The Bar Belle: A farewell toast from the rooftop

The roofs have opened again. At numerous bars and apartment complexes around the city, we can be found outside relishing the cool wind blowing through our hair and listening to the sound of fire engines far below on the street – all while holding cold beers in our hands. We are the content residents of the District of Columbia.

Being the Bar Belle has been fantastic, but I’m going to be honest – no bar will ever beat sitting outside, while watching the stars or the sunset, and having a cold beer next to me.

As the Bar Belle, however, I feel I have some important wisdom to pass on to all you underclassmen who are finally turning 21 (or getting your first fake ID). In no particular order, here are some words of wisdom.

Start a tab whenever possible. Always take the bartenders’ recommendations. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. And ALWAYS tip your bartenders well (it’ll prove more cost-worthy in the long run).

Most importantly, as clich?d as it may sound, your nights are what you make of them, and it’s not about being in the nicest bar in the city or the smoke-filled one down the street. Rather, it’s about your attitude and the company you keep.

After doing this for a year, I have a lot of people to thank. So, in true bar belle style, I would like to propose a toast.

Here’s to all the DJs who played the right song at the right time, all the bartenders and waitresses who never cut me off (even when they probably should have) and to the band that learned to play a song for me (The Bear Mountain Pickers!)

Here’s to never having an empty glass, and here’s to “honor.”

Cheers to the Metro being open until 3 a.m., and to all the D.C. cab drivers for putting up with our drunken souls.

Here’s to car bombs, lemon drops, jack and gingers, and good beer. A toast to the New Belgian Brewing Company for not shipping east of the Mississippi so I have something to look forward to when I go home. Cheers to Unibroue Inc. for having its beer available outside Canada, so I can actually get really good beer while in the District.

And here’s to all the people who made bar recommendations to me and all the people who’ve edited my articles (both before and after they went to press).

Here’s to all the underclassmen with fake IDs (and the freshmen without fake IDs who still managed to come out with us).

To the “night(s) of night(s)” and the Shire. To waterfalls, Frank Zappa and Rohan.

To pitchers at Froggy Bottom Pub every Wednesday night, whether I needed them or not.

Here’s to beer pong at 9 in the morning (and the boys in Columbia Plaza willing to set it up), and to sharing a bottle of wine after last call (and the guy who always had a bottle waiting for me). Cheers to kegs in my apartment, and Riverside liquors for providing them.

Here’s to always finding new drinking partners, and to live music and dance parties. And here’s to exploring the city, one bar at a time.

Here’s a special toast to all of you, for actually reading my articles. And, most importantly, to my amazing friends who shared the adventures with me.

Since I know everyone is busy studying for finals, here is a toast, by a writer much more talented than I (Oscar Wilde) to give you another incentive to go out for a drink with friends:

“Too much work and no vacation deserves at least a small libation. So hail! my friends, and raise your glasses, work’s the curse of the drinking classes.”

So crack a cold beer, pour some out for the homies and shout out your praise from the rooftops in whatever language you choose. Cin Cin. A votre sant?. L’chaim. Stin ijiasas. Prost. Sl?inte. Salud y amor y tiempo para disfrutarlo. Na zdrav?. Zivjeli. Gom bui. Kampai. Pura Vida. Cheers.

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