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Washington DC Nightlife Guide

by Drew on August 26, 2016 2 comments

Meet Morgan

Morgan is a DC-based strategy consultant working in the healthcare industry by day, and champagne enthusiast by night. She’s spent the better part of 20 plus years in the DC Metro area scouting out the best brunch spots, riding horses competitively, and believing firmly that rosé season is year round, not just summer.

Feel free to join Morgan on Instagram and Twitter

Washington DC Nightlife Guide – General Info

As our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. rarely gets notoriety for much more than being a hub for politicos and tourists. When there are hard-working people and sightseers by the thousands, though, you can be sure that there are plenty of excellent places to grab a drink or two across the city!

As a DC-Metro native, I’ve had a number of years to explore the city and all it has to offer. I’ve explored every neighborhood in town (and on both sides of the river – Maryland and Virginia) throughout college break visits home and a four year stint as a District resident. D.C. sprawls across over 43,000 acres and is spread into four major “Quadrants:” Northwest, Northeast, Southwest, and Southeast. Once you know what quadrant you’re in, you can pretty much wander into any neighborhood and find a great cocktail.

There is something for everyone in DC, whether you’re looking for a nice refreshing brew outside, a crazy night out at an EDM show, or something in between.

DC Neighborhood Guide

As I mentioned, DC’s four main quadrants make it exceptionally easy to navigate. Each quadrant is made up of distinct neighborhoods that have their own vibe, and with that, have different local scenes that cater to various patrons. Below is a list of some of the best spots to put on your list if you find yourself in the District in the future:

1) Georgetown:

Georgetown is well known as an affluent neighborhood right off the Potomac. Home to senators, dignitaries, and private-college coeds, the scene in Georgetown ranges from local college hangout to pricey waterfront spots frequented by the 1%-ers. By no means should this reputation cause to you avoid Georgetown, however: some of the oldest bars and pubs can be found in this part of the city, and the Georgetown Waterfront is home to some of the best outdoor happy hour spots in town. Stroll down M St to pop into some cute shops and great local bars.

Places to check out: The Tombs (Georgetown Campus area), Sequoia (posh waterfront spot), or Martin’s Tavern (Where JFK proposed to Jackie)

2) Capitol Hill:

As its name suggests, this neighborhood is home to the US Capitol Building and all of the Hill staffers and politics junkies that come with it. “The Hill,” as locals call it, is home to some awesome bars with history and some well-loved dives that some of us happened to frequent as college interns. History and nostalgia aside, The Hill has some great local haunts if you’re in the market for a cheap happy hour and equally cheap bar food.

Places to check out: Capitol Lounge (dive bar with Hill Staffers galore), Barrel (great whiskey cocktails), Harold Black (speakeasy)

3) Dupont/Adams Morgan:

These two neighborhoods blend together down the DC Metro Red Line. Dupont and Adams Morgan (called “AdMo” by many young 20-somethings) have great bars with a casual vibe, but are home to some great clubs at night too. Many DC locals consider Adam’s Morgan to be one of the most vibrant and diverse neighborhoods of DC! If you’re looking for great daydrinking and an awesome spot to bring a party or bar crawl, look no further: Dupont/AdMo is the place to go.

Places to check out: Sauf House (3 story beer garden), Johnny Pistola’s (more below), or Grand Central (late night partying)

4) Chinatown:

Chinatown, the mecca of DC, falls between the MetroCenter and Union Station part of the downtown neighborhood and is home to many bars and nightlife spots, most notably the Verizon Center at 7th and F. Due to the large crowds that come this way for concerts, shows, and events, there are a TON of bars around the area. Jose Andres has many restaurants in the area that serve delicious craft cocktails, and you can find some well-loved chain spots like Clyde’s and Legal Seafoods right outside of the West entrances of the Verizon Center.

