…you’re not the only one hearing the “Thirty Rock” theme song right now. Okay: I know there’s nothing more tedious than asking strangers to look at your vacation pictures, BUT, I just think these are gorgeous. Am I biased? You bet. Read more...
I was primed to love it. This was to be an afternoon of nostalgia and intellectual stimulation. I had seen the ad in our local free weekly: a lecture was being given by distinguished professor Aihwa Ong, entitled “Where the Wild Genes Are.”
That’s what my favorite bank teller (yes, I have a favorite bank teller), Eyasu “Josh” Felleke, told me, after we started chatting about coffee. He had read a post I wrote about a latte I enjoyed at particular coffee shop in Berkeley.
“I know the Elmwood Café,” he said one day as he was waiting for my deposit receipt to pop up, “it’s one of my favorite places.”
“How can you not love it – they still have an old soda fountain like it was 1955.”
“I know, right?”
“Still can’t decide whether I like the taste – or the smell – of coffee better.” Read more...
I got in just before closing on a Friday afternoon. It was 5:53 and I was running behind. The security guard had already unlocked the entry door gate and was just waiting seven more minutes until he could shut and lock it.
I was the only customer in the bank. I had deposits to make for both bars and didn’t want to keep anybody from their weekend plans, least of all me. Read more...
It is my terrible and humbling privilege to write a few words about Cira Felina Bolla, who succumbed to cancer two days ago, at the age of 41.
I met Cira two years ago, and in that time, we became collaborators and friends. We worked together on three projects and multiple martinis – she was my cinematographer – and I got to know something of her personality and character.
I would like to share with you a few moments spent in her company.
Several months ago one of our patrons, a young man who works as a busboy at a nearby restaurant, was hit by a car as he left the bar and suffered serious head trauma. He was placed in an induced coma for a month.
I don’t know him, but according to my staff, James is a very nice, unassuming guy who just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.
He has no memory of the accident. More than that, he has suffered complete amnesia. He is in a group care facility and his family and friends visit him daily. He has learned to walk again, but he does not yet know who he is. I don’t know if he has come to recognize his parents and friends or not, but one detail I heard struck me. Read more...
Last week three Asian-American state senators from California did a prompt about-face after their constituents bombarded them with angry calls, letters and e-mails. The three democratic legislators – Leland Yee of San Francisco, Ted Lieu of Torrance, and Carol Liu of La Canada/Flintridge – backed out of their support for a measure which would have once again allowed California universities to take race into account when considering students for admission.
In author Betty Medsger’s new book, “The Burglary,” about the 1971 break in of an FBI field office in Media, Pennsylvania, she reprints one of the internal FBI documents stolen from the office: Read more...
Hi there! Alfredo here, you friendly local curmudgeon! With all the hype last week over Oscar Host Ellen Degeneres’ actor-packed selfie, I couldn’t help but think, “so um, what, exactly, is so new about a ‘selfie’?”