Last year during Pride NYC 2016, Me & a friend of mine had a dilemma… Party or watch the season 6 finale of Thrones? Someone had suggested to her the day before about a sports bar where they, in lieu of a sporting event play Game Of Thrones. I said ” In a bar? No fuckin way. Absolutely NOT. The noise alone will piss me off. “. I told her I would rather watch it on my small tablet that I brought just in case this same problem came up. She went on to explain how everyone stays quiet during the important parts, & cheer during the moments that demanded it.
Reluctantly, I agreed. I’m so glad I did. We got there around 10 mins before the show starting, but the place was packed. I got a preview of what I was in for, The climax to the Battle Of The Bastards. The roar of the crowd. It was fun. Then came the episode we came to watch, The conclusion of season 6. Which had plenty of cheering worthy moments. As my friend said, No speaking when you needed to pay attention to what was being said, but massive cheering when something happened that if you, yourself were at home… Would be cheering internally. No need for that here. I screamed at the top of my lungs. Cheered my heart out. I lost my voice for 2 days afterwards. It was one of my favorite experiences in all my life. That is the truth, not hyperbole.
Fast forward a year later. My brother has joined me. I wanted him to experience the same as I did. We arranged to meet at the bar. He held a spot on their balcony on the second floor. I got there right after work in a frenzy getting out of my Uber, lighting a cigarette just to take a few drags before entering. The line at this time wasn’t very long, and as I approached the bouncer, I pulled my ID out to hand it to him. As he grabs it he tells me, ” You know there hasn’t been smoking allowed in bars since 2003. Where the fuck you been?”. He was stone faced serious. I told him I knew that. I was just waiting for my ID to get rid of it. He gave me back my ID, I went inside thinking that was odd, but forgot about it 10 seconds later as I attempted to part the sea of people to reach the stairs.
Getting through the second floor was a carbon copy of the first. Massive amounts of heads all trained on the screens to the front & sides of them. Watching the concluding minutes of the last episode. As we waited for the previous episode to finish, & our friend from last year to join us, I noticed that this crowd has grown since our previous visit. There was about 200+ people on the second floor with me. Then there was an additional 300 downstairs, & about 40 waiting to hopefully get inside. My sneaky ass was trying to covertly post stickers to the podcast up while our friend was making it through the mob of desperate fans, all thirsting for the opening theme to begin. We got a few drinks, Started to get a good buzz going. That is when we heard the first cheer, It literally shakes the patio. The people waiting on line left in defeat, knowing that they missed the opportunity after hearing the roar from the crowd. 500+ people gathered in one location to experience the climax of the season, that started the ending of the greatest show in television history.
The episode was amazing. We had all the cheer, & oh shit moments we could handle. The bar cleared out & we decide to stay a while. My stupid ass decides to disrespectfully put a sticker on a framed t shirt. The same bouncer happened to walk by. He said ” You wanted to smoke in the bar, now your destroying it! Wow, you’re an asshole” and then walked away, I felt so bad. I tore it down, and we proceeded in our booth. Discussing the episode and how the season played out. What should we expect in the last season. Then the bouncer comes over with a round of shots. Turns out, He’s the owner. He starts in on me again, we laugh. Make room for him to sit as we chat. I told him I felt bad about the sticker, he said ” You shoulda kept it there, Pussy!”. At this moment i’m thinking ” I fuckin love this guy”.
We spent the rest of the night talking about how he came to own the bar, why he was a Sox fan, what its like living in NYC vs Jersey, The lot. It was such a cool experience. It took everything I loved about the previous year, & enhanced it. The craziness of trying to get there on time, Our friends, having my brother there ( it should be said my brother is really my best friend), & the owner being such a great dude. This time it felt more involved, More personal. This has now supplanted the previous year. I felt, it just keeps getting better.
I want to thank the entire staff at Professor Thoms, Jim & John the owners for an incredible night. I will suggest this place to anyone who would listen. This is a magical place. Bring your friends. Its not just about Game Of Thrones, or Sports etc. The environment is what you pay for. The bartenders are always fast and in a good mood. The look & feel is old school and broken in. Perfect night out. If by chance you are from from Boston or are a Red Sox fan & find yourself in NYC, And want to celebrate your team… This is your official embassy. 14th Street & 2nd Avenue.
Thank You Guys
Russell V Williams