Alameda- let's look at ridiculous Christmas lights
posted December 17, 2018 3:26 PM   RSS | iCal | +googleCal

Sun December 23 at 5:45 PM, Thompson Ave Christmas lights extravaganza
3200 Thompson Ave, Alameda, CA, USA (Map & Directions)
Bay Area! Let's wander around with thermoses of hot drinks and see the ridiculous Christmas displays of Alameda's Thompson Ave (and surrounding neighborhood), then end the night at Alameda Brewing Co/Monkey King afterward for food and drink. BART'ers- there's a ride option from downtown Oakland. Please RSVP/post downthread if you need to be gotten.
Let's fill up some thermoses with warm drinks and walk around Alameda around Thompson Ave off of Fernside to look at lights and pretty houses! This is just over the bridge from High St in East Oakland. Thompson Ave is semi-organized and over-the-top (sample artistry this year: a Star Wars Christmas display on someone's lawn, some of the Wild Things, dragons, etc).

A very short walk away there's a more elegant neighborhood of gorgeous, tastefully lit 1920's storybook houses on surrounding blocks. We can walk it in a loop that might take about an hour's very very leisurely walking-around to see. The houses are beautifully preserved and worth seeing just for the architecture even if they weren't lit up for the holidays. I haven't been seeing many holiday tourists on those blocks when I've gone past.

I've set up a temporary Google Voice number on my phone which you can text if you want to join us later on or miss us at the beginning: (510) 545-6489. Do not voice-call or leave voicemail, this is strictly for texting. I'm happy to MeMail people my real number before the event, should you want to call the archaic vocal-chords way.

A travel cup! Warm clothes! Something small to munch on! A hot drink thermos if you have one! My number for connecting up if you're not joining us at the very beginning!

I'm bringing tons of ginger tea and chai.

BART pickup/downtown Oakland coffee meetup (please RSVP in the thread, MeMail me, or text me at (510) 545-6489
5 PM at Starbucks at 801 Broadway
5:45 Main event, wandering around in Alameda: Thompson Ave and Fernside
7:00 food/drink at Alameda Island Brewing Co and Monkey King At The Brewery, 1716 Park St, Alameda, CA 94501

No guarantees we'll be 'on time', so text to meet up. I'll try to peek at MeMail and this thread at some point in the night.

I'll be carrying a small circle of fairy lights on a stick so we're easier to spot. We'll probably be a pretty small group.

Bart! Bart! Bart!
People needing rides from BART: speak up. I'm giving one person a ride from downtown Oakland. I'd like to meet at the Starbucks at 801 Broadway in Oakland at 5 PM (it's not showing on Chrome Google Maps for some reason but I just walked by and confirmed it's still there and open). That's close to 12th St BART. Please text our special temporary bat-number to coordinate a ride: (510) 545-6489 (note: do not voice call or leave voicemail)
posted by twoplussix to Meetup (19 comments total)

This sounds like a lot of fun! I would love to come and look at Christmas lights - not much of them in SF. I would need a ride over from BART (or I could lyft/uber it)
posted by wym at 12:12 AM on December 18, 2018

I've just moved to Oakland (right off High St in fact) and I love the idea of wandering around Alameda with a bunch of Mefites. But the reality of having just moved is that unpredictable things do come up so I'm marking myself down as a maybe.
posted by tangerine at 12:43 AM on December 18, 2018

This is a fantastic idea, I live in Oakland and am ashamed to have never seen this famed street, but I will probably go with my daughters independently so as not to Peppa Pig the conversations.
posted by benzenedream at 12:45 AM on December 18, 2018

Does Friday work for you guys ? Or Sunday on the earlier side? I'm assuming people have Saturday plans but if there's a critical mass, Id be fine with that night, too.
I'm able to take 2 passengers from downtown Oakland. Maybe that contingent should meet up at the Starbucks by Jack London Square (a couple blocks from 12th St Bart)?
posted by twoplussix at 1:38 AM on December 18, 2018

This sounds fun! I have a car so can pick people up or carpool. Sunday would be better for me.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 8:04 AM on December 18, 2018

But (she adds) I can do Friday too. Santa is apparently only there through the 22nd.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 8:06 AM on December 18, 2018

I love the sound of this! I'm in the South Bay, and would *probably* be motorcycling up to Oakland, but I'd love to meet up with folks. Putting myself down as a maybe until plans firm up.
posted by hanov3r at 8:08 AM on December 18, 2018

I forgot that Sunday is Christmas Eve itself so it's probably best to do earlier in case people have family things to do that night.
I'm leaning towards Friday night on the slightly later side so people dealing with traffic have time to get home and calm down first (ie like 8?) .

