Thursday, April 17, 2008
Despite my sycophantic love for The Big Lebowski, I'm not much of a bowler. I always thought I should be. Unfortunately, like most activities involving balls (other than sex), bowling intimidates me. That said, I do like bowling alleys, and I am pretty sad to hear that Sunset Bowl closed its doors after 51 years of business.
You may be wondering why I like bowling alleys if I don't like bowling, and my #1 answer is that they are not giant hideous condo developments that mar the landscape and serve no useful purpose to anyone other than their wealthy residents. My #2 (composite) answer is that there is always a good mix of people at bowling alleys, bowling is a good excuse to drink cheap beer, and I certainly prefer the aesthetics to that of the ball-less yuppie bistro that will undoubtedly replace Sunset bowl.
I used to be able to say that I was conveniently located next to Sunset bowl, but now I will have to say that I am conveniently located next to a giant condominium. This will be useless as a landmark, seeing as how Ballard is full of giant condominiums. Speaking of which, I saw a really excellent bumper stick on 1-5 the other day. Hippie parents and a tenure at Evergreen killed my love for bumper stickers, but this one is a real exception: Ballard Welcomes Our New Condo Overlords. As I suspected, it's from Archie's. I'd put that on the van.
But I digress....I missed the closing night at Sunset because I was out of town. I ran into my friend Thirsty on the bus and he filled me in. Evidently he had to bowl in his socks. The guy behind the counter said everyone was just walking out with their bowling shoes. When I asked him about it, Thirsty conceded that the guy's tone was 'vaguely pissed off'.
The last time I had seen Thirsty, previous to our bus run-in, was at Sunset. It was on the same expedition that I noticed that Sunset employed a hunchback and a punk albino, both quite efficient. I remember thinking that I was unlikely to find a hunchback and a punk albino employed in the bland 'retail spaces' that will undoubtedly replace Sunset Bowl.
Sunset wouldn't have won any beauty contests either, but it had character, heart, and soul. They write songs about that shit.