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Word on Webster: Repair and reuse resources

Submitted by on 1, September 14, 2010 – 5:00 am2 Comments

By Steve Gerstle

The West End’s unique array of shops that repair or offer used items for sale makes it a practical and fun place to visit. Rather than buying a new bicycle, how about getting a used one that has been repaired and tuned up? Instead of throwing out that old purse, how about getting it mended? This column gives you the skinny on some of the shops in the West End.

Wilmot’s at 478 Central Avenue at Fifth Street has a large selection of used books in many categories. 865-1443.

If you want to buy a used TV or get your old one repaired, Tele VCR at 1542 Webster Street is the place to go. They also repair stereo receivers and VCRs. 522-3429.

Larry’s Shoe Repair repairs not only shoes, but also purses, straps and other leather goods. There is also an assortment of used shoes for sale. Larry’s is located at 1449 Webster Street. 522-1445.

Right next door to Larry’s at 1451 Webster Street is the Record Gallery. If you want vintage rock and roll clothes and shoes, this is your place. Find your favorite LPs, CDs and cassettes from the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s and the clothes to match. The Record Gallery also carries vintage rock and roll posters. 523-2330.

If you want to bicycle around Alameda, Cycles of Change at Alameda Point has a large selection of used bicycles for kids and adults starting at about $150. They will also repair your current bicycle. Cycles of Change is located at 650 West Ranger Avenue near Pan Am Way. 995-1478.

The Pacific Pinball Museum at 1510 Webster Street has scores of playable historic pinball machines. They also sell used ones if you want one for your home or office.  769-1349. 

In the same building as the Pinball Museum is The Thin Man String Company at 1506 Webster Street. They repair all types of string instruments including guitars, violins, mandolins and banjos. They also sell a wide variety of used string instruments. 521-2613.

News Bits:

A man was murdered near Webster Street on Eagle Avenue late Saturday night, September 11. The police are looking for leads in the case. If you have any information, please call the Alameda Police Department at 337-8340.

The Frank Bette Center for the Arts has opened a gallery at the site previously occupied by the Needle in a Haystack at 1533 Webster Street. The gallery is temporary until a permanent tenant for the space can be found.

The Fireside Lounge business is for sale. There was a sign posted in the window during the Webster Street Jam.

The Frog and Fiddle at 1544 Webster Street is open and serving burgers, salads and sandwiches. There is a full bar and three beers on tap. They also serve Rock Wall wines. Live music is expected to begin in October.

Storefronts along Webster Street continue to fill with both permanent and temporary establishments. The sidewalks are getting a lot more use.

During the Webster Street Jam, crossing guards were present at the corner of Webster and Santa Clara reminding motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists to obey the red light. In spite of the presence of not only crossing guards, but also the Alameda Police Department booth, some people still ignored the traffic signals at the intersection.


  • Richard Bangert says:

    As mentioned in the news bits above, Frank Bette Center for the Arts is temporarily exhibiting paintings on Webster. I wandered in during the weekend Webster Jam and was very impressed. A series of paintings by one artist featured classic Alameda houses. If I had the money and a place to permanently display these paintings where many people would see them, I would have bought them all. They were framed and ready to hang.

    Hours are at their website, which for some reason is not calling attention to these exceptionally good art pieces: http://www.frankbettecenter.org/

  • Debra Owen says:

    to Steve, Thx for the mention of “The Annex – Members Gallery” on Webster, much appreciated!

    to Richard, Thx for your very kind comments. Yes, the artwork is exquisite and I’m delighted more people had a chance to see it. The paintings are some of the 400+ painted during our annual Plein Air Paintout that happened the last week of July. You can read more about that event on our website by clicking on the menu item “special events.” The Annex Member Gallery came about as a very very “last minute opportunity” to be open for the Jam. We barely got the artwork in and displays set-up by Sat morning! The city asked us to “do something in the space” for the Sept 29 Webster Street Wine Walk. And I will have time to do some marketing for the Sept 29 event. Our use of this space is very tenuous.

    to All, Keeping the art center on Paru/Lincoln open is my first priority. I encourage you to join me and make it yours too. FBCA is financially stretched to the breaking point and exists primarily at the generosity of the community. All donations of any amount are urgently needed and greatly appreciated. Every dollar ensures FBCA can continue to bring quality art experiences to everyone. If you like what FBCA is doing, please support it with donations.

    thx very much

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