Some observations from last night's informal Genghis Conn Appreciation Night.
This was definitely a first in the local blogosphere; a gathering of bloggers with hugely divergent political views. But much like Connecticut Local Politics itself, we managed to share a space without imploding in a spectacularly brilliant flash.
Despite our obvious ideological differences, we all enjoyed the social aspect of the evening. The political talk was generally very muted and respectful, much to my relief! It's obvious we all want the same thing (better government) but we simply have different ways of getting there.
Tim White and Gabe Rosenberg were there just as I arrived, me being a little breathless at rushing in from late work. Heath arrived soon after. Jon Kantrowitz and the notoriously camera-shy Anderson Scooper showed up. Don Pesci arrived with his wife. ACR got there a bit later with his bemused son in tow. And of course, Chris was there.
There were a number of surprises, too. Dennis House from WFSB stopped by to wish Chris well, and he gave him a mug. Dan Malloy dropped in and chatted with us for a while. Raj (I think; I'm terrible at getting names right), a new staffer for Rob Simmons joined the festivities. While there was a lot of political talk, everyone agreed that it was an "off the record" evening, where we could just kick back and enjoy ourselves.
I have to mention the restaurant, Eli's in Hamden, as providing us with terrific service and accommodating us pretty much on zero notice. On their specials menu they had a Wasabi Encrusted Scallops appetizer, and it was out of this world good! I wish I'd taken a picture of it.
Tim White's video from last night (thanks Tim). As you can see, I'm a complete natural on camera and don't sound anything like a stilted tongue-tied buffoon at all!
Who ever thought they'd see a photo like this? Again, everyone got along so well I was sort of stunned. After meeting many of the conservative members of CTLP last night, it's going to be much more difficult for me to be mean to them because they are really just nice people. Talk about taking the fun out of blogging!
The one bit of overt politicking during the evening was this sign that someone brought along. I'm not entirely sure if they were being ironic or not. Read the wording on the sign carefully to catch my drift.
It was a fun evening and it went off more smoothly than I'd imagined it could. I want to thank everyone for being there for Chris and for pitching in (especially so I didn't get stuck with the check!)