I spent almost all of my childhood in San Antonio, Texas. Anytime I reveal that fact to someone, the first thing they ask me is “Did you go the Alamo all the time?!”
*blink blink* Uh...
I really have no idea how to answer the question.
There is a look of expectation on the person’s face, excitement in the tone of their voice, as if they wanted to hear that living in San Antonio meant that I’d hop the Via Via bus to the Alamo (I was in elementary school at the time so I couldn’t drive, duh) whenever I had the chance to just go kick back at the Alamo.
Do I answer truthfully and say “No, clueless, just because I lived in the same city as the Alamo doesn’t mean I went there all the time. Do you think people who live in the same city as the Liberty Bell go down to the Liberty Bell, hang out, and just gaze upon its historical significnce with wonderment and awe all the time?!?”
Or do I make up an answer that is an utter falsehood, but will probably make the person feel, regardless of how many times they fail to correctly answer the brown questions on Trivial Pursuit, that history is important? “Yes," I gush, "of course I went to the Alamo all the time! I loved it! I would walk through the one room that is the Alamo, back and forth, reading the same little factoid cards posted along the walls, back and forth, all day long, every weekend." With my patriotic fist raised in the air, I cry "Remember the Alamo!”
At least they never asked me if I ate Pace Picante Salsa with everything.
The point is, the Alamo is an attraction to which I went once a year on a field trip with my homeroom and every time we had visitors from out of town. The Alamo is a novelty destination. There was nothing really special about the Alamo except that is represented a piece of history, and we only ever went there so that people could say they had been there. You don’t go to the Alamo because you want to hang out in the Alamo. You go to the Alamo to tell everyone else that yes, you’ve been to the Alamo.
Beauty Bar is like the Alamo.
Except that Beauty Bar is ridiculously over-pink and serves drinks.
You don’t go to Beauty Bar because you actually want to get a manicure. I have never sat down in the chair and gotten a manicure done at Beauty Bar, but I can’t imagine that 1) I could sit still enough for the manicurist to do a decent job of painting, 2) I would want to sit still there by myself getting my nails done while my BFFs were off on the other side of the bar throwing back Cosmos (that just seems like the most approproate drink to mention in the context of Beauty Bar), 3) no one else in the bar would bump into me or the manicurist and send slippery brush strokes of Chanel Black Satin across my cuticles, or 4) my nails would be sufficiently dry enough after they were painted that I wouldn’t get nicks and dings while balancing my martini glass at the bar.
You also don’t go to Beauty Bar for the drinks by themselves. There are places that serve better drinks, and in a better atmosphere. There's nothing wrong with Beauty Bar's retro 1960s decor of a beauty parlor (not "salon," but "parlor"). In fact, I might call the decor "cute." However, I use the word "atmosphere" to refer to the physical air that we breathe inside the venue. At Beauty Bar, a faint fragrance of nail polish alternating with waves of acetone underscores everything. There's a reason those little ladies wear surgical masks at the nail salon.
You go to Beauty Bar because getting a $10 manicure and drinking martinis is a novelty. You go there so you can check Beauty Bar off your list of places that you should probably say you’ve been.
I've been to Beauty Bar. Check.
Remember the Alamo!
1638 N Cahuenga Blvd (Cross Street: Hollywood Boulevard)
Hollywood, CA 90028View Map
** a year ago today, what happens in vegas, stays in the kitchen. especially if "what" is a kahlua fudge cheesecake brownie **