Just a quick break from Mexico City in January because there's stuff happening in Lansing in March or I guess it's technically April by the time this appears. All right.
So sometime around 1970 an Arthur Treacher's Fish and Chips opened up near our house. In 1988 the Arthur Treacher's name was removed, as part of that franchise's general shrinking back to sharing a couple of Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs booths in shopping mall food courts in central Jersey. The Fish and Chips remained, leaving behind the board that the Arthur Treacher's name was on. They kept the Fish and Chips part of the name, and the sign, and after renaming some of the trademarked menu items just kept going. And kept on going. bunny_hugger's starter husband, from England, would get food there sometime since it may not be great fishandchips but it's still fishandchips. Sometime before 1998 the menu board was damaged and cracked, and they left it like that until sometime last year.
Yeah so they're closing, at the end of April. The owner said rents were going up and he figured he was at a point where he could retire and focus on his coaching high school atheletics. We went last Sunday for what might've been a last meal there. (We didn't know if the report of them ``staying open through April'' meant they were closing April 1st or April 30th.) And besides the new menu boards --- blackboards, with the items written on in chalk, so it looks kind of like what you'd get in a seafood restaurant in the hipster district, or at least the part of town with self-esteem --- the place seemed unchanged. I did try to order a ``Sea Dog'', a great name for an item and something that was an Arthur Treacher's thing under a different name. (A hot dog on a stick breaded and fried the way the fish would be.) They didn't have any, but bunny_hugger says even back with her starter husband they were always erratic about whether those were in stock. bunny_hugger asked if they had enough clams for the clam plate; the cashier went back to ask the owner-and-cook, who said something like ``you'd know better than me'' what they had. (This seems like I have to have got it reversed. Well, it was something like that.)
And of course we took photos; the place, besides the menu board, looks unchanged from decades past. All dark wood and pictures of angling stuff, and lanterns like you get in theme parks theming a ride to the North Atlantic Fishing Village. A five-blade ceiling fan with one blade missing. I don't know if we'll get back before the place closes for good. Kind of hope we do. I didn't get there much, given that I try to eat vegetarian, but it was such a charmingly odd place to have in town it's a pity it's soon to not be there.
Not announced before it was too late: Theio's, formerly the 24-hour diner everybody went to because it was the 24-hour diner the whole Eastside is near --- and a couple blocks east of the Fish and Chips --- is closed. Condemned by the Fire Marshall. I haven't been able to find a news report about what exactly happened. But the owner of the restaurant put up a letter on the door saying they ``hope that the building owner(s) will abide by the requirements established by the Lansing Township and the Lansing Township Fire Chief as soon as possible''. Good words but by the time there's orange stickers on the doors there's some deep issues.
We hadn't been to Theio's in months now, maybe since last Spring. New owners bought the restaurant and closed it --- a heresy right there --- for weeks for a ``deep cleaning''. And it reopened to limited hours, just breakfast and lunch service. This for a place that before 2017 had last closed, I don't know, when William McKinley was shot. But it had still been there and it was plausible to figure it'd be back to normal once the owners and new staff --- they'd fired everybody and then a week later got the passwords for their Facebook page --- had sufficient bearings. (Although the Yelp reviews were not promising, with talk about how the new owner had run the place into the ground, and the most helpful-according-to-the-votes recent review being a detailed explanation of how it was a perfect place to go with your meth habit.) Now? Gosh, I've only been in town five years and everything's disappearing.
Trivia: The mean moon used by the Jewish calendar will remain in step with the actual moon to within a day for more than 16,000 years. Source: Mapping Time: The Calendar and its History, EG Richards.
Currently Reading: The Friendly Orange Glow: The Untold Story of the PLATO System and the Dawn of Cyberculture, Brian Dear.
PS: Oh yeah so I screwed up on Tuesday when I thought I needed to post extra pictures to avoid a weird break on Sunday. So to get me back on track let me post a couple pictures of the rabbit we're fostering and I'm sorry I got this wrong in the first place. We'll get it all balanced out sooner or later.
So Penelope is a smaller rabbit than Stephen or Columbo, which is why she can poke more of her head through her pen's bars. Also you see what a great nose Californians have.
She's a bit overweight, so when she sprawls out she does get this water-balloon flop out that bunny_hugger has characterized as looking like a barge. So we've spoken of her as being a Bunny Boat.
Oh gosh no, we barely had her a week and we've lost one of her eyes and her left ear we are soooooo dead.