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Truck Plows into McGee’s on Park Street

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A driver of a Toyoto four-door pick-up truck slammed into the entryway of McGee’s Bar & Grill at 1645 Park Street at around 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 31.

Several firetrucks responded after the accident knocked out water and electricity at the bar, and smoke from the tires (caused by the driver attempting to move the vehicle) initially sparked concerns of a fire at the popular watering hole.

According to firefighters at the scene, the driver walked away from the accident and refused medical attention. No injuries were reported as of 9 p.m., though extensive damage to the front of McGee’s was caused by the accident.

Two blocks of Park Street (between Lincoln and Buena Vista avenues) had to be closed while the truck was towed away.

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Bye-Bye, Alameda Donut Shop

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Dozens of Alameda residents visited Golden Pin Donuts on Park Street one last time on Saturday, March 26, the final day that the friendly shop was in business.

Owner Rahim Seyedin, a native of Iran, decided to retire after 26 years of running the store.

As customers lined up for the final batches of fresh donuts on Saturday, many stopped to shake Seyedin’s hand and thank him for his friendly, community-focused service.

When asked about the shop’s name, Seyedin said a friend suggested it and thought it was “lucky.” It refers,”you know, to a golden rolling pin” that a baker would use for making treats, he explained.

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The staff at the donut shop say a Chinese restaurant is set to occupy the space.

Hopefully, another donut shop or bakery (or two) can open soon on Park Street. With the the closing of Bonaire Bakery (several months ago) and now Golden Pin Donuts, those with a sweet tooth are out of luck in this section of town when it comes to a shop dedicated to such delicacies.

There is, of course, Feel Good Bakery (down near Buena Vista and Park), and a new sweet-treat shop has been set to open on Park Street near the Bank of America for several months — but hasn’t shown any signs of life lately.

Given its history and warm-hearted service, Golden Pin will certainly be missed by Alamedans and others.
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Alameda’s Park Street Hosts Popular Event

The Park Street Business Association is celebrating: The 26th-annual Park Street Art & Wine Faire, held July 24 and 25, was a big success.

Visitors came from around the Island and throughout the Bay Area to clown around, enjoy refreshments and live music, games and other activities.

The event attracted visitors from lots of generations, who came to the event by bike and other modes of transport. Bike Alameda even provided free valet bike parking.   

The Park Street Business Association will be hosting a business mixer from 5:30-7 p.m. on August 19, and the Classic Car Show is set for October 9.

Many thanks to community photographer James Fryer for the images.

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Alameda’s Weekend Activities: Good to Go

Coming up next weekend Park Street hosts its annual Art & Wine Festival on Saturday and Sunday (July 24-25) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. Apologies for posting the event for an earlier weekend initially.

The 26th-annual affair includes a petting zoo, live music and lots of edibles.

For those lookint for activities this weekend (July 16-18), over on High Street, the High Street Station coffeehouse is hosting live music from 7 to 9 p.m. tonight, July 16. The band is Live from Shannon.

Corn beef and cabbage will be served from 5:30 to 8 p.m. for hungry guests.

Tomorrow, July 17, a soft-rock band will play from 7 to 9 p.m. Spaghetti, barbeque chicken and “Fernside Salad” will be served.

Meals are just $9.95.

This Sunday, July 18, Rock Wall Winery is hosting a fund-raiser for Meals on Wheels out at the Alameda Point venue. The event takes place from 1 to 5 p.m.  High Street Station staff and lots of community members are participating.

Enjoy.

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Alameda’s Busy 4th of July Weekend

The Alameda Fourth of July Parade will be the highlight of the holiday weekend. It starts at 10 a.m. on Sunday.

Some 170 floats with 2,500 participants will travel the 3-mile route from Park Street and Lincoln Avenue, down Park to Otis Drive, over to Central Avenue and then down Webster, where the Jumpin’ & Jivin’ Jubilee will be held from noon until 4 p.m.

It’s recently been decided by the city that politicians can participate in the events, but they can’t tell parade watchers what race they are poised to run for: No campaigning materials or election posters are allowed.   

Later in the day, High Street Station coffee house will have another Saturday night barbeque from 5:30 to 8 p.m., with ribs, hot dogs, potato salad, garlic bread and more for $9.95.

The Placebos  band will be playing from 7 to 9 p.m. at the cafe, 1303 High Street.

Encinal Yacht Club is hosting lots of activities on the 4th as well.

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Alameda Shops Celebrate Spring

There’s plenty of spring in the air around the Island, especially in local storefronts.

You’ll find Easter eggs and bunnies in the windows, and – at least in one shop – you’ll find special eggs inside, too.

