Saturday, March 21, 2009
Good news and bad news from the neighborhood.
The recent economic downturn has impacted me a little bit, but nothing I can't survive. I have other friends who are experiencing difficulties, and there are stories from blog buddies who have hit some tough patches, like Lisa and Mathman down in Georgia, but I don't have much personal contract with the "OMG, it's a freaking disaster!" side of the economy right now.
On the bright side, I'd like to give a shout out to my neighbor Segway of Oakland. I thought it was a little funny when I moved in over a year ago that I was one block away from their store front, but just recently the company invested in a brand new truck, their website appears to be updated regularly and the guy running the place is making a go of it. Yay, small business!
But then there's the bad news. On Sunday, the Parkway Theater will be showing its last movies. I love the Parkway. I saw movies I liked there, I saw movies I hated there, but I always liked going to the Parkway. Since I've moved into the neighborhood, the Parkway has been the most common way for me to get together with my adorable niece Holly and her fiance Cleavon. The ticket prices have been kept low and the food choices, like sandwiches, pizza, buffalo wings and honest to goodness nachos (not movie theater nachos) were always tasty. If you got there early, you and your friends could sit on a couch, have some simple, satisfying food and some beer or wine, and enjoy a movie in a civilized manner. Even if you didn't get a couch, there were comfy chairs and tables to place your food and drinks. It was really a great place for movies.
My favorite night this year at the Parkway was watching the election results there with my high school buddy Steve Lilley. Admission was free, but of course we both got something to eat. That was their business model. Not much to get in the door, but once you're in, you can get something to eat and drink you couldn't get at any other theater.
The Parkway has been a big part of the neighborhood, and losing them is going to be a blow, not just to Holly and Cleavon and me, but to the East Lakeside district and to Oakland in general. I wish the owners all the best with their second theater (now their only theater), the Cerritos up in El Cerrito, a suburb north of Berkeley.