My old man didn't want me to move to Pullman. There's nothing over there, he'd say.
And he's mostly right. We don't have grocery store or a place to grab a quick sandwich, except for McDonald's or the Cal Harbor restaurant, the greasy spoon. There's only one bar. The neighborhood's crown jewels included what's left of Market Square, a burned out shell being SLOWLY restored or the Hotel Florence, which is rarely open to the public and no longer has its popular Sunday brunch. And don't get dad started on the area crime stats.
But Historic Pullman has something few city neighborhoods can boast about ...
Every time I walk out my front porch it feels like I've stepped into a movie set — the lovely oval of Arcade Park across from the iconic Hotel Florence, and the powerful copper spire of the Greenstone Church and the majestic clock tower (even though the time is never correct) — that feels like a walk back in time to 1880s. (Parts of Road to Perdition with Paul Newman and The Fugitive with Harrison Ford were filmed in Pullman)
And on Saturday, Pullman really was a movie set, again. Crews were filming The Express, staring Randy Quaid. It's the story of the first black Heisman Trophy winner Ernie Davis, who died of leukemia.
All day long — and until 3 a.m. — locals strolled past locations where camera crews were set up. Local kid, Kyle Honkowski, 15, stalked the sidewalks near filming all day, starting at 8:30 in the morning.
"It's exciting, a little bit," he says. "Over by the museum some guy yelled at me, ""Hey kid, you don't belong here. Get off the stage."
At midnight, the Greenstone Church was brilliantly lit by powerful flood lights as movie extras milled about for take-after-take of the same scene. It was quite a site.
But after a day of being forced to park in alleyways and being told to "shush" by production assistants locals like Kyle and me got our stage back ... the coolest neighborhood around.