Thursday, December 23, 2004

Innocence Lost...Via Bowling and Terrorism


How often do you wake up to read in the newspaper that Yasser Arafat secretly ran one of your staple childhood hangouts? Well whatever…something like that. Here's a little Central Village history lesson for all you relatively recent immigrants to NYC. Bowlmor wasn't always like it is now.

Growing up, is was just a regular bowling ally. It was dirty and rundown just like any other. The bubble above it, now the club 'Pressure', was actually a Health and Racquet club run tennis court, where myself and superstar politiblogger Matthew Yglesias took lessons alongside our other friend Brian and some kid named Toby. Our grade school held the after-school bowling program at Bowlmor, and countless birthday parties were thrown for us there. My most distinct memories are playing the shit out of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade game while waiting for our parents to pick us up. I can only imagine a Jagermeister Ice Luge is now where it once stood.

Up through High School we would go to Bowlmor on early Saturday nights, where we could smoke cigarettes and drink moderately priced pitchers of beer while we threw a couple of frames without hassle or consequence. Then one day, seemingly overnight, they converted it into the vile nightclub that we have now. Gone was the underage drinking and delinquency...shit, we couldn't even get in the elevator with our fake ID's anymore. It went from our shitty little neighborhood hangout, and bastion of thousands of childhood memories, to some sort of trendy hotspot where people from above 14th street trekked down to so they could act hip, ironic, authentic...whatever. I walk by the place every day coming home from work...and I can only shake my head with memories of a better time.

So when I read this morning that history's most notorious terrorist was associated with the people who turned my childhood into a nightclub, I can only laugh, and feel somewhat vindicated.

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At 6:01 PM, Blogger joeyNYC said...

I laughed, I cried. It was an emotional roller-coaster!

But on the real, it's funny that everybody has their childhood bowling alley memories. For me it was the Cloverlead Lanes in North Miami Beach, Florida. My double digit birthday was there, and I still remember pulling into the parking lot with my parents more excited than a 17-year-old in a strip club - not that I knew anything about boners at the time or anything. Anyway, now Cloverleaf is ghetto as fuck and one summer during college I went with some friends just for shits and giggles. Two days later two teenagers got stabbed there. Yikes.

Longest comment ever?

 
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Yikes indeed. Someday I'll tell the legend of Le Q...the Yakuza-run pool hall on 12th and University where shootings and stabbings were commonplace till it closed/got shut down. Now it's a high end antique store.

 
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