So there was this long-haired hippy in town for a little more than a day before heading down to G-Vegas to prep for the Mastodon Weekend. After giving him directions on which sports bar along the light rail line would most likely show the soccer game on tv (I'll let Al tell you how he got lost between the light rail station and the bar that is 50 yards from the station), I finished up my workday, headed home to grab the Mrs., and then picked up Special K on our way to meet Al for a beer, food and more drinks.
Apparently there was some big festival going on somewhere in the world, so a lot of people wanted to go out and drink. Which was fine, but didn't bode well for finding parking in Charlotte's crowded South End district. After a couple of laps around buildings getting annoyed, I pulled into a parking lot that I totally wasn't supposed to park in and told the attendant we'd go in and get Al and then just head downtown (or uptown, or whatever they call it here, I get confused). He said that once the new manager came on they'd probably let people park there, just charge for parking. I asked him how he'd feel if I just gave him $20 and went on my merry way, and he didn't have a problem with that. He wandered off to deal with another car full of people, I stuck a twenty under his cigarette pack, and went into the bar.
We hung out there for a while, then decided to go downtown to eat. As we headed towards the car, the parking attendant said "As long as you're alrady here, it'd be easier just to take the light rail downtown and leave the car here." Figuring he was right, and since I'd already paid $20 to park, we trooped over to the light rail and bought our tickets. Al had an all-day pass, but Suzy, Special K and I had never ridden Charlotte's newest transportation device. So we picked up our tickets ($3 roundtrip, even though there was no one collecting the tickets or checking them) and headed downtown.
It's a light rail, pretty much like any other metro train system. Gets from point A to point B. Cheap, clean, not too crowded. So we got off at the 7th streeet station, which I had to confess I didn't know exactly where it was on 7th street. Then I realized that the big-ass parking deck that they built some years before the light rail ever actually happened and named the 7th street station parking deck was actually the location of the 7th street rail station. Al didn't forget to give me endless shit for not realizing this. Sometimes I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
So we headed around the corner to Mert's Heart and Soul, the finest soul food restaurant in Charlotte. Or at least that I've been to. Suzy and Special K had never been there, so it was cool to show them part of their town they didn't know, especially since they are both pretty much native Charlatans. The food was killer, then we meandered over to Dixie's Tavern for a few more drinks. None of us had ever been there before, either, so that was cool. Suzy and I aren't much of the go out downtown types, so there's plenty of places in Charlotte that we've never been to. Dixie's was cool enough, your basic dive bar with decent-looking bartender chicks and the usual assortment of douchebags. One guy in particular made me go over the douchebag checklist, and he hit pretty much all of them.
Soul Patch - check
Sideburns - check
Multiple Hair Products on hair roughly the length of BadBlood's - check
Popped collar on his North Face jacket - check
Fat friend with all the same characteristics - check
I'm pretty sure there's a picture floating around somewhere with him in the background, hopefully it turns up.
Alas, it was a school night, so we had to turn in early. We sent Al off to his fleabag hotel and hopped the train back to our car. Same homie watching the car, and we headed off into the night. Now just a couple days until I really make an idiot out of myself and try to behave like I'm 25 again. Can't wait!