Reason Rally: sounding folks out early

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ll be attending the Reason Rally in about 3 weeks, and an Atheist Experience meetup is tentatively planned. For those of you planning to attend, I think it’s a good idea to work out a few details in advance, such as whether Friday evening (before the rally) or Saturday evening (post-rally dinner and drinks) would be easier. I’m starting to think Saturday evening, as a number of folks on the coast are probably only planning to drive into D.C. that morning for the thing and not do an overnight stay. So feedback is appreciated. Also, I’ve already gotten one e-mail from a D.C. resident suggesting some locations, and I’d love more of that, from either you locals or people who know the city well. Ideally for us out-of-towners, preferred locations should be walkable from the Mall and not cost a firstborn child to eat and drink there. I’m looking forward to meeting everyone and, incidentally, to the Rally as well.

Looks like Hemant is having an after-rally thing, so that’s leaning everything towards a Friday evening meetup now.

Orrrr maybe not. A lot of folks still won’t be in till Saturday and there’s already a lot happening Friday night for people who are there. See what I mean by working stuff out early? I’m now thinking that an immediate post-rally supper will be easiest, and still make it possible for everyone to wander off afterwards to whatever parties are taking place.


  1. says

    Personally, I’d prefer a pre-rally get-together, because that would give me the opportunity to go to Hemant’s post-rally get-together as well.

  2. allenglendenning says


    The AHA and the FFRF are already having meetups Friday night. IF that matters to any of your listeners.

  3. says

    Well, at a certain point we’re just going to have to pick one night or the other and go with it. The Atheist Experience has a pretty big fan base as it is, and I’m sure enough folks will be willing to turn out whenever we have it. No rule saying you can’t go to more than one of these things.

  4. gwen says

    I’m so sorry I will miss it, but my son will be there. He will be performing poetry at the event. I hope you two will be able to meet there.

  5. says

    On the AA schedule there’s a “socializing at the bar” thing mentioned for Fri night, and it seems to be a pretty good time slot. Doesn’t seem to conflict with much. I’ll be there a bit earlier on because I’m staying the convention hotel anyway, and I can’t afford any of the paid dinners. Would love to see you and anyone else there if that works. 🙂

  6. Kes says

    *Claps for joy* So excited everyone is visiting my city! Unfortunately, “walking distance from the Mall” and “affordable” are usually mutually exclusive categories. I also find that people who aren’t native Washingtonians find our “moderately priced” to be their “hella expensive!” (And a Washingtonian’s “walkable” is another’s “fifteen freakin’ blocks, wtf?!”)

    However, there are a few cool places, and/or cheap places, near the Mall. One option that comes to mind is Hamilton’s Bar & Grill, which is a two-level bar on 2nd st right by the Capitol Building. There’s also Harry’s (seedy dive bar par excellance, but small and often crowded) and/or Ollie’s Trolley (classic burgers & hotdogs), both of them are in the Harrington Hotel on E st & 12th, about 2 blocks north of the Mall near the White House.

    Those would be my three top picks for close to the Mall and cheapish. In fact, I’d endorse Ollie’s Trolley as the best place, since it is a restaurant, not a bar, and thus quieter, but very close to several bars for after people eat.

    Here’s the website:

  7. neatospiderplant says

    I vote Saturday night for me and hubby.

    Alternatively, what about doing a pre-rally Atheist Experience breakfast? I’m wondering if that might minimize the conflicts and maximize attendance.

  8. says

    A nice idea but that might exclude people along the coast who are just driving in that morning. Still…I don’t suppose there’s any reason we can’t do both. A breakfast for the people who can make that, and a supper for everyone else that would take place immediately post-rally and still allow everyone to head out afterwards to whatever parties are happening that night.

  9. annabucci says

    Oh man I would love to go to this. I think I’ll be working that day and I’m about 4 hours away I think.

  10. Aunrd says

    Yeah! We’re coming in from PA. No idea what we are doing yet. But I like the idea of breakfast. The heathens will be pub-crawling all night! Let’s pack every minute with good times!

  11. says


  12. MTE1000 says

    It all depends on what part of D.C. you are staying. The D.C. area includes Maryland and Virginia. If you are staying near Dulles airport you are actually about 25 miles from the Mall. With the amount of people that I have read that are going to this rally would mean that the hotels will be filled within a 30 to 50 mile radius. I live 40 miles south and it is considered a suburb. So it would help if we knew the area you will be staying.

  13. Gwynn says

    Has anyone recomended Kramer Books? It’s right on Dupont Circle and is one of my fav places in DC because it’s a full restaurant inside a bookstore and I LOVE it as a hangout spot when I’m visiting.

    It’s just over a mile to the mall, but it’s still an easy trip. And anyways, places REALLY close to the mall are going to be crazy no matter what with that many people around.

    I can’t WAIT until March!!!!

  14. Mark Rosengarten says

    I’d be all over the breakfast idea. I’m driving in from NY the day before and attending the fund-raising dinner the night before. If you decide to do a breakfast, I will be there. I’ve been absolutely itching to meet you guys. You do a wonderful thing for people all over the world.

  15. Shelley says

    Lame! I really wanted to meet him. Hi, I’m a huge fan of the show and will be in town all day Saturday and Sunday. I’d love to meet up with the Atheist Experience folks.

  16. Rich Frangiamore says

    I’ll be volunteering at the merchandise table all day (including 2 hrs pre and post rally), so most likely won’t be able to join on Saturday night, but I wanted to second the recommendation for Kramer Books. Also up the street is The Madhatter (an Alice In Wonderland themed pub), as well as a Shake Shack.

    Alternatively, if you and the gang will be around Sunday morning, Luna Cafe & Grill, by Dupont Circle, does fantastic pancakes.

    Would love to meet you in person after listening to the show for so many years! Keep us posted on plans, even if you don’t have any ;).


  17. Walter says

    It looks like god of the cherry blossoms may be smiling on you — it has been warm winter and they are likely to be out when you are there.

    Metro is good! look at a map. get day passes.

    Travel in groups, though, at night.

  18. says

    I agree with Walter and Mark; 2 miles, about 40 minutes. Metrorail will cut off a good portion of that if you ride from Smithsonian station (an entrance is directly next to the RR merchandise tent, on the mall) to Farragut West station. The Metro day-pass is definitely the way to go.

    Also agree that travelling in groups is a good thing, although the Farragut/Dupont area is a relatively pretty good area.

    Martin, will you be around Sunday? Any others of the AE / Non Prophets crew coming along?

  19. says

    I am flying out Sunday afternoon so the best I’d be able to do that day would be an early breakfast. As far as I know I am the only person from our bunch representing.