If your goal is to actually get into 1020 (sorry, anonymous Bwog staffer, “1,020” is never gonna happen), The Line is pretty indefensible. The only thing worse than freezing one’s ass off on a cold November night is counting the drunk people walking out the door, hoping there’s finally enough room for you and your friends to squeeze into a hot, sweaty, standing-room-only bar. I’ve never hated fire safety standards more than when I’m wasting a half an hour of my precious Saturday night shivering on Amsterdam Avenue.
But the beauty of the 1020 line are the hard questions it forces its members to ask. Questions like: just what the hell am I waiting for, anyway? What on the other side of that door is more appealing than a dorm party and/or downtown (LOL, just kidding) and/or my bed? Is anything on the other side of that door going to make awkward small talk with my friends while we both constantly check our phones worth it?
The answer, respectively, is “an overcrowded rectangle with a pool table,” “probably nothing, except anything is better than an EC party,” and “nope.” 1020 without the line is, needless to say, a perfectly acceptable option among the slim pickings collectively known as Columbia nightlife. There’s nothing wrong with grabbing a booth with some friends to kill a few hours, particularly on Trivia Night. But 1020 with a line? It’s a healthy dose of perspective, not to mention the perfect catalyst to spending the rest of one’s night in a place where it’s actually possible to have an audible conversation.
Rounding the corner only to find a mob of thirty or so outside Morningside’s most decent-ish watering hole will always be a disappointment. What follows, however, usually isn’t—and that’s the point. There’s no shame in making an impromptu Westside run (drunk salads!!!) or smoking in a friend’s Plimpton suite (best paired with Avatar: The Last Airbender) or just plain falling asleep slightly earlier than planned. Just what would have happened if you’d made it into 1020, anyway? Bar drinks are overpriced, and meeting new people is overrated. #nonewfriends
The 1020 line can be a crucial turning point in any given weekend night, and whether it makes or breaks your evening is entirely up to you. Think of it this way: at its best, The Line saves us from another tragically predictable Columbia night and forces us to get creative. At worst, it makes you wait a little longer for your whiskey sour. If the absolute worst a line can do is slightly delay the inevitable, what’s the point in hating?
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