Room and the Birdcage
Friday 21st August

I'm walking over to Pizza Co. where Jackson is waiting for a cheese and tomato pizza. He's invited Visana along as well. The last time she was out with us was on the 31st December at the New Years Eve party.

As I'm walking to Pizza Co. Visana happens to be walking onto the main road from a sidestreet, we notice each other.
Visana: "Hi."
Me: "Hi."
Visana: "Where's Jackson."
Me: "It's just you and me tonight baby!"
She laughs
Visana: "Is he over there, in Pizza Co.?"
Me: "He was but he left so we could be alone."
We laugh.

We go into Pizza Co. where Jackson is already eating the pizza. I grab the box off the table and walk out of the place towards the park.
Visana: "What's he doing." she says to Jackson.
Jackson: "He insists on eating the pizza in the park."
We all sit in the park and eat the pizza. It's nice on this warm summer evening.

Visana: "Are you going to the Birdcage?"
Jackson: "Yes."
Visana: "How are you getting there?"
Jackson: "The bus. Why, have you got the car with you?"
Visana: "Yes. I have to go to bed early though. Shall I give you a lift?"
Jackson: "Sure."
Me: "Ok."

Visana drives us in her blue Ford Focus to the city centre. She's got the new Beyonce CD on. She parks in the city centre and we get out of the car.

We walk along the street and notice a trendy bar called Room.
Me: "Shall we go in here?"
Jackson: "I went here for my birthday 2 years ago. It's really nice."
We go inside.

Room is a quality venue. It's an ideal place to take a girlfriend or to be with friends for conversation. Me and Visana talk a while on a range of topics.

I actually saw Visana in the street a few weeks ago when I was with my girlfriend on a Sunday. Visana came over and said hi but I mistook her for someone else - I meet so many people and she was dressed different to her usual style and with lots of make-up on. She thought I was taking the mickey when I said - Are you still working at the deli - when really she works at the university. At first I thought she was the girl from the deli who often says hi to me.

Me and Visana talk about dating, getting to know people and the importance of doing activities with your date rather than just sitting in bars and consuming booze.

Me, Jackson and Visana leave Room. We walk to the Birdcage where the door staff greet us. They know us by now.

We go inside, get some drinks, then dance. We dance lots.

Visana wants a go on the pole dance and wants me to stand there with her, as she doesn't want to dance on the pole area alone. She has a go. Then she says:
Visana: "Alex, you have a go."
Me: "You have another go."
In the end she persuades me and I decide to have a go. First try is ok. Then the third time I try it I'm doing fancy moves and stunts. I do guy moves rather than pole dancing.
Visana: "Wow. You're brilliant."
The people in the club seating area are starting to watch me!
I leave the pole area and a guy and his wife go onto it trying to copy my moves.

Now we're in the seating area near the pole area.
Visana: "You were really good. Have you done it before?"
Me: "No, never."
Visana looks surprised. I'm surprised how quick I picked it up. It could be because I go out to clubs dancing lots.
Me: "Hey Jackson. What did you think!"
Jackson: "Being good at pole dancing is nothing to be proud of if you're a guy!"

I work out regularly, stretch and used to be active playing sports. Once I remember I went to a Salsa lesson and the teacher told me I had natural ability, she was amazed how quickly I picked it up. Salsa wasn't my thing though, so I went back to dancing in nightclubs.

We dance on the dancefloor for a while.

We go to the seats near the back of the venue and sit down.
Visana: "I'm going to go in a bit. I'm fasting in the daytime. It's part of my religion. So I've got to get up early to eat."
It's around midnight now. Me and Jackson walk Visana to her car. As we do so we pass groups of people who are shouting in the street.

Me and Jackson, having walked Visana safely to her car, return to the Birdcage. We dance.

There's lots of guys with shaven heads and thugs have arrived. They're hitting on all the women on the dancefloor. Gradually most of the women are leaving the dancefloor.

Over the next 20 minutes, over half the guys are asked to leave by the door staff.

There are two guys going round hitting on all the women. The type of guys that have taken lots of creatine and weight gain products. They're wearing tight T-shirts. I friend I know called Brian once said:
Brian said: "These guys who take all the additives often aren't that strong. You can have a guy who works out lots but doesn't take all the creatine and he can look medium build bu very strong. It's the overweight and built up guys that everyone assumes is strong."

In some aspects it's good to have these two guys to compete with in terms of dancing and style on the dancefloor. They made an effort to work on themselves, work out, they dress smart, they've got style and really have a go at dancing well. They also respect it when ladies say they're not interested, which is why they've not been thrown out yet.

The problem is the way they try to meet women. They go up to them, dance for 30 second with a lady which she enjoys. Then they try to get close and snog or feel them up too soon. When the lady has said no, the guys hi five or tell each other well done. It's good well done on approaching, but they move too fast and this is more of a dancing club.

I notice a lady snogging another guy on the dancefloor - it's a nice guy she's been talking to for ages earlier in the night. They were stood near me, Jackson and Visana when we came in and sat down at 9:45pm. She's wearing a very close fitting dress and has a good figure. She snogs him for ages then leaves him. He wants her number but she walks away to her friends. What he seemed to do was be all smart and funny in conversation, then what he did wrong was be too heavy all over her in the middle of the dancefloor. It was as if he hadn't snogged a lady in ages. She felt he was too needy. It's all over now. That's the club game.

