DC Meet Up — from commenter Elizabelle

DC Area Balloon Juice meetups: one tonight, the second this Tuesday night, September 2nd

Please come drink and maybe dine with us at Murphy’s Irish Pub in Old Town Alexandria, in honor of the visiting Mr. and Mrs. efgoldman. They’ll arrive 7:30 to 8:00p; I will try to be there closer to 7:00 p with a Tunch clipboard or some Balloon Juice indicator. Second floor. And it’s $14.95 steak night, through 9 pm tonight.

Murphy’s Alexandria • 713 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 • 703.548-1717


We will meet again this coming Tuesday, in honor of the visiting Siubhan Duinne. Same place, time TBD.

RE Transport: car is good; plenty of on-street free parking after 6 or 7 p. (Check the meters.) FYI, Murphy’s is pretty close to Christ Church; you can park behind it and walk to Murphy’s …

Accessible via King Street Metro station (blue and yellow? line; there’s a shuttle bus OR you can hoof it, if you’re so inclined.)

Apologies for the short notice.

And we must do a DC city meetup at some point. Apologies to those for whom Old Town Alexandria is too far a trek. Someone else should take the lead on organizing it — you’ll get more notice, for one!

43 replies
  1. 1
    Tommy says:

    Fuck. I know that place for your meet up. Lived not that far from there before I moved into inter DC. I so miss DC. 15+ great years there and I so miss it. I wish I could be there with you, well maybe next time when you are in DC and not Alexandria :)!@

  2. 2
    Cermet says:

    Murphy’s!!! That is a really great place! Been there sixty or seventy times over the years. Their Irish Stew (when a few days old) is fantastic! and their streak sandwich is really a streak on a roll! All their food is really good BUT avoid the Ruben – takes two to three days to digest … . I will try and get there after work; the atmosphere and area is really good, too; parking can be had but need to look … later hours, as you point out, should be doable.

  3. 3
    evap says:

    I don’t believe it — I’m out of town for a week! I really wanted to do a DC meetup while I’m living in the area temporarily.

  4. 4
    Elizabelle says:

    @evap: We will do a meetup with you when you’re back. Put up a comment on an open thread, when you have a date range in mind, and we will make it happen.

    efgoldman was telling me that Ta-Nehisi Coates’s DC commenters meet up several times yearly.

    Maybe we can meet up with them, or start up our own seasonal meetups.

    @Tommy: Find a business trip or conference to DC! And we will start with Murphy’s, and maybe move on to a Cajun type establishment ….

    ALSO: we could do a downtown DC meetup — know several of you found that more doable — but it would be great to get a DC resident to organize that. (Of course, if we go to multiple DC meetups a year, we could rotate between Metro-accessible DC and convenient NoVA — or even Bethesda area — meetups. Lots of pubs and possibilities throughout.)

    IF you can’t come tonight, please come Tuesday to meet Siubhan. It’s after Labor Day. You know you want to.

  5. 5
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Three cheers for giving this meet up front page exposure!

    Now I just have to figure out how to walk 2400 miles to Alexandria in the next 12 hours to join you all!

    Have fun!

  6. 6
    Tommy says:

    @evap: As a former DC dude can I beg you while in town to try a few things. Things tourist don’t often do. The main reading room of the Library of Congress. The National Building Museum. Eastern Market. Union Station and a beer at the Center Cafe. The four things I think are DC. Things you should experience.

  7. 7
    Elizabelle says:

    @Cermet: Yippee. It would be great to see you. Parking on a side street was remarkably easy last time we did this. Of course, it had just poured rain, and that could have helped. The streets looked cinematically wonderful, all the colored lights and reflections.

    I think a lot of people are on vacation this week, so we might be good re traffic and parking.

    @Villago Delenda Est: We’ll toast to a suitable person being tumbrelled or worse, in your honor. You let us know when you make it to Panem.

    Last time we did this, Eric Cantor got pantsed the night before. Cannot promise something like that will happen again. But we can hope.

