Dirty thirty? Why's 30 gotta be dirty? I like to call it the "Flirty Thirty" ... perhaps because I'm turning 30 in less than a week. So on Saturday, Jan. 22, Butter is throwing me a Flirty Thirty birthday party!
I may be turning the big 3-0, but I'm still a kid at heart (and often times, in action). Thus it'll be a “Big Kid” themed bash — fully equipped with a bouncy castle and sno-cone maker, being made with liquor ...naturally.
But this party is actually for the kids as it's a benefit for the Levine Children's Hospital. In lieu of gifts (and more importantly, cover) I'm asking for toys for my birthday, to be donated to the children's hospital. So bring a toy to get in free — your presence is my present!
And for an installment of Shit Brittney's Dad says: "This is your last week in your 20s. Don't worry about wrinkles. Look at me, I am over 70 and I hardly have a wrinkle on my face. That's what I got you for your 30th birthday ... oily, wrinkle free Spanish skin." ... thanks Dad!
As I was standing in the airport security line at some random airport in some random city going from one book tour stop to the next my blackberry buzzed and in-came this e-mail:
"Congrats you've been selected as one of the "Top 30 under 30" in Charlotte as nominated and selected by your peers." ...wow, thanks peers!
I got so excited I literally jumped for joy and shrieked in that annoying high pitched girl's voice that only dolphins can hear, causing the airport security guys to turn an eye at me and my oversized gel and lotion carry-on bag. Next thing I know, I am being transported into a space shuttle-looking contraption getting X-rayed. (To all the security guys in that airport that saw me naked ... I'm sorry). But I was too excited about being appointed cool back home, I cared not.
But then I saw the date of the award ceremony and celebration: Friday, Oct. 15 ... shit. I'll be in San Francisco, still on tour.
But you all can still go (I'm jealous) ...
Elevate Lifestyle and SUITE's Charlotte's Top 30 Under 30 "Future Leaders of Charlotte" celebration party Friday, Oct. 15 at Suite at Epicentre. Award Ceremony begins at 9:30 p.m.
I'd like to add someone to the list of honorees: the guy who sent me the e-mail pronouncing me cool, Shawn Sarwary (pronounced Soiree). His name is Soiree for a reason — he knows how to throw a party.
But considering my 30th birthday is in January (or 9th anniversary of my 21st rather), I sure am cutting it close!
As I mentioned in a previous blog, I prefer watching games I actually want to pay attention to in low key sports bars vs. bars as busy as the actual stadium for which the game is being played. So, I went to Kylie's Sports Bar and Grill at the lake to watch the 1st real football game of the season ... but it wasn't about the game this time.
Kylie's was also hosting the viewing party for my friend Shana Prevette's recent birthday party, which played amongst the wallpaper of TVs broadcasting the NFL and NCAA games.
And no one seemed to mind (at least I hope not) because the video was more epic than any game — especially the one where my hometown team JMU upset my alma mater Virginia Tech — because it took place in an enchanted land in West Virginia that was like a Neverland Ranch for adults (that was really just her friend's house). There was blobbing, go-karting, human bowling, paint balling ... and Vanilla Ice.
I guess you know it's a party when Vanilla Ice shows up. And to make matters even more random, I somehow ended up being his opening act. While he was rapping "Ice Ice Baby — too cold, too cold," I was freestyling in the form of comedic improv: "Icy Hot Baby — you're old, you're old" and "Hater Hater Masterbator."
But back to Kylie's ... it is rather enchanted itself, for a dive-sports bar.
Don't be fooled by its exterior — it looks like a Cracker Barrel with its front porch swings. I didn't know if I was going in to get a beer, or some chicken and dumplings.
Kylie's has a pool room, a game room equipped with computer chairs to sit in, and is home of the $5 Jager bomb. And the servers were all like Hooters girls in cuter outfits — they wear football jerseys, shorts like the ones NFL cheerleaders wear, tube socks, and sneakers.
