ARTS

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October 2, 2004

Get a Life

There was a time when everyone wanted the cool shoes. You can try to deny it, but I know that you too once wanted a pair of L.A. Lights with purple and pink stars or Reebok Pumps that you could play with until the high-tech pumping "mechanism" broke. My little brother's desire for the hip kicks was so fierce that—back in the day when our feet were the same size—he actually bought a pair of old, beat-up Doc Marten sandals off of me (and we're not talking the masculine-looking variety either).

I'd like to say that we eventually grow out of this, but I think Carrie Bradshaw's Manolos prove that this may not be the case. Feel free to put yourself up to the ultimate test, though, as I did at 10pin Bowling Lounge at the House of Blues Hotel. When you are faced with the nerve-racking decision of whether to pay the $3.95 for the run-of-the-mill bowling shoes or the additional dollar to rent the stylin' '20s wingtips for boys or swing-style for girls, you'll see what you are really made of. How did I do? I failed miserably, of course. I wanted, I needed, I had to have the chic ones, even if it was for only a few hours.

This bowling alley's coolness reaches far beyond its footwear. If you are up for a joint with greasy burgers and greasier clientele, you are going to have to find another locale, because the atmosphere at 10pin is much more lounge than league play. During my visit, I had a smashing waiter who was eager to serve up root beer float martinis and Bud Lights served in bottles shaped like, yes, bowling pins. Also, the menu is chock-full of glamorized classics, such as wings in a plum barbeque sauce and homemade mac 'n' cheese laden with smoked cheddar and breadcrumbs. The pizza proved particularly tasty, especially the supreme.

Although supreme pizza usually brings to mind an array of meats and veggies, this one was topped with rock shrimp, yellow and red tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and leeks with a pesto sauce. Between the fashionable food and the wall lined with 16-foot screens that play sporting events and music videos, you'll feel like you had a classy night out, a feeling you don't tend to get at the typical smoke-filled bowling alley.

I was hoping that some of 10pin's hipness would rub off onto my bowling game, but I think it is physically impossible to look cool while bowling. Maybe I say this because I look absolutely ridiculous and am whole-heartedly praying for bumpers the entire time, but my friend Vance (who is unnaturally good at bowling) didn't look so cool either. We gave him such a hard time about needing to buy his own ball (so he could really get serious about the sport) that I think he actually tried to bring his game down with a few extra bowling pin Buds. I, for one, think he should embrace his bowling prowess. I mean, if the shoe fits