Places to check out: Hill Country Barbeque (live Karaoke and great brew menu), Denson (speakeasy style), Redline (upscale sportsbar with DJs every so often)

5) Downtown:

Unlike other major cities, DC’s “downtown” area isn’t really down town at all – it’s right in the middle of town and runs from the West End corridor down to Capitol Hill. Downtown is notorious as the working neighborhood – very few condos and homes can be found here, and the bars are mainly frequented by 9-to-5-ers and tourists. With that said, downtown is still home to some must-see spots, and if you’re lucky, you’ll catch sight of a Congressman or other high ranking official at a few of these places.

Places to check out: POV at the W for breathtaking views of the White House, Old Ebbitt Grille (one of the best oyster bars in town) or Sax (burlesque club with shows and bottle service)

6) Shaw/U-Street/14th St:

If you ask any Millennial living in DC, the most popular neighborhood for partying right now is the U Street Corridor. U St runs West to East across DC, and this neighborhood falls between 19th street on the West and 8th street on the East. Between these 11 or so blocks are some of the best brunch, day party, and going out spots. U St is known to draw all types – you’ll find the Yuppie type at The Brixton, the DC gay crowd at Nellie’s (DC’s most well known gay bar), and a little bit of both anywhere else. If you’re looking to have fun with a big group any time of day (or night), try U St first and see where the night takes you.

Places to check Out: Local 16 (cheap bottomless brunch!), Masa 14 (late night dancing and a great roof top), El Centro (basement is well known for dancing and techno music)

7) Southwest Waterfront:

Rounding out the top neighborhoods list is the Southwest Waterfront, the ‘youngest’ neighborhood going under a revival and rebuilding. While the SW quadrant has long been home to some of DC’s most lively neighborhoods, only recently have developers and restaurant groups begun to make SW home. The Washington Nationals Ballpark is right at the Ballpark-Navy Yard Metro stop, which is a great place to catch a game, a concert, or even a Food Truck or Beer Festival. Surrounding the Waterfront are a number of great bars and outdoor drinking spots that are perfect for summer happy hours.

Places to check out: Bluejacket Brewery, Cantina Marina (great Mexican food and drinks on the water!), Vida Penthouse (bottle service and a roof top pool).

TOP BARS AND CLUBS IN DC

1) Johnny Pistola’s


The Scoop: A cheap place with no-frills food and drink and a seriously good time at night. Johnny Pistola’s is the spot where you’ll run into everyone you know in DC while drinking a Red Bull and Vodka with all sorts of people.

Cost:
Cheap. Never a cover, and typically you can make it out without breaking the bank after a night out here.

Location:
2333 18th St NW
Washington, DC
Closest Metro: Red Line, Zoo/AdamsMorgan Stop

2) 9:30 Club

The Scoop: DC’s most well-known concert venue: it’s big, it’s loud, and it’s a whole lot of fun. The 9:30 Club hosts tons of great shows and DJs throughout the year, and has multiple bars inside.

Cost:
Ticket prices range based on performer; drinks are an average cost for a concert or party venue

Location:
815 V St NW,
Washington, DC
Closest Metro: Yellow Line/Shaw-Howard Stop

3) Dan’s Cafe

The Scoop: A staple in the AdMo neighborhood, this is the one dive bar that might be worth checking out if dive bars “aren’t your thing.” Dan’s Café has a fun casual vibe made even more casual by their “mixed drinks:” you get a squirt bottle of your liquor of choice along with a can or cup of mixer, some ice, and that’s all…you’re left to make your drinks yourself. Coupled with a regularly sweaty dance floor and some excellent people watching, this place is a well loved staple by district locals.

Cost:
Cheap – those squirt bottle drinks run at only $12 a pop and shots run equally as cheap.

Location:
2315 18th St NW
Washington DC
Closest Metro: Red Line, Zoo/Adams Morgan Stop

4) Cafe St. Ex

The Scoop: Café St-Ex is a great spot in the U Street/14th Street Neighborhood well known for locally sourced food and a casual atmosphere. At night, though, the restaurant is filled to the brim with 20-somethings who come and dance up a storm. St Ex’s downstairs, called Club 54, has DJs almost every night of the week.

Cost:
Affordable; no covers, at least to my knowledge, and drinks are of average DC price ($6-10 for a beer or mixed drink).

