I’ve been in denial about this for a long time, but I think it’s finally time to admit it: this neighborhood just isn’t as cool as it used to be. In fact, it’s been getting steadily less cool since around the time I turned 23.
Take Liam’s Pub, for instance. That place used to be one of the greatest spots in the entire city. My friends and I would meet there practically every Friday night to drink and see some of the most cutting edge new bands and comedians perform until 3 or 4 am. But now, I get tired around midnight! It really just isn’t the same.
And how about Marquis, the dance club just a few blocks from Liam’s? The DJs at that place always used to know just what to put on to really get the party going, but they haven’t had any of the great dance hits from 2011 in heavy rotation since at least 2011. What’s up with that?
I don’t mean to just single out Liam’s and Marquis, though. The changes have been happening all across the neighborhood. The pizza joints are serving toppings that didn’t exist when I was in college, it’s getting harder for me to drink more than five beers in one night without getting a stomach ache, and those kids who while away their carefree summer evenings relaxing in the park used to be my friends and me but are now totally different people who are younger than I am. It’s offensive, quite frankly.
Also, I sprained my ankle playing volleyball the other day, and it’s taking way longer to heal than it used to. I’m not exactly sure how this is a sign that my neighborhood is changing for the worse, but it definitely is.
The funny thing is, this has all been happening while the small boring town where I used to live seems to get cooler every time I go visit my parents. That parking lot where my friends and I used to always hang out and complain about how there was nothing to do here, and we were totally going to move to the big city as soon as we got the chance, for example? It turns out that it’s actually attached to a grocery store, where you can buy all sorts of cool and delicious food. Plus, the aisles are, like, super wide, and everything there is way cheaper than it is where I live now.
And instead of running into younger people all the time whose mere existence threatens me and reminds me way too strongly of my impending mortality, I run into older people almost every day who think it is phenomenal that I can help them set up their Hulu account. It’s just nice to feel needed, you know?
Now, I’m not saying I’m ready to pack up and leave my exciting city for my said small town right away or anything. I’m just saying that, sometime in between me being able to effortlessly keep up with all of the latest cultural trends and me realizing that a lot of those Progressive ads are actually pretty funny, something about my neighborhood changed. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to quite put my finger on what that change was or why it seems so linked to everyone except me deciding to start playing their music too loudly, but it’s definitely real, and it definitely has nothing to do with me changing, as I have remained and always will remain a perfect embodiment of the hip urban lifestyle that so many people aspire to achieve.
Wait, hang on. My mom just told me their town got one of those fancy new Rite Aids with the glass walls and a pretty decent beer selection. I’m out of here.