Barfly - Down the drain

What’s an adult swim with no adults?

Thursday July 29, 2010 04:00 am EDT

Planning a party from scratch may not be akin to cooking a dish in the kitchen. But in both instances, the words “just add water” always seem to simplify the recipe for success.

Such was not the case, however, at An Evening Swim. Last Saturday night, the Loft Experience and Upsouth Records set out to wrap a late-night fashion show, artist performances, and a live band inside a pool-party package. The 600-capacity Hidden Lakes outdoor banquet facility in Riverdale featured a wondrous landscaped garden, a sandy lakefront with a volleyball court, a tropical bar underneath a roof, and, of course, a swimming pool. Unfortunately, there was room for about 592 more folks to party that night.

Whether the modest turnout was due to the novel (read: boondocks) location or the $20 cover charge, neither brought the show to a halt. The police handled that. One complaint from the neighbors and the band was forced to shut it down. The authorities showed up and ordered the DJ to reduce the music’s volume to iPod decibels.

Apparently, house music doesn’t have to be extra loud to move a minute crowd. Two gentlemen illustrated the point by dancing with each other all night like long lost enemies. The shirtless, dreadlocked guy kept doing handstands in an attempt to kick his brethren with the loose fitting dashiki and the Afro. While one played the assailant, the other seamlessly avoided contact before returning a low spin kick, which was also dodged, in rhythm with the music. You probably wouldn’t see Capoeira, a Brazilian art form that combines elements of martial arts and dance, being executed at Compound or Luckie Lounge on a Saturday night. Being that it requires space and concentration, Hidden Lakes was the perfect venue to practice with no fleshy distractions or crowds.

It also seemed to be an ideal spot for R&B songstress (and Lil Wayne’s baby mama No. 3) Nivea to hang out. She wore extremely dark sunglasses and a hooded jacket over her head, presumably to hide from the invisible swarm of autograph seekers and fans.

With a half hour left until the 1 a.m. curtain call, the few dudes that had come out were headed for the exit. They halted upon hearing that the swimsuit fashion show was still going to happen. Pearl, a sultry, 5-foot-11, Haitian-American hip-hop artist, and Styleon, an equally tall and sexy Bahamian reggae singer, were both scheduled to perform, but given the circumstances, they were relegated to bikini models for the night. It was almost worth the wait. Almost.

One should rarely feel pity for party promoters; their mission is to profit from our desperate desire to mingle and get wasted. But in this instance, their pain was mine. In hindsight, maybe the fee to get into “An Evening Swim” should have been a six-pack, or some hamburger buns — or a busload of friends.