I was a troubled lad, whose father died in 1966. To escape, I began playing bridge at the Chess and Checker Club of New York in Times Square, better known as The Flea House. It was run by John Fursa, a former bridge player. It was the place where serious Scrabble originated. I graduated to the Gothem Bridge Club on 72nd Street. Down the street was the Chess House, another offbeat place that had bridge in the back, run by Jimmy Hamilton.
Plus... it's free!