Summer is officially over. There is no denying it. The leaves are jaundiced, asphalt and the smell of wood is burning the air, you can almost taste the change. Where did the last nine months of my life go? Staring back at me from the bottom of Red Bull vodka? Eaten away by the extra 300 TIFF 4am last calls the city decided to give out this year.
Summer is over. Ya, it’s over. I can’t believe it, you can’t believe it. And old man winter is a grumpy retired drag queen peering around the corner right now, just waiting to show his ugly face.
Although the summer was cold, it was nothing short of eventful. Unfortunately many of those events were celebrities dying.
Starting with Michael Jackson passing away and then Patrick Swayze and DJ AM (aka Adam Goldstein).
DJ AM’s death hit the nightclub industry the hardest. Before TMZ has even announced it, my friends in NYC were getting phone calls and texts, and we started to hear rumblings, and then minutes later, the confirmation.
Facebook was filled with statuses upon statuses upon statuses reporting his death. And I never really thought how much it would effect anyone around me until I walked past posters framed with his name on it in promotional offices, or Facebook photos of my friends with him, or hearing stories from other bookers who worked with him. In those types of moments the party unfocuses and we wake up from the dream for a second, that beyond all the gloss and gadgets and glitches, we are not robots. The party always ends.
The summer itself has certainly gone out with a bang. The Toronto International Film Festival has been a circus and a half this year in Toronto.
TIFF 2009 has been a whole new experience altogether; twitter twit twats at every corner updating on a second by second basis. Everyone trying to run their own TMZ, their own little Perez, all pop culture panthers just waiting to pounce on even a morsel of opportunity!
It only takes a blink of an eye, a flash of camera from starfuckers all across the GTA to camp out front a bar, restaurant or screening to catch that one glimpse.
There has been a lot of notable TIFF stories. If you were in the west end you may have seen Drew Barrymore at the neighborhood hot spot Sweaty Betty’s. Apparently she ditched her own afterparty at Tattoo Rock Parlour to drink beer at Sweaty’s until they cut her off (Tinyurl.com/drewsweaty).
If you were at the other end of town at Roy Thomson Hall you may have thought that the president had rolled into town. But it was actually something much bigger. The big O. Oprah. The messiah. O had arrived in Toronto for the first time in God knows how long. That and some girl named Mariah and her friend Mary J Bilge. Media had parked out since 6am to catch a glimpse of O, and even started betting for spots!
Meanwhile in Yorkville hungry preteens, MILFs, suits, tourists and paparazzi were camped outside The Four Seasons waiting for the Jonas Brothers and any other celebs in town for TIFF (but mainly the Jonas boys). It was like a 2009 version of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band cover. I unfortunately knew two of the girls who eagerly awaited for hours: Amber Sharp and Tara Mason. Except that they aren’t preteens and they remained waiting even after they had already gotten their picture with the brothers. You have to give ’em that, they have the devotion of a heroin addict or an IRS agent, but at least they are cute and Nick Jonas finally is 17 now.
We ran into these eager beavers (so to speak) when myself, DJ Lindsay Luv from NYC and Marc Smith were visiting the Four Seasons to see our friend Brooklyn who was part of the new Blo salon which had just opened in the hotel (Tinyurl.com/jonastoronto). Blo had set up a DJ outside and a red carpet and the hotel set up barricades. Just about every plastic surgeon and trophy wife who left the Four Seasons that day was treated like a celebrity, well at least as long as they didn’t get out of their white Escalades.
And then there’s the parties. Dsquared2 party at Jezebel was a blast. Spotted were Jeff Rustia, James Forsythe and the lovely Biko all sipping on drinks with Dean and Dan at the brand new Ossington and Dundas burlesque club. (Tinyurl.com/jezebel).
Also a hit was the Gay Flambé party, although no celebrity attendance. Toronto Life described it as a fun night at Woody’s infused with Inside Out consciousness. And of course the famous Holt’s party, this year at The Burroughs Building (they said they couldn’t clear out the store in time, but we all know it was budget cuts). Jeff Kirkwood on the up and up spun house and electro while Coca Rocha, Alexa Chung, The Stills and Stefan Brougen sipped on open bar as underage punks and ravers partied at the Big Bop and Reverb next door.
And then the 4am liquor licences, the schmoozing, the fake smiles and the big hangover which I had prolonged for weeks following nights upon nights of galas, schmoozing, parties, 4am last calls and late-night McDonalds visits that could give Ashlee Simpson a run for her money (apparently $2 million worth).
Now it is time to rest rest rest before Nuit Blanche, student season and then Halloween. There is no rest for the wicked and we all have been very very naughty.