Meanwhile, Lake Norman's Sunny Ledfurd's lead singer Dugi brought his guitar and we had a sing-along session on the patio, which I'm sure annoyed the game watchers even more than we already had by bogarting one of their televisions.
And the best thing about Kylie's Sports Bar and Grille is that I was still able to watch and pay attention to the game.
The inaugural Lake Norman Beer Festival is next weekend, Saturday and Sunday Sept 18-19 from 1 p.m.- 8 p.m. at the Galway Hooker ... and surrounding parking lot.
It's going to require a lot of space to host 16 different breweries, two bands and hundreds of people carrying beer sampling mugs. They'll have brews to sample from Brooklyn (Brewery) to Carolina (Beer Company) with Dave Kellan and Jay Mathey performing live. It's the lake's version of Oktoberfest, and much like Uptown's Oktoberfest, is held in September.
See you in Lake Norman next weekend for hookers and beer. I mean, beer at the Hooker. You can get tickets here
The Panthers were playing last night, but more importantly, so were both USCs (the Cocks and the Trojans, if you will). Rejoice, college football has kicked off. It's like a holiday. And Charlotte celebrated alright, at ALL the sports bars around town. I had to go to Fairview Grill just to find a parking spot.
When I want to watch a game, and I can't actually be at it, I want to be in an environment not so much like a crowded game in a bar — but my living room with a beer tap in exchange for the remote control. So when I pulled up to the sports bars more packed than clubs on a Saturday night, I had to change my game plan.
For my first play I headed to Dilworth Tap House on the corner of Montford and Park — but both Park Road Shopping Center and Montford Drive were packed beyond parking capacity. So that play was incomplete and I lost 15 yards, or 5 miles rather. On my second attempt I went to the newly opened Taco Mac, but some asshole bogarted the spot I was literally in the process of pulling into. Flag on the play! But rather than pulling a scene from the movie Fried Green Tomatoes and smashing in the rear of his car to make room for mine, I drove to Fairview Grill to have some fried green tomatoes.
Fairview Grill is under new ownership — the former owners of Hef's and Blondes before it became Thurstons and Hef's with new owners. But aside from that, and a new kitchen manager, there is nothing new about Fairview. It has the same staff, same look, same menu, same karaoke nights, same drink specials (such as the $3 wine on Thursdays), and same TV setup — which I particularly appreciated because they were playing the Braves game, the Panthers game, and what I was there for: So Miss n the Cocks (as in Southern Miss and the USC Gamecocks).
So in other words Fairview Grill is still a good place to go ... especially on game night!
In this week's print edition of CL my column covers tailgating, and the fact we do it for just about every occasion in Charlotte ... except church maybe.
But after attending a tailgate for the Panthers game against the Titans last Saturday, I have something I'd like to add ... because at said tailgate, I discovered one of the most genius tailgating tools ever invented. Well, that is since my friend told me she used to fill her silicone bra padding with liquor.
... The Booze Belly. You fill it with liquor and strap it around your waist like a flask fanny pack. And just like that, you have a beer belly full of liquor (in disguise). And this beer booze belly is so handy, you can then refill your cup by unzipping your pants, like this guy here ...
If you're interested in getting one, the cost is $12.95, plus shipping and handling. Isn't it spiffy?
In 2001, someone had the audacity to write that Charlotte would never be considered a "real" metropolitan city until it got a 24-hour restaurant. At least said writer understood the importance of late-night eating, as it is a major factor in the quality of nightlife for a city. A 24-hour restaurant is typically the universal after party for a night out. There's nothing like going for an edible night cap at a diner after a night out to prolong the night ... and coat your stomach from a hangover the next morning.
Luckily, Matt King and Steve Estes read said article and decided to open a 24-hour diner in Charlotte, right in the middle of the N.C. Music (and nightlife) Factory.
