Hitting the Clubs at San José

By BobbyRica | July 25, 2011

The always charming Nettie Taus returns with this fun ditty. Watch for new BobbyRica adventures this week. And this time, it will be scary!

nightlife buildings

With its lush beaches, verdant mountains, and virile hombres, Costa Rica is the ultimate Caribbean paradise. Provided you’re not in the heart of San José, its capital. But being in the midst of the city after getting caught up with endless meetings, commitments, and dinners, I’m dead tired to go mountain trekking – for now.


While still finding my bearing and absorbing the country air, I decided to go clubbing for some me-time. San José (affectionately called Chepe by its inhabitants), is a bustling, sprawling, and urban city teeming with hubbub. Its urban landscape is a quirky mix of contemporary and the traditional. Colonial churches lie side by side with high rise buildings that reflect pretty much its rich history. There are no street signage, road warnings, and no josefinos to give you real directions. Jacques Grange would have approved!

dance floor

Before hitting the floor that Friday night, I took the three-hour siesta after a luncheon with some associates, for a beauty (and confidence) boost. Whiffed with Coco Mademoiselle and armed with bravado, I decided to hit the town at El Pueblo. It’s the hippest part of the city, just north of downtown. Save from occasional galleries and souvenir shops, El Pueblo is a quirky mix of bars, clubs, and restaurants promising a good time to cozying up to sweaty, fun loving locals. Some clubs offer rock, other offer trance.


I asked the cute cab driver to drop me off at Rapsodia, near the Sabana Park, instead of the more popular Sand Live. It is a regular haunt for technocrats, entrepreneurs, and moneyed yuppies who want to have a good time. Besides, I was not in the mood for booty shaking that night. What I wanted was a cozy evening of men-gazing.

Scanning the lounge, I chose the semi-private room in the left corner before ordering several hors d’oeuvres to pair with my favorite cosmo. The party was just cresting as I saw fashionable Ticans in their Jimmy Choo’s and Manolo’s entering. Several winks and glances from their male counterparts made me blush. Emma Hewitt’s ethereal voice pervaded the air. A lovely evening waited ahead!


Later that evening, clubbers thumped to the beat of the reggaeton. I don’t know, but I guess this is a staple music in any Central American country. As I didn’t feel dancing tonight, I just munched while kept myself on guard for eye candy.

Suddenly, a waiter swung another glass of Cosmo on me. Anticipated my surprise, he pointed me to a scruffy man at the other side of the lounge, martini in his hand. He was in a coat and slim jims. I smiled back and lipped “Gracias.” He went into my directions and in a heavy accent asked. “New here?”

I nodded.

“Welcome. By the way, I’m Rocco.” He extended his hands.

drinking dancing

“Katie.” I shook back.

As he sat at my right, he asked. “So, how do you find our country?”

“Well,” I said, “a different air than the one I had back home. I haven’t adapted much here yet. I was so busy with work that it was only my first night enjoying myself.”

We then chatted through the whole evening. Rocco is a real estate broker. A man of the world, he spent his childhood years at a Swiss boarding school before finishing college at the Sorbonne in Paris. I almost stymied at my own credentials, as I finished mine from a community college in Ohio. But he seemed affable and modest that made me at ease with him.

“Hey,” he remarked. “It’s past two in the morning. I’ve got to go.”

“Oh yes, of course.” I grinned.


“Anyway,” he picked a paper from his pocket. “This is my card. We should meet up again sometime. A lunch probably.”

And that’s how I ended my evening. Three cosmos and a tipsy head later, I headed straight to Soda Tapis, an American diner nearby for a generous serving of BLT sub sandwich. I think I’ll enjoy my stay here in this beautiful country. A good start I guess. And my sandwich tasted fresh.

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