Like any other Sunday in New York City, I brunched. But instead of just bacon and eggs and maybe a flute of champagne at a neighborhood eatery, I brunched with a side of the Euro Cup Quarter Finals… the Italy versus England game to be exact. You might be asking yourself why I am talking about a European soccer tournament on a blog about New York, but you’d be surprised to see how wild the SoHo corner of West Broadway and Grand got with every goal attempt (or made). And with an island made up of Long Islanders and Jersey natives, who do you think the bar was rooting for?
Walking to Felix Bar at around 2:40 p.m., we could hear the British National Anthem blaring from the bar, making SoHo feel like a European “football” stadium. Attempting to get into bar after bar in this trendy neighborhood, we were facing no luck with finding a spot to watch the game, only getting glimpses of it from bar windows. Luckily enough after much weaseling, we found four seats in the dark corner of Novecento, a Latin American bar on West Broadway. Crammed in-between guidos from Jersey and Manhattan WASPs who had no clue who was playing, I nuzzled a Mimosa in one hand and a wonderfully delicious and of course, overly priced cheeseburger in the other while cheering my heart out for Italy to win. Yes, this was a less classy version of New York brunch…. I am pretty sure that my mimosa was spilling everywhere with each one of my yells and cheers.
My favorite part of this very special NYC brunch experience though was the moment when Italy won and every person in the bar jumped up, hugged each other, screaming and buying even more mimosa cocktail despite brunch being long over. Despite the stereotype that no real community exists in lonely ole’ NYC, I really got a good yet brief sense of community cheering on Italy at the corner bar in SoHo. So despite what others tell you, community exists in NYC, especially when it involves soccer, mimosas and a bunch of guidos from Long Island and Jersey.
– Harriet White