Friday, December 17, 2010

DBD's Annual Night After Thanksgiving Party Strikes Again!

Bravo, ladies!  You have outdone yourselves yet again!

With the arrival of the holidays comes the need for festive outings and good old fashioned fun.  It has become an annual tradition for local socialites in the North County area to gather for an evening of catching up and getting down the night after Thanksgiving.  What started many years ago as a Torrey Pines reunion put together by Todd Prager, has since evolved into a social phenomenon taken over last year by none other than TP bred, New York based event planning company DBD Social.  Partners Carli Roth and Yvonne Najor have been hosting high profile events on both coasts for over 2 years, and this post-feast party has turned into another one of Thanksgiving's many traditions.  By always using ground breaking venues and bringing together only the creme-de-la-creme of North County, DBD has managed to become a household name not only in NYC but San Diego as well.

This year went above and beyond last year's event hosted at Prospect Bar & Grill.  The soiree took place at none other than the flagship location of La Jolla nightlife, Barfly.  Once used for a Hard Rock Cafe many moons ago, Barfly has been transformed into a swank bar/lounge complete with VIP tables, go-go dancing stands and flat screens boasting colorful visualizers to accompany the stellar DJ lineup.  

Guests arrived in waves between 8 and 10 pm, all bringing unwrapped toys to benefit the CyMo Foundation.  Close to heart for both Roth and Najor, among many of the guests attending the event, the CyMo Foundation was created a few years ago in loving memory of our dear friend Cyrus Moinzadeh, who was lost to substance abuse.  The mission of the CyMo Foundation is to, "bring awareness through local non-profit alliances, [and] promote and sustain local initiatives of love, health and happiness".  The toys collected at DBD Social's Night After Thanksgiving Party contributed to CyMo's third annual toy and blanket drive, benefiting at risk children that are kept off of the streets by the shelters refurbished by the Foundation.  Over 200 toys were brought for the drive, a smashing success!

As usual, the evening was filled with many run in's among friends, old and new, and if it wasn't already made clear by the sold out bottle service and maxed out capacity of the venue, it was apparent by the flashing photo bulbs, warm embraces and sparklers filled bottles of champagne that the event was a hit.  Beyond the realm of Torry Pines High, friends of DBD from La Jolla High, LJCDS, and guests from many other educational institutions and nearby cities flanked the red carpet for the social gathering of the year.

Photos, below, capture many of the highlights from the evening's shenanigans and are surely only a taste of the excitement the NYC duo of DBD Social are bound to bring us next year.  Who knows, maybe if we are on the nice list, Santa will bring us another festive DBD creation for Christmas! ;-)

Friends from Class of 05-06 

 Miss Roth and friends

DBD and friends 

Miss Najor and the Brothers Noar

 CyMo Foundation racked up over 200 gifts!  Well done Ladies!

Sear & There

An avid fan of Brian Malarkey and my desire to experience fresh new restaurants led me to this mysterious buzzed about spot for dinner a few months ago.  Everything was absolutely phenomenal.  The cheddar puffers to start, the famous shrimp & grits for round two, a delicious filet for the entree and the King Sundae complete with caramel and bacon to slide into home.  This meal, combined with the company of girlfriends and Italian wine made for one of the best dinners I have ever had.  Ever.  Led by many return visits and more "best dinners ever".  The staff is always great, the bar is glorious, and the crowd is full of successful young professionals eager to loosen their ties and let down their hair.  These components are what has kept Searsucker on top of their game and always busting at the seams with newcomers, return visitors and religious followers.

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be invited to the first round of Searsucker's soft lunch opening.  All meals seemed boring and anticlimactic in comparison to what was  to come.  And I soon found out why.  The renowned modern farm table decor, order upon entrance, and table number techniques gave it a casual vibe perfect for a quick lunch, with all the benefits of an upscale eatery.  The attention is in the details... simple serving dishes, familiar flavor combos with a bold twist, and an ambiance that is as much like a cozy home as it is a chic restaurant.

The menu was daring and delicious.  I ordered the steak and egg sandwich since I love breakfast at any time of day, and my friend Brian ordered the Crabcake Club, otherwise referenced as the C3.  Both were rich with flavor, beautiful in presentation and surprisingly prompt to the table to be devoured.  On top of the insanely flavorful sandwiches, the desserts they carried out were even simpler visually but vibrant in taste.  The chocolate dessert, which Malarkey's dubs "the most insane Twix bar you have ever eaten" is beyond rich.  The delicate lemon bar is a zesty breath of fresh citrus air.  And the carrot cake ice cream sandwich (pictured below) was definitely the crowd favorite.  The experience was a whirlwind of different flavors and scents in a hip homestyle setting and truly was the most memorable lunch I have had downtown.