  8. 8
    The Pale Scot says:

    Is this the week the universe starts cycling back?

    Police Shooting Kills Crew Member Working for Reality Show ‘Cops’

    My impression is that shows like this are racist feamongering, I’ve heard of them busting an ecstasy dealer on a college campus.

  9. 9
    Tommy says:

    @Elizabelle: I get everybody is in the burbs and most do not want to come into the city. I totally get that. Experienced that. Lived on Capital Hill and worked in Tyson Corner. My co-workers and friends in Herdon, Reston, well they never wanted to come to see me in DC. My address was a place they were scared of. NE DC.

  10. 10
    Roger Moore says:

    @The Pale Scot:

    My impression is that shows like this are racist feamongering, I’ve heard of them busting an ecstasy dealer on a college campus.

    I think they’re more classist than racist. I never actively watched the show, but I’ve seen plenty of snippets, and they had more than their fair share of police dealing with poor whites. What I don’t ever remember seeing was the police rolling to a domestic violence call in a well-off neighborhood, even though there’s plenty of that out there.

  11. 11
    Nicole says:

    balloon-juice meet ups are the best! Have fun, DCers!

  12. 12
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Roger Moore: @Roger Moore: OPPsss, big typo,

    That was suppose to say I’ve never heard of them busting an ecstasy dealer on a college campus.

    I’d say that to the Fox watching demographic there’s no difference, they’d say that the trailer dude is no better than a ni-clang, it’s not that they’re poor, but that act like their preconceived notion of what a ni-clang is.

    Yeah, I’ve never sat down and watched a show either.

  13. 13
    Elizabelle says:


    I love Capitol Hill, but you do sometimes have to strategize to find onstreet parking.

    Lots of good watering holes, all over this capitol city area.

    PS: will be heading to the Library of Congress soon for some research. And the National Portrait Gallery — or any Smithsonian — is a must see. Love the Building Museum too, even though it charges admission.

  14. 14
    Elizabelle says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Maybe we will get some progress if it ever sinks in that we have class-based problems in this country, on which the elite are most pleased to stick a “racial problem” label.

    Seeing being easier than thinking and perceiving, usually.

  15. 15
    MomSense says:

    O/T for New Englanders
    Arthur T prevailed in the Market Basket saga. Good news.

  16. 16
    Violet says:

    Y’all have fun! I’d love to make a Balloon-Juice meetup sometime.

  17. 17
    Mineshaft Gap says:

    Make a future one in downtown DC and I’ll show. Alexandria’s a bit far for me.

  18. 18
    Xantar says:

    I’m in Baltimore. I will happily come to a Meetup in DC proper, but Alexandria’s too far for me on a week night.

  19. 19
    sharl says:

    Hecky-darn, can’t make this one.
    Those who can: Enjoy!

  20. 20
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Elizabelle, thanks so much for setting this up! Really looking forward to seeing whoever can show on Tuesday night, and am sorry to miss the others this time. Murphy’s sounds perfect.

  21. 21
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Looking forward to the possibility of seeing you and Mrs. EFG in Providence later in the week. How’s the grandchild?

  22. 22
    Elizabelle says:

    @sharl: Rats! Hoping Tuesday might be easier for you. Cheers.

  23. 23
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Glad — but not the tiniest bit surprised — to hear it.

  24. 24
    Roger Moore says:


    Maybe we will get some progress if it ever sinks in that we have class-based problems in this country, on which the elite are most pleased to stick a “racial problem” label.

    That would be nice. I predict unicorn ponies first, though.

  25. 25
    ruemara says:

    Was there an SF/Sac meet up?

  26. 26
    Mnemosyne says:


    I think people started talking about one yesterday, but I haven’t seen anything new about it.

  27. 27
    evap says:

    @Tommy: Thanks for the tip. I’m in the DC area for two years, just started my second year. I’ve been to the Library of Congress and the Eastern Market (several times); the Building Museum is on my “must do before I leave” list. I will add the Center Cafe to my list.

