Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Seemed as though most of Charlotte was still nursing their St. Paddy's day hangover this weekend or couldn't tear themselves away from the upsets of the first round of March Madness (how about that UConn game? or Western Kentucky? Amazing).
Sirens and Shields was the first time the Greater Carolinas Red Cross (with help from Wells Fargo) tried a bachelor/bachelorette auction of first-responders, gearing it toward young professionals.
The bids started off low: $25 for some people, $80 for others and then picked up (perhaps as the alcohol set in), with a whopping $400 for one very popular arson detective.
An organizer said the night had some kinks and the group was making notes about how to make it even better next year.
I had a fun time, but I think they needed more publicity in advance (turnout was moderate) and they definitely need to get restaurants to donate the dates, otherwise the Red Cross will never make any money.
I'll post pics (including shirtless firefighters) from the auction on Thursday.
Now, back to the Neighborhood Theatre. I heard from several people that the venue recently did some rearranging and removed a lot of the seating that was in front of the stage. The consensus was that it was a vast improvement. What do you guys think?
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
The EpiCentre’s developers want you to know that StrikeCity won’t be a typical down and dirty, smoke-filled bowling alley with plastic seats and grimy floors.
Instead, think a two-level, upscale sports bar, nightclub and restaurant all in one. Then add to that 30 lanes of bowling.
Construction on the first floor of the 30,000-square-foot space is set to start this spring.
The first floor will include 18 bowling lanes, two full-service bars, billiards tables, a dance floor and a DJ booth. Six of the lanes will be in private rooms that can be rented for parties, corporate events and other functions. The second floor will include an additional 12 bowling lanes.
Bob Durkin of Bar Management Group, which is managing the entertainmant/restaurant concepts in the EpiCentre, promises StrikeCity will be a "fun, interactive experience" for people of all ages.
But the party will definitely pick up at night with more of an adult atmosphere, said Rob Pedlow of Landmark Leisure Group.
StrikeCity will also appeal to sports fans with its ultimate video wall, Durkin said. The wall, about 70 feet long, will have about 10-12 jumbo flat screens separated by dozens of smaller TV screens in the 50-inch range. Also running along the wall, a sports ticker offering up-to-the-minute scores on all the big games. And if that’s not enough, settle into one of the plush booths behind each lane and watch the big screens above each set of 10 pins.
StrikeCity is slated for an early fall opening. It may be upscale, but there’s one grimy thing even the nicest bowling alley can’t avoid – those slightly damp shoes.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
I rested up for tonight's official festivities and sent my uptown spies out on the town Saturday.
The party started Saturday morning with the parade uptown, continued into the afternoon with Rich and Bennett's famous pub crawl and kept on going through last call at 2 a.m.
Best place to watch the partyers stagger home? The balcony from The Attic on Fifth and Tryon streets.
Best place to sleep off the pub crawl? The couches at Madison's. Staff had to keep rousing people and sending them home later in the night.
Adding to the March madness -- ACC alums in town for the tournament, although my spies tell me the Irish revelers far outnumbered the basketball fans.
On Sunday, I decided to check out the "Shamrock Shenanigans" of the Charlotte Roller Girls, who had their second home bout of the season against New River Valley. The ladies were wearing their best St. Patrick's Day garb, including green tights, wigs and T-shirts, and Cricket Arena was serving green beer as fast as the taps could pour them.
It was my first time at the derby. Some observations:
- It was more of a party than a sporting event, with people mingling in the stands and down on the floor.
- The more green beer was consumed, the louder the cheers got when a girl took a big hit.
- The sound system at Cricket is a real clunker (so are the seats for that matter). The roller girls shouldn't even bother having an announcer during the bout since no one can understand a word he is saying over that speaker system. Seriously, it must be from the stone ages.
Friday, March 14, 2008
The difference between the CIAA and the ACC:
During the CIAA, fans come for the parties, not the basketball.
During the ACC, fans come for the basketball, not the parties.
I found one (just one!) ACC party Thursday night and it. was. dead. By this point during CIAA weekend, I had already hit at least six rockin' parties.
Even the arena was quiet during the first half of the UNC-Florida State game.
So far the hottest spot seems to be the balcony at the top of Bobcats Arena overlooking College Street. That's where I'll be hanging out Saturday afternoon (before Rich and Bennett's bar crawl).
Is there an ACC party that I'm missing? And I'm not talking about sitting and staring at the big screen at Fox & Hound. Where are all the alums celebrating their big wins or mourning their upsets?
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
I used the Alice Smith show as an excuse to stop into The Evening Muse on Tuesday night.
