“You know, ze show Cheers? Yes. Si. This is our Cheers.”
It all began one night about a month ago. My roommate and I were walking home pretty late, and had garnered the attention of a pack of
wild hyenas young men who were offensively catcalling expressing an aggressive interest in accompanying us home. In an unusual wave of common sense, we decided that we probably shouldn’t turn down our deserted street with a pack of sexual predators strangers following us, so we ducked down the street beforehand and into a bar, to the disappointed sounds of many “ciao beeeeellllaaaas” and “ohhh maaiiiiii gaaddddds.”
It was late. The bar was empty, undoubtably shutting down for evening, but the DJ was still at his little booth playing records. What song is playing, at full volume, for only the two of us?
And so began my love affair with Rex.
There are a million songs that have played, people i’ve met, and downright strange things that have happened that have factored into this obsession.
“Remember the time we met those “professional celebrity photographers,” in town from Milan?”
I mean, when you run around with a giant, conspicuous camera, people want to know what’s up. These guys went through a million questions before finally revealing that, not only were they photographers, they were dying to pose for a picture. And by pose, I mean POSE. Perhaps they would be better as mimes, or contestants on ANTM? These fellows weren’t our only new friends at Rex, though. Apparently we’ve sipped cocktails with fashion execs (DISCLAIMER: this IS a bar, and we ARE young females. Everything these people told us could be lies.) and sweethearts visiting “home” in Florence from school in NYC. [sidenote: don’t even try explaining to people in Italy how different being from the South is than being from New York City. No one cares.] The bottom line: Everybody’s your friend.
“Remember that time everyone in the bar sang the words to Drops of Jupiter?”
Oh, globalization; sometimes, you are just such a treat. I don’t know if the DJ has a penchant for old pop music or if he’s just looking for a beat that facilitates his signature move, the hair flip, but I’m never disappointed.
Nothing starts an evening the right way like Deniece Williams, ABBA, or the more obscure Aneka, singing some bizarre song about missing a Japanese Boy. If I was smart, I would’ve already gotten this guy’s business card and booked him for every social event for the rest of my life. What a mind reader; in retrospect, it’s no surprise that Aretha was playing late that night as our beacon of hope.
“You know that bartender, the one who always wears vests and makes the best drinks in the world?”
It is, quite possibly, my greatest failure that I haven’t learned his name yet. Lord only knows I’ve put in the time. My family has their work cut out for them beating his phenomenal mojitos and super spicyy bloody marys. In fact, elsewhere in Florence you might as well just drink beer or wine (or water… yeah), because NO ONE makes cocktails like this guy, nor does anyone else look as cool doing it. Give up, bartenders of the world. If you need a consolation drink, how about you meet me at Rex?
“Doesn’t this bar remind you of Hanna’s?”
So, uh… I really just wish more bars had bookshelves in them. Is that weird?
Really, that’s the end of the similarities between Rex and the beloved Hanna’s on the strip. You probably aren’t going to find any hammered freshmen or Bud Light Tallboys at Rex, and likewise you probably won’t find many wine-drinkers at Hannas. Weird. But seriously, any establishment whose decor includes a record player, vintage lamps, and a huge messy shelf of books has my heart.
“Did you know people really wore stuff like that?”
Do you style your hair like Lady Gaga? Do you really, really like wearing your grandfather’s old glasses out at night? Maybe you appreciate the fashion stylings of MC Hammer? Well, come one, come all. You’ll find your style-soulmate at Rex.
In the meantime, I’ll be off finding my real life soulmate at Rex. Ciao!