Greenwich Village’s Bowlmor Lanes on University Place, open since 1938 and one of the longest continuously running bowling alleys on the East Coast, shut its doors on Monday to make way for new condominiums.
Much more than the disappearance of another landmark is the loss of Mark Braunreuther, Bowlmor’s man at the door for the past 16 years: benevolent minder, gentleman greeter, peacekeeper on the rowdy corner between Bar 13 and Bowlmor, an area labeled by one resident as the intersection between “Bucket” and “Blood.” On weekends, residents regularly awaken to police sirens and find violent traces splattered on early-morning sidewalks. Mark was always deep in the fray. His judiciousness was the reason so many revelers went home unharmed.
Mark B. was the mayor of University Place. He knew most of us, and all of our pets, by name. Last summer he tended corn seeds in the tree bed out front. Just seeing those struggling cornstalks made one glad for summer. This coming season, he was planning some tomatoes.
Mark regularly brought my husband and me cake from his favorite Queens bakery. The box always included biscuits for our dog. We reciprocated with Carolina barbecue sauce.
Mark lost everything in Hurricane Sandy — his entire apartment and his car. His bosses replaced the car so he could get in from Far Rockaway. And when our Bowlmor closed for good, they promised a good position at their Chelsea Piers location. Mark was very grateful but he admitted he’d miss our neighborhood.
Mark died suddenly a few weeks before Bowlmor Lanes closed its doors forever.
Rest in peace, brave knight. I, for one, will miss you long after a bowling alley is a distant memory.
View the original article here