WHAT YOU MISSED — #SaugaTweetup VI: SCADDABUSH

SaugaTweetupVI — SCADDABUSH — Quynh Nguyen, Christine Pantazis, Lise Lo, Adeline Chan and Marcin Szablewski

“SaugaTweetup is like a tweetup in Toronto… without the Toronto douchiness.”

–unattributed

SaugaTweetup is worth the trek to Mississauga.

As someone born and raised Mississaugan, I know the city hasn’t been without its shortcomings in the past. Nothing to do but hang at the mall. Next to nothing open past 9 o’clock. You need a car to get anywhere. Mississauga doesn’t scream glitz, glamour or an expansive nightlife, but no matter how long I stay away, there’s still one word that resonates with me when I think of the city just west of Toronto:

Home.

You Can Take the Boy out of Sauga….

Despite how often I make fun of Mississauga (see “Mississucka”, “Miserysauga”, “My 27-year prison stint”), I will fiercely defend it against any outsiders looking to speak ill of it. Yeah, its transit system sucks, but I spent 15 years on it and earned my stripes to know how badly it sucks. The club scene was less than ideal, but I danced on those floors and got rebuffed by more Mississaugan women than I care to remember. (Note: I also did rather well with some Mississaugan women, but that’s not the point of this post.)  Square one was my mall. Hazel McCallion was my mayor. You can take the boy out of Sauga, but you can’t take Sauga out of the boy.

Which is why I support SaugaTweetup as strongly as I do.

The Skinny on SaugaTweetup

On Wednesday, August 7th, we socialized like we were out of control, making new friends and reacquainting with old ones around the wooden tables that made up the atmosphere at the newly re-christened SCADDABUSH, which was the Alice Fazooli’s just north of Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga.

One thing that makes SaugaTweetup a little different from the events you’d attend in downtown Toronto is the crowd. People were representing various parts of town that night, from Scarborough all the way across the lake to Hamilton; Oakville, Kitchener-Waterloo, Brampton, Barrie, Keswick — SaugaTweetup has cultivated its own culture, far removed from the one you find in The Big Smoke with its gridlocked traffic and sullen faces. Dozens upon dozens make the journey out to SaugaTweetup, and I haven’t heard anyone leave disappointed yet!

SCADDABUSH made sure to offer a sampling of their menu, ranging from pizzas to stuffed meatballs and fresh mozzarella. I’ll leave someone far more qualified and who was far less preoccupied with stuffing their face while trying to drink a beer, take photos and keep up conversation — but I enjoyed what I had. I found the pizza especially tasty!

Conclusion

So why go to SaugaTweetup?

More than the food, the atmosphere or the low price tag that comes with free parking and a casual dress code, you go to SaugaTweetup to belong to a community. Before I moved out East, for a long time I was steadfast that the West was the best. The East is nothing to overlook, but until a PickeringTweetup gets to the same level as this… well, let’s just say that the choice is obvious.

See you in the fall!

HYFR and YOLO,

–case p.

Scaddabush on Urbanspoon

WHAT YOU MISSED: PartyPeopleTO’s SauzaSin — Scarily AWESOME!

Casey poing in costume with a number of friends at PartyPeopleTO's SauzaSin
Scorpion and the ladies. Scorpion… WINS.

It was less than a day to the SauzaSin party and I was screwed.

There was a lesson to be learned here — never buy anything for a costume that’s inflatable!

Ghostbusted

I’d mentioned earlier that Halloween’s usually a bit of a fail for me with costumes — I seriously don’t know how anyone in this city manages to find the time to work on awesome costumes — I commend those of you who do!

I’d stopped in at some It’s My Party discount store to pick up a costume, winding up with a Ghostbusters outfit with an inflatable proton pack, thinking it would be a safe and recognizable costume choice.

Recognizable as a hot mess, maybe!

It wasn’t until the night before the party where I decided to check the costume out (dumb move, right?), only to discover that the proton pack had a huge hole in it!

Problem. After getting work out of the way for the day, I was left with less than 2 hours until the party, and was without a costume — I try to never half-ass anything, so I needed to find something that would make a good impression on the crowd.

And at It’s My Party, I saw it. The costume that would sent the tone for the rest of my night….

Y’all Gon’ Make Me Go All Out — Up in Here, Up in Here!!!

Note: No pockets meant no camera, though, so I’m relying on other people’s photos (you down with O.P.P.?!) to tell this story right.

There is no easier way to put this — you don’t know what you missed that night if you weren’t there.

Might sound obvious, but it’s true — PartyPeopleTO knows how to throw down with their parties and there’s no way that Thursday was an exception. These guys just outdo themselves with each new party they throw!

