The stretch of Spruce from 40th to 41st Street is a black hole. I’ve walked down this block at least once a day over the past year and a half and I’ve learned a thing or two. In the time it takes to walk the block you can do the following activities effortlessly:
1. Finish two slices of Allegro pizza
2. Slip on the fallen chain link fence
3. Run into more than three people you know walk of shaming/walking their shame home
The neighborhood favorites on that block, Nara, Copa, Saia’s and of course “totally epic, man” frat houses, don’t stand up to the hidden gem that some Penn students actively avoid. This spot has become my and my friends’ favorite post–1:45 a.m. joint: the arcade.
Rolling in for a late night game of skeeball has never been so exciting. We’ll stroll in, bummed or pumped from a night out, and blow our change away. Just a little push of a quarter and all of a sudden we’re like ten–year–old boys playing Whack–A–Mole (sadly they don’t have this game). There’s nothing like that rush of watching the winning tickets slink towards you in a neat little pile. Now, that’s called adrenaline.
After living (way too) close to the arcade, the childhood home has become a staple in our social life. We play a few rounds, win some tickets and stuff them in our pockets. We’re saving up for Rock Band.
Some friends (and random people we’ve met on the street) have been invited to this sacred ritual at the arcade, and many don’t get understand our weird fascination with playing games for kids. But then there are some that we bring into this circle of awesome who shoot hoops, dodge digital enemies and, like us, never want to leave.
It’s our bizarre version of college Mecca. But it’s practically a law for everyone to have an unholy grail where they can blow off steam. For some it’s a late night trip to WaWa (p.4). For others it takes place in a lab that’s oh so fab (p.13). Either way, I guess the most important thing is that we all have that place to let go for a while.
Claw machines and Pac Man,