Shannon Kelley

Peeping (Red)

AIDS Benefit at the Coral Casino

What a week! Last Monday found me overwhelmed by a sweet, nervous-yet-excited sense of anticipation reminiscent of how I’d feel as a kid on Christmas Eve. Will Santa bring me the (Red) Ryder BB gun with the compass in the stock and this thing that tells time, or will he not? By Tuesday, any sweetness was dissolved by the intensity of my nerves, like so much sugar in my chai; I was a wreck. But ever since approximately 8:01 p.m. Tuesday night, I’ve been living in the sweetest state of all. I vacillate between disbelief and a rather unfamiliar sense of pride, but overall, I’m inspi(red), fi(red) up. The only thing that tempe(red) this delicious sense of delight was the douche bag who stole my newspaper on Wednesday morning.

Thursday afternoon found me plotting an evening characterized by the ever-pleasing blanket/couch/wine/remote combo, but when I received a call summoning me to the Coral Casino for a Project (Red) (Bono’s brainchild; the organization’s mission is to eliminate AIDS from Africa) fundraiser, I reevaluated. The couch would be there tomorrow, I figured (although, sadly, my newspaper clearly no longer comes with such a guarantee), and if the election taught us anything, it’s the value of getting involved, the ugliness of apathy, the whereabouts of a small town called Wasilla, Alaska. : But all that’s neither here nor there. The bottom line was that a hot-ticket affair was calling, to benefit a great cause. And besides, word on the street had it that Samantha Ronson would be spinning-so a LiLo spotting was possible. (And therefore any illusions I may have been harboring about having some choice in whether or not to peep this shindig were promptly eviscerated.)

My pal and I made our way to the Coral Casino-the entrance marked by a wide (red) carpet-and suffered through some faux-arazzi flashes (as any photog will tell you, half the point of being a photographer is that it typically means no one thinks to take your picture). That obstacle cleared, we landed on the patio, where the Jason Campbell Band was playing, the heaters were cranking, and the deadly champagne+vodka+something purple cocktails were flowing. The heater-side huddles swelled at a rate directly proportionate to that at which the crowd’s demographic began skewing younger, skinnier, and more scantily clad, but when Ronson took to the booth, the peeps flooded in, packing the dance floor and keeping it bumping for hours. LiLo never showed, but the Palm did-and though I would have liked to stick around until the bitter end, it was one hell of a week. And I was ti(red).

Where will your peeps be? Email For more peeps, click here.

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