Popular Columbia watering hole 1020 was busted for serving an underage patron in an undercover operation conducted on Thursday night. While the State Liquor Authority has set up these sort of stings before, this one was particularly notable because the police's 19-year-old operative apparently had very powerful Old Magic. "The man was 6-foot-6, had a beard, and looked like he was 30," 1020's management told the Columbia Spectator, leaving out descriptions of his blue ox, giant axe, and tendency to bring up the fact that he enjoyed renting cars and listening to Wilco's "newer stuff."
1020 was fined $1,500 as a result of the sting, but Tim, one of 1020's bartenders, told Bwog that they'd fight the charges based on how "intimidating" and "big" the 19-year-old appeared. "He looked like he was thirty-five," Tim said. The bar was hit with a similar sting operation in 2009, and students were apparently caught with fake IDs there in 2011.
Yet some lay the blame on the Spectator, which published an op-ed written by a sophomore about drinking at 1020 three days before the sting. The piece never explicitly mentions underage drinking, but ruminates on the dive's popularity with both young undergrads and grad students.
At the same time, making such drastic changes in my own life has made me realize that social mobility at this school isn’t as common as we would think it to be. People who lived on your John Jay floor eventually became your neighbors in McBain. The teammates you practice with make the most practical roommates. It’s a balance between proximity, chance, and actual socialization, which apparently ended with my Rolling Rock and me in a 1020 chair.
It might be just another place, sure. But I think 1020 represents something larger than just the local campus social scene. It’s because nowadays, the obscure-dive-next-door is what we want, because that is what we define as the most genuine experience.
Yes, you too sounded like this when you were in college. But the real question remains: why would a 19-year-old forsake his brethren for some quick cash? Does the power that grants your squeaky-voiced friends gleeful pulls of Mad Dog corrupt absolutely? Junior Officer Paul Bunyan, if you're out there, send us an email.