21 June 2009

Hidden Gems Around the Corner

So this past weekend, Andrew and I had nothing going on Friday night; the next morning we were gearing up for a fancy dress (ie, costume) pub crawl, so we wanted to do something low key. We walked over to Blockbuster and rented a couple of movies and dropped them off the house. We decided to explore our neighbourhood and walk up to Munster Road. When I’ve run in the area, I’ve noticed lots of cute restaurants up that way, but we never think to go there because we’re so accustomed to heading toward the tube station rather than away from it. So we found an adorable little Italian restaurant that had the strangest basil and cracked black pepper margaritas. I had one, and it was actually really good! After dinner, we went into a wine shop and bought a bottle to take home, and we decided to walk home the long way since it was a nice evening. As we were walking along, we saw an adorable little pub and decided to pop in for a pint on the way home. When we opened the door, we were blasted with very bad karaoke music. It was a pub that obviously didn’t see many people other than the locals who were there every weekend (or possibly every day). We thought it was hysterical, and Andrew ordered drinks while I ran to the loo. When I came out, we had a problem. Andrew had already started sipping his beer while the bartender poured mine, and when he started to pay her with his debit card, she told him it’s cash only. Well we had zero cash. One of us was going to have to go get money while the other stayed behind.

“Sadly,” Andrew told me, “I feel better about sending you out there to get cash than leaving you in here by yourself.” It was still light outside, so I ran out. Every cash machine I saw was dead. I ended up having to run about a half mile away (in heals!) before I finally found one that worked. Then, on the way back, I was going to try and just see if a cab would take me back to the pub, but none of them had their vacant lights on. I leaned in to one whose light was off, though, and asked if he could just take me down Dawes Road a little bit, and he looked at me strangely and said, “Lady, I have a passenger already.” I glanced in the back and realised there was, indeed, a man in the back seat wearing a dark suit! I was so embarrassed! So I walked on and a moment later, when the light turned, the cab pulled over and the cabbie said that the passenger had said he was going down Dawes Road anyway and wouldn’t mind if the cabbie dropped me off where I needed to go! So I hopped in (it was, after all, a registered black cap – not dangerous or anything) and thanked the man in the suit who was very awkward about the whole thing, and I hopped out again at the pub and ran inside to pay the bartender.

Andrew and I ended up meeting all the locals quickly since we were the outsiders. One of the roughest looking guys came up and told me that I was going to sing a song with him. It was a song I’d never heard, but that didn’t matter to him. Andrew was just dieing in fits of laughter about it, but I ended up getting up and singing. Later the same guy grabbed me and made me dance with him, and then he made Andrew get up and sing with him, too! He brought over more of his friends to meet us, and they all sat with us. I think we scared everyone when Andrew and I got up and sang “Chattahoochee”…

We had so much fun, though, just being goofy and singing and dancing and meeting new people. We found a real hidden gem on our own street that night, and we look forward to taking all our friends there some other night and overrunning the place with Americans!

No comments: