Athens Uncorked pours out classiness

I don’t know about you, but being classy — or pretending to be classy — is one of my main goals every day. So that’s why I asked my friend Meryl if she would accompany me to the classiest place I could think of: Athens Uncorked.

Last year as the assistant culture editor for The Post, I wrote about this new business opening on Station Street. My only knowledge of the place was that they served wine, wine and more wine.

It’s run by a brother-sister duo who wanted to an introduce a wine culture to a sister dominated by rap-music-bumping, tequila-shot-shooting bars.

“It’s someplace comfortable, a little quieter where they can enjoy being with their friends and not have to compete with a band or a large crowd,” co-owner Kathy Blake said in the article.

And they’re serious about creating a study- and people-friendly atmosphere. Here are “The House Rules” posted in store and online:

  • No Wi-Fi available.
  • Please avoid spending your visit looking at your phone.
  • No reservations unless the wine mezzanine booked prior to arrival.
  • No wine snobbery unless the next round for the house is on you.
  • No car-bombs. No Jager-bombs. No bombs of any kind.
  • No Budweiser. No lite beer.
  • No Grey Goose. No cosmopolitans.
  • And finally, please do not bring anyone to Athens Uncorked that you wouldn’t bring to your mother’s house for Sunday dinner.

So, now being a fresh 21 years of age, it was time for us to experience it for ourselves. I was pretty pumped.

We arrived around 9 p.m. in the dim, cozy, living-room-like shop. We chose a Athens Uncorked pours out classinesshigh-top table with a very classy lamp: Perfect for two classy women like ourselves.

Meryl had already been there once and was excited to order the “Home Sweet Home” wine flight. Each of its flights comes with three, two-ounce pours of a selection of wines. I decided to go with “The Big Three Whites.” I wasn’t feeling any heavy red wines on this night.

We were given a carafe of water. We also decided to each split a cheese and meat plate. It had our standard meats and cheeses, along with some bread, so no major surprises there. I thought it was certainly a grown-up move on our part.

Grown-ups dig that platter life.

When our flights arrived, we got a little cheat sheet about what our wines were (which I was hashtag-thankful for because I had forgotten by then) and our wines were numbered. Each white wine had its own aftertaste, which I was really only able to decipher thanks to my cheat sheet. I would, however, highly
recommend the “Home Sweet Home” because THEY LITERALLY ALL TASTED LIKE JUICE.

After we had finished our flights and some very mature conversation (really, just giggling), we even decided to order a separate glass of Meier’s Wien Cellars American Concord. I ended up spending a bit under $30, but for the quality of wine, meats, cheeses, conversation and atmosphere, I was highly impressed.

So, Bobcats, if you’re looking for a fancy place, try Athens Uncorked — or, do what I do on most nights and just crack open a bottle of Barefoot and eat some Babybel cheese.

Just stay classy.

Halloween costumes are serious investments for those attending the block party on Court Street

DSC00002Re-selling Halloween costumes is not a popular option for attendees of HallOUween. Plenty have bought their unique costumes (sometimes with future use in mind) and are planning on keeping them if not to use again, then at least for the memories.

 

Hannah, 24, bought a yellow jumpsuit from an adult website to complete her version of The Bride from the Kill Bill movies, but she has no plans to sell it, saying, “On naughtyfox.com, it was either this or an $80 display costume.”
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Chad, dressed as Indiana Jones, says he would consider selling his costume on eBay or Craigslist only if he had to.DSC00004

 

Garret says he’s never going to sell his WWII style bomber cap which he got from Athens Underground in “one of the best deals I’ve come across in a while.”DSC00007

 

For Jacob Solether, his Stormtrooper costume is going to continue being useful by the premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and he plans on wearing it at baseball games. The only place he would ever consider selling it, however, would be at comic-con.

For many, dressing up for the block party on Halloween is a valuable investment that is not taken lightly. For these few, it’s one they’ve made for most of the foreseeable future.

History of the HallOUween t-shirt

Traditions are rich in Athens, Ohio. A crowd favorite: HallOUween and the famous block party that brings hundreds of out-of-towners to the small town to dress up and celebrate. What would this tradition be without proper annual documentation?

Kevin Morgan, a local artist, has spent the past 34 falls creating specific t-shirt designs to coincide with the wild weekend’s events. From sugar skulls to this years “OU Attack Cat”, his individual style remains consistent but the design never repeats. The t-shirts are sold annually at Uptown Dog, on Union Street, the store Morgan started himself.

According to the Post, Morgan makes about $2,000 each Halloween. But for him, it’s not about the money. He simply loves creating art.

