When I started this blog a year+ ago it was an experiment. Our dinner club was two years old and we’d been having so much fun that I really wanted to talk about it! I had toyed with the idea of starting a "dinner club in a box" business with resources, instructions and materials for getting started but that didn’t seem quite right. Then, a friend of mine was working on the Spaces project, knew I’d been toying with blogging and asked if I would do a demo site for the Spaces team. Basically, get something up and running, showing off some of the features so that when they wanted a sample of what could be they would have something interesting to show. So I started this site (and I also did a short-term travel site for them).
Well, once I started blogging I loved it! I mostly just liked the opportunity to share information, hoping that at some point someone might find it useful. I didn’t really have any expectations about it leading to anything else. Well, what a pleasant set of surprises this year has held for me!
First, I noticed there were several other Seattle food bloggers and so I started contacting a couple of them to see if they had any interest in getting together. Little did I know that at about the same time Megan (IHeartBacon) was doing the same thing. It was in February we first met as a group. Five bloggers and some friends showed up. We had a fun meal together and a very lively conversation as we tried to learn about each other, rhapsodize about the meal and discuss any/all blogging topics that were on someone’s mind!
Since then we’ve scheduled something every 4 to 8 weeks depending on schedules. We’ve contacted others in hopes they could join us – some have and some politely abstain; Megan is now known as M2 in the cooking club posts; one of the original blogger group recently moved to NY and most of us attended his going away party; and several of us are working together on the Well Fed project.
In addition to my Seattle blogging community, I’ve made blogger friends across the country and across the world. When I started editing The Spirit World I contacted people from many locations to see if they wanted to join me or if they could recommend people. It was an amazing experience to be able to do that. AND, in addition to other food bloggers I’ve discovered many other friends, many of them bloggers but non-food bloggers, who I keep in touch with via email or comments. If I was traveling to one of their locations, they are people I’d hope to meet face-to-face. AND, every now and then I run into someone around town who knows my blog and actually reads it on an ongoing basis – how cool is that?
If you look at my early posts you’ll see that I was using the Spaces photo albums which are extremely limiting. At some point I learned about Flickr and opened an account. I’ve also started trying to improve my food photography. I’m not sure if you can see the difference but I know that I am much more attentive to detail and have tried to learn from others’ examples. This is a journey that I’ve just started but plan to continue.
Although I would occasionally check out other photos on Flickr and had links to a few friends I knew were out there, by and large it was so huge that I never really considered it much more than a repository. I had one interesting experience, though, when one of the people who contacted Well Fed about writing was someone who’s photos I’d been admiring and we had exchanged a few comments. Nika is now one of the occasional writers on The Spirit World and I hope she has a chance to do more as her photos are beautiful and her posts are quite good, too!
Then a couple of weeks ago I (and many others) received an invitation to join a new Flickr group called Seattle Food and Drink from P_D_Gibson. I joined up and posted a bunch of photos and started interacting (just a bit) with some of the others who were posting. Through that group I learned about the Seattle Flickr Meetup group and that they were having a meeting yesterday.
So this has been a very long way of telling you that blogging has introduced me to communities that I didn’t even know about and that R and I decided to join them at The Red Door, even though we could only hang around for the first hour or so. What a nice group of people! There were nearly 30 people in attendance. I really only had the opportunity to speak with a few seated near me but everyone was great! I’m looking forward to the next get together!
And since this is a food blog I thought I would just mention, that The Red Door is still a great place for a burger and beer. In my case, a Blue Cheese and Bacon Burger. In R’s case an ooey-gooey Mushroom Burger. And real fries. Fries that taste like they actually came from potatoes! I also took a couple photos of a Philly Cheesesteak and some sort of Grilled Cheese and Pesto sandwich that looked really good. And since this was a group of photographers no one minded when I asked them to wait before eating! :-) That was just a bonus!
If you are new to Seattle you may not realize that the Red Door is a Seattle institution. Originally located on the corner of 34th and Fremont Ave, the entire building was moved to make way for the condos, Pete’s Coffee and other assorted shops that now perch on that corner. Not only was the building moved a block but it was raised up and placed on top of a parking garage. Some changes were made after the move, but the place has retained its character and added a few nice touches, like the big deck on the south side of the building. Sitting up there on a sunny afternoon, sipping a beer and looking down at the activity below is a very pleasant activity - you need to try it if you haven’t yet.
The Red Door
3401 Evanston Ave N
Fremont – Seattle