Vomit takes a seat next to the bus stop bench. Trash cans become a landfill for forgotten half-sipped White Claws and 7-Eleven taquitos. Rebellious creatures take flight over speeding cars, their espadrilles kicking up sand into intoxicated faces. Banging doors, broken glass, clothing mangled –– what seems like an abandoned squat house is Blacksburg’s infamous avian-inspired apartment complex, Pheasant Run.
Pheasant Run isn’t famous for its unsettlingly cheap rent (hence my choice to live there),1990’s interior, broken sliding doors or crackling seed pods that become one with the beige carpet –– only the parties. An unofficial right-of-passage into Virginia Tech and under-age drinking culture the first weekend of classes, freshmen feverishly chase after buses and weave through the neighborhoods like mice searching for cheese.
As a self-proclaimed expert in Pheasant Run shenanigans, my time spent living and breathing inside Pheasant’s walls opened a portal to another side of Blacksburg, one that is sloppy and hard to not love wholeheartedly. Part of me would suggest to skip Pheasant Run and party literally anywhere else, but it would be tragic to forgo a perfectly horrific and hilarious story to tell years later. Before you get kicked out of a party for trying to take home the party thrower’s girlfriend or steal some Fiestaware (like me), educate yourselves on partying smarter, yet harder in a neighborhood that doesn’t sleep.
Please take the right bus
Learning the bus system by the first weekend of class feels like navigating the uncharted West like Lewis and Clark. Before you start chasing buses across Squires West and East, check the times that buses run, since they differ and combine routes at nights and weekends. Buses such as Patrick Henry, Progress B and, at night specifically, North Main Street, will take you near the possibly fake, but never investigated boulder that alerts and welcomes you to one of the most mind-boggling complexes in the New River Valley.
Do not get into strange cars
It’s shocking that in 2019, we still have to remind people not to enter strange vehicles. However, apps like Uber and Lyft have made entering unfamiliar cars cheap, enjoyable and partially free of risk. There is something about drunk people and partially moving fuel-efficient vehicles that creates a rush of animalistic instinct to the point where they charge or thrust upon cars to show a form of dominance. Please don’t get killed in Pheasant –– that’s an awful way to go. If you choose to pay strangers to escort you around for money, verify that you have the right driver before getting in to save a helpless resident going to 7-Eleven a heart attack.
Don’t throw Kroger carts into the pool
Or Food Lion carts, either. I would say it’s a shame, since the incidents have caused a possibly permanent shutdown of the pool, but the concrete sinkhole served no sober, or drunken, enjoyment. But, if you choose to commit larceny, don’t get caught. Just grab your ”groceries” from the Food Lion down the street and use the cart like a Bird scooter.
Bring your own beer. And boxing gloves. Not only is the neighborhood great for warm beer and jungle juice, but fight club-style brawls, based off my investigative voyeurism, have risen 200% since living near major fraternity apartments. One night in particular, at the ripe hour of 4 a.m., a group of people stripped their clothes and wrestled, as if in slow motion, with cult-like chants around them. If that doesn’t have enough hidden symbols and lessons spelled out, remember: You can use anything as boxing gloves, as long as they are taped to your hands.
One almighty rule that can’t be forgotten can be spoken for by every resident: do not park, and if you aren’t sure if you can, don’t. The cost of a resident or tow truck snagging your car isn’t worth the emotional duress that could be sustained. But, for safe partying: phone a friend, a local, a Reddit page, but not a stranger, unless it’s an Uber driver.