Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Roman Gadass and a Tech Parody

Loren Feldman lives in New York and spends time in Los Angeles, but doesn't spend a lot of it in the Inland Empire or the eastern San Gabriel Valley. He is, however, obviously familiar with the area - to a point.

Feldman is no fan of Jeremiah Owyang or other self-styled "community managers," so when Feldman heard about Monday's "Community Manager Appreciation Day," his creative juices got flowing and he wrote this.

As part of his comment on the so-called Community Manager of the Year, Feldman wrote:

Mr. Mauran received his award at a gala even held at the Motel 6 in Pamona, CA, who graciously gave the Motel 6 ballroom in exchange for blog posts from attendees.

And no, I didn't send a spelling flame to Feldman for misspelling Pomona. In the grand scheme of things, I don't think he cares how Pomona is spelled.

Since Pomona is in our backyard, I figured I'd see if there actually was a Motel 6 in Pomona. Turns out that there is - on Garey Avenue, right by the intersection of the 60 and the 71.

I even found a Google Maps picture of the motel.

This prompted me to write something of my own on Google+:

After the impressive Community Manager Awards, held in the ballroom of the Motel 6 in Pomona, California (as ably reported by +Loren Feldman - see link in comments), the assemblage of distinguished community managers went to a swank reception at the Pomona Branding & Social Media Appreciation Park (seen on the right of the picture below, right next to the Motel 6). Attendees subsequently attended an informal gathering, organized by the Pomona Police Department and held at Pomona Police Headquarters. After the all night affair, one attendee remarked, "I got to experience the same thing that I do to the sheep - I mean customers."

Then, because most Google+ readers are not familiar with the specifics of Pomona, I linked to an old David Allen story that detailed how the Pomona Library closed, and then reopened with some of the former workers now employed as part-time hourly staff.

It's enough to make a Roman goddess - whoops, gadass - want to cry.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I need an Upland reporter, preferably young, to investigate a non-corpse

Dan Seifert shared a long-ish Laura June article in The Verge entitled For Amusement Only: the life and death of the American arcade. It's an extensively researched article that not only discusses the one-decade heyday of the video games arcade, but the long history before and after that decade, ranging from the years of Prohibition to the present day.

For my purposes, I will reproduce a very small excerpt from the article:

Arcades in the late 1970s and early 1980s held a particular place in the American way of life. Like shopping malls and roller skating rinks, they were safe, isolated areas where kids and teenagers could hang out, and, with a reasonable amount of money, spend hours without their parents. Bill Disney, a pinball enthusiast and owner of The Pinball Gallery in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, says of his younger years that "most parents, they basically didn’t know what their kids were doing any time of the day. They were on their bikes, out the whole day," and "they didn’t care where they were." This laid-back attitude varied by family, as well as by geography, but the relative autonomy of older children in the ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s, and early 1980s, was much greater than it would be moving into the ‘90s. Films of the early ‘80s such as E.T. and The Wizard show typical, American kids, left to their own devices, playing video games and capturing aliens with their friends while their parents are at work.

But the major thesis of the article can be summed up in the title: arcades in this form are now dead. Laura June defines the classic video arcade as a dark place, inhabited by young people, that only has video games. No food or drink, except perhaps for a stray vending machine. And by using this definition, most of the classic video arcades ARE dead.

But I suspect there may be at least one that is still standing. But, due to the "inhabited by young people" thing, I'll need someone to check this out for me.

In Upland, California, just east of Upland High School, there is a long-standing establishment called James Games. Despite the fact that I actually know James (who sold the business long ago), I have never set foot in the place, despite the fact that I lived within a quarter mile away from it in the mid 1980s, and that I literally lived down the street from it in the mid 1990s.

If someone is ready to take on the glory that is involved with being an official Empoprises correspondent, could someone venture in to James Games and let us know if it's still a video arcade place in the traditional sense?

If you know something about the 2013 version of James Games, you can post your comments here on this blog post, or you can write your own blog post in your own blog and let me know about it, or you can send me an email. I have a Gmail account under the name "empoprises."

In the meantime, here's the Yelp page for James Games: http://www.yelp.com/biz/james-games-upland.