Bead Inspirations, on Park Street at Lincoln Ave., asks customers to join their egg hunt. If you find an egg, you get a special discount on merchandise.

Drop in to see some fun merchandise, do-it-yourself supplies and more.

The shop is also hosting the egg hunt online, so you can join the fun without even leaving your own “island.”

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Alameda Museum Sale Draws Crowd

Dozens of Alamedans and other Bay Area residents visited Alameda Museum this past Saturday (off Park Street on Alameda Avenue) for a special sale of items once owned by a three generations of a Los Angeles-based family that traces its roots to Southern California pioneers. 

There were also items from the museum’s own reserve of goodies.

Museum curator George Gunn eagerly shared his thoughts on various quilts, chairs, tables and other furnishings. One “crazy quilt” dated from the 1800s and included feather stitching. 

“People know we do a lot of research. And we tag items with historical information,” Gunn says. “If it costs several hundred dollars, people want to know that a piece is authentic.”

 There were several Victorian chairs for sale, some dating from 1870. And a Leopold Stickley Cherry Valley table, two leaves and four chairs were offered for just $800.

“We price to sell,” said Gunn, who notes that 40 percent of the proceeds from estate sales go to the museum.

For those looking to remodel or rework a home, there were several antique doors on sale. And a rickshaw was priced at just $65.

A couple from Berkeley admired an old adding machine, but declined to buy it as a key was missing. 

The modern-day register kept humming along, though, as visitors found items from the past to take home with them and enjoy in the future.

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Theater Comes to Park Street

This Monday at 7 p.m., Autobody Fine Art — at 1517 Park Street — will host a free presentation by Alameda’s Virago Theatre Company.

The December 7 event features actors reading “Three Knocks” by Robert P. Marcus with direction by Robert Lundy-Paine. 

The actors are George McRae, Dennis McIntyre, Michaela Greeley, Jeremy Vik, Harold Pierce, Stephen Pawley, Laura Lundy-Paine and Brittany Kilcoyne McGregor.

“Three Knocks” is the story of a man who stands wrongly accused and fights against corrupt law enforcement at the risk of losing his family, love and life … the three knocks that changed him forever, according to Virago.

A discussion, as well as wine and cheese, will follow the presentation.

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Sports Cards & Comics Store to Relocate

The Alameda Sports Cards & Comics shop at 1412 Park Street is planning an obituary — for the unique business it’s shared with the area for the past 24 years.

Due to issues regarding its lease and rental playments, the shop should be moving off Park Street in December.  It’s last day will most likely be December 26, so the current owner (Patty) says she plans to publish an obituary.

“Downtown is beautiful, but it’s time to move on,” she said. “It will be the death of a Park Street institution, but we hope to have an even better store in the future.”

The business has sold action comics, sports and other amusement cards, as well as sci-fi-themed items and lots of other entertaining products and memorabilia, for 12 years (since 1987) at its present location. And for the 12 years proceeding this span (1975-1987), it was located across the street at 1419 Park.

Stayed tuned for news about the store’s new digs in town.

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Convenience Store on Park Get Thumbs Up

The Alameda Planning Board met last night, October 12, and approved the request for a permit to open a convenience store at 1623 Park Street — despite the fact that more than 400 letters and comments had been received opposing it in August and again in September and October .

You can find some of these opposing statements online, including a letter from the Starland Music Center, at 1631 Park.

However, the owners of the building that will house the convenience store explained that the space has been without a tenant for about half of the past 10 years.

The main tipping point, as far as the city is concerned, is that there is no city limit on the number of convenience stores (or nail shops, for instance) that can be located within the city.

Note that the only reason this convenience store had to go before the Planning Board was due to the fact that it is within 300 feet of a residence.

The good news for some community members is that while the store was aiming to focus on tobacco products, these products will now take up only about 10 percent of the retail area — less than planned.

According to the city, the building that will house the convenience store is not historic and has been vacant. And while there are several convenience stores nearby, that is not enough to limit or restrict further convenience stores from opening.

With a minimal expected impact on nearby residents, in its view, the Planning Board approved the use permit for the convenience store four to one.

The business owner, Abdulmalik Harbi, now has to get a business license and certifcate of occupany before he can open the shop, to be called Better Trade Discount.

The lesson for Alamedans who don’t want convenience shops or more salons opening up is that a major change in city policy is needed. There are many East Bay neighborhoods that have a large number of similar businesses crowded into one area, so Alameda isn’t alone in this respect.

But those hoping for more commercial diversity on the Island have to make a broader case — and a big fight — if they want to bring about such change.