I went to my polling place in downtown Berkeley today and the volunteers told me to vote in any private place I could find. It was me, a guy and four chihuahuas. I bet you can guess who the chihuahuas voted for.
You can park anywhere you want for as long as you want for free with my new disabled person parking permit. Do you want to take me to dinner in San Francisco’s SOMA? Giants game anyone? Whole Foods? When my boot comes off I will love parking my car in front of my apartment in downtown Berkeley and everywhere else until October 31st. My broken foot doesn’t seem so bad all of a sudden.
My very first blog post back on February 10th was about my love for Sandwich Spot in Downtown Berkeley. Not too long ago an Ike’s moved in a block away ready for a rumble. I’d been trying to avoid sandwiches lately on the Tiffany Diet, but bitch left for Croatia so it was time to feast.
The general consensus among two Berkeleyside staff members and myself is that Ike’s looks too annoying to enter. There are more sandwich choices than anyone with good sense would know how to deal with. Why does Ike’s have a sandwich named penis? That’s what a “pizzle” is right?
I tried to be scientific and order the same sandwich at both places (turkey, cheddar, mayo, lettuce, tomato and pickles on a french roll). Ike’s doesn’t have mayo, they have dirty sauce (garlic aioli) I was told. Also, at Ike’s you can’t have a cold sandwich. The bread must be heated.
My Sandwich Spot sammy was $2 cheaper than the one from Ike’s. I didn’t like the sauce. I don’t like fancy sandwiches and secret menus annoy me. Ike’s is for bros. Sandwich Spot is for me.
I live in Downtown Berkeley and my apartment building has a cat infestation. Two identical stray cats have taken up residence in the hallways. One of them dropped out of a ceiling fan onto the washing machine while I was doing laundry once and scared the fuck out of me. The front door of the building doesn’t close and they can easily scootch in under the security gate. At first it was a cute surprise but now I feel like a shit head for not feeding them when evidence abounds that other dwellers around me clearly are.
We are not a neighborly bunch. Residents come and go a lot as the building is near Cal. I saw my landlord in the lobby and asked him about it. He said they were trying to catch the cats. Huh? One of them zoomed into my apartment once and I just picked it up and carried it outside. I really don’t want fleas. I know I suck.
I googled and found that I am not alone in this problem. In Miami, a man shot at his neighbors for refusing to stop feeding strays in their shared apartment complex. On the other end of the spectrum, a stray in Russia living in an apartment’s hallways was heralded after saving an abandoned infant from freezing to death. I hope Marsha the cat got a real place to live after that.
Friend or foe, what are you supposed to do about stray cats living in your apartment building? The Humane Society has specific advise for housing managers. TNR stands for, “trap, neuter, and return.” Managers are supposed to get the cats all fixed up at the vet and then either take them to some kind of community group or ask the residents to continue caring for them. I’m not paying rent to live in an animal shelter? I know I suck.
There are laws in California pertaining to feral cats but as far as I can tell these laws leave the specifics to local government. The City of Berkeley website also suggests a TNR approach but also has a section called, “Do Feral Cats Lead Short, Miserable Lives?” and advice for keeping the cats out of your garden (ultrasonic cat repellents and motion activated sprinklers). Poor kitties.
I’m pretty sure my friend K who writes about food told me that Sam’s Log Cabin on San Pablo Avenue in Albany has good food. I’m probably wrong about that because they do not. I tried to have Sunday brunch there a few weeks ago and there were roughly 25 people on the list before me 45 minutes until closing time. My friend P and I easily got a table today at 8 am.
It’s cute, especially the back patio area. Everyone working there is very friendly. The portions are big. The blueberry lemon scone, sourdough toast, and potatoes were very good. They are not too fancy to serve Diet Coke. The important stuff, eggs, pancakes, and sausages were not good at all. If it’s possible for all three of these foods to be dry, that’s what they were.
The most important part of breakfast is the egg. If a place overcooks my scrambled eggs, I never go there again. I probably like them more runny than most but if they look and taste like I’m at a breakfast buffet in a London hotel or at Whole Foods for that matter, then I’m out. Sam’s Log Cabin served dry ass eggs.
I ordered the Hardly Working breakfast consisting of a pancake and egg and added sausage because I like to make my own McDonald’s McGriddle type messy roll up thing. The pancake was dry, even with the whole shot glass of syrup. Finally, the sausage was dry, like crumbling in its little casing dry.
I’d say the food was on par with Au Coquelet in Downtown Berkeley. That is a super dis.
I live in downtown Berkeley next door to a men’s shelter. Every morning after breakfast some of the men come outside, stand around on the sidewalk, and talk. I usually pass them twice, once on my way to or from the gym and again on my way to work. One of the men is named Kieran.
I work four blocks from my apartment and once my boss compared my neighborhood after dark to the Tenderloin is San Francisco. Yes, there are a lot of encampments but it’s not the Loin. I am afraid to walk by myself alone at night in the Tenderloin. Actually, I’m terrified. I’ve never been afraid in Berkeley.
I feel like the homeless population has a lot better things to do than harm me. Also, there are not many mentally ill homeless people in Berkeley that I’ve encountered. The worst thing anyone has ever yelled at me on the street is, “Anorexic bitch!” I kind of liked it.
Kieran talks to all the women who pass by him. Sometimes he walks beside or behind me. Sometimes his buddies tell him to shut up and sometimes they join in. He doesn’t whisper as I pass. He recites the same script with vigor every day.
Kieran: Keep smiling sweetheart. You are very pretty. I like what you have on. I’m telling you that if he doesn’t marry you he’s a fool and it’s a damn shame.
Sometimes Kieran talks about his twin sister Keira. Sometimes he asks me my name or if I forgot something (when I pass by him more than once). I once heard him ask about the daughter of a woman who works in a government building. It was the girl’s birthday. Kieran is predictable but today he changed the script.
Kieran’s script change freaked me out a little bit. He said, “I probably won’t kidnap you but I’d like it if you’d spend some time with me.” I don’t feel particularly comfortable being sized up multiple times a day by Kieran. Mentioning kidnapping as I was turning the lock on my apartment building wasn’t cool. I guess I should move to Walnut Creek. No fucking way! He did say that he wasn’t going to do it. Probably.
Is The Trappist the original specialty spot to open during Oakland’s decade long beer boom? It’s so old that it’s Belgian focused. I hate Belgian beer. It tastes like cloves. Consequently, I haven’t been to The Trappist much over the years. I definitely took my beer snob brother-in-law there when he visited a while ago, before there were a million great options for craft beer in Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, and Oakland.
My friend H from Books and Beer Club and I went there last Wednesday before eating at B-Dama in Swan’s Marketplace. The weather was hot! Did you know that The Trappist has a nice little beer garden in the back? I did not. H did not. I was really pleased to see Founders All Day IPA on tap, a session ale with 4.7% ABV, perfect for the warm weather.
Old Oakland is so lively on weekdays after work. I’m finding any excuse to hang out there these days. Downtown Berkeley’s drinking establishments have dwindled lately. I did hear that a new restaurant is moving into the Perdition space and that they inherited Perdition’s great beer selection. I don’t know how that works but I’m very happy about it.