Saturday, July 10, 2004

I said I wouldn't blog.

But I lied.

Last night, I reluctantly dragged myself out of the house to join my roommate and other interns in the nightlife hotspot of the city (which is not all that close to where I live). I was so tired from the past two weeks but I've only been out once in this area of town and really wanted to spend more time there.

I only knew one other intern besides my roommate so I met a few new people. They had been drinking for a few hours longer than me, so the party was in full swing when I arrived. We sat around the only table in front of the large, opened windows and watched people walking by on the streets below. It was a beautiful night last night, it was just breezy and warm enough to be comfortable. Several people had not eaten, so the group relocated up the street in front of a pizza place.

The moment I'll remember most from last night is when we were all huddled on the street under the bright neon lights of the pizza place and the bars next door, our pizza placed precariously on a stack of large bread crates located next to a trash can, eating very hot slices of cheese pizza while swarms of people walked by us on their way to their evenings.

We then moved on to a dive bar ($2 Yuengling pints!) that none of us had been to before, but had been recommended to us. I was expecting a dirty biker bar, but there was some great rap and hip-hop booming from the speakers, and the patrons were quite diverse. We went upstairs and discovered the couches but the room was incredibly well-lit, which is not a good characteristic for a bar to possess. It hurt my eyes. I saw the girl that works at my gym and lets me in every morning playing pool. I had pleasant, funny, and insightful conversations with my fellow interns but bid them good night around 1 a.m. because I was just far too exhausted.

Finally, I'm beginning to feel like I belong here. I'm running into people from my gym at the bars, I'm beginning to learn where the good bars and restaurants are, who has the best happy hours, where the cheap beer is, where the rooftop decks are. The greatest thing about the nightlife in this city is that you can always go out and make friends. Almost anyone will happily engage in a conversation with a stranger. Then you start talking, introduce yourselves, conversation rolls on, and then maybe a few hours later you exchange phone numbers. I give out my phone number freely because I'm starting to discover that there is no danger in anyone actually calling. But even if they did, I'd meet up for a drink again with any of the people I've met out at the bars. It energizes me to meet new people and make new connections, and this city seems to be ideal for embracing those opportunities.

I'm really starting to love it here.

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