After Hours @ The Library party held at Carnegie
By Kate Benz
Published: Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012
Inside the doorway of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, a security guard kept a close eye on the sell-out crowd of 450 that had checked in for a let-your-hair-down cocktail hour, where, halfway through the festivities, it appeared as though everyone was still on good behavior.
"They're trying," he said. "But they've got another hour."
Anticipated debauchery seemingly kept at bay, the building was swarming with socials during the After Hours @ The Library party, where the opportunity to toast the likes of Tolstoy, Hemmingway and Twain was not lost on those in attendance.
"You can't beat the opportunity to drink wine amongst the literary giants," said Greg Shannon, with his wife, Brittany.
Elsewhere, new CLP director Mary Francis Cooper mingled with the likes of Stephanie Meyer and Derek Palladino, Sam Mudrick, Sean Gray, Jonathan Baeckel and Emma Strong, Addie Perkins, Gabby Salvador, Amanda Sinkus and Jesse Dunlap, where conversation quickly focused on the line of people stretching halfway across the building.
"I'd say they drank us dry in about half an hour," said Wigle Whiskey owner Eric Meyer, whose Strip District distillery established an immediate cult following.
Thankfully, a live-action, roaming game of Candy Land served as an acceptable consolation prize, where committee members including Mary Phillips, Molly Quinlin, Ian Eberhardt and Mark Lee were in character to meet a mob of anxious game-players.
But the coup de grace of the evening came via tours of the William R. Oliver Special Collections Room, where captive audiences listened to head archivist Greg Priore as he showed off the crown jewels of the collection: first editions of "The Jungle Book" and "Huck Finn," one of the earliest handwritings of Bach, Andrew Carnegie's personal copy of "The Gospel of Wealth," and an account book from the Old Stone Tavern in the West End, dated 1793, whose recorded tabs included those from prominent figures in Pittsburgh history.
"Back in the day, people didn't always pay their tabs with money," Priore said. "There's one guy listed in here who paid his tab with bacon."
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