Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

Let’s Talk About It

Posted on November 08, 2017 in Perspectives
By USM Free Press

Johnna Ossie

Question: I am a sophomore at the University of Southern Maine and was curious about what there is to do in and around Portland. I am of age and know there are a lot of amazing breweries and bars, as well as great nightlife, but one of my best friends is under 21 and we wanted to find fun stuff to do together around the city. Someone told me my student identification card gets me free access to some places as well, is that true? Thank you!

Answer: There are probably more bars and breweries in Portland than I have the space to list here. It seems like a new bar opens in Portland every week. I honestly think the best way to check them out is to just go for it. I could list every single bar in Portland here and do a pro/con list, but that would be a lot less fun (for both of us). Some bars and breweries that I used to frequent are Flask, The Snug, Bunker Brewing, Novare Res, and DTL. There’s probably a bar in every block downtown though. Perhaps you could create some sort of elaborate plan to start on one side of town and work your way through every bar in Portland? It might take you the next three years of your college career to complete it, but it could be a good time! And please, please make sure to tip your bartender (that’s per drink!).

As far as dancing goes, 80s night at Bubba’s Sulky Lounge is almost always a good time. There is a cover charge, but it is free if you dress up in your best 80s garb. A high pony and some leg warmers usually does the trick. Flask Lounge and Jewel Box also host great dance parties in tiny spaces.

If you want to bear witness to some drunken debauchery, where most of the men are wearing backwards baseball hats and people are constantly tripping on cobblestones, head on down to Fore Street or Wharf Street. It is not really my scene, but many people seem to like it. While you’re down there, wander into Old Port Tavern because I want you to see it. Just trust me.

For your friend who is under 21, there are a lot of places in Portland that hold shows for all ages or 18+ shows. Space Gallery, State Theater, Port City and Aura are a few.

Your student identification card gets you into the Portland Museum of Art for free. You also get discounted Metro tickets (and soon they will be free), so you can check out areas further from town if you do not have a car. It is true that your student identification card will get you discounts around town; it is also true that the University of Southern Maine website does not list any of those places. Let us hope that someone in charge is reading this and decides to update the list soon (hint, hint).

Now, I am going to be your mother for a second and say some things about drinking. You can throw the paper out the window if you do not want to read it, or you can decide to read itit is up to you. Please, for the love of all good things, do not drink and drive! You are not invincible despite what your 21-year-old brain tells you when you are three shots and two beers in. It is not worth it. Not to get home faster, not to be cool, not to go over to the house of the very cute person that you just met. Call a cab, call a friend, call your actual mom, walk four miles, but do not get behind the wheel! If you go out with your friends, please, take care of and keep an eye on each other. If you decided to go home with someone, remember that being drunk is not consent. If someone cannot verbally consent to you or is visibly drunk, you should probably get them some water, tuck them into bed and check on them in the morning.

There! Now that we got that over with, go have fun! I hope the Portland nightlife treats you well.

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