http://pleasantonweekly.com/print/story/print/2009/02/06/treasures-of-main-street


Pleasanton Weekly

Arts & Entertainment - February 6, 2009

Treasures of Main Street

Finding fun in the little things downtown for the young and young at heart

by Katie Lyness

It's easy to excite a kid. That's probably because they notice little things in life that mostly go unnoticed by adults. There are at least 10 fun treasures on Main Street that kids really enjoy.

Sara Grace Adkison, 8, and Jenny Lyness, 7, love flipping over the green, upside down U-shaped metal bars (bicycle racks) along Main Street. Lots of people pass by them every day and never think to themselves that they could hang upside down on them. Kids also enjoy saving up their pennies in order to buy jellybeans from the machine at Savvy Seconds. It's the only place in town where you can actually buy something for a penny! Savvy Seconds is a great shopping spot for teenagers, who like expensive brands, but can't afford them at their full price. Debbie Lopes, the owner of Savvy Seconds, enjoys selling clothes to teenagers and not just adults because it helps them live a "green" lifestyle by renewing and reusing instead of buying something brand new.

Other places many kids like to go are Tully's Coffee to get a Dixie-cup sized chocolate or vanilla ice cream; it's just the right amount so they can eat it while strolling down Main Street, looking at all the bright colors in the shop windows, finish it and then still be hungry for the next meal of the day.

It's not surprising that kids also enjoy getting ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery, where they can choose every last detail to make their ice cream perfect. For example, they can choose what type of cone they want (coconut-dipped, chocolate covered or sprinkle-covered, etc.), if they want a cup or a cone, and then decide if they want a big or small cup and what they want on it (chocolate syrup, sprinkles, or maybe even gummy bears). Downtown Pleasanton also has the drive-through Meadowlark Dairy, where a kid can get a swirly ice cream cone and even have fun while waiting in line for it because there is so much to look at on the building's mural. There is always something new to notice on the mural, like the expression on one of the cows that seems to change depending on the time of day.

Another place to go is the Towne Center Books where kids can sit up in the white chair on the window platform, looking like a mannequin while reading a book in the store window. The bookstore is great because it's not one of those big chain companies. It's quaint and charming. The people who work there are friendly and can answer most questions about any book and all questions on where to find a particular book.

Also, lots of kids love when grown-ups can connect with them and are fun to talk to. This makes Murphy's Paw another great place to go. The store workers are friendly and inviting, and a dog (or two!) is almost always in there to play with.

And at Cafe Main, there are deep trays of coffee beans under the windows so a kid, or even a grown-up, can run their hands up and down in the beans. Fiddling around with the coffee beans that way looks, feels, sounds and smells really good, all at the same time.

And active kids love to hop-scotch where the sidewalk along Main Street has a hop-scotch pattern. Most grown-ups don't even notice the pattern but for kids this is a big deal. The wooden bridge at the bicycle store is also a big deal for kids because it's fun to run on and feels like a boardwalk at the ocean.

For very fair arcade-like games, New York Pizza is great because it has a pinball machine and other games where kids actually have a very good chance of winning, unlike other the arcade games in other towns where it is almost impossible to win. For example, there's a good chance of winning three superballs for just two quarters with the pinball machine. Usually just one superball that size costs at least a quarter.

One last thing that kids love to do in Pleasanton is to just enjoy themselves with their family and friends during a happy day in our great downtown. It's almost always sunny outside so a kid can just walk, skip, jump, run, race, spin or even cartwheel down the sidewalk in all their glory. Any kid, and any grown-up with a young attitude, can really appreciate all of downtown's great, little treasures.

Katie Lyness is a youth correspondent for the Pleasanton Weekly. She is a sixth grader at Pleasanton Middle School.

Comments

Posted by Natalie Giordano, a resident of Heritage Valley
on Feb 7, 2009 at 4:25 pm

What a great article written by Katie Lyness! Her positive attitude is one that we all should have. We are so lucky to live in such a great town! She is right, there is a ton to do on Main street, for all ages.


Posted by grumpy old man, a resident of Downtown
on Feb 10, 2009 at 9:16 am

yes, thanks for naming the last few remaining businesses open on main street. i almost forgot, i am sure that will help keep them open.

things for Kids to do, Don't forget the junk yard just behind Savvy Seconds on Division, kids love to play in junk yards. Maybe the owner could sell tickets for entry like an amusement park. I Hope at least the museum is getting more tickets for the ghost town tour.