Held at the Stirling Room in Toronto’s Distillery District, SauzaSin was a fine combination of scintillating sounds, savoury Sauza and sumptuous sin! Greeted at the door by Meg herself (the head of this whole PartyPeopleTO deal) in a stunning She-Ra costume, she and the door crew would make sure that we got our drink tickets, welcome shot and that we were good and ready for the night!

I think Shannon was on point when she said

Seriously, it was crazy in there with the amount of effort people put into their costumes! Dressed as Mortal Kombat’s Scorpion, I spent the night meeting new people and making sure to show my martial arts prowess (read: flailing) with lots of battle stances and high kicks!

Me dressed up for SauzaSin in my Scorpion costume
It’s all about staying in character, man!

But let me tell you this — getting your groove on in a full bodysuit and mask? Crazy fun! Not my brightest moment logistically, but I was definitely enjoying myself!

Our drink tickets were good for trying two different drinks — the Witch’s Cauldron and the Diablo’s Curse. People will tell you different, but I thought the odd green-coloured Witch’s Cauldron was the better bet!

But this was all a prelude to who rocked the best costume….

FINISH HIM!!!

Scorpion, a priest and a construction worker battle for the Best Men's Costume with Meg Button on the stage to officiate
“Scorpion, a priest and a construction worker walk into a bar…” — Nate Kogan

definitely have to thank everyone at the party for voting me for Best Male Costume! Though my original choice didn’t work out, I wanted to make sure that I still brought the heat with whatever I chose, and it looks like the crowd agreed with me!

The prize was stellar, too:

  • 1 bottle Sauza Gold tequila
  • Some cinnamon sugar to make Sauza Sin shots (yes — more Sauza Sin shots!)
  • Some Schick Quattro razors (meant to help get a brotha ready for Movember, I’m sure)
  • A $100 MasterCard gift card
  • A $100 Cadillac Fairview gift card

Don’t know what that’s going toward, but I’m very happy to have won it!

But not as much as the next thing…

FLAWLESS VICTORY.

“You are all unwelcome to Sin City
Yet the population still increases its density
And that increases its intensity
Which increases the propensity”

–Malik Yusuf, “Sin City”, Kanye West Presents Good Music Cruel Summer

Winning the Men’s Best Costume was good, but it would still leave me completely unprepared for what was to come next!

What may have been one of the most unexpected parts of SauzaSin was the top prize of the night — an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas for 2!!!!

So you could imagine that this tweet would completely floor me the next afternoon:

My mind was blown.

A picture taken right after I'd won the prize for Best Men's Costume :)
VICTORY. SCORPION — WINS!!!

Sarah couldn’t believe her ears when I told her that we’d managed to win the trip — we’d been hoping to go to Vegas sometime soon anyway (to coincide with a hopeful trip to Bloggers in Sin City in May), but this was totally some very delicious Sauza icing on the cake!

I have to thank PartyPeopleTO and PRAXIS PR for the awesome party they put together and the amazing opportunity for Sarah and I to explore Las Vegas together! I really look forward to seeing what comes next!

As any good party of Tweeples, though, PartyPeopleTO made sure that no one would be leaving empty-handed and that the Sauza Sin shots would keep flowing well after the end of the party:

The thank you gift given to all #SauzaSin attendees — a carry-home bottle of Sauza gold tequila and cinnamon sugar!
And one for the road….

You can catch more of PartyPeopleTO’s photos from the party in their Facebook album.

Great people, great venue, amazing times. If you managed to score an invite — what’s your excuse for missing out???

Until next time…

Me in my Scorpion costume, mask up
Tryin’ to outdo me and my costume??? #CmonSon

–case p.

WHAT YOU MISSED: Struttin’ and Stuntin’ at CanyonOnFront

CanyonOnFront-1-of-1
Justin always keeps it boss. Always.

“Last night was mad real.”

–Kanye West, “No Church in the Wild”, Watch the Throne, 2011

Anyone who wants to tell me that Toronto’s a boring city obviously isn’t looking hard enough.

There was once a time where I’d spend a lot of time home at a loss for things to do (read: when I lived in Mississauga), but Twitter broke those floodgates wide open, bringing a ridiculous number of opportunities to — as OutKast would put it — “Git up, git out and git somethin'” out of Toronto.

And Wednesday, October 17 was a perfect example of this.

Meats, Greets and Shufflin’ Feet: CanyonOnFront

To paraphrase Justin Baisden, CanyonOnFront was what a tweetup is supposed to be like.

I felt the love as soon as I got there, with Tiff (one of my favourite Tweeps) holding it down at the front entrance, making sure we were covered for free beers and appetizers, and Kate (one of my favourite Tweeps I’ve met lately) ushering us to the back of the room, I was expecting the event to be dope, and it did not disappoint.

