Game 2 of the NBA Finals was this past evening, and since I don’t get cable in my new apartment until Saturday (which you can read about here), I once again trotted out by my lonesome to another local bar. As I rolled in to Shenanigans (which I learned from a friend was talked about in Super Troopers), I got a pretty good vibe. It seemed like a fun place, not too sketchy, and had a cool blues band performing.
I got carded going in by a nice black gentlemen and then again at the bar, which is unusual, but I’ve got nothing to hide, so I went with it. As the lady takes forever perilously scanning my ID, I take a looksee around the bar to check out the crowd. Before I can get a great look though, the bartender hands me back my ID and I order a beer. As I’m drinking and watching the game I happen to glance occasionally around me and noticed that out of about 20 people, only two of us (me included) are white.
Now being from around Baltimore, normally this would freak me out a bit because of the high crime rate among the minority communities there, as well as the crime rate in Baltimore bars being very high. But, everything seemed so different here. It was almost like a time warp. Walt, a regular, was tapping his fork to every song and bought 2 rounds of drinks for the band as well. Dave was dancing with his honey all night. There was even a family with kids that looked between 4 and 10 years old dancing the night away.
The band would also invite various guys and gals (who I assumed were regulars as well) ranging from 20-60 years old on stage to sing different songs. I swear one of the guys was Paul Mooney (Google: Chappelle’s Show, Negrodamus) But they were all really good. Instead of new age stuff, I got to hear covers of artists like Otis Redding, Gladys Night, Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix, and even Shaggy (who’s the odd person out there…). It was almost like I was in Motown or something (if there’s an older crowd reading, I realize this may not be the best reference, but blame it on me being a youthful person who doesn’t know better).
I can honestly say being in the minority is not something I am used to. But last night, I was made to feel more comfortable than I ever had as a minority. Sometimes the best things are the ones you’re not expecting. The people were lively, friendly, and it truly made for a good experience. And that was only on a Thursday night! I’m sure Fridays and Saturdays are even more fun.
I just hope the crowd is the same.