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New Meetup: Community Dining Syracuse lunch at Sparkytown

From: Marilyn
Sent on: Sunday, June 28, 2009 10:16 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for Community Dining Syracuse!

What: Community Dining Syracuse lunch at Sparkytown

When: July 10,[masked]:00 PM

Where: Corner of Catherine Street and Burnet Ave. 422-8401. Park on street.

Hi, this is Marilyn (Stacey, whose name shows up too, is the person in NYC helping with the site.)

It was exciting to have so many attend the first Community Dining Syracuse. We figured that people who had the pioneering spirit to give this a try would be really interesting and you certainly were. We had 34 people, with 15 finding us from alone. We will use as our main means of communication as we add restaurants and topics; I promise to do that in the next week. For July, we will arrange one lunch without topic and one dinner place with a topic.

We originally planned on one table of 8-10 people that would be in the main dining room of the restaurant. But ending up with over thirty people changed things and we had to move to a private dining room. I didn?t want to have to cut off reservations, and after meeting you all, I?m so glad we didn?t, but it was a bit noisy and our large numbers made getting the food slower. We have to work on the mingling part so the evening is not too long but we still get a chance to meet each other. Maybe changing seats for dessert? We?ll see what happens in the future and I?d love some suggestions.

Pascale?s called to apologize for the slowness in getting the checks to everyone. We knew in advance that having separate checks was going to slow things down at the end and it was very accommodating of them to allow us to do that. The food was wonderful and the wait staff very flexible, allowing us to choose from three different menus, including their full menu and their tasting menu.

Let?s brainstorm other options to make things faster, like maybe a pre-set menu where you can choose from a few options but everything would be one price. Take the survey and let me know what you think might work.

The topic for this first dinner was Life Transitions and some people want to continue on that topic at another meeting, so we?ll have to figure out how to do that while still offering new topics. One of the great things is that we were a really diverse crowd by many measures. At my table we had people with two year olds and others with grandchildren or no children and the discussion was fascinating. We don?t often have these opportunities to mix and learn from each other.

Tables of ten are probably too large, so what do you all think about 6-8? What feels like the right number?

To those of you who came as couples or friends, thank you for agreeing to sit separately and meet new people. Everyone who did it said it was great.

The hope is that the concept of a community table will gain traction and start to happen on its own as restaurants get the idea of keeping one table open certain nights for people to just call and say ?I?d like to be seated at the community table.?

See you in July.

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