Starting October 25 and continuing until November 25, Morgan’s work from the past 34 HallOUweens will be on display at Jackie O’s Taproom and Brewery at 25 Campbell St. Here’s a glimpse of sketches Morgan has etched over the years. To see more make sure to stop by the brewery!

IMG_1542 A retro skeleton in 2000.

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A flaming design for the 1993 sketch.
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A red sugar skull in 2012.
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This design was in honor of his 40th anniversary.

 

 

Confessions of a non-shopaholic

I am a 21-year-old college senior and I hate shopping. There I said it. I was a little surprised when my professor told me that I was put in the shopping section because I don’t really even know what to talk about. I am a non-shopaholic.

I mean for the past like 10 years, I’ve watched Sex and the City more times than I care to admit and you would think that I would have learned something about shopping, WRONG.

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I don’t even know where to begin. Some days I wish I could go back to when I was like three and I could get away with mismatching, or not even wearing clothes. Those were the glory days.

Since that is frowned upon in the adult world, I now have to partake in the “S” word: Shopping. It doesn’t matter what kind of shopping it is: online, in person, shoes, pants, hats. You name it and I probably dislike it.

When I go to a mall, I usually don’t even know where to begin. Have you ever noticed those people who just stand and stare at a map, or just keep walking around in circles? Yea, that’s me, just casually trying to get my steps for my FitBit. Deep down, it’s my pump up to actually going out and finding clothes.

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When I finally find a store, I feel like the shelves and rack go on for days! Where Do I start? How do I find my way out? Is there a map or like an SOS call if I get lost? I always start at the front and retrace my steps to get out.

After I start looking around, I usually end up finding something super cute. The next step in the process is finding my size. For anyone who is not 5’4 and a size 2, you know the struggle. I am personally 6’0 tall with more awkward curves than a country road so it’s even more impossible. After searching and asking a worker for help, I usually turn up empty handed. Strike one.

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The search continues deeper into a store with no back wall in sight. When, out of the corner of my eye, I see something else that is cute! When I go to take a closer look, I notice that it’s in my size! Then I usually stop and think to myself, “what would I wear with this strapless, flowy, see-through top?” I think about what I have already in my closest so I don’t have to do any more shopping than necessary, and then it dawns on me, there is nothing at home that would work. I put the shirt back on the rack and move on. Strike two.

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I keep looking, and when I finally have found the back of the store I also have found the thing my heart has longed for! It’s a cute shirt that’s in my size and I know that I have the perfect pair of pants to go with it! At this point, I truly believe in Jesus because this is a miracle! Then I look at the price tag. “Who is going to pay that much money for a shirt that looks like it was made from tissue paper,” I think to myself, “ I can’t afford this, I’m ballin’ on a budget”. I put it away, and leave the store empty handed. Strike three.

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At this point, I am pretty defeated, BUT, out of nowhere, I hear my name. I turn around and see the food court. This is right where I needed to be, with the things that will fully accept me. I usually always find something in my closet later to wear so it’s never truly an Earth-shattering even anyway! Problem solved and my shopping story ends on a happy note.

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I know I am not the only crazy one out there so comment below with your favorite shops or even your shopping horror stories! Happy shopping!

Inside the HallOUween block party

The Halloween human parking meter.
The Halloween human parking meter.

The beginning of the fall season beckons the imminence of the Halloween celebrations. Straightaway, the almost forgotten city of southeast Ohio, Athens, becomes the name on everyone’s lips — both young and old.

All roads lead to the brick city, the undisputed “home of HallOUween,” to have a feel of the wind of fun and craziness blowing through the county.

During this time the hash tag #HallOUween trends on social media, to give everyone an idea of where to be for the celebration. Don’t be surprised to see “OU” in the middle of the word itself. Halloween is Athens. Athens is Halloween. Period.

Saturday night was not different. It was a sight to behold on the brick-lined Court Street of Athens. The famous Athens Halloween Block Party was making progress.

With a charged atmosphere and a massive show of youthful exuberance, students, community members and visitors sang along and cheered performers throughout the night. The excitement was beyond description.halllll

Aside the music, dance and ear-blocking cheers from revelers, I observed one thing. Some eateries and bars had a pocket swell. Long-winding queues stretched from their entrances with a spill onto the streets. Obviously, food could never be left out of the night’s pleasure, which translated into what could be described as a very good business day for some Court Street business owners.

Another thing caught my attention. A human parking meter with the popular campus yellow bag with the inscriptions “no parking” worn on his head. You just questioned won’t he suffocate to death? Huh? Exactly my thoughts when I first saw him.

halllThankfully, he had punched holes around the eyes and nose to allow for breathing. He stood still with one arm stretched. You ‘park’ in front of him, he fines you. Just as simple as that. (Hahahaaa!).

