The Morning After: Labor Day Weekend 2010
Welcome to “The Morning After,” a weekly recap of my wild and entertaining adventures. I’m Lacy Matsumoto, and you might remember me from my contributions to “From the Hip” in the Honolulu Advertiser, or maybe you’ve seen me on the dance floor — or maybe even behind the turntables. I’ve always had a passion for music, and I feel blessed to be able to express that on the 1’s and 2’s as well as with my writing.
My first “Morning After” came at the perfect time — last weekend was insane! Along with being Labor Day weekend, one of my dearest friends was in town.
Nicolas Marin (also known as DJ Nicky Savage from the band Fiero), is resident DJ on First Fridays at NextDoor, commuting to Hawaii from Orange County once a month. Through music, we’ve become great friends and he’s been a huge influence in teaching me how to DJ. As a Hawaii connection, I’m helping ease him into being a local foodie, taking him out to try everything from kalua pig to V Lounge pizza.
The next step? Getting him to try poke.
Last Friday I gathered my troops — Tiare Thomas, Brittney Valverde, and Nicky — at my house to prepare for the night. As my best friend and personal stylist, Tiare never lets me leave the house without the appropriate outfit, hair and makeup.
We started off the night at the grand opening of Crooks and Castles’ Honolulu flagship store. You know it’s going to be a great party when there’s a media wall and red carpet. I just wish I could wallpaper my house with that fancy, logo-plastered stuff.
The store carries what I’ll describe as a simple and classy take on urban wear. And when I say urban, I’m not talking about typical streetwear — think swagger, style, and most importantly, class, all rolled into one.
Founded by Dennis Calvero and Robert Panlilio in West Hollywood, the Honolulu outpost of C&C is co-owned by David Lin and Ian Ginoza of Kicks Hawaii and Blaise Sato from Architechs Hawaii.
“Right now we have eight Hawaii-exclusive tees in stock,” said Sato. “You could think of it as a small collection within a collection, or a time capsule collection.
“We have boardshorts, towels, and hats on the way- just to name a few things that we have planned, and by Christmas you’ll see a lot of it.”
The focus of the store seems to be predominately men’s items, but leave it to Tiare to find the quaint women’s section. Our favorite piece was this simple logo sweater — it was soft and light enough for Hawaii’s weather.
The party featured hosted Henessey Black cocktails, poured by hottie bartender Maria Burke. When I heard the word “Henessey,” I admit I got a little nervous — it seems like such a bold liquor, but Maria concocted a Bitters and Ginger Punch that used ginger beer, fresh sweet and sour, mint, and bitters to balance out the cognac. Good thing they were complimentary, because those things went down like soda pop.
AFTER QUICK conversations with what seemed like half of the island of Oahu — who all came out to support the boys on their new venture with a few cocktails, and a big congratulations — we headed to Fresh Cafe for the launch of the Vertical Junkies’ new “Backyard BBQ.” We pulled up at about 9:30 p.m., and leave it to the VJ boys to have the place already packed.
On average, this weekly Friday party with have a $20 cover charge (depending on the band), but that includes a hosted bar and free food for the early birds. Doors open at 8 p.m., with the grill fired up and putting out pupus like kalbi tacos, burgers, and hot dogs.
“Remember those raging house parties you went to back in the day that had kegs and live bands jamming? That’s what we’re creating,” said VJ’s Kanoe Sandefur. “We’re trying to change it up a bit from the typical nightclub party.”
Maui girl Anuhea hit the stage at 10 p.m. sharp with her soulful jams, making the room full of people sway back and forth.
We didn’t stay long, unfortunately, because we had to get Nicky on stage for his First Friday set at NextDoor. Pulling into Chinatown, we could already feel the madness building. What began as a simple art walk has now turned into a massive block party, with people spilling onto the streets and out of nearly every bar.
As we pushed through the sweaty crowd, Nick put on his game face, and us girls (plus model Casey Evans) adjusted our dancing shoes and prepared to finish the night under NextDoor’s disco ball.
Once Nicky got on stage, the camera flashes began and the crowd screamed. He’s built quite a cult following of people who really enjoy his music, a variety of original edits and nu disko tracks that contain soulful lyrics and melodies combined with heavy bass to give the crowd a perfect combination of sounds to dance to.
