Seattle Nightlife

And now for something completely different. I'm a bit tired from Startup Weekend. I asked my coworker, Scott Bays, to guest-write a piece about our adventures in Seattle last weekend. Expect more Startup Weekend related posts in the week to come, but for now, let me present Seattle nightlife.. Seattle nightlife...

It has always been considered subpar compared to the nightlife of many other metropolitan areas.  You wouldn’t think this of the famous “sleepless” city of music.  It could be said that 90% of the population here knows how to have a great time in some fashion, but perhaps only 10% actually know where to have a great time when it comes to the night and what comes after.

This was my task.  Monica’s friend Adan, from college, was applying for a job at Microsoft and was only here for a night.  They gave him a powerful Dodge Charger to drive, and Monica wanted to show him Seattle.  She knew I was into the nightlife a bit and had hyped up venues before, so she trusted me to be the guide for this night.  Getting pretty into it, I probably went through about three or four starting places to sit down, relax, and enjoy a drink or two before going to the party. She honorably took the blame for the locale changes however, which I found humorous enough to let it be. The first place I chose for the evening:  Bathtub Gin & Co., a Belltown legendary bar and hangout place.  I had never been there, but heard amazing stories from pretty much everyone so I felt it was a good choice regardless and I would get a chance to try it.  10:00pm was our meetup time, and so the story begins...

It actually begins with a homeless man.


9:50 comes around and I’ve located the elusive bar.  I text Monica some directions to the best parking lot to use and sit down to wait. No response by a little after 10pm so I decided to go ahead and call. No answer.

“You seem like you are spacing out a bit man.” A homeless man walks up to me while I’m leaning up against the wall of a building. “Girl not answering?”

“Yeah, not sure if my friends stood me up or not yet, so maybe.” I glance at the sign he is carrying that has “BEER ME!” written on it. I also notice the belt holsters carrying four beers in them, so it is definitely working out well for him.  “Nice sign!” I laugh. He laughs as well, and for a homeless man; he really doesn’t smell all that badly.

He goes on to tell me stories of Karma. Of people having accidents, or fortune, and all the karma related things involved in his life. They are actually pretty interesting stories, and I’m waiting anyway, so I nod my head and listen.   Some of them are also quite hilarious, so I give him five dollars out of the cash I prepared for the night.

“Let me rub some of my good karma off on you.” He says as he rubs his elbow on my shirt. I raise an eyebrow to this homeless man who is giving me karma. “Now try calling, she’ll pick up.”

By this time it is about 10:30, and I give Monica another call.  After a few rings, she actually picks up!  “What time is it?” She asked. Turns out she had a bit longer of a nap than intended.  I laugh and yell back at the homeless guy while Monica is still on the phone. “What is your name, man?”

“They call me Shadow.” He yells back. I nod my head in approval, as this sounds like it is straight out of a novel to me so I am already quite pleased with the evening.

I get off the phone with Monica so she can call Adan, and she texts me to let me know they are going straight to See Sound. This is the name of the club we were going to go to after drinking/meeting at the bar. I walk over there and listen to the music a bit. It’s not really to my liking, so I text her back a fallback plan for the first club. Let’s go to Trinity first instead, and give her the address. By the time I arrive they are already there, and the night finally begins.

Trinity is Club. Pretty much what you would expect out of a club. Nothing amazing, nothing awful, just good standard Top-40s with a couple of branched off areas that play perhaps some dubstep or hip hop. Can’t really go wrong.  I get a drink, join Adan and Monica who are already into it, and start dancing. We did take a couple of breaks from the dancing to go upstairs and sit so I can actually meet Adan (even though this is quite difficult in a loud club of course). I also text some of my friends that are out to find out what they are doing. We get into a short sparring match over texts as they try to get me to come over to them and I try to get them to come over to us. All-in-all it didn’t really matter, Adan had already bought Monica and I another drink so we continue the fun.

Monica ended up meeting another girl there named Christie. They danced together, and Adan and I went to the other side of the dance floor.

Eventually the club started clearing out around 2:00am.  Monica mentions that she believes we're going to someone’s house.  We meet a few new people including the owner of another club who says he's having an after party. Monica asks him about her friends joining.  He turns to his friends and complains how he “doesn’t want a bunch of random people at his house.”  Of course you don’t want her male companions to be with her to make sure she stays safe tonight...asshole...