Because surely the Waffle House and Skyland restaurant (all the way down) South Boulevard don't really count in regard to 24-hour-nightlife. And they tore down Athens, which was like taking a trip to Narnia late at night.
Speaking of Skyland, I'm not exactly welcome there anymore. A bunch of my friends went after karaoke night at Gin Mill, and we were apparently still drunk off the performance because we were still singing — and getting others in the restaurant to sing with us. We broke out into a real-life scene from a musical in a classical rendition of "Baby Got Back." And this apparently warrants eviction from a diner.
But we are a big city now with Mattie's Diner, which is literally out of the big city. Mattie's is a 1948 diner from New Jersey rescued after Hurricane Floyd ... and it rescued me one early morning when I found myself with a broken down car in the parking lot of Reel Works studio behind the N.C. Music Factory waiting for a tow truck.
Stone cold sober, I went in and ate so much I could've skipped the tow truck and rolled home. You can't pay me, or even dare me, to go to the Waffle House before 2 a.m. But Mattie's is a 24-hour diner with food that's good 24 hours ... making it even better at 2:30 a.m. after a night out at the factory!
Along with the completed condo building that popped up on the corner of 7th and McDowell, a little neighbor pub opened to accompany this new borough of Uptown: QuarterSide and M Street.
Pillar Pub opened on St. Patty’s Day ans has been busy ever since.
Is it the free parking? Or the fact they serve free food on Thursday nights? Naturally, that's why I went ...
When I walked in, I had to pause for some Cornhole players tossing the bag right over the walk way in.
“Game Off,” I said as they paused for me to pass.
“Game on," they said as I opened the door and walked inside.
Party on Wayne … Party on Garth.
With its digital jukebox that allows patrons to be their own DJ, sporadic trivia nights and live music, and hole-in-the-wall ambiance, it reminded me of the Corner Pub ... and it's essentially the corner pub on the other side of Uptown.
But if you park there just don’t walk back to your car alone, ladies … I use to live on M Street and was so scared walking home at night I would walk in the median of the street with mace in my hands. Then I realized taking a cab was a lot more sensible.
On Wednesday night, I left the Paul McCartney concert early to make it to the new CL soft launch party at Snug Harbor. While walking from the arena to my condo’s parking garage, I passed the EpiCentre where I saw a little kid with dread locks sitting on the wall along Trade Street by himself.
I looked at my phone (that I substitute for a watch) and saw that it was 10:45 p.m. Now, I may not be a mother, but I know that this was way past his bedtime. And that made my motherly instincts, or education degree and experience teaching elementary ed at at-risk schools rather, kick in.
So, I walked over to him and said, “Hey there. What are you doing out here so late all by yourself sweetie?”
He responded by just shrugging his shoulders.
“Are you waiting for somebody?”
In a slight whisper so quiet I had to sit down next to him and lean into him to hear, he responded, “My brothers.”
“Your brothers, where’d they go?”
He shrugged again. He didn’t know that either apparently.
“How long you been out here?”
This, my friends, is the Social Olympics at Midtown Sundries at Lake Norman ... before.
Before the baby pool flooded the field from some Chris Farley type doing a belly flop into it, before people were riding inflatable liquor bottles, before people were squirting each other with water guns full of beer ... before the games began, if you will.
While the Olympics of soccer, the World Cup finals, were this past weekend, there was another form of Olympic games being played right here in Charlotte, RockHouse Event's Social Olympics — The summer (drinking) games of Olympic drinking.
The opening ceremony consisted of tapping a Miller Lite keg.
And the Olympic events included 16 teams competing in ...
• Flip Cup
• Suck-N-Blow (with a playing card ... get your mind out of the gutter)
• Junk in the Truck — where strap a box with a small opening full of ping pong balls to the players back and they have to shake them out
• Dizzy Bat — this is a lot more entertaining than when you use to play this at summer camp, because people are dizzy, and drunk
• Wild Rumpus
• Water Balloon Relay Race
• And the infamous swimsuit swap ...