"Let's just go to Nick's" is the unofficial slogan of my current favorite karaoke bar, Nick's Lounge. The phrase was coined by the owner, Bryan. The idea is, it's what you should've said at the planning phase of your evening, before you

- searched the interweb vainly for the coolest place to go.
- texted all your friends including James Earl Magotes about what cool thing they are going to.
- went to a place maybe to meet up with whoever, got lost because it's "somewhere in the Mission," paid $35 in parking and gas because it's San Francisco, and paid another 11 bucks for an artisanal cocktail only to find out that you're at the wrong place because you suck.
- noticed that all the "cool" places to go in the Bay Area are in fact expensive, pretentious, and full of brogrammers and princesses. Sometimes gay princesses, but nevertheless.
- crossed Nick's off your list because it has unsexy lighting, questionable bathrooms, is a karaoke bar, and you were there just last night.
- had a miserable time because all people do in the cool bars is talk about obscure liquors and chase each other for sex. There is nothing else to actually do.

I prefer bars where there is one other thing to do, whether it is watch sports, sing karaoke, or play a competitive card game. That one other thing keeps you out of the drinking-loneliness-more drinking-pointless existence loop that happens at most cool bars. And the cool bars are tense, because you have to be in that loop yet somehow divert all remaining Dilithium reactor power towards staying hip.

If you don't know, you never will, but what I usually say at the planning phase of the evening is

- I want to sing a song, and see what kinds of songs other people are singing. If the songs/people are a lot out of step with my personal song preference list, I'll leave quickly.
- I could use a beer.
- Most of all I want to relax.
- Let's just go to Nick's.

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