But what really stood out to me was the sound quality at the Muse. It's a small space and Alice had a big voice, but it didn't overpower the place.
But that got me thinking about how rare that is to find. At most of the bars/nightclubs/music venues around Charlotte, it's not often that I don't have to shout to be heard. And, I'll be honest:
I go out to socialize, meet new people, talk to my friends. I don't go out just to stand around and stare at people, but that's what ends up happening because I don't have the energy to have a conversation that goes something like this:
You get the picture.
So tell me, am I the only one who feels this way? Am I being an old fuddy duddy, as my mother would say? Is there a place around town where you know you can carry on a conversation without straining your voice? Or do you guys prefer thumping bass that gets you out on the dance floor?
Come be part of the biggest pub crawl in the United States. Rich and Bennett are hosting their 8th Annual St. Patrick’s Day bar crawl and every year the group of crawlers gets bigger. This year they’re expecting between 2,500 and 3,200 people. If you register Thursday at Buckhead Saloon (6-8 p.m.), it’s only $20, otherwise it’s $25 online (www.bandtastic.com) and $30 the day of. The crawl starts at Dixie's Tavern for a 1-2:45 p.m. registration. 301 E. 7th St. http://www.rockhouseevents.com/. Want to win tickets? Check out my Paid to Party column Friday online and in the Observer to see how.
Irish flu bar crawl
Ri Ra Irish Pub
Connolly's Irish Pub
Dixie's Sham Rock 'n' Roll
What am I missing? Send me an e-mail or post your event below.
Monday, March 10, 2008
My friends over at Eye decided it might be fun to enter a team into The Amazing Race bar crawl over the weekend, and being the resident party girl, I couldn't say no.
Friday, March 7, 2008
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
But what about the no-shows, for whom people paid upwards of $60 to see?
Monday, March 3, 2008
So Kanye's coming to Charlotte after all.
Just days after Live Nation said that the rapper wouldn't be bringing his Glow in the Dark tour to Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre as had been rumored, Charlotte Bobcats Arena said Monday that West will be stopping there May 8 instead.
Tickets start at $50 and go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. at the Bobcats Arena box office, all Ticketmaster locations, charge by phone or online at Ticketmaster.com.
And (it was inevitable wasn't it?) Van Halen has postponed four stops on the band’s nationwide tour, including Raleigh, its last stop in the Carolinas. Eddie Van Halen is currently undergoing undisclosed medical tests, according to Live Nation (Perez Hilton points to whispers about Eddie's sobriety). The band opened its tour in Charlotte in September and was scheduled to return to North Carolina on Friday.
Update: The Raleigh concert has been rescheduled for April 13. Keep your tickets -- Live Nation said they will be honored at the rescheduled concert.
Saturday, March 1, 2008
No matter that people were partying until the wee hours the night before, it was a new day and there was a new set of places to see and be seen.
I decided to start at the block party at Rustic Martini and work my way south on Tryon and College streets.
Beyonce’s "Upgrade You" greeted me as I walked past a display of giant, shiny rims and a candy-apple red tricked-out convertible, courtesy of EW Customs.
I also caught the tail end of a fashion show featuring five lovely ladies in cocktail dresses, snapped a few photos and continued southward.
I found a mass of people at College and Trade streets, mingling and creating their own day party after the others at Buckhead Saloon and Blue restaurant had already let out.
I carefully picked my way through the crowd and found myself at the "3 in 1" day party at Madison’s and The Attic. Most people were hanging out on the Attic side of the complex, jamming in the middle of the day to DJ MC, champagne flutes in their hands.
If there’s one thing I learned this week, the party never ends.
At the Biz Markie and Friends party at Hom on Friday, the Smirnoff liquor was flowing freely and bottles of champagne were being carried around like Bud Lights.
If you didn’t have tickets, you were out of luck if you wanted to get in. The will-call line stretched from the door on 5th Street almost to Tryon Street, and people who weren’t on the coveted list were turned away at the door.
Biz Markie was spinning upstairs at Play, Hom’s nightclub, but if you didn’t get there when the party got started at 9, you missed your opportunity to see him. Play was so packed that Mike Kitchen, one of the party’s organizers, had to be escorted by security just to get to the DJ booth.
Downstairs at Liv, Hom’s lounge, the scene was a little less hectic. Partygoers grooved with room to spare to a mix of old and new school hip-hop, or chatted with friends at VIP tables filled with premium drinks.
And the style? Impeccable. This was not your plain button-downed crowd. For the guys, it was stylish blazers with lapel detailing, cashmere sweaters, chains and shades. For the ladies, sleek hairstyles, big jewelry and short, sexy, metallic dresses.