Falling in the Gap

Do you mean fall into the Gap?

No. I mean falling in the Gap. Falling because you’ve just finished your second bottle of Shiner Cheer and you  keep tripping over dozens of living manikins while making your way to the sushi buffet.

And no, again. I’m not talking about a trippy dream but rather the Free Drink Party hosted at our friendly neighborhood Gap last Friday. Gap celebrated…winter(?) last weekend with a free-for-all party that featured free beer and cocktails, food from Roll On Sushi, a live DJ and tons of living, breathing, walking (no talking, though) models. I was a little hesitant to attend an FDP at the Gap (the place where I bought most of my childhood back-to-school clothes), but it turns out combining seasonal styles with seasonal brew is a genius publicity stunt. Midway through beer number two, we started filling our mental shopping cart with all the scarves, mittens and sweaters we could handle. Not sure how many of us returned to Gap the next day to pick up the items we eyed the day before, but its safe to say Gap made off with a small fortune.

Job well done, Gap, for creating as fine a sweater as you do a party.


My mom says I gravitate toward any party where free eats and drinks are abundant, and I can’t necessarily disagree with her. But who really wants to turn down unlimited food, spicy margaritas and free petting zoos anyway? Case in point, the CultureMap launch party last Thursday.

The Eastside fiesta at Pine Street Station (home of favorite SXSW destination Fader Fort and in SXSW off season, Hope Farmer’s Market) celebrated the launch (albiet a little tardy) of the Austin portion of CultureMap, a news/lifestyle website that greets visitors with a clean and trendy interface chock-full of Austin-themed stories on topics spanning music, film, fitness, design, sports and innovation. The party, like the website, was diverse in its attractions.

Like FDPs of the past, this one included live music, a photobooth and refreshments out the wazoo, but unlike others I’ve frequented, it also featured a petting zoo by Tiny Tails to You (complete with hedgehogs, bunnies and baby ducks), and performance by Sky Candy Aerial Arts.  If animals and acrobatics become the next trend in party throwing, I should just give up right now.

Check out pics from the event here.

And while you’re at it, maybe give the entire CultureMap website a glance too.

ACL: Day 2

Day 2 of the festival turned out to be one of the better festival days I’ve experienced. Sure there was rain, but that just meant cooler temperatures. And in addition to the much needed precipitation, there were dance parties, an FDP, two celebrity sightings and, of course, epic musical performances.

Again, more details will come at festival’s end, but in the meantime enjoy photos from Day 2.

The day began with a Free Drink Party at the American Legion across the street from the park.

Free drinks and free video games…for people who were less into music and more into Gears of War.

Fitz and the Tantrums

Fitz and the Tantrums

Fitz and the Tantrums

Cut Copy

Mac and Whitney at Cut Copy

Dance party at Cut Copy

Cut Copy


Notes on a recent FDP

FDP as in Free Drink Party.

My friendships with some folks I met at the paper have exposed me to many a wonderous new thing from food trailers, to great local bands, and the like. But perhaps the best thing I’ve learned from these folks is the existences and whereabouts of Free. Drink. Parties.

There seems to be at least one a week (with some being freer and drinkier than others). They are thrown by businesses or organizations celebrating anything from a new opening, to an anniversary to just wanting an excuse to have a party. Seeing as how I am a) a woman on a budget and b) an enjoyer of fun, my dependence on these free social gatherings has grown all the more steady.

A few weeks ago we attended a promotional event at the Palm Door. The downtown event venue turned 3 and celebrated with a nautically themed party which included pirate-inspired music by THAT damned band, free food by Pink Avocado, water colors at the bar, and all the red, white and blue accoutrement you can imagine. The event was tame by FDP standards, but the decor, food and venue itself were each incredible from the floating cotton candy-looking clouds that hung from the rafters to the delicious gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches served in Chinese take-out containers and the bartender who was equal parts feisty and jovial. How delightful that events like this exist.

All photos by Paige Newton Photography.