Location:
1847 14th St NW
Washington DC
Closest Metro: Green/Yellow Line, U-Street Stop

5) Hawthorne

The Scoop: Hawthorne is a relatively new bar owned by two local restaurateurs well known for creating great party spots for the DC crowd. Hawthorne sits on multiple levels, and while the first two tend to cater more towards the restaurant side of the business, the further up you go, the more “bar” vibe you get. Hawthorne’s roof is one of the best in the area, and their dance floor can get pretty packed. Hawthorne is also well known for a good DC bottomless brunch that serves not just mimosas, but male-friendly libations such as bottomless beers or the “Hawthorne Smash,” a bourbon-based cocktail.

Cost:
Average. Come here for a fun night out with friends and pay no cover, but it’s not the cheapest place in the world.

Location:
1336 U St NW
Washington DC
Closest Metro: Green/Yellow Line, U Street Stop

6) Nellie’s

The Scoop: Yes, Nellie’s is a gay bar, but it makes this list because it is by far one of the most entertaining spots in town. For anyone who is OK getting out of your comfort zone and having a blast on a Saturday, Nellie’s is your spot: Nellie’s has some of the best weekend parties and always has great dance music. During the day, the rooftop is full of daydrinkers, while at night, there are usually DJs spinning house/club music. Nellie’s is also home to a fabulous Drag Brunch, which is loads of fun. Final verdict: whoever you are, Nellie’s will be a blast for you.

Cost:
Drag Brunch runs at around $40/$50 for tickets, but drinks aren’t too over-the-top pricey.

Location:
900 U St NW
Washington DC
Metro Line: Green/Yellow Line, U Street Stop or Shaw Stop

7) La Boum Party Brunch


The Scoop: La Boum is not a bar but rather a weekend party experience that makes all of the “must go” lists in DC. La Boum is French slang for “house party,” and that is absolutely what the creators of La Boum aspire to be. On Saturdays and Sundays in DC, La Boum takes over the space at Capitale nightclub for a wild brunch experience complete with DJ, burlesque dancers, and a few bad decisions. Wait lists for this crazy brunch party can be weeks or months long, but trust me: it’s totally worth it.

Cost:
Expensive: La Boum’s $35 price fixe menu does not include drinks, and bottles at the party can run pretty expensive. Expect your personal tab to easily hit $100, or come prepared after a pre-brunch party spot.

Location:
1301 K St NW
Washington DC
Closest Metro: Blue/Orange Line, McPhereson Square Stop

Where to Stay in Washington, DC Without Spending a Fortune.

If you’re coming to DC to party on the weekend you’re in luck. Hotel rates drop between $50 to $100 as business travel dies down. The nice thing about DC is that getting around without a car is easy via the Metro. There is a handy site dedicated to finding hotels near the Metro, and they have a page dedicated to cheap hotels in Washington, DC organized by rates. If experience over price is more important than prioritize hotels near these stations, Chinatown, Dupont Circle, Clarendon or Ballston is the best bet.

Photo Credit on Flickr Creative Commons:
Sunset Pic – Johnny Silvercloud
Nightscape Pic – Richard Ricciardi
Capitol Hill- BKL
Chinatown- Angela N
9:30 Club – Erin M
Nellie’s – Elvert Barnes 

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DrewWashington DC Nightlife Guide

NYC Nightlife Guide

by Drew on August 26, 2016 1 comment

Meet Tendelle

Tendelle grew up between the US and Taiwan, and has also lived in Sao Paulo, Barcelona, and Amsterdam.

She’s lived and breathed the dance music scene since 2011, even traveling the world in search of the best electronic dance music experiences. She settled down in Amsterdam in 2015, where she works at the social network for nightlife enthusiasts, Party with a Local.

NYC Nightlife – General Info

In my 3 years working in New York City, I partied way too much! At the high (or low) point of my tenure there, I once went clubbing 7 nights in a row, and my Foursquare check-ins indicated that I had a 50-week streak of going to clubs. So yeah, this, plus being part of Party with a Local (app that connects people who want to party), makes me feel pretty qualified to write about NYC nightlife!

