Thursday, April 19, 2012

Week 15: Caine's Arcade

Last Friday, (after a little wine) I finally watched this video:

Did you watch it? Seriously, go watch it. It's ten minutes long - you have ten minutes. See? I mean, have you ever? Anyway, I just watched it again, and I am still so in love with it. Caine's enthusiasm, his dad's willingness to let his kid run amuk all over his shop, how Nirvan is all, "heck yes, I want a fun pass," the way all of those strangers came out to make Caine's dream come true...the whole thing just fills me with love for all of humanity. If I'm this effusive about it now, dead sober, you can imagine how a few glasses (ok a bottle) of wine would intensify this feeling of love for all the world. I was basically Ebeneezer on Christmas morning after watching this thing...

Want to know the best part? When the Caine's Arcade website was first established, they decided to try to raise a little money for a scholarship fund for Caine's future education. The initial goal was to try to raise $25,000. As I write, the PayPal widget on the website shows that a total of  $179,271 has been donated to help fund Caine's education (a move to a private school now and savings for college later). And, actually, it gets even better - the Goldhirsh Foundation has agreed to match donations to the scholarship fund dollar-for-dollar. These matching funds will be used to establish a separate Caine's Arcade Foundation that will "help find, foster, and fund creativity and entrepreneurship in young kids." The interweb can be such a force for good - it's not all cat videos and cyberbullying after all!
Anyway, point is, I watched the video and decided that Tom and I needed to make a pilgrimage to East L.A. to get ourselves a fun pass. The next morning, I held on to my tipsily arranged plans and looked up the website again to get directions to Caine's arcade.  Lo and behold (who says that?), they had scheduled a block party for Saturday since the arcade would be closed on Sunday because Caine was going to be making his First Communion... I mean, really. Could this kid be any more adorable?

We weren't the only people who decided to come check out Caine's Arcade. You could feel the goodwill in the air.

The line to buy a fun pass stretched down the block, so we hung out for a bit, signed Caine's guest book, and headed home.

All in all, it was the perfect way to spend a Saturday morning. In addition to the rare opportunity to see an arcade made entirely of cardboard, I got a glimpse of an L.A. that I never get to see.

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