March Madness: The Pleasures of the Crowd

It’s dark and loud, with a hot wet tang of beer and crowd in my nostrils. A couple to my right screams. To my left a hefty elbow pins the waitress against the bar. The clock ticks, the roar goes up… and as the first dunk slams home, I roar too, along with a hundred perfect strangers in a town that could care less. During these days of late March Madness, New Yorkers are largely oblivious to the crucial ascent of my team: UCLA. And yet last week, a long way from home, I encountered Bruins aplenty…

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