Bright Lights, Big City

March 12, 2008 at 1:17 AM | Posted in Journal | 2 Comments
    We plopped down in our seats, cold and exhausted, but excited and happily anticipating the night’s entertainment.  
  Once our seat were secured (the rule is, you have to sit in them for a minimum of two minutes, then place an article of clothes on them, AND THEN leave someone there to guard them–this secures ownership rights), I went to the bar to get a drink.  Detroit said she was still too cold.  I got a drink and sat down, and reflected on the evening.  We don’t get to go out much; this was special and fun.
  The show had first been announced back in 07.  I wanted to go but knew we couldn’t afford it.  Then, briefly I had the money–and the show was sold out.  A week later they added a second show.  And we had no money.
  Eventually the stars aligned; Detroit got her income tax refund.  Among other things, she purchased tickets for us for the show.  "Canadian Mist Presents The Bob and Tom Comedy All Stars."  At The Pageant, one of the best places in St Louis–and in the country–to see a show.  I’ve actually seen several concerts here.
  Still, it was close to being sold out when we got the tickets.  SRO–standing room only–was our catch.  The Pageant is in The Loop here in St Louis.  The Loop is a short section of Delmar, running from U-City (sorry–for those of youse out-of-towners, that’s "University City") into The City (St Louis).  It’s called The Loop because there used to be a streetcar turn-around there.  I believe it was named, "Desire."
  There are a few websites, if you’re interested.
  The Loop was named one of the "Top Ten Streets In America."  This might have been a long time ago.  It would still be in the running for "Busiest Street In America" though; at 9 pm on a cold, cold Saturday night, nary a park spot was to be seen, and the strip was lit up with both the businesses nestled side by side and the cars sitting bumper to bumper.
  An observation my friend Bunny made was that The Loop used to be cool, hip, and trendy.  Vintage Vinyl is probably the last bastion of that era, and what was next to it used to be a head shop.  Now I think it’s a check cashing place or something.  Vintage Vinyl is famous for being the place to find used CDs and records (On vinyl; hence the name), with people that knew their shit.
  I have to say, though, that Music Reunion (formerly CD Reunion, which in turn was formerly Record Reunion) is way hipper than VV without even trying.  Cliff runs Music Reunion.  It’s not in the CWE (Central West End) so it’s not perceived as being cool; that’s fine with me.  Keep your goddamn manicured yuppie hands off of it.  Cliff knows every track on every album ever made.  I’ve known him for over ten years, and when he sees me he gets a blank look on his face because he can’t remember my name.  But he remembers what CDs I bought.
  Back to The Loop.  Like all things, it used to be cool, now it’s commercialized.  What the place needs is one of those vintage-look McDonald’s.  Actually, what the place needs is more parking.  There are still lots of great clubs and restaurants in the Loop, some odd, kitschy type places, some random street artwork.
  We drove up and down twice, then drove down a side street, and finally ended up parking in the original parking spot that we passed up as being too far away.  It was called, ironically, "Hobson’s Parking Lot."  Then we walked.  Apparently 22 degrees is seen by some as "bitterly cold."  It was brisk, I’ll give you that.
  We finally settled on a Mexican restaurant, El Maguay.  I think this is a chain, actually.  But we go in, and it is. . . .quaint.  We have our choice of four or five tables.  The two servers, one male and one female, were stereotypical hispanic.  The girl was cute, and she had some back.  The guy was full of machismo.  The decor was gaudy as hell.
  Detroit surmised that this place might be a gay hangout.  I said, "Not so much ‘this place’ as ‘the entire Loop.’"  To prove my point, the oddest character I saw that night came in.  He looked like a cartoonish Mos Def (as if Mos isn’t cartoonish enough), so let’s call him Mos Def. 
  Mos Def comes strolling in quickly, making sure to "make an entrance."  He has a huge fake diamond in his nose piercing.  He was adorned with other jewelry and assorted things that might be described as "flair."  He creatively flips his hat off, and it lands with style on the table as he whips around so that his coat could snap as he twirled and sat down.
  He seemed to be having a conversation with himself…or whomever else may occupy his brain cavity.  The Mexican dude came over to wipe the table off, and Mos Def quickly snatched his hat out of the way.  He laughed to himself possibly.  Detroit may have made eye contact, which I felt was a mistake.  But he leaves abruptly, flourishing his coat as he goes.  But he’s not gone yet.  There is a table by the window, a party of eight, and through the glass he stops and stares at them, trying to get their attention.  He raps on the glass, points, and waves.  Finally someone notices him, so he mouths something cryptic and leaves. 
  It was entertaining as hell.
  We leave, and begin our long walk in the cold back to the Pageant.  Detroit stopped and got under some cover to block the wind for a few minutes.  We watched as someone in a very large truck parallel parked in a spot that we didn’t think he could get in.  But he did, he did it perfectly.  We applauded him when he got out.
  Then we continued.
  There is a line that started that someone working in The Pageant seemed to have arbitrarily placed outside.  About 12 feet from the door, was a free standing heater–that,by the way, was NOT on–was marking the beginning of the line.  It was about 40 minutes before the doors would open, and the line was about 6 people deep. 
  We get in line.  From what I understand it was cold.  I’m pretty much oblivious to it; hell, I was comfortable.  Everyone was freezing and shivering and bundled up.  I did close my jacket.  At 930 the doors were supposed to open, but they didn’t.  There was almost a riot.  About 940, the doors open, and we scurry in.  We didn’t have reserved seating, but since we rolled in first, we quickly grabbed a couple of stools near the bar.
  We plopped down in our seats, cold and exhausted, but excited and happily anticipating the night’s entertainment.  


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  1. glad that you enjoyed yourself…
    Don’t forget to stop by and place your guess on the sex of the baby in my comments!!
    *~* :o) everyone smiles in the same language… :o) *~*

  2. IT WAS COLD, DAMMIT! and you got cold, too….just admit ya

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