Wednesday, July 02, 2008

NYC-area bloggers, let's have a picnic!

Ever since RaggedyMom and RaggedyDad were kind enough to host a blogger bash, I've been trying to figure out how to return the favor. Unfortunately, long lunches are difficult for me, these days, now that I'm sacrificing half my lunch hour to our office Tehillim (Psalms) group and to davvening Mincha (praying the Afternoon Service), and might also be difficult for bloggers home with young children. Hosting a blogger together in our home poses three challenges. First, we live in an apartment, which means that our entertainment space is roughly the size of a postage stamp. Second, what little space we have is packed with the Punster's CPA-practice papers, college-accounting-instructor materials, and business supplies. Third, since I'm one of the oldest bloggers in the New York City metropolitan area, our apartment hasn't been child-proof for roughly twenty years, and I'm literally afraid to invite bloggers with pre-schoolers, because children that age wouldn't be safe here.

It just dawned on me a day or two ago that a blogger picnic would be ideal, since space constraints and child safety around household appliances and hardware wouldn't be issues.

Here are the dates that we have available:
  • Friday, July 4 (though we'd have to start and end early, to be home in time for Shabbat)
  • Sunday, July 6 (yes, we're the champions of last-minute planning :) )
  • Sunday, July 13
  • Sunday, August 24
  • Sunday, September 7
  • Sunday, September 14
Those of us who are non-Orthodox could be in charge of bringing pre-packaged food and/or (non-alcoholic) beverages (both/all marked parve) with a recognized hechsher (rabbinical seal indicating that an item is kosher)--the Punster and I will probably bring enough chummus, baby carrots, and potato chips to feed a small army--and/or paper goods and plastic tableware. The Orthodox bloggers get the honor of figuring how who's bringing what of everything else.

Please let me know, in the comments, what your preferred date would be. Also, please comment on the best location. We're game for any place that's accessible by public transit, be it subway, bus, railroad, or a combination therefore. I'd like to make this as convenient as possible for those with young children, so you pick the place (though, being a bit heat-sensitive, I'd appreciate a location where I could be in the shade.) And let everyone know what you'd like to bring.

We look forward to seeing you!


Blogger Ezzie said...

We definitely aren't up to such a thing for a while, but it's certainly a nice idea!

Wed Jul 02, 08:21:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Maybe we'll try again next summer, when Kayla's more than a few weeks old, and you and Serach can bring both little cuties. Nu, time for a photo update--your, um, avatar (?) has only you, Ser, and Elianna in it. Please add the new bambina!

Wed Jul 02, 09:47:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Irina Tsukerman said...

July 13 or one of the September dates sounds good. If you do decide on September, I would have to get back a little later on when it would work the best. I would suggest Central Park. : )

Wed Jul 02, 09:58:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

july 4th, 6, 13th, and august 24th would not work for me, but it sounds like it could be fun if it works out

Wed Jul 02, 10:00:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Shoshana said...

I'll be away this weekend, but I would love to come one of the other dates.

Wed Jul 02, 10:04:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

July 13 sounds good to me, and Central Park has the twin advantages of being easily accessible by subway and having many shady areas. Hmm, if memory serves me correctly, there are also a few playgrounds there, as well, and a zoo, for the younger set. If we opt for the upper eighties to mid-nineties on the west side, we'll be within walking distance of Supersol's kosher supermarket on Amsterdam Ave. at 91st St., plus, as I recollect, 3 playgrounds. I think the zoo is in the east 60's, with a playground a few blocks north of it. Let's see what other folks think of that idea.

Wed Jul 02, 10:10:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Okay, Irina and Shoshana, you're both available for July 13, and Irina, you're also available in September? Sounds great! Please confirm.

Steg, let's see how many people are available for which dates before we rule anything out--hope you can be there.

Wed Jul 02, 10:15:00 PM 2008  
Blogger rivkayael said...

Thanks so much for the invitation! The dates are all fine with me.

Wed Jul 02, 10:19:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Maya Resnikoff said...

I'm not sure how much I really count, all I have is LJ really, but if I can make it, I'd love to show up anyways. Anytime but this weekend is likely to work for me, given advance warning.