"The idea is to get those with 30 minute lunches in and out in time to enjoy a gourmet lunch and make it back to work on time," stated General Manager Chris Puffer.  And with a perfect mix of fabulous food, modern country decor and the excitement of a wide open kitchen, this is just the place to be transported to on your downtime from the office, or anywhere else for that matter.

 Brittany & Brian gearing up for the meal

 The Steak & Egg Sandwich

 The Flank Team @ Searsucker

 The AMAZING Carrot Cake Ice Cream Sandwich

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Made of Sugar and Spice, and Everything Nice!

Strangely enough for a SoCal native, fall is my favorite time of year.  Football, leaves changing color, holiday parties, and MOST importantly the coveted annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.  Each year, the lingerie trend setter puts together a fashion event of epic proportions.  Complete with 5 themed runway sets, international superstar performances and behind the scenes interviews with supermodels like Marisa Miller and Alessandra Ambrosio, the VSFS is a collection of the most beautiful undergarments and boudoir pieces showcased by none other than the stunningly beautiful cast of Victoria's Secret's Angels.

This year, the performer chosen was none other than the sweet sexy Katy Perry, who's chart topping album blew her "I Kissed a Girl" single out of the water.  With hits like "California Gurls" and "Teenage Dream" filling the commercial airwaves, it will be a breath of fresh girly-pop-air after last years performance by the synthesized sensation the Black Eyed Peas.  Joining her on-stage this year will be Senegalese singer/songwriter/producer Akon.

One thing missing from this year's festivities will be Heidi Klum, arguably the face of Victoria's Secret since Tyra and Gisele's departures from the runway show.  What a shame, since she has the most bangin' body of all the moms!  In fact, in 2005, just two months after giving birth to her baby, she returned to the runway with a fierce figure and her loving husband Seal to welcome her on-stage.  Just two years later in 2007, Heidi continued reigning the runway and joined Seal on-stage for a romantic duet that gave chills to the entire viewing audience.

This year is bound to be fantastic still, even without our German Princess guiding the way.  Some secrets of the show:  Adriana Lima will be making her post-baby debut by sporting the $2m Fantasy bra; the theme of the night is "A Thousand Fantasies", complete with sequins, feathers and insanely intricate wings only one could dream up; keep your ears peeled for Katy Perry's cover of Blondie's "Call Me".

Tune in 10/9c on Tuesday Nov. 30th for all the eye candy!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

USB Fashion Show

Last week, my buddy Max Zien returned from a business trip to Hong Kong bearing gifts for all of us girls. Being the thoughtful gentleman he is, he got us each something fitting for our individual personalities. For the far east traveler, a lucky buddha statue. For the princess, a one of a kind ring. For the foodie, a wine cork from the Hong Kong Food & Wine Festival. The latter sound like home girl was gypped. But in reality, this young lady got the most unusual gift of all... what we thought was a simple souvenir turned out to be a USB flash drive in disguise!

This incident, combined with my new career move and obsession with Mashable, has led to a slight infatuation with geeky gadgets with fashionable twists. Don't act so surprised! Fashionistas can be nerdy too, especially the ones who intend on being successful in their career. And these curious USB plug in's aren't just for fashionista's... there is a flavor for everyone!

For the photographer:

For the Rancho Santa Fe trophy wife:

For the paleontologist:

For the wino (Thanks Max!):

For the kids:

For the rappers:

For the New Yorker:

For the pescatarian:

For the groom:

For the cops:

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Halloween opens the flood gates to Electronic Music Festivals in San Diego

As San Diego grows in size and population, the lines between the norm and the new become more and more blurred. New scenes and phenomena are making their debut in San Diego now that the Finest City is being recognized for it's counterculture and hipster crowd. One of the most notable shifts in trends appearing in San Diego recently is the Electronic Music scene, which is more often associated with Miami or Los Angeles.

