Used to be, there was a meeting every Thursday in Washington Square Park by the statue of Garibaldi. We'd hang out and schmooze for a while and then break up into "dinner missions". And the first Saturday of every month we'd go to one man's house for the "First Saturday" party, and the last Saturday of every month would be Games Night, and the first Thursday was when we collated the APA, the amateur publishing association, which was...well, it was a paper thing much like livejournal in many ways. And every Columbus Day weekend there would be the BeyondtheCon, a weekend long house party with singing and chili and sleeping all over the house. And on the closest Thursday (Thursday is special) to the 4th of July, we'd all meet in the Ferry Boat terminal and take a couple of round trip rides to Staten Island, and we'd have pizza and watermelon, and one man would bring his guitar and we'd sing. And, just before I joined, they'd even managed to put on conventions.
First Saturday disappeared first. Then Games Night. People died and somehow the Thursday meetings faded away - they're still happening but people aren't showing up. M couldn't do BeyondtheCon anymore. The final Apa was put out last April. But the FerryBoat Ride is still going on.
This was the first one we'd taken since 2001. I hadn't realized how I'd missed it. We gather in the terminal - we're not hard to spot, and M brings pizza and his guitar, and someone else brings watermelon, and we get on the first boat leaving Manhattan after 6PM.
We staked out a place on one side of the boat and people had pizza and Jonathan and I had our own food, and we chatted. And then we reached Staten Island and were told to leave. But D is in a wheelchair, and was allowed to stay and we all got on again. And we rode back to Manhattan, singing and chatting. And then we did it again.
We filed out at Staten Island singing the Theme from Gilligan's Island to "The Witch of the Westmoreland". It fits really well, but we did get stared at.
Then we broke up to go home or to dinner missions.
It was a smaller group than we were used to, and apparently larger than last years. And I'm glad I went.