Mass street scene beats pub crawl between Laundra Bar and Hentry T’s

Andrew Roland

Every Washburn student owes it to himself to travel, at least once, to Lawrence on a Friday or Saturday night to have a real night on the town.

Sure, Topeka has a couple bowling alleys, a bunch of steak houses, and a movie theater, but we are sorely missing the central elements of a fun night on the town, the ability to easily walk from bar (or whatever you’re into) to bar. Walking from the Ichabod Laundra Bar to Henry T’s doesn’t count.

Walking down Massachusetts Ave in Lawrence can be quite an experience. One has the opportunity to park, eat dinner, watch a movie, visit a bar or coffee shop, listen to a band, and get some ice cream, all by walking a few blocks. Throw in some of the locals you are likely to encounter, and I’m sure you’ll have a few stories to bring back to your friends that spent the weekend crocheting.

While I’m not sure that I’d walk much in Topeka after dark (particularly around bars), trying to pull off this same mix of evening activities could cost $20 in gas and lots of time wasted at stoplights.

On the other hand, Lawrence’s downtown night life rivals those of larger cities, including Nashville. Nashville has an awesome local music scene, of course, but wandering around downtown in early March this spring revealed a touristy version of Lawrence.

It’s a shame that we don’t have much to offer when it comes to a downtown on the weekends or after five o’clock. To be fair, our missing downtown is the result of systemic problems in Topeka’s growth. I hope that this changes in the future, but for the time being, I’ll be sure to keep some money for turnpike fare in my car.