Saturday, September 27, 2008

500 Club + Debate aftermath.

Note to self: Next time you go to 500 Club to watch a presidential debate, you might want to get there an hour early. Good lord.

So, 500 Club was absolutely packed by the time I got there at 5:45. I will say this - it's the type of place I think I'd like a whole lot if it didn't have so many people in it. It could use a pool table, but quite frankly, I feel that way about every bar I've ever been in.

It is an interesting experience being in a room of people just like you. I managed to get up to the bar, thankfully, because this sling is still putting a damper on my ability to hold a beer. I was standing next to a guy who was really, really unhappy to be there. He was older and really hated the fact that his bar was being infiltrated by crazy hipster liberals. I wanted to feel badly, but it turns out I didn't. When we'd get all riled up about Obama, he'd attempt to shout out some counterpoint. Didn't so much come across as intelligent debate so much as being curmudgeonly. He left fairly early, and because an incredibly kind girl wanted to be nice to the chick with her arm in a sling, I managed to snag a seat at the bar right in front of the television. Score. 

Props to 500 Club - it was a little difficult to get drinks, but the bartenders were fabulous. They ran out of Anchor Steam about halfway through, but they have a fantastic selection of other beers, so no one seemed too distraught. Me? I was throwing down $2 PBRs, partially because I'm very poor, partially because I like hipster beer, but mostly because I was a little afraid that someone was going to knock into me, and I am notorious for spilling beer all over myself if someone gets within two feet of me. I have yet to spill a bottle of beer on myself or others, but a pint glass? Watch out. Also, The Roommate couldn't get close to me at the beginning, so I needed something I could pass over people's heads to him, and a brimming glass of Racer was not going to work out.

A friend of mine in her assessment of watching the debate at a hipster bar in New York said "We're really partisan, so we don't know if Obama is winning or not." This is how I felt. Don't get me wrong - I'm making my Sarah Palin jokes ("Oh shit, they asked about Russia! If McCain mentions Palin, we're taking shots!") and pounding the bar every time Obama says something about healthcare. But really, he could have thrown the debate and we would have cheered at everything he said and booed McCain. I felt like both parties made some incredibly good points. But really, we were just happy to watch Barack Obama and ponder the idea that we might have a president we actually support in a few months. 

So, thanks, 500 Club. I'll be back, but I know how to play your game now. See you at the next debate.


troymccluresf said...

Hey, sorry I didn't say hi. Everyone I was meeting decided it was too crowded to get in even though there was TONS of room on the other side of the bar. We ended up leaving like 20 mins into it. :/

New to the Bay said...

Hey! No worries. It was pretty insanely crowded. The other side of the bar looked like it was super open, but I didn't want to try fighting through the crowd just to see if there was a seat. Saddling up to the bar ended up working out for me in the end.

I guess Kilowatt was playing it too and had a ton of open space - I ended up staying at 500 since I was lucky enough to get a seat.

TK said...

The 500 Club has a pool table. You probably just didn't see it b/c of the crowd.

I was walking through the Mission towards the end of the debate and it was sort of like the Super Bowl. Every TV I passed had it on, there were people spilling out of places watching it, etc. It's pretty cool to see people engaged in the political process like that.

New to the Bay said...

Oh, good to know! It was ridiculously crowded in there and I didn't want to fight my way through too far. I can see how I would have missed the pool table.

It reminded me a lot of when I was living in NYC for the 2006 senate/house elections. Every bar had CNN on and people were cheering as results for senators we had ever heard of rolled in. One of the few times I've experienced some sort of political solidarity - it's just nice to see people getting out and getting excited about something that matters.