Our new favorite way to enter a party may be to announce to the host in a somber tone, "We've just come from a funeral parlor." Their expression drops for a second before you explain the Gadsden Funeral Home was the site of the latest Gris Galerie pop-up exhibition. Elizabeth Bowers and Greg Colleton collaborated to turn social media into art for the Charlestagram show, which included local submissions from the ubiquitous photo-sharing app, Instagram.
The familiar @ faces from Twitter and Instagram filtered in to view their works displayed in a manner that highlighted the grit and glamour of our fair city. Attendees pointed out their favorites and told the stories behind the snaps. A petite party-goer held her iPhone camera up to the collection while her date sneered, "You can't Instagram an Instagram" — super meta stuff.
After the art show, we headed to First Friday at Jamie Lin Snider's shop on King Street. Snider greeted us, looking like a real American hero in her stars and stripes tights, and informed us that all of her vintage clothing was 50 percent off for the evening. The early crowd was definitely more interested in shopping than partying. Girls in their best Friday night gear fondled the racks of pre-worn frocks and tried on sunglasses while giggling at their reflections. And then a svelte six-foot-tall man in a mini-dress and flowing locks made an entrance that elicited jealous stares and joyful exclamations — the party could now begin.
After the requisite runway walks were turned in a pair of Snider's Spring collection platforms, the crowd headed out back for beers and beats. DJ Stumble and DJ Birdflu mixed in plenty of Beastie Boy tracks for the evening in a tribute to the late Adam Yauch. There was some awkward solo dancing while waiting for the space to fill in, but we give props to that group of girls for getting people on the dance floor. Local retailers were also set up outside — we especially enjoyed the eclectic jewelry from Rebecca Jane Hooper.
A few cheap beers later, we sauntered up the street to check out an event we saw posted on lamp poles around town: the Wu-Tang Club's "Return of the Wu: end of the year" party. Intrigued and seriously lacking some ODB in our evening, we went to see what the hype was all about. What we found behind the Read Brothers building reminded us more of a high school party with a better DJ set-up. While we weren't expecting a hologram of Ghostface Killah to be making an appearance at the party, we thought at least a few Wu tracks would be thrown in the mix instead of Pheonix's "Lisztomania." Instead of sticking around to find "the guy with the cups" for the keg, we made our way back up King, past the long lines of kids with IDs in hand for the bars, and ended the night with a pint at our preferred hole in the wall.