The Brooklyn Public Library certainly raised eyebrows when it announced that this year’s gala, usually the literary event of the season, would be at a bowling alley.
But the haters were quickly proven wrong, as the literati and glitterati of Brooklyn mingled, ate, danced and bowled contentedly at the Brooklyn Bowl event last Thursday (for the record, haters, the library held the 14th annual gala at the bowling alley because the Central Branch’s lobby is being renovated).
Mayor Bloomberg stopped by to verbally praise the library system (even as it is facing city budget cuts that only Draco would like), but he left quickly and the party began in earnest.
Actress Hope Davis showed great form on the lane — though poor skill as a bowler — as Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Lynn Nottage, Brooklyn Poet Laureate Tina Chang, library board Chairman (and Bloomberg right hand) Anthony Crowell, Rep. Nydia Velazquez, Borough President Markowitz and his chief of staff Carlo Scissura downed appetizers from Blue Ribbon and rocked out to Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings.
There was a massive silent auction including Knicks tickets (Knicks?! Who are they); a baking lesson from Matt Lewis, owner of Baked in Red Hook; and a one-on-one dinner with Nottage. Earlier, wig-wearing performance artists “The Bumbys” pounded out quick-witted personalized poems on a manual typewriter.
But most of the long-hairs were long gone by the time Community Newspaper Group legends Vince DiMiceli and Gersh Kuntzman showed up with their bowling shoes (yes, they own their own). Backed by a generous open bar, DiMiceli made short work of Scissura and political rising star Lincoln Restler before falling to Kuntzman, who had five consecutive marks (a strike, a spare and then a “turkey”) before the lanes were shut down at the ungodly hour of only 10:15 pm.
Kuntzman retired to the now-closed open bar and actually bought himself a drink — he was that upset that the best game of his bowling career had been cut short. DiMiceli and Kuntzman closed down the joint with a boisterous sing-along version of “Layla.”
Later in the evening, the pair encountered the leaf-filled “Theater in a Van” parked on Bedford Avenue. Operator Leon Pease charged Kuntzman $1 to relive a great childhood rite — jumping in a pile of foliage, brought in specially from upstate New York.
It sure beat Bloomberg’s speech.