When dreaming up the idea for this theme set, the first person I asked was my best friend, who I’ve known since we were wee lasses. We grew up loving the same jams, the same movie stars and in our early 20’s, the same bearded musicians.
Aside from her passion for travel and all things digital (she works with Morgans Hotel Group, one of the coolest hotel chains around) Meredith is an avid lover of the sea. There are very few people who I think could have a successful career as a beautiful mermaid, and she is one of them. I was very excited to see that her birthday band pick was right along with all of the things that she loves so dearly!
So batten down the hatches, find your best striped shirt and grab all of your hot sailor friends. We’re going to sea!
Vagrant Isle: Mer, you have an unlimited budget and a warehouse-sized time machine, should you need it. Who do you hire to play your birthday bash?
Meredith: When you search “best sea chanty bands” on Google, you get Salty Walt and the Rattlin Ratlines, one of the very few bands in America focused on preserving the maritime music of the 19th century. Salty Walt and his band, like me, love all things nautical and would without a doubt be the band (and the man) I’d want to play at my unlimited budget birthday party.
VI: Very cool. For those of you wondering, a “sea chanty” (also known as a “shanty”) is a work song that sailors used to jam on. Kind of like whistling while you work, but you know, cooler. Mer, where are you hosting?
M: In an effort to support local maritime culture and (let’s face it) secure a really cool venue, I’d rent out The Peking, a 1911, four-masted barque ship now resting in the waters at NY’s South Street Seaport. With the Seaport in constant threat of being shut down, we’d make this soiree a fundraiser to support the Seaport and Museum.
Meredith’s party boat, The Peking.
VI:This. Is. Awesome. Who doesn’t love a boat party? Anything else happening at your chanty shindig?
M: Guests would be required to dress in 1940’s nautical style, and the 1929 film featuring the Peking in action, “Around Cape Horn” would be on loop and projected on the sails throughout the night. Unlimited oysters, lobsters, crab and shrimp would be the food of the evening, the bar would be stocked with the best rums and whiskeys and Heavy Seas Winter Storm, Loose Cannon and Anchor Steam would be flowing on tap.
VI: This sounds opulent! I love the idea of everyone getting dressed up! Speaking of…
A little high-seas birthday inspiration:
First off, I’m really stoked that Mer picked this look and feel because I have been ogling at Yves Saint Laurent’s 2012 Resort Collection and it fits perfectly. It’s just the right balance of classic women’s wear and kitsch.
YSL 2012 Resort Collection
Obviously, not many of us are rocking a bank account that allows a YSL dress purchase, but there are some great alternatives:
- How cute is this striped dress from xARK’s Etsy store?
- TopShop had some really great striped pieces like this knitted cardigan and striped shirt with slit back - sexy!
- The hey skipper shorts from Lulu’s seem quite appropriate.
- How bad do you want this love knot necklace from Anthropologie…
- …to wear with some Kate Spade sailor’s knot earrings?
- And, as usual, I look to Modcloth for vintage-inspired heels like the discover your niche and pot of gold styles!
To party there:
Well, it seems Mer had a pretty good idea of what we’ll all be chowing down on while we’re there! I found some great seafood recipes while poking around the interwebz. If you like shrimp, try the sweet and spicy honey grilled shrimp from my faves, Our Best Bites. And for you lobster-heads, there’s a great lobster salad recipe (that I’ve actually made!) on Serious Eats. (B-T-dubbs, secret to the perfect lobster roll found here.)
If you’re into Oysters and in the New York area, I highly recommend going to a favorite of Mer’s (and mine), Maison Premiere. Great atmosphere, an oyster happy hour ($1!!!!) and a pretty kick-ass old fashioned, if you ask me.
Oysters and whiskey and oysters, oh my!
Speaking of booze, Mer recommends the Heavy Seas line of beer and I recommend the St. George single malt whiskey. I also have to give a shout out to the rum of my homeland, Tortuga. The rum isn’t the nicest (it’ll definitely put some hair on your chest), but they make one amazing rum cake! Perfect for singing “Happy Birthday” over.
I also found a whole page of rum cocktails which were Latin-inspired. While slightly out of context, who cares? If I’m out at sea and I want a mojito, you’re gonna make me one, dammit.
I could go on and on about nautically inspired things, but really, who has time to read a Moby Dick-sized blog post? Mer, I can’t wait for this birthday party! I will leave you dolls with Salty Walt singing at the Chicago Maritime Festival - perfect jams for while you’re soaring over the waves at sea.