Downtown Abbey: Forget the jive and hit up the dive

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From the February 27, 2014 edition

When you start your evening at a black-tie-optional event Downtown, and end the evening with a drunken Garth Brooks sing-a-long, you might assume the night deteriorated quickly. You’d be wrong. Lesson of the night: Forget the jive and hit up the dive.

I was running late, as usual. I didn’t know what to wear because I don’t normally attend “black-tie-optional” events. (Pause for reaction.) My best friend Sara showed up, and after a glass of “party primer” wine, we headed Downtown.

The crowd was thick. Twenty-somethings dressed in cocktail attire posed for selfies in every direction. Each time we tried to bob-and-weave to make it to the bar, another group of tall blondes would fan out, lock arms and give their best “blue steel” to the iPhone snapping their picture. “Oh my God that is going to look so awesome with that one Sierra filter,” one glamazon said. I had a “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” flashback: “Somebody was giving alcohol to these creatures!” We passed a photo area where attendees posed in front of a backdrop with the event’s logo. “This is like, a weird homecoming,” Sara said. Besides ordering her drink, this was the first sentence she uttered since we arrived. We waited around for something to happen, since we apparently arrived at intermission. When my buzz vanished, we made our way for the door.

The whole ordeal left us puckish, so we stopped at Bar 145 for some late night snacks. By the time our food arrived, a cover band had started barreling its way through some pop favorites, and the audience was visibly starting to get loose. I was also starting to feel Jameson’s warm arms wrap around me.

After hearing a few of our favorite guilty-pleasure radio hits, we were finally in the right state of mind. Sara, reading my mind gave me a smirk and said, “There’s karaoke at Mickey’s tonight.”

She had me at karaoke.

We walk into Mickey’s and the whole bar (which was equally as crowded as the previous venues) was singing “Friends in Low Places” in (nearly) perfect unison. It could have been a scene from “Glee,” if “Glee” was about drunk central Ohioans who are totally awesome in every way. Sara had planned on paying homage to David Bowie, but she didn't dare try to top the upcoming performance of “Hip Hop Hooray.” After taking some pertinent advice from the graffiti on the bathroom walls, we called it a night.

We didn’t end up taking too many selfies that night. I guess you don’t think about that when you’re actually having a good time.

Photos by Abernathy Miller