There’s a running joke currently that there’s absolutely nothing to do in downtown Riverside. It’s even worst if you’re not of drinking age. There are plenty of bars and clubs to drink and forget that there’s jack shit here. When you’re under 21, you’re extremely limited. We asked around downtown and we were told to go to a museum, the mission, and that the only times to come downtown is the last weekend of May for Saturation Fest (a music, art, and film festival) and the whole month of December to see the Mission Inn covered in Christmas lights. Wow, only two parts of the year where downtown gets lit for those who can’t drink, might as well sneak a six pack in your dorms all year and stay inside, but for now check out these places:
5.) Dragon Marsh:
The first place we decided to check out was called “The Dragon Marsh.” This little hole in the wall was filled with gems and herbs (sadly no weed). The woman behind the counter was draped with tattoos and punctured to all hell with piercings. As soon as we started to talk to her, she became one of the sweetest ladies ever. We asked her about the shop which seemed like it was a little voodoo wiccan shop, which in a way it was. So if you want to summon a demon to help get your grades up or create a nice herbal tea, The Dragon’s Marsh is your place–and never trust a book by its cover.
4.) Back to the Grind:
Back to the Grind is the coffee spot where Starbucks and The Coffee Bean are too cheap for your taste. Aesthetically, this is like a Tumblr girl’s dream joint. The brick walls and personal library covering the walls gives it a homely feeling. The art that cluttered the surrounding space instantly makes one feel cultural and sophisticated; next thing we knew we all had our pinkies up taking about Bjork’s recent album. We were there when the barista was getting hit on and all we hear is, “What do you mean ‘Do I come here often,’ dude I work here.” The menu was challenging to understand so an easy scapegoat is ask what is the barista’s favorite drink, even though it might be the most expensive thing on the menu, you’ll be saved from hipster side eye.
VIP is a +18 gay club. Sadly, we went around downtown during the day so couldn’t fully experience VIP. But the existence of VIP does help emphasize how diverse UCR is and how far its reach goes. Even though it’s a street away.
2.) Antique Store:
If you have time to kill and like looking at old shit, the Antique store across the street from the Mission Inn is the place to go. The place is 4 floors of old people shit. The basement is where most of the relevant items are located. There are little sections where specific items are separated in. For example, there’s a section for sports and a sections full of military paraphernalia. It’s a fun place to look at knick knacks, but there isn’t much else to it.
1.) Fox Theatre:
The last and surprisingly not least is the Fox Theatre. The Fox Theatre is, arguably, near the end of downtown headed towards Roubidoux. This theatre hosts a ton of different events, ranging from musicians, plays, and stand up specials. One time the Thunder from Down Under paid the Fox Theatre a visit, as well as Breaking Benjamin. Just looking at the recent events, David Blaine is going to be there, so he’s a great way to waste time, and Dita Von Teese with a burlesque show. So far the theatre is the best bet, but only on specific dates.
The only way one can have a good time in Riverside, let alone downtown, is to know the area and have connections. There are only two possible outcomes that can help us evade this dilemma, either lower the drinking age or open up more gay clubs. Because watching paint dry is more fun than driving all over downtown wondering what the fuck to do.