THEN: Ozzie knew us all by name and welcomed “loitering.” Wells Fargo accepted nickels and dimes from my whole class and gave us our first lesson in financial planning.
NOW: Signs on merchant doors—“only one student at a time.”
THEN: Front door left unlocked and the biggest crime was kids stealing cherries off the tree in my backyard and plums off the street trees.
NOW: Just read the Planet’s Police Blotter every week.
THEN: BPD arrested us for jaywalking when going from BHS to Provo Park.
NOW: Can’t we have a crosswalk mid-block for our “entitled” kids who can’t possibly walk to the corner?
THEN: Botts served up one scoop for a nickel and two for a dime.
NOW: You shouldn’t be eating ice cream anyway but if you are, pull out a fiver.
THEN: Schools were our playgrounds, safe and unfenced, and within walking distance of our homes.
NOW: Have you arranged enough play-dates for your kid this week?
THEN: Edy’s with the best hot fudge sauce in the world.
NOW: Scharffen Berger? Not even a close second!
THEN: Single families in single-family dwellings supporting the best school programs in the country.
NOW: Mayor Bates and his developer cronies giving us high-rises with 400-square-foot rabbit warrens for students, transients, low-income and commuting singles.
THEN: Close down Shattuck Avenue for the Big Game parade every year.
NOW: Close down Derby Street and trash the Farmers’ Market so that the ASFU can overrun and over-schedule yet another section of green open space in our city.
THEN: Walking door-to-door collecting donations for the United Crusade from neighbors who were our friends.
NOW: Do you even know the name of the person who lives three doors down from you?
THEN: Great movies on all of those BIG screens downtown … for the price of a quarter.
NOW: Have you got $10 for a show on a postcard-sized screen at Hink’s? Don’t worry about it—you can’t park anyway so you might as well go to Emeryville or Albany.
THEN: Brennan’s blue-collar ambiance, good cheap food, and the best Irish coffee in the East Bay.
NOW: Brennan’s blue-collar ambiance, good cheap food, and the best Irish coffee in the East Bay. What? We’d better tear it down! It’s not “historical.”