Tag Archives: Food

New Pizza Blog!

PizzzaBubble is a new whimsical project led by Oaklanders and other Bay denizens.  The intial framing is that the bay area is in a pizza bubble at the same time as we’re living in tech bubble 2.0.


We’ll eat to that!

Scene: Tem

Temescal’s BurmaSuperstar was hopping tonight. It’s a super-crammed eatery and tho the food was fairly good, it wasn’t as good as in Alameda where you don’t feel hurried by the crammed-in tables, single file walkways and loud noise. It was really noisy in there due to being packed and medium small.

Service was great though, no wait, every other waiter bussed us, brought us menus, took away card. Host opened door for us. There were groups of folks waiting, but these were 6-8 in size.

Here’s hoping that BurmaSS takes part in next Tuesday’s “Taste” 90% gourmand, 10% localvore eatery sampling event.

Will Telegraph be closed to traffic? That would be a great idea.

Cows…in Berkeley? Jobs…in Oakland?

Hey, remember when “colored” people were the only ones complaining about jobs? Now it’s “middle class” people too. Except that the latter for now are taking their lumps and paying for their kids’ unpaid internships, stuff-white-people-like style. Nary a complaint, no  [Of course, in the past several years the former have been also complaining about police brutality (Marcel Diallo) or killings within the black community. As the church sign on Telegraph says, “stop black on black violence.” So does that mean start black on  (other) violence?, I had to wonder. Anyway, due to lack of money in the ghetto, it is a bit like watching spiders in a jar. The more you add, the more they start eating each other. It’s genetic. I am ashamed to say I did that once as a kid.]

Big surprise. After 30 years of increasing our debts to “eat the future” and giving away (“offshoring”) our manufacturing base to the world for increased corporate profits, and still with a 70% “consumer spending based” economy, we can’t build/borrow/”innovate” our way out of this mess, much less exit a brown paper bag with arrows pointed toward the opening, or repave Oakland streets properly — that is, to 1940s standards.

Time for triage in Oakland street repaving; time for triage in American job creation. I can tell you one thing. Obama isn’t going to create many long-term jobs. So much for change. Besides repair type jobs, the next big jobs wave will be farming. I feel really certain about this based on all the anecdotal stories about people gardening and beekeeping in Oakland and nationwide more than ever these past few years.

What else do we have really, which could generate enough jobs? Please don’t tell me government. Government and government-run entitities needs to take a severe diet. Car and housing related employment is dead for decades. High tech outsources and centralizes more jobs than creates new ones.

1 in 9 Americans are now on food stamps.

We’re going back to the future, 1849 before Industrialization Part 2 took off in Britain in 1850.

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Green shoots! in Oaktown

Woah, look at our local economic recovery. Finally, real green shoots!

My corn children

my corn children

Quick! Someone call Larry Kudlow at CNBC and the WashPost guys! Green shoots found in Uptown! But seriously, it is green shoots in Uptown and Temescal. New restaurants, muay thai kick boxing to replace an auto body shop near MacArthur BART, and another cell phone shop at the corner of 40th/Tele. A nice revival to welcome the can’t-afford-SF set. Brown shoots for Grand Lake and Rockridge.  Theater and retail store closings, etc.

This scene from my balcony and others like it are being realized all over Oakland… I know my old neighbors grew plants and raised bees and chickens. Just this week, an LA Times reporter called me to ask about my old chicken ordinance petition from spring 2008. The interest is there.

And the MSM is covering this relocalized economy because they need some happy face stories. Advertisers and buyers like happy talk. Let’s check out…

See? Good-bye “consumer” and wall$treet paper economy. Hello real economy.

And people whining about the state budget cuts need to wake up. We’ve enjoyed living in a very special time in human history. Fossil fuels (100-200 “free” energy slaves per American) powered cheap education, subsidized schooling (propaganda if you prefer), welfare of all kinds, and paved yellow brick roads in every formerly rich ecological zone in California.

The fossil fuel fiesta — as Chevron ads repeatedly tell us — is ending so we are painfully reverting to historical averages. Only the rich got education. Most people farmed. (95% instead of 5%) Nobody drove a car. Hot baths were a luxury. (unless you lived near geothermal hot springs:)

Get used to it. Let’s make the best of our lot and feed these green shoots to some pandas 🙂

food trucks craze

more on the food truck “movement”:


These were widespread in japan but not as popular as they are in LA. I guess LA/Yelp type people are always seeking new and novel entertainments, and we are as Japanese as the Japanese when it comes to trends (see: pinkberry, coach accessories, etc) and perhaps for all the same reasons. In japan i saw:

—a tiny, tiny crepe truck with a hatch cover, and two guys operated it out of the hatch. and this truck could not have been much longer and definitely no taller than a toy yaris. the ‘cook’ sat cross-legged in front of two crepe diases and made em on the spot. i ordered once or twice out of pity because they were obviously trying to start a new biz which in japan is probably harder than it is here;

—a bigger “melon pan” (melon bread) truck painted green and orange, the size of a dodge/benz diesel truck, posted up outside one of the many multi-story vertical malls outside of a train station, the department store name was OPA;

—another tiny (but older and more busted) truck selling gyoza out the back and on a speaker it blared “gyooou~~~za” which was funny. i chased him down on my bike once and bought some.

there are lots of truck-based food servers in the us now that i think about it…not just taco trucks but also the guys at farmers markets who sell chicken/potatoes, kettle korn. i can only see more of that type of stuff happening since ZONING is so stringent here in the US. and that would really work well in suburbs like LA or smaller ones up here. this is a cheap solution to get around zoning restrictions and all the capital costs of setting up a stationary restaurant space.

i’m curious though…how does LACDPH handle vehicle-based foods? i assume they have all the same licenses.

Flip the scrip’: NO currency at all baby!

I’ve been harping about local currencyfor a while . Yes, it is an ivory tower type idea which doesn’t work well, and can’t compete very well with the dominant currency. It is not our savior, just as “Obama” and mere hope is not our savior.

Money causes problems. It enables loan sharking, bribery, extraction of “capital” from a community, and makes many of us work wage slave jobs. Local money would still be money. And few people would accept it.

As of today, I will no longer push for this idea. It’s a dead end.

Better idea: NO money. Trade goods via barter instead.. Trade whatever you have for what you want…

Our enemy is money. We should rely on the earth, gifting of essential goods/services and personal relationships instead. These will make us all stronger.

I’ve seen the phrase “trust is the only real currency.” To that I would add, the things we really need to survive — water, food, clothes, shelter, security — are also real currency.

  • Air – required
  • Water – required
  • Food – required
  • Security – nice to have
  • Clothes/Shelter – optional, nice to have
  • Relationships – semi optional, great to have

Are you with me?

When money is worthless and your credit card / home equity line are shot to hell, personal relationships and the land are all you have left. Build those up now and at the very least, you’ll have a healthier life.