With large scale electronic music festivals popping up in Miami (WMC), New York (Electric Zoo), Los Angeles and Denver (EDC), it is to be semi expected that San Diego, next on the big city list, would follow suit. To me, San Diego's laid back vibe doesn't exactly correlate with the techno scene, bu with ever evolving collaborations filling the radio waves, I cannot say I am shocked. Although few attempts to bring a large scale electronic show have happened in the past year (Reset @ Sports Arena), it wasn't until the disaster at EDC happened last summer that artists started scouting out venues outside of Los Angeles for the Southern California stop on their concert tours. For those of you who did not see or hear the news following the Electric Daisy Carnival at the Coliseum this year, videos starting flooding the airwaves of underage concert goers getting trampled and stories of young girls overdosing on ecstasy starting surfacing. This catastrophic end to a usually peaceful festival caused an uproar in the electronic music scene, fueling rumors of future festival cancellation and casting a dark shadow of the electronic music scene as a whole.

To say that the electronic music scene is misunderstood is an understatement. The elements that comprise electronic music are drawn upon from all arenas of existing and futuristic genres of music, and have opened a lot of doors for mainstream music to engage a subculture that has only just been discovered in recent years. For a city like San Diego, who seems to be late catching on to trends related to anything but extreme sports, to recognize the existence and prevalence of this subculture is pretty awesome. And to celebrate it's revelation to the masses, San Diego hosted it's first Electronic Festival to date.

Heaven and Hell, put on at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, was the most hyped up concert event at the venue all year. Mimicking EDC it's big sister to the north, Heaven and Hell incorporated 3 stages, 6 internationally acclaimed DJ's, and 8 local artists up and coming on the scene. Previous Halloween raves have been attempted at different venues in San Diego, but the move to the DM Fairgrounds allowed the all night concert to reach a level it had never experienced before. With headliners like Dada Life, Hypercrush, Wolfgang Gartner and Fedde le Grand, those that were concerned Southern California would be wiped of the house music map were pacified and pleasantly surprised. Although I will admit the on stage light shows were seriously lacking relative to EDC, the sound was good, the crowd was pumped, and you couldn't help but feel an air of familiarity with the Sahara tent like structure filled with sweaty bodies bouncing to the beats.

Notable performances include Johnny James, a local favorite once comprising half of Istatic; Dada Life's rendition of Swedish House Mafia's "One", and of course Wolfgang Gartner's spooky jam "Undertaker", which was previously borrowed by the folks over at Monster Massive for their preview video. The smaller scale of this event (relative to the giants like WMC and Coachella) was nice, allowed for much more intimate interactions and if you were a local in attendance, some chance run in's with unexpected old faces. It would probably be in the Fairgrounds' best interest to keep this event for the long run... the only other action they get during the off season is the Rodeo and Annual Gun Show. How charmingly white trash! Step your game up San Diego, keep the beats coming!!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Disturbing the Peace

Although I haven't gotten to enjoy as many summer concerts as I expected or would have liked, last months Ludacris show at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach was one of the best shows I've seen in a while.

For those of you who haven't been or read any of my previous pieces on this venue, the Belly Up Tavern is not only a perfect image of San Diego's live music scene, but the Belly Up has been continually voted “San Diego’s Best Live Music Venue” by several publications including the Union Tribune, The Reader and San Diego Magazine as well as heralded as one of the hottest clubs on the west coast by Rolling Stone Magazine. The laid back look and feel is complete with surf memorabilia and giant stuffed shark hanging from the rafters, with lots of tasty beers on tap and the yummy Wild Note Cafe just next door.

Ludacris is a unique artist for this eclectic venue, chart topping the pop and hip hop Top 100 on a regular basis, appearing in multiple major motion pictures, and a half dozen hit albums under his belt. With such a large array of hits over a 10 year period, it is no wonder that his performance, sponsored by Miller Genuine Draft, was essentially a catalog of all of his most popular songs (at least those of his devoted fans). To Luda's pleasant surprise, fans front and center in the crowd donned old tour t-shirts and righteously propped up old album covers for Luda's autograph.

