Blongd (n) [bla-nh-g'-d']: a social gathering in which you bond with fellow bloggers over food and drink and story swapping. Also blongding, as in "I went out blongding last night." Rhymes with "bond" and is a merger of the words "blog" and "bond." (I'm making this stuff up here, folks. Makin' it up!)
Which is precisely what I did--blongded. I attended last night's Washington D.C. Bloggers Meet-up at Regional Food & Drink in Gallery Place/Chinatown. I met up with my friend Merujo of Church of the Big Sky and WAMU fame. I also met Ross, Andrew, Samantha, Steven, Catherine, and Jamie--all very nice people. And those were just the folks around me. In all, there were probably 25-30 people there. Ate some fish and chips and a rather intense chocolate cake. Swapped some good stories back and forth and just generally had a nice time. More than anything, it was just fun to get out of the house, especially after Tuesday's dismal returns on a job interview I'd been to.
I also met the guy behind DC Blogs--K.O.B. I learned his acronymn stands for "King of Bad," which I guess was a website he use to run. He has a real name, but I was sworn to secrecy. We talked about the recent discussion over on his blog about what the criteria are for being a DC Blogs Noted selection. I started that discussion several weeks ago by posing that question on this blog. Anyway--my point is, K.O.B. is a really nice guy and it was an absolute pleasure to meet him.
The best part of going out last night, though, was the atmosphere at the restaurant. And by atmosphere here I'm not talking about the ambience or the decor or any of that stuff that lends a venue its personality. I'm talking about atmosphere of the oxygen, breathe-in, breathe-out variety. It was smoke-free! And lovely.
Like its wise sister cities before it, Washington, DC, has decided to get healthy and courteous by banning smoking in all bars and restaurants. Of course, there's the usual alarmist outcry about how it's going to hurt business or put the small neighborhood establishments out in the cold, but they're just... how shall I say this? Blowing smoke? There's evidence out there from cities like San Francisco and New York that smoking hasn't hurt the restaurant industry economically and, in fact, has increased business because people who have otherwise avoided eating out because of smoking are now going out more. I know, because I'm among those people. I've left establishments where the smoke was so thick, I felt my chances of survival were better if I sat in my garage with the door closed and the car running.
It was lovely to come home last night and not have a sore throat, burning eyes, unpleasant taste in my mouth, or stinking hair and clothes. I didn't have to shower before going to bed. I didn't have to throw my coat and scarf in the laundry or leave them hanging outside (actually, I did have to throw my scarf in the laundry, but that's only because I dropped chocolate sauce on it, but still...) All in all, a pleasant and healthy experience.
Here's to a smoke-free D.C. and an increase in restaurant visits and blongding by Yours Truly, DC Rush Hour.