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From NYC to the QC 

New girl in town explores with CLT's nighthawks

Hi, I'm Brittney (cut to me reaching out to shake your hand), your new nightlife columnist. I know what you're thinking: "What makes this chick worthy of covering nightlife for the Loaf?" Well, perhaps it's because this northern migrant is all over Charlotte.

Exhibit A -- my calendar:

Sunday: I spent my night at an unlikely nightlife venue, Cheerdance Academy. The Academy hosted a fashion show featuring dance performances by the ladies of Eye Candy, wearing some eye candy from The Red Door. Picture a Victoria's Secret runway with models doing choreographed hip-hop dancing. You wish you'd been there, don't you?

Monday: Watched the Bobcats take another L for the team.

Tuesday: Cashed in my bank of useless knowledge, accumulated from countless years of Jeopardy-watching, for live trivia at Stool Pigeons in Matthews.

Wednesday: Bobcats game, the sequel ... except this time I wasn't concerned so much with what was going down on the court as I was with what was going on in the bar. Turns out Bobcats tickets double as cover to the arena bars, giving a whole new meaning to the term "sports bar." And when your ticket is courtside, that includes cover to the exclusive backstage bar, which proudly serves free Bud Light, mini hamburgers and peanut butter cookies. I don't usually eat red meat or drink beer, but hey, it was free; when in Rome, I suppose ...

I was definitely in Rome, considering I was co-starring in a Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous episode with Carolina Panther Steve Smith. The free Bud Light gave me the liquid courage to join him at his table and strike up a conversation about a mutual friend.

Unfortunately, the party only lasted as long as the half time. My free beer buzz started wearing off by the fourth quarter, and I knew it was either fight or flight. (Translation: keep drinking or go to sleep.) Only one option was appropriate for this arena, so I headed up the escalator to "rock the rooftop" at the upper level bar. The bar overlooks the action on the court, but it has the ambience of a sports bar serving $8 beers. After the game, the Bobcats dancers and avid spectators join the festivities. Who knew a Bobcats game could be so exciting?

Thursday: I threw on some cowboy boots and headed back to the arena for the Keith Urban concert. As usual, Urban put on a rockin' honky-tonk show. This was your typical country concert where everyone sings along like it's karaoke night. But I was on hand for the opening act, Pat Green. Think Counting Crows with a twang -- you know, those change-your-life kinda songs? Well, Pat Green is going on three for me. Post-show, my boots walked right on over to Buckhead's for some more live music.

Friday: A night of drinking and riding on the Ragin' Uptown for RDS Events and Elevate magazine's Bartender's Ball Bar Crawl. Of course, I was doing more dancing than crawling. The bus and the 60-some people on board made stops at La Paz, Vinnie's Raw Bar and Coyote Ugly.

Saturday: Recharged my battery.

Sunday: An evening of ballers, bankers and bartenders at Charlotte's Merchandise Mart for the Bartender's Ball. Local bars -- from Breakfast Club to Cabo Fish Taco -- set up displays like an information fair and everyone toasted very enthusiastically to benefit Kids First of the Carolinas. The Caribbean theme, combined with the semi-formal requirement, made the event a costume party/prom where all the punch was spiked. Steve Caldwell and Rich Saner were the belles of the ball -- or, should I say, the organizers.

And to think, this week was a slow one.

Stay tuned for some Mardi Gras adventures and down-low coverage of the CIAA tournament -- well, the parties associated with it. You can find me at the club ... and the concert, festival, reception, banquet ... whatever.

Perhaps I will see you out and get the returning end of that handshake.

Psst: If you have the inside dirt on good parties, shows or club events, drop me a line at brittneycason@yahoo.com

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