The Time I Went to a Google Party & Felt Awesome

Monday, April 21, 2014

I had a really terrible day at work last Thursday, & I was going to cancel my evening plans. My friend Emily was ready to go, had even called to offer me a ride, but I told her, "I don't think I'm going to make it. I think I'm going to go home." Within seconds of hanging up the phone, though, I had a change of heart: What are you doing?! You moved back to this city to do things! To be with people! Get out there! I immediately called her back & asked her to pick me up.

We were headed to Google's Suddenly Spring Social, an event held at a local art gallery to celebrate the District’s launch of Google City Experts, a review program. The invitation told us to "embrace spring, Washingtonian style — with a picnic bursting with budding blossoms, delectable neighborhood specialties and local craft brews." Yeah, um, just a bit swankier than my usual picnic.

This was exactly the sort of event that I live in a city for. I was reminded of the time in 2008 when my coworkers & I attended an event-planning fair at the National Zoo - not that any of us has ever been an event planner. It's the kind of thing you can only do in a major metropolis, the kind of thing reserved solely for lucky city-dwellers. I made it onto the guest list only because Emily was invited by a friend who works for Google, & she was given a plus-one - plus-three, actually, so she brought a handful of equally excited friends. I didn't know the other two girls she brought or anyone else in attendance, but I found myself happily chatting with them & with total strangers, & even running into a fellow blogger by chance.

We ate so much free food, y'all. Like, so much free food. We ate BBQ pulled pork tacos & garlicky, fire-roasted corn from the BBQ Bus. We broke Passover (oops) for two different kinds of tiny, gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches from The Big Cheese. We ate chocolate-covered bacon & turtle sundaes from the dapper, bow-tied dude who runs Goodie's Frozen Custard & Treats (call me). We ate tiny bags of kettle corn & tiny cherry pies & drank not-tiny Cherry Bourbon Fizz cocktails that didn't actually have any cherries in them. And speaking of cherries, we were each given a bag of chocolate-covered cherries on our way out the door, a parting gift in homage to D.C.'s cherry blossom season. We left full & happy & still not totally sure how to take part in Google City Experts (but given my love of Yelp, I'll probably figure it out & give it a try anyway).

High on the list of things I love are food, kitsch, free things, friends, & the Internet, & this event combined them all. It was the perfect way to recover from a bad day at work, & the perfect reminder that this city is exactly where I'm supposed to be.

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