Downtown Abbey: Silky at Mint

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From the August 14, 2014 edition

The final Silky event at Mint on a recent Saturday ended the four-part party series — and all other parties along with it.

More than 400 people flooded a former meat-processing facility on the South Side for the no-cover, no-closing-time, BYOB bash. If you weren’t getting Silky at Mint last weekend, you missed the best party of the summer.

If it hadn’t been for the well-dressed droves of people surrounding the building, we would have never found 42. W. Jenkins Ave. Florescent lights flickered sporadically overhead in the entryway. Signs reading “meat sink” were hanging hap-hazardly on the walls, as if the machinery had been moved out just hours before. The space could have doubled as the set of a slasher film. Pin-ups, local DJs, artists and band members drank directly from wine bottles and PBR tall boys as they waited to use the bathroom.

You could barely see the DJ at the far end of the warehouse through the haze of smoke and sweat that hung over the crowd. Even for a huge space, the dance floor was full, and nearly every person moved to the bass. The DJ, Juuso Tervo, had the crowd hypnotized, commanding their every move with whatever sound he pushed through the speakers; they were waiting on his next beat as if waiting on a kidney transplant.

Silk shirts, barely-there booty shorts, jumpsuits and kimonos passed by as we sipped spiked punch and cheap wine by the makeshift bar in the back. We soon learned that dancing at Silky was not a spectator sport. People scattered along the wall were pulled in by those on the floor. The music spread through the crowd like a virus, and nobody had the vaccine.

When the body-heat and sweat became overwhelming, we took our United Dairy Farmers moscato outside. A sea of people populated the smoking area. People huddled against graffiti-splashed walls and laughed uncontrollably. “This is the best party I’ve ever been to!” one party-goer said. Several other people nodded in agreement.

The party lasted until well after bars closed. My sides hurt from laughing. We were exhausted.

The subsequent “Missed Connection” on Craigslist summed the evening up perfectly: “Silky, U were 2 good last night. Good bye 4 now. All U beau-tiful people have my heart. Let's chill again.”