The back of the room was totally where it was at. With a gathering of a good number of my favourite people I’ve ever met on Twitter, some of the sickest beats ever laid by Kayson Stone (seriously — the man could not play a lame song once, it was ridiculous!!!) and the delicious steak that Canyon Creek always has to offer, what more could you ask for?

Turns out we didn’t have to ask; they had a lot more to give! Take a look at this list of things we got for the glorious price of free:

  • Two Steamwhistle beers
  • Seeing tons of awesome Tweeps all in the same place
  • Kayson Stone keeping the dance floor vibin’ with just about every song on my Top 500 Most Played iTunes playlist
  • CFL and NHL celebs mingling with us common folk and having a great time
  • Being thanked for our patronage with a hand-written card, $20 Canyon Creek gift card and voucher for a free Steamwhistle Brewery tour

A Top-Class Tweetup

What made this Tweetup stand out from so many others that I’ve been to these past few years was the attention to every little detail that defined the guests’ experience. Giving them discount and freebies they could actually use — and immediately. Creating an amazing atmosphere where you could meet new people and have tons of fun with some you already knew. Making guests feel appreciated with hand-written “thank you” cards on the way out. All this and not having to pay a dime unless you wanted to just blows my mind!

Justin said that CanyonOnFront easily ranks in his Top 5 tweetups of all time, and I’d find it really hard to disagree with him on this one.

Big ups to Tiff and Kate who obviously know a thing or two about throwing one bad-ass party!

Two very different events. One very awesome night. The next time you want to say that your city is boring, you might want to take a look around — there’s a lot of people doing a lot of amazing things.

And who wouldn’t want to be part of the action???

Canyon Creek Chophouse on Urbanspoon

–case p.

WHAT YOU MISSED: Ballin’ Out of Control for Charity — 3SHAHS and Black Sebath, October 17, 2012

Pretty much everyone who was at the 3SHAHS Wine & Cheese Event
The ladies (and the other 15% of the gentlemen) in attendance!

If you were to ask me a list of places where you’d be likely to find me, an event centred around jewellery would be unlikely to be on the list — yet there I was. A wine and cheese event isn’t usually my thing, yet there I was. I never had any need to step foot in a tanning salon — yet there I was.

But perhaps I should start at the beginning.

Bracelets and Burgers and Sales, Oh My!:

The flyer for the 3Shahs Presents Gifts that Give Wine and Cheese Soirée
It would make me late for #CanyonOnFront, but it was worth it.

3SHAHS Presents Gifts That Give — Wine & Cheese Soirée

No way I would’ve known about this event without Ria being in my ear to make sure I’d make an appearance!

The Players:

Black Sebath for the Religiously Fabulous

Black Sebath is a  dub poet who is on a quest to spread the gospel of fabulosity, charity, and civic engagement using various artistic platforms such as fashion, music, dance and of course poetry.

3SHAHS 

3SHAHS is a Canadian jewellery line created and designed by Shah Emily Noaman. Since its launch in 2000, 3SHAHS has been featured in magazines and fashion shows across the country and collected by fans worldwide. The “3” represents the trinity of Shah, her mother, and her sister, and in the Persian language, the word, ‘Shah’ translates to ‘King’. “Who said women can’t be kings? I believe in equality among everyone,” says Shah for those wondering about the name of her line.

So I had a good time starting my night here, and not only because I was part of the 20% male population in attendance! [/rimshot]

Seriously, though, it was fun. While plied by free wine, various chocolate-and-cannoli-cream treats courtesy of The Cookie Chicks and double-decker cheeseburger sliders from Holy Chuck Burgers (which I suppose put the “cheese” in “wine & cheese” — but as a burger-loving dude, you will hot hear me complain on technicalities!), 3SHAHS and Black Sebath made sure that our hunger was covered so we could look into sating other desires — namely, jewellery.

The event was brought to raise funds in support  of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, and with this in mind, Shah put a steep discount (20-80% steep!) on her handcrafted jewellery to entice people to buy! (Which I hope appeases my financially sensible wife, who happens to read my blog!)

There’s another 3SHAHS event going down on November 10th, and while I wont be able to make it (valid excuse: I’ll be on a boat!), you definitely want to get to know these lovely ladies and their associates! The details are at giftsthatgive.eventbrite.com for the curious! For some pics from the event, feel free to click on my Flickr gallery below!

After picking some pieces up for Sarah, despite chatting with the charming Nickesha and getting to know some other good people, I was getting anxious. Time was ticking and my Black ass was expected elsewhere.

A picture of me after I'd bought some jewellery for Sarah
Support the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation AND being a good husband! BLAM!!!

But that’s another party for another story!

–case p.