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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

A Day-Long Excursion Ends at a Hidden Gem on Plaza

When in Crystal

Posted By on Wed, May 10, 2017 at 11:47 AM

This past week has been a complete blur. I've been in such a funk that I decided to cope by going out every day after work last week. No, I wasn't super hungover or spewing anywhere, but still, I was doing the most.

When Friday rolled around, a co-worker had already made plans for the night and the following day. Naturally, I followed along as I made my way from BlackFinn to Corner Pub to Rí Rá. When the Red Bull took over, I decided I should even continue to twerk my way all the way to Blue Olive Lounge.

The next morning I decided to be productive, clean up around the house and run some errands. It wasn't long, however, before I was being summoned to Sycamore Brewing for a couple beers. When the rain forced everyone inside, we were more than ready to make the next move. It gets ridiculously packed there when everyone's forced inside.

After Sycamore, we stopped in at The Corner Pub to regroup and figure out where we wanted to go for the next couple hours. Some friends of ours were going to see Bastille, so we thought heading over to VBGB would be the best move, that way our friends could pregame with us. But you know how day drinking goes. We may have been there for 15 minutes before I started hearing rumblings about everyone wanting to go home and either crash on the couch or take a nap.

Anyone who knows me knows that I will not take a nap after day drinking in the hopes of waking back up to rally again. Nope, not going to happen. I got dropped off and decided to head back out on my own. When I started getting bored, I thought, maybe it's just time to call it a night altogether. It was close to 9 p.m. after all.

Just when I'd let go of the idea of partying, one of my closest friends from back home hit me up. We eventually met some other friends at Thomas Street Tavern in Plaza Midwood. Very quickly, however, we realized just how late to the party we were. Drinks were being spilled, screams were being directed at random jerks and all I wanted to do was get the hell out of dodge. That's when I overheard someone who I thought knew one of my colleagues talking about Crystal On the Plaza.

I'd heard rumors that Crystal was a local favorite for reggae and thought this was the perfect time to check it out. As we prepared to leave, I turned to the last friend standing, FT we'll call her, and politely said, "Listen babe, I don't think you're going to want to go here." After all, she had been drinking damn near all day and the clock was just striking 2 a.m. She saw right through me, and before I could voice my true concerns, she interjected. "Listen girl, I went to a predominantly black high school and I was the only white cheerleader, I got this." Can't get anything past her.

When we arrived, there were cops standing around outside of the entrance. Some were going in and the bouncers weren't moving the line. I turned to one of the cops and asked if the spot was getting shut down, to which she said, "I don't think so, there's just always illegal activity going on in here."

That's when the bouncer turned to our group and informed us that the cover charge would be $20 a piece! Say what?! Fortunately, my childhood friend's acquaintance had the cash and offered to pay for our five-person group. Once inside, I couldn't believe my eyes, the space was jam-packed. What's crazier? It was filled with hundreds of people and they couldn't even serve alcohol anymore!

We stumbled upon the patio to the right of the entrance and found a space to call our own. I took one look around at the crowd and thought, "So this is what unfiltered, untamed culture looks like," and immediately started dancing the night away. I even met the owner — Miss Mary they called her. She found her way into her dance circle — a petite, gray-haired lady with a short haircut. And she wasn't skipping a beat, she laughed and moved her hips just as quickly as we were. Yas honey! When patrons started to get protective over her, I knew that she had to be the woman in charge. I got her number and left her to enjoy her night.

Little did I know, she wouldn't be going home. An hour or so later, when the clock struck 4:00 a.m., there came Miss Mary still moving her hips. We laughed a tired laugh, and decided it was time to go. My only regret? I never went to the food window where patrons were getting to-go plates. I don't know what all they had on the menu, but I know I spotted some mac and cheese somewhere. On the way home, I turned to my petite, blonde-haired, blue-eyed friend, "I can't believe you stayed out that whole time." She laughed and responded, "You know what they say, when in Rome ... well now it's when in Crystal!"

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