This weekend can be summarized in three words (well, three phrases if you want to be completely correct…):
The Russian Lady.
One of the things I do outside of my job is sing. I’m a member of the Farmington Valley Chorus, which is a chapter of Sweet Adelines International. We meet every Wednesday in Simsbury, and we sing a variety of songs arranged in barbershop style. Throughout the year we have a lot of performances, one of them being our regional competition. This weekend, we had a coaching session at our rehearsal space to get ready for competition. The person who coached us was Betty Clipman, who has a reputation of being amazing. She has directed not one but two winning choruses, and is also a “Queen of Harmony” (which is pretty much the highest honor someone in Sweet Adelines can get).
Our coaching session was tough, but in a good way. She got us thinking about a lot of different things relating to how we sing, which I’ve been thinking about since then. I will admit to being nervous at times because when someone of that caliber is working with you, you really want to do your best. Overall, it was an impactful two days.
The Russian Lady
After rehearsal Saturday, I got invited to a “Stoplight” party at The Russian Lady in Hartford. Nightclubs aren’t usually my thing, but I’ll go to them every once in a while. Plus, I got to see some friends I don’t see too often!
This particular night was cold. Not just normal-winter-cold, but negative-three-at-9 PM cold. When I found my parking spot about a block away from the club, I dashed from my car down Ann Uccello Street to avoid staying out too long. It’s nights like this where I’m thankful I was a sprinter in high school.
I got into The Russian Lady and made my way up to the party. If you haven’t been to The Russian Lady before, it’s a three-story club full of dark hardwood and narrow stairs. This place has been around since the seventies, so there’s some parts of it that haven’t really aged with time. Each floor seems to have a theme; the first has a narrow bar area that makes you feel like you’re in a pub, the second (where the party was) is part upscale bar – part pool hall – part dance club, and the third is mainly for dancing. (They also have a rooftop area that they open during the summer, but I haven’t been up there…yet.)
I quickly found my friends, who were all chilling by the bar. This is honestly my favorite part of the second floor; you’re around a lot of people, but you can focus on your friends more. We chatted for a while, and one of my friends and I started to people watch. Clubs can bring out some interesting characters, after all. We saw one guy who was wearing fake lederhosen with a green t-shirt. Considering said lederhosen had beer steins stitched into it, I would guess he put a lot of thought into his outfit.
Later on, we decided to hit the dance floor. By this time, the club was getting crowded. This place can fit nearly 400 people and at least 100 of them were on the second floor. Some of them were pretty rowdy; one person spilled their drink on my friend by accident, and another guy got pulled away by a bouncer for harassing some girls dancing onstage. A few of us started feeling a little uncomfortable, so we returned to the bar to hang out. I ended up leaving shortly after that, which I didn’t mind too much.
The next day, one of my friends from the night before and I decided to see Deadpool at the Loews theater in Plainville. This was a great afternoon for two reasons:
- Deadpool is hilarious. There’s a reason it got $150 million in ticket sales this weekend, as well as an 83% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Deadpool has the perfect mix of action, romance, humor, and a slight bit of perversion to top it all off. It’s dirtier than Guardians of the Galaxy, but just as captivating. I will definitely be getting this on DVD when it comes out; especially if there’s a gag reel. (That would be magical…)
- Loews recently went through a major renovation, which ended up impacting my experience in a good way. See, tickets to Deadpool were selling out left and right, and the only tickets my friend and I were able to get were in the first row. In a typical movie theater, this would lead to neck strain galore. But at Loews they have leg rests on their new seats, and you can tilt them back just enough that you are comfortable the entire time. Did I also mention that they’re leather? Yeah. They’re cushy, reclining leather seats…and they’re awesome.
My weekend was jam-packed, but it was also super fun. I can’t wait to see what this weekend has in store for me!