I really should Bowlmor

NORWALK, Conn. – It’s the best score I’ve gotten in at least 25 years – something I would have been mortified by as a teenager. A pathetic 86. Whoo-hoo!

Best part was I beat a friend-who-shall-not-be-named. Not bad for a first try out of the gate, bowling for the first time with glasses and from a whole new perspective.

Well, no, I hadn’t noticed that bowling shoes do not have arch support the last time I tried this. I certainly didn’t notice black lights and videos playing over the bowling pins. No one tried to serve me champagne the last time I bowled, either; really wish I had taken a glass.

My friend was my plus-one for the grand opening of the Bowlmor on Connecticut Avenue last week. You know it was good – there we were, a pair of government geeks ignoring the mayor two booths down, picking the orange ball for our labors as we nursed a tasty concoction called “Liquid Courage.”

Go journalism!

Before I go further, lest I be in for a drubbing later, I must point out that my friend roared back with a vengeance and trounced me in our second game, which was quite enough for two middle-aged women who do not jog. She had three spares in a row. I threw my first gutter ball in decades. Took me 19 frames!

I will have you know that I got two spares. She threw more gutters, but she also had a strike. I kept hitting it right for a strike, but there was some conspiracy amongst the pins. I have a witness, she agreed…

Oh, who am I kidding? I’m getting a drubbing later.

Bowling appears to be like riding a bicycle. I effortlessly remembered that aiming trick I had totally forgotten about and I managed not to fly into the lane, although I did come close once. I did notice that I do things I didn’t realize; I wonder if I stuck my tongue out when I was rolling the ball while I was in the high school bowling club…

Funny thing happened while we were bowling; we became surrounded by young people. They were everywhere – swarming the bar, trying out the arcade, and bowling on every lane I could see. Closest I have ever come to being hip, now that I am in my 50’s and no one cares.

Norwalk has something new for Generation Y, my friend said. She offered a perspective I cannot know, she being a long-time Norwalk resident who used to be in a bowling league at the former Rip Van Winkle lanes. The sleepy bowling alley has been reincarnated into something unrecognizable, she said. I wouldn’t know, but I did walk in there once and didn’t notice anything unusual, which means it must have been pretty tired.

I wondered if the lockers had been imported for that “vintage” look. She said no. Everything else was new, she said.

That includes the chandeliers, a cross between a mirror ball and one of those cool ’60’s-ish things you hang over the fireplace – if you have one. (We didn’t.)

The scoreboards hanging over the lanes were like nothing I have ever seen. Would you believe the Bowlmor tells you how fast (or slow) your ball went? I beat my friend. She was rolling between nine and 10 mph and I was solidly over the 12 mph mark. Not that it did me much good. She got 106 in our second game and I got an 87. Ouch.

It only took me seven frames to get my first “Wow, dude!” from the video screen. I should have taken a photo to put alongside my bowling trophies. But I guess that will save me from digging around in my mom’s attic to find those cheap old things.

The abundant young people included lean and cheery types wearing black Bowlmor T-shirts, constantly coming by and asking if we needed anything and trying to take my half eaten salmon. Over my dead body!

Bowling shoes used to be hidden under the counter, as I recall. Times change!
Bowling shoes used to be hidden under the counter, as I recall. Times change!

I am told the Bowlmor employs 60 people. I’m guessing they were all there. Don’t know if they were full-time or part-time, but they seemed to be having fun.

I did not hallucinate the dancing bowling ball. That was someone in a costume… I don’t know if that will be a regular thing. I’m guessing the spotlights in the parking lot were a special occasion-type thing, too.

For this I missed a Zoning hooha! And a Planning Committee meeting.

I guess there is hope for me after all.

But not in the arcade room. I crashed the Batmobile several times. Oh, what my ’70’s-self would think of that!

No old fogies in sight to the left of us last week in the Bowlmor.
No old fogies in sight to the left of us last week in the Bowlmor.
Took a while for the bowling to begin at the Bowlmor grand opening.
Took a while for the bowling to begin at the Bowlmor grand opening.
I recommend
I recommend the Liquid Courage. It had lemonade in it. Also something called “Hendrick’s,” club soda and St. Germain Elderflower Liquer (??).


4 responses to “I really should Bowlmor”

  1. Kay Anderson

    Delightful account – thanks, Nancy!

  2. mollyB

    What a fun story. Keep up the good work!

  3. Mike Mushak

    Fun story! I went there last night (Monday night) and loved it. I didnt bowl but sat in the bar and had a yummy meal. I intend on returning soon to bowl. Be warned: it’s loud, like a nightclub, but I got used to it after a few minutes. I used to hang out in nightclubs once upon a time so it was a retro experience really.

  4. LWitherspoon


    Sounds like you found a good location for the next NoN fundraiser!

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