Celebration or Humiliation

At this point in the year, the recruiting process either has ended with an offer letter and a champagne toast or has been painfully protracted and deferred to the spring. Either way, Boston offers an excellent array of drinking establishments to suit your current state of emotional health and professional fulfillment.

So you’ve scored a job at the high-paying firm of your choice. What better to do with that signing bonus than celebrate elaborately at the trendiest nightspots of Boston? After all, an aspiring financier must start practicing how to rule the New York bar scene.

  1. Begin your festivities with a drink at Barcode (955 Boylston St., 421-1818), the happening watering hole of Back Bay yuppies. With the dark wood paneling and retro fans decorating the ceiling, the restaurant cum bar exudes an aura of casual chic. If feeling hungry, engage your palate with the delicious and eclectic Fusion menu or indulge in the luscious chocolate soufflé. Otherwise, stand tall and rehearse looking cool and pretentious as you network with well dressed 20- and 30-somethings. Here is a place to get used to Manhattan prices: drinks don’t come cheap—but the wait staff is as good-looking as the clientele and you’re paying for the scene, anyway.

  2. Proceed to Whiskey Park (74 Arlington St., 542-1482), the place to see and be seen. Don’t be fooled into thinking Whiskey Park stodgy just because it extends from the Park Plaza hotel: the bar is as close to New York sophistication as you can get north of Manhattan. Opened by Rande Gerber, a.k.a. Mr. Cindy Crawford, Whiskey Park attracts the wealthy, the beautiful and the famous. The bar has two rooms, a smaller and more intimate lounge perfect for lingering over cocktails and a larger livelier one with a DJ spinning hot tracks. Deep mahogany bars swoop through both rooms as glittering stools and faux-fur pillows adorn plush sofas. Call ahead and reserve a table so you won’t have to wait for service with the other plebeians.

  3. If you’ve had enough of schmoozing and are ready for more action, head down the street to Pravda 116 (116 Boylston St., 482-7799) to party the rest of the night away. Try to arrive early, as the line for this popular bar/lounge/nightclub tends to grow quickly and snake around the block. The red interior and glittery chandeliers ooze with Russky decadence, while crimson lighting casts the entire place in an alluring hue. Flash that million-dollar smile as you squeeze your way past the perpetually packed long bar or escape the madness by cozying up in one of the intimate banquettes. As the night draws on, the pick-up scene becomes surprisingly good, especially on the tightly packed dance floor, where scantily clad young ladies dance beside Eurotrash.

  4. No luck with the job market? Dreading the prospect of supporting yourself? Never fear, you can still have fun. There are plenty of cost-friendly places to go drown your sorrows and boost your ego. First, try Mary Ann’s (Beacon Street, near the corner of Beacon Street and Chestnut Hill Avenue), the archetypal college bar. Cash goes a long way at Mary Ann’s, where beers run less than $2. Radiating the energy of the Grille in its pre-Red Line days, this Boston College hangout offers sloppy hookups aplenty. Although you may not have a job, you can still enjoy the effectiveness of the H-bomb.

  5. You can also try the Beacon Hill Pub (149 Charles St.), which despite being named after a classy neighborhood, is the epitome of a dive. Wash away the pain of rejection by downing several pints of beer with minimal damage to the wallet—drinks come nice and cheap. Despite the dirty toilets and the sticky bar, Beacon Hill Pub represents dodgy fun at its best. The young crowd is unpretentious and laid-back, ready for a night of nonstop drinking and drunken conversations. Just don’t get too inebriated and find yourself in a brawl.

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