Ludacris went back in time to the very beginning, and took a cognac laden stroll through his musical career. Starting with his classic anthem "Southern Hospitality", he performed his party jams, R&B influenced hits, and more recent tracks. All the while, Luda promoted his new liquor Conjure Cognac by giving a quick press bit and pouring heavy drinks for the crowd. Recently, Luda appeared on Jay Leno to promote his newest business venture, demonstrating that "Conjure is a collaboration between the [himself] and the famed cognac house Birkedal Hartmann" (

Music (and smell, arguably) are the most potent nostalgia inducing agents, and this concert proved that. Hearing all the party hits from high school really took me back, and was a little glimpse into a time period I had forgotten for a minute. Even more, viewing the show from the upstairs balcony in one of the most timeless and killer venues in the country made the experience even that much sweeter!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I'm HOWLing For You

In light of my obsession with music festivals and my allegience to Team Jacob (sorry bout it), I would like to do a highlight piece on one of my near and dear friends' new pet projects. With the inspirations of love and lust for life, in the glistening heat of South Beach, social butterfly and up-an-coming designer Tini Courtney has found her creative niche.

H.O.W.L., aptly standing for Handle Only With Love, is a business of love and labor for both Tini and her boyfriend/partner Jason Masik. The perfect pair of free spirited minds, the couple have created a unique and highly sought after steez that blends together high profile materials with whimsical notes of vintage Native American culture. Typically rocked in the contemporary layering style, H.O.W.L.'s chic and crafty pieces such a dreamcatchers, wrapped pendants and earrings capture the eclectic embrace of nature in fashion. "We live for the inspiration that consumes us by learning about the Earth, different cultures, and anything with a story behind it" say creators Tini & Jason. This language is universal, for the unique healing powers of each stone used and the time, love and energy put into each handcrafted piece truly speak to all people.

These one of a kind pieces can be found at a variety of stores in Miami (try Nightowl for more fun, spooky sexy stuff) or visit the H.O.W.L. website to view custom pieces and contact these two brilliant designers for some charms of your own!

Below, Alessandra Ambrosio sporting one of H.O.W.L.'s pieces at Coachella, one of my favorite designs featuring bullet adornments, and the dynamic duo about town...

Friday, June 4, 2010

Who needs 'Good Eats'? Here are the new Greats in town...

As you are all very aware, I am a big foodie (and wino). Nothing sounds better to me than a relaxing night with good friends over a delicious, authentic meal and some delicious drinks that go down smooth. Well with a tight budget comes sacrifice, and now that I am back in the corporate trenches taking grenades, I have had to cut much of the delectable joy out of my life that I have previously indulged in.

But as my mother always taught me, MODERATION, not deprivation, is key in indulgences. So when the wallet dries up, you find ways to make money so you can still enjoy your simple pleasures. Mine just happen to be new, unique foods. And thankfully, San Diego is the perfect place to find an array of such treats. Below, find some of my freshly plucked picks from all around the map of this wonderful city.

El Camino- Cucina Mexicana in Little Italy
What was long time known as the infamous Airport Lounge on Juniper St., with its stewards and stewardesses behind the bar and modern lofty design, has been completely transformed into a contemporary, rustic, Mexican joint where the 80’s Karaoke night is almost as sought after as their famous taco’s and Sangria combo. With genius local designer Mauricio Couturier vamping up the space into something more funky, the ambiance has completely changed tone: forget the acrylic white light bars you previously leaned on at Airport, and think warm rich wood fixtures with vintage news articles plastering the surface. Instead of geometrically sound furniture, cozy banquettes line the walls to accompany the dimly candlelight tabletops. And the back patio with the awkward “rock garden” in the center? Replaced by tall tables full of barstools sitting under beautiful twinklelights separating diners from the passing flights landing at Lindburgh Field. The food is hearty and flavorful, and the Sangria is the best north of the border.

Pizzeria Bruno Napoletano- Park Ave. between Normal & El Cajon Blvd.
For those of you who love nothing more than a perfect pizza and glass of red wine in a quiet cafĂ©, then this IS IT. Set in a quaint neighborhood somewhere between the throws of Normal Heights, North Park, and El Cajon is this new little gem that makes the most authentic Napoletano pizza in the city. If you are unfamiliar with the style of pizza us foodies are talking about, think thin, crispy, rustic, fresh, salivation inducing, mind blowing pizza. What makes this spot so authentic? How bout it’s basic menu of only about a dozen pizzas, all inspired by different Italian favorites like lasagna, fradiavlo, or even the simply delightful meats Italy is known for (salami, prosciutto, Italian sausage, oh my!). Or maybe its their certified Naples style pizza oven, that cooks pizza’s at a sweltering 1200 degrees in only 2 minutes. Either way, this place is not to be overlooked by the pizza afficianado. It may be in a random location, but even for me driving from Del Mar, this drive is definitely worth your while. Make sure to get the Margherita Pizza with the Mozzerella di Bufala, it is the tastiest thing in the world! And not to be missed, Peroni’s for only 3 bucks! Now you can’t beat that.

Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant- the newest addition to chef Carl Schroeder’s arsenal of top picks among San Diego’s elite
Anyone who knows Carl’s food knows their stuff. The brains behind Arterra at the Del Mar Marriott and the mastermind behind the menu at the infamous Market in Del Mar (pictured below) has opened his third eatery in the hip neighborhood of South Park, completing his hat trick and hopefully covering all demographics that make up the lush foodies of San Diego. Known for using only the freshest ingredients to create the most complex forms of casual comfort food, Carl is rapidly gaining notoriety for being THE best chef in San Diego. But don’t be fooled by the list of junkie foods, “This is refined casual. Nothing tastes ordinary” , states Michele Parente of Sign On San Diego. It is all in his details, and any of his thousands of local fans can contest that his comforting menu is anything but mom’s cookin’. If you haven’t been to Market yet, it is a personal local fave of mine, but this new opening is sure to turn heads and make anyone a lifelong follower.

This year, with the recession slowing and entrepreneurs really using their cajones to follow their dreams, there are hundreds of new restaurants out there for you to explore. And the only way to share the love of food and wine is to dive right in! For more picks, check out 944’s May Issue for their top picks around town.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Festival Report: After the Hangover

Well I am happy to report that I survived Coachella one more year, although I think I may have outdone myself this year. I pushed the limits this time around, purchasing the newly mandatory three-day pass and even getting work off to be able to attend each day. In an attempt to preserve the true festivilites, Coachella only sold three-day passes- a first time for the festival that has previously welcomed single day attendees. I have to admit, overcoming the financial hardship took time (they offered layaway in case I was doing really shitty), but with a killer line up laced with big time international superstars Jay Z, Tiesto, and Thom Yorke of Radiohead, the decision was simple.

So I bought my ticket. I spent month dreaming of the set times, half fearful I would miss out on some seriously epic performances, half stoked recalling floating from stage to tent catching glimpses of a megamix of all my favorite bands and DJs. They only released the set times 2 days before the festival, so the remainder of the time was like torture, thinking up all the combinations that would bode well or change the experience... total anxiety (in a good way)!

I cruised out with a caravan of home girls from San Diego, who all met in the oasis of Indian Wells, only four miles from the venue. I was in one of the later cars, and when we arrived, the air was warm and the house was full of friends, just discussing expectations and hopes and rumors of the festival, and celebrating a long weekend away from home with great company.

Waking up Friday was much easier than I had anticipated. A couple of us picked up groceries and cooked up a hearty breakfast for the group, since we would likely be hoarding our cash for booze and cabs throughout the weekend. Eggs, bacon, bagels and mimosas woke up the group and got the day started off right. On top of it, mini festival swag bags and custom Ezekiel Coachella t-shirts were provided which got everyone really excited. Running out the gates, the group perused pool parties around the La Quinta area where live DJs spun the tunes in store for the weekend (or so we had hoped) and kids from LMU, USC, Boulder and many others collided. Around 4 we made our way to the fest, through traffic, angry hippies, and sweltering heat to the clusterfuck that was Coachella. After splitting up into twos, getting shoved around from entrance to entrance, and being shafted on wristbands, we all made it into the grounds to ensue in the most fantastic weekend ever.

The first act we got to see was Cambridge born electric phenomenon Passion Pit. We sang and danced for about three or four songs before we had to make our way over to the Sahara Tent for Pretty Lights. This group, hailing from MY FAVORITE city Boulder, CO, samples hip hop and soul tracks on thumping beats and created the perfect soundtrack for Friday's lineup. Pretty Lights proved to be one of the best, and sweatiest, shows we watched that day. After Pretty Lights, we passed through La Roux, who after a slow start and wayyyy too quiet of speakers, killed it with her hit singles Bulletproof and In for the Kill. Afterwards we skipped through Echo and the Bunnymen over to LCD Soundsystem where we crossed paths with old friends and danced around sleepy hippies. With a couple lost soldiers along the way, a few of us had a brief intermission in the Beer Garden where I ran into my dear friend Carli Roth, of DBD Events.

