How to gather goofy people in SF?
March 9, 2010 3:15 PM   Subscribe

How can I gather a bunch of goofy people in San Francisco for a party? [details inside]

My girlfriend and I just moved to San Francisco a week ago, and her birthday is this coming weekend. We don't really have any friends in town yet.

I'm *hoping* to gather up a bunch of random silly people to throw her a surprise birthday party, which would maybe also be a good way to make some friends. My first thought was to post to craigslist or something, but it just doesn't seem like the kind of silly/interesting/smart people that would be game to throw a party for a stranger would be trolling the CL community section looking for something to do on a Saturday night.

My idea is to get in contact with some people and send each one of them a brief (over-characterized) description of one of her friends from Seattle. I'd take her to dinner at a cool bar/restaurant, and we would surprise her by all starting to sing happy birthday on cue. They would dress/talk like their friend persona for the first 5 minutes in an effort to further blow her mind, and then we would all have a good laugh and just see where the conversation/night takes us. Drinks on me! Sounds weird I know... other equally strange ideas are also welcome.

But the real question is this: how can I find these people? It would be awesome if there were some website bulletin full of silly people down to to crazy things... many come close, but I can't think of any one that actually fits.

posted by nnevvinn to Grab Bag (11 answers total)
The doppelganger idea seems somewhat creepy to me, but YMMV. This would be a thing that I could see couchsurfers getting into. Also, send an email out to all of your friends, asking if they have friends in San Fran. Then get all of the friends-of-friends to show up.
posted by craven_morhead at 3:20 PM on March 9, 2010

San Francisco is having tons of MeFi meetups this month. There's one on Friday!
posted by Zaximus at 3:24 PM on March 9, 2010

That's one of the weirdest things I have ever heard! I just don't think there's any chance of it happening or turning out in a way you would like.

It takes time to make real friends in a new city, I don't think there's any way to give your girlfriend the kind of birthday she might have had if you were still in Seattle except flying her up there as a surprise - is that possible?

Otherwise I think you just have to re imagine what kind of birthday celebration could be fun. A fancy hotel and just the two of you? A random bar with a good atmosphere where you can get tipsy enough to start random conversations and maybe make a new friend or two? Or maybe even a last minute MeFi meetup?

But please don't offer to pay for an evening of drinks for multiple total strangers in a new city, and please, please, don't ask them to act like friends from your old city! That's so incredibly strange!
posted by crabintheocean at 3:29 PM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

Yeah, you are describing a meetup. If none of the current ones will work, you should just call another one. I'm sure you can rally the troops to get your creepy/awesome plan off the ground. Strangers from the internet love bizarre plans and free drinks.
posted by thejoshu at 3:29 PM on March 9, 2010

Also, the MeFi people in SFO are incredibly nice, so you could probably get ahold of a few of them and ask them to do something nice and friendly for your g'friend and sort of act like the meetup really is her very own birthday party. Plus you could also invite friends of friends. So a combo approach might be good.
posted by jessamyn at 3:36 PM on March 9, 2010

This is something of a "me too" comment, but I thought this was a trick question (you're just describing a meetup!) until I got to the part about impersonating your girlfriend's old friends. I agree with crabintheocean that it'd be awkward to orchestrate.

That said, I would personally show up to any such meetup and respond to a pseudonym if you wanted. You don't even have to buy me a drink! I have no acting talent, though.
posted by tantivy at 3:57 PM on March 9, 2010

Actually, this almost seems like a job for Yelp Talk. If none of Metafilter's planned meetups work for you, can you bring your girlfriend to some existing UYE (unofficial Yelp event) that's coming up soon?
posted by tantivy at 4:03 PM on March 9, 2010

An acquaintance once noted that I was bad with faces and tend to fake my way through conversations until I can puzzle things together. So when I visited their city, they coached a friend of theirs about me and had the guy chat me up like an old friend.

I can confirm that it's not great for the prankee. I got past it fairly quickly, no lingering aftereffects, but I didn't have a good time. When you're trying to find your way around a new city, the last thing you want the place you're in to do is go all funhouse on you when you're not ready for it.

The idea of taking her to a Mefi meetup full of friendly strangers sounds better for her than a party full of totally anonymous people spouting off far more about her than anonymous people should.
posted by ardgedee at 4:04 PM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

speculation on whether or not this is a good idea aside - this question made me think of Improv Everywhere
posted by mail at 4:25 PM on March 9, 2010

Response by poster: Ok, I've abandoned the friend-impersonation thing- comments from you all and a couple of friends of mine discouraged me (which is for the best I think). I think I might still try to wrangle strangers, but instead just throw some sort of modestly-themed party.

Thanks for the recommendations!
posted by nnevvinn at 6:00 PM on March 9, 2010

Best answer: If you make it a modesty-themed party I am totally there.
posted by wemayfreeze at 12:44 AM on March 10, 2010

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