So last Thursday night I got hassled by some townies, and my friend Starks kicked the door of a moving car (it was a Mini, with four dudes inside. They deserved it). Where were we? Closing time outside of BAR, of course.
Ahh, closing time on Crown Street. It has all the chaotic diversity of a coral reef. Life teems out onto the streets, schools of scantily-clad Alchemy hos flutter in unison back and forth along the side walk, looking for a drunk friend, Yale kids from BAR bounce into one another trying to figure out what else is going on, while feeding on Aladdin Crown pizza. Fat men sit planted at the picnic benches outside of Louie’s, observant like sea anemones, and large cars with drunk townie drivers, the great whites of Crown Street, cause the colorful assortment to momentarily scatter to the sidewalk, only to return an instant later as they pass by.
Anyway, Starks was pretty drunk, and so was I. So when the Mini Cooper drove by and he kicked its front passenger door, I yelled “boo-ya.” The car screeched on its breaks. The dude in the driver’s seat got out. He walked up to the crowd of us, puffing his chest out the way those blowfish do when they feel pissed or threatened. He was a lot less cool-looking though. “Yo, Dude. Not cool!” he said, pointing at Starks with his finger. “I’m sorry, man, I was way out of line.” Starks stifled his laughter. “I didn’t mean to kick your — Mini.” Meanwhile I was doing an impression of that Simpsons’ episode where Nelson makes fun of the tall guy in the little car and the tall guy gets out and says “Do you have a problem with how I drive my automobile?” You know that episode? It’s kind of an early one? I know, no one does. I thought it was funny. Never mind.
So anyway, Starks kept speaking in gentle tones to the dude until he felt comfortable getting back in his Mini with the other dudes, and they drove away. I forgot how I got into trouble with the townies. Oh, yes I do. It happened because I was freestyle battling. Yes, I know, again. Ernesto Zedillo broke it up. Oh wait, no, it was Carlos. That makes a lot more sense.
So what’s the point of all this? It’s that there’s a lot more fun just outside of BAR than inside. Like the week before that, my friend Max got his ass kicked by a cop right outside BAR for no reason. It wasn’t cool for Max, he got pretty roughed up, but now my friends and I all feel like rappers. Inside BAR is pretty stupid. I mean, they call one half of it (nobody knows which half) the BruRm. Yes, BruRm. No one will acknowledge this, but BAR is a fundamentally annoying, horrible place. Begin uncontrolled ranting.
An initial description of BAR makes it sound fun, stylish, and hip. They have brick oven pizza, and you can order both “white” and “red” pies. They brew their beer on-site, in huge modern-industrial, trendy-looking vats. The walls facing the outside are all glass and steel. Hot girls dance up on the bar. Dom Perignon is on the menu. They also have a coat room.
But let’s look again: the menu with the gourmet pizza and the Dom P is a glorified table tent. That the Dom P is even on the menu is much like a section of DS kids — simultaneously pretentious, confusing, and funny-looking. The Thursday $1 pints are enticing, but they are slightly warm and mediocre tasting, and all have names that are either puns or cheap plays on words (it’s still a good deal, but I just hate saying “AmBAR”). The cool girls dancing up on the bar? BAR pays them to. Because it’s a hip stylish classy place — just like The Catwalk, Stagedoor Johnnies and other places with girls are paid to appear to be having a good time.
It’s way too crowded, but in addition you also have to squeeze through a mass of poorly positioned tables and errant vat pipes to see the few good friends you have there, who always suggest going to Viva’s anyway. Everyone else you say hello to either doesn’t hear you because he or she is struggling to find her friends to go to Viva’s, or does say hello to you, after which you have the most inane, stifling conversation you’ve ever had in your life (I’m not sure I’ve ever had a conversation at BAR that has gotten past the asking “so what’s up?”-in-several-different-ways stage. By the time you get to even the “How ’bout those Cubbies?” stage, the other person has already left to explore one of the other rooms).
And then there’s the clientele. Yes, it’s true — it’s all Yale people, no one from the ribbed turtleneck/halter-top “dude and sloot” crew you find at Alchemy. But what kind of Yale people? Bored juniors, people who want to get a glimpse of Barbara Bush, people dressed weird because they just came from society and want to get ass (note to underclassmen: ’80s garb and other cheesy shit means they’re trying too hard, ergo, they’re in a crappy society, ergo no cool tomb to hook up in — just somebody’s apartment on Dwight Street or a classroom in SSS) and countless Theta girls. Remember Angelica, the older toddler in “The Rugrats” who dressed up in clothes too dressy and too old for her, and acted prissy and condescending to all the other babies? Add some makeup, and she’s every girl in Theta you’ve ever met. And at BAR, she’s everywhere, all around you. And she’s talking about herself. In a grating voice. About her summer. In, The City.
Awesome. Let’s party.
Burt Helm teases because he loves.