Thursday, January 1, 2009

Girls Night Out At O'Flanagan's

Last Saturday, I caught up with my cousin and soul sister Alexandra for an eventful girls night out -- one that offered an enticing glimpse at what the new year might bring.

Over a few glasses of sangria and sublime Mexican food at Cilantro on NYC’s Upper East Side, Alexa and I had (as always) plenty to talk about. Along with the potential pitfalls of reconciling with an ex, we covered the challenges of juggling work and school (Alexa’s pursuing a degree in music education) and the joys of recovering from a physical setback -- i.e., my foot surgery back in October.

Best Friends: Me and my cousin Alexandra having fun at O'Flanagan's

My cousin hadn’t seen me since the weekend of my surgery, so she was happy to see I'm back on both feet again. That, along with her recently completing finals, gave us plenty to celebrate when we moved onto O’Flanagan’s, one of the best pubs in my neighborhood.

In addition to a friendly and attentive bar staff and down to earth, unpretentious crowd, O’Flanagan’s offers great live entertainment. While Alexandra and I were at the bar, she struck up a conversation with one of the vocalists for the night’s cover band, East Coast.

East Coast: An awesome cover band with talented and friendly musicians

East Coast had everyone on the dance floor with their rollicking renditions of hits from the last 40 years. As we shook our groove things to Rihanna's “Please Don’t Stop The Music,” I couldn’t stop smiling -- savoring the delight of dancing for the first time in months.

During a break to catch my breath, a guy leaned over and asked me if I was single. When I said yes, he asked--

“How is that possible?”

“Actually,” I said bemusedly, “That’s a good question.”

I also had the chance to flex my flirting muscles while watching a couple of guys play pool in O’Flanagan’s back room. One of them, an adorable forty-something named Dave, quickly invited me to join the game and proceeded to engage me in a round of TV trivia.

Before the night was over, Alexandra -- a talented singer -- joined East Coast in belting out Alicia Keys’ “No One.” I, meanwhile, offered my more limited vocal talents in supporting the band’s rendition of Billy Joel’s “You May Be Right.”

As we headed home around 3am, I couldn’t help thinking that the night marked a fresh start for me. I’m ready to, literally, hit the ground running now that it’s a new year, and get back into the dating scene. And I will definitely be dropping by O’Flanagan’s again soon. After all, my pool skills could use a little practice.

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