I asked Nicky if he puts together a specific set for his Hawaii visits.
“I don’t really do a set thinking of Hawaii or California,” he replied. “The ultimate goal is to have people enjoy themselves no matter where they are. As long as I can do that, I view it as a success.”
My feet hurt at the end of the night from dancing so much, so I didn’t head to any afterparties. Plus, it was only day one of my weekend.
SATURDAY WAS a big day for Tiare and I, as we were hustling around getting ready for the Acid Dolls “Urban Revolution Fashion Show.” Tiare and I are spokeswomen for the local boutique collection called Shimmer & Lace, a collaboration between designer Cindy King that has been a really neat and honoring experience.
We wanted to check in and make sure we looked fabulous, as well as help with any last minute details, but somehow we also managed to sneak in a quick stop at In4mation to pick up the new Ali’i-colored version of their HI hat for Nicky’s little brother Christian Marin that was released this month.
We also put in a little crate-digging time at Jelly’s Books and Music. Because there is always time for music.
Walking up to “Urban Revolution,” I spotted another red carpet and fancy media wall. I really need to look into getting one of those.
The event offered hosted Three Olives cocktails, food by Doraku Waikiki and live classical music. As guests took their seats, the show opened with a ballet performance.
The layout of the event was gorgeous, with white seating, a full length runway, a live feed and visuals provided by Joseph Pa’ahana.
There were three collections presented: Urban Ballerina, Wild Hard West, and Graffiti Zoo.
As each model passed, the crowd oohed and awed, as there was a little something for everyone, no matter what your sense of style is.
As the night progressed, we did our part by handing out prizes and assisting hosts Justin Cruz and Juliet Lighter.
Afterward, we joined Echo Aoki and some of her friends for sushi and cocktails at Doraku. Alyson Casey couldn’t get enough of the ikura nigiri and homemade ginger ale.
Bellies full but still looking cute, we didn’t want the night to end. So we joined Aly Ishikuni, lead singer of Alt/Air, writer/photographer Michael Keany and photographer Grady Gillan for karaoke.
One of my secret favorite things to do is sing with a mic in hand.
It was the perfect way to end a great day, and just in time to get rest for Sunday, because the weekend was only 75% done. I’ve been looking forward to the Labor Day edition of the “Bacardi B90X Pool Party” organized by Christa “SuperCW” Wittmier and Steven “DJ ESKAE” Kanemoto ever since the first one earlier this summer.
Think P90X aerobics plus alcohol, plus a pool, plus really really good looking people.
Basically, it was magic.
And of course, leave it to Tiare and I to come up with a master plan to wear blonde wigs and crazy bright outfits.
The Nocturnal Sound Krew held down the DJ booth with old school jams like Ghost Town DJ’s “My Boo” (my favorite song ever) and contemporary jams like Ciara’s “Ride.”
When Compose played J. Boog’s “Love Season,” however, the entire crowd screamed and started dancing almost in unison.
BUT ALL good things do come to an end, and by 6 p.m. the pool had cleared out. Tiare, Alyson, and I danced for three hours straight, so we needed some food in our tummies.
We headed over to Tiki’s Grill and Bar, where Tiare works as a part-time event coordinator, and winded down with a few tropical cocktails and pupus. The band Vaihi played as the sun set over Waikiki.
Once our second wind kicked in, we rushed to Tiare’s house to get ready for “Bootylicious” at Apartment3. The idea of the Nocturnal Sound Krew playing more jams and us dancing even more was so tempting, we just couldn’t resist.
Throwing on white t-shirts, squeezing in one quick “Rock Band” jam, and not even bothering to touch up our sweaty makeup, we rushed to get to the Century Center.
Luckily, makeup artist Cheryl DePresbiteres of Cheribu Makeup and Kecia Littman of Bella Torre Academy were giving out free makeovers. I opted for a glittery blue bandit mask, just to make things a little more funky.
Alyson opted for a Shimmer & Lace mask.
DJ Compose played the jams that took me back to cheerleading routines from high school. The irony was that I still remember those routines, but fought the urge to break them out.
Labor Day weekend 2010? It was an amazing three days of food, cocktails, photos, and a whole lot of fun. But now I really have to rest my dancing feet.