Elite events always guarantee groovyness, but there was something especially charismatic about our second Elite peek Inside the Artist's Studio at Cotton Mill Studios on Friday, April 20th. Maybe it was the rare "chance to interact with real artists and be surrounded by contemporary art at the place where it is conceived and created," Augusto T muses. Or perhaps it was the fresh-out-the-keg Lagunitas Lucky 13, complimentary beautification by Glow Salon, the memories made within Photobooth Royale, or the convivial yelpy company on this absurdly sunny Friday evening? Probably a bit of each.
It was time once again for Cotton Mill Studio's quarterly F3 open studios night, a communal phenomenon John Z describes as such: "Four times a year, Cotton Mill residents open their homes, their crafts and arts, and their visions to the outside. Though 'outside' seems an unnecessary contrast, as the visitors echo the hosts' urban artsy vibe. All friendly, all communal, all engaging." As tradition would have it, Yelp Elites were granted access to Suite 115, the inspiring home of two local artists. Their kitchen became the Zu Vodka bar, their living room a Hot Italian kitchen. Praising Hot Italian's thin-crust bounty, John Z professes "the Murino – with mozzarella, sliced pear, Gorgonzola cheese and a whisper of honey – is something I would eat and serve for any occasion." The entryway was transformed by Photobooth Royale's inviting white tent, while the dining area was converted into Glow Salon's styling station for the evening, doing "the impossible", Markus N notes: "making already beautiful Yelpers even more stunning."
Outside on the patio, Lagunitas poured full glasses of their freshly tapped IPA and Lucky 13, Kunde Family Estate treated guests to chilled Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, followed by a hearty Zinfandel with a dark chocolate pairing. Since this Elite soiree was merely a warm-up for an evening of exploration throughout the Cotton Mill, Guayaki Yerba Mate provided organic energy in the form of Pure Enlighten Mint, Pure Body, and Pure Passion tea. With the good vibes flowing freely, Elites easily made themselves at home in this uber-unique venue.
Local art covered the walls, a vintage gameboy captivated passers-by, DJ SeenMR sent a soothing, rhythmic pulse into the crowd. It was the start of a beautiful weekend, indeed. From there, yelpers ventured throughout the upper floors of the Cotton Mill, stumbling upon curious delights like burlesque performances, pole dancing, inprov comedy, a designer marketplace, and glimses into the artsy life. "I'm definitely loving the Cotton Mill Studios and all it invokes as another one of Oakland's many good times," raves Stephanie M. Adding his approval, John Z cherishes his Elite status for nights such as this, and "for experiences both local and new…delivered with style, pampering, and a virtue of graciousness that's always appreciated and occasionally even osmotic." We're glad you felt it too.
Counting down the hours until our next tragically hip, insider experience…