  28. 28
    sacrablue says:

    @ruemara: Nothing yet. Ranchandsyrup may be in town for a few more days, so I thought I’d see if anyone was available. I’m hoping to hear from others who might want to get together.

  29. 29
    boatboy_srq says:

    Going to get to one of these at least… hopefully tonight’s.

  30. 30
    Cermet says:

    @Xantar: This place is easier to reach traffic-wise than most DC places; parking is vastly better/easier. I live north of Baltimore (alas, work at the southern area of DC) and I’d say that Old Town is a breeze compared to most area’s in down town DC and many parts of Baltimore. The BW Parkway works well (quicker through DC on 295 than 95 East except when work is being done late.)

  31. 31
    Shakezula says:


    D.C. by Metro isn’t that far from Alexandria/NoVA.

    But that’s assuming Metro is working.

    Driving? Not on a dare.

  32. 32
    Dee Loralei says:

    Y’all have a blast tonight! Wish I were there. Murphy’s is fun and everyone I met was utterly charming and smart and witty.

  33. 33
    Xantar says:


    All true. And I’d totally be there at Murphy’s except it’s a week night.

    Also, my preferred method of transport into the DC area is MARC train.

  34. 34
    boatboy_srq says:

    @efgoldman: Virginia and driving have a special relationship: a “short-bus special” relationship. Between the TXTnDRV crew, the crawlers and the speed-demons (first time in ages I’ve been in a locale with speed suggestions instead of speed limits), and the folks who are more important than you with more important places to be than you with more important cars than you, it’s…. um… interesting… driving here. I keep saying that my next car gets Stingers under the hood, lasers in the wheel wells and (especially) a caltrop tray under the rear bumper – and here they’re all needed more than ever.

  35. 35
    Yatsuno says:

    @sacrablue: Too bad he can’t stall more. I’ll be in Fresno next month for 3 weeks with a bunch of free time and a rental car.

  36. 36
    sacrablue says:

    @Yatsuno: Apparently, it is the legislature that is doing the stalling, but they run out of time this weekend. I, on the other hand, have too much free time. I’ll be available next month, as well.

  37. 37
    boatboy_srq says:

    @efgoldman: Grew up in Maine, TYVM. Quebecois and Massh0les don’t compare. Trust me.

    My second-favorite pointless accident was caused by the DCer who made four lanes of I-95 into seven – and wasn’t prepared for the highly visible onramp, so he whacked a car merging onto the interstate.

    And the number of people here whose emails and text messages are more important than driving skills – theirs or yours – is amazing.

    And there’s no better or worse time. I’ve seen a big full-size SUV rear-ended badly enough to torque the entire frame (and total the $60,000 vehicle) at 7 am on a Sunday on an otherwise little-traveled road.

  38. 38
    Elizabelle says:


    Hope to see you and many other DC area denizens. Tonight or Tuesday.@Mineshaft Gap: @Xantar:

    Come up with a good meetup spot convenient to you and DC area folks. Always fun to find a new watering hole and group of Juicers.

    FWIW, for the DC city contingent, there was some interest in Busboys and Poets on 14th Street NW. We could try that in the future, or another site that’s relatively easy to get to by Metro and/or good parking.

    Come on down!

  39. 39
    boatboy_srq says:

    Plenty of space @ the tables, but the rail is pretty full. Please somebody let the hostess (outside) know we’re inbound: she was clueless when I asked.

  40. 40
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Never been to New England, especially MA and RI, have you?

    Oh dear. I’m suddenly beginning to feel less confident about this whole driving to New England and visiting all six states for the first time ever thing.

  41. 41
    boatboy_srq says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: New England drivers aren’t all that bad. There are lots worse. Just mind your manners and steer clear of the MA-plated ones and you’ll do fine.

  42. 42
    Elizabelle says:

    Having a lovely evening w Boatboy and the fab ef gold mans. C’mon down if you’re in the area, or come out Tuesday.

  43. 43
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Just mind your manners

    I’ve lived in the South for 30 years. I got this!! Sir.

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