The first thing I felt upon walking into the new Tiger Inn was a tentative sense of relief.
Thank GOD it still smells like last decade’s stale Beast. I’m only truly at home at the Glorious Tiger Inn when my feet are sticking to the ground, I can feel a rape coming on as I move toward the dance floor, and I’ve had beer poured on me at least 3 times. The aroma was a sign that perhaps things haven’t changed as much as I’ve heard.
As I progressed inside, I found proof for this belief—there were still some good ol’ quirks to contend with. On the approximately ten hooks provided for the throngs of inebriated which make their way through the club on any given Saturday night, there are inevitably jackets hanging precariously on the edge, mere inches away from being added to the alcohol stew. Strategy whilst placing my coat (which perhaps I should have left at home, now that I think about it, and just used my beer blanket) is key, and ruthlessness may be necessary. How bad would it be to lift someone else’s coat and place mine underneath, putting their Burberry in peril but leaving my H&M in relative safety? The first of many moral dilemmas which can await one at TI, I suppose.
After dispensing with my bothersome extra accoutrements to reveal my new micro-mini, I moved to the dance floor, and witnessed the first sign of the alarming changes I was anticipating. This new space (which I believe is usually the dining room), being not in the basement and big, actually provided room to move away from drunken encroachers. And it was pretty. Candle-style lights between full-length windows, arched ceilings, room for a band…it was strange, eerie. I pulled Mr. Whathisface Alumus closer to my boobs to make me feel more comfortable. That’s better, yup, keep pretending you don’t realize where your hands are going. Now don’t respond when I try to escape your groping. Phew.
The taproom, while still bearing that magnificently gooey floor, provided a similarly uncomfortable feeling. So many places to play pong, even room to watch others playing pong. And those taps—there are just so many!. And they’re all new and gold-looking. Much of the time, they’re self-service, and beer (not just foam!) comes forth from the shiny faucets. One may chat leisurely in various corners of the now expanded basement, play some pong, or even pee with little difficulty! New, well-marked clean bathrooms. In TI. I would even have considered them for a number two, if only females were allowed such luxuries while parading themselves along Prospect.
Why was all this space and luxury perturbing? In my hour at the club, I was able to move, to witness clearly the unruliness around me. The mischief was there—I mean it was there—in my face, clearly visible by individual. I missed the mass, the knowledge that many at once were engaging in the ritual that was the “night at TI,” even though you couldn’t pick out each person’s experience. Now it was all laid bare—her hooking up with him, he knocking over all the pong cups, she agreeing to leave with him after a two minute conversation, her boobs really not being covered by that shirt.
I’m all for change and progress (Herman Cain ’12, amirite?), but did we really need a more luxurious TI? Isn’t the whole function of this club to provide us with that awesome, sticky, objectified, squashed together feeling you can only otherwise find at a seedy pre-gentrified city joint? And honestly, as the eating club who would self-identify as the hardest-partying on the Street, how can they justify spending all this money on renovations that could have been spent on booze?
Walking around TI, I felt like I had walked in on my roommate—sure, I know it’s happening, but that doesn’t mean I need to see it in all its blazing glory. Now that the sock on the door is gone, I’m not sure I can look her in the eye again.