Anyone who grew up in my hometown deep in the suburban sprawl of the Los Angeles area will tell you there is not a lot for young people to do. In the mid-eighties there was a teen club called Seventh Street, on Seventh Street, for about five minutes. There was the mall. There was a mini-golf place where we went sometimes. There was bowling where I went with my boyfriend to play video games. And there was the movies.
Other than that, it was keggers with the party crowd, of which I was not a part. I went to a few but there was a lot of trashing of homes. I didn't dig breaking stuff up just for the joy of breaking it. Ultimately, I was a goth kid who like the fashion and the music but not the more violent, punk lifestyle.
And there was the park to go hang out in after dark, usually you'd bump into other kids from school who were there to do drugs, another thing I wasn't into. If you drove, you could go to the beach, which I did do my senior year.
Anyway, there wasn't a bunch to do. In 1986 or '87 the mini-golf course expanded to include a restaurant, go karts and some rides. It was at least somewhere to go and do stuff.
There's still not enough to do, unlike Austin. In Austin we can go to the Children's Museum, the Capitol grounds, Zilker Park, Peter Pan mini-golf, any of the bounce house places around, the zoo. We're not at a loss for entertainment.
My dad and I were brainstorming about what to do today, so we asked the kids. They said they wanted to go mini-golf. I looked up the old haunts on yelp and found out the mini-golf/amusement park was rated as dirty, smelly and populated with gangbangers. It was also noted that you needed to lock your car because the crime rate is high.
This made me sad. I know that nothing is ever the way you remember it, but to learn that a place where I hung out as a teenager and a young adult was said to be not all that safe and not all that fun.
Then, I looked at the big place in Ontario that was built in the early 90's. Mini-golf and amusement park rides that were fun. My friends Kathye and Susi went there with me the day after my grandmother's funeral to ride the roller coaster for my grandma, because she loved roller coasters. We rode the roller coaster, the Tilt-a-Whirl, the Viking Ship, the roller coaster again, the Tilt-a-Whirl again, then the roller coaster again all in short order because we were the only ones there that early. Then I felt sick and had to go home.
The reviews were also that it was old, dirty and in bad repair. The golf course was okay but the people there cussed, smoked and once there was a man there filming girls. When a mom started to watch him while she went inside to alert someone, he bolted. Also something that made me sad. It's never happy to find out that even a possible pedophile is hanging out somewhere I might take my kids.
I got the idea to check for bumper bowling. There's no smoking in any public place in California now and in the afternoon during the week it might not be so busy.
Yelp listed the closest bowling alley as clean, friendly and a definite place to go. One reviewer said he'd like to get shit-hammered drunk and go to Cosmic Bowling, where everything glows in the dark with club music playing. THAT'S who used to go hang out at that bowling alley, young people who drank and walked across the street to the sleazy arcade to buy pot.
We're going to be bumper bowling today. We'll have fun and I will be able to see my high school from there. Hopefully I won't have any flashbacks and if I do I hope they are of my senior year, which was pretty good.
Amanda's beauty tip of the day: When you are traveling to a different climate, your skin will act differently so be prepared to switch up your routine while you're away from home.