Returning to my humble abode, scores of people were having their own mini block parties in front of their apartments. As to whether it was a warm up to go down to Court Street, or their own way of celebrating the night, I can’t tell but all I can say is that, Athens #HallOUween Block Party was a blast with a variety of activities for both young and old.hall

Halloween in Athens: Social media recap

Another year, another Halloween weekend filled with debauchery on Court Street and in Athens.

Students took to their phones before, during and after the Athens Halloween Block Party to share their experiences, both good and bad, on social media.

It turns out the Halloween block party actually began in 1974, as The Post tweeted out, when rowdy students blocked traffic on Court Street. The tradition continued each year until the City of Athens began sponsoring the event.

Before the chaos started, Court Street was completely empty. One clever Instagram user created a side-by-side comparison of how Court Street looked before and during the Halloween festivities.

Before and After #HallOUween ??

A photo posted by Nigel Harris (@scoob_96) on

Early on Saturday, students began donning their costumes, some perhaps getting a little too into the whole dressing up thing. One student’s tweet garnered over a thousand favorites on Twitter, featuring students dressed like animals acting in their natural habitats.

https://twitter.com/emma_lee_h/status/660821923031552002

Many a clever costume could be seen on Halloween. One Instagram user, depicted below, dressed up as Forrest Gump, the titular character of the 1994 film. It’s pretty clear the bench was an essential part of this guy’s costume.

Jenny and me was like peas and carrots. #HallOUween

A photo posted by Spencer Holbrook (@spencerholbrook) on

Squirrel costumes were extremely abundant this year. It’s not clear why this was so. It could be a result of OU students’ obsession with Athens squirrels or an immature need  to make jokes about “nuts,” or both. Regardless, squirrels were seen all over Athens on Saturday, both human and rodent.

Squirrel. Fucking. Squad! #HALLOUWEEN

A photo posted by That's So Athens (@thatssoathens_) on

As the evening progressed, the actual block party on Court Street took off. A photographer posted his photos from the event to Twitter, capturing the color and craziness of the festivities.

Here’s another photo of the block party someone tweeted, this one showing the immense crowd at the first stage at the intersection of Court and Union. A corner usually traversed by students walking to class or Uptown to get food was transformed into a massive rave.

https://twitter.com/NickBolin_/status/660714302639353856

One of the musical artists who performed Saturday, DJ B Funk, took to the stage dressed as the Man in the Yellow Hat from Curious George. It’s safe to say Curious George would be very curious about B Funk’s performance at the block party.

DJ B Funk expressed his gratitude on Twitter after the block party had ended. Other performances on the block party’s two stages included such names as Get Weird, 2 High Crew, Ape Mode, Ghostowl and Blond. The Post reported about how those performances went.

Students weren’t the only ones walking the uptown streets on Halloween night. Local law enforcement was out in full force, including officers — and their horses — who patrolled the area. Martha Compton, director of Community Standards at Ohio University, tweeted her gratitude for the officers.

But another student wasn’t quite as excited about the horses as Compton was…

Not all the festivity occurred on Court Street during halloween. While students danced in the mosh pits on Court Street, others dressed as Jedi Knights from Star Wars battled it out on West Green. Whether the dark or light side prevailed that night is hard to say.

Much festivity also occurred on Mill Street, as massive crowds headed to and from from the block party. And with such festivity came more law enforcement, as officers shut down parties on Mill Street. Post News Editor Emily Bohatch tweeted about one incident.

Many students may have been surprised when the Daylight Saving Time change hit at 2 a.m. Student Senate President Gabby Bacha tweeted about her frustration experiencing 1 a.m. all over again.

The rain started to calm things down toward the end of the night. Many costumed individuals could be seen drenched by the rain, which was a sad sight. One Instagram user captured the night’s end as crowds left Court Street while the rain poured down.

That night, police made a total of 71 arrests, not including the arrests made on Friday. And not all of those arrests were OU students, however, with many of them being visiting students from other colleges.

The morning after, Post staffer Will Drabold captured the lines at Court Street eateries, presumably filled with many hung over students. Bagel Street Deli’s line ran as far as the curb, with customers staring at their phones waiting for breakfast.

One student summed up the Halloween festivities’ best features in one Tweet:

While this year’s Halloween in Athens may have seemed like a typical one, it’s safe to stay that students still enjoyed themselves and continued to document their night on social media.

Want to share your Halloween experience on social media? Tweet this article’s author @AlxMeyer.