Leilani Lanes will close in a few months, leaving only three bowling alleys left in Seattle. (Let me see… I think that would be the one on Rainier Avenue, Sunset Bowl in Ballard, and the one in West Seattle, right?) All the bowling alleys I went to when I was a kid (not that often) are already gone — Lake City, University Village…
Like skating rinks, bowling alleys take up space that could be used for another Staples or Fred Meyer. As if we don’t have plenty of those already. (Except in Southeast Seattle. A Fred Meyer or a Target would be pretty damned handy down here.)
According to the article, it isn’t a lack of business that is causing the alley to close. But I wonder if bowling alleys, generally, would see a hell of a lot more business if they would have gone non-smoking years ago. Sometimes my friends and I talk about going bowling, but we never go — because most bowling alleys are smoke-infested. (I know there are some that are not, including one on the East side. I don’t think Leilani is one of these, is it?)
Anyway. There are some things that are nice about living in the 21st century. But I don’t think I would mind a few things to be as they were in the mid-20th century — things like bowling alleys, drive-in theaters, and skating rinks where today we have endless condominiums, Office Depots, Sam’s Clubs, and parking lots.
(In a similar vein, Wonder Bread is disappearing from shelves in Washington and Oregon — probably forever. When I was a kid, I ate that stuff. And I remember when the bread aisle at Tradewell was about 60% Wonder and 30% Langendorf. With a few lonely loaves of Roman Meal and sourdough. It’s weird — I haven’t eaten that stuff in years, but I will miss seeing the colorful Wonder Bread packaging.)