Brooklyn, NY – Pins clattered to a soundtrack of the Drifters and the Temptations as if it were a half-century ago when Maple Lanes first opened, only without the clouds of smoke.
Maple Lanes, in Borough Park, Brooklyn, may close in the next few years to house a synagogue and some apartment complexes.
Men wearing gold chains with bowling pin pendants hugged and kissed as if they had not seen one another in years, instead of the Wednesday before, while women unpacked their bowling ball bags and their bravado.
“Attention Parking Lot, all captains report to the bar!” the announcement barked, calling the leaders of that night’s bowling teams. John Lambert, 56, the longtime president of the Wednesday Night Parking Lot league, rushed to collect weekly fees from his 34 teams, whose spirited members range in age from 22 to 78.
Most came as refugees four years ago to Maple Lanes, a bowling center at 16th Avenue and 60th Street, on a triangle bordering Borough Park, Bensonhurst and Mapleton.
“We used to be at Leemark in Bay Ridge,” said Chris Smith, 55, explaining the league’s name. “But they tore that down and turned it into a parking lot for Century 21.”
Depending on the real-estate market and the conflicted feelings of its owner, Maple Lanes, too, might be knocked down, though such a heartbreaking end for its regulars would probably not come anytime soon.