After gathering the rest of the gang, we witnessed the spectacle that was Jay-Z's performance. Tens of thousands of fans gathered around the massive Main Stage for the headliner of the festival. Most show goers argued that Jay-Z's set alone would likely compensate for the three day pass cost because his tickets are usually so pricey anyways. Well HOVA proved us all right! His performance was like a catalog of all his greatest works (that he could fit in that amount of time). He started with his newer tracks and singles off the Blueprint, and then worked his way back, all the way to "Jigga What?" and "Big Pimpin". The latter was signified by Jay's request of the entire Coachella crowd to wave their shirts, jackets, hats, whatever in the air so it would "look like carnivale". With a sea of fans bouncing in front of him, Jay-Z was accompanied by Memphis Bleak and wife Beyonce for "Forever Young". Other notable moments: Obama's bit of him brushing his shoulders off during a White House speech, throw back "I'm a Hustla Baby", and his mind blowing entrance- from under the stage-to the opening song "Run This Town".

Although we thought we would have time for deadmau5 afterwards, we didn't, so we all attempted to get to the car and beat traffic. Bad idea. Three hours later, we were still in the same spot, motionless in the parking lot. Screaming with agony, pain and anxiety, our car full of complaining girls FINALLY got home at 4:30 am (the show ended at 12:30...). Too exhausted to party, we all changed, unwound for a bit with the rest of the group who had been partying the whole time. We discussed the highlights of the day and looked over the next days attractions until we all crashed out just before sunrise.

Saturday morning, waking up was harder than I thought. With the first bout of soreness and fatigue, we slowly rolled out of bed and cleaned ourselves up to head to a friends house in La Quinta. Once we combined forces, the madness really began. With amateur photographers armed and ready, we played wiffleball, consumed lots of alcohol, and caught up on each others lives since most of us hadn't seen each other since the glory days in Boulder. When it was time to head out, we hailed a bunch of cabs to get us to the venue without having to worry about the previous nights disasterous demise.

Saturday's sets got off to a late start for the majority of us, causing us to miss The Temper Trap, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and the xx. We got there in time for Bassnectar, where I split from the group to get close for my two favorites from EDC last year: Kaskade and David Guetta. Kaskade began with giant featherweight bubble balls and kicked off an incredible set featuring 4AM, Move for Me, and Angel on my Shoulder (among others). Kaskade is so happy go lucky in the techno/trance world, it is always such a pleasure seeing him perform. After Kaskade, however, was the real treat. David Guetta, who I fell in love with when I first heard him during a Victorias Secret Fashion Show many many years ago, was amazzzzzzing!!! Not only did he play an array of his best songs, like Kaskade, but he remixed them in a completely new way that had never been heard before. He started off with There's No Getting Over, then On the Dancefloor got the crowd bouncing and uber pumped up, Flashback with Calvin Harris, and then an INSANE remix of "The World is Mine", "Show Me Love" by Robin S., "Put Ya Fucking Hands Up" and "Shots" by Lil Jon. Many more hits and remixes filled his set, but it wasn't until later on in the show during a Prodigy Remix that the giant neon robots with laserbeam and smoke guns appeared by his sides.

After Guetta came Z-Trip, infamous for being a pioneer of the mash up movement and for resorting to only vinyl on his turn tables. I had never heard him or seen him before, but the mix of the Guetta glow, the Z-trip crowd and the mashed up mix of old school hip hop, rock, and improvised beats was awesome. Sample Menu from the Z: “Paper Planes” (M.I.A.)/”Jane Says” (Jane’s Addiction), “Hip Hop Hooray” (Naughty by Nature)/”Shout” (Tears for Fears), and “Sweet Child O’Mine” (Guns N’ Roses)/”Uptight (Everything’s Alright)” (Stevie Wonder). Although I was forced to miss Muse for this, Muse will be returning to San Diego in September WITH Passion Pit, so it worked out pretty well for me. After Z-Trip, I met back up with the masses and headed back to the mainstage in an attempt to catch the end of Muse, which we failed miserably at by getting lost in the neon forest and pagoda castle area where we called home base.

The final bite for the night was Tiesto, an internationally acclaimed DJ I have been looking forward to seeing since I first started listening to techno and house music. Although his light displays weren't as good as the Sahara Tent acts (in all fairness, neither did Jay Z), he tore the house down with everything from the trancey "Adaggio for Strings" to "Escape Me". Although we had to unfortunately miss Imogen Heap Saturday, Tiesto paid homage to the lady by remixing the famed "Hide and Seek". This was the perfect combination of tracks to bring the electric crazy pop evening.

