Photos by Joe Durkin
When I received the invitation to Skyler Baldwin’s 16th birthday party, I thought “A nightclub takeover…How clever!” Little did I know just how sensational of an affair it would prove to be.
I was running a little late, and so the arrivals had already transpired; but the impact of the signage at JEWEL Nightclub, inside Aria Resort & Casino, soaring three stories into the air was not lost on me. Within seconds of arriving at JEWEL, I’d been photographed for a custom GIF, posed with props for a still camera, and was escorted up the stairs, upon which Skyler’s name and those of her guests were digitally displayed.
I was led to the VIP Room on the club’s mezzanine level; where I joined the birthday girl’s family and the other “grown-ups” taking-in the festivities, playing-out on the dancefloor, below. There was no sign of Skyler, yet; but that would happen shortly (and to great effect). You see, Miss Skyler - cognisant of the power wielded by a dramatic entrance - made hers in a fierce Balmain runway look, topped with a full-bodied high-pony - at which point I realized that my friends' studious little girl was growning into a smart and beautiful young woman. (It was a pretty awesome entrance...)
Anyhow, just as I was having my mind blown by the fantastic close-up magic of Shimshi (as in “No way, Shimshi: That IS my card!”), my attention was grabbed by a procession of servers with sparklers. Now, as any denizen of nightlife can tell you, sparklers usually signify Champagne bottle service; but on this night, the sparklers were affixed to multi-tiered Lucite trays piled-high with Sparkler Sliders (warm bun, dry-aged beef, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions, and signature spread) and Duck Fat Skinny Fries (with sriracha ketchup, traditional ketchup, and mayonnaise).
Now, lest you think that a swarm of teens might be assuaged by an onslaught of burgers and fries, you’re probably living in 1992, and you don’t know Skyler B. Wise beyond her 16 years, Skyler enlisted Dawn Hume of Social Gal Events to realize her vision, and the results speak for themselves.
On the culinary front, Carlos Guia (Executive Chef, Banquets and Catering) and his team produced a spread that ran the length of the club, and included the following food stations: Sushi (numerous varieties), Deviled Eggs, Chicken n’ Waffles, Gardens (aka fresh veggies, with edible ‘Soil’ and choice of dressing), Spun Spaghetti & Meatballs, Grilled Cheese Shooters (with Tomato Soup and Truffle Cauliflower Soup), and Street Tacos (with Green Chili Chicken and Birria-style Beef). In a word – deliciousness!
I was double-fisting Chicken n’ Waffles, when there was a palpable shift in the energy, and I looked up from the rivulets of ranch dressing and barbeque sauce running down my hands, only to realize that the King of Crunk, himself – Lil Jon – had taken over, on the ones-and-twos. To say that these kids (and more than a few of us so-call adults) lost their respective minds, would be to do the moment a disservice. Suffice it to say that the room got turnt, tout de suite.
Confetti rained down on the revelers, as CO2 blasters cooled everyone down. The evening’s motto* “Salty & Lit – Matt 5:13” was seen, emblazoned on the giant glow-sticks being thrust into the air, as well as being displayed on the video monitors climbing the wall, behind the DJ booth.
I can’t speak for any of the other guests (especially insomuch as I don’t tend to hang-out with teenagers), but from where I was sitting, it was one heckuva night.
Mazel tov, Skyler; my young friend! Wishing you all happiness on the road that lies ahead!
Skyler Baldwin | Sixteenth Birthday
JEWEL Nightclub | Aria Resort & Casino
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Get into it!
[Editor’s Note: A tongue-in-cheek twist on chapter 5, verses 13-16 from the New Testament’s “Gospel According to Matthew” - aka the Salt and Light passages, from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount]