Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

Love you long time

By awoodall
Wednesday, December 5th, 2007 at 10:08 am in Uncategorized.

This is truly the night owl. I’m sleepless and can only listen so long to the drip drop of rain off the big Oak tree in front of my apartment. Actually, I call it the nest. So I’ll tell the tale of the watering hole I stumbled into the other night. The Parkway Lounge over on Park Boulevard. It is, in short, a dive bar of the hip species where you can dive for a variety of fun. The lounge offers happy hour 4-7 p.m. and a variety of drink specials, including the presumably popular Hot P…. (starts with P, ends in Y and is also the nickname for kitty) advertised on the mural of chalk boards behind the pool tables. A taste of paradise for just $7.
Drink Specials compliments of the Parkway Lounge It’s the land of Cash only, folks. I was so foolish as to slap down my plastic payment in a place with an ATM machine. “I didn’t even notice it there,” said the waitress when she finally acknowledged my card lying impotent on the big wooden bar. Live and  learn. It’s like being in North Beach.

Both pool tables that grace the wide open area on one side of the bar were occupied by couples. A trendy, white, 20ish couple was playing one table. An African American couple about the same age were at the other one. Another couple exchanged fairly modest smooches at the bar, under the TV broadcasting the Warriors game. Things got loud with hoots and hollers a few minutes after my martini was served up ice-cold (the ice crystals were as crisp as the baby olives). “Are they getting excited about the pool game or the Raiders?” I asked aloud, looking at the TV screen on my far right, to no one in particular.  A fairly tipsy blond in the stool next to mine chuckled at the idea of boisterous billiards fans. Sensing my lack of sports acumen — it was the New England Patriots vs. the Baltimore Ravens (how was I to know another team daring enough to wear black existed?) — he informed me I was privy to a potentially historic moment. “In case you don’t know the significance, if the Patriots make it through this game they could break the record for an undefeated season for the first time since 1972.”   I didn’t follow the exact numbers he reeled off and I’ve read that they are aiming at an NFL record-breaking 16-0 for a regular season, not the way he explained it over what must have been a few too many on his part. He said something about 19-0 so maybe it was something different (chime in, sports fans). But it was a cliff hanger when the clock stopped with 44 seconds left while the refs did a slow-mo analysis of the touchdown that put the Patriots ahead by two points 26-24. Had the decision gone east, the team’s hopes of a perfect regular season would have gone south.

My sports guru was delighted. But, he informed me, the bartender “Stacey” was not of like mind as far as the historic moment went. “History has already been made. They don’t need to do it again,” explained the ever so slightly cantankerous Stacey. She was, after all, the one who quibbled with me briefly over issuing a receipt.

The Park Way Web site claims the lounge is, “your best bang for your buck in the Oakland area.” (Only if they get rid of their $3 ATM fee.)  Next time I’m going to come with cash and order “Love You Long Time.” How often do you get that in a glass?

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