March 18th, 2012

I have kind of an odd one for you this month. Who knows, though, maybe one of you out there will have been dreaming of this all your life and I’ll be the one to tell you about it. For the rest, hopefully it’ll be a sweet little curiosity that’s maybe worth checking out instead of a movie on some day off. Ready for it? I want to tell you about a pinball museum in Alameda.

What would a pinball museum even look like, you ask? This, anyway, is what I wondered in the months between the first time I heard of it and the first time I went. Well, it turns out that it’s a whole lot of pinball machines, separated into different rooms by era. And what’s great about it is that not only are they all in working condition, but with the price of admission you can play them all for free! For me this was the real draw of the place because I, for one, am not such a pinball aficionado. The historical machines would have had no interest for me if I couldn’t touch them and even then I had very little curiosity about the shifting mechanics through the years, I only wanted to keep stopping that damn little ball from getting past my flippers. To get infinite shots at that task, though, was amazing. My ability to continue playing was tied, for once, to neither the number of quarters I could scrounge up nor any particular personal skill. It was sweet release from past pinball experience.

I don’t imagine you could get a life changing experience out of this place, but, you know, some days it rains. Some days when you’re away from home you get bored. Some days quirky is more appealing than grand. If you find yourself having one of those days while you’re here with us, I recommend the pinball museum.

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