Best place to see hipsters play with their balls - 2006
Brooklyn real estate isn't yet at quite the premium of Manhattan's, but it's still a shock to enter a local boîte and see space that might otherwise house more tables, chairs, and other booze-consuming fixtures instead devoted to a pair of lavish indoor boccie courts. Union Hall's stone-dust strips aren't the 91 feet of a regulation boccie court, but they do roll out for 40 or so feet of inebriated amusement. A form of boccie was played as far back as 5200 B.C. Some millennia later, Emperor Augustus was a noted fan. Perhaps it's a bit sad to see this noble and dangerous sport (it's been frequently outlawed as it was believed to distract citizens from their political and military interests) now nearly ruined by post-collegiate boys in ironic T-shirts who don't take the game at all seriously. But beating them soundly should improve one's mood. Though the bar's a bit of a design hodgepodge (part moneyed library, part shabby café), it does feature some rather comfortable sofas, a baboon skull, rabbit sconces, and two marvelous portraits of middle-aged men in fezzes.