21 on the East Coast

21 on the East Coast

So this weekend I turned twenty-one. I know, crazy. There is this long term build up about turning twenty-one and finally here I am; a real adult. It’s weird that one day I was too young to drink and the next, it was completely appropriate. Having all the perks really doesn’t seem too different. The most exciting part of being twenty-one is that I spent my birthday in New York City. Twenty-one and New York City is actually one of the best combinations I could possibly think conceive.


A New York building going in the fog.

Feelings About Being 21First of all, this day has been coming forever. It is one of those things you look forward to all through teenage-hood. You think that twenty-one is some holy grail, the peak of greatness. Okay, well it kind of is all that. You finally get to do everything and there are no rules (insert every teen cheering), but you also start to feel old. What comes after twenty-one? Twenty-two. Twenty-two is old. You are most likely graduating from college, getting a real job, and no longer getting away with doing all the stupid stuff you used to do. You are an adult with no rules, yet so many expectations. So cheers to a year of fun and then on to some very serious business.

But in the end, I have to admit, it feels good to finally be old. Old enough to have your voice count; old enough to have ‘lived’ a little bit; old enough to finally walk into a bar and have a beer.


How I Spent 21The weekend in New York -- that is the classiest way to spend your twenty first birthday. We spent our days in middle Manhattan and our nights on the lower east side in Alphabet City.


New York is just like any other city... there are tons of fun places to go. The unique thing about New York is that everyone is really happy to be there. You are drinking, dancing, eating, and singing louder and bigger because, why not? You are in the big city that represents everything that’s great about America. You have to be somewhat ecstatic to be there -- I know I was.

I loved Alphabet City. It reminded me of home. All the dinners, bars, and people held this unique culture. They loved the city they were in and they were proud of it. I really missed that sense of culture. The bars were all quirky and they played strange music that you wouldn’t usually expect a DJ to ‘spin.’ Everyone was so happy and dancing -- my favorite combination. I could see how people would want to spend forever in that city. I danced both nights away until four in the morning. Dancing away my birthday in New York City; I love it.


Fancy drinks are fun -- and a perk of being 21!


What I Love About Being 21Besides all the drinking business, it is nice to feel old. I mentioned this briefly before, but let me expand so you get my whole picture. I have always been the youngest. I am the youngest sibling, youngest at work, and I have a lot of older friends. I am actually pretty average, if not a little old, for my grade, but I have always been the youngest.

Twenty-one means I will no longer get left behind. When the rest of the party moves to the bars, I will be in the lead. When I go to the store, I can confidently exit with beer in my hand. Oh, and my favorite, when I go a baseball game with my co-workers and clients, I can drink a beer, too. I guess for me being able to drink isn’t about the act of drinking itself, but the affirmation it brings to my adulthood and maturity.

This past Saturday, I attended an event. The guy taking tickets asked to see my ID if I would like to drink inside. I confidently whipped it out. He laughed and looked at me. I was a little worried that my first real, casual carding would result in him turning me away. Fortunately, he put up his hand and said, “Give me a high five, young lady. Welcome to the club.” He shouted to the people behind me, “We got a new drinker on our hands, watch out for the twenty-one year old.” Everyone cheered. How could you not be excited to join a club in which strangers cheer for you?


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