Magazine Preview: The Vault at 1020

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The Blue and White investigates everything you left at the bar last weekend.

Illustration by Abigail Santner

“It’s just like an Ivy League Eugene O’Neill play,” says Tim Monaghan of the trails of lost luxuries left behind weekly by Columbia students. While bartending 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., Monday to Thursday, Monaghan witnesses students leave behind everything from keys to computers after their “weekly performances of privilege and waste” at 1020.

“They leave some really nice stuff here,” explains Monaghan. “London Fog leather jackets, umbrellas you buy at Saks Fifth Avenue, expensive jewelry, oh you name it.” He spills a beer cup of keys onto the bar. “Where are they going without these?” he asks, holding up an electric car key. “And these, these are the best,” hey says, as he pulls out a stack of credit cards accumulated since New Year’s. A ring bejeweled with a diamond rose slips into his hand when he removes the rubber band-bound wad of plastic.

One of the most recurring left-behinds is the laptop — a sure sign a Columbian was here. “They never claim them,” sighs Monaghan, “they just don’t give a shit. We just send ‘em to the Salvation Army.” If the study aids seem out of place, they are aren’t the only necessities students leave behind. Bras, panties, prescription drugs, and birth control pills found in and outside the bar’s bathrooms form a collection of forbidden fruits hinting at the more passionate side of Columbia students’ weekends.

Monaghan leads the way into the back room, a veritable vault of the most treasured props left behind: a violin, a navy jacket that he insists is the sign of “a real military man,” and a pair of tennis shoes, among others. But even those pale in comparison to the back room’s pièce de résistance: “Someone forgot a friend once,” he claims. “We were cleaning up and he was asleep in the back couch. We didn’t even see him there.”

–Sarah Camiscoli
Interview by Daniella Urrutia

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  1. Anonymous  

    I hate it whenever Bwog interviews people who work for / around Columbia... all they do it bitch about how privileged everyone here is. Do I agree that a lot of students are pretentious? Definitely. But it'd be really refreshing if they could be grateful for two seconds that we give them revenue and jobs.

    • and...  

      Any good social scientist knows the fallacy in the argument here. 1020 has a couple of laptops lying around unclaimed by their owners, therefore Columbia kids are spoiled and privileged assholes who care not for the single most valuable possession they have (probably). Except 1020 doesn't have all of valuable stuff that was left there at some point, BECAUSE IT WAS PICKED UP and now isn't around to serve as evidence. The pile of stuff left by privileged kids grows, while there isn't a pile of stuff left by the majority of responsible students who damn sure would look for their laptop when they lost it.

    • "They should be grateful!"  

      Gee, whoever would read intonations of elitism in that?

      You're a man of the people is what you are.

      • Anonymous  

        The thing is, lots of bars have unclaimed shit. Lots of people lose shit all the time, it just happens that these establishment serve columbia kids, and so therefore columbia people are privileged assholes.

        Every restaurant, bar, store, firm, will all have to do with people that are assholes or pretentious or rude or don't give a shit about their stuff because their spoiled, and that's just as applicable to a bar in morningside or one in the village or on wall street or on the east side. I would venture to guess that this even happens in less gentrified, high-income neighborhoods as well, although I don't want to make a statement like that without data, because I'm sure someone will say that they are more hard working and better value their stuff. Maybe. I don't know.

        But for sure, the attempt to this stuff as evidence of columbia's spoiled pretension is a fallacy.

        • "Lots of bars"?  

          How do you know? I was a bartender in this town for 15 years and I didn't see lots of "unclaimed shit." I saw almost none, in fact. Maybe because I tended to work in places frequented by grown-ups.

      • the irony is fantastic  

        given that you go to this "privileged, elitist school." how about a state school, for someone so modest?

  2. hm

    You know what would be really nice, actually? If 1020 powered on the computers and figured out who they belonged to. Ditto with a lot of those other items, not cool for them to just hang on to them indignantly.

    • Euuh, no  

      Beyond the fact that batteries die down; they're bartenders....NOT administrative staff for your school. It's not their job to hunt you down for losing your expensive Macbook Pro in a goddamn bar.

      Realistically, if these people were actively looking for their lost items...preeetty sure they'd backtrack to the bar where they were with it.

  3. don't worry

    its okay to laugh at ourselves, just for a minute

  4. ...  

    “weekly performances of privilege and waste”
    what the fuck? this city is full of bars where people, college students included, go and get drunk on the weekend. i'm not sure why the staff of 1020 resents its patrons so much.

    • Oh, come now...

      From a frequent patron of 1020, would you qualify any Thursday, Friday, or Saturday night there as something other than a drunken, absurdist performance of "privilege and waste?" The ability to frequent a Columbia bar, reasonably priced as it is, is indicative of a degree privilege, earned or otherwise. And, I think one would be hard-pressed to argue the societal benefit to going to 1020, be it for a few beers and good conversation or to get obliterated. As a beneficiary of such decadence, perhaps Mr. Monaghan ought to soften his chiding tone. But, the fact of the matter is that most of us live in a good degree of privilege, attending top-tier schools. Privilege need not be a pejorative. Likewise, everyone spends a healthy chunk of their time in waste (or wasted).

      Point being, no need to be so indignant! You're fine just the way you are, and I don't think Mr. Monaghan was trying to be overly derisive.

  5. wait  

    who takes their laptop to 1020 anyway?

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