Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bowling: A Comparative Study

I love that split-second feeling of elation just before I get a strike, when I know the bowling ball will hit the center pin and the rest will soon come crashing down.

It's a feeling I don't get very often, and Saturday night was no exception.

After watching the Red Sox destroy the Mets in an exhibition game Saturday, a group of us went to a bowling alley not too far away in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It was not only my first time bowling in New York, but also the first time I've bowled in two or three years.

I never bowled too often in Ohio-- maybe once or twice a year. In other words, just often enough to keep my average at about 100 and rarely higher.

Waiting for my turn Saturday night, I compared the alley to those I've visited in Ohio. The Williamsburg alley had a '70s feel: 8 lanes, no frills. A small black and white screen at each lane tabulated the scores, but there was no overhead screen like at the large, popular, modern alleys.

To the left of the first lane was a wall-length window. On the other side of that window was the connected bar, about as big as the alley itself. The bar was sunken about three feel below the alley itself, giving drinkers a unique view of the action on the other side.

To the right of the eighth lane was an exposed brick wall with -- and this amused me -- a sagging American flag with only 48 stars.

All in all, it was pretty similar to the alleys in Defiance, except this one was smoke-free and had better beer.

It was completely different to the alley we'd occasionally visit in Columbus, however.

The C-busers know what I'm talking about: Columbus Square Bowling Palace. It might be known as ghetto bowling for it's questionable east side location, but inside it's 64 lanes of bowling pleasure with a wide variety of '90s tunes. And it's open 24 hours.

So how'd I do on Saturday? I barely broke 100 in the second game thanks to a 10th frame strike. I was secretly (well, not so secretly now) quite pleased.


  1. The next time you visit us, maybe I'll take you guys out for some true ghetto bowling. The Hillendale Bowl, about two miles away, is BYOB, there are no electronic scoreboards (I'm guessing the alley hasn't been updated since the early '80s? LOL!) and it's $10 all you can bowl Saturday nights. Classy!!! It's also duckpin style, which seems to be kind of popular here in Maryland. It is a good time! And yes, I suck at bowling as well.

  2. Oh my. Sounds like a blast from the past! The bowling alley my sister and I go to down here is a huge two-story place (it's called Super Bowl), but it always throws me off when we walk in and there's people smoking. It is always PACKED on weekend nights.

    It's so funny to think of a bowling alley in a city! For some reason I just think bowling alleys are too large to find a place in a crowded city.



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