Saying Goodbye

Update: I have confirmed this with my own eyes and with a former staff member. Goodbye Zero Gravity.



This has been a VERY hard week. Although I’m not going to peel back every layer of the onion regarding what’s been happening, I am going to share the one part of it all that I think is probably relatable to a lot of laser tag players right now who are unable to play because either their local arenas are temporarily closed or…(sigh) permanently closed.

I didn’t write about this immediately because it’s tough to know what is really “permanent” in the middle of all this uncertainty, but from all indicators and according to what I see on Google it appears that my home Zone arena, Zero Gravity, has indeed closed down for good. The removal of their FB page further reinforces that this is likely correct. This really hits me hard right now because, after the week I have had, what I really need most right now is to have someplace to go and tag out all my frustrations and I simply don’t have a place to go and do that right now. And this is now the second time that I have had to look back on the last night I had at one of my favorite spots and shake my head at the fact that I had no clue it was the last time.



If only my birthday had fallen on a Thursday I would have gotten one more opportunity to play there. You see, my birthday was in early March and all I wanted to do was play tag and go out for sushi. Every time I played at ZG I would also go out to Sushi X in Latham for dinner because they have THE BEST all you can eat sushi menu in the capital district. But this year my birthday fell early in the week when both places were closed, so I settled for eating at a lesser sushi restaurant and playing laser tag at a bowling alley instead. Then two weeks later COVID shut down the country and I never got the chance to play at Zero Gravity again.

Even though at the time I didn’t know it was my last night there, a couple of weeks prior to that birthday evening I do remember going out to ZG on the weekend and having a killer night of laser tag and driving home feeling very happy. I’m grateful that at least I have that as my last memory of this arena where I have played regularly for over five years. In fact, I am lucky to have many wonderful memories of Zero Gravity, so let me take a moment to reminisce with you and say a proper goodbye to one of my favorite laser tag arenas as I reflect on some wonderful memories from the many nights I spent there. I’ll always remember the smell of the briefing room and the vortex gate opening into the vesting room.



My very favorite memory was starting a huge weekend-long party with friends who were visiting from all over the country and going out to play for what would be the very last time on the Infusion system about one week before they upgraded to Helios Pro. Big thanks to Mike for making sure we had a party room available to hang out in for our official pre-event gathering!



This is where I taught my mother how to play laser tag (her first and only time doing so).



Spending International Laser Tag Day playing laser tag with French foreign exchange students was a truly international tag experience.



I had a blast tagging with the Royal Rangers.



Big thanks to Donnie for hooking me up with the very first ZG membership card slightly before they were officially available to the public.



And I'll always remember ruling the ramp!



ZG was my first stop just after I got my new phone in February and I tested it out by taking some arena photos, so I can share with you what this 5000 square foot arena really looked like.



And if memory serves me correctly this may have been the very first laser tag shirt I ever acquired, starting out what would become a pretty massive tag t-shirt collection!



I want to thank Donnie, Mike, Samantha, Josh, Justin, Brendan and all the others who were part of making this place so special for all of us who got to play there over the years. Reminiscing about it is bittersweet. Perhaps it’s just as well that I didn’t know that my last time there was really my last time because my memories can still stay in a “perfect bubble”. Goodbye Zero Gravity.



Yesterday I took a different approach by deliberately going back to say goodbye to my childhood home. The house I grew up in will likely be sold by the end of today and, so long as I’m already walking down memory lane, let me throw in a couple of pics of my childhood bedroom (where I social distanced myself LONG before it was a thing) and the view out my window to the lake, which I have just visited KNOWING it was for the very last time…which is a whole other kind of bittersweet.



So, to both of these places that I considered my “home” in different ways, I fondly reminisce about all the good times now that I am here in a new world having to say goodbye.



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