Tag Archives: party

WTF is a Beer Ball?

Every so often I’ll remember this story and have a good chuckle. I had no ideas for today’s post, so I will share:

In January, 2007 (or as I like to call it, Junior year of college, round 1) I transferred schools from That Baptist One to The Music One up in Boston, MA. In an attempt to keep their daughter safe by educating me on the less safe areas of town, my parents accidentally scared me shitless about Boston. At this point in my life, I’d lived in Atlanta, London, São Paulo and Pittsburg, so the idea that I was in any more danger by moving to Boston was absurd. That being said, I never got over it and I’ve never been more constantly terrified in my life than when I lived in Boston.

The best part about this is that my first apartment was here:

In case you don’t know Boston, I annotated the map for you. It’s really all you need to know about this area.

But I felt like I lived here:

Boston was fucking terrifying.

And because I was on a college campus, we’d get these crime report emails every few days. They were always like such-and-such had her Marc Jacobs bag grabbed from her while walking down a dark street. I wasn’t exactly like being on “The Wire.”

So anyway, about three weeks into my life in Boston, a few of my friends came to town for the weekend. They had friends out in Allston, a neighborhood of Boston that’s basically a bunch of rundown apartments and houses that college kids rent out. And some Asian food places, because there’s nothing anyone living on a budget loves more than Asian food. It’s the best.

Allston is ALSO not super dangerous, but when we took a cab out there I was FLIPPING out. My brain was like, “Where the fuck are we? Why are there houses? The sky looks darker here. It’s definitely darker. The T isn’t underground… That only happens in the ghetto, right? Are we on the Orange line? My mom said that’s the bad one? Fuck, I can’t tell if it’s orange! ARE YOU THE ORANGE LINE, TRAINNNN???”

We got to the old house that this group of boys lived in and within two seconds of my meeting them they were all like,

“YOU’RE 21?!?!?!?!?!?!”

Oh, the joys of college. Turning 21 before pretty much everyone else made me the Designated Alcohol Purchaser for about three months of my life until everyone else caught up. And because there is always someone who came before you, there is no way that you can deny the request to purchase alcohol because you need to honor the good that was done by those who came before you. The drunken forefathers. The ones with summer birthdays. You had to pay it forward in drunkenness.

If his use of ‘progeny’ is incorrect, it’s because Benji was drunk… Duh.

So these boys requested that I purchase them a beer ball. Having never gone to real college, I had no idea what the fuck a beer ball was, but it sounded kind of cute and I was like, that’s fine as long as you drive me through this ghetto that you live in. So off we went to the liquor store three blocks down the road in one of the boys’ cars. My two girlfriends sat in the backseat and when we were one block away the dude driving was like, “Yo. You should probably get out here. There’s some law about not being able to have liquor in a car with people who are under 21.” Because I was terrified, I was like, “Aw, hell naw, if I’m getting you drunk you are not getting me murdered, drop me off at the curb.”

They drop me off, and I enter the FORTRESS that was the giant Allston liquor store. Massachusetts has the most fucked liquor laws of any state I’ve ever lived in. I think it has something to do with Red Sox fans getting shitfaced and destroying the city, or bar fights, or whatever, but it is literally easier to buy any illegal drug than it is to purchase alcohol. I’m not talking about if you’re underage either… At all. I never felt confident in the fact that I was going to indeed receive alcohol even when I was 23. Even when I had my passport.

I think that this was the moment I first learned this harsh reality, because as it turns out a beer ball is basically a mini keg. I’m standing in the aisle of the giant liquor store and the clerk comes up to me with a huge box on one of those rolly cart things that I can NEVER remember the name of and Google isn’t being helpful right now. My immediate thought was, “How the fuck am I even supposed to carry this out to the car?” THEN the clerk is like, “Excuse me miss, we’re gonna need you to fill out these papers.” Because in the state of Massachusetts, you have to register yourself when you purchase anything keg-like. I am freaking out, but also thinking of my drunk forefathers and so I persevere.

Rolly cart clerk takes me out to the sidewalk and as my friends pull up he informs me that indeed I am not allowed to get in the car because they’re under 21. I look at the driver, who is wide-eyed when he sees me next to the giant beer ball. I look at the clerk, who is similarly wide-eyed but kind of smirking at my unfortunate situation. I shrug my shoulders and pick up the beer ball. I figure, if I’m walking through the ghetto at least I can swing it at people.

