Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Bay Shore Lanes - Santa Monica
I met my wife at the old Pico Bowl which used to exist near the southwest corner of Westwood and Pico. One of my sports-minded screenwriter friends liked to have his birthdays at bowling alleys and minature golf courses. I got there late and too exhausted from work to bowl, so I found myself in a marathon conversation with my future bride on "Human Factors Psychology," the subject of her graduate studies. Long story short: we went out, we moved in together, we got married. They tore down the Pico Bowl and put up the Westside Pavillion. Now the new Landmark Theatres are on the same spot. A few years after we were married, my friend had his birthday at the Bay Shore Lanes in Santa Monica. We came. We wore bowling shirts my wife bought at Aardvarks on Melrose. We bowled. At the time, there was either a fish restaurant or a thai restaurant or whatever in the cafe area. I don't remember the food, but the place was packed and the kitsch factor was in high gear. >Summers in Gardena growing up I used to hide out in the blessed air conditioning of the Missile Bowl on Redondo Beach near Normandie. The location is now a Von's parking lot. But it looked a lot like this place. A lot!Over the years, sometimes before or after going to Vidiots, I've stopped by the bar here a few times. Very cool. Very old school. Very much like THE JOKER on Pico. They have a curving bar, a pool table, and a jukebox. When you get used to it, the sounds of the balls and pins can feel as beautiful as the bells of Notre Dame. Sometime in 1997 or 1998 I wound up bowling for a local non-profit fund raising event. We bowled here at the Bay Shore Lanes. Something in my right leg ripped and I had to walk with a cane for a few days.