Following the show, we had a two mile walk to a cab that would finally take us home instead of going back to the festival cab line, and got home in time for a few drinks and re cap's with friends before crashing again. In fact, throughout the festival and after party, most of us (not all) drank so much we completely blew off the festival Sunday in lieu of a pool party in the backyard with our neighbors, fellow festivalites. We bumped our own mix of the weekend's heavy hitters and soaked in rays until we all turned crispy.

The drive home was pretty rough, but not as rough as the next 3 days of Coachella withdrawals. Watching live footage of the performances, uploading massive amounts of pictures, and chatting with the group around the country did not suffice, although it made being home less depressing. Even though the weekend had to come to an end, the memories of the music and the good friends that surrounded us will last a lifetime. Below are pictures of some of the weekend's highlights.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Runway At The Park: Behind the Red Ropes

As many of you know, there is only one thing I love more than throwing a good party, and that is designer clothes. To keep up with my love of all things stylish and to pursue my dreams of becoming an all knowing fashionista, my dear friend Glenn Osborne and I have started our own production company to coordinate the most sought after, fabulous, chic fashion shows in all of Southern California. Saturday, March 13th marked the debut of GO Fashion Productions brilliance and was only a small taste of the extraordinary ideas that GO Fashion has to offer.

The kickoff show was a high class cocktail party on the rooftop penthouse of the Park Manor Suites in Hillcrest on 5th and Spruce. The vintage hotel, once a condo building and the home for a wealthy businessman, is a trip back into the old world with its elaborate thrones collected around the world and crystal chandeliers throughout the halls. With Gretchen Productions and 944 Magazine by their sides, the GO Fashion team was able to put together and execute a swank evening of couture, champagne and candle lit corners to people watch and play in. The runway show featured Betsey Johnson, Gordana Gelhausen, Tracy Jean, ABBL Swimwear and La Chica Chic. The garments were spring fresh, boasting little black dresses, summery day wear, vintage inspired separates and teenie bikinis.

Lady Gaga, Madcon and Seal were just a few remixed songs making up the soundtrack of the evening, and chill trance and house on the one's and two's in the VIP reception area overlooking the moon lit Balboa Park. An opera performance by one of the stunning models was a breathtaking surprise, and was truly the cherry on the cupcake after a sweet runway show. Hair and Makeup by the badass chicks of A Style Concierge, swag from RedBull, Amp Energy, iTan, and more. Below, is a picture of the GO Fashion team and friends that made Runway at the Park happen.

For more info on upcoming GO Fashion events, stay tuned or email me!

If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense.

In a time when films are attempting to think up dark and imaginative story lines, and while audiences are craving fantastic escapes from reality, an old Disney classic was reborn. Based loosely off of Lewis Carroll's fairytale Through the Looking Glass, Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland has sparked an eruption of fashion statements and adult tea parties. For 944 San Diego's March Release, what trendier theme than an Alice and Wonderland theme party? And why not take it a step further and host the premiere event at Syrah Wine Lounge in the Gaslamp?

Syrah on Fifth Ave. in the heart of downtown San Diego is an ode to Alice; a discreet grimy staircase down to a dimly lit nondescript door mark the start of the journey down the rabbit hole. Once behind the underground door, moss and ivy scale the walls surrounding a room adorned with plush furniture, faux fireplaces, and tea party decor.

Butterflies and cocktail waitresses in fairytale dresses fluttered around the venue, while a Johnny Depp/Mad Hatter look alike performed magic tricks for VIP guests. The drinks, as usual, were delicious, the beats were dope, and the crowd was looking good and having fun.. the perfect recipe for a 944 launch.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Weekday Worker Bees, Come Out and Play

It's always easy to find something to do or somewhere to go on a Friday or Saturday night. But for those of us that work all week and live for the daylight hours on the weekends, staying up late and spending the weekend afternoons hungover is not an option. Similarly, those worker bees like myself usually enjoy indulging in the commonly desired after work cocktail during the week. Well for those in my neck of the woods looking for some week night activities, you have come to the right place.

Although the nightlife crowd in San Diego stays pretty constant downtown, up in North County, the tide is always changing. In the summer, everyone comes out of the wood works to enjoy the warm evening and drink a cold beer. During the holidays, some of the summer crowd go into hibernation, but all the out of towners come home and flood the bars. In between breaks, however, a steady and strong local crowd remains constant.

