I can vividly remember my days in high school. There were the cliques, there were the places that were off-limits to underclassmen, there were the secret places, and the hangout spots. One such hangout spot for me and my friends was this local donut shop. Before or after school, that was the place that you would find massive amounts of hungry, thought-we-were-much-cooler-than-we-were teenagers. That place was awesome! The definite favorite there was the ham and cheese croissant. Most people would head in there with an appetite for this cheesy, meaty, delicacy. My own favorite there was just the simply apple fritter, heated up for about 15 seconds. There was no faster way to put a smile on my face (feeding into the stereotype of why we Americans are so fat). I’m surprised that the owner of that donut shop allowed us to just loiter around there, but at the same time, my school was probably the biggest source of their revenue. For breakfast, or just for an after-school snack, the donut shop was the place to be!
It really reminded me of The Max. If you somehow missed one of the biggest shows in the early 90’s, this was the restaurant that the kids from Bayside High hung out. Zach Morris and friends spent many an hour after school here, laughing, plotting, and generally wasting time. All kinds of magic happened there (literally and figuratively). I remember wishing that I would be able to have some place that I could go with my friends and just spend many listless and irresponsible hours together. All the cool kids (and a few of the dorks) kicked it together in this mecca of teenage shenanigans and appetites. Some of the biggest events of the year, whether personal or corporate, kicked off here. The cool thing was that all the kids were like regulars there. Probably seemed like everyday at the same time, you could expect to see certain groups of friends come in and order nearly the same thing. Nothing wrong with everyone chasing a good time.
When I was in college in Davis, it seemed like the place to be was the quad. It was always a great place to meet up with people, whether I had class that particular day or not. I remember back in the day, I used to have like 15-20 scheduled hangouts during the week. Eight out of ten of them were here at the quad. Generally a good place to eat, despite having to dodge random bikers who’d try to cut across. Somehow I usually had problems really digesting my food when the protesting Christian groups were demonstrating on the quad. They always made me feel like I was going to go to hell just because I wasn’t listening to their rants while I was trying to enjoy my turkey sandwich. Nothin’ like a little religious zealot action to ruin a sunny lunchtime! This was an universal epicenter for activity though, I remember days of shielding my eyes from the pda, lounging on the grass, and usually people watching in my favorite I-think-I’m-so-cool-that-I-have-to-watch-you type way. (yes, it was perhaps creepy, but I didn’t ask your opinion, judgy-mcjudgerson!)
In Sacramento, there wasn’t much to do, besides hang out at someone’s house. A good argument could be made for my symptoms of early geriatric style laziness. I found that it was just too much effort to really go out. That or flashbacks about being yelled at on the quad freaked me into just going out on the weekends. It was just a work during the week, chill during the weekend kind of life. Simple and easy, not too much going on.
Then I moved to the Bay Area…
I got a job in an office and I was exposed to young professional life in San Francisco. This was a beast that was totally different than my humble donut shop beginnings could prepare me for.
It is the hangout spot of choice for many young adults in the city. I’ve been bombarded with invitation after invitation to go and be amongst the cool kids at a happy hour after work. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of happy hour, then you should definitely get out more! It refers to a time of day when many restaurants offer cheaper drinks and some half priced food. The environment reeks of a “get-the-funk-of-the-day-off-me” style attitude. Only one thing can clean with power enough to make people forget the day… That’d be alcohol! So the watering hole is where people gather to spend their free time. On one hand, I totally get it. It’s time to let off some steam, and perhaps just chill with co-workers in a way that you don’t get to when you still have on the monkey suit at work. I am quite intrigued though, how it seems to be so much of the culture. Where else can I go and find a happy hour that lasts from 11am till 8pm?!? Sacramento never had anything like it. I’m feeling the culture shock! Is this the type of place that I’m supposed to find a suitable partner? I don’t know if I wanna marry someone I met at a happy hour. (not that happy hour girls aren’t nice, i’m sure they’re superfluously awesome young ladies gather at these places. (yah, I threw in a 5 syllable word in a post about bars/pubs/watering holes. Did I throw you off? hehe). What’s the deal with all of this? I’m sure that I reached my maximum potential the night that I left one bar to have dinner with a friend at a pub in a different city. I just thought it was pretty amusing to see how I’d gotten sucked in. It’s one way for me to make friends in THE CITY. I’m just glad to be here…
If that’s the way my life will work now, I will say that if you wanna meet up with me, you better know where to get a damn good mojito, or else I’m not even gonna consider (oh yah, a boy has standards… who would’ve thought?)
I would’ve by the way… Just me though.