Monday, January 17, 2011

Northside Tavern

Driving home Monday night, after the usual "dollar bowling" at our favorite bowling alley that happens to offer dollar jello shots as well, my boyfriend spotted the delightful hole in the wall, otherwise known as Northside Tavern. He yelled, "Pull in! Let's check it out!" It was already 1 a.m., I figured I was going to be late for my morning class anyways, so what the heck? I U-turned it into the parking lot and we hopped out. As I tentatively stepped into the smoke filled room, it took a moment for my eyes to adjust. When they finally did, this is what I saw: walls painted black, covered in old music posters, some ripped and some still legible, sticky tables with barstools missing legs, and locals that looked as if they hadn't moved from their spots at the bar for about 20 years, and had adopted a somewhat barnacle like appearance.

Now it may not look like much, but this bar is the stuff of legends. One of the best kept secrets in Atlanta, it has been host to some of the most incredible live blues musicians in the Southeast. Judging by the looks I was getting, I was quite possibly the first sorority girl to grace this fine establishment. As we walked up to the bar and ordered drinks, I tried to shake off the feeling that I should have maybe worn something a little less pink. Trying to get into character, I ordered a whiskey and soda, instead of the usual college staple, vodka cranberry. I settled onto my wobbly bar stool and after a few sips of my drink which was heavy on the whiskey and light on the soda, I found myself swaying along with the music and laughing at the ancient bassist who was smoking something I could only assume was not a cigarette.

By the end of the night, we were vowing to come back with friends, but only a select few we knew would appreciate the "beauty" of the place. We probably only stayed for an hour total, but only left because the music stopped. We may have gotten some strange looks and I won't lie, I didn't let my purse out of my sight once, but we had a great time. I believe it's important to make yourself leave your comfort zone every once and while. Go to a strange bar (only accompanied by a strong fraternity man escort, of course), listen to music you don't hear on 94.9 The Bull, drink something you wouldn't tell your mom about. You never know what you actually like until you try other things.

Lesson Learned: "Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." -- Helen Keller

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