|(c) Andrea Sparacio|
This weekend was something else.
Some of you know that when I’m not blogging, I’m a book geek. By day, I’m a book editor. By night/ weekend/ any-other-free-second, I’m a co-publisher of Slice, a literary magazine I started in 2007 with my dear friend Celia. As a non-profit magazine on a shoestring budget, we’ve gotten pretty creative with our fundraising. In a pinch, we’ve gone as far as hosting bake sales on our stoop in Park Slope. Seven issues, dozens of volunteers, and two patient husbands later, Slice is just getting started.
This weekend was a major milestone for Slice. We’ve always been about building community—writers, readers, editors, agents, designers, photographers, or any sort of bookworm. Slice brings us all together. But this weekend sparked a community unlike anything we’d seen.
Let me start from the beginning.
A few years ago, my husband Joe and Celia’s husband Ian started hosting beer pairing dinners in our apartment (the four of us lived together before we were married, TV sitcom-style). They’d home brew five beers, design a five-course menu tailored to those beers, and invite 35 of their pals over for dinner. These events are no joke: Ian happens to be the head brewer at Sixpoint Craft Ales, and Joe has been designing gourmet, improv recipes since he was in diapers. They’re pretty good at what they do. We knew they were on to something when the dinners would fill up within 10 minutes of emailing people. They couldn’t keep up with the demand. So we’ve been itching to get the boys into a more public setting, where all the world could see their greatness.
Fast forward three years. We Slice ladies were fretting over fundraising for Issue 7. The boys were brainstorming breakout plans for their next dinner. And incidentally, our friend Dave Liatti was putting the finishing touches on his new restaurant, 61 Local in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. All great minds came together, and with that, Slice‘s first annual beer pairing dinners were born.
Joe and Ian hosted a four-course benefit dinner for 50 people on both Friday and Saturday night. Dave kindly donated his space at 61 Local for the private event before it even opened (they’ll open officially next month). And Sixpoint Craft Ales donated some exclusive brews for the weekend. While our guys sweated in the kitchen, Slice‘s tireless staff (everyone from our Art Director and Editor-in-Chief to submissions readers, writers, and straight-up fans) bussed tables, poured beer, plated food, took photos, and made it all come together. Celia and I hid in a corner washing dishes and taking it all in. This, my friends, was community in action. It was amazing. Everyone and everything was more than we could have asked for.
Our friend Andrea snapped these gorgeous photos in between bussing tables and running food. Visit her blog for the full collage. And stay tuned for more from Slice’s fabulous art director, Amy Sly. I saw her shooting away all night. Can’t wait to see what she unveils.
Oh, and stay tuned very soon for a recipe from the big weekend….!