I used to have a neighbor who would refer to me as Night Queen. Sitting outside on a shared porch area, he'd see me arrive home after work, settle into my place for dinner or some such activity, and emerge hours later to go see what everyone was up to. He'd remark on my consistency. I took offense at first, confusing his moniker with some party-girl insult. But once I asked him, "Why do you call me that?"
He smiled at me and said, "Because when I get home from work, I make dinner and watch TV, but you don't stay home, because you are curious." Indeed, there was plenty to be curious about this year.
Thursdays went out of their way to be the night we were forced to be in myriad places at once. I think I even pulled it off a couple of times, too. Digging way back into spring, the Thursday night battle between DJ Sober's Big Bang at Beauty Bar and the DJ series then hosted at Rio Room was notable, especially Rio hosting Alan Braxe and Flight Facilities. Still, Thursdays at Big Bang continue to keep me dancing till last call, and not noticing how sweaty the crowd has gotten till the lights come on.
The bigger-is-better Dallas party scene proved its thesis, whether you found yourself shoulder-to-shoulder at some of the city's grandest fundraisers or wading in the post-2 AM after-party waters. The AT&T Symphony Gala after-party was a Champagne- drenched night of beautiful people, in the beautiful Meyerson. Nothing may ever be cooler than Erykah Badu's full set with the Cannabinoids after the Dallas Art Ball in the tiny Rio Room setting. Especially high marks go to Studio 410's Cinco de Mayo party, in which the Oak Cliff salon's back lot turned from boxing-match-watching gathering to dance floor.
The off-the-grid parties found special organization and devotees this year. The Track Meet collective set a high standard with a memorable "slime rave" at the Lion's Den during 35 Denton. In Dallas, partners DJ Trademarx, Mattie Stafford and We Are Dark Clouds threw a series of parties off Peak Street at The Compound, a few ending in graffiti, hot tubs and, at their final bash, a BBQ smoker.
The Green Bandana group was popping up all over Dallas this year with dinners, art shows and DJ nights in unpredictable and exciting spaces. For me, their most stylish contribution was without question the Penthouse parties at the Stoneleigh Hotel. An always-surprising mix of people, those Thursday nights in the Penthouse provided a lovely backdrop for rhythm and blues.
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Dallas food/music blog House of Plates also signaled their desire for your calendar, most notably with their end of summer party at the F.O.E., where their music industry vs. service industry volleyball tournament started a controversy when Parade of Flesh hired a group of ringers to take home the prize for John Iskander and crew. Bravo to all involved; eavesdropping on everyone getting riled up about that is a summer highlight. Somewhat related, those ringers were fine. Bring 'em back.
Of course, some openings happened throughout the year, most notably Brooke Humphries' It'll Do Club. They continue to add new, interesting events like their Queen night, and DJs worth keeping an eye and ear out for. Ku De Ta, an addition to the Three Sheets complex, also opened its members-only year-round pool and seduced with its many amenities.
And because sometimes you have to wind down and enjoy a conversation, special honors go to Black Swan Saloon for those Sunday afternoon cookouts, and the Texas Theatre for providing an always-special place to linger.
But it takes a village to get overserved, sugars. And if I missed you, maybe we can be curious together next year. Find a little time for your city and stay out a little later than you mean to, because the most important thing any of us can make together is a memory.