I always get this weird flashback when I’m walking down Telegraph Avenue on Thanksgiving day. Back in the Good Old Days I used to always meet up with my pals Duncan and Vince at this Telegraph Avenue coffee shop every Thanksgiving. Joint called the Wall Berlin. The Wall Berlin was one of the few coffee shops that was open on Thanksgiving. So it became kind of an annual holiday tradition for the three of us. I can still picture us sitting there at our table outside the café, quietly sipping on our coffee and talking about our plans for the holiday.
Berkeley’s homeless residents staged a protest march on Wednesday, October 23rd, starting at the Seabreeze encampment on University Ave and West Frontage road and ending at Berkeley City Hall. The purpose of the march was to bring attention to the cruelty of what I will call the “homeless shuffle,” the process by which agencies such as CalTrans, the Berkeley Police Department, and Amtrak take turns forcing people to move from corner to corner, and disposing of all their personal property in the process.
I would like to share my experiences with one of the most fascinating people I have ever met. For the purposes of this story, I will call her Emerald. And if you believe in the powers that gemstones and crystals contain, her name is very appropriate.
Big Pink was finished 23 years before the civil war began in America. Big Pink was made from local cypress trees, impervious to the rot and insidious decay that time brings to most things, the living, the dead, and all those things in between and beyond.
The town of Berkeley is full of so many ghosts for me. This building on the corner of Shattuck and University is one of these ghosts. In 1986 it was the office of the Daily Californian, the campus newspaper. And every semester the staff voted on what comic strips they’d run for the semester. In 1986 I won the election. And it turned out to be a big break for me.
On August 13, 2012, I was at home in my tent at the Albany Bulb, taking pictures of my clothing after I finally sorted all of it. Being a perfectionist, I took two pictures from each angle. I figured that I would review the pictures after I was done, keep the best ones from each angle and delete the other ones.
Science has now proven that trauma can be passed down intergenerationally; that rats whose mothers were exposed to stressors like water can epigenetically inherit a special fear of water. Before we had this science, nearly every culture on Earth had ghost stories.
I must start off by saying I laughed when I heard that Alameda County agreed to lease the City of Oakland use of the Old North County Jail for $1.00 a year. Would the officials who had this idea stay in North County? Exactly how it is that this is an option just because someone else feels like, “well it’s better than where you are now so this is what I have to offer you, take it or leave it”?