Peking party puzzle: HalloWine, HalloQueens, or HalloWheeze?

La Baie des Anges used word play to co-opt Halloween for a specific group, the oenophiles, and create Hallowine. Now, The Boat is doing the same with its gay-friendly bash, HalloQueens. I see the trend and expect a flood of niche Halloween party invitations this afternoon…

  • HalloBean: For vegetarians and fans of Rowan Atkinson
  • Haloween: For video game nuts
  • Halloweenie: For those who await the return of Maggie’s and its hot dogs
  • Halloweave: For arts and crafts types
  • HalloUyghur: For the Western China crowd

I could go on, but… oh, what the Heckoween, I will…

  • Hallowheat: For bakers
  • Fallowsween: For fans of the Atlantic Monthly writer
  • Galloween: For Californian wine sippers
  • GallowsTeen: For death-row youth (woah, where did that one come from!?)
  • HalloGreen: Because Dick Cheney went to so much work on this costume
  • Halloweed: For those who like to smoke
  • Hallowheeze: For those who smoke too much
  • Show Me Your Pumpkin: OK, now I really will stop….

But seriously, have we ever seen this many Halloween parties in Beijing before? In addition to HalloQueens at The Boat, other recent invites are for parties at Bed and TUN. See also party listings here and here.

Sips and bites: 2nd Floor, Boutique Wine Cellar, Purple Haze, and more

2nd Floor
A genuine staff, a non-pretentious, airy, and earthy décor, reasonably priced drinks, and decent nibbles, including curry puffs (6-8 kuai each; vegetable, chicken, or beef). This place – below Le Petit Gourmand and accessible from the north end of Tongli Studio – seems busier every time I go. I tried the drinks special last night: Lychee Sangria (RMB20). With Dita, rum, pineapple juice, and wine, it is refreshing and – given its layers of red and yellow – colorful. I found the counterpart, Peach Sangria, a bit too syrupy for my taste.

Boutique Wine Cellar
Serves OK German Riesling at RMB20 (150 ML) or RMB30 (250 ML) per glass. (The house red is Hardy’s Shiraz.) My friend describes this two-tiered place with its laid-back tunes, plush furniture, and carpets as “early eighties.” Frankly, I kept expecting to hear, “Beauty and the Beast.” Boutique is in the former Mingle space and downstairs from Luga’s Villa. Cozy enough for a stop, but needs to work on the by-the-glass choices, given Nanjie offers just as many options (two).

Purple Haze
Three visits in two weeks to this Gongti North location that offers Thai food, 15-kuai pints, and shelves loaded with books. There’s nothing like putting on the beer goggles and trying to tackle a tome about how autistic people can translate the language of animals. (Great, maybe I can finally find out what my ex-neighbor’s dog had to tell the world at 5 AM every morning.)

Kro’s Nest
Sticking with the “We Hate Tuesdays” deal: A free keg or two of beer from 6 PM and then RMB5 pints until 10 PM. Given three people can split a pizza, this event is value for money.

Paddy O’Shea’s
The quiz night is back, every Wednesday at 8:30 PM, and apparently Thursday nights feature ska and reggae from 9 PM with two-for-one drinks upstairs.

TUN
Is it Browns Meets Poachers, is it Nanjie for Grown-ups, or is it… A Beijing Original. I’m starting to lean toward the latter given the mix of historical touches, lofty ceilings, and hundreds of egg cartons on the walls (think of how many omelets were made for your benefit, just so that the band’s sound would be absorbed). Oh yeah, and cheap drinks. Anyway, this seems a perfect time to segue into my Name that TUN contest

Palette Vino: Courtyard wine bar slated to open November 8

Look for Palette Vino to open a new wine bar next month and expand a Beijing presence that includes a bar and restaurant in Shunyi and a retail space in Pekotan in Central Park. Located near Dongsishitao, the new place includes a wine bar, a kitchen, and a lounge area fringing a treed courtyard. Owner John Gai, who also runs distributor Palette Wines, said the rooftop will be renovated and opened next year.

The opening is slated for 4 PM on November 8 and will include tapas, South African wines, and an exhibition by artist Ye Xue (RMB100 at the door; call 6585-3099 for more information).

Here are a few photos I took on Monday on what might be the world’s worst phone camera. From left: the bar, the rooftop, and the courtyard.

