by Elizabeth Rusch
Published on: May 20, 2013
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For many months now, the Scrivas have been trying out different locations for our monthly meeting. We had found one, Canvas Art Bar, that was perfect: cheap food and drinks, artsy atmosphere, big tables, open late. But alas, it closed and we’ve been gypsies ever since.

The upside is that we have sampled many local Portland cocktails and nibbles. That truly is kind of fun for a working parent like me who doesn’t get out much. But each meeting has had its challenges: getting a table, fitting in the tiny room where we had a table reserved, hearing each other across a HUGE table, hearing each other when far apart at a long skinny table, hearing each other over loud music or a busy bar-like atmosphere, feeling like WE’RE too loud at a mellow coffee shop. Really, we didn’t know how good we had it at Canvas until it was gone. Sigh.

Then we tried a brand new café.  As I headed there I was worried – it’s in a busy part of town and parking could be tough. And lo and behold, I had to drive around and around and around to find a spot. I rushed in but was greeted by two smiling Scrivas at a long table, a menu that included yummy cocktails, sandwiches and salads, and a big glass case with gorgeous pastries.

We ordered and started talking. We found ourselves struggling to hear and be heard. I glanced around and there was only one other table filled. Then I notice the music, not blasting but pretty loud. We struggled along for a few minutes and then suddenly peace settled. The waitress had turned the music down. We smiled our thanks to her. We’ll be back.

What do you look for in place for your critique group meetings? What challenges have you faced and how have you addressed them?


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