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Dispatches From Last Call

It’s time to go home.

Ever found yourself at last call at 1020? At around 3:30 a.m., a lot of things stop making any sense. Here are some observations and stories about Columbia’s infamous dive bar. 

“Just twenty more minutes!” your friend yells as they head towards the pool table. An hour passes, and the loud roar of the Columbia dive bar has died to a faint whimper. You find yourself ordering a drink you don’t need on a hard barstool that’s a weak replacement for your bed. You watch the big screen on the back wall change from a football game to Thelma and Louise as you wait for your friend to stop flirting with a guy she probably won’t be interested in by tomorrow. Earlier that night, students like you bounced between the “Best Student Bar in NYC” and Mel’s in search of where the real fun was to be had. Call it naiveté or persistence, but the students that frequent the bars of Morningside Heights each week deserve some acknowledgement. Normally by around 2 a.m. most have given up on their bar crawl quest. The rest, well, are still holding onto hope (like me), left in green booths to be collected by friends (like you), next to strangers that will probably pretend to have never seen them for the rest of the school year. That is, unless they’re friendly. (Unlikely.)

If you’re at 1020 at last call, one of the following has happened:

  1. You have forgotten where you are and/or are experiencing an existential crisis
  2. You’re still waiting for the bartender to close your tab from an hour ago, but somehow, they still haven’t gotten to you
  3. You’re on a whirlwind of a drunken adventure that, regardless of what may happen the rest of the night, will only end in a drunken disappointment

Maybe you’re that girl in the corner, debating whether or not you’re going to go back home with a guy after he offers you cocaine.

Or you’re making out with someone against the pool table as someone passes by and swipes your drink.

Sometimes even debates over British imperialism may take form. No, not even at 1020 are you spared from the intellectual flexing of history students.

You might find yourself in a booth with older men from the Netherlands, Australia, and Great Britain, people-watching and laughing about who pushes their way through the crowd past the bar.

The saddest part might be the fact that you don’t have to wait in line for the bathroom, where there’s never enough soap or toilet paper. There probably is, however, the scent of vomit lingering in the air, but not enough to raise any real concern.

Even when you do decide to leave, you’ll see people smoking cigarettes outside, talking to other visibly drunk people trying to make fast-friends with the bouncer.

But no matter what you see, every last call is different. That’s the real magic of 1020.

Bwog does not endorse underage drinking or cocaine use.

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