10 Thoughts From Opening Night at Puma City

For Last Week's Puma City Preview, CLICK HERE... 

1 – My first surprise down at the Volvo Ocean Race village was that people are allowed to walk around with cocktails. Even though this should be no big deal – and I’ve seen similar arrangements in dozens of other cities – ours is a happy hour-free hub where it’s only legal to get massaged until 10pm – so I have to give Boston props for loosening up.

2 – Due to capacity constraints, by the time I arrived one hour after opening there was already a frustrated, slow-moving line. Once I got in, though – and didn’t have to share shoulder space – I was happy that they didn’t have an open door policy (like would probably be the case in, say, Philly). My suggestion for the next three weeks: forget about trying to be fashionably tardy and roll to these events nerd early.

3 – There was a big fuss to get into the upstairs VIP lounge, and I imagine this will be the case for upcoming Puma City shindigs. I was lucky enough to get access, but I have to get a bit Woody Allen here and say that I was disappointed to find many of the so-called “important” folks behind the velvet rope were just average stiffs like me. On the other hand, I suppose that’s what I love about this star-starved metropolis.

4 – I’m not sure if every night will feature the same selection, but mixed drinks were eight bucks, while imported beers were seven and domestic six. And don’t fool yourself; just because there’s a sign on the bar listing drink suggestions doesn’t mean those sips are free.

5 – I’m sure this wrinkle will get ironed, but there was a slight bathroom problem on opening night. Since the joint was packed – and the toilets are located outside of Puma City – bouncers had to offer an ultimatum: either hold your wizz and party, or relieve yourself and bounce for good. It makes for easy jokes about peeing off the deck, but there are too many detail officers around Volvo village to really pull it off.

6 – Props to DJ Roy Barboza for spinning yesterday’s hottest hip-hop and r&b. Roy left the contemporary radio rotation dung at JAM’N, instead opting for a throwback smorgasbord flavored by the likes of “They Want Efx” and “Scenario.” Much props to the selector; one too many Jeezy clunkers might have had me jumping ship.

7 – There were definitely a lot of attractive persons on deck, which makes me wonder if Puma City travels from port-to-port with 100-or-so models making people in cities everywhere feel cool. Kind of like a mobile Truman Show. Cue the six-foot  redhead bombshell with the Puma heels on!

8 – From the VIP deck, you can see into the portable Johns through the moon roof. Not like I was looking – just wondering why a bathroom has a moon roof.

9 – In town to impress you for just a few weeks, the Puma people are determined to make your stay about their hipster aircraft carrier a splendid one. When it was announced that opening night booze would stop flowing at 11pm, hosts graciously invited guests to an after party down the street. Now that’s what I call service.

10 – More than anything else, Puma City is a great place to sit back, enjoy the wind and water, crack a cocktail, and wait for an alien spacecraft to land on the Institute of Contemporary Art. It’s bound to happen someday, and I’m just hoping that I get to watch when it does.

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