There are many facets of North County from the the beachside bourgoise of Del Mar, up to the cool comfortable village of Carlsbad, and all the sleepy surfer towns in between. Per the request of fellow blogger and fashionista Erica, I have listed my top picks for your week nights to be spent in North County:

For the hipster crowd, start off with a beer at Beachside Bar & Grill in Encinitas, and move north around 10pm to Dirty Mondays at the Daley Double Saloon. Heavy hands pour the drinks and spin the ones and twos. Resident DJ Gabe Vega has brought together quite the following, and with the Saloon's infamous industry night appropriately dubbed Dirty Monday has attracted emo kids, surfers and socialites from all corners of the city. For a more upscale evening, try Martini Monday at Delicias where bombshell bartender Lauryn serves up the most delightful drinks in town.

Taco Tuesday is a communal day of celebration in San Diego, and the options are essentially endless. To move beyond the standard spots like World Famous and Fred's, try the fresh fish tacos and a glass of chardonnay at the Brigantine in Del Mar. If you're willing to drive a bit further north, Carlsbad's Norte is the best deal in North County: $2 street tacos of any kind, and $2 Tecates. If you've still got some energy after all that food, En Fuego is the Tuesday night spot to see and be seen.

Start at Zenbu in Cardiff for some tasty rolls and $5 champagne glasses. Once you've got a healthy buzz going, head south to the renowned Jimmy O's in Del Mar for karaoke night among the locals. To avoid the glitz and glamour and masses, try a low key dive night around Cardiff. The Office and The Shanty are too old school joints plastered in surf or sport paraphernalia where you can strike up a good conversation and really savor your drink without getting a headache or a drink spilled on you.

Dedicate one of your nights to the laid back style of Solana Beach. Start with some pizza, beer buddies, and pitchers of the Cardiff Chronic amber ale to get toasty at Pizza Port before heading up to Cedros Ave where the Belly Up Tavern is nestled into one of the most unique artist districts in California. Pizza Port, a local favorite for grub and grog, boasts some of the most intricate, complex and tasty beer lists, all brewed in house. Their beer buddies are to DIE for, and are the perfect meal to be washed down with some cold delicious beer. Once you get going, head up Cedros Ave. and take a peek into some of the local furniture, clothing and gift shops that Solana Beach has to offer. About halfway down the drag, you'll hit the Belly Up Tavern, voted San Diego's best live music venue. Every night you can catch a show, and they don't just book up and coming acts or local fave's... they also feature big touring acts, amazing cover/tribute bands, and stand up comedy acts.

Attempting to Contain My Excitement, and Failing Miserably.

Every year, the anticipation leading up to music festival season is tenacious, distracting, and adrenaline pumping. The first of many renowned festivals kicks off the summer in late April in the desert oasis of Southern California. Indio, surrounded by the more populated towns of Palm Springs, Indian Wells and Borrego, is a small town centralized by the well known and loved venue for COACHELLA MUSIC FESTIVAL. Last year was my first year attending any part of the weekend long love fest, and I only got a small taste of what would be my adult spring break in years to come. The heat is pretty intense, temperatures range in the low hundreds, and only minor shade and outrageously overpriced water are present throughout the day. This year, though, the heat will not keep me from my music. Tickets to this years Coachella are three day passes only, as opposed to the option to buy single day passes like in years past. So if I am going to be dropping a car payment on a concert, I am milking it for all it's worth, baby.

This years lineup represents the hip hop, alternative, electro, indie and rock genres with heavy hitting international acts to rising stars from music rich cities like Brooklyn, San Diego, Austin and Denver. Who am I most excited to see? Although performers have been chosen, the schedule of sets has yet to be announced, and won't be until just a few weeks before the show. If I could mix and match my top picks into my ideal line-up, it would go as follows:

Little Dragon
Them Crooked Vultures
Iglu & Hartley
Vampire Weekend
Passion Pit
La Roux
Benny Benassi
Jay Z

Camera Obscura
Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
Corinne Bailey Rae
The Raveonettes
The xx
David Guetta
Hot Chip

The Soft Pack
Julian Casablancas
Matt & Kim
Miike Snow
De La Soul
Thom Yorke

For full listings of artists, visit Coachella's website.