Last Saturday, I headed to a picnic put on by the DC food zine The Runcible Spoon.
I was a little nervous about attending an event where I knew no one, but we picked up some picnic-y foods (hummus, cherry tomatoes, cheese, hardboiled eggs) and headed off to Dupont Circle. When we got there, we saw a group of about 20 people on blankets chatting and enjoying the (cloudy) day. There was supposed to be a cellist and electric guitarist playing, but unfortunately the organizers didn't realize they would need a permit to plug in, so we went musicless (how DC, right? I mean, I'm sure you need permits in other cities, too, but it seems so fitting that those musicians couldn't play without a permit here in the home of the federal government. Aka let's regulate everything you do! Ew.)
The idea for the picnic was really cool; you paid $5 to go and then were emailed the secret location, the dress code (stripes and florals!) and raffle ticket numbers. We didn't get there right at the starting time, but the idea was that everyone would lay down their picnic blankets after a whistle blew at 3 pm. We kinda rolled in around 3:20 and shiftily/awkwardly put our picnic blanket down. Our picnic blanket is also one that my dog, Pablo, sleeps on every night, so that's doubly awkward, I guess.
Anyway, Malaka, one of the editors of the zine, came up to us right away and made us feel welcome. We hung out, chatted, and got the scoop on good DC bars and restaurants. I was lucky enough to win one of the raffle prizes, this gorgeous cookbook:
It was fun to meet some new people, especially ones that like to eat. And picnic. And give me awesome free cookbooks! We also stopped by a cool bookstore/cafe in the Dupont area, Kramer's, although their poetry section was pretty disappointing.
You should check out The Runcible Spoon's blog and maybe even print out a few copies of the zine to distribute in your area. Consider buying the Fall/Winter 2011 issue, too! I might be in it...