Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Furniture Shopping is More Fun than Nu Pampas

Week after week mySpace is filled with flyers in bulletins and comments promoting the more the popular, mainstream events. But sometimes you have to look deeper, and outside of mySpace, to find out what's really happening in Metro Detroit. Last Friday, italmoda in Birmingham hosted an unexpectedly amazing party featuring the artwork of Camilo Pardo. An unexpectedly disastrous after-party at Nu Pampas (Birmingham) started shortly thereafter.

italmoda is supplier of high-end furniture and also offers interior design services. If you've been to iLounge (Pontiac), or any major party the past few months, there's a good chance you've seen their work. As far as I know they've never actually hosted a party in their showroom, and for good reason- it's not a place to mingle, as it is packed with furniture and doesn't offer a great amount of mobility. However, it seems they removed truckloads of inventory in preparation for the event and brought in Crave Lounge (Dearborn) to do their catering. This, in combination with a collection of Pardo screen prints decorating the walls, proved to be a perfect setting for the perfect Friday night warm up.

I'm not sure who actually organized and planned this event, but current promoters would do well to take a careful look at the details . Since parking is extremely limited in the area, it was nice to see valet in full swing. Something tells me it wasn't complimentary, but I can't say for sure. Walking in around 830p, I was immediately hit with the level of sophistication shown by the guests. Everyone was in good spirits, partially due to the endless supply of wine+champagne, and despite the full house, breathing room was more than sufficient. Music was only a side note to the event, filling in the gaps between pauses in conversation. Appetites were satisfied by attractive waitresses with tray-fulls of assorted sushi, while cheese+fruit platters were available in the back. And visuals came not only in the form of artwork and designer furniture, but also in the flesh. Plenty of models made their rounds throughout the night, done up in Pardo-inspired racing gear.

The after-party to all of this was scheduled to take place at Nu Pampas- the Brazilian steakhouse-turned-lounge. We last visited Nu Pampas the night before the Thanksgiving. We were disappointed then, and we're deeply disappointed now. Scheduled to take place immediately after the pre-party wrapped, the draw to Nu Pampas may have been affected by the late finish at italmoda. However, with a $40 cover charge (a portion of which went to "Kids Kicking Cancer"), it's not hard to believe no one planned on attending. Pre-sale tickets for the event went for $20.

When we arrived at Nu Pampas, it was already almost midnight and the place was empty. The music was loud and the lights were moving, but no one inside was. Of the dozen or so tables set aside for guests, maybe 3 or 4 were occupied. Couches in the back held additional patrons, but it didn't help the atmosphere. Whereas the party at italmoda was a sociable, entertaining event, Nu Pampas was more of an anti-social retreat for groups of friends and coworkers. At one point, we counted more employees than we did guests. The dance floor was partially used by the Pardo models for roughly ten minutes, after which they made their way to the back of the room. There were complimentary appetizers that some (not I) seemed to enjoy, but stories of people getting sick later in the night have been talked about in corners. By 1230a, I shifted over to Sky Bar (Royal Oak) and danced to Top 40, early Madonna and Michael Jackson, and even a little old-school gangster rap. We'll save the Sky Bar review for a later time. But yes. We did enjoy it.