Friday, August 5, 2011

Observations on a frat-bar

So the other night my friend Tim decided to celebrate his birthday at a bar in  Midtown East.  A recent thought catalog article (I've really been liking thought catalog lately.  I suppose I have a lot of thoughts.) entitled "Manhattan Neighborhoods in Six Words or Less" described Midtown East with the words "drink here until you're 21."  That does a pretty good job of it.  My neighborhood, conversely, is described as "old people love it" which I think also sums things up relatively well.

Anyway, apparently this bar, "Irish Exit," is offering Tim some sort of birthday special, with free drinks for him and half-off drinks for his friends who must request a wrist-band at the door.  At 11, he also gets a $50 bar tab for said friends to use.  Thursday, which it happens to be, is also $1 "mug" night... a mug being an approximately 8 ounce plastic cup of Miller Lite.  So there's that.  Somehow, he won this whole situation, but doesn't think he's ever been to Irish Exit, so he doesn't know how he entered for it.  He says he must have been blackout.  So there's that too.  Upon further observation of the bar I would say that one would have to be blackout to want to go here.

I walk into Irish Exit and immediately want to turn around and run.  This place is a frat.  There is a reason I stopped going to frat parties after my freshman year of college.  However, I'm doing this for Tim, I tell myself.  And many of my other friends are here too.  I manage to battle my way to the back while only getting a little beer spilled on me.  I am stopped by someone who attempts to pimp his friend, "the Asian model" to me, and I bluntly duck underneath their arms muttering a brief "I have to meet some people."  Sometimes it's good to be short.  I find my friends, then go to the bar (luckily there is a secondary bar in the back) for a $1 "mug" but hear an announcement from the front room:

"If I can get a 56 person conga line, everyone in this bar gets a free shot!"

The conga line begins.  We are trapped.  I finally push through, and almost immediately after my arduous efforts, the conga line dissipates.  I do not know if anyone got their free shot.  For the rest of the evening, we manage to stay mostly removed from the frat goings on up front, and I am happy with how easy it will be for me to get home (five stops on the 6) and that one "vodka soda with a splash of cran," my latest, girly signature drink, blatenly stolen from a friend, and probably appropriate for a frat-bar, and another, better beer, set me back only about $8.  Such prices are pretty much unheard of in New York City and my status as a recent,, unemployed post-grad is quite pleased.  But is this set-up worth it?  Maybe not.

We do continue to hear announcements from the front room over the course of the night:
"I need 10 ladies up on my bar, right now!"  "You will all get free drinks!"
"If you are on my bar, and you are not getting naked, or making out, get off my bar right now!"
"If you are texting on my bar, we will throw you out!"

At the end of the night, rather than wait on the frat-bar bathroom line, I walk the ten blocks to where my friend is staying with her aunt and uncle, a beautiful, gigantic apartment with an enormous terrace on 58th past 1st.  I then make my way back to the train, cursing the fact that I had deemed it necessary to wear heels to this frat bar.

Well, that was... fun.  I think, let's not do it again.

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