Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Halloween, Albany Style

Well, even though I've been back in Albany for a little over two years, I experienced the "joy" of my first Halloween in Albany. Being freshly 21, what do you think was my chosen destination?

Nightmare on Pearl Street. Big mistake for a first-timer.

I left my house, located in the cozy town of East Greenbush, to head for Nightmare at about 9:30 PM Saturday. Radio ads and various internet hype made it seem like the place to be for all the Saturday night Pre-Halloween festivities. Well, everyone else seemed to think that too.

As the idea of a short, defenseless girl like me walking alone to Pearl Street through back alleys and unpopulated streets accounts was unsettling to me, I drove around the immediate vicinity of Pearl Street for about 45 minutes before giving up and parking down in front of Union Station (I am also excessively lazy, especially when wearing an extra small corset and stilletos, which was most likely another driving force). However, about a minute after getting out of my car, an unkempt looking man came up to me to ask for change. He said it was for beer though, and being honest, I gave him $2 instead of the $1 he was asking for. Hell, it was money I would have spent on booze myself anyways.

So, zoom ahead 10 minutes. I am in Jillians, and the place is packed by the likes of the Doublemint Gum girls, Michael Jackson (with the mannequin of small child attached to his crotch), Professor Chaos, and a few dozen pimps. Pushing my way through the sweaty group of fellow costumed drunkards, I am finally at the bar, albeit the smell of spilled beer now clings to my costume.

After some time I order a drink from Andy, Albany's best bartender, which I quickly consume and head to the dance floor that has been made between the restaurant and billiards area of the main floor. A cover band soon begins to play; God forbid, of course, we have a band that plays something other than the few of the top 40 they can cover. The most annoying thing was, I never did see any one dance in the area that was cleared. Probably because the band SUCKED.

So, because I can't walk around much without bumping into someone else, and the music is too loud to start a good conversation, I went downstairs to the game room to buy a game card. After a few games of pinball, I gave up and went back upstairs to the main room. I was promptly approached by a seemingly intoxicated man in his late 40s who thought he was complimenting my breasts when he said "Wow, your tits look great in that." The hand descended, and I turned around and fled. Wonderful. Just what I needed.

At that point, the environment was just too reminiscent of certain bars in Ireland I'd been, so I grabbed my coat from the coat check and flew out the door back to my car, this time unhassled by bums and strong in my resolve that the next time I'm in Albany for Halloween, I'll pass on Pearl Street and throw my own party. At least then there will be room for the drunk people to dance.

1 comment:

Matt said...

Good post.

Sounds about right. Pearl Street can be fun at times, but it seems best to me when it's LEAST crowded - weeknights, early evenings on the weekends, etc. Once it hits 10pm, I'd much rather be on lark st. or further uptown if i'm going out in albany.

So I can only imagine what a "holiday" situation does to Pearl. Nightmare indeed.