24 Hours of Drinking in Dallas

A swing around the clock in some of our favorite places to drink.

There's an acrobatic Culkin-esque guy on the stage in front of me. By stage, I mean a two-foot square box with a pole. There's already a fistful of tips spread around in his jockstrap, and as I go to put in one of my own I pull his waistband out too far and knock out about seven or eight bucks.

"Oh crap," I say, "I'm sorry." He gathers up the money and I retreat to a bar table with my beer. He retreats to a back room to empty the tips out of his underwear and change into a fresh pair.--Luke Darby

2514 Hudnall St.; tinroom.net

1:17 a.m.

A House Party in Denton

Few things are easier than finding your way to a house party in Denton: Just follow the fresh scent of patchouli, the path of discarded PBR cans and — oh yeah — the sea of twentysomethings lugging bottles of André Champagne and three-foot-tall hookahs down the street.

I'm following them now, in fact, uphill on Bernard Street, a major artery that empties on one end into a row of fraternity houses with gardens of Keystone Light debris and, on the other, a cluster of little rental homes, occupied by garage bands and artists, fire dancers and exchange students.

I heard a couple of local bands are putting on a house show, so I strapped on my most messaging messenger bag, exhaled my hottest breath onto my Ray-Bans and lugged a six-pack of Fat Tire — that's still cool, right? — up the hill for several minutes. Parking is always a nightmare here, so the nearby apartment complexes boasting fake towing-enforcement signs usually get hit hardest, leaving at least a 10-minute walk to the rentals.

On my voyage I see a couple longboard-toting boys and ask them, "Which house has the show?" They both raise an arm to point it out, and the long-haired blond one says, "We just came from there. The bands are still going. It's pretty sick," before hopping on his board and gliding down the hill. When I hit the front lawn I know exactly where I am, since every Denton rental has the same familiar air — you've partied there before, or slept on a couch and woken up to someone's tabby cat peeing on you.

Inside there's barely a cubic foot to claim your own, as college kids pour like ants through the cramped home. I make my way to the kitchen, where I discover a makeshift merch table for the experimental jazz-funk band playing in the living room. Stale pools of beer and empty bottles litter the table, and two scrawny guys in T-shirts wrap arms around each other and slur words to another guy in their wobbly triad.

"Dude, we had five cases of beer. That's over a hundred beers that are just gone," he says.

The solo-standing friend interjects, "I — I had a whole fucking bottle of tequila and I don't know WHAT happened to that when I looked down at it and it was gone."

"Did somebody steal it?" someone asks.

"Nah, nah, it's right here," he says, and pulls a bottle of José Cuervo from his backpack, unscrews the lid and passes the bottle. They all pretend not to feel the burn.

The lights are turned low and replaced by a black light that incubates the dehydrated crowd, which makes the kid in the corner with long dreadlocks, who appears to be tripping balls, trip even more balls. Every time I raise my camera to snap a photo of my surroundings, he ducks. I raise, he ducks. I raise, he ducks. It goes on like this for a while until someone bumps the lights with their shoulder and spotlights everyone in the room, including the couple making out in the corner of the kitchen. "Come oooooonnn!" someone yells as the lights quickly return to vampiric standards.

Half an hour passes and the band is still churning out jams, pausing briefly to let a roar of hoots and hollers fill the room. The crowd, which started off calm, possibly owing to its collective highness, has sailed this house-ship into a full-fledged dance party, where no one is safe from elbows, spills and a sweaty arm or two glossing against yours. By the end, I am happy to trudge home with a bloodied pinky finger, smudged glasses and a deep sense that the tradition of young people drinking in beat-up rental houses has been, and will be, preserved for years to come.--Rachel Watts

3:19 a.m.

Eternal Afterhours

It's either very late or painfully early, and the girls in the neon-tinted line outside Cabaret Royale look like bored, glittery birds of paradise: big fuzzy legwarmers, teen-tiny neon lace bras and panties, expanses of glittery silver eyeshadow. As the line grows and grows, snaking backward into the gravel parking lot, they get in first, beckoned by the bouncers.

"I can get you in," one squat guy says to a girl with long brown hair, "but he's gotta wait." He gestures at her boyfriend. She decides to stay put.

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