Getting Down When You’re New in Town

Posted: October 20, 2011 by Esteban in Pragmatic Profligacy

Since moving from one un-diverse part of the city which is so white that it undoubtedly blinds astronauts in Earth’s orbit, to another segregated neighborhood that, you never would have guessed from the looks of it, but its population is 99% brown. I am the pallid 1%. Why is this worth mentioning? It’s hard enough being the new guy, but being the minority is a new experience for me entirely. I’ve gotten used to being the victim of neck snapping double takes, be it from my b-list movie star looks or cry-for-help fashion sense, however, the long starring, the finger pointing from across the street, the incessant gawking from adults acting like children who don’t know better, this is not at all what I anticipated.

Gettin down - Photo by Isaac Klotz

Such ethnic hurdles are ones I saw myself easily overcoming in my quest to reassert myself into a lifestyle of sex, drugs, and music culture while finding a like minded local scene. Dressed in my usual punk/goth fare, I set out on foot in search of whatever the streets are willing to provide for me. It is immediately apparent that I standout like the Jersey Shore at a Phish concert. Undeterred, I continue my hunt like a shark dubiously in search of prey.

Once you’re in, you know what to look for. Tiny, empty plastic bags on the ground, sometimes with the bottom of the plastic baggie torn off, discarded balloons, balls of foil; these are all signs of addicts occupying the immediate area. Even crushed up packs of cigarettes provide a glimmer of hope that someone close by is holdin’ dope. Similarly, areas free of liter are likely to be drug-free zones.

After identifying a potential dealers stomping ground, scoring is as simple as asking a stranger. Meeting people on the street is a great way to insert yourself into the ladder of connections. Someone young, hip, looks like they party, not a narc, usually unshaven due to the apathetic hell in which they choose to live. If they are not holding, chances are they can hook you up with someone who can find you whatever poison you prefer. Now that you’ve scored, it’s time to get down.

Local watering holes usually don’t cater to the “one-night-stand” crowd. Instead, regulars queue up at their assigned bar stools to sloppily sip away the sorrow of a 40 hour work week until they find normalcy at the bottom of a glass. Luckily, you have the “pardonmeiamnewtotown” card, which has worked in countless faux situations works even better when it is the truth. Still, the truth is that dive bar regulars don’t want to go home with random people. Unless that person is new to town, has a super interesting cache of backstories, and “don’t drive home, my apartment is walking distance away.”

Getting down when in a new town can be frightening and difficult, but it doesn’t need to be this way, especially since you already have all the tools you need at your disposal. Just remember these three basic rules 1.) Most strangers love to be helpful. 2.) New people are mysterious, intriguing, and therefore hot. 3.) The “New-to-town” card is both an in and an out. Think about it. And while people are still whispering about me looking like a neo-nazi (on account of never seeing a dude with blonde hair before) I couldn’t give a shit less, as I am too busy getting down.

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