Turning 21 at Sligo’s

Turning 21 is one of the greatest (and last) coming-of-age events in life no longer is your nightlife restricted to frat basements, no more hoping youll get a bracelet or not get carded, and no more memorizing addresses and birthdays that are not your own. After this, there arent many birthdays left to look forward to, but on the upside, you never have to give a second thought when a bouncer asks for your ID.
Although we had planned a joint-celebration with one of my friends for that weekend, the actual night of my 21st birthday was unplanned an impromptu decision to leave the house at midnight but that night lives on as one of my top five nights out at Tufts. So, lets take a trip down memory lane, shall we? Imagine yourself in a warm place, where homework is a distant memory, and luckily, work isnt until 11 a.m. the next day.
Imagine that it is summer June 11, 2003 to be exact, 12:15 a.m. After visiting friends (and getting silly) on College Ave., I wander into Davis Square with my two partners-in-crime. (From this night on, I can never walk into Davis Square without remembering and laughing at certain episodes of this evening.) Stumbling across the street, my cell phone vibrates. I jump. Its my dad.
Mr. Muuuuunnoooooz!!! my friend screams. Can I talk to him? Your dad is funny!
Nooooo! I retort. I may be silly, but Im not stupid: Dad doesnt need to hear his little girl tanked. Dramatically, I hang up the phone over my head. We make it to Sligos in one piece (barely), where I readily shove my ID into the bartenders face.
Its my birfday! I say with a huge grin.
Its the bartenders birthday too. He makes my friends and me free shots of Surfer on Acid (now my favorite), and we are handed pieces of cake. I am loving this place. And I still do.
People give Sligos a bad rap. Sure, its small and gets cramped, but hey, if you wanted more room you wouldve paid the $3 cover at the Burren only to wait in line a second time for the back room. Sligos is a neighborhood, no-frills pub at its best and with the most reasonable prices to boot (or rather not to boot, as no one got sick.)
That night, I ordered two shots and two beers and was told, Thats $13. Thirteen dollars?!! I paid $13 for just two of the same shots at Joshua Tree 30 minutes before. (And, I know what youre thinking, no, these drinks werent all for me.) Hands down, Sligos offers the most affordable selection of beers, mixed drinks, and shots in Davis Square it is very college student friendly.
The crowd at Sligos depends on the night and the season. During the summer, Sligos is a mixture of Somerville locals and a few Tufts kids enjoying life at school without the actual school part. Sligos is also authentic enough that you may meet an Irishman or two. During the year, expect to see more Jumbos, especially those who dont want to shell out a lot of cash or wait in line at the Burren. Contrasting with the youngins and their sparkling new IDs are the old men. For some reason, Sligos attracts them, and they, for some reason, think you like being hit on by people old enough to be your grandfather.
The atmosphere can be anywhere from chill just you and your friends drinking beers at the bar to raucous you, your friends, kids from your Intro to Mass Media class, the baseball team, and even that girl you havent seen since freshman year crammed between the chairs and small tables that line its corridor.
All in all, Sligos presented a wonderful outlet for my much-anticipated birthday, and in many ways, I think it is underrated. Sure, the floor there is probably as sticky as in 123, but it doesnt try to pretend it is anything but an Irish divebar that caters to college students. The night of my 21st birthday is a lot like Sligos on the surface, possibly just another night out, but turns out to be a fun and memorable time. It probably isnt a story to tell the kids later (and I have spared you most of the details of debauchery), yet it certainly is one of those nights you look back on and laugh.