New York City is just about the most diverse city in the world, and likewise for nightlife, there is something for everyone, from upscale parties to drag parties. Bars and clubs are most highly concentrated in Meatpacking District, Midtown West (around 11th avenue), and Lower East Side – with Brooklyn being the up-and-coming area – but it being NYC, you can find bars and clubs all over the city.

To go out and back, New Yorkers generally hail one of the famous yellow cabs or take Uber. Bars close around 2am and clubs close at 4am. Bring ID to clubs and bars, as it is a must, and remember that in the US the drinking age is 21.

Most of the crowds you’ll see out are young professionals in their early 20s to late 30s, with the exception of the NYU area (East Village) where college students like to hang out. NYC is wealthy and sometimes materialistic place, so partying usually requires some money. Drinks in NYC are expensive – a cocktail ranges easily from $10-$15 in city bars. In a club, $15 mixed drinks are quite standard.

Here’s the low-down on the best clubs and bars in the City that Never Sleeps.

Best Bars in NYC

Best Dive Bar: Key Bar

Key Bar was my go-to neighborhood bar in the East Village with a nice ambiance.

Not only were the drinks cheap (unusual for NYC), but the happy hour “buy one get one free” deal lasts until 10pm. You get a voucher when you purchase your drink, so it’s awesome that you can redeem your drink even after happy hour or another day if you’d like.

Best Rooftop Bar: The Press Lounge

The Press Lounge is at the top floor of the INK48 Hotel, and has a phenomenal view of New York City skyline.

It has a 360 degrees view from its roof and a pool (but I don’t think people go into it). Cocktails are on the pricier side, though the bar is so busy that if you don’t get a drink, probably no one will hassle you or notice. It’s close to the clubs on Midtown West, like Hudson Terrace and Space, so it’s a nice place to visit before the party starts.

Best Speakeasy Bar: Apotheke

Speakeasies have been all the rage in NYC for awhile now – tucked away cocktail bars literally hidden behind walls or phone booths. Apotheke is in a dark, piss-smelling alley in Chinatown, with a nondescript door. The inside, however is a whole different world, where you can get delicious cocktails made by their expert mixologists. One of Manhattan’s true hidden gems!

Best EDM Clubs in NYC

Best Mega EDM Club: Space Ibiza NYC

Space is the Ibiza mega-club that has been voted top club of the world by DJMag too many times to count.

It opened its NYC location in 2014, filling a much-needed gap in NYC’s EDM scene since Pacha closed its doors. From Trance, to Techno, to House, Space invites the hottest talent in the EDM scene every week and is sometimes open until later than 8am!

Best Upscale EDM Club: Marquee

Marquee was my favorite club to hit up when I lived in the City, especially on Wednesday and Saturday nights.

It’s a gorgeous, Vegas-style club that have been a hot spot in NYC ever since it was renovated in 2013 and started inviting big-name electronic music DJs. Make sure you follow the dress code and dress to impress; as the door can be tough and cover can be expensive. However, the nice thing is that to guarantee entry you can buy a ticket online (usually $20).

Best (Brooklyn)Techno Club: Output

For serious techno heads, Output has been a blessing for the New York metro area in the past couple of years.

Set among in the warehouses of Brooklyn, Output is similar to Berghain in Berlin in concept: it prohibits cell phones on the dance floor and it “welcomes everyone but is not for everyone”. It’s a space with innovative, heavy music for techno partiers to dance all night long.

Alternative Clubbing in NYC

Best Hookah Bar/Club: Le Souk

This was my go-to weeknight spot, with popping parties even on a Tuesday/Wednesday night. The music is on the commercial side. The only thing is that it’s quite small and narrow, so if you are going with a few friends it is nice to get a table with hookah so that you have a place to sit.

Best Alternative Party: Quiet Events Silent Disco

You receive a pair of headphones when you enter, and they always have three live DJs. You listen to the music with your headphones and can switch the channels around according to your taste in music.

