If you haven’t visited it yet, Free Gold Watch on Waller at Stanyan in the Upper Haight is an incredible pinball arcade and screen printing shop. Now it seems they’re under fire over a complaint lodged by a neighbor. If you’ve ever visited Free Gold Watch, you know it’s a friendly, fun place to socialize while chasing the silver ball.
Want to help save a thriving neighborhood business and little beating heart of the gaming community? Read on:
From Per, of sfpins.org:
I am writing you on behalf of Matt at FGW. As you may know, someone has lodged a complaint over FGW, and Matt now has to jump through a few legal hoops in order to keep FGW as a pinball haven in SF. He will go to a hearing on 2/18 at City Hall, and has asked us, the members of SFPD, to write letters of support stating why we love and need FGW, and why it is so important to us. These letters/emails will hopefully help sway the folks in charge in the right direction.
The deadline for letters of support is by 2/13, so please take a few minutes and jot something down. It does not have to be long. Send it to Matt@freegoldwatch.com no later than 2/13.
My letter on why pinball at in San Francisco matters:
As a 10-year resident and homeowner in the Cole Valley/Upper Haight neighborhood, I respectfully urge you not to close or change Free Gold Watch. In a city with increasing tensions over income disparity, real estate development, and a perceived divide between small, local business and Silicon Valley giants, Free Gold Watch represents precisely the type of business San Francisco needs to encourage.
Aside from providing local businesses and organizations with quality screen printing, Free Gold Watch serves as a rare and vital social center for people all over the San Francisco. While I suspect some seedy perceptions of arcades from the 70s and 80s may be bundled up in this complaint against Free Gold Watch, they’re unfounded.
Pinball is one of the few affordable, casual, low-commitment social recreation opportunities in the city. Whether you’re a tech executive catching the Google Bus just up Stanyan or a homeless kid bumming change on Haight, two quarters grants you equal access to a little entertainment and conversation. Regardless of age, status, income, or race, all it takes is a little pocket change, a set of electronic rules, and simple physics level and balance our stratified city.
As we wait for MUNI, we stare into our phones. At coffee shops we work on our laptops. Bars exclude the young and restaurants exclude the poor. Who does Free Gold Watch exclude? I have met my neighbors, I have watched a small business thrive as others disappear. What justification is there for punishing an enterprise so fundamentally good for the people of San Francisco?
Please free Free Gold Watch from the burden of this complaint.
XX XXXX St., San Francisco, CA 94117