But because Allston was not the ghetto, as I walked down the street, hunched over and wrestling with the beer ball box, tons of college bros were yelling, “BEER BALL!!!!!!!!!!!” at me.

And that’s the story of how I learned that Allston was not the ghetto. I was still freaked the fuck out every time I went there or anywhere I go, anytime I’m in Boston.

Peace, love and beer balls, 

BWCE

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Twentynothings

“Let’s be honest, we’re still going to be getting this drunk in our 30s.”
“Fair… But eventually we’ll have kids and settle down.”
“Nah, we’ll just be drunk around the kids.”

New York is often hailed as the epicenter of arrested development – the perfect little petri dish for nurturing one’s bad choices and self-obsession. It’s so true, and it’s exactly why so many people sigh and say, “Oh, New York… What a great place to be young.” It’s exactly why so many of the married and child-rearing move outside the city to places like Ohio, or Jersey City.

When I first moved here, one of my friends referred to the city as The Adult Playground. I didn’t exactly know what to expect from that description, but I liked the phrase so much that I’d bounce up and down yelling, “Adult playgrounddddddddd!” every time we walked down the street doing something New York-y.

My first night out as a New York resident, I ventured down to Alphabet City. I’d never been to the East Side, but I’d heard Alphabet City in so many of my friends’ cool new York stories.

“They have a bar that’s camping-themed! You can get s’mores there!!”

I love s’mores. 

As I walked up the subway stairs to the fabled city, I had high hopes that here I’d find The Adult Playground. I assumed that Avenue A was a grown-up-fucking-Candyland; the streets would be lined with sex, they’d lead me through the magical forest of illegal substances down to the river of sample sales and never-ending happy hours.

I ended up in a 200 square foot AC-less basement apartment. I drank grape juice mixed with some old vodka out of a cup that had definitely not been washed since its previous use and got hit on by a guy whose hard sell was that he could fix my guitar for free. When I got home I threw up on my American apparel dress.

And this, ladies and gentleman, is exactly what it’s like to live in The Adult Playground. Sure, you might have a job, and a life, and a bunch of other things you use to justify that you’re different than you were in college, but you know you’re just one happy hour invite away from waking up at 4 AM in your bed, next to the wrapper or something you assume you ate, but you’re not sure what it was, and a bunch of missed calls from your coworkers and/or friends. Even the most responsible New Yorkers I know have stories like this… It’s not us, it’s New York! We promise.

As you may know from Facebook, I’ve requested the help of all of you in providing me with solid examples of life in the playground. I don’t feel that simply explaining what it’s like is enough, so here are items I’ve pulled from your emails, gchats, AIM, texts, conversations, etc, etc, etc. Don’t worry, I’ve changed identifying details – thank you all so much for helping me out!

Here’s what it’s like to be a 20nothing in New York City. If you’d like to turn this into a drinking game, take a shot every time you see the word ‘drunk’:

1: did you have a good night?
2: yeah i did
worked out a tiny bit, but not much
then we made dinner and ate pot lollipops which was fun
1: do those really really work?
2: ehhh
we ate two and i felt a little relaxed
and like, body high-ish
we also had had some wine
but i didn’t feel drunk
so I think it worked?
…..
I was a bouncer at a series of parties that had a reputation for getting VERY out of hand. Fifty percent of the time the cops shut the party down before 1am. One night in particular we used a Venue called “Castle V”. It was owned by a 50-year-old who called himself Vox Illuminati. Vox may have had a few screws loose. We were setting up before the party when the FNDY and NYPD, who’d gotten wind of the party, came by to give us a friendly warning that if the party happened it would be shut down. This friendly conversation ended in Vox screaming “You’re going to tell ME WHAT TO DO?!?!?! I WILL END YOU!!!!!” while the terrified looking FDNY fire inspector quickly ran out the door.
…..
1: so
a couple thing
s
that you’ll find funny
i’m still drunk
just walked into work late ‘ from my doctors appt’
…..
I assumed he was as unserious about the plans we made as I was, but I forgot he probably wasn’t drunk on a Tuesday.”
…..
Email, attempting to attend a party: Last week they sent me home when my cold became too conspicuous.  Maybe I can be conspicuously drunk and they’ll send me home for that too.

