Saturday, July 19, 2014

Richmond Ramblings

Today started super early.. I woke up long before I planned to for a small adventure to Shipyard #3 for the 70th Anniversary Commemoration of the Port Chicago Disaster.. The anniversary was actually the 17th, but the public event was held this morning in the shadow of the Red Oak Victory.. A lovely backdrop to remembering a horrible day in American history.. Rather than get into that I want to share the better part of my day.. the walk to and from the Shipyard from where the bus dropped me off in the historic part of Richmond.

To get to the beginning, I took the 7:20 AM BART to Richmond.. from there you take the 72M to the Richmond "Plunge" the big Municipal Pool out in the historic part of town:

Welcome to Historic Point Richmond
this is actually where they dropped me off.. by the Mechanics Bank.. Then you just walk up the street a ways, through the tunnel around the bend, around another bend.. oh wait..

THIS Tunnel:
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and out the other side:
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..which takes you to Keller Beach and the Miller/Knox Regional Shoreline.. It was still early, the mist of fog and wind accompanied me as I walked along a very paved sidewalk past the hills, breezy shoreline, and grassy picnic areas..

All along the way I was tempted to stop to take in a view or the occasional information posted along the way:
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other trails called people off the main path:
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look at those steps!! Oh I have to be somewhere, but I would have ran up that hill too if I thought I had time!

mmmmm... rot and railroad tracks to nowhere..
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I can see the City from my walk:
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Cairns?
little cairn..

these seem more like little shrines..
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everywhere..
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eventually I did get to Shipyard 3.. and you can see that set (with the pix I took at the Port Chicago commemoration and the Red Oak Victory pix) HERE

but one of the treats was getting to see this lovely Osprey:
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which lives in a huge nest built atop an old crane:
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but on my way back I had an interesting moment where I was walking, accompanied a bit of distance away by a lady and her dogs.. We were walking in peaceable silence when I heard some sharp chittering cry.. like a Meerkat letting the gang know there was stuff to be aware of.. I stopped looked up.. and saw what looked at first like squirrels.. no chipmunks.. no gophers?? BIG gophers.. scampering through the hill.. the funny thing is, unless they moved, I couldn't actually see them..

gophers?? not sure..
you can see how they would blend in?? Everything is sort of brown..

I laughed along with the lady dog walker as she said, "They're yelling at us.." or some such... There were so many paths that I wanted to investigate, and the shoreline.. and more trails.. The entire winding walk was a bit over 4miles.. my cel got no service once I was at the Shipyard, so it wasn't recording the first mile of my walk back, which was.. frustrating.. but I know how much I did.. Along with my walk home from Downtown Berkeley BART, I am pretty sure to have managed at least 10 miles today (4.4 miles each way to/from the Shipyard.. plus about 1.3 miles home.) Not bad. ;)

I plan at some point to walk the Ohlone Greenway.. that is only about 6 miles.. totally do-able.. just not this weekend.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Your Beautiful Halo of Goodness

somewhere in the arts district...

what if I never met you
you were a person on the street.
never knowing or wanting,
I wouldn't care if you smiled
or said hello,
or wished me well..
We could pass and smile
and never know the strangeness
of our souls.
I would not care if you love
but I would still love you
as I do all humans,
in that colorless way that hopes the best
and wishes we all could get along.
oh!
but that silent brightness
I have seen...
or imagined it so,
shimmering from the depths
and radiating outward
when perhaps you weren't looking,
the thing I keep remembering,
hidden beneath your vest.
closed off from the world,
your beautiful halo of goodness.

cafe fiend

Beignets & coffee..

for my friend the coffee fiend
who likes to look at skirts in mermaid berth
or places where loungewear might be couth
your staring face
over steaming cup
your lecherous writ
and wit often becomes moot
unless you write about being seen..
we'd never know you noticed
the hour-less waist
or yoga pants and skinny jeans
and see-through leggings
that should have been covered
(cottage cheese was not on the menu)
but yet you stare.
regardless the cafe, regardless where
redheads are not your only weakness.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Pete Najarian at the Berkeley Public Library

The Central Branch of the Berkeley Public Library held a reception for local author and painter Pete Najarian earlier this afternoon. Najarian has written several works which often featuring his portraiture (Daughters of Memory, The Artist and His Mother) or landscape paintings (The Great American Loneliness.)

Pete Najarian at the Berkeley Public Library
Najarian points out details of his Berkeley Marina painting.. He explained that along with painting near the Marina, he often heads to the 2nd Street area of West Berkeley on weekends when traffic is light to non-existent. He explained the big buildings aid as a wind break while he works. The painting on the left was created at Cedar and 2nd, looking south.

author and Painter Pete Najarian
Walking the attendees through the various works on exhibition, Najarian explained how he had taken a landscape painting class at Berkeley; he and his fellow painters would go to paint near the Berkeley Marina. Some of the paintings feature fellow painters or landscapes from across the Bay looking toward Albany.. or the Berkeley Hills.

The installation went up on the 7th of July in the first floor "Central Catelog Lobby." As you're heading toward the short stairs to the 2nd floor historic Central Lobby and Reference desk floor, be sure and stop and look around you. You can check out Mr Najarian's painting retrospective until the 3rd of August during regular library hours.


Berkeley Public Library (Central Branch)
2090 Kittredge

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Willard Park

Not far from bustling neighborhood of Elmwood in Berkeley is Willard Park. It was opened in the early 70s and named after Suffragate and Temperance leader Frances Willard.

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Here in the background you can see the clubhouse (and bathroom on left side of structure) where the Berkeley Day Camp is ran from.. a neat water fountain is seen in the foreground.
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Toddler Play Area seen across an open field of dead grass.. Tennis Courts are to the right of the play area.
toddler playground & tennis courts

tennis courts

Willard Park is really a family, neighborhood park.. and is located just around the corner from Willard Middle School, which also uses the park for activities.

What I don't show is the smattering of homeless folks there that were sleeping under the few random trees.. Along with the homeless were random sunbathers, napping folks, ladies having picnics and playing cards. Nearby a couple bicyclists had taken a break from their ride to rest by cooling off and playing a game of "hacky sack" (they were doing pretty good too!)

It was a busy park mid-afternoon and I was hard-pressed to find a spot where I wanted to sit and read. It wasn't peaceful, nor restful. The day was such that with a strong breeze, a shady tree wasn't what I was looking for, and the grass that extended outside in the sun was very dead. I ended up sitting and watching the hacky sack players for a bit and then contemplated the random piece of brown glass from a beer bottle laying weather-worn in the grass next to me. The day camp kids on the far side of the park were playing some kind of soccer I think, well away from the resting homeless. The thing about Berkeley though, is that you can have a wide range of people of various backgrounds and economic situations enjoying the same park. No one is bothering anyone.

That said, this isn't really my idea of a 'meditate under a tree' and read type of park. I'm sure it is for someone..