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Friday, March 23

Gapers Block

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(We've received word that the Gapers' Block Party was covered by the society columnist for Haute Chicago, a glossy magazine that's served Chi-town's moneyed class for generations. It has no website -- "far too plebian," we were told -- but the editors have given us permission to reprint the article here. Enjoy.)

Gapers' Block Rocks the "Hizzouse"

Friday night saw the first of what will surely be many Gapers' Block parties, if the success of this one is to be believed. Hosted by the founders, Mr. Nazarin Hamid and Mr. Andrew Huff, in the elegant Atrium upstairs at Ann Sather's Restaurant (929 W. Belmont Ave.), the affair was well-attended by local luminaries of the "web logging" set -- as well as some unexpected guests.


Fig1. The room was elegant, "like a wonderful wedding reception."

Guests were greeted upon arrival by the delightful Ms. Cinnamon Cooper, looking stunning in a bright blue sari-silk dress of her own design. After signing in, the guests entered the hall, where tables were arranged in rows on either side of a grand promenade. "It's just as beautiful as could be, like a wonderful wedding reception!" Ms. Lacey Graves (of the Tennessee Graves) was heard to remark.

After wine, beer and mingling at the open bar, partygoers found their seats and the entertainment portion of the evening began. The co-founders said a few words as dinner orders were taken, then Mr. Huff, serving as MC for the evening, warmed up the audience with some truly awful jokes. His goal seemed to be to set the bar low so that the other speakers -- all Gapers' Block staff members -- would seem fantastic by comparison. It worked.

Ms. Cooper was welcomed with resounding applause (perhaps because it meant the jokes were over?) to read a heart-warming story about her gay cousin and the lessons in perseverance he taught her. She was followed by the ing´┐Żnue Ms. Shylo Bisnett, who read an expanded version of her feature, "Country Girl in a Blues Town."


Fig2. Naz Hamid talks about movie trailers in front of the Gapers' Block site.

After a brief intermission, Mr. Hamid took the stage and regaled the audience with a dissertation on the contrasts between trailers for major studio and independently produced films. Ms. Jesica Davis elicited much bohemian-style finger-snapping for her excellent poestry reading. And infamous anthropologist Mr. Alex Golub won rapt silence from the crowd as he told the story of joining a Christian choir, despite being Jewish, as a way of dealing with the death of a dear friend. The powerful work has appeared in Bridge literary magazine.

Ms. Alejandra Valera, gowned in a T-shirt reading "Geeks ♥ me," described both sides of a laundry crisis (and what woman wouldn't be horrified to find her husband had washed only clothes unsuitable for work?) David Elfving, who also deserves credit for helping organize the event, read his popular explication of Star Trek: the Motion Picture as an allegory for procreation and birth.


Fig3. Alex Valera (left) and Kris Vire smile for the paparazzi.

As the party wound down, guests were treated to live electronic music by DJ Atomly, and while nobody seemed interested in dancing, the audience was obviously appreciative of the sounds.


Fig4. Alicia Frantz and David Siska enjoy Atomly's spinning.

Sightings: Gapers' Block contributor Kris Vire looking the picture of swank in a hot leather jacket. Mark Anderson and Ramsin Canon discussing the finer points of dive bars. DJ Luke Vibert, a.k.a. "Wagon Christ," hovering near the back of the room while Jes Davis reads. Pre-restaurateur Sandy Weisz describing his future enterprise with Paul McCann, Wendy McClure and Jason Keglovitz.


Fig5. Sandor Weisz (left), Sarah H. and David Elfving toast to a successful party.

Here's a list of attendees to the Gapers' Block Party Friday, July 18.

Andrew Huff
Nazarin Hamid
Cinnamon Cooper
Nikolai Nolan
Paul McAleer
renee bertsch
Paul McCann
Shylo Bisnett
Phineas X. Jones
Dave Elfving
Peter Evans
Elizabeth Butler
Simone LaBorde
Amber Payne
Brooke Broecke
Shayna Hofmeister
Jason Keglovitz
Leigh Hanlon
Jim Allenspach
Ramsin Canon
Jesica Davis
Amanda Gorman
Ellen Hayes
Alice Maggio
Christian Scheuer
Eric Sinclair
Anne Z.
Brian Sobolak
Seth Sanders
Kate Lingley
Alex Golub
Kris Vire
Alex Valera
Chris Barrett
Elizabeth Santillana
Sandor Weisz & Sarah L.
Lacey Graves
Mark W. Anderson & Amanda Zwald
Wendy McClure
Joe Chellman
Lisa Chellman
Brian Estenson
Alicia Frantz
David Siska
Beth Johnson
Mike O'Connor
Luke Vibert (yes, that Luke Vibert)
Fil Rios
Rachael Halloran
Jon Ryan Quinn
Ruthie Hansen
Elena Vazquez
Christopher Nazzaro
Joseph Perna
Aaron Suggs
Zoe Rothberg
Heather McCabe
Ben Gray
PJ Chmiel
Parker Seybold
Brandon Harvey

(If your name is on this list and you'd prefer it wasn't for some reason, please let us know at inbox/@/gapersblock/./com. Likewise if your name isn't on here and should be.)


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