I used to be a big clubber. I don't mean "big," like I used to weigh in at a healthy 140 pounds and would go clubbing. Please, don't be offended if you weight 140 pounds. I am 5'2" so 140 pounds, even at a towering 5'6" in obnoxious hooker heels, would be very healthy for me. I use the word "big" in every other sense that the word "big" could be used in the context of nightlife - Thursday night through Monday morning, one big hazy "weekend" of drinking like I had just take my last final exam, dancing until my clothes were sheer with perspiration, drinking, DJs, drinking (did I say that thrice? I meant to); all of this going down at "big" clubs. Every evening started with a cocktail and a silent promise to myself that I very rarely broke, "Girl, if you're going to go out, go out big."
But with age, wisdom, and maturity, one grows out of such raucous, youthful (juvenile?), high-energy, high-stylin' nightlife. Unemployment putting a drain on my already teeny tiny pocketbook that's only big enough to hold a mini Sugar gloss, earplugs, and my ID certainly doesn't help either.
So in the last few months, no, make that the last year, my nightlife has toned down a bit, replaced almost entirely by this delicious life. Escapades are becoming fewer and far between, and well, 170 bpm bass-driven evenings that used to register at a record-breaking 14 out of 10 every night (!!!) have slowly but surely quieted to a soft, almost inaudible lullaby. There have been periods of complete silence for weeks.
I say it as though I miss "big." I do. There are Friday afternoons, especially the gorgeous sunny ones, when I want to start "getting ready" at 4 pm - the whole fantabulosa routine of blowing out my hair, rolling it up, teasing, spraying, sprunching it for 45 minutes to make it look like I spent 10, sitting down in just a towel at the vanity to paint a perfect face that will melt off within 30 minutes of stepping into the club, tearing apart my closet because I have nothing! nothing! nothing! to wear, slipping into three completely different outfits that makes me look too, well, too something undesirable, until I pour myself a vodka/rocks and I end up in the first outfit anyway, looking perfectly...super fantastic. Away we go, not to return until Cindersarah has lost her tiara, her pumpkin, both her glass slippers, and left her tab open at the front bar. Ask me what the inside of any club looks like during the daytime on a Tuesday. I can tell you. It ain't pretty.
And yet, I don't miss "big." I'm not sure whether I've simply become lazy, complacent in this Barry Manilow nightlifestyle I've let myself slip into, or if it's just a natural byproduct of "growing up." Actually, I just read about Barry Manilow's concert in Vegas wherein 70 year old Barry Fan-ilows were twirling glowsticks and swaying their hip replacements, so I can't even call myself Lola. It's hard to tell. I think I am growing up, despite many a La Prairie anti-aging effort not to.
I like to go out, but nowadays, I like to go...medium.
The big hyper-stimulatory sensory overload of the mega danceclubs are too much. Too much...too much what? Yes, exactly. Too much "getting ready" effort. Too much driving all the way to Hollywood. Too much for parking. Too much of a clusterf**k at the velvet rope. Too loud. Too crowded. It's. Just. Too. Big.
"Medium" means I like to go to a bar where the wait to get in, if there is one at all, is only as long as it takes to check the date on an ID. I like to go to a lounge where the music is in the background and the focus isn't on the next supermegafantastorama DJ about to spin black magic on the decks, but on the company right in front of me. I like to go to a place where I can actually have a conversation, and not have to call upon my lip-reading skills to find out where the bathroom is, not that I'd like to go to the bathroom and wait 35 minutes just to use it.
And I think that's where and what it is for me. I like to be able to enjoy quality time, in a venue that's not necessarily intimate or cozy (read: tiny dive), just smaller, and more conducive to conversation. It doesn't have to be quiet enough so that my friends and I can have a deep discourse on Darwinism, but you know, low-key.
We spent the evening at Guy's, which was sort of hipster hidden, under the social mass radar, for a while. I hadn't heard of it before, though it probably is old news by now. It didn't matter. We drove up Beverly, wondered who besides FOBulous tourists would be at the Hard Rock Cafe, then U-turned, realizing that we had missed Guy's. We missed it twice because other than a tiny white 8 pt san serif "Guy's" on black canopy, it's signlessly tucked neatly between two much flashier establishments. On the third pass, we pulled into the valet lot off the side street that Guy's shares with JFD (Jerry's Famous Deli, for the uninitiated). Strangely, I think they share more than just the parking lot, which I only have recently begun to untangle (investigate the websites). Had I known that Guy's was somehow backhandedly associated with the Godfather of mega-menu-bibles, I might have been skeptical.
It's a small, simple, single room of a place with a DJ booth right at the entrance so you can take a peek at who's setting the mood for you. There are seats along one wall, and a bar along the opposite wall. It may sound big since it takes up the entire wall, but it's a small wall. As is the custom, we ordered a drink. Immediately.
We wandered out to the back patio, which is about twice the size of the inside room. This is where the action was, the majority of which was heavily weighted at the far end. People were anxiously pressing up against a makeshift bar, complete with catering company black tablecloths tossed over a high table and Ikea shelving dangerously teetering with hard liquor. The patio is outfitted with plushy sofa-esque chairs around the perimeter if you want to see. Straight down the center of the patio, there are circular settees (I think that's what they are called) wrapped around the poles that hold up the canopy, if you want to be seen. We draped ourselves like a Calvin Klein ad on the side sofas. We even kicked up our feet on the small cocktail table.
Guy's was in cahoots with some crazy Asians, promoting some sort of made-in-the-USA-market
ed-with-eastern-exoticism swill that night, and depite my better judgment, I was drinking Han on the rocks. Why? Why when I go somewhere as anglo as "Guy's," must I be stalked by my yellow heritage?! It wasn't the worst vodka I've ever tasted in my life. It was actually kind of sweet, and I'll just leave it at that.
The crowd on the patio was an eclectic mix, which made for curious people-watching and interesting conversation. Yes, some of our conversation during the evening was reduced to childish whispering and giggling about other people. We were discreet; at least we didn't point. There were a few of the painfully hipster hipsters (ah, the joys of a word that can be an adjective and a noun!), but rolling our eyes at them is so last year, baby. There were also young men in suits, which we thought was odd. Guys still wear suits to bars and clubs? I guess guys who go to Guy's do. More than likely, they had come from some other jacket-required function and had stopped off at Guy's for a drink or two, but it was more fun to dream up stories of their being mobsters.
The best set of the evening though, was a trio of tiny girls who were perched like a centerpiece of parakeets on one of said spot-lighted settees. "Adorable" is one word that comes to mind, as do "FOB" and "tramp." They were three tiny Asian girls, of which nationality I am not sure, but each one was a fantastically risque version of Hello Kitty, fair-skinned, highly cut and styled hair, innocently colorful but definitely PG-13 outfits that minimally covered enormously disproportionate...uh, bodies that could only have been surgically enhanced and nutrionally de-hanced. They were quite a delicious sight, looking like they had just stepped out of Japanime DVD, or perhaps off the stage of their world-wide j-pop tour. Though I couldn't hear them from across the patio, I could feel their high-pitched giggles between their very lady-like sips of very pink and frilly cocktails, no doubt made with Han vodka. They weren't awkward nor did they appear uncomfortable, but they certainly looked out of place, which is probably exactly what they wanted.
In the past, we would stay until the ugly lights came on, which meant a very big 4 am, but cruising along at medium, we left Guy's around midnight.
8713 Beverly Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90048
** a year ago today, i stuffed myself with a stuffed bagel **