running for life, recallquan status, bloggers, future

2H March 2012 Update

Tabling for New, Better Mayor

I witnessed two gents tabling for the Recall Oakland Mayor Quan campaign by the Downtown Marriott last weekend.  A good spot to camp out – many Oakland Marathon registrants passed by. Other highlights:

  • Rain
  • plenty of takers though at the booth
  • donuts and cookies provided by moi
  • every weekend at farmers market near you!


If you’re into sustainability thoughts and trends, you might read up on how Ancient China kept up its transport mobility mojo in an era of post-asphalt roads during a time when Ancient Europe failed to do similarly. With a Chinese wheelbarrowWell – it’s true the ‘peons used Roman paved roads for a millenia, but it was all dirt roads from there. What’s this got to do with the East Bay?

The Oakland implication being, in light of all our rainy season potholey roads, we’ll all be sloshing to Point B via College Slide, Park Washout or 580 Road in a few decades because of wack-a-molely amounts of potholes and gravel. But nobody reading this will be around to care, right?

Figure A.: Ashby Avenue right hand eastbound lane, west of San Pablo Avenue


Remember how I’ve stated in the past few years that the future of cities and towns portends chaos and upheaval?  And my emphasis on natural disaster preparedness and local self sufficiency?  People will get through these things.  Learned people are already preparing for the inevitably bad future. And the rest will muddle through, ascend or perish and/or live mundane third-world existences.


It’s my – and your – aspiration to avoid being that merely mundane third-worlder: the guy with a sign at the freeway offramp, poking his head out behind the TacoBell drive-thru window, thrusting Street Sheets into view on a main road between a financial district and a BART take-me-home-by-tube station, calling all signers for $0.75-1.00 per signature on state ballot initiatives…


Temescal redevelopment: MacArthur BART station’s new $250MM (?) parking garage is on its way to being built.  The lot’s cheapo motels are long gone.  Some structural digging still going on. No foundations laid yet.

Old Oakland redevelopment: Looks like the space long vacated by Mignonne is now a new Subway sandwich joint. I have yet to visit the bubble bath spa down the block if it’s still there.

SouthSouth Berkeley/NorthNorth Oakland redevelopment: two years ago the black-owned southern BBQ place turned over ownership to new white(?)-owned Looney’s. Seems to be doing okay. [Foreshadowing the sale of BPP member Bobby Seale‘s house and move to CoCoCo.]  Addie’s Pizza as mentioned is minimally successful.  Doing okay more because of location than quality of pizza. For kickass pizza it’s still about Emilia’s, Paxti’s/Zachary’s, Arizmendi/Cheeseboard.


Finally for you city plannerds, towns – the not-suburb, not-city – have an answer to “elitist” New Urbanism, TOD and Smart Growth: Strong Towns. Rock on. Something that the “evil UN agenda 21” tea-partiers can glom onto.  Which made me think…since we’re all making do with less cheap gasoline to drive to and fro, we are delectably itching for more enjoyable (read: European, Japanese) public spaces, civic spaces, civic amenities.

Oakland enjoys some of these civic amenities: long-time nicely re-landscaped Lake Merritt (scene of the recent knee joint crime of many people running in a huge circle) and the upcoming new bridge; the “burgeoning” (can someone PLEASE coin a new phrase?) Uptown nightlife district for hipsters and faux rich, Addie’s Pizza and Sweet Adeline in North North Oakland (South Berkeley), Commonwealth pub on Broadway Corridor …. yes, it’s all about civic amenities. If we gotsta staycation it, then we better have some nice local digs! Of course Berkeley has good spots to chill in as well…Cafe Milano and Thalassa for good old times.  Maybe it’s time for MLK Way in North Oakland to have a greenway under the bart tracks. No need for more than two lanes of traffic each way, eh?

And if you haven’t tried It’s All Good Bakery, I recommend you go at least once. Give it a try.  Food’s not healthy, but it is acceptably good.

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