Since it's hotter than hell outside, mortality is on the mind. In the tradition of such literary classics as 1,000 Places to See Before You Die and 1,001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die, I will be presenting a list of "25 Thing You Must Do in SoMo Before You Die" throughout the month of August.
This compilation of make-or-break activities in my made-up neighborhood of South Montrose is sure to lead you down an enlightened path of revelation and intoxication:
25. Complain about the neighborhood losing its edge.
Claiming that your neighborhood is losing its originally artsy vibe will legitimate your own claims to artsiness, so complain — and complain often. The revamping of the already-shuttered Tower Theater into an upscale Mexican eatery, Tony's taking over La Strada, Decades losing its license, the painting over of the Mary's mural — the list goes on.
If anyone points out that you're not even originally from the neighborhood, make false claims that you were in fact conceived at La Colombe d'Or.
24. Squat in the lot across from Fiesta.
We go to great lengths to hide the fact that we buy most of our groceries at Whole Foods. SoMotonians more closely identify with the Fiesta on Dunlavy because of its cheap tropical produce and disproportionately large selection of vino.
This, combined with the romantic obsession with greenspace and farmers markets, has caused the neighborhood's youngsters to vehemently oppose an impending competitor H-E-B grocery store.
And if there's anything more hip than living in a dilapidated garage apartment in Montrose, it's squatting in an overgrown empty lot. Extra points for pitching tents constructed with handwoven Guatemalan blankets brought back from spring break 2008.
23. Plan a performance art protest against the new H-E-B.
It's clear that despite disputes, a massive H-E-B will soon be part of the Montrose landscape. Since simple picketing looks bougie, kick it up a notch and plan a piece of performance art on the property. Run around like wildfire or pull off all our clothes in a gesture of freedom for the land. Such wild ideas can also be submitted as a conceptual art piece for a class at the Glassell, and the subsequent notoriety will provide instant access to shows at Mango's. If you want to really impress people, get things going with a hand-rolled cigarette.
Note: This probably should be further down on the list, because there is a legitimate chance that you will get arrested.
22. Party on Pont Fumée.
After a certain moment on Saturday nights, nothing seems like a better idea than smoking pot on the Graustark Street bridge, known alternatively as Club Bridge, or if you're feeling French (which you should feel fairly often), Pont Fumée. Like watching Spice World and drinking Hpnotiq, getting arrested for paraphernalia in a public place is reminiscent of high school antics, and therefore will be appreciated for its irony.
21. Trash talk the suburbs (while listening to Arcade Fire's The Suburbs)
Recent experience has proven that suburbanites despise being judged. While it's a tired argument, you'd be mistaken to not complain about suburban sprawl and chain restaurants in casual conversation with completely likeminded people.
Bragging about living walking distance to a convenience store with discounted PBR tallboys and a short bike ride from Jenni's Noodle House is not just necessary — it's a key to survival (and the only way you'll make it to the remaining 20 "Things to Do in SoMo Before You Die").
Next week: More Things You Must Do Before You Die ...