Spending 12 hours at the best college bar in America
11 drinks, 7 bathroom breaks, and 1 Boot later
I know what you’re thinking. Really.
I know the thought that first went racing through your brain when you read this article’s title – the one that’s swirling around as you read this – all the while begging to be answered:
Why the fuck would anyone do that?
Because it’s impressive and daunting and a testament to the human spirit (as well as alcohol consumption and social experiments). Because it’s fun and a great story to tell for the rest of your life (college-wise because nothing ever happens outside of the years 18-22, right?).
Because it’s the number one college bar in America and if you can’t spend twelve hours straight there, then where the fuck can you?
Let’s go back shall we? Back to the beginning when this experience was nothing more than a tiny seedling of an idea.
One Tuesday evening, Ivanka Reksono, a highly involved and respected Junior at Tulane University, looked across a table to me (a table at which we were having a meeting as the cabinet of undergraduate student government and thus discussing big deal things) and proceeded to say:
“I have an idea for an article for The Tab: Twelve straight hours at The Boot.”
I remember thinking to myself that’s insane, don’t be ridiculous, uh no before the importance of what she had just suggested sunk in. Of just how good an idea it was, and so I replied, “Let’s do it.”
If you ask Ivanka why she thought to do this, why she sat for those twelve straight hours as my partner in crime, confidant, and pea in a very raucous pod, she says:
“When I came up with the idea, I asked myself what was something that I would never want to do but would probably, unintentionally, end up doing anyway?”
This was the answer…
3:00pm – 9:00pm
The Boot between the hours of 3:00pm and 9:00pm is truly glorious. If you can get yourself a nice day, which isn’t all that hard to come by in New Orleans, and a booth at the bar, then you’re golden. During those first hours of the infamous Happy Hour (which lasts from 3:00pm to 10:00pm and boasts drinks containing 3-5 shots for $6), there are tables set up inside and outside of The Boot and all doors are opened to the outside so that the music and good vibes bleed out into the street.
During these first hours Ivanka and I sat witness to the DJ’s first appearance (and the kickass music they played beforehand), the people who showed up in jeans and a tee just to grab a beer after a long week, and the preparation for the night to come (think moving of chairs and tables, addition of DJ, stockpiling of alcohol, addition of bouncers, etc.).
In these six hours the vast majority of our friends came out to say “Hi” and wish us luck with the rest of the night – they knew this would be the best time to be caught at The Boot and that we were going to need all the luck we could get.
9:00pm – 12:00am
Sometime between dusk and 9:00pm, The Boot transforms. It becomes a place almost unrecognizable from mere hours before – there are no longer casual tables outside, the crowd of patrons has grown by double or triple and is spilling out into the street, and everyone is dressed to the nines (think black on black, button downs, makeup).
The music somehow finds a way to pump out of the system louder than before and people actually start to dance, in their seat or standing up (no grinding just yet), while Ivanka and I decide it’s time to put something a bit more sustainable than Long Island iced teas into our bodies (we get Boot Pizza and later crepes and then, yeah, some more Long Island iced teas…don’t judge).
During this time period we give up our stationary booth inside the bar and move to hanging around with our friends at some of the lone chairs outside; from this vantage point we can watch all flirting, all frat boys, and all fake ID rejections with perfect clarity.
12:00am – 3:00am
It’s past midnight and our friends have deserted us. To be honest we knew they would because no one we know would want to stay with us for these last, torturous hours. From about 12:00am to 1:00am we see some people we know and talk with, we see a lot of Greek life in spandex, and then we see them all go home (alone or not so alone).
By the time we get to 1:30am it’s safe to say that The Boot has died- the music is exponentially lower in volume than the rest of the night, there’s only a total of about two dozen people left here (where earlier it had been hundreds), and the air is filled with the smell of stale beer and old cigarettes.
As Ivanka and I hang outside at two lone chairs near the bouncers, counting down the moments till sweet freedom/bedtime, we notice two things:
1) The amount of garbage littered across the street floor is a sad testament to how little we think about our actions when we’re drunk (Who is going to have to clean that up? Not us, and not you).
2) There are so few females left at The Boot, that any male on his last chance hopes of a hookup hits on us (over and over again, honestly, as if they had formed a line to wait in).
When 3:00am on the dot rolls around, and we politely tell yet another male to have a nice night (read: leave us alone), we give big sighs of relief and start the walk back to our respective beds.
As we head down Broadway Street, Ivanka chimes without any enthusiasm we did it and as I turn back to look at The Boot one last time over my shoulder I think never again.
To read the funny, true, and progressively more drunken notes written by all of our friends/support systems who stopped by during this time, click here:
Special thanks to anyone who came out to support us in this endeavor and helping us pass the hours through means of laughter, condolences, or drinks bought: Rose Fitzgerald, Ava Pichini, Olivia Butler, Georgia Barlow, Paulina Lorenc, Lily Rubin Miller, Max Hunt, Keiko Long, Margaret Jane Stolte, Claire Sweetman, Alex Bourguignon, Jinhe Rachel Weber, Missy Baker (from Loyola), Dan Lasky, Abbey Grossman, Angelica Robertson, Haley Riemer, Terrel, Sam Levin, Gabby Gardner, Kylie Shadle, Eliza Kaufman, Barbie Wilkie, Manolo Baca Pallais, Tyler Margaretten, Carrie DiGregorio, Autumn Gibbons, Zoe Krulak Palmer, Noah Garber, Trace Hancock, Reagan McCann Garvin, Tova Steele, Jordan Figueredo, Summer Lawson, Simone Savoie, Gabriel Rodriguez, Maricela Murillo, Matt Buckwald, John Graham Parker, Cameron Cooper, and Arabella Matthews