Wed Jul 02, 10:45:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Debka_Notion, this is an open invitation for those who have J-blogs and those commenters who don't (yet :) ) have their own blogs. To be included in this invitation, all you need is a recognizable ID. If any of you "anonymii" would like to be invited, just stop posting as "anonymous" and pick a name of some kind, and join the picnic, both figuratively and literally. :)

Thu Jul 03, 12:05:00 AM 2008  
Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Is August 17th a possibility?

Thu Jul 03, 03:13:00 AM 2008  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Jameel, we have other plans for Aug. 17. But nu, isn't this a bit of a long commute for you? Are you going to be in the States and in NYC on Aug. 17? We *might* be available that evening, or, if you'll be around for a few days after the 17th, we'll probably be available on a weekday evening. Please keep me posted.

Thu Jul 03, 06:24:00 AM 2008  
Blogger mother in israel said...

I'll be in NY for two weeks from July 14.

Thu Jul 03, 06:48:00 AM 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was always wishing someone would hold one of these. I am available all the dates besides July 6th- don't do it on a holiday weekend- bad!

September is best.

I get the word out.

Thu Jul 03, 09:44:00 AM 2008  
Blogger AidelMaidel said...

Any sunday is fine, it would need to be in a public place in case I saw someone I knew and didn't want to be associated as a "blogger", I could just walk away.

But I **WOULD** really like to do it when MII and Jameel are in town.

Thu Jul 03, 09:57:00 AM 2008  
Blogger RaggedyMom said...

I think all the dates are fine for us except Aug 24 - we're going to my in-laws between 17 and 31 of August.

Thu Jul 03, 09:59:00 AM 2008  
Blogger RaggedyMom said...

I like the picnic in Central Park idea a lot. Aside from that, it also seems like summer Sundays might be hectic for some. I'd be very happy to have the JBlog chevra here on a weeknight for whoever can get to KGH and needs another date/ has international travel constraints/ has a new baby/ can't get enough of each other/ etc.

Thu Jul 03, 10:07:00 AM 2008  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Mother in Israel, unfortunately, Sunday, July 20 is the Fast of Shiv'a Asar b'Tammuz. (For those still playing catch-up in terms of their Jewish education, the Fast of the 17th of Tammuz begins the Shalosh HaShavuot/Drei Vachen/Three Weeks of mourning for the destruction of the Bet HaMikdash/Holy Temple in Jerusalem, among other calamities that have befallen Am Yisrael/the Jewish People since that time.) I left a big gap in the list of possible dates so as not to hold this picnic during the Shalosh HaShavuot.

RaggedyMom, may we take you up on your offer? Maybe some of us could meet at your place some evening between Monday, July 14 and Thursday, July 17 to accommodate Mother in Israel. We could still hold the picnic, for those who are able to come.

September seems to be getting some votes. What do you think, folks?

Hesh from FrumSatire, thanks for spreading the word.

AidelMaidel, I was considering putting up a sign saying, simply, Shira's Picnic, or something equally innocuous-looking. I was thinking that a good place to have the picnic would be Central Park (thanks for the suggestion, Irina!) near the Diana Ross Playground at the West 79th Street entrance. This has the major advantage, for those of us at either end of the age spectrum, of being within walking distance of the ladies' and men's rooms next to the park's Delacorte Theater, and I don't think it would be difficult to find a spot under the trees for shade in that area. You could always walk away, saying that you were just inquiring as to the location of the ladies' room. With so many of us, including me, blogging under cover, we bloggers certainly do have to set up cloak-and-(no) dagger operations, sometimes, just to get together. :)

Thu Jul 03, 11:31:00 AM 2008  
Blogger katrina said...

I would vote for September, too. I can arrange it so I am visiting TC that weekend.I am psyched about this, Shira!

Thu Jul 03, 01:56:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Jack Steiner said...

I'll be the guy with the laptop and camcorder.

Thu Jul 03, 04:38:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Hmm, another vote for September, from Katrina. What think ye, folks?

Thu Jul 03, 05:47:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Jack from California, anything for a good post, eh? :)

Thu Jul 03, 05:52:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Shira -- perhaps the Thursday, August 14th?

Fri Jul 04, 05:57:00 AM 2008  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Jameel, we're good for the week *after* Aug. 17. Will you still be in this part of the world then (I hope)?

Fri Jul 04, 10:57:00 AM 2008  
Blogger Jacob Da Jew said...

I'm down with the meet, just let me know when is the final date.

Sun Jul 13, 08:00:00 PM 2008  

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