“Oh, jeez, here come the tourists.”

“Yikes, it’s field trip time.”

So there we are my group of friends and I. Hanging out at a downtown bar — Landmark, Raleigh Times, Foundation or Busy Bee.

And in came the tourists. Perfect hair. Heavy makeup, dresses, skirts, impractical shoes given the ridiculously cold temperature.

The Glenwood South tourists.

Their faux five-star outfits are a stark contrast to the plaster walls of Times, and don’t match the wood bars and shadows Landmark or Foundation. They order Bud Lights, a choice frowned upon by the beer connoisseurs at Times or the bourbon baristas at Foundation.

“Maybe they got lost,” one friend suggests.

Sip on this comment from Twitter: “Walking down Glenwood South on Saturday night is called ‘The shit show.'”

A taste from a recent article on Raleighgawker:

“… the whipping boy known as GloSo, where any mope with community college credit can Swiss cheese visitraleigh.com’s “Raleigh’s trendiest district” narrative. Although Glenwood South is generally in Zoo’s “NO GO” zone (as there are lots of frat boys and similar types with lots of hair gel who listen to top 40 radio and lots of women with orangish-tinted skin and Forever 21 dresses on)…”

So what’s with this attitude about downtown versus Glenwood South? To most Raleigh residents, “downtown” includes Glenwood South, along with Hargett Street and Moore Square. But for those who hang out, there is a Great Divide.

My downtown Raleigh buds all turn up their noses when I talk about going dancing with the girls at Solas, or bar hopping with my other friends from Red Room to Pourch and a quick stop at Brooklyn Heights.

They say I’m a downtowner and when I go, I’m the one taking a field trip.

Maybe they’re right. Maybe when I go down there, the girls all look at me and wonder why neither my heels nor my skirt aren’t the requisite four inches. Maybe if I’m in a saison mood, the bartenders get annoyed with me for getting annoyed with their skimpy beer lists. But I doubt it.

A Charlotte resident recently told me the scene there is clubs, and people always dress up. She was relieved to find Raleigh had some more general chill-out-and-have-a-drink-wearing-jeans-and-a-sweater type bars. She didn’t want to avoid clubs, just wanted some choices.

Exactly. Variety is the spice of life. I would find it very limiting to hang out ALWAYS at the same two bars. Others may not, but hey, I also want to see Easter Island someday, and that isn’t everyone’s pint of brew.

My boyfriend, Kevin, says the downtown bars are like your “neighborhood” bar, and Glenwood is the club scene. I suppose that’s true enough.  Like Cheers, Landmark has become a place where maybe not everyone knows my name, but plenty do.

To me, it seems Glenwood is collegiate. I go out there with the girls to have a good time. We party it up, enjoy ourselves and go home. Maybe we ARE tourists — tourists of time, exploring the collegiate life once again, remembering what it felt like to worry about what others were thinking, to fight your way to the bar for a drink, and have drunken epiphanies with the girl you just met in the stall next to you in the bathroom.

As a Raleigh fangirl, I like to see all areas do well, and the sales tax money earned at Cashmere is just as good as that at Flying Saucer.

I say taste your brew, downtowners, and cheers to you for knowing the difference between a porter and a stout. But if the Glenwood bars welcome me without thinking twice, maybe we should give them a chance.

Maybe Susie’s four-inch heels really hurt  and Jack is sick of wearing French cuffs to the bar. Everyone’s gotta be a tourist once in awhile. And maybe, just maybe, one day they will cast off their dress clothes, don something slightly ragged and not-too-unique and settle in with the hipsters at Times.

Will they, then, look down their noses as a group of frat boys and sorority girls decides to take a tour of the downtown bars?

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