Friday, May 2, 2008

Como lends 'weight' to bowling alley fight

Story about Woodhaven Lanes:

There’s a bowling alley operator who wants to keep it operating, and the demonstrators got some good news from local attorney and City Council candidate Anthony Como.

Como did a little brokering of his own, and arranged a meeting with State Senator Serphin Maltese, Parkwill president Robert Corroon, operator John LaSpina, community activist Jim Santora and himself at Maltese’s Howard Beach office, on Friday, May 2.

“You don’t have to show up - send me your emails and letters and I’ll bring them to the meeting,” Como told the hopeful crowd, before leaving for another commitment.

Meanwhile, another local bowling alley closed unceremoniously this week.

Why didn't Como ever show up at a St. Saviour's rally and announce a meeting between Serf, the owners, himself and the civic activists fighting to save it? Just lazy, I guess.


Taxpayer said...

Pandering. That's what Como and Maltese are doing in saving the Bowling alley and ignoring St. Saviour's.

Bowling is fine. Saving St. Saviour's is fine. So, why didn't this pair spend time on both?

Priorities and abysmal ignorance, with a dose of crude and coarse pandering.

The residents of Maspeth need a park. A park would have provided plenty of recreation for all sorts of people of all sorts of ages.

But, the property of St. Saviour's has a church. So this ignorant, crude pair were terrified by the anti-religion crowd. And lazy. And, no kickbacks.

They had an opportunity to help in a way that would last for more than a century or two. They both failed.

Now they each want your vote.

Tell them that their next job can be as a bowling alley manager (or as pin setters). Pin setting would be fitting for these pin heads.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Serf most likely could not care less about bowling, it's just a photo op issue. By the way, he's got a staffer that has been desperately trying to buy a bowling alley. Is this one of them?

Anonymous said...

The owners of Whitestone Lanes are negotiating with a developer.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for Anthony "Baby Huey" Como to be our next Councilman. All hail the saviour of the bowling alley!

Anonymous said...

In solely my opinion, there are many reasons for the decline of bowling in New York City proceeding more rapidly than in the surrounding areas:

1) Bowling is shifting from a legitimate team and league sport to a canned entertainment experience that doesn't attract serious bowlers.

Bowling center owners are finding that the casual, itinerant crowd is making them more money in drinks and inflated game charges than steady leagues whose members may or may not patronize anything outside their three games. Hour for hour, the "fun" crowd is a bigger dollar than the league crowd, and is less demanding of proper lane and equipment conditions which cost a lot in skilled labor and materials to maintain.

2) The "fun" crowd attracts gangs, crime, juvenile delinquency, and a generally shabby atmosphere older or more mature people find distasteful.

One needn't look further than the metal detectors JIB Lanes has long since installed in their establishment, and I've seen that Whitestone Lanes is a pretty big hangout for vectorless youts of all or no affiliations. Who would put up with that when taking their family/girlfriend out for a night of fun?

3) Today's land values make a bowling alley an inefficient use of space.

A bowling lane is sixty feet by approximately six feet, not including the approach, settee area, and mechanic's area behind the backstop. At an average of $5.00 per game per person, and about an hour for four recreational bowlers to bowl one game, that space is only generating $20.00 per hour, gross, and that's only when the lane is in use. When the house is closed, or during weekdays until about 6:00pm, that space is not generating revenue.

Insurance, taxes, rent, and utilities are going up, and nobody in mens sana is going to pay more than about $5.00 per line for bowling. The carnie crowd will go to full-service bars and nightclubs which are more conducive to their kind of fun, and serious bowlers will stop seeing the value in their sport.

Look at all the old movie theaters with volumes of empty space that have been lost to denser-use-pattern establishments citywide. Those high rents have to be paid somehow.

4) There is just too much other competition for a dwindling entertainment dollar.

The rise of the Internet has more people engaging in cyber sex than exercise. Gas and food prices are squeezing out whatever modicum of discretionary spending people have. They're choosing their entertainment spots wiser, fewer, more upscale, and farther between.

5) Bowling has become an anachronism.

Bowling is considered by many a sport for "dese, dems, and doses," so yupsters and the latte-sipping crowd infiltrating previously middle and lower-middle-class neighborhoods won't dream of engaging in it.

Neighborhoods have lost their social anchors and their roots. Bowling alleys served (and still do in many better-anchored locales) as de-facto town squares where a great deal of socialization took place. Few people are interested any longer in their community, for better or worse, making community-centered venues like bowling alleys superfluous.

So, it isn't just greedy developers and amoral business tycoons that caused the demise of Van Wyck Lanes. It was a sound business decision that unfortunately was made in a callous, disrespectful manner. It's a bemoaned sign of the changing times.

Anonymous said...

Wow...That was intelligent, well thought out and well written...Good job.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I used to bowl at Utopia Lanes on Union Tpke and 188 Street. That was a 16-lane basement that closed down about ten years ago due to the landlord doubling the rent, and Utopia refusing to pay.

This occurred about two years after a major renovation was done to the house, and one of the reasons the owner of Utopia gave for not paying double the rent (outside the obvious) was that there was just too much space not generating enough revenue to justify a DOUBLING of rent.

The landlord was a greedy bastard, and apparently, to this day, the space has not been rented. So not only didn't he get his doubling of the rent, he isn't even getting the single rent he was from Utopia Lanes.

The rest of what I said were just observations I have been picking up over the years. Look at places like Strike out in New Hyde Park, or Bowlmor in The Village. These places have reduced bowling to a beside-the-fact distraction rather than the main point of the evening. They concentrate on drinks, entertainment, food, and other high-margin items. The bowling is simply window dressing.

Movie theaters all closed or consolidated first. Now, bowling alleys are biting the dust. My next prediction is golf driving ranges, however golfers have more money and more loyalty to their sport, so unless technology can come around and create a similar experience to swatting a ball 200 yards, these may not leave without a fight.

Anonymous said...

I hope there will be some sort of debates before the June election, so we can question these people.

bowler714 said...

As of July, 2008 I will be trying to buy or lease woodhaven lanes. I want to buld a state of the art bowling cent there.