This party—thrown at the stately Stimson-Green Mansion—is the soiree thrown by Mike McConnell of Caffe Vita in celebration of the Seattle Coffee Fest, an annual event held at the Convention Center. When we arrive, a man named Q is happily grilling various carnivorous delights on a barbecue on the sidewalk. Strewn about the stoop and front walkway are various would-be party crashers, rejected by the oak-tree-sized doorman.
Inside, the chatter of coffee-executive types and young, arty sorts (read: service-industry workers) echoes throughout the expansive rooms and halls. In the study, Champagne Champange hoot and holler enthusiastically into microphones and their fans throw their bodies about with equal zeal. Nearly all the dining-room offerings have been decimated, until a three-tiered serving dish of designer chocolates arrives. They are summarily devoured. A second dish meets a similar demise. Finally, Q arrives with a steaming mass of animal from the aforementioned barbecue. I fall upon the chafing dish, loading a plate high with various delectable smoked and grilled meats. My date looks on in disgust, and while I'm feverishly gnawing on a particularly delicious rib, I learn that she has been a vegetarian for decades.
Outside, the line for alcohol is long and disorganized. After a testing wait, drinks come, and eventually so does the subsequent bathroom visit. Despite the presence of only two single-occupancy bathrooms, the lines are rather short—likely due to the inverse proportion of the line for drinks. "I don't know anyone here except for my husband!" proclaims a woman at the foot of the basement stairs. "I love parties like this. If you get too drunk, no one knows you!"
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