Some will remember this picture from a December SF Chronicle article. I commented on that article at the time, but looking back on it and recent events around Berkeley Iceland, I think the quote from Lesli Dalaba was the most important, and overlooked, part of the article: "Kids don't have anywhere to go anymore except the frickin' mall." With all the fuss and time focused on the landmark and history of Berkeley Iceland, we sometimes lose focus on what Berkeley Iceland meant to the health of the community, particularly the kids.
For over 67 years, parents in Berkeley had a place where they could drop off their kids for an afternoon of healthy fun and not worry (too much) about them. I know because I am one of those parents. Four years ago that was lost when EBI closed Berkeley Iceland. In a community lacking in recreation spaces, particularly year-round indoor spaces, the closing of Berkeley Iceland was a significant loss. There is no place where 400 teenagers to go on a Friday or Saturday night to hang out together in a safe and healthy environment, which they did for over 60 years when the rink was open. Gone are all the youth hockey, broom ball, figure skating, and other more organized pursuits that introduced the kids of the community to healthy sports which Berkeley Iceland provided.