It was a Saturday evening and we wanted to go out. The patrons of Sydney were of the general opinion that Thursdays and Saturdays were the designated going out nights, while Friday was a rest night between them. We could walk to the Rege, the classic uni favourite approximately two steps from the edge of campus. That was a truly essential destination that acted like a club during O Week, but a trusty bar at which to hang out with friends on any night of any week.
We could dress up super fancy and make our way to Ivy, a lavish club with at least seven floors and a rooftop pool, but that was far better on Thursdays when we wouldn’t have to pay cover. This iconic Sydney club greeted you with a trek up many flights of stairs upon entrance, followed by several rooms decorated in various expositions of extravagance. Hanging from the towering ceilings were chandeliers that would be described by my good friends Ryan and Theresa as striking light fixtures. On one such Thursday, our friend group got split up as soon as we passed through the door. In hopes of expediting our reunion, I dropped my not-yet-boyfriend a pin. Obviously it did not help whatsoever because GPS location will give you zero vertical clues about which floor the pin was sent from. At least we found each other on the main dance floor in time to dance to Work from Home by Fifth Harmony with my best friend Rachel.
This April night, we were in the mood for something different. When Bojana suggested we go to a Gatsby-themed party she had heard about, we immediately dove for our closets and dressed for the 1920s. Paired with my short hair, a loose dress I had recently purchased from a secondhand shop made me look convincingly like a flapper.
A bus ride later, we arrived at an unassuming bar in an offshoot of Sydney I had never been to. But not all was as it appeared. Through an unassuming door the real party was revealed. Downstairs in the speakeasy, festivities were in full swing. A band played onstage, bartenders mixed cocktails, and patrons weaved between small wooden tables, everyone in costume. This place could easily have existed in the Roaring Twenties. I dragged my friends to the dance floor and immediately began to teach them how to swing dance.