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Monthly Archives: February 2009

Venice by the Bay

Oakland has some venetian gondolas on Lake Merritt, but if you want to find a place in the Bay Area that feels (at least a bit) like Venice, you’ll do better heading across the estuary to Alameda’s lagoons, as I did one day late last week. Unfortunately, unlike the canals of Venice, Italy (or the […]

Here Comes the Sun

The rain has passed, at least for now, and there was music in the streets again in Oakland yesterday:

Stations of the Cross

That’s downtown Oakland in the distance to the north. Here’s a southward view from a spot a few feet away:

Statistic of the Day

Rainfall at Oakland International Airport from January 1st to February 14th: 2.61 inches Rainfall at Oakland International Airport on February 15th: 1.87 inches Those two numbers are way below average and way above average, respectively. (In fact, the record rainfall for Feb 15 had previously been 1.41 inches.)

Boy’s Toy

I bought myself a new gadget: I was starting to feel the limitations of my point-and-shoot (only a 3X zoom, for instance), so I upgraded to a Digital SLR. Now I just have to learn how to use it. It’s been raining almost nonstop since I bought it last week, but we finally caught a […]

Boxing Out Joseph Cornell

A lot of prominent names appear in the Bill Grimes’s New York Times obituary of Leila Hadley, the author and socialite: Vanderbilt, Luce, Brando, and so on. One person whose name does not appear is the artist Joseph Cornell. Hadley appears to have been the closest thing Cornell ever had to a lover, and superficially, […]

What passes for a “news analyst” at NPR

I’ve mentioned before that I try to avoid NPR as much as possible. It’s mostly the tone that bothers me, rather than anything about the content or political slant. If you want to hear someone peddling conventional wisdom in a self-congratulatory tone of voice, then NPR is for you. (Yes, I know that this is […]

Eye of the Beholder

I just noticed this plaque last week, after having walked past it dozens, if not hundreds, of times: I took another photo from the same spot, looking in a different direction: The plaque was placed where Interstate 580 crosses over Grand Avenue, creating a dark, imposing overpass that separates Lake Merritt and Lakeside Park from […]

Fair Use

Okay, so it’s a bit rough around the edges. I’m no artist — or lawyer, for that matter. (In case anyone is unfamiliar with the legal jousting between the AP and Shepard Fairey, who created the iconic Obama “HOPE” posters, you can get up to speed here.)

Capturing Shadows

Later this month, a project by Joe Penrod called Orange and Blue will be opening at Oakland’s Swarm Gallery along with works by Jared Clark and Jake Watling as part of the ENTER/EXIT exhibition. I’m not especially tuned into Oakland’s thriving arts community, but I have known Watling for several years (I may have occasion […]

Wake Up and Smell the Music

Music is central to every single civilization that we know of, with dozens of different uses: there‚Äôs religious music, martial music, work songs, play songs. Music is a very powerful force for bonding people together. –Oliver Sacks If you walk past a school near my house at the right time on the right day — […]

Now Daschle away, Daschle away, Daschle away all.

So Tom Daschle can now return to earning a fortune as a lobbyist, and can use his close relationship with the President of the United States as a way of influencing public policy, while being subject to none of the scrutiny, oversight, conflict of interest rules, or other safeguards that are in place when one […]