A conversation with Carla and NicolePosted: January 30, 2012
The attached audio clip is a brief snippet from a long (long!) conversation I had with the two women mentioned in the title of the post here. I had never seen them before our chat, and very well may never see them again. What ensued in our dialogue are the kinds of things you either hear in a therapist’s office, or at a bar counter. It was a great conversation and I’m very happy to have meet such nice (and willing) participants, all part of an aim to better paint the picture of what The Res is. More audio segments will surely follow…
Some points of note:
~In the excerpt, Carla and Nicole both mention “the Seas,” meaning “The Seven Seas,” an old Chinese bar, restaurant, and karaoke joint that was up on Lake City Way, not terribly far from The Res. The Seven Seas has since become “Pandora’s Adult Cabaret,” effectively driving the two ladies, and others, to seek new refuge. (I asked if either had gone in to the cabaret, and I believe Carla responded with, “why pay to see what I already have?” True enough.)
~Later in the evening, the music was silenced so everyone in the bar could sing happy birthday to some other relative stranger who was apparently born at least 21 years ago from that day. The bartender, Tracy, even lit the candles and led the whole musical operation. Of all the bars I have been to, I still don’t think I’ve seen the staff accommodate goofy little moments like that, and I’ve probably seen it happen at The Res half-a-dozen times.
All in all, Carla and Nicole stressed a real, tangible coziness they felt in the Reservoir; one that had only been matched by the now defunct Seven Seas. The mood was carefree. The two women knew the Res as a place where the bullshit was kept at bay. They see the bar as a haven: somewhere nice and kind. Familiarity was of great import and trust in the establishment – trust that the establishment trusted you back – was a quality that the two needed. Not much was mentioned of aesthetics or decor. The fact that both, in near unison, cited the “price” as being a major determining factor in frequenting the Res is also relevant. But ultimately, Carla and Nicole know what they want out of their bar, and they both stand unapologetic and firm in their favoring of comfort and relatability over all else.