I'm going to give this a few hours today to see if you guys have other date constraints- let's try to make a decision by the end of the workday?
posted by twoplussix at 8:58 AM on December 18, 2018

Monday is Christmas Eve, Sunday is the 23rd.

I can do Friday or Sunday!
posted by wym at 1:00 PM on December 18, 2018

I'm leaning towards meeting (the Oakland part of meeting up) around dusk or shortly after on Sunday. Will give this another hour in case of last-minute objections .
posted by twoplussix at 4:37 PM on December 18, 2018

Also trying to not interfere with anyone's Solstice plans, which I assume is the 21-22ish?
posted by twoplussix at 4:39 PM on December 18, 2018

Sunday it is! I'll edit post with details much later tonight. Meet for carpool from Oakland around 5, meet up at Thompson Ave Alameda around 5:45.
posted by twoplussix at 7:27 PM on December 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

Sorry to miss this, keep me posted on other IRL meetups! <3
posted by zestful at 3:53 PM on December 19, 2018

I did some scouting the last couple of nights and I'm thinking that it's a nice walk to go from Thompson Ave up towards Southwood and then back(ish) by way (ish) of Bayo Vista (I think that's the route, will confirm tomorrow). It goes from tacky/over-the-top to super elegant real quick once you leave the Thompson Ave strip. The 1920's hobbit architecture around there is AMAZING even without Christmas lights.

I also did some scouting of food- I propose that afterwards we go to Alameda Brewing Co on Park St, which is connected to a GREAT food and ice cream place (Monkey King At The Brewery, and Alameda SCoop) and which is big enough to seat a decent group. The food place had TV's but was otherwise not too obnoxious when I saw it (on a weeknight). The brewery had TV's also but only along one wall that a group could easily ignore. I checked out the brewery last night when it was cold, and it was reasonably warm inside. There are a bunch of (cold) non-alcoholic drinks at Monkey King and it looked like people were bringing their food to the bar with no problem, so this seems like a good option regardless of what a mix of people might want.

There are two Monkey King locations on Park St, both next to bars, this is the one closest to the Park St Bridge:
1708 Park St, Alameda, CA 94501
I'm guessing we'll be walking around the Christmas lights for about an hour and then driving down to Monkey King, so we'll likely be there around 7 or a little sooner.

I propose that if this turns into a sort of 'crawl' or walk, we post updates in this thread about where we actually are. I'm going to post a TEXTING ONLY Google Voice number in the event description the morning of.

Plot twist is about figuring out a downtown Oakland carpool meetup location- there is no longer a Starbucks a couple blocks from BART. I need to drive by tomorrow and see what looks like a good place for both drivers and BARTers to meet. For carpool, we can meet at 5 in downtown Oakland, wait for stragglers, leave at 5:30, and get to Thompson Ave around 5:45.
posted by twoplussix at 11:53 PM on December 20, 2018

I'd prefer to meet at an indoor place such as a cafe, in case people are late and want to meet someplace with a bathroom before we're walking around for an hour. I don't think it'll be too complicated in any case. I'm happy to pick people up elsewhere (I have a pickup truck so only room for 2 passengers) if that makes more sense to them, though. MeMail me to make arrangements if you're in need of a ride.
posted by twoplussix at 11:32 AM on December 21, 2018

If Fruitvale is easier for people, El Obelisco is close enough so that it might work as a place to meet. It's open and casual with counter service and you could easily just pop in for something to drink. I'm more likely to try to catch you all right in Alameda, though, since I have a few errands to run there later anyway.
posted by tangerine at 1:12 PM on December 21, 2018

I updated the post with time, phone number, 'what to bring' etc. I'm installing a temporary Google Voice number on my phone (see event description) which you're welcome to text if you aren't starting out with us at the very beginning to see where we are.

Beforehand at 5, I'm picking up Wym at the Starbucks in downtown Oakland near 12th/City Center BART- 801 Broadway, corner of 8th. I have room for one more and I could probably arrange a larger car if I need to get more people. We'll likely hang out at Starbucks for a little bit before heading to Alameda. Contact me if you need to be picked up.

Everyone else, meet up at 5:45 or later . Check event description for my texting number so you can find us. I'll bring a lit-up circle of fairy lights on a stick so we'll be easier to spot. Several people are threatening to join up a little later for food/drink.
posted by twoplussix at 1:26 AM on December 23, 2018

It's drizzling a little but I don't think it's supposed to be too bad tonight. At least 4 of us are headed out now, see a few more of you soon I hope!

Locals have told me there is a Krampus sighting in Alameda tonight.

The batphonenumber is in the event description, it'll help you send out your own bat-signal to wherever we are !
posted by twoplussix at 4:31 PM on December 23, 2018

We just got to Alameda brewing Co and will likely be here a while.
posted by twoplussix at 7:50 PM on December 23, 2018

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