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Vice Nightclub’s Electric Zoo: Beyond fun
Image: Christa Wittmier

chi-town universe

Wow. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this past’s was a weekend for the books. My First Friday norm the past few months has been to wing it and let the universe decide how far I spring forward in to Chinatown. Getting good street parking is like the universe saying, “Do, come in.” Good thing; I found parking, and there was a lot happening when I got out of the car.

I started with the pizza at SoHo, after hearing Mark Becker talk about this Chicago-style deep dish pizza kitchen that’s been his dream to build out for as long as I remember. It was a nice surprise to see DJ Soundcheck Ryan Aubin in the old Donner Shack window. “I’ve been doing twelve-hour days for the past four weeks.” he said to me, smiling hugely as he hefted a veggie slice into the oven. “We get the most crazy pau hana rush; I thought I’d be doing maybe 20 pies a day; it’s up to 60.” I grabbed the parmesan cheese shaker just in case I wasn’t a fan. I’d never had a slice of deep dish before, and honestly, it was a little intimidating. All those chunks of tomatoes and a thick mass of crust surrounding the entire thing screamed “Carbs! Calories! You’re going to dieee!” No need for dumping the extra parmesan cheese on it, it was winners. I loved it. That wonderfully thick and satisfying crust, with the fresh and tangy sauce kept me satisfied for the rest of the night.

I forgot to RSVP to Chanel Tanaka’s VIP reception, celebrating the opening of Loading Zone upstairs, where Fighting Eel got their Chinatown start, so when I got to the entrance I tagged along behind John Koga and Jun Jo. Chanel was at the top of the stairs ushering us quickly inside to catch the very incredible and colorful dance performance by the Hakipu’u Learning Center. The room was full of energy and vendors and looked fantastic. It was only a call from the nicotine demon that got me back outside to the street, where I enjoyed the various hellos and small talk that reamins my favorite part of First Friday.

Of course there was amazing music floating down the stairs from thirtyninehotel, so I floated up to say hi, finding Farley Rossiter in the booth!!! If you know this guy, he definitely deserves three exclamation points. He’s the happiest guy in Honolulu. “I’m starting a new party!!!” he said, “It’s called Far Out Wednesday!!! It starts this week!!! It’s free!!!” Say no more, smiley. I’m there.

The only visions I have from Saturday night at Vice Nightclub’s Electric Zoo is of a go-go dancer jumping around with Ara Laylo on her shoulders. That place is a mess of fun. The crowd is still getting used to me coming through there but thank god for Yosh, who did an amazing job of walking us through the entire place, showing us all his fun toys, while Toma murdered the dance floor. The lighting in there is unreal. I can barely believe he did that entire system by himself. What a weekend; I only hope the universe allows me back next week.

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