Dive Bar Tour Extravaganza

So, my friend Tara threw a birthday bash for her boyfriend Jimmy on Saturday that involved inviting about 12 of his guy friends from all over the country to surprise him by ambushing him as the two of them walked up 5th Street. His glasses flew off and he was toppled to the road, not unlike a perpetrator in Cops. We then walked him to Ray's Happy Birthday Bar below Washington where two other of his guy friends were waiting to surprise him further.

Here's Ray's: They have a jukebox next to one of their sticky bar tables and a statue of James Brown above the mirrored bar. The women's room is so small that your knees almost touch the door when you're sitting on the toilet. It's dark inside and smells like cigarette smoke and spilled beer. They had a Christmas tree in one corner decorated with white lights and beer can ornaments. I think we spoiled a typical Saturday at the bar for many of the older men in flannel shirts who frequent the joint. Everyone ordered PBR's.

Next stop, Dive (formerly Low): The bartender at this place was super super low key; didn't even get mad when one of the more drunk guys walked behind the bar or that we brought deli sandwiches, cole slaw, and potato salad into the bar for people to eat. He picked up a sandwich and did two shots with the guys. I told him he looked vaguely like Mark Ruffalo but he didn't know who that is. Dive bar is basically one long bar with stools and a large TV that plays movies (Wedding Singer was on while we were there). The guy who runs it is a very dorky guy with a pointed beard and moussed boy band hair and two hoop earrings. He wasn't there for the happy hour, but he usualy runs around slapping high fives with people he recognizes and asking everybody if they're doing okay. I prefer him though to the blase, disenchanted attitude of people at Royal Tavern next door.

Friendly's Lounge: On the sidewalk near Friendly's, we ran into three women who were just leaving there to go to meet friends at Dive. Jimmy said, Come on, women! Come back with us! They followed us to Friendly's and we were unable to shake them for the rest of the night (in fact, two of the guys were unable to shake them until the next morning when both were sheepinshly dropped off at Tara's after having taken the Drive of Shame). Friendly's seems to be mob owned and run. Not much in the way of decorations, but the bartender, an older guy with slicked-back hair, lined the bar instantly with green bottles of Yuengling Lager. Jimmy's a semi-regular there and so the bartender handed off two guitars, one to him and one to his friend Mike and they crooned and strummed for awhile. I had my first inkling that maybe I could possibly go home soon. Shawn had to back out after Dive, having consumed about a case of PBR's in an hour without the benefit of the corned beef sandwich that arrived just a few moments too late.

And on to Bob and Barbara's: A much roomier bar where they are usually three black musicians on drums, sax and guitar set up right next to the bathroom. Good mix of people here including average Joe's, hipsters, and frat boys. Can't remember too much what I did here...Oh, yes, one of the other women there who had a red ribbon in her hair told me about her brother who died. She started crying a little and excused herself. I struck up a conversation with two guys next to me who were med students from Penn. We had a fairly earnest conversation about organ donation and then they left to go somewhere cooler. Watched as one of the women we picked up on the street inched closer and closer to one of the single guys in our group--she was probably nice enough but she had that wet, curly haired look from the early 90s and a large, horse-like face. Who knows; maybe she was a fabulous conversationalist and had sharp insight into current politics and the human existence. I got a little worried when I noticed I was slightly careening around like someone stuck in a pinball machine--bumping into doors and people and generally tipped off balance in what I hoped was a not noticeable way.

And lastly for me: Dirty Frank's: Not a far distance from Bob & Barbara's. Dirty Frank's has booths and a square bar in the center and places to sit along the wall (though it might have just been the radiator we were perched on). I managed to have part of a PBR, use the bathroom, and say good night to Tara and Jimmy and a couple of the other people before trying to walk out with the PBR in my coat pocket which the bouncer made me leave. Hi, I'm 21 years old. I wove my way home with a double consciousness. I was aware that I was walking erratically and doing things like leaning over to look intently at the numbers of my cell phone and thinking, God, I'm appearing to be so drunk, but I couldn't stop doing it either. Made it home after eleven. I thought Shawn had left again to come out to meet us, but he was still in bed which was sort of a relief.

The rest of the crowd finished the night out at Tattoed Mom's, closing the place without any serious incidents unless you count a few instances of suspected infidelity. Jimmy did momentarily expose his ass at Dirty Frank's (I think), but that's to be expected. I lasted from about 2:30 to 11 which I think is pretty good. Didn't do any shots, had about an hour off in the middle, and ate a little roast beef. Didn't get sick, make out with any strange men, sob uncontrollably, pee my pants, or otherwise create a scene, though I am embarrassed about the beer in the jacket pocket.


Tara said…
I love being the star (or at least, one of the main characters) in my very own reality short-story.
Thanx Aimee- I couldn't have summarized the night better myself!