Not quite any given Sunday in Eastwick

DJ Jazzy Jeff closes out the the party with a set of old school hip-hop at the Hornitos Block Party on the Nov. 15, 2009.

Most of my Sundays involve a hangover, regrettable food choices and screaming at the TV as I watch the Patriots in their ongoing search for mediocrity. Sunday, things took a turn for the better.

I woke hangover-free and had a scrumptious breakfast at Taste in West Hollywood. The restaurant was even within walking distance from where I was staying. I felt like an advertisement for walking as I strolled through the lazy Sunday morning streets. “Walking! Prove your legs still work!” Sunday afternoon was spent with Las Vegas regular DJ Jazzy Jeff and Rain resident Z-Trip far from the Strip or any collar-required venues in a place where tequila runs freely and neighbors gather at picnic tables for Frito pies and cotton candy: a town called Eastwick, Calif.

Block Party

Don’t try to Google Map this mythical place. Eastwick – also known as Stars Hollow to Gilmore Girls fans – doesn’t exist on any map, at least not the kind you use for navigation purposes. The town is the block-long set of the recently cancelled ABC show by the same name and the setting of yesterday’s Hornitos Block Party, a four-hour outdoor affair that played like an all-day college party on steroids. Instead of keg beer and Andre, bars in each picket-fenced house served free Hornitos in various forms, and in place of dining hall pizza, partiers snacked on sliders, hot dogs and gourmet cupcakes. The DJ-spun soundtrack featured an hour-plus set from Jazzy Jeff with the hipster heavy crowd stretching out their tight jeans with so much exuberant dancing. Under the DJ tent was Z-Trip, rocking along to Jazzy Jeff and enjoying the afternoon antics.

A party like this – with Twister and horseshoes, hammocks and servers in short shorts and fake mustaches – would be a welcome change of pace in Las Vegas. No dress codes, no cover charge, no feeling like the dateless loser at the high school dance if you arrive sans fake boobs and four-inch heels. The problem, my Vegas friends and I agreed as we broke it down in front of Jazzy Jeff and his well-tuned hype man, Skillz, would be crowd. The Block Party worked not only because there were Jell-O shots, free custom T-shirts and perfect LA weather, but because the people partying in Eastwick weren’t trying to impress anyone. Too often at Las Vegas clubs and pools the people dancing on tables or raising bottles to the sky are working really hard to look cool. It’s hard work, of course, and after dropping all that money on a flight, Strip hotel room, cover charge and cocktails, no one wants to look the fool.

In Eastwick, folks danced because they liked the music and didn’t seem to worry about the sweat pouring down their faces. Maybe it was the tequila. Maybe it was the weather. Maybe it was the fact that we were partying in a fake town in the middle of the Warner Bros. lot. Either way, I was glad that I made the trip to Eastwick and that this Sunday had shaped up a little differently.

And I was especially glad that I had skipped the football game. Grrr.

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