March 21, 2010

We’ve all read about Gabe’s impending visit to meet the Phonatics – The GabeUp, if you will.  As it were.  (That one’s for you, @tex1sam)

Arrival time was 6:30 AM on this past Friday, March 19.  Our new friend Gabe had, in short, planned to work from his Chicago office in order to see our fair city for the first time and then join us for a bowl of delicious, fragrant, flavorful pho.

Based on an earlier agreement, I picked him up at the airport in exchange for a nominal fee:

I must say, Gabe is much more photogenic at this hour than I am:

Full disclosure: I made him delete the pic he took of me with pigtails, in pajamas.  My prerogative, as the airport picker-upper.

Also, after many jokes at Gabe’s expense on the whole murder issue, I was humbled when his mother called to make sure that WE hadn’t murdered HIM.  A thought that hadn’t entered my mind, since I’m not a murderer.  (Hi Gabe’s mom!)

It was my pleasure to expose Gabe to several of my favorite sights on the way from Midway to Downtown, by way of Lake Shore Drive, Lincoln Park Zoo, Newberry Library, Washington Park, Gold Coast, and Lower Wacker, Batman-style.  Perhaps a bit out of the way? Nah.

Gabe finished his day at work and joined fellow #phonatics founder Chanthana on Navy Pier at Charlie’s Ale House.  I then whisked him off to meet Sami for drinks at Elephant & Castle, where we met the soon-to-be world famous Laura from iFightDragons.  (Isn’t she hot!?!!).

And that was only Friday.

Until now, the Phonatics have frequented only two venues in Uptown.

Since so many Chicagoans were interested in gawking at this freak of nature who would fly in for a $7 bowl of soup, we needed more space. 

Pho Viet on Broadway provided not only the space but also a delicious variety of pho and spring rolls to satisfy every palate.

Every palate, that is, except the one who happens to be allergic to fish.  Yes, our guest of honor ate a shrimp spring roll without a second thought and was such a good sport that even breathing difficulties couldn’t wipe the smile from his kind face.  Luckily, the Mighty Padraic decided not to take chances and saved the day with a Benadryl run.  Everyone should know a Mighty Padraic.

We had a whopping 20 people join us and I want to thank everyone for coming out: Chanthana, Sami, Dan, Pad (not pictured but always with us), Erin, Adrienne, Jen S, Dorothy, Hooshna, Magda, Crister, Jen L, Mari and Derek, Leyla, Mike, Tom, Liz and of course Gabe.  What a good lookin’ crowd!

(Yep, I linked all of those from memory.)

I’m sad to report that I was too drained from the previous night’s shenanigans to continue painting the town after the GabeUp, but Sami has more details on the after party.

What I love about this story is that Gabe met us on Twitter and took a chance. Clearly, I’m not saying that everyone should jump at an invitation to cross state lines for a meeting with strangers.  That’s just dangerous tomfoolery.  But this story has a happy ending with friendships formed and strengthened; one big happy Phonatics family.


13 Responses to “GabeUp-alooza”

  1. Tony Says:

    I love stories like this! Stuff like this makes Twitter awesome. Hopefully, one of these days I can share a bowl of steamy pho with the #phonatics!

  2. Desiree Says:

    That’s an A-list crowd if there ever was one in Chicago! So, this place looks fancy… better than our usual haunts?

    • feliciacago Says:

      Definitely was not too fancypants, just right. Two doors down from Tank, but much, much bigger. And I must say, I have loved the broth twice. Third time is a charm.

  3. kevin Says:

    Very cool. I have taken a few chances to meet tweeps from afar IRL after getting to know them on Twitter and it has worked out really well. I’ve formed friendships beyond twitter. I enjoy getting together in these group settings to get to know folks. Interesting thing is that I do it less in my own hood, maybe due to work, family, etc. as compared to when I’m out of town and usually more available to do those types of things. Anyway, looks like a great crowd and fun time.

    — hint, I am coming to Chicago in July and love me some pho 🙂

  4. feliciacago Says:

    You got it, Kevin!

  5. Sami Says:

    last weekend was an #EpicTwitterFTW kind of weekend. And the best part is the snow and the wind did not stop us from having a good time.

  6. Dorothy Says:

    This was so much fun and I’m so glad I was a part of it. It just shows how powerful Twitter and social media is. Next time we are hitting the dance floor at PhoViet!

  7. Dan Says:

    Another successful pho bash…I think we are in for some serious parties this spring and summer!

  8. chanthana Says:

    Gabe had so much fun. He had a cheesey grin the entire time. (Derek’s Twitter name is @DLuangrath)

  9. antigabe Says:

    Chanthana is definitely right. I had a blast. A great experience with great new friends.

  10. […] more people across state lines to one of my tweetups to eat, drink and be merry.  (Hi Russ and Barbara!)  Although technically, […]

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