Last night I was at the McLeod Residence for their Seattle Notables Party. There was a Space Needle and three Bill Nye the Science Guys, and a woman in a bra who described herself as a "Sexy Ken Griffey Jr." was lolling around on a couch in another woman's lap. She shouted to a passing guy, "Come jump into the pile of girl!" The gin flowed as freely as tears at a Catholic-school reunion.
Tonight I'm at a Nigerian art party.
Years ago, a young Nigerian man named Eze Anamelechi chose a college in the U.S., pretty much at random. He wound up in Oklahoma, where it's fair to say he faced some racism. ("He had a noose around his neck at one point," a friend says to me.) After graduating, Anamelechi went to Europe in order to, as his friend explained, "Figure out why all these white people were so Goddamned racist." And then he moved to Seattle to work as an artist. He's never stopped loving Nigeria, though, and so he brought two Seattle artists, Ben Sandall and Norman Baker, to experience Nigeria for a month.
Some of Sandall's gorgeous photography and Anamelechi's vivid artwork are on display. There's also a slide show, set to Baker's field recordings, showing their experiences in Africa, and a well-stocked open bar, though donations are welcome and will benefit dilapidated Nigerian shrines. I was concerned about attending an art party with a massive hangover, but the hosts are so enthusiastic—"There's magic in the air, and I know that something special is happening here," Anamelechi toasts—that I somehow find the courage to begin drinking again.
Want The Stranger at your house party? E-mail the date, place, time, and party details to firstname.lastname@example.org.