Or you can take your headphones off and observe your fellow party animals dance in silence. They throw events in unexpected locations all over the city – subway stops, Bryant Park, pub crawls, and more. Definitely one of the coolest random things to do in the city.

Best Asian Nightclub: Circle NYC

New York City is the melting pot of all cultures around the world, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that different ethnic groups have their own clubs too!

Circle is NYC’s long-standing premier Asian (Korean) club, and it was by far my most-frequented club in my time in the City – because, well, it was so damn fun! If you’ve ever wanted to see a club filled with only Asians in NYC, then Circle is your spot. However, if you’re not Asian, you’re probably not getting in.

Best Party Brunch: Bagatelle

New Yorkers can party any time of the day. One of the most peculiar activities I partook in was brunch clubbing. No, this is not merely a “bottomless mimosa brunch” type event – it’s actually full-blown clubbing with disco balls and skimpy dancers in the middle of the day. It is undoubtedly really fun, but when you stumble out of the club at 5pm, blinking & dazed by the sunlight, trying to give directions to the taxi driver on your way home who is totally judging you for being drunk in the day time… it really makes you ponder your life decisions.

Best Summer Parties: Governor’s Island Parties

There are EDM parties all summer long on Governor’s Island, my favorite outdoor venue in NYC (there aren’t that many outdoor venues to begin with).

You take a free ferry from Battery Park, which takes you to Governor’s Beach Club. Here you can party on their beach, with fantastic music, to the backdrop of the breathtaking NYC skyline. It’s one of these moments that make me love the City.

Best Drunk Food in NYC

1) Chicken and Rice

The Chicken and Rice “Halal Guys” food trucks on 53rd and 6th is a New York must. You can go at any hour of the day, but it’s quite a sight to behold with hundreds of people in the line even at 4am. It’s the staple drunk food of New York City.

2) Korea Town

Many of the restaurants of Korea Town are open throughout the night, catering to inebriated customers. My personal favorite is Kunjip. There’s nothing better than a sizzling pot of Sundubu to satisfy my hunger after a big night out!

So there you have it, nightlife in New York City… Let this article guide you but not restrict you, and most importantly, have fun!

Curious about more things to do in NYC? Check out this helpful website Headout.com for more advice around the Big Apple!

Photo Credits on Flickr Creative Commons:
Featured pic – Alexander Oramas
Press Lounge – Larry 
Space Ibiza – Wikipedia
Output – Wikipedia
Quite Events – quietevents.com

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DrewNYC Nightlife Guide

The Best Way to Travel Across the USA

by Drew on July 20, 2016 No comments

There has never been a better time to travel across the USA. With the technological advancements in today’s society, it’s cheaper and faster than ever before.

I’ve done quite a bit of domestic travel in the USA until I went to college, because I played competitive hockey tournaments all over country. Before my very first trip overseas (in 2011), I had already been to 35 states. Now, I’ve been to 45 – only 5 more left to go!

So the question now becomes, what’s the best way to travel America?

I know, I know… it’s such a big country with so many things to see. Beaches, monuments, natural landscapes, prairies, forests, national parks – you name it. The great red and blue has it all!

So the answer to my question, “What’s the best way to travel America,”  is by LAND!   Road tripping is the best way to see America is by car. The great road system connects ever single town to every single city in every single state.

Here’s a look at some of the top experiences I’ve had from road trips I’ve done in the past:

Each of these trips that I took across America lasted anywhere from 7-14 days. They were all different and incredible. Especially if you are a first timer visiting America, you need to jump in a car and just go.

If you do decide to take a road trip, then you need to have a plan where you will visit.

If you don’t have access to a car, then a second alternative is to take a bus or a train around the country. Check out GoTicket to look for a route to take, and then you can jump in and see the great landscapes of America!

They have routes from Phoenix to Little Rock, and Boise to Springfield.   I suggest to strategically choose a route with beautiful natural landscapes (Western America), so you can enjoy the views along the way.

Thanks for reading, and let me know if you have any further questions about travel in the USA!

Need some more travel tips in the USA – Check out this post on Lonely Planet!

