An avian weekend of fancy napkins and prom 

Birds I View

If you’ve walked outside in the past six months, you know that Charleston is the South’s wedding capital. From Easter to Halloween, you can’t walk from the Battery to Marion Square without running into some lady in a poofy white dress. It’s not all tacky bachelorette hoards, though — the Holy City has a host of people who are trying to make weddings genuinely fun, like the gals at Open Door, who celebrated their first birthday last week. Marion Moseley Blount and Leslie Chapman have a great idea: they want couples to stop registering at Bed, Bath, and Beyond and get one-of-a-kind items that they actually want. These two make “curated registries” with the nicest wares they can find, sourced from scads of off-the-radar boutiques, artisans, and makers. Their 1630 Meeting St. space was packed full of admirers and well-wishers Wednesday night when Blount and Chapman opened their doors to showcase the fruits of their labor. Walking in, we were greeted by a huge taxidermied avian creature and the sounds of expensive heels clacking around on the acid-stained cement floors. We were partial to the pearly gumballs ourselves, but we couldn’t resist picking up a few early Christmas gifts for our lucky friends. Hint: you’re all getting fancy cocktail napkins and chevron-striped straws this year.

Speaking of our fine feathered friends, stuffed or otherwise — vultures are not the prettiest birds around. They’re gray, they have weird necks, and they don’t sing, to say nothing of their repulsive eating habits. The Birds of Prey Center knows vultures are not going to win any beauty pageants next to a bald eagle, but they still want to help spread the word about the vital role these guys play in a healthy ecosystem. On Saturday, they hosted a Vulture Awareness Day out at their facility in Awendaw to teach us a thing or two about Mother Nature’s hunchbacked garbage collectors. Predator experts taught us about the differences between the kinds of vultures they keep (black, yellow-headed) and some of the keepers put on flight demos that showcased the birds’ keen senses and enormous wingspans. The most arresting part of the afternoon was the vulture cafe. Volunteers dumped out pounds and pounds of discarded food and then let the birds descend upon the pile. Several dozen vultures were attracted to the afternoon cafe’s offerings, and we were very glad we weren’t on the menu.

Saturday night the question was: How does one attire oneself for a Hawaiian Night of Enchantment and Fantasy Under the Sea Prom? A lei seemed wrong. It was way too hot for a cape. Our Ariel and Sebastian costumes were at the dry cleaner. Fortunately for us, no one else seemed to know either, so the crowd at Tivoli ran the gamut from evening gowns to jorts and everything in between. We bopped around the glitter-laden dance floor with our bow-tied friends and boa’d lovers to Cher, Shakira, and Madonna before competing in the fifth annual Second Chance Prom dance-off. The judges were not very impressed with The Can Opener, The Shopping Cart, or our trademark Hustle/Macarena mashup, so we sidled off the floor to bid on silent auction items. The proceeds benefited We Are Family, a group that serves the LGBTQ youth of the Lowcountry. Our dance moves were benefiting no one, so bidding seemed like the right thing to do.

Ask any ER nurse, beat cop, or parent you meet: full moons bring out the crazies, and supermoons doubly so. And what better place to celebrate the coming of the harvest moon than at one of the weirdest bars in Charleston, that temple of velvet Elvii, Voodoo, which celebrated the perigee-syzygy with their aptly named Lunacy party. Now in its gazillionth incarnation, the clothing-optional bash is a consistently fun weeknight out, a good place to drink tiki beverages, and be a WOO! girl on a school night. It’s tough to get a good crowd on a rainy Monday, but Lunacy’s reputation proceeds it (though the Jell-O shots and neon body paint didn’t hurt). People took the option to come in their underwear as more of an edict than a suggestion, and a couple of entrepreneurial gals managed to turn a quick buck by getting Ed Hardy types to give them five dollars to take a photo next to them in all their bikini’d glory. Late ’90s club bangers kept the nearly nude liquor reps and bros in Day-Glo shirts mingling on the dance floor and slamming back cantaloupe vodka until closing time. We didn’t stick around to see what everyone looked like when the black lights switched off in favor of the overhead fluorescents. It’s like our mother always told us: When your hot-pink body-paint tramp stamp has sweated off, it’s time to go home.

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