Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Main Street USA

The Flaneur hails from the Narragansett Bay where Aquidneck Island is located. Newport, Rhode Island was a big part of his early saga.

 It was in those days a big Navy town, dyed sailor suit blue. My late father was a Navy man and the sea runs rather deeply in my blood.
From my earliest visits there, I recognized Alameda as a big Navy town as well, although West Coast style and on a  smaller scale. Like Newport it had its Navy base close-down but it still supports a culture which grew out of that era and that environment.

As such it is a threshold to the past that I effortlessly step through to stroll the main drag on the Sunday preceding Memorial Day.

Starting at the far end of town
The three largest liquid bodies in order of size:
The SF Bay, Hetch Hetchy water supply,
and the vast local reservoir of alcoholic beverages

This corner institution is Croll's
 serving tea since 1883

Always a lively scene,
Read the stained-glass sign
Beer is only 5 cents, whiskey only a dime!

For the less anglophile
there's an Irish place across the street--
good to reconnoiter signs of my tribe,
Ronan means people of the sea

A local favorite with kids
still a bit too young for beer

Pacific Pinball Museum 
in all it ponderous glory

You can't play the really antiquated ones
which truth be told seem
like they might be awfully dull

These are what pinball machines looked like 
when I first played them in the 1950s
And these dream machines remain fully operational

Feel like another Belfast?
The plaster patches fill in bullet holes

Just a little building in a nice light,
the kind that falls on you in an earthquake

It's a yard-sale macrame world 
where it seems like it's always
  cocktail hour

So, drink, drink, drink 
drinkyourself under the bridge
Be always drunk

31 August 2014 
Shamrock window August 2013

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