In Days Of Old
The New York Times takes aim at an easy but deserving target, the medieval-themed restaurant:
Things were different then, said Rich Brostowski, 37, the bar manager at Lyndhurst, whose shoulder-length hair and eagerness to demonstrate fighting techniques suggest that he has not completely forgotten his 13-year tenure as a knight. Many of the knights in those early days, he said, read fantasy novels, studied period movies and joined role-playing groups like the Society for Creative Anachronism.
"To me a knight is here," Mr. Brostowski said, pointing to his head. "This place was never just a job for me. I am a knight. That's who I am."
Over the next 10 years the Lyndhurst castle came to have some of the longest-serving knights in the Medieval Times empire. "It was a tight-knit group," said Stephanie Keil, 23, who has been a serving wench for five years. "They were revered and respected and feared." (Later, revealing that she is engaged to Mr. Brostowski, Ms. Keil added with a smile: "I'm a lucky wench.")
Just wait 'til you find out the drawbridge is always down, Steph.
Around 2000, in a phase that a Lyndhurst manager referred to as "corporatization," the company, which is privately held, began tightly standardizing the fight choreography, so one knight could smoothly substitute for one another. (Injuries are not rare.) Personal battle flourishes were curtailed and, under the training of the new corporate head knight, all combat, Tino-style and otherwise, achieved conformity. The knights of Lyndhurst adapted. But eventually discontent arose among the ranks. Two of the castle’s most senior knights, like the disaffected barons of 13th-century England, drew up a list of grievances and began persuading the squires and the other knights to take on the actors' and stagehands' unions as their bargaining representatives.
But 'twas the advent of warblogging that took the hardest toll on the industry.