…..
We talked for a few minutes, and I gathered that she was quite wealthy, just from the way she rambled on about her dad and his jet, yacht, etc. I must have really hit it off with her, because I was invited out for a night on the town with her and her friends. “I don’t have any nice clothes…” was the best excuse I could muster. Her reply? “Fuck that, we run this city.” And with that, we set off.
We made it back to her suite on 5th Avenue at about 6:30 in the morning. I slept for about 45 minutes, and then woke up to her, out-of-her-mind and yelling that it was time for me to go to work. She said my ride would be ready in about ten minutes. It was a helicopter. No shit. I hate helicopters. I puked. I got back to my hotel, showered, changed clothes, and went to my meeting.
…..
1: how was your weekend boo?
I was laughing thinking about fri
so fun!
2: seriously!
until all the sudden i was too drunk and Manuele, who I’ve never spoken to before and I don’t think he speaks English, was trying to convince me to come home with him
and i was like NO. what?! NO
1: SHUT your mouth
2: so Susie pushed me in a cab and i went home and got sick
1: OMG
are you alright?
2: yeah, luckily when i’m too drunk my reaction is to leave immediately…
it’s the one smart thing i do
……
My friend was throwing a “Dance Party at the End of the World” event, in which he’d crafted a dance mix, interspersed with Orson Welles’ radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds. We were to dress in our 1920’s finest, and the drink menu was strickly gin martinis. I have an unfortunate (impressive?) ability to appear only slightly intoxicated when I am in fact bordering on black out drunk. I don’t slur my words, but had anyone known how far gone I was, they would’ve been watching me. I joined my friend outside to have a cigarette, and before I knew it I was agreeing to share a cab with her back uptown. Without my bag. Without my keys. Without my phone… Dressed in only a black velvet gown and duster.
…..
1: How was the night?
2: Oh you know… drunk emailed my boss…. drunk emailed that guy I was dating earlier in the summer.
1: Ohhhhhh, and?
2: It wasn’t bad though. I was just drunk-eating something he likes, so it reminded me of him.
1: Justifiable.
…..
Needless to say, the cops did come to shut the party down at about 11 PM. Instead of opening the doors for the cops when they came knocking, Vox made the bouncers lock and barricade the only entrance to the building. A 30 minute stand-off ensued while Vox stood behind the door, screaming obscenities at the cops. This was ended by an FDNY latter truck lifting 2 FDNY fire fighters, and 6 cops in the bucket onto the roof. When Vox saw this he jumped out one of the windows, onto the neighboring roof, and then ran across to a tree, where he hid from the police for 2 hours.
…..
I got into my building because the outside door never locked properly, but it turned out my roommate was visiting his family in NJ. I spent the night (which dropped down to 12 degrees) shivering, drunk, crying, kicking the door, and dozing in our stairwell. And that’s why I don’t drink gin martinis.
…..
The road may not be paved with adderall, and gingerbread houses would result in terrifying rat infestations, but we do live in the closest thing to an adult playground I can imagine. It’s pretty fantastic.
Peace, love and Candyland, 
BWCE
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Two terms we coined last night

1. ADDj (noun): When the DJ is so drunk he changes every song after the first verse, and switches between genres with reckless abandon.

“Why have we heard the first verse of The Whistle Song remixed into Sweet Home Alabama five times in the past hour?”
“Blame the ADDj. He’s behind the bar using two iPod Nanos to control his set list and making out with some girl who keeps coming up to the bar and taking shots.” 

2. Elbrow (verb): The act of repeatedly elbowing the person behind you in a crowded bar, but not noticing because you’re too busy fist-pumping with your bros.

“Ok, I think it’s time to leave Penny Farthing. I keep getting elbrowed and it sounds like the ADDj is about to transition from this Jay-Z song into Sweet Caroline. We should probably run.” 

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Brooklyn Bowl

“Are you actually British?”

Ever since two of my friends pretended to be British for an entire night as a ploy to get free drinks from guys, I don’t trust that people I meet are actually British.

“Yes… We are actually British.”

I’d stepped outside Brooklyn Bowl to try to buy a cigarette from someone. For some reason, once in Brooklyn I decided that I should ask if I could purchase a cigarette, rather than ask if I could bum one. I don’t know if that’s an indication of how I feel about Brooklyn or a result of the fact that for once I had money in my wallet. Either way, the British guys I met outside the venue would not let me purchase a cigarette, but gave me one for free… God bless them.

First I met Alistair Robinson (his real name, no joke!), who commented on the fact that we both have a lot of hair.

