Images from the Bill Murray inspired photo booth can be found here.
If you're like many of us here at the City Paper offices, you're trying to shake off a hangover ... and failing ... miserably. Which of course means that last night's Best of Charleston party was a success. We came. We saw. We kicked your ass.
As you know, this year's theme was all centered around Bill Murray. Now, we don't know if Mr. Murray ever showed up, and chances are he didn't. Murray's a private guy. That said, we sure as heck hope that he did and we just didn't realize it. After all, there was a life-sized gopher walking about. Could that have been him? We've been told that it wasn't. Bummer. We still love you, Bill.
And that love for Bill Murray was shown by the crowd last night, many of whom dressed like characters from Mr. Murray's movies. We saw a few Hunter Thompsons, quite a number of Carl Spacklers, a squad of ghostbusters, a boatload of guys sporting a Steve Zissou-style red knit caps, and lots of gals donning vaguely Japanese-inspired wear.
Of course, one complaint that we heard time and time again was how difficult it was for the ladies to find something Bill Murray movie-ish to wear, and we totally understand. Murray's flick's are decidedly guy-centric. That's neither a good nor a bad thing. It just meant that the chicks' options were pretty limited: Either you went as Scarlett Johansson in Lost in Translation or you went as Sigourney Weaver's character in Ghostbusters. Maybe next year's theme will allow both sexes to really have some costume-party fun.
As usual, the drinks were flowing, and there was seemingly a restaurant every few feet offering their wares. Admittedly, the lines did get a bit long sometimes and there were a few bottlenecks that made getting to some tables a little more work than perhaps some folks would like, but most people didn't seem to mind. They were just digging on the festive vibe and all the freebies.
When it comes to the food, Mike Lata at Fig offered up a truly tasty pork dish that had us coming back to the table again. Sorry, guys, we just couldn't help ourselves, although each and every chance we got, we directed people to the Fig table. (We later got in touch with Lata. He tells us the dish was a Porchetta Tonnato, featuring poached pork loin, tuna-caper sauce, celery heart, lemon confit, and cured olive.)
Of course, Fig wasn't the only standout. Wasabi, as usual, really went all out, offering up what seemed like a never-ending supply of tuna and salmon nigiri and a collection of rolls. Meanwhile, the guys at Five Guys were frying patties and potatoes right there on the concourse. It was a smart move. And if you didn't try Cru Catering's legendary mac and cheese, you missed out. Topped with a spicy meatball, this one kept the body warm. And boy, did we need a little warmth. Last night was downright chilly.
On a personal note, it was really cool to meet Sean Brock, Mike Lata, and Jeremiah Bacon, although I can't say that I had much to say. I read about these guys all the time, so I was a little star struck. I know, it sounds corny. But to me these guys are the town's rock stars. No offense, Darius.
I also had a great conversation with Charleston City Councilmember Mike Seekings. Ladies and gentlemen, this guy has all the makings of a great mayor. Although we seriously doubt he'll challenge Joe — and really why would anyone because their chances of winning are slim to nil — we're looking forward to the day that he does decide to run, that is if he does. I may disagree with him about taking away a lane of traffic over the Ashley River and giving it to cyclists and pedestrians, but I did tell him that I would take a drive over the bridge into town. According to Seekings, one of the lanes is rarely used by drivers, and it's that lane that would be used exclusively by cyclists and pedestrians. While I think I know what lane he's talking about, I just need to check it out for myself and see if that lane is largely ignored by drivers.
All in all, the party was a blast. Now, if somebody could just make the pounding in my head go away. Schlitz happens. And I mean that in a good way.
Thanks to Mike Ledford for the video and photos.