[image-3]Not much news to report on last night’s SCENE sponsored happy hour from the Blind Tiger. Though the sun reached her full glory in the late afternoon, bathing the back courtyard with warm light, attendance hovered near the low end of the spectrum. A smattering of loyal regulars arrived eventually, with loosened ties and discarded sports coats, who treated the event as a means for unwinding after a long day at the office rather than a prelude to the evening’s featured show, Waiting for Godot.

[image-1]As someone who wasn’t born here but who has called Charleston home for roughly 14 years, I marvel at how many true locals, around my age, have either boomeranged (left Charleston for a period of time for school or work and then returned) or never left at all. What remains are groups of people who have a shared history spanning a few decades; whether or not they were in the same high school clique, played for rival sports teams, or ended up at different colleges doesn’t matter. Attending any SCENE shindig often feels like stepping into a reunion party for a school I never attended. And while it isn’t unpleasant, it can be a little intimidating. Luckily, everyone I’ve met is friendly, good-humored, and obliging of my request to take their photo, even when it’s for the 10th time in two weeks.

So if you’re new to town and looking for a way to integrate yourself into this exclusive club, SCENE provides a great angle. While you may not pick up the meaning of every inside joke, or remember that one time in 1990-something when some kids from BE and Porter Gaud vandalized each other’s school property before the BIG GAME, the networking you accomplish during Spoleto season may fetch you an invite to someone’s family’s 112th Annual Oyster Roast next winter. And that’s pretty neat.

[image-2]But back to the party. As usual, snacks were provided and included dry-rubbed wings alongside pickled shrimp. We laughed, we drank, we praised the sun and mostly talked about how excited we are for Sunday’s finale at Middleton Place.

WORD TO THE WISE: Last year’s finale was held on what may have been the hottest day of the year. I cursed my choice of dress: a long maxi with some sort of unbreathing, wretched lining; what was I thinking!? Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats? More like Nathaniel Rateliff and the Heat Strokes.

Though the forecast for Sunday looks tolerable, and scenesters receive access to one of the better (read: shady) patches of earth out at the plantation, I highly recommend to everyone planning on attending to wear your lightest, most Charleston-in-the-summertime outfits you can muster. 100 percent cotton or linen. And bring sunscreen; you’ll thank me later.

See you there!