Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Curling in Brooklyn -- the New York Times reports

Outside of the Olympics, curling doesn't get much ink in in the U.S., and especially not in the famed New York Times. 

So there was reason to take notice when the paper did a story on the re-birth of curling in Brooklyn. Writer Lisa D. Foderaro did a good job of explaining the game and the gathering at the new curling facility.

Akin to shuffleboard on ice, curling was popular in New York City in the 1800s, another time when men grew Smith Brothers beards, and it was played on frozen ponds and lakes. Now, the LeFrak Center at Lakeside, as Prospect Park’s new skating complex is known, is resurrecting the game. 
More than 100 people turned out for an open house in mid-November. Because of the demand, the organizers at Lakeside decided to create three instructional leagues instead of one.

It appeared to be a healthy, happy gathering  at the new club and what they handed out at the end of the evening, may have been one of the attractions.

For now, curling at Lakeside is a decidedly adult sport. That fact is attributable to yet another curling custom — broomstacking. “Traditionally, the winner buys the loser a beer,” Ms. Peace said, nodding toward the bottles of Brooklyn Lager. “We provide everyone with a free beer at the end.”

Of course since the Olympics, curling has gained niche appeal in the U.S., popping up in new spots such as South Carolina. And how many of us have met an American who thinks that they're going to take up curling as a way to get to the Olympics? Ya, never mind those of your fellow countrymen who have been at it for, oh, 20 years or so.

Still, if there's one country (maybe the only?) that's seen significant grass roots growth thanks to curling in the Olympics, it's the U.S. as this NYT article shows.

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