“WE COULD START A WIG COMPANY!!!” We yelled this in unison… Insta-friends. Really anytime someone wants to start a company that’s sure to fail with me, we become insta-friends. Then his friend Dan took over the conversation while Alistair went to find the ‘toilet.’ We had the usual conversation you have with British people about how Americans call it the ‘restroom’, haha, isn’t that funny, you don’t rest in there, what about the water closet? Oh you mean the WC? Cultural differences. OMG so fun!! 

Dan and I talked about how I mispronounced his name (“It’s Dahhhhn”), how he wasn’t from London (it turns out that not all British people are from London!) and then he started saying something about Americans and nationalism and I remembered that Chris was ordering food inside. At some point Dan accidentally head-butted me and I told him it’s ok, in America that’s like a handshake. I then promised him that I’d bring him a chicken wing even though I was uncertain as to whether or not Chris had ordered chicken wings (it’s like 3 to 1 odds in any drinking/dining scenario).

When I got inside Chris had not ordered chicken wings, but Dan came by and I have him a nacho. He head-butted me and then told me he loved me. Seriously, insta-friends with both of the British dudes.

Ok, here’s the part where I rate the venue.

If you haven’t been reading so long that you remember how it works, here’s how it works:

  • I go to a bar/club/venue.
  • I take pictures that are usually blurry because I’m a bad photographer/ have only an iphone/ am usually embarrassingly drunk.
  • I rate the club on a scale created entirely by me, using my criteria for going out. Keep in mind that I have the preferences of a 65 year old antisocial man, that my favorite bar is housed in a building that once caught on fire and no one evacuated, and that I usually write these lists in a state of still-drunk hangover while yelling that I could really use a mimosa right now.
  • Sometimes the list is disjointed because I lose focus searching seamless web to see if they deliver mimosas.
  • Based on my entirely made up scale, I calculate the score, most of the time incorrectly (re:hangover), and then completely disregard said score and give the place a rating of Best or Worst Club Ever based on my overall opinion.

Brooklyn Bowl:

In Brooklyn: -500 points

Cool stamp: +5 Points. Please disregard other stamps, the one we’re focusing on is the bowling pin stamp, even though the heart stamp is also quite cute.

Bouncer who didn’t take too long to inspect my passport: +20 Points. It’s a fucking passport people. Who gets a fake ID that’s a passport?

Mexican/Tribal-looking bowling pins: +30 points, and also some clapping and bouncing.

Potential for meeting new friends: +50 points. Seriously, those British dudes were awesome.

Number of Black Eyed Peas songs played (0): +27 points. The Black Eyed Peas are the worst. Every time “I Got A Feeling” plays, a puppy is euthanized.

Bad band that we had fun making fun of played: +52. I love every time the a band tries to be Kings of Leon post Brian Eno. There are only so many ways to rewrite old U2 songs, guys.

Bands that were good played:  +43. There were also good bands, probably because of CMJ.

I don’t know the name of the band but if they were on Pandora I wouldn’t skip their song.

Not having to bowl: +76. I didn’t have to bowl, which is awesome because I suck at and hate bowling.

Wishing I could have watched other people bowl: -32. I do wish I could have watched other people bowl while eating my nachos or listening to music. I guess you can’t have it all (without risking getting hit in the head with a bowling ball).

Not getting hit in the head with a bowling ball: +100. Well done, Brooklyn Bowl. I am like a magnet when it comes to injuries. The fact that I didn’t end up in the emergency room while drinking near heavy objects is a true testament of your risk-management team’s planning skills. I applaud you.

This thing: 

+8 points

One time I saw a fight between a Hasidic Jew and a bro from Jersey at Brooklyn Bowl: +78 points. It happened the last time I was there, but is definitely worth mentioning. Both got kicked out. It was totally the bro’s fault. It was totally awesome.

Having enough people in our group to take a cab (rather than the L) back: +700 points.

Final rating for Brooklyn Bowl: Best Club Ever

Brooklyn Bowl, come for the music (or bowling), stay for the food and friends and/or fights you might see between Hasidic Jews and bros, leave when you have enough people to split a cab ride back to Manhattan.

Drunk pirouettes by Chris and Mark. No idea why they did that…

Peace, love and happy Saturday,

BWCE

PS – If you’d like tips on how to use a fake British accent to get drinks from dudes, please comment. I will tell you everything.

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