Sometimes it's fun to snog someone but it doesn't mean you want to date them. I suppose it's this point you realise the underlying competition there is in society. And how soft lads don't make it with the ladies and girlfriend boyfriend if they have all the money and clothes. Also how tough guys don't make it if they don't have the money or clothes.

I get hit on by two ladies and another shows interest. One lady hits on Jackson.

Over the course of the night I kind of respect the two guys trying to get with the ladies. They're trying hard and learning, and will get a girlfriend in the end. It's better than being a wimp and not approaching.

There's still some guys with shaved haircuts on the dancefloor. It's a problem with class boundaries and people who come from different backgrounds. Or maybe it's they watch too many gangster videos and think it's real life.
A guy with a shaved head goes up to two ladies, starts dancing with both in a gangster way - the guy with a lady under each arm. At first they find it fun. Then he starts trying to dance al sexy and close with his hips and so on. The ladies don't want to move so fast. They back off. He smirks and spanks them both on the ass once - the one on the left with his left hand and the one on the right with his right hand.
A doorman notices, goes over and throws him out.

These guys think they're in some R+B club where the ladies like it rough.

Now there's a nice guy, not a thug. He's got some good moves.
Me: "He's got some good moves."
Jackson: "I knew you'd say that because some of them are similar to yours."
Me: "Yeah yeah."

He's wearing a smart black shirt, black trousers and shoes. He's doing dance moves with a lady in a red dress. It's some kind of Salsa or Latin moves they must both know mixed in with some club style. A circle is almost forming watching them. The guy gets so excited that everyone is watching he tries to dance faster and faster with her to show off to the crowd. He dances too fast. Too many spins. It looks hectic. He starts drippin with sweat. The lady gets annoyed because it's not fun anymore and goes to hide in a group of friends.

By 2am there are very few guys left in the club. Most have been thrown out!

Me and Jackson leave the Birdcage. We're outside walking away from the club.
Jackson: "It was too loud in there. Don't you think?"
Me: "I don't notice that much because I had earplugs in. At one point on the dancefloor though it seemed too loud."
Jackson: "Yeah. It was really loud."
Jackson makes an expression as if to say it's so loud itís becoming painful.
Me: "You should write a letter to them."
Jackson: "I probably will."
Me: "We should run our own club night."
Jackson: "I think that would be a lot of fun."

Me: "We go too much to the Birdcage. I know it's got the best music and there's no glass on the dancefloor. It's a club with drag cabaret."
Jackson: "We should go somewhere else for a while."
Me: "At this rate. I can imagine a photo of you next to David Dale, with you holding your thumb up and smiling!"
I laugh.
Me: "Like those people on American chat shows."
Jackson: "Yeah yeah."

We walk through the Northern Quarter. Half the windows have been smashed in Odd bar. Further along a guy and his girlfriend are sitting in a black pimped car with the music on really loud. They're rocking and dancing to the beat. It's a fun idea.

We're now going past Piccadilly Gardens bus station.

Jackson: "I was thinking of doing a degree course in Sweden. My girlfriend was saying how you can get the fees paid for and accommodation."
Me: "Really."
Jackson: "So I looked into it and that's only for Swedish people. But you can get the fees paid for, not the living and accommodation."
Me: "It sounds good. But I've got my own projects here."
Jackson: "I found out about it because my girlfriend's got a Swedish friend. She's very good looking. Santa Cruz likes her and is paying for her to go and watch him play football. Do you know who Santa Cruz is?
Me: "Some famous footballer."
Jackson: "He's very famous. So she's going expenses paid with her boyfriend."

Some celebrities can be very aggressive when it comes to dating, even trying to steal women off other guys as if they have a right. This might not be the case with Santa Cruz though.
Jackson: "Seriously though. Have you ever thought about going somewhere else. Expand your horizons. Visit new places."
Me: "Like Tiger Tiger!"
Jackson: "If you think Tiger Tiger is expanding your horizons, well."
Me: "I've been to university. Everywhere nowadays seems the same. I'm more into doing stuff like writing or building something. It would be good to travel but I need to make money and get my own place. I can't keep living out of my car and wherever I can find a place to stay. It's why I'm writing books and doing other stuff."

We go to te casino. Have some drinks. Chat.

We leave the casino and walk along Oxford Road to my car.

It was a god night. Lots of entertainment, dancing, quality music, eventful.


Summary and venue reviews

Pizza Co.
Quiet. Clientele: smart casual. Decor: 7/10.
Notes: Pizza Co. serves good quality pizzas at reasonable prices.
Pizza Co.

Room
Medium busy. Clientele: smart casual, smart. Decor: 10/10.
Notes: A trendy bar in Manchester.
Room

Birdcage nightclub
Busy. Clientele: smart casual, smart. Decor: 10/10.
Notes: A well organised nightclub with good music and good service.
Birdcage nightclub



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