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August 2, 2006

L.A. comes to Seattle

Posted by Tricia Duryee at 11:10 AM

T-Mobile USA is known for throwing extravagant events where it can tout its latest devices, like the Sidekick 3.

The parties, filled with A-list celebrities like Paris Hilton, are typically held in Los Angeles and New York. But last night, the Bellevue-based company tried to duplicate the hype in its own hometown by rolling out the magenta carpet in Seattle. Truth be told, it came very close to bringing a little Hollywood to Fleece Central.


TRICIA DURYEE/SEATTLE TIMES
DJ AM at the T-Mobile celeb bash, captured, appropriately, with a camera phone.

The party started at 9 p.m. and was held on the roof of the Bell Harbor Convention Center on Pier 66. Overlooking the skyline, the event drew some of the hottest people in Seattle and a few local celebrities who elbowed their way to the front of the bar for free drinks while they ate playground-themed snacks, including PB&J sandwiches, pizza, cupcakes and corndogs.

Lasers beamed the words "T-Mobile Sidekick 3" on buildings across the street, and you could easily hear the music from down below. The theme was also represented by adult-sized swings (padded in pink, of course) and park benches where you could sit and play with the Sidekick 3 -- known for a full keyboard that makes messaging really easy.

The eclectic group of famous faces ranged from the Sonics' Ray Allen -- a Sidekick user -- former Seahawk and soon-to-be-hall-of-famer Warren Moon; Rod Stewart's daughter, Kimberly Stewart; and Guns N' Roses' bass player, Duff McKagan.

The main entertainment started around 10:45 p.m. when DJ AM (either Nicole Richie's current or former boyfriend, I don't know) mixed records to Blink 182's Travis Barker on the drums. While DJ AM spun everything from Ray Charles to Kanye West and the Beastie Boys, Barker, covered in tattoos from torso to neck, played along energetically, at times even looking violent as he beat down on the drum kit.

The event was as exclusive as they come. Only 350 people were allowed. That means nearly all of T-Mobile's 2,500 local employees who work at the company's Bellevue headquarters weren't invited.

Maybe it was for the best, as most attendees didn't look like they were from here. Women bared a lot of skin; guys were in their button-down club shirts. It was L.A. in Seattle for just one day.

The reason for the Seattle party?

Who knows? But T-Mobile must be feeling it has something to celebrate. We'll find out soon how well the latest Sidekick is selling. T-Mobile reports its second-quarter financial results next week.

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Tricia Duryee
Tricia Duryee
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Angel Gonzalez
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