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Saturday is my Friday, which means I've finished work and internship and am usually pooped. Mrs. Nator and I sometimes talk about going out when I'm done work, but it rarely happens because if we don't have a plan I don't have the energy to schlep home, discuss, shower, and go out again.
This past Saturday, however, Mrs. Nator fulfilled one of my wishes by calling me at work to say she was picking me up to take me out, and had the date all planned. It was a good night to do it, as we were celebrating both the illustrious birth of the Trucker (yay, oneofhismoms!) and my finally standing up to an aggravating co-worker. All I had to do was hop in the office shower and toss my scrubs in my bag.
Normally we avoid Williamsburg, Brooklyn, because we are not hipsters. However, there was a restaurant Mrs. N. wanted to try (Fiore, which was a bit disappointing to me, food-wise, but had great atmosphere and service,) and then there was Barcade.
Barcade is a large bar that specializes in two things: microbrewery beers and classic cabinet video games. Again, not being hipsters, we didn't hear about this place until four years after it opened. Once we did, however, we had to go.
It was the perfect date for us. Two drinks apiece and about ten bucks in quarters, and we whiled away several hours in an increasingly drunken festival of giggles and Game Overs. Many of the classic games we remembered were there, from Asteroids to Zaxxon. They had Ms. Pac-Man, Dig Dug, Centipede, and Tetris – hell yeah! Most of our time was spent playing Frogger, Moon Patrol, Q*Bert and Punch Out (Super Mario Bros. was sadly broken, and no-one seemed to be up to taking on Donkey Kong, possibly fearing the wrath of Billy Mitchell).
Of course, everyone's got their childhood favourites, so some might wonder why Berzerker but not Battlezone, Galaxian but not Space Invaders, Out Run but not Pole Position, Gauntlet but not Joust? Personally I'd also like to have tried early classics like Sea Wolf and Stunt Cycle, again, as well as the first laser disc game, Dragon's Lair. But in their place were games no doubt some people were glad to see that I'd never hear of before (Sinistar? Crystal Castles?).
There were no pinball games, alas, but there were pool and a varied jukebox. Being the old hags we are, when someone took it over with metalcore and the place got crowded, we headed out.
All in all, it was more fun than I've had in a while. Often after a couple drinks following a long day, I become paranoid and melancholy. Somehow, however, being around games I had played as a kid circumvented that by bringing back the excitement I felt then - and this time with no spending limits or heshers waiting outside to jump me! The combination was... oddly romantic.