Resurrecting the past
Roughly 18 months ago, I set out to find a solution for a couple minor things that had been on my mind:
As someone that doesn't play intramural sports, "what regularly recurring event might I schedule so I can more easily see friends and make new ones?"
How do I encourage even more more stimulating and fun conversations in my life?
How do I continue to hone my amateur bartender skills?
What if I hosted a cocktail party around a pre-determined and publicized topic so people who found interest in it, could read up on it, enjoy a couple delicious drinks and engage in some intriguing, but always civil discussion? Being a french city, the French Salon seemed an apt category for this. Thus "Salon de St. Louis" was created.
I felt city government would be a great topic to start with. Its important to each of our lives yet is opaque and its seemingly mundane doesn't invite much curiosity. I contacted my alderman who agreed to attend. I sold some tickets via Eventbrite to get an idea of how many people would attend, made some drinks, bought some snacks and ALL the guests turned out.... except the alderman :(
It was a bummer and embarrassment as the host but we still had a good time and attempted our own layperson discussion on the topic. What I learned from my first attempt is while I had influence over many points of the evening, I didn't have any over the speaker, who was the lynchpin. If I had instead convened a discussion around a topic, circulated some materials in advance and then had people over for a cocktail party, everything would've been great!
As 2017 started, the three issues outlined above still remained to a degree. While at a Sump Coffee shop earlier today with my friends Chase and Courtney, she suggested I give a pre-scheduled monthly get together another shot. And that's just what I'm going to do.
Except this time the audience will drive the discussion rather than a leader. Over the course of a month, I'll keep my eye out for interesting or provoking content and as I approach ten days out or so from the pre-determined date, I'll publish the materials that can be reviewed by interested persons as well as the cocktails that will be enjoyed so people can decide if they want in.
Some months will have content and some may be more an open hang out. Either way, its time to get back to the experiment. I've started a page here.
To the adventure!