One of the friends, a shorter black guy was actually quite cool; I don’t remember his name however.  He kept trying to convince this guy that we were cool to chill out with them, but he wouldn’t have it. Christie at this time started walking off so Monica rushed after her. In the end, we decided to go to Noc Noc and quickly bailed from the situation.

A quick background of Noc Noc. This is the place. I was unsure about bringing both Monica and Adan here originally, as I have always gone with a group of friends that were well prepared for the night. This was my first time taking people, one of them I just met and it was my first outing with Monica as well. Noc is, during the evening, an 80s bar with a goth style.  However, on Friday nights and Saturday nights (Or rather 2:00am Saturday and 2:00am Sunday), it transforms into the greatness that is Noc Noc. At that time it turns into an EDM dance club where local DJs will come and mix some amazing music until the morning.  An after-hours club.  I have actually never been to the evening portion of it, nor do I actually ever plan on it. This iteration of Noc is the one I know and love, the 2:00am sorts. But it’s not for everyone. Still, all four of us were pretty in sync and were ready to continue the night.  So we walked there.

Or actually, a couple of blocks in Christie was complaining about the walk because of her shoes.  Adan picks her up and carries her on his back while she humorously calls him playful names that I’ll leave out from here. She also told me I should be carrying Monica.  Psh, yeah right. If I tried to pick up and carry Monica I would probably be the one that somehow ended up getting carried instead. (editor's note: are you calling me fat?)

Once we reached Noc we got in the line that is usually present on these after-hours. By the time we paid our cover Dave, the promoter, was watching the line. I go up to him to say hi. Honestly, I wasn’t sure if he would remember me without the rest of the group I usually come with since so many people go through Noc all the time. Not only did he recognize me he also knew the amount of time it’s been since I had last been there. I introduced him to the other three and let him know that Monica and Adan are fresh from PA. “Show them how it’s done!” He slapped me on the back and we went inside.

80% amazing people,10% creepers, 10% shady people.  That’s Noc for you. People from all walks of life end up in there dancing together. And everyone has fun.  Now in Washington, alcohol can’t be served from 2:00-6:00am. Thus, the only refreshments at this time is water and red bull.  But this is fine! Drunk people cause problems, people at Noc; not usually so much. Music was amazing at this time, which I later found out from a friend that one of his favorite DJs just happened to be there the night Monica and I went.  Christie ran into another guy that she was dancing with at Trinity, and they ended up leaving early. That would be the last we ever heard from her. At some point in time I realized there were a few people I recognized that went outside, so I followed them to chat for a while.

This is the only unfortunate part of the evening. Apparently while I was outside Monica had met another group of people and placed her purse under a girl named Nicky’s coat. It ended up getting stolen...Luckily she didn’t have too much in her purse, and we searched the place a bit to see if they just took the cash and left the rest in a trash bin. No luck. Looks like Monica will end up getting a new phone sooner than she thought. I always teased her about how bad her phone was anyway. Still,  Monica seemed to be having so much fun she didn’t even really care, so we just kept at it.

Adan and I also got some time at the bar where we chatted about various topics (mostly women). He’s a pretty cool guy, I decided. Thrust right into this but having an amazing time of it, glad I got to show it to him and I really hope he gets the job so we can all do it again sometime!

We ended up leaving Noc and hanging out with the friends that Monica had met there, including Nicky. That’s usually how it happens at Noc. You go there with friends, and end up with more friends. We went to a place called 5 Points Cafe. This cafe has been open 24/7 since the 1930s. It never closes. Even on holidays. There we chatted about neurology, anarchism, and all sorts of fun Seattlite things like that.   Eventually we realized that it was about time for the morning to end, as Adan had a flight to catch at to go back home.

He gave Monica and me a ride in his charger, we helped him load his things from the hotel, and he dropped us at my place so he could rush to the airport. Things got a little tricky at this point in time, as my house tends to have a lot of people over on Friday night, thus all my roommates were completely passed out. So to return Monica back home I found the nearest bus route and joined her. She had already given up on her early morning run at this time since it was nearing 11:00am. But she still had other day activities coming up because she is always busy so she had to get back to her place. I went along and we had a pretty epic bus conversation in the meantime. After she made it home, we went our separate ways.

Now I can say, welcome to Seattle.

(thanks Scott!)