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Paul here, pinch-hitting again for Phil, who has this weekend off.
So: The Tugboat Captain is of Croatian extraction. Her father was born in Pakoštane and lived there through his mid-20s. Neither the Captain nor I cares about soccer, but when Croatia made it into the World Cup quarterfinals, we decided it was time to pay attention. So yesterday afternoon we went off to the United Miners Soccer Club, an Istrian sports bar and restaurant in Queens, where we joined dozens of Croatian expats who were gathering to watch the game.
Unfortunately, neither of us owned any red/white checkerboard clothing to wear for the occasion, but a lot of the patrons and staff did. The place had more red and white checkered fabric than an old-school Italian restaurant:
Too bad the Croatian players were wearing their BFBS change kit instead of their checkered primary set — a big disappointment.
We also enjoyed an excellent order of ćevapčići, the skinless beef sausage commonly found in the region of Croatia, Serbia, and Bosnia. So good! Check this out (click to enlarge):
As for the game, we had a blast watching it in the company of so many Croats (gotta love New York for having such a wide assortment of ethnic enclaves), and the Captain texted her parents to let them know she was representing the family heritage. Naturally, everyone was happy about the results . When Croatia won on the final penalty kick, the place erupted and several people hugged us. Just a great, great time.
Next up, for the semifinals on Wednesday: England!
I’ve also been dealing with a family situation in the midst of all this, so that’s it for today — no sub-ledes, no Ticker. Sorry about that, and thanks for understanding. But we’ll have a full slate of content tomorrow, and I have some really good stuff planned for the coming week. See you then.