Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Top 5: Spa vs. Bar

Those of you in Beijing you may be wondering where to catch the big game. The giant screen in the public plaza? A sports bar like the new All Star bar in Solana? All of these may have sufficed in previous Olympics, or in the towns where you are originally from. But in Beijing, local tradition offers another great place to catch the game: the SPA. For all of you ignorants out there, here is Dave Brown’s Top 5 Reasons Why It’s Better to Watch the Big Game at the Spa Instead of the Bar.
1. Service
Sure, you can stand at the bar and wait for the bartender’s attention for half an hour before you finally get noticed and get to order your Tsingtao. Or you can come to a place where there are hundreds of people standing around ready to wait on you hand and foot: the Spa. (Literally hand AND foot)
2. Multiplicity
Where else can you get a massage in the first half, hit the buffet at halftime, the sauna for second half, and the warm spa during OT? The spa, of course! Oh wait, you can get a diverse experience at the bar too, right? Stand at the bar during the first half; sit at the bar during halftime. Of course you’ll probably lose your seat again for the second half when you take your WC break…
3. Synchronicity
Want to feel at one with the players? At the spa you can synchronize your activities with theirs: sweat when they sweat, shower when they shower, massage when they massage…the list goes on and on.
4. Preparation
We all know that making it to the big game requires years of preparation on the parts of the athletes. Fortunately getting ready for the club only takes a couple of hours! Spend game time showering, primping, and grooming yourself to perfection in preparation for the postgame festivities without missing a second of the action. You’ll dance circles around your competition—you know, those sweaty, smelly, and drunk buffoons who spent their time getting wasted at the bar. So come to the spa and get prepared for meeting that extra special postgame sweetheart.
5. Fraternity
Some of you may think "Yeah right, the spa. It sounds so pansy. What about traditional male bonding?" Well, let me tell you: There’s nothing like bonding over a little sport with a bunch of other naked, sweaty dudes. Just don't take your eyes off the TV screen.
I’m not sure but I imagine it’s a pretty similar shared moment for the females as well.
Bonus: Ok, I know there are only supposed to be five reasons in a Top 5 list, but because this is _URB_ I had to throw in one very special extra reason:
Urbanity (the +1)
This is not your traditional notion of the urban, but urbanity descended from the late 20th century masters who helped shape and define our contemporary understanding of urbanism: Gruen, Venturi, Beynham, with a little Ungers and Koolhaas thrown in for good measure. It’s part mall, part decorated shed + casino, mostly fantasy, a social condenser and a phantasmagoria of programmatic juxtaposition and overlap thrown into a Big Box and connected with an elevator.
Hotel + Restaurant + Leisure Hall + Tropical Paradise + Grotto = SPA
Take that you mono-programmatic sports bar!

My favorite: No. 8 Hot Springs Club

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