CIAA 2010: A tale of two parties

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I suppose I should have figured out that if someone has already gotten Tazed by security before even getting inside the party, that’s a pretty good indication of what to expect once I got through the door.

Friday night I hit up Star Power 2010 at The Blake Hotel, which featured Doug E Fresh with DJs Trauma, Biz Markie and Boney B. By 10:00, the crowd huddled together at the bottom level entrance to The Blake Hotel had grown to such massive proportions that cars could not even drive through the main entrance of the parking deck. That sight was perhaps the least of all the assaults (Doug E. Fresh performed later on) on my eyeballs at this event. Granted, the music was great because the legendary Biz Markie was the maestro, but I thought surely one could get arrested for indecent exposure for wearing a see-through mini dress over a bra and panties in public. Guess I was wrong. The contrasting elements at this party were interesting. Ladies dressed like summer were surely about to freeze in the wind outside. Men in fur coats were surely about to pass out from what became a sweatbox inside. By the time we left at 12:30 a.m., the crowd outside had all but disappeared, and people were being admitted inside with ease. Come to think of it, that’s an occurrence I noticed at more than one event. For some reason, 11 p.m. seems to be the requisite hour of party arrival, but apparently if you can stand to wait a little longer, the process at the door will be much smoother. Note to self.

Such was the case over at Suite where rapper Nelly was hosting the second party I was checking out for the evening. It was around 1 a.m. when I got there, and despite being in possession of a VIP pass, I would have been able to buy a ticket and walk right on in. Of course, you only would have been paying for an hour’s worth of partying at that point, but that’s between you and your bank account. I actually tried to navigate through the club, but it was simply an impenetrable wall of beautiful people. So, I headed for VIP. Observing an event from the vantage point of a celebrity’s VIP section is interesting — like you’re in a very animated fish bowl with people swimming in vodka instead of water. Even before Nelly came in, people in the crowd were kind of just staring in our general direction. I mean, I get why. They were waiting for a star to arrive. But it was still kinda creepy.  Once he did arrive, it was non-stop flashing bulbs and full-on ogling. I know that’s to be expected, but to be an indirect recipient of some of it — I don’t know how celebrities constantly do it. Moving on. Even though Nelly hasn’t had an album out in a while (he announced that his new one comes out in June), he apparently is still very relevant and well-liked. He managed to make a live party even more hype with energetic performances of hits like "Pimp Juice" and the controversial "Tip Drill." (Google: “Nelly tip drill controversy” if you don’t know why.) Afterward, Nelly was good enough to take some photos and meet people after the lights came up before quite literally disappearing with his entourage.

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