The adventure begins ... by falling off my high heels onto Hennepin Avenue

Hello Minneapolis,

We've been introduced before, but i think it's time we got better acquainted. You know me well. I've been alternately sullying and polishing your reputation for a good long while now. I've been taking your photo and posting it on the internet. It's nice to see you again. C'mere, give me some sugar.

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So here's the deal, dear readers. I''m going to be taking you all out with me at night, from restaurant to bar, from rock shows to fancy events. I'm going to write about the silly things you do, the great clothes you're wearing, and the copious amounts of alcohol you're consuming. I'll show you what Minneapolis looks like, in case you don't remember what it looked like last night.

If you want to know more about my life, come have a look at my flickr. I'm happy to have you there. Otherwise, i'll be here a few times a week to regale you with my adventures and mishaps.

Now let's get dirty, shall we?

***

There's something about pulling into downtown around six p.m. on a weeknight. You're caught between the commuters getting a late start out of downtown, the early happy-hour departees, and the people coming in for dinner or drinks or some sort of event. Everyone is in transit, and the air's thick with anticipation and impatience, like there's somewhere else to be, somewhere you've got to get to.

Anyway. You should know, you already do know how things go at the Imperial Room. When you arrive early, around this magical six o'clock hour, you will walk into corporate happy-hour central. And you should expect this: the drinks are strong, they're reasonably priced, and good goddamn if you can't order yourself two martinis for cheap. We met a handful of friends and we all curled onto the big couches in the back corner and proceeded to drink and catch up.

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Then we made our fateful decision to go to Hooters. Yes, Hooters. For dinner. And it wasn't horrible. But let me tell you, when someone tells you that the food at Hooters is good and that's why they go there, you are most certainly speaking with someone who loves boobs. Now. Being that it was a Wednesday night, most people were tucked safely away at home, away from our hijinks on the second-story patio. We drank beer in plastic cups and the manager brought us all shots of whiskey. We ate bar food and were kind to our waitress, who happened to be the new girl there. It was a beautiful night, warm but not too, breezy but not windy. The kind of night you can feel the breeze through your hair, but the wind doesn't mess it up, you know? Michelle shared an odd Mountain Dew and vodka drink that we couldn't resist the name of.

We left a nearly-deserted Hooters to very enthusiastic goodbyes from the manager and ladies still working and spilled onto Hennepin to walk to Barfly, ostensibly for the "hottest bartender" competition, but more because we were pretty sure we needed more drinks. Hennepin was surprisingly crowded. There were a pair of sheriffs at the corner, and do you know that nervousness you get around Johnny Law? Maybe you don't, but I do, even when I'm doing nothing wrong. So it figures that as we crossed, I lost my footing and I took a knee at the corner of 8th and Hennepin. In front of the cops.

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Still laughing about my tumble, we approach Barfly and the giant security men outside. IDs checked, wristbanded, we head inside. To the bar we go. I try to orient myself by taking a walk through the first floor. Attendance is sparse, but it's early, and it's Wednesday. We pop out to the patio to see what we can see, and it's packed out there. People are perched on stools, at tiny tables. Sprawled on benches, trying to make a play for each other.

Back inside, we find a table in the main room. There are ladies who have clearly been here a while, and they're holding their drinks aloft, tipsily dancing in pairs on the largely empty dance floor. Over to the side, there are poles. Poles. Like stripper poles. Interesting. The back bar is beautiful, all backlit bottles and glass everywhere. We get regular drinks, nothing Mountain Dew-based this time, and take a seat at the edge of the dance floor. We watch the single people waiting for someone else anxiously, the packs of Abercrombie-d men on the prowl (seriously, guys? It's Wednesday), the ladies' night women.

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The dance floor got more and more crowded very quickly. The stripper poles became occupied, much to our table's amusement and mock horror. Anything you've seen on TV about going to a club, I can tell you, it's true. Dancing's no longer dancing, it's totally just dry-humping on the dance floor. People are there to meet other people, to hook up, to misbehave. None of this should be a surprise to me. I've never been to a proper nightclub before, and I know that I'll be obligated to go again, to a different club, and I'm betting myself ten dollars that it's going to be exactly the same scene I see here. (See how I worked that? Either way, I win this bet.)

And next time? I'm going to be just as mock-shocked.

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