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The Hood Bar Tour

The Hood Bar Tour

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The Hood Bar Tour

61 pagine
54 minuti
Apr 13, 2019


Bored with her current social life of expensive cocktails with pretentious Black folks in downtown Philadelphia, professional misanthrope Charing Ball, along with some of her best girlfriends, decides to spice things up by going on a drinking tour of the local "hood bar" scene in West Philly. The results of this mis-adventure is a witty, true-life short collection of bar stories about self-discover, the struggle to accept change and why every bartender deserves more than that measly one-dollar tip your drunk ass leaves on the table at the end of the night. 

Apr 13, 2019

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The Hood Bar Tour - Charing Ball


Table of Content

Who You Calling A B...?

Squandered Opportunities Are Always On The House

In the Name of The Father, The Son and The Booty-ful Spirit

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Bar Tab, Part I

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Bar Tab, Part II: (or Why Queen Latifah’s U.N.I.T.Y Never Went Farther Than Being A Hot Track)

Who You Calling A B...?

The tour was a concept born out of a night of sipping cocktails at one of Philly’s trendier lounges. Despite its distinguished reputation, the drinks were too expensive and watered down and the company, in particular the man-kind of company, was both dull and pretentious. This was becoming typical of Philly. And personally, I was restless here. For one, I was tired of putting on my best outfit and my best face just to go hang against the wall with a bunch of stuffed shirts who did nothing but run down their résumés like we were at a job interview.

And two: I wanted to have fun. And I wanted Philly to be fun—just like it had been back in the day.

I'm talking about the glory days of: The Stinger; Tradewinds; Bobbie Dances; Gotham turned Brave New World; Palmer's; Champagne; Lou & Choos; Y2K New Years Eve; The Upper Deck; Jaguar's; Broad Street Eddies; The Five Bank and the 2000-2009 era when Olde City was poppin'; 2001 The All-Star Weekend...

As we listlessly sipped our overpriced and watered down cocktails, I told Carla about the glory days of old Philly. The time way back when having a good time simply meant having a real  stiff  drink at a neighborhood corner bar. I told her dive bars were once the soul of the city. Folks there didn’t care what you did for a living or how much your dress cost - all they wanted to know is if you were treating. And they certainly weren’t afraid to let their hair down. They even have cheap, good food, I said, slightly bragging.

Carla was intrigued. Her roots were suburban Chicago. She had been a resident of Philly for several years and worked in one of the city’s more disenfranchised neighborhoods. However, when it came time to party, she rarely ventured beyond Center City and other more affluent - and more racially diverse - neighborhoods. Therefore, going to a janky hole-in-the-wall in the 'hood sounded like quite the adventure to her. She was sold on the idea. And over our watered down drinks, we made an agreement that the next time we got together, it would be for drinks at a neighborhood spot.


I was hoping that we could assemble a few friends and casually pop into a corner bar after work. But Carla isn’t that kind of person. There were crime stats to read, emergency exits to learn, and routes to hospitals to be plugged into smartphones—just in case. And after some mapping and careful analysis, she determined that Market Street in West Philly would be a perfect place to start the tour. Not only was there a higher concentration of bars, practically one on every corner, but it was close enough to the University of Pennsylvania campus, which meant security would also be nearby if needed. After mapping out our route, she emailed invitations to a bunch of people, which included driving directions as well as a complete itinerary of what we would be doing at each and every venue. Although I felt like she was doing too much, I have to admit to being rather impressed by her organizational skills. She even included helpful hints on how to properly dress for our tour. But even with all of that pre-planning, fewer than a handful had bothered to RSVP. And only Carla and I—as well as her friend with the big ears—bothered to show up at the designated meeting time.

Carla and I walked up the block towards the Top Shelf Lounge at the corner of 54th and Market streets. Her friend, a brown- skinned dude with big protruding ears like Will Smith, met us in front with a wide, cheese-eating grin splashed across his face.

So is this it?, he said, unimpressed, as he leaned in to offer her a hug.

I do believe there will be others coming later," Carla said, returning his hug.

After greeting Carla, he leaned in and offered me a hug as well. I really don’t like touching strangers but I also have a fear of appearing rude and uncouth. So I returned a half-hearted

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