Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Now That's Election Night!

Wow. What a fricking night. I feel like an asshole even writing about it because no matter what I say, it's going to sound underwhelming in comparison to the joy welling up in so many people's hearts across the country right now. So instead of going on and on about what a great thing it is and how truly excited I am to have been alive for such a historical day (trite!), I'll instead yammer on excitedly about how I rung in Election Night: With vegan philly cheezsteak sandwiches, vegan mac n' cheez, and cheap vegan beer.

Take that, Republicans!

Yes, I started off last night at Now That's Class, a local bar that boasts a DELIGHTFUL variety of veganosities.

11213 Detroit Ave.
Cleveland, OH

Tuesday Night they have $4 vegan philly cheese steaks, $2 vegan mac n' cheez, $2 vegan potato salad, and half-off Great Lakes beer during Happy Hour, which--holy crap--what a deal! And in case you didn't notice, all of those are VEGAN VEGAN VEGAN.

Throughout the week, they also offer up a variety of vegan Mexican foods as well, from enchiladas to tamales to empanadas.

And on Sunday, they have vegan breakfast for dinner, serving a variety of breakfast foods between 6 and 9pm for your vegan dining pleasure.

I heard about this place quite a while back--you may actually remember me posting about it here. But I somehow have managed to avoid actually getting my ass out there up until this point.

But finally: FINALLY!

And seriously: What a truly great place. They have a constant lineup of concerts, and a quite impressive space for their shows. Apparently they sometimes have a skateboarding ramp set up in their concert area when a show isn't going on. They have old school video game machines. They have a jukebox. And they have vegan grub grub grub.

So I was pleased to find myself there, glued to the television set, on election night.

As my friend Kevin said (and I take great liberties with my not-quite-so-verbatim quote), "When people ask what I was doing when I found out Obama was elected president, I can proudly say, 'I was eating vegan philly cheezsteak.'"

And eat philly cheezsteak we did. Having met up at 7:15, we realized that they didn't start serving philly cheezsteak until 9. So in the interim, we gorged on some chips & salsa, and a potato-spinach enchilada which I delightfully realized was made by the dude at the West Side Market whose Mexican food I've always dug. I was actually pretty stuffed after that, but at 9, once the smell of cheezsteak started wafting through the air, I could hardly resist ordering more, so P and I split a cheezsteak, and I also ordered a side of mac n' cheez. And seriously folks: This was really really good food. And not in that "well, it's not that great but it's vegan, so I'm gonna get excited about it anyways"-type way, but genuinely genuinely really fricking tasty. I was really really surprised. And for only $6. I mean, I felt like I was in on a secret being there--like I was a little bit conflicted between thinking "my god, how is it that more people don't know about this palce" and thinking "this is gonna be OUR little secret, lest it get overrun by the mainstream."

But because I love you, I'm letting the cat out of the bag. Get up there, ASAP. Preferably on a Tuesday night. And GORGE THE FUCK OUT OF YOURSELF.

The only thing I was slightly disillusioned with was people's utter lack of interest in the fact that it was election day and a momentous day in U.S. history. Which I found even MORE surprising 'cause when you head off to a bar that's pro-vegan, that has a Thursday Bike Night where if you ride your bike up there, your first beer is free, and where punk apparently still reigns, you kind of expect people to be a little bit invested in politics, even if it's bitterly or angrily or disgustedly. But when we first got there, as results were just rolling in, they had two tv's blazing with Two and a Half Men and nary an election result in sight. The bartender was a doll though and let us turn on another tv so that we could keep our eye on how things were going. So we spent the first part of the evening talking very minimally and craning our necks every five minutes to see what was going on.

Then, as the place filled up and more televisions were switched over to the news, we kind of expected everyone to be communally glued to the television. Instead, just two or three folks stood around gazing at the tv while everyone else milled about disinterestedly. And when we realized that Obama had taken Ohio and harriedly blurted out our excitement, the people at the table next to us ACTUALLY GAVE US THE ONCE OVER, as though they were too cool to be excited. The general air--dare I say it--was a little bit "Feigned Disinsterested Hipster-y," as though it wasn't "cool" to actually be engaged in the events of the evening.

So I must admit, with regard to Election Night, I was kind of happy when P and I finally left and trotted off to an Election Party instead, because the overwhelming indifference in the bar would've sapped all the excitement I felt upon hearing that Obama had won.

And I'm glad we DID trot off, because instead of cool hipster nonchalance, we got to ring in the election of our new president with excited cheers, tears, and musicians busting out Kool and the Gang's "Celebration" on piano while everyone threw hugs around, cheered, and sang along.

And here I probably should insert my thoughts and feelings about what it felt like to ring in our first African American president, but I'm thinking the majority of you are on the same page as me so I really don't have to say a word.

Other than: Hell yes.

Which is two words actually, but BITE ME--WE DID IT!

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