Name That TUN Contest: Be an Eighties DJ… on the Great Wall… while sipping Tasmanian vodka

The wall awaits...
The wall awaits...

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UPDATE: Please note there are TWO prizes. One for people who want to be a DJ and one for people who want to win the four bottles of gin and vodka.

Ever dream of being a DJ… and playing Duran Duran… on the Great Wall… while sipping Tasmanian vodka?

Then this contest is for you.

I am teaming up with TUN, Acupuncture Records, and Strait to give one reader the chance to spin 80 minutes of 80s music while his or her friends enjoy a “party zone” stocked with booze.

Intimidated by DJ equipment? Not sure how all that mixing and stuff is done?

No problem: Ahead of your November 22 set, Acupuncture will give you a DJ crash course and prepare you for your big night atop the “Great Wall” booth at TUN.

Want your friends to see your show?

No problem: TUN will provide a lounge area for 12 people, and Strait will stock it with four bottles – vodka, dry gin, pepperberry vodka, and a Strait Twenty blended gin.

To enter the draw, leave a comment and list three eighties songs you like and why.

If being a DJ is not your thing, you can still enter the draw for the second prize – four bottles of Strait Twenty blended gins and vodka. Simply add “Strait Up” – yeah, that’s a Paula Abdul reference – at the bottom of your comment.

The nitty-gritty:

  • The deadline for entries is Friday, November 7, 5:30 PM. I’ll find a respected member of the community to pull one name and will announce the winner on Monday, November 10.
  • The winner needs to be available to DJ on November 22, from 11PM and for a DJ lesson that same week, and willing to create a set of danceable music: no eighty-minute mixes of Mr. Roboto, please.
  • We bear no responsibility for participants who list Martika’s “Toy Soldiers“, Starship’s “We Built This City“, or Laura Branigan’s “Gloria” and spontaneously combust (this assumes God answers my prayer).

Show Me Your Pumpkin: More Halloween parties than you can shake a broomstick at

Halloween is this Friday and the scariest thing might be the number of parties being advertised. Well, that and the “Show Me Your Pumpkin” promotion by 25 Degrees (Thankfully, the Oktoberfest slogan wasn’t “Show Me Your Sausage”).

Here’s the deal: The person who shows up with the biggest pumpkin gets dinner for two and an overnight stay at G Hotel. (Is that the yonder revving of tractors in Hebei province I hear?) There will also be “scary shots” at RMB100 per half-dozen and “6 mini Devil’s Burgers” at RMB66.

Anyway, I previously posted about some parties, including those by Acupuncture Records (“Spooked”), I-Ultra Lounge (“The Cellar of the Devil”), I-Space (“Death Prom”), Star Live (“Yen Fetish”), China Doll in 3.3 (“Myth of Eight Immortals Crossing the Sea”), Club China Doll (“Glow in the Dark party”) and, the obligatory anti-Halloween Party, La Baie des Anges (“Hallowine”).

An update on China Doll at 3.3: The invite states that ten people will “win a role in a feature film ‘Sophie’s Revenge’, staring major international film star Zhang Ziyi in November.” It’s RMB50 to get into that one and gets you a “witches brew” cocktail. Also:

Bling: A whopping RMB5000 cash prize for the best costume.

Kokomo: A Halloween Caribbean carnival a.k.a. “The scary sexy version of Halloween!”

Obiwan: Beijing Calling, “surprise tricks and treats for everyone”, and a screening of 1978 classic Halloween at 8 PM.

The Pomegranate: A party with, apparently, a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

The Rickshaw: A free pitcher of “The Zombie” for anyone presenting a ticket from one of the other parties (Yen Fetish, etc).

The Boat, Cargo, Mix, Klubb Rouge, Song, Loong – it seems like almost everyone is getting into the spirit. See the events pages at City Weekend and The Beijinger (it would be helpful if both added a function to search by specific day).

How to choose? Frankly, your best bet might be to hit Bling, win the RMB5,000, use the money to buy a Xiali-sized pumpkin, take it to 25 Degrees and win that contest, and then hit China Doll and end up in a movie. Or, you could just stay home and scare yourself senseless by reading about the world economy.

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See also:
Peking party puzzle: HalloWine, HalloQueens, or HalloWheeze?
Monkey business: The Fuwa Chainsaw Massacre, and other Halloween parties