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DrewThe Best Way to Travel Across the USA

Exploring 5 Gems of the Mediterranean

by Drew on June 24, 2016 No comments

I’ve had the chance to visit the Mediterranean region 4 or 5 times.  Some of the world’s most beautiful landscapes, islands and coastlines can be seen around this area, and it’s an affordable place to visit from Europe!

Whether it’s the shimmering sandy beaches of Greece, the foodie delights in Turkey, or the rich histories of Italy — a Mediterranean cruise is a great option to satisfy your vacation needs.  If you do decide to take a cruise, be sure to include some of these destinations on your cruise itinerary — they are awesome!

However, if you are traveling on a tight budget and cannot afford a cruise, then you can easily find cheap trains, buses and ferries around the Mediterranean.  Note that fights in this region are a bit expensive, so try to stick to travel by land/sea!

Alright without further adieu, here are a few more recmommendations for places to go in the Mediterranean.

A Portuguese Paradise

Experience the hustle and bustle of Portimão and you will fall in love. Just imagine sipping peaceful cups of coffee in a sun drenched square, and peaceful strolls along the stunning waterside. Or dive deeper into Portimão and feel the wind in your hair with a boat trip up the Rio Orade, then take to the Old Quarter to indulge in some sizzling fish caught fresh from the crystal blue pools. This is one destination that should be high on your To-Do List.

photo by Teleynix on Flickr

A Spanish Fairytale

Winding your way through the historic streets of Cadiz, you might feel like you’ve fallen into an ancient Spanish love story. Its whitewashed buildings make a striking statement against the tempting turquoise waters that lap around the city. This picture-postcard destination is one of the oldest inhabited settlements in Europe, and you’ll witness plenty of historical sights!

Go Grand in Gran Canaria

There is an infectious buzz in Las Palmas, which boasts sandy offerings and colorful city living. You’ll be able to enjoy time soaking up the sun one day, and marveling at the spectacular architecture of the ancient cathedrals and mesmerizing artwork on display in some of the best art galleries, or maybe even indulging in a spot of retail therapy too. Take a trip up the bell tower come sunset for a panoramic view over the city and coast. That’s a memory you’ll keep forever.

Photo by Azuaje on Flickr

Feel the magic of Menorca

Perfectly situated on the world’s second largest natural harbor, Mahon is a picturesque spot. You’ll feel like you’ve fallen out of this world, as you explore through the history drenched caves, and won’t be short of amazing restaurants to choose from. Mahon really is a Mediterranean gem and you should rub your hands with glee if it crops up on your cruise itinerary.

French Fancies

If you love exploring cultured cities, make Marseille top of your hit list. It’s super cool new museums and historic, yacht-filled harbor saw it named European Capital of Culture in 2013, and you’ll be sure to agree if you visit that it really does have so much to offer. So, if historic treasures meeting swanky new sights sounds like you’re thing, then Marseille is the place for you.

Now for the difficult part: which Mediterranean gem to start with first? Any of these destinations certainly won’t leave you feeling disappointed.

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DrewExploring 5 Gems of the Mediterranean

Party #17: India’s Holi Festival with Chris

by Drew on May 9, 2016 No comments

Welcome to the 17th edition of my series “A Party to Remember!”

In this interview-based web series, you’ll learn about the best parties and nightlife all over the world from other travelers and travel bloggers.

In this week’s episode, I am happy to host Chris, who is going to share about a crazy annual festival in India (which I attended as well in 2015!)

If you want to be the next person featured in this series, then please contact me with your party idea and I will send you the guidelines.  My aim is to cover nightlife all over the globe, so please try to contribute a party that hasn’t already been covered.

Alright, now I’ll let Chris take over!

Meet Chris

Chris originally hails from the United States of America, specifically Michigan. He first discovered his love of travel when he spent a summer in Guatemala doing service while attending University. After studying for a semester in London, and post-grad trips to South Africa and Brazil, while juggling a job as an accountant, Chris determined that the 9-5 cubicle lifestyle was not for him. He resigned from his job in September 2015, and has travelled since then through Africa, Thailand, and India, with many more destinations planned!

