School spirits

By HEATHER BOUZAN  |  September 5, 2006
Emerson College
Emerson students have a reputation for being creative types with a quirky sense of style and a propensity for fun that extends beyond the mainstream. You, too? Then start your night with acouple of cocktails at the low-key Sweetwater Café (3 Boylston Place, Boston, 617.351.2515). Don’t be fooled by its more boisterous neighbors; Sweetwater is actually a casual hangout adored by the people who know about it. Live music adds to the atmosphere (and draws the artsy students with the really good taste). The bar mixes a mean margarita, too. When you’re ready, head to Remington’s (124 Boylston Street, Boston,617.574.9676) for drink number two — you know it’s catering to a college crowd when you see PBR on tap. Don’t linger too long, because by that time the Rattlesnake Bar & Grill (384 Boylston Street,Boston, 617.859.7772) will be getting going. You can’t help but be lured by that fabulous roof deck, especially on a breezy end-of-summer night. If you can score a table, it’s a great place to share a few Mexican dishes and catch up with friends while you keep an eye on the coeds sure to be hanging around. When you start to get antsy, head backdown Boylston to Gypsy Bar (116 Boylston Street,Boston, 617.482.7799), one of the most stylish spots in the city. Get mesmerized by the funky jellyfish tank up front, then head to the center of the dance floor and spend the rest of your night grinding with the sexy girls and guys.

Harvard University
Even if you didn’t have the brains (or the trust fund) to become a Hah-vid grad, you can at least party like one. With so many great options, it’s tough to justify leaving Harvard Square for a night on the town. Assemble your fellow carousers at Grafton Street (1230 Mass Ave, Cambridge, 617.497.0400), where you can sink into one of the comfy booths, order some apps for fortitude, and plan your attack. The Irish-pub ambiance will remind you of the places you used to hang out, only with nicer food, a better beer selection, and a floor without the two inches of beer sludge you used to wade through. From there, mosey over to Grendel’s Den (89 Winthrop Street, Cambridge, 617.491.1160) and snag a table on the outdoor patio, where you can discuss the ins and outs of economic theory while sipping a G&T. Shay's Pub and Wine Bar (58JFK Street, Cambridge, 617.864.9161) across the street is a great bulk-of-the-evening stop. Here you’ll find prepsters in popped collars and summer-plaid sport coats next to dread locked hippies with privileged parents. Everybody lets loose and has a few, and chatting with your neighbor is semi-obligatory, as it should be in any neighborhood bar.The beer-and-wine selection at Shay’s is eclectic but focused, to remind you that, while the ceilings are low and the décor is cluttered, tipsy coeds clutching plastic cups aren’t what you’ll find here.Finally, head across the street to Redline (59 JFK Street, Cambridge, 617.491.9851) for a crowd that peaks late-night. Thursday through Saturday, Redline is open until 2 am, and it has rotating DJs from Wednesday on. Let’s just hope you haven’t lost your freshman-year rhythm.

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