How to throw a potluck!
At least, how to throw a potluck in the style that’s mine! The idea for throwing community potlucks came to us by way of a writer and friend, Nick Tramdak. I suggest those of you interested in the writing of up and coming go-getters check out his twitter. He, along with his roommate Dimitri, were throwing regular potlucks in the Pilsen area. All the invites came with a call to spread the word to like-minded folks. The invites themselves were written with a fantastic aplomb.
I haven’t talked to Nick or Dimitri about it in depth but the hows and whys but I can say there events struck me as the perfect mix of welcome and camaraderie. There was an ethos in the way they put it all together that brought wonderful people into their home. Everyone mingled, there were no cliques. Nick works in a library and is a U of C writer, so it was lit-minded heavy by nature, but when I brought my parents to one they were warmly accepted. A year or more later they still remember the event, and love to tell me about how much fun it was. “You’ve got such sweet friends, Danny.” I do. But not everyone there was my friend, a lot of the people who hit it off with my parents were people I’d never met before, and never saw again. Yet around a table of food, be it lovingly or haphazardly! — poorly or wonderfully! prepared, we were all friends for a day. Good friends, real friends, cared for and caring.
It was amazing that every potluck they threw felt that way. Loved. Friendly. Open. Bright.
When Janna and I came up with the idea to run our own Story Swap we had talks on what would — not set us apart — but what could we add to the mix of literary events going on around Chicago? There are so many good ones and we wanted to really add to that scene, that feeling of creative movement. (Check Janna out at Essay Fiesta!) Janna wanted our Story Swap to be open to everyone, and I’m a Share and Share Alike convert so that was A-OK with me.
“Let’s make it a Potluck!” There was no hesitation.
Sugar is my drug of choice. There is something about food that not only brings people together, but it solidifies us in a way that feels natural and organic. It offers us obvious lines of communication with our neighbors. We can swap recipes, ask what someone brought, give out compliments or revel in how good a third party’s dish is! We immediately hearken back to potlucks bygone. Plus parties with food are always better parties.
So this Sept. 14th. Bring a dish. Eat a lot. Make some friends. Tell some stories.