To see more of his adventures experiences, check out his blog- “To India and Beyond”, photos on Instagram, or pins on Pinterest.

Question 1: What was the party/event and where was it?

Holi, or “The Festival of Colors” is a Hindu Spring Festival in India that has since spawned smaller versions of the event in other countries. It is a party to celebrate the coming of Spring, but many people know it for the vibrant color war that occurs during the festivities! Whether it be powdered color, colored water in water guns or buckets, or foamed color from aerosol cans, anything goes during Holi. While celebrations occur all over in India, the largest of them all occurs in the two (normally tame) towns of Vrindavan and Mathura, India.

Question 2: How did you hear about this party/event?  Did you randomly stumble upon it, or did you plan to go?

Holi is celebrated all over India, and I had planned to spend the day having fun throwing colors in whichever city I found myself in on March 24th. However, when I was hanging out at my hostel in Agra a few days before the scheduled event, I learned of the special significance of the celebrations in these two joint cities (the birthplace of Lord Krishna), and the many unique events that occur throughout the weeklong festivities, whereas most cities only celebrate on one day. We were able to get a group together for the pinnacle of the celebrations on March 23-24 and made the short journey over to Mathura where it turned out to be an unforgettable time.

Question 3: Did anything funny or ‘out of the ordinary’ happen that night?  Please share the story!

Please see the next question, where I get into some specific anecdotes, but showering after the end of each day was especially entertaining. Our guesthouse did not have a mirror and every one of us underestimated the amount of color on our faces as we scrubbed our bodies clean. Emerging from the bathroom, “clean”, one would be met to a chorus of uproars from the others, at the amount of color and grime still caked on our faces! It took about a week before I was finally “color free”! As for my clothes, I found that they belonged best in the rubbish bin.

Question 4: What were the top 3 highlights from that night?

So many crazy and chaotic things happened over the course of the two days that we were there but a few moments stick out in my mind.

  1. Joining in the dance party with some of the Indian teenagers during the parade in Mathura on the afternoon of the 23rd. Some of the floats had speakers attached to them, and spectators (myself included), joined in the streets for a wild dance party!
  2. Some of the Indian kids were very aggressive. One particular kid tried to wrestle my can of silly foam right out of my hand. I held on tight and tried to spray him as payback, but he darted around a corner and out of sight. I turned to walk away and a few seconds later heard some shouting. I turned around and saw that some of his friends had caught him and held him down to give him a good spraying to teach him a lesson!
  3. Making our way to the epicenter of the celebration in Vrindavan on the morning of the 23rd. Set in the courtyard of the Banke Bihari temple, the crowd gathered there formed a mosh pit, as the priest stood above tossing color into the air. I couldn’t handle being there for more than a few minutes before needing to go somewhere less crowded.

Question 5: What advice can you give for anyone else that wants to attend this event and party like you did?

I have a few tips for anybody interested in attending the Holi Festival in Vrindavan and Mathura. First, be sure to wear clothes that you don’t plan to wear ever again, as they will get destroyed during the festival. I recommend buying cheap clothes once here in India-preferably white, as it will show the colors the best! Also be sure to bring (or buy) a pair of inexpensive sunglasses to protect your eyes, as one shouldn’t expect mercy and cheap shots have been known to happen. Bring a go pro or wrap your camera in plastic to be able to capture the memories. Lastly, prepare to have a blast and to be given a lot of special attention for being a foreigner!

Question 6: I claim Seoul to have the best nightlife in the world, as I have been living here for the last 1.5 years… Which city do you think has the best nightlife?

That’s a tough one. I’m going to have to go with Barcelona. I was able to visit there for a few days when I studied for a semester in London a few years back. The memories (or lack thereof), are a blur of dancing and bright lights in the many discotheques! Spaniards prefer to begin their night out around 1 or 2 am, and often go until the sun comes up the following morning!

Thank you Chris for sharing about Holi! Have you ever been to Holi? Please share your comments below!

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DrewParty #17: India’s Holi Festival with Chris