Friday, June 15, 2007

My Family Never Had Any Quarters In the 80's

If you are part of my generation (or a tad older), your family never could hold on to quarters in the 80's. My family was doubly cursed. First, we lived in an apartment building where doing the wash every week involved scavenging as many coins as humanly possible. Then came along arcade games. Now, every time we went anywhere there was one of these machines, I begged every last quarter I could off of my parents and anyone else who was unlucky enough to be with us. Pizza parlors, Beefsteak Charlies, the Ground Round, even the mall - none of these places was safe from quarter fiending obsession.

In those days, the greatest temple to video games that my young mind could imagine was Adventures at Cross County in Yonkers, NY. It was a tiny amusement park/restaurant/arcade. A trip here was always guaranteed to cost a small fortune. Alas, the rides quickly closed (the place was a death trap) and the restaurant dwindled down to a small coffee shop counter frequented by blue haired seniors waiting for the bus down to Atlantic City. But the arcade remained. It was the only thriving part of this place, sitting in a sea of asphalt parking lot. In junior HS, it still still sat like a glowing beacon, compelling me to spend my paltry allowance. I even had my first kiss here when I was 12 years old.

Adventures, in its glory days, is immortalized in the movie The Flamingo Kid which starred Matt Dillon (who was born in Westchester). Eventually it was demolished to make way for a multi-plex, but it will forever be etched in my mind, complete with the cacophonous melody of Donkey Kong, Dragon's Lair and Ms Pac Man.

If my trip down memory lane got you craving a dose of the 80's visit The Greatest Arcade Games of the 80's.