So I did a fair amount of kerfuffling about Fancy Party, but how did it go?
In short, we owned it.
At length, there was more to it than that. I spent most of yesterday futzing about trying to get all the necessary pieces in place. I had my shoes, suit, glasses and coloured contacts. I washed, shaved, primped and prepped. Went over to a friend’s house for a little pre-party while she had her hair did. We made a few gin cocktails and shot the shit. I freaked out putting contacts in for the first time, which would’ve been a smarter idea before having downed three drinks. Foresight means nothing once the moment’s passed. I also fumbled with a tie for twice that time until my other friend just tied it on himself and handed it over. Anyway, we looked and felt ready to mingle the fuck out of this party.
Hush Hush was the Toronto Public Library fundraiser. Swanky charity event with a superhero theme. The idea was not so much to wear superhero costumes, but to accentuate your dress with little highlights. I had red contacts and glasses, going for a Cyclops (x-men) thing. Some did better costumes than others. Attendees garb spanned from really lavish to some people just wearing superhero shirts. I’d assumed everyone was gonna dress to the nines, but more than a few dressed to a two. Our group looked pretty damn fine though. Held in the Bloor/Gladstone public library, the venue was almost as dressed up as we were. Ambient lighting, candles (as someone pointed out, open flame at a library was a curious choice) and food/drink stations everywhere. There was an open bar with wine/beer and two main cocktails. A vodka/soda variant and some sweet orange/guava concoction. The latter was dangerously smooth. It was just like the ocean under the moon. I was already a little giddy and made the mistake of not eating a ton, which was a pity. The food looked great. They had lobster sliders, fancy cheeses, adorably tiny bean tacos (probably the same size as your thumb). There were cupcakes and other assorted desserts. Servers came around repeatedly and it was never more than ten minutes between food on offer.
There were activities scattered across the library. A photo booth was set up to take multiple photos in a row, which it would later email you as a gif. A sketch artist had small cards on which he’d draw your portrait. They had temporary tattoos on offer, all superhero themed. There were rooms set up with VR headsets. I played a bomb disarming game, which was super fun and pretty engrossing. There were basic controls on the side of the headset, but the most surprising thing was being able to look around 360° in full animation. There was a jetpack game on offer, which I avoided given the amount I’d consumed already. Hurtling through the sky hurling chunks IRL seemed a good way to get kicked out.
Either attendees were really friendly or I was just blissfully drunk. I didn’t notice one ounce of douchebaggery, people were just stoked to be there. There were also paid actors dressed as sultry librarians. The funny part was, they didn’t interact. They just stood around looking perturbed or sassy, casting disapproving looks about. It’s a living, I guess. The DJ was fucking great. She played an assortment of hip wedding playlist style stuff and her own personal mash ups. I can no longer say I’ve never spent the night dancing and drinking between the aisles of a library. Ticked off a bucket list item I didn’t know I had. At the end of the night we were sent away with little swag bags. Reuseable bags with the Penguin Publishing logo, they had a magazine, comic, a bottle of water, some cosmetics and best of all, a small moleskine notebook. Now I can do my gig reviews without holding a dorky sized book in my hands.
Thanks Toronto Public Libraries. You’re the coolest.