Weekly staff members recall how they rang in the big 2-1

Danny Mahoney

Not many people get to ring in their 21st birthday playing a DJ set for a Strip-side nightclub full of EDM loving club goers. Well, Wynn resident DJ Alesso is doing just that at XS this Monday. With that in mind, Weekly decided this was the perfect opportunity to compare Alesso's awesome, over-the-top experience with our, well, not as awesome, not-so-over-the-top experiences. Enjoy (and wish our editorial intern a happy belated 21st)!

Sarah Feldberg, editor

Anti-climactic to the extreme, my 21st birthday fell toward the end of a semester studying abroad in Spain. After six months of drinking (legally) all over Europe, the big day felt like a big shrug, and I celebrated in Interlaken, Switzerland, by attempting to snowboard alongside overly skilled German 8-year-olds and playing a few rounds of pool in the hostel where I was staying with a friend. When we told a pair of Canadians at the hostel that it was my 21st, they asked, “That’s a big deal in the U.S., right?” But surrounded by snowy peaks in one of the most beautiful places I’d ever seen, it couldn’t have felt less important.

Brock Radke, web & food editor

I had my first legal drink alone in the fish bar at the Peppermill in Reno. It’s not because I was a burgeoning anti-social alcoholic. Who have you been talking to? My 21st birthday fell on the Sunday after a big-time college football game in Reno, when my hometown Oregon Ducks visited my school, the University of Nevada. Saturday was marked by all-day tailgate boozing (and an Oregon victory), so my crew was still recovering at the midnight hour. I crept out of a house full of couch sleepers, landed in the fish bar, and ordered a whisky sour. I was quickly discovered and a normal night of partying ensued, but I’ll always best remember my quiet birthday drink in a crazy casino lounge.

Spencer Patterson, managing editor

I was—what else?—putting out a newspaper the night I turned 21. So, when the clock struck midnight, two fellow editors at my college newspaper took me to a little dive down the block and bought me a few shots of something that tasted terrible. Then we went back to the newsroom and finished putting out the issue. As I drifted off to sleep a few hours later I wondered what fuzzy-headed horrors I’d find in my section the next day.

Mark Adams, associate web editor

I’m a native Las Vegan who enjoys a good cocktail and has an affinity for dancing, so you might imagine that I had a rockstar 21st on lock – think again! Most of my friends have Spring birthdays and I was born in November, meaning most of my fellow partiers couldn’t club it up with me for a good few months. So, my twin sister and I decided to opt for some freshly-legal shots at our usual Monday night spot, Buffalo Wild Wings (of all places, I know). A few friends showed up to help us celebrate, and we ended the night with – what else? – playing slot machines … at Sunset Station (blackjack was too thick for my 21-year-old lifeguard blood). Needless to say, 22 was quite awesome in comparison (R.I.P. Blush)!

Devin Altschul, editorial intern

Having just turned 21, like Alesso, I spent my 21st birthday at Encore. I started the night off with dinner at Botero with 10 of my closest friends, and a magic show at the dinner table. Afterwards I met up with more of my friends and partied the night away in a bungalow at Surrender. The highlight of my night though came when I went back to my hotel room and was surprised with a rhinestone stiletto Christian Louboutin cake. It was a great time and I got to combine my love for family and friends, celebration and shoes all into one night!

Allison Duck, web calendar editor

I didn’t really drink in college so it’s no surprise that my 21st was tame. My birthday falls just after Thanksgiving which, when you’re in college, means you’re likely with your family and not playing beer pong at a frat house.

I spent Thanksgiving and thus my birthday at my aunt’s. When we left for the holiday, I had just started to wade into girlfriend territory with a guy who I’m still with a decade later.

Given the slightly undefined nature of our budding relationship, I didn’t necessarily expect a birthday call. He and a bunch of our friends had returned to school early for our big rivalry football game the day of my 21st. He called and passed the phone around as several friends, each more drunk than the last, extended birthday greetings.

So while I was home having a nice family dinner for my 21st, I felt better knowing my friends were celebrating properly.

Don Chareunsy, A&E editor

This is a Double Debbie Downer: My Ides of March birthday in college at Gonzaga University was always a bummer because it fell on Spring Break, and most, if not all, of my friends went home or on fancy trips. During the week of my 21st birthday, one of my good friends and classmates (the girlfriend of my best friend from college) died of bone cancer -- Mary Christina (Chris) was 20. But it was good to be there for my best friend Matt, and my final birthday in college - my 22nd - was a fancy Spring Break road trip with friends to Vancouver, B.C., with a stop in Seattle on our way back to Spokane. On your birthday, no matter what age, remember to celebrate life: Chris always did.


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