Friday night we found ourselves at the private home of Mike and Michelle Seekings for the YALLFest VIP party. And VIP it was. Veronica Roth, Margaret Stohl, Rainbow Rowell, Tahereh Mafi, and others roamed the garden party while sipping on cocktails and nibbling cheese. Seriously, there was a lot of cheese at this party.
Another frequent occurrence at the party? Actual young adults. The young readers nervously approached the authors asking for autographs or just to let them know that they loved their stories. Roth was one of the most popular writers at the party, but we managed to squeeze in a few moments to chat in between fans wanting to talk to her about Divergent. The 25-year-old author rocked some pretty killer style too — her leather pants and velour Doc Martin combo was swoon-worthy. And her sweetness didn’t hurt either. There may have been a little bit of jealousy on our end.
Fangirl syndrome wasn’t just for the tweens either. We overheard a number of adults geeking out and saying things like “I love to read” and “I need another drink before I can approach her.” And really who’s to blame them? That number of New York Times bestselling authors at a single dinner party is pretty impressive.
On Saturday, we hit up the City Paper Music Awards at the Pour House. The evening got off to a calm start with Ryan Bonner performing some of his Americana songs while a little girl did some interpretive dancing and older guests shucked oysters. Even with a chill in the air, guests were happy to mingle outside and celebrate music, which was what the evening was all about.
Metal band Godwin Falcon took the party inside and promised “to fucking kill us” if we didn’t go to their show on Tues. Nov. 12 at the Royal American. They made this promise multiple times during the show, even bringing the audience’s grandmothers into the threat. The performance was, as expected, loud, but seeing the lead singer chug water to soothe his vocal chords after every song made our throats hurt. The reviews were mixed, with one audience member saying that their ears were ringing after the set and another describing it as “face-melting fuck-you face metal,” which we think was a positive endorsement.
Savage Souls performed next, but most of the crowd had meandered outside. Their old-school rap set was definitely different from the metal yelling we had just heard, and we appreciated the change of pace from band to band. Sol Driven Train rocked the stage next with its jammy music, and Elise Testone joined the boys on stage for “Watermelon.” She didn’t have to wait long before taking the mic over again as she closed down the award show.
Much of the crowd stuck around for the Royal Tinfoils for the after party, and despite the dropping temperatures the deck stayed packed. We decided to head home shortly after the after party started to make sure we were well-rested for the next day’s event.
On Sunday we were off to the races — as in the Charleston Cup in Hollywood. And when we saw the man in the Pepto Bismol-colored suit ride across the grass on his bicycle, we knew we weren’t in Charleston anymore.
The steeplechase and hats have their own appeal, but we were amazed by the tailgating. Two spots over from our car we saw a man pull up with a big black box in the back of his truck. As the man set up his tailgating palace, we were only interested in what he had in his box. The mechanized — he didn’t even have to lift a finger — box revealed a popcorn maker, flat screen TV, and some sort of grill. Whoever you are, you’re invited to our next party. Just bring that box of yours.
On our left, we had a smoker that made the air smell like delicious bacon all afternoon. Beer pong and cornhole helped pass the time before the races started, but we also enjoyed the people watching. We must admit we missed a couple of the races wandering from spot to spot taking it all in. But what we didn’t miss was the proposal that took place on the track after one of the earlier races. It was like a Ralph Lauren commercial in real life