Friday, September 30, 2011


This paper-cut mural was made by Swoon about three years ago.  A girl's quinceanera photo is surrounded by skulls, a memorial to young women killed in the Mexican border town of Juarez.  It's on the Hampshire Street wall of Tony's Market, and with exposure to the rain the intricate details of this powerful piece are gradually disintegrating.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Rad Cloud

A laidback mix of garage rock, lounge music, beat poetry, surf tunes.  Great song titles:  Flowers on Willie Brown Street, Graffiti is Warm, Words of a Sidewalk..... Lots of listening enjoyment from this self-titled LP by San Francisco's Rad Cloud.

Here is Magic Crosswalk to the Moon, live in Oakland.

Magic Crosswalk to the Moon from Bob Thayer on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

comida de la mission

The Mission is simply teeming with excellent inexpensive places to eat.

It may look like a scruffy dive but Mission Chinese Food serves some of the tastiest and most inventive Chinese food in the country.  The fiery Ma Po Tofu has inspired me to make lots of pork 'n tofu dishes at  home.  Next time it will be harder to get a seat in the small dining room beneath the paper dragon because the restaurant was just featured as #2 in Bon Appetit magazine's Top Ten Restaurants of 2011.

Lots & lots of choice for tacos.  Grab a sidewalk table at La Taqueria and enjoy a carnitas taco with avocado.

Or a couple of tacos from the cart at Taqueria Vallarta.  How about a lengua and an al pastor dressed with salsa, radish, onion, cilantro and a squeeze of lime?

Be sure to save room for cookies or a pastry at Panaderia La Mexicana.

Or are you more in the mood for a slice of pizza?  Everyday Arizmendi Bakery features a different combination.  Maybe summer squash, red onion, goat cheese and thyme oil.  Or roasted fresh fennel, mushrooms, smoked mozzarella and garlic oil.  Or spinach, red onion, Point Reyes blue cheese and balsamic vinaigrette...

Or if you just want a plain cheese slice accompanied by metal music there's Arinell.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

People's Park, Berkeley

mural detail

People's Park was created in May 1969 when activists and residents took over a derelict lot owned by the university and turned it into a green space.  The governor at the time, Ronald Reagan, decided to use the park as a symbol of "left-wing anti-authority" and sent in police to destroy it.  That led to a violent riot- Bloody Thursday- and a state of emergency was declared and National Guard troops were sent in to patrol the streets of Berkeley.  Two weeks later 30,000 residents peacefully marched past the park to protest the occupation and police violence.

Today the park has gardens maintained by volunteers and is "home" to a large homeless population who receive free meals there from Food Not Bombs.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


palms & a piece of blue

they line the port of oakland like dinosaurs, waiting for the
cargo ships to bring their loads

telegraph avenue