted by kalessin at 4:11 PM on May 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

Looks like the main feature of my wardrobe will be a gray rain jacket. I'm short, white, and I have brown hair. There's a face picture on my twitter profile.
posted by desjardins at 7:57 AM on May 24, 2015

It seems a warm rain, though. I'll have an umbrella if anything for that.
posted by kalessin at 8:19 AM on May 24, 2015

Black raincoat. Woman with long brown hair. Looking forward to meeting everyone!
posted by hydrobatidae at 11:07 AM on May 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

Heading over soon. I'll be wearing a grey T-shirt and dark-washed jeans. Pony tail and glasses with half-metal rims. I also have a light mustache and short, scruffy beard.
posted by kalessin at 11:37 AM on May 24, 2015

I'll be there soon - a bit early due to the timing of the buses. I'll be adding to the long haired guy with glasses and beard count...
posted by Zalzidrax at 11:50 AM on May 24, 2015

Going to the Great Dane! The Old Fashioned far too crowded! Six in party so far! Please join us!
posted by kalessin at 12:07 PM on May 24, 2015

Heading over with mini-beche right now. Great Dane on the square, right?
posted by escabeche at 12:09 PM on May 24, 2015

Yes, we are just up the stairs to the right of the host stand.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:19 PM on May 24, 2015

Yep! We're in a table to the right as you come in.
posted by hydrobatidae at 12:20 PM on May 24, 2015

Yes! Table for 10. Ask for Malcolm or head up short stairs. And look to your right!
posted by kalessin at 12:21 PM on May 24, 2015

Our table is full! Yay! Any others coming?
posted by kalessin at 12:40 PM on May 24, 2015

What fun to see you guys! Off to swim lesson now...
posted by escabeche at 1:31 PM on May 24, 2015

Moving on to The Paradise Lounge. 119 W Main Street.
posted by kalessin at 2:24 PM on May 24, 2015

We're doing mushrooms!

Fried mushrooms. It is Wisconsin.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:12 PM on May 24, 2015

You people are crazy. Finally done, got lost on the way back to my hotel. It's 5 and a bit hours later. 3 bars. 1 beer, 2 cocktails and a ginger beer for me, though I think I was drinking light on average for the group.
posted by kalessin at 5:18 PM on May 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

Perhaps we can do it all again in a year....
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:32 PM on May 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

divined by radio and I are safely back in Milwaukee after driving through a horrid rainstorm. It was great to meet you all and feel free to contact me if you're ever in Milwaukee and want to hang out! (Not sure if I can handle any more baby-animals-in-danger stories though. I'm a softie.)
posted by desjardins at 6:49 PM on May 24, 2015 [3 favorites]

Thanks for organizing this Kalessin! And thanks to everyone else who came. I had a great time... we should do meetups more often...
posted by Zalzidrax at 12:26 AM on May 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

You're totally welcome. I enjoy organizing, and it's fun to hang out with Internet Strangers! I had a great time. I only wish we had been able to stay at The Old Fashioned and shared huge weird Wisconsin Everything Tasting Platters with you all!

Writing it up on the AskMe thread for posterity. :)
posted by kalessin at 6:06 AM on May 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments