love, Oakland

Yesterday was a perfect, balmy day in Oakland, cerulean skies with nary a streak of cloud and a nearly full moon rising come twilight, natch. I took the opportunity to bike solo style through the Highland, Glenview, and Fruitvale districts, in search of cool gardens (it was part of an organized, free Bay-Friendly Garden Tour).

As I rode down Foothill, I must have passed a half dozen fleets of "paletas"- those pushcarts you see up and down the boulevard. If you want a cool and refreshing snack, slam on your brakes, pull over yonder, and order a bag of freshly cut-up watermelon, mangos, strawberries, cantalope, jicama, cucumbers, pineapple, papaya, cactus fruit, and coconut. They'll squeeze fresh limes on it, sprinkle salt, and as much chili powder as you want. They'll give you a bamboo skewer to poke the pieces out of the ziplock bag. Most carts also offer super delish steamed corn on a stick, rolled in mayo and then heavily flocked with grated cheese and another hit of the chili powder. But yesterday I wasn't about that. I just cruised in the sun, getting nutbrown and shining of face, riding up strangers' driveways to look at their backyards and to talk native plants, or listening to the corner gab about the MacArthur Maze collapse. (People were actually screeching up to the corner and marveling about the melted road phenomenon to folks just waiting at the taco truck for their burritos). I found a house not six blocks from here with a huge beautiful garden replete with artichokes, pineapple guava trees, and flock of beautiful chickens. Chickens! Buddyray asked how many eggs they got a day, and the host gardeners said five- one from each hen, which sent BR reeling.

Thus, in tribute, I went downstairs to the garage today and reprinted this linoblock, in loving tribute to my home for the past 19 years.