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Brandon's Big Gay Blog

Best of Utah Party Report

by Brandon Burt
- Posted // 2012-03-30 -

What a fantastic Best of Utah party!

My favorite moments include:

* Chatting with Adam Sklute and Christopher Renstrom -- I'm not sure what those two trimmed and well-dressed A-list gentlemen must have made of Dave and me, hairy hippies that we are, but we all had a fun conversation.

* Hearing Stephen Dark's hilarious and urbane art critique -- engaging with Dark is always a pleasure, particularly when he's in an expansive mood and not buried as usual under a ton of arcane research.

* undergroundbottlesm.jpgTalking to the gentleman who heads up Ogden's Own Distillery, home of Five Wives vodka and Underground herbal spirit -- although by that point, I had sampled enough of his wares that unfortunately his name whistled right through my ears, and I just kept grinning, happy fool that I am. He's a great, enthusiastic creative genius, though, with an eye for good package design (see picture). And, N.B., that circle-cross design (minus the lettering) is tattooed right on his arm! Very impressive.

* Meeting D.P. Sorensen for the first time. I copy-edited his satirical "Deep End" column for years, and I'm a huge fan, but this was the first opportunity we had to talk face-to-face. We ended up in a fascinating conversation about the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping and its aftermath.

Also, kudos to CW Marketing Manager Jacklyn Briggs, and her staff and volunteers, as well as the staff at the Leonardo, for making the event such a success. These things can easily turn into stiff, overly formal schmoozefests, but this one felt relaxed and exuberant -- it was like going to a party with several hundred of my closest friends.

This is the first year the Best of Utah party has been held at the Leonardo -- indeed, as far as I know, it's the first year the Best of Utah party has been held anywhere outside a bar or nightclub. And having a party in a museum is tres chic, non?

The Leonardo people performed their duties with dispatch and aplomb -- which is even more admirable considering I'm not sure they knew what they were in for. The Best of Utah party has grown into a big annual event with the most diverse guest list imaginable: Fine artists rub elbows with street artists. Celebrated TV reporters mingle with nerdy bloggers. Young hipsters bump hips with elderly hip-replacements.

And yet, somehow, everybody happily gets along.

At one point, as the hour was drawing late and people were milling around getting sozzled -- as one does at a City Weekly party -- a very polite Leonardo staffer approached me and asked, "Excuse me, but do you know when the award ceremony is scheduled to begin?" I think she was expecting an Oscars-type deal where people would ascend the stage and deliver long-winded acceptance speeches.

She was so attractive and well-dressed that at first I took her for an award winner, so I laughingly assured her that, no, there was no formal ceremony -- winners simply retrieve their plaques from a designated table while everybody parties and has a good time until 10:30 p.m. or so.

To this woman's credit, I must say that her professional demeanor did not betray for even a moment the slightest amount of worry. So it wasn't until later that I realized the obvious concern that must have been circulating among the Leo staff was, "When are these people going to get on with it? How long will the speeches take? Don't they realize we have to stay and clean up afterwards?" (At least, this is what I would be thinking had I been in their shoes.)

I imagine they were just as glad as any of the guests to learn that City Weekly knows how to throw a party. First rule: No tedious acceptance speeches. Second rule: Rock on!

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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Post a comment
REPLY TO THIS COMMENT
Posted // March 30,2012 at 12:21

@Bill, I wondered what became of you. Sorry the line scared you off. It actually moved pretty fast and once inside, it was just as Brandon described it, a purdy great party. BTW, it wasn't me yelling at the crowd -- not my department! I stayed pretty close to the Kiler Grove wine table most of the evening.

 

REPLY TO THIS COMMENT
Posted // March 30,2012 at 11:18

I'm amazed that anyone would have the balls (and poor manners) to complain about a 100% FREE party. 

 

REPLY TO THIS COMMENT
Posted // March 30,2012 at 11:05

Coward! You write about what it was like to be inside partying, all comfy and liquored up and shit, but the real story was outside for an hour before giving up and going home:

Best Place for Alternative BOU Party: The line outside The Leonardo. Full of winners who knashed their teeth worrying and wondering where they were supposed to be an hour after it started. I got to learn about their businesses and how stressed they were to not be inside yet.

Best Place to See Unintended Headlights: Women standing in line outside The Leonardo who didn't wear jackets because they didn't know they would be standing in line outside an hour after it started.

Best Place To See the back of Chris Vanocur's Head for 45 minutes: ditto

Best Most Confusing Announcement of the Evening: Jerre Wroble coming out and yelling to the crowds in line that if we had already RSVP'd, it was 'ok' to stay in line (WTF?) She might as well have come out and yelled something in Farsi while gargling marbles, same reaction.

Maybe we could combine BOU and a beer festival. . .just kidding! Just kidding! Do not even think about it!

 

 

Posted // April 2,2012 at 09:23 - Hi, Jerre! Yeah, I was standing next to the sidewalk on 200 East, it was dusk and I wasn't wearing my Super Detective Decoder Telescoping glasses and thought it twas you. I wrote this note so you would know I tried to join you. And look at these comments, Jerre! You have a food critic who makes his living being critical and opinionated telling me that I have big balls (I do and that other thing is bigger than yours, too, Ted. . .much bigger, in fact) for being critical and opinionated; and the article writer insinuating this is a fake name I'm using and that I just MUST be lying about Chris Vanocur standing outside in line. Hahahahaha! Jesus. You need to sit them down and make them learn about 'sarcasm' and 'parody' in print. And 'Jakers,' you wouldn't call me names to my face, little boy, if you saw me. I joke and try to make people laugh all the time because it's my outlet in life. Keeps me from beating the shit out of thoughtless assholes like you, too.

 

Posted // April 2,2012 at 03:02 - Bill (if that's your real name), I'm sorry you had such a terrible time.

Actually, I was there when a woman (not Jerre Wroble) emerged and told us RSVP holders that it was OK to stay in line. Unfortunately, I was so far back that I misunderstood the announcement and figured it was a signal for us RSVP holders to come forward and walk right in. So I felt like a total tool when they let us jump the line anyway.

Still, I kind of doubt your account of events -- I'm pretty sure Chris Vanocur would never be required to stand in line for 45 minutes for any reason.

But if he did, I'm very impressed. Apparently he had more patience than you do, you diva.

As Ted Scheffler said, admission to the party was 100-percent free. And I can assure you that it was by no means cheap for City Weekly to pull off.

The CW Best of Utah party has become one of the top major events in Salt Lake City's social cycle -- and you're complaining that people are queuing up to get in?

 

Posted // March 30,2012 at 11:54 - Who invited this sniveling pussy?

 

 
 
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