Thursday, June 04, 2015

NBA Finals Game 1 at the Pilsner Inn

The Golden State Warriors are a magical little team, and though I don't usually follow basketball, they have turned me and many others into bandwagon converts during this unprecedented-in-forty-years playoff season.

There was nowhere in the Hayes Valley or Civic Center that felt like a good communal watching spot, so I went to the Pilsner Inn, an ancient gay bar with a lovely backyard near Church and Market. The place has been an authentic sports bar since the 1970s, sponsoring gay softball teams, tennis teams, pool teams, and god knows what else. I even took my mother to a backyard patio party there decades ago after my softball team was slaughtered by their softball team, and they sweetly salved our wounds by offering us a steady stream of fresh peach daiquiris all afternoon.

Tonight the crowd at the bar was at least one-third heterosexual couples, which was fine because that's who lives in the neighborhood these days. The overtime NBA Final Game 1 could not have been any more stirring and emotionally fulfilling if you were a Warriors fan, and the crowd was swept up in communal joy.

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