In our millennial age, perhaps no other activity has captured the weekend imagination of young adults more so than the “bar crawl.” Hardly a month goes by without one’s calendar getting pummeled with invites to various holiday binge-drinking events, where one may be expected to dress as anything from Santa Claus to an Irish stereotype, all the while walking from bar to bar in one of the city’s many nightlife districts. It’s all fun, but lately I’ve grown tired of the obnoxious, drunken shenanigans, the over-priced drinks, and their subsequent hangovers. But not wanting to rid my life of the practice entirely, I’ve begun looking for other applications of the “crawl.” So this past weekend I woke up early and began the city’s first inaugural Midtown Coffee Crawl. What followed was a morning of manic energy, fleeting mental clarity, and existential dread. I should at this point warn everyone to never do this. I mean bar crawls are dangerous and all, but at least you can sleep off a day of over-drinking.
Throughout history, no model for conflict has reeked as much havoc and bad blood as the north/south paradigm. The Union had the Confederacy, the Cubs have the White Sox, polar bears have penguins, and within our own city, North and South Irvington have been waging a feud for the ages. South Irvington, or SoIrv, celebrates itself as a hotbed of cultural, historical, and educational significance. And it’s true, the southside of the neighborhood does have the majority of historical landmarks. One only need go on the haunted tour in October to see that most of the haunted houses are south of Washington Street. And just recently I wrote about the quaint hamlet, and all it has to offer: the Irving Circle, the former grounds of Butler University, the Benton House. But damnit, I grew up in NoIrv, and I’ll be damned to let SoIrv win this battle without a fight.
I begin this column with an afternoon jaunt in the neighborhood I call home: Meridian-Kessler, otherwise known by it’s hip moniker: Sobro. I tied up my boots, buttoned up my coat, and walked out into another godforsaken, Midwestern, winter afternoon. The sky was grey, the wind was biting, and nobody appeared to have shovelled their sidewalks. But onward I walked.
Through the good times and bad. Heartbreak, hangovers, lunch breaks and lazy Sunday afternoons there are a few past times which never fail to pass the time. There’s reading, talking to good friends, gardening, drinking beer. But sometimes you can’t find a good book to read. Sometimes your friends are jerks. Sometimes its winter. And sometimes your drinking habit has spiraled into full blown alcoholism. Which is why I have another hobby to help get me through these troubled times: recreational walking.