Wednesday, May 26, 2010

signs: Talco's


I'm not sure what the design motif for this sign on Talco's Bar is. From a distance it's almost a "rustic log cabin" look, but that doesn't fit with the style of the building itself. Then again, it would hardly be the first drinking establishment with a seemingly random theme. The lone review on Yelp doesn't make it sound very inviting, and I'm usually going past in the afternoon so I haven't tried it myself.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Cora "Mom" Green

Mom Green

Last night at their 9th annual Dinner Dance and Awards, Oakland Firefighters Random Acts honored Cora "Mom" Green with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Mom Green is one of those people that makes you feel better about humanity. She's been doing good with OF Random Acts for a long time. She's been doing good things for Oakland for a long time before that, 40 years all told. It was mayor Lionel Wilson that gave her the name "Mom", because she was a mom to everyone in Oakland. Cancer and age have slowed her down some, but she's still going. Lots of firefighters were there to thank mom for her service, and her daughter flew in from North Carolina to surprise her. I had the privilege of putting together a brief slideshow of photos of her helping people in the community and her with various firefighters, police and others she's worked with over the years.

There's a nice article in the Tribune about Mom. I heard that KTVU (Rita Williams of KTVU news was the MC) did a piece on her the other night, but I haven't seen it yet.

Also honored with a Community Hero award was the East Bay Boxing Association, which despite the name does a lot more for kids in East Oakland than teaching them to box. They have programs for gardening, food distribution, tutoring, leadership and more. Executive Director Liz Kendall was on hand to receive the ward.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Bike to Market Day

Fresh on the (w)heels of Bike to Work Day is Bike to Market Day, tomorrow, May 22nd. Numerous markets like Farmer Joe's, Whole Foods, Berkeley Bowl, and Grocery Outlet are offering discounts and other goodies for cyclists. Get the complete list at the East Bay Bike Coalition page, and check out the nice Google Map they've done showing locations:

View Bike to Market Day in a larger map

Most of the discounts are around 10% and require you to have your cycling helmet in hand. Riding with a helmet is a very good idea, as I can personally attest. I took a corner too fast the other month and wiped out, cracking my helmet but not my head.

The page mentions farmers markets, too, but didn't give much in the way of particulars. K and I rode to our local farmers market in Montclair last Sunday. She rode the e-bike, and I took a mountain bike. Getting there was easy, of course. Riding back we both worked, but me more than her. These days I get a little tired riding the e-bike back from the Village depending on the load, but it's not too bad. I more fully appreciate how much work the e-bike is doing now.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Bike to Work Day and Car Free Challenge

Tomorrow is Bike to Work Day, to encourage more people to bike (and take public transit as needed) instead of driving to work. To make the idea more palatable, Walk Oakland Bike Oakland (WOBO) and the Bay Area Bike Coalition (BABC) have set up energizer stations around the city. You can even ride into Downtown with your council member (and eat pancakes)! Can't bike all the way? AC Transit is supporting Bike to Work Day and has bike racks on the front of buses. Bikes are allowed on BART with some restrictions.

More reading:
WOBO's Bike to Work Day hub
BABC's Bike to Work Day hub
map of the energizer stations
post at Today in Montclair

As wonderful as it is, Bike to Work Day is a one-day event. Hopefully it will encourage more people to consider biking (possibly in connection with public transit). But if you want to show you're really committed (or some would say, really should be committed), take part in Bike to Work Day tomorrow and then take part in TransForm's Car Free Challenge the first seven days of June. Ideally you'd not ride in a car at all that week, but that may not be practical. So instead you register (for prizes, a t-shirt, and an after party) and then set your mileage goal as low as you can. This event also supports the work of TransForm. Join up with other Oakland bloggers and be part of the Blogoaksphere Car Free Challenge Team.

As a reminder for both events, Google Maps now supports directions via bike. That feature is still in development, but between that and the WOBO and BABC resources you should be able to figure out a bike route or bike + transit route to your destination.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

signs + food: Claremont Diner

Claremont Diner

Next to The Graduate bar is the Claremont Diner. It's got the classic diner vibe going in a big way. The other morning after dropping K off at Rockridge BART (direct train to SFO, no people mover!), I stopped by for breakfast, and of course, to check out the signs.

Although the reviews on Yelp are all over the place, I found the food to be good, basic diner fare and and the service very good. I had blueberry pancakes, which were hearty and had lots of blueberries in and on them. The coffee was hot, tasty enough, and the waitress refilled it as needed. Throw in classic diner decor, some nice signs, and a model train that runs on the half hour, and you've got a fun little place with good food.


Claremont Diner