Paradise City

The Sandbar

The Sandbar

Last night I had the privilege of joining a few friends to celebrate the birthday of Phil Martinez at one of Lawrence’s more colorful downtown establishments, The Sandbar.

We were there over the course of a few hours, and during that time, the Guns N’ Roses song Paradise City came on three times. A classic song, to be sure, which I always enjoy hearing, but it got me to thinking about the task of work.

The picture above is pretty crappy, but you can get the gist of the evening: lots of people out on the town, having a good time in a fun atmosphere. The Sandbar has, not surprisingly, a beach/oceanic theme, complete with a nice aquarium (far left) that I found intoxicating. There was a fairly large fish in that tank that I am sure was eavesdropping on our conversation.

Back to the beach …

There’s this part of me that thought “Man, it must be pretty cool to come work here every night.” Think of it – you’d always be surrounded by people who are there to have a great time, out with friends, enjoying the moment. Who doesn’t love dark settings, twinkling lights and a party atmosphere?

But it also got me to thinking that the people who work there, especially the owners, have probably heard Paradise City and other popular songs a thousand or more times. I’m sure there are songs they are absolutely sick of hearing. And there are probably regulars who are always welcome, but have made it their second home. I’ll bet it’s safe to say it’s like this in a lot of places.

I’m sure there are days they absolutely dread going to work.

It reminded me of the old joke, “Show me the most beautiful woman in the world and I’ll show you a guy that’s tired of being with her.” We all have our things that must seem pretty exciting to others because of greener grass syndrome, but for the people that are in those spaces day in, day out, it’s a real chore to get through.

But, we keep at it. We have things to take care of at home, responsibilities, people counting on us. Sometimes we just have to dig in a little harder to get through to tomorrow, because it needs to be done.

At least there’s places like The Sandbar to head to and blow off a little steam. It makes me wonder where Sandbar workers go to do the same.

2 thoughts on “Paradise City

  1. John Kary

    Great to see you write about this after we discussed it last night.

    I thought about this same topic when vacationing in Hawaii. Many who visit, myself included, play through scenarios of how they could somehow make Hawaii their permanent residence. Secluded, lush green scenery, rolling ocean waves, perfect 60/80 weather all year-round, warm sunshine–Hawaii is host to many paradise cities.

    As you know, Hawaii’s top employment market is in tourism and entertainment. While visiting, we couldn’t fathom why anyone would want to leave this place. So we asked some of the locals working as servers at the luau we attended: where do /they/ go for vacation?

    Many said they liked visiting the big cities in America: New York, Chicago, Boston, the Rocky Mountains–each response a big departure, geographically and culturally, from their normal day-to-day in Hawaii. They wanted to see snow, to experience the hustle-bustle of a pulsing city.

    So while you’re dreaming of greener pastures, those you dream of being are likely dreaming right back at you.

  2. Debbi

    YES. This.

    Dave would be happy to never hear Sweet Home Alabama and Don’t Stop Believin’ again in his lifetime. And the Disney soundtracks. I don’t know that I’ve ever actually heard Paradise City on the jukebox there; that’s a really strange one to hear three times in a night!

    As for where the workers go to blow off steam…good question. Maybe that’s why my house is perpetually under construction.


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