Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ping Pong & Beer: The Perfect Combination

I wasn't in the mood to go home one recent Friday evening, but I didn't have any plans. So I gave Paul a ring on my way to the subway. Miraculously, I didn't get his voicemail. Instead, he too was just getting ready to leave.

Let's take a walk, I suggested. He was game. He works exactly 4 stops away, so I met him at the door to his building.

We didn't have a particular destination. First we dawdled along the not-so-scenic streets of downtown Brooklyn and then finally made our way to the much more lively Park Slope.

We walked and talked, all the while keeping an eye out for a good happy hour special. I knew we hit the jackpot when I saw the chalkboard scrawlings outside a bar called Royale. The lure: $3 beers ... and a ping pong table in the back.

Happy hour ended in about 2 minutes, so we hurriedly ordered our drinks and waited for the couple playing ping pong to disappear. My glass was almost empty when they finally stopped playing. So we ordered another round (at full price -- we fell into their trap!) and snagged the table.

I beat Paul twice.

I hadn't played in many years, but ping pong used to be a staple in my family. My parents have a table, and we would regularly play in the garage each summer. I specifically remember having family tournaments at my and my sister's birthday parties each year.

The bar looked familiar, and then I remembered that we had been to Royale once before, right after we first moved to Brooklyn. Back then, there was no ping pong table -- only a dance floor. I much prefer the ping pong.

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