It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. You know what I'm talking about: Rich & Bennett's 17th Annual Halloween Pub Crawl. I know, last week I said I wasn't going to revisit the shitshow that is the Halloween pub crawl, but I soon thereafter found myself coming in contact with a multitude of the Queen City's monsters, dinosaurs, "cereal killers," Hooters girls and those "who could not be named."
I started my weekend on Friday at Soul Gastrolounge in Plaza Midwood. Would you believe there are a fair share of Queen City imports who have yet to try one of the most popular spots for delectable small plates and irresistible craft cocktails?! Yeah I know, I am floored every single time I meet one of these anomalies. How could one not be tempted by the allure of the menu that's proven itself time and time again by being backed by a three-hour wait? While I couldn't indulge in a Moscow mule, — it was still Sober October after all — I was able to give a few new dishes a try: barrel aged Greek feta, saganaki and sashimi tuna tacos. I don't regret a single bite.
After a meal like that, there's not much anyone can do to top that. Late-night festivities, however, consisted of a game of Picolo around a table in a cozy row house off of 10th street with a group of people that always tend to drag me into a scenario that's built for a drinking game. It's funny, an intimate setting around a dinner table at 2 a.m. with a pizza and drunk folk can still be just as fulfilling and entertaining as watching the belligerent pub crawlers searching for a safe place to vomit in their googly-eyed costumes.
On Saturday, I woke just in time to catch a late afternoon football game. One of my friends wanted to meet at Flight Beer Garden & Music Hall. I looked up the pub crawl and searched for the list of participating venues uptown — of course, Flight was on the list. We decided, however, that most crawlers wouldn't show up in droves at a beer garden ... and we were wrong. It wasn't long before we were trying to escape to our favorite watering hole — I won't even mention where that is this time.
As I walked the streets later that night, I was berated by everyone from the girl in a costume that was too small and runs in her panty hose to the random guy selling water and drugs (now that's what I call strategic marketing) for not wearing a costume. The only time of year where you will be brutally judged for not dressing like a freak show. "I'm a Duke student," I'd say after letting out a long sigh with a tinge of annoyance. Still, I was amused by the spectacles that were around every single corner. I mean, who wouldn't laugh at the sight of a couple furiously arguing on a patio in inflatable giraffe costumes?!
After dropping a band of misfits, aka drunken bar crawlers, aka my cousin and her band of misfits off at home, I thought I'd put the Halloween shenanigans behind me. Nope, the following day I was convinced that I should go to a country concert at Rooftop 210 in the EpiCentre. What do you get when you combine freezing cold temps, Uptown wind and country music? A black chick's Halloween nightmare come true. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate country music, it's just not my preference and in the freezing cold, I can't say that I'd even want to see Lil' Wayne in the cold wind-whipped setting that was Rooftop 210 on Sunday.
Nevertheless, I went. Our group huddled on the rooftop while Randy Houser played some tunes. I'm not going to lie, all I could think about was when I was going to leave and how much warmer the drunk people dancing must feel. Before his encore, I let everyone know I'd be heading to my car in the parking garage. I waited on my friend to get into her Uber and then proceeded to call for the Aloft elevator.
When I stepped on, I pulled out my phone in the hopes that no one on the elevator would speak to me. What can I say? I have social anxiety, believe it or not. "You are GORGEOUS," someone said as the elevator started to lower. Sighs, "Thank you," I responded thinking that my phone tactic didn't work. "What's your name? My name's Randy." I finally lifted my head to look at the stranger who'd extended his hand. Would you believe it?! It was Randy Houser. *insert crying laughing cat emoji* Out of all the people to meet this man, it was the hip-hop loving black chick who can't stand being cold! I'm telling y'all, I can't make this shit up.