The NotSo Hostel holds a special place in my Holy City history. On my inaugural visit to Charleston, I stayed at the hostel and stole a first kiss on the St. Philip Street porch; this would eventually lead to my move here. That romance didn't last, but my admiration for the funky hostel did. It's only natural that I would want to support manager Vikki Matsis' new book Inside an American Hostel.
Blue Bicycle Books hosted a party for Matsis this past Wednesday in celebration of her book on how to run a hostel — one of the first of its kind. The close-knit crowd quietly chatted as Matsis encouraged guests to take another piece of sushi or stopped to pour a fresh cup of sake. Local musician Lee Barbour sat in a corner offering up some ambient music for the space while Matsis graciously signed copies of her book and discussed her favorite memories from the downtown lodging.
If your idea of a perfect first date doesn't involve smooching at a hostel, then you might have enjoyed Saturday's Bachelor Bid Bash. The Charleston Jaycees organized the event to benefit Camp Hope, an Upstate summer home for mentally challenged people. Moments before we left for the Hippodrome, local makeup artist and entrepreneur Andrew C. Petersen posted a picture of himself looking dapper in a tuxedo, so we had to turn around and rethink the casual look we planned for the night. Once in heels and a cocktail dress, we sauntered down to take a look at the girls and guys up for auction that evening.
Bachelorette Jessica Reid was upstairs trying to calm her nerves before hitting the stage with her pal Angharad Chester-Jones. Their date package included golfing and dining. When the auction began, the bids started at $200 and only went up. Christina Orso, named best local blogger by Charleston City Paper readers, was a hot ticket for the evening; her date garnered nearly twice as much as some of the other bachelorettes. While we didn't bid on anyone for ourselves, everyone in the audience seemed to have a good time contributing to charity.
We ended the night on Upper King at the opening party for Viln Collective. This new boutique caters to the skater community as well as those with a taste for upscale streetwear. Think Urban Outfitters, but hipper and more localized. The renovated space at 507 1/2 King St. looked great and the collection was well curated. Rocky Horror was spinning in the back, while DJ JeffET worked the crowd. We skipped the antipasto buffet in lieu of a glass of wine, trying our hardest not to spill anything on the merchandise as the crowd jostled and bumped around. The attendees were mostly a better-dressed version of the kids you see smoking outside of A.C.'s on a Saturday. We snuck out before things got too rowdy on the dance floor. —Erin Perkins