April Buzzes

It’s been an incredible frenzy lately. Not only making good progress on my rewrite, but all the events and socializing and general pleasure of living to the fullest… Here come a lot of photos of recent weeks…

First let me start out with a brief account of last night’s lovely Critical Mass. It’s April, the crowd was huge (betw. 3000 and 4000 by my crude reckoning), swelled by the recent hubbub in the news and the great weather. A very bucolic evening unfolded, heavily covered by news media since suddenly once again the ride was newsworthy. Apparently the Channel 5 coverage breathlessly claimed that it was thanks to the 40+ police that last night’s event didn’t go awry, but if you were there, or saw it go by, you saw a huge crowd of happy cyclists, remarkably supportive and enthusiastic bystanders and very tolerant motorists, with fewer than usual exceptions. A lot of folks turned up to show that the ride is a sensible repudiation of the stupid daily life in cars, but also a rebuke to the absurd news coverage that is still repeating blatant lies about the March ride aftermath… but what are you going to do? I thought the SF Bike Coalition reps did a good job of refusing the media’s framing and turning the discussion back to the wholly inadequate conditions for bicycling on city streets every day. Anyway, here’s three shots from last night, first on Montgomery, then Bay Street (which was actually earlier) and finally on Market heading up to Duboce. Apparently the ride went all the way to the beach through Golden Gate Park, and then back again to finish around 9:30. (I went to the movies! Saw a FANTASTIC documentary on the film editor Edward Murch–highly recommended!)

I’m now ensconced in the SF Int’l Film Festival. One of my great pleasures every year is going to this festival, and this year is going to top all previous years. My pals J & K set me up with a CineVisa for the whole shebang, so I’m going to 39 movies! I’ve seen 3 already, of which Murch was the hands-down best. The opening night film “Golden Door” was beautiful and poignant and very well acted… but left me wanting a little something more, a bit more edge. Adriana, as an immigrant herself, thought it very resonant and gave it an enthusiastic reception. We also went to see the very silly “Black Sheep” last night–a horror film about New Zealand sheep becoming genetically engineered with human genes and turning into carnivorous killers… very funny at moments, hilarious send-ups of vegetarians and animal rights activists (who could use a bit more humor after all), but overall, a C- for this one. More reviews in coming days…

We had our 3rd biannual Slow Food Feast of Fools and Friends last Sunday the 22nd. Another great night on the “By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea” theme… a whole menu from the sea, great presentations by Amy Franceschini and Kirk Lombard, great music by Rupa and the April Fishes, and a live mural painted by Mona Caron, plus video clips, poetry, song, and yours truly doing some kind of ersatz Jennifer Beals imitation preceding my “dessert safety drill” performed to the tune of Kitchen Motors (a long lost brilliant single from circa 1980)…. Here’s some shots by Phil Maisel and the black and white picture of Mona painting with Ginger Murray to the left by John Agoncillo…

The day after the feast, after returning various wine glasses and other equipment, we got to spend the afternoon relaxing at Shelter Cove in Pacifica… What a spectacular spot, a lost little enclave right on the beach at the south-western tip of Pacific behind cliffs and basically off-limits to those who don’t have a reason to be there… we did! Here’s some pictures of the place, the views, and the gorgeous sunset we watched drop into the ocean (no green flash though)…

On Thursday I went my pal Susanne Z. on a lovely ride along the Eastshore State Park bikeway that covers the entire distance from Emeryville to Richmond, culminating in the really moving and wonderful historical monument to Rosie the Riveter and the WWII shipyards in Richmond. This is a fantastic public monument and I urge everyone to visit it… it’s super informational and a lovely layout in the park overlooking the bay. Here’s a few shots of it:

This sign says: “You must tell your children, putting modesty aside, that without us, without women, there would have been no spring in 1945.”

Here’s the view out across the bay from the bizarre and amazing Albany Bulb… followed by a view back towards El Cerrito hill across the mudflats from Richmond… lots of restored wetlands and ecological treats to see along this ride.

In addition to the Feast we had that amazing “When the Mission Was Low and Slow” Talk/video on April 11, then I spoke at the American Association of Geographers conference at the Hilton, I’ve have a couple of meetings with the new SF Museum folks (which is looking very promising), and tomorrow at 9 a.m. I have to show up at Berkeley City College to speak at the “Crisis in the California Commons” conference. On May 2, this coming Wednesday I’ll be presenting along with Grey Kolevzon and Glenda Drew at our Talk on “Enclosures, Immigration and Food” at CounterPULSE at 8 p.m. And amidst all that, rewriting the book and going to movies!… I’m not complaining, that’s for sure!… (and also, Go Warriors!)

4 comments to April Buzzes

  • Y’all left without me! Last month the ride left at 6:30, this month it was rolling out just as the Peace Teepee arrived from Happy Camp. At least the teepee stayed up until well into Saturday. Here are some photos, under the entry “Peace Mission Accomplished”:


    The center pic says “Unite the Tribes!” Even brought down three choppers, but the Great Spirit claimed two of them, including the Purple Haze, leaving only the Sun Sparkle behind for WD40, awaiting her at Heckle and Jive…

    Had to escape the city for the weekly Peace Party Potluck here in Happy Camp, every Sunday, from 4:20 until ???

  • hedgehog

    Hi! I counted riders. It was about 1,250 about 3/4 of a mile after the beginning of the ride. But it FELT like 3,000, which is cool.

    The Chron also mentioned that the ride was 19 miles. Funny, I never think to count. That’s a serious ride!

    Dolora Spark was funn as usual. Is it me or has that park been getting more popular with the kids? I think the hipster scene has fixed on that park — every weekend it seems fuller than it used to, especially at the lower corner. What think you?

  • f

    lovely to hear how wonderful things are. you should link phil’s name to his site- http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhinoandbird/

  • Rocco

    I love the line from the Chron article about how “the ride was much less like a protest” but it was more like a “rolling festival.” Gee- how nice of them to point that out. I can’t think of thousands of others who have been saying the exact same thing – based on experience – for the past 15 years.

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