Sunday, November 18, 2012

Duckpin Bowling: A Baltimore Pasttime

Anything related to sports or general athleticism never has been and never will be up my alley.  I've written about this in other places, but it bears repeating. It's not that I'm against fitness or some good 'ol fashioned athletic competition, it truly is that I'm just bad at it.  I'm bad at all of it.  I hike because it takes serious skill to mess up walking, even though I managed that back in September when I sprained my ankle on an eight-mile solo hike in the rain in the Blue Ridge.  Safety first, everyone.

Scrabble, proudly singing all the lyrics to R. Kelly's "Remix to Ignition," and eating are all forms of competition I can get behind.  A trifecta of the aforementioned would equate to something that resembles my nirvana.  When I'm feeling particularly limber and in-shape, I'll try putt putt or bowling.  

Baltimore is home to Duckpin bowling.  Wikipedia informed me that other locations claim to be the founders of duckpin, but I'm standing with Baltimore on this one.  The best place, hands down, for duckpin bowling in the city is the Patterson Bowling Center. It's a wonderful dive of a place where you BYOB and occasionally have to precariously walk down the gutters to retrieve your balls that haven't quite made it back to you.  The bathroom stall doesn't lock and sometimes you get to bowl an extra frame because the computer just didn't pick up your last one.  It is one of the best places in the city.

If you like fancy bowling with bells and whistles, definitely keep going.  If you're all about old-fashioned, shoe-spraying, grease on your hands from the never-cleaned balls while you enjoy the well-priced beverage of your choosing that you brought (gluten-free beer from the Wine Source, since you asked), Patterson Bowling Center is the place for you.  It is, in fact, the oldest operating duckpin alley in the country!
Important pointers provided for free.
I went this past Friday night, stopping at Johnny Rad's for dinner.  One of the folks in our party was a duckpin novice, and while we were giving him the rundown of all the glories that awaited him across the street, our server goes, "Are you going to Patterson Lanes?  I LOVE THAT PLACE."

Everyone loves duckpin.  Don't you love duckpin?  You should love duckpin, and if you don't, it must be because you have yet to go.  So call ahead and reserve your lanes at Patterson Bowling Center.  I promise you the battle for parking by the park is absolutely worth it.
Friends taking their duckpin seriously.  Duckpin is no joking matter.

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