Countries represented thus far: 6
Countries I'm certain will not be represented thus far: 1 (North Korea)
Times beaten up: 0
Times I've been told to stop attempting to speak another language: 3 (all Spanish)
People from other press outlets with the same story idea as me encountered: 4
Goals missed due to unfortunate travel mishaps - 1
If you breathe in deeply enough walking down Broadway in Astoria, you can smell the wafting scent of gyro off a million food carts.
Then again, I suppose that's true of pretty much any neighborhood in New York. But, point being, there's a lot of Greek people in Astoria.
Sleep and subway construction prevent me from getting out to Astoria before like the 30th minute of the game, but I'm in luck. At this point, Greece is still down 1-0.
The crowd at Omonia Cafe seems surprisingly indifferent - there's actually one France jersey and no Greece jerseys. It's a pretty nice sidewalk cafe with three flatscreens showing the game - regardless, I head down the block to the area's generic Irish sports bar, Gleason's, where, despite the blasphemous Nigerian flag flying alongside the Greek one, there's a few Greek jerseys to be seen.
It's fascinating to watch as the tide slowly turns in the game from Greece being probably the least likely group to advance in any group to victors over the upstart Nigerians. The first goal gets applause, but compared to what I've seen from supporters of other countries, I'd call it like a polite clap. For the second, people get pumped. People seem generally surprised - but kind of excited - when they hold on for the W.
For the France-Mexico game, I make the somewhat questionable decision of hanging out with my friend in our area sports bar, Duke's. If you're familiar, they're pretty great places, if you don't mind spending slightly too much to enjoy the 15-odd TVs and above-average bar food, but, it fits the purpose most of the time. It's pretty empty, even for one of the more exciting games of the tournament, but every TV is showing the game, so I'm pleased. There is a slight cheer when Mexico scores, but, not much in the grand scheme of things. I'll be more adventurous next time.