Check out Nellie McKay, she's the most original "pop" singer I've ever heard--in her own way as musically inventive as Charles Ives, Thelonious Monk, Frank Zappa, even Roland Kirk. Her double CD, "Get Away From Me" is $10.99.

Listeners and critics offer

"Growing up in Harlem, this blonde-haired, blue-eyed English girl not only came to develop a unique taste in music, but also a special way of looking at the world around her."

"With influences ranging from traditional vocal jazz, Broadway showtunes, underground rap, cabaret and Torch singing, McKay juxtaposes all of these influences to create her own unique sound that doesn't fit into any genre, no matter how hard you try to categorize it."

"The album -- which spans two CDs because she likes the idea of switching discs like people used to switch vinyl records -- is comprised of 18 tracks of diverse styles and subject matter. After one listen, you will be hard-pressed to find another artist who veers back and forth from different emotions and musical genres with such ease, while never sounding insincere or scattered. The insane side of her psyche makes up 90 percent of the album, and it is clear she is most engaging when she gets in touch with this side of her personality."

"Mixing the eerily sugar-coated sounds of The Shangri-Las with the crooning of Frank Sinatra and the clever acrimony of Eminem would seem like a difficult task, but McKay melds these ecclectic styles together with ease."

"For my money, Nellie McKay is the most promising singer/songwriter to emerge in the 21st century."


For more Bonnaroo photos and some information, check out her webpage.



Tomorrow, the Berkeley Commission on Women will hold an informational meeting about our November proposition decriminalizing prostitution. At their last meeting, the organization representing sex workers appeared telling of their plight and wanting the support of this women's group. Members want to hear about the effects this activity has on our neighborhoods and lives. The meeting is tomorrow, Wednesday, August 4 at 7:30 PM in the North Berkeley Senior Center at Martin Luther King and Hearst Street.




An informational meeting of a different kind was held at the Tomate. Last week supporters of legal marijuana and decriminalizing prostitution met at the Tomate.

The sex workers have a web site worth checking out. It's Sex Worker's Outreach Project.




Lipofsky isn't the only artglass maker in Potter Creek.






In an otherwise informative Daily Planet report, Zelda Bronstein writes that the University had nothing to say in"UC Sued Over Albany Village Development."

An upper-class sex worker in Marin offers "Basically, I think that consensual adult prostitution should be decriminalized. It can be regulated by civil codes like other businesses. However, all Berkeley or other cities can do is propose a resolution to the State. Prostitution is a criminal offense at the State level."

And of last night's meeting about decriminalizing prostitution, Cameron Woo offers "I'll tell you this. The opposition we're up against (the sex worker coalition) is quite committed and speaks to people's emotions. . . . The neighborhood has a great deal of work to do to defeat the initiative."

Of the Potter Creek residents contacted about this issue, only Lipofsky took time to give more than the most brief of comments--in one case it was just a few seconds. Sarah Klise and Claudia-of-The-Bark were "too busy." Cameron's reaction is posted above. However, the sex workers contacted were informative and generous with their time.




The Scharffen Berger chocolate you see at Trader Joe's has different packaging, is made to a difference recipe and is less expensive. Yes, it is still made by Scharffen Berger, but it is to Scharffen Berger's own what a Bentley is to a Rolls.


Scharffen Berger's own



"I think the university basically has its fingers in its ears," said Flashman. "It doesn't want to hear about it" quotes Alan Lopez of the Berkeley Voice in his "Students Sue UC Regents Over New Housing Plans."
In it's ears?

"The big giant won't be nice" quipped Kimar.




On Tuesday August 3 at 11:02 AM, I received this email from a Potter Creek activist. It was sent to roughly two dozen other people--mostly Potter Creekers.
"Rivka, from the Berkeley Commission on Women, just called to plea for
OUR voices tomorrow night at their meeting. . . . Turns out,
that at their last meeting, the organization representing sex workers
appeared telling of their plight and wanting the support of this
women's group. Rivka and the other members wanted to hear the other
side, or OUR voices as to the effects this activity has on our
neighborhoods and lives."

At this meeting, held at the North Berkeley Senior Center on Wednesday evening of August 4th, roughly thirty interested citizens attended. By accounts, just less than half were somehow associated with Potter Creek. Four members of the nine-member City of Berkeley Commission on Women were present. Two citizens spoke of the effect of lower-class street prostitution on Potter Creek. Two people advocated decriminalization--they were the movement organizers. Additionally, more citizens were allowed a few minutes to speak. By most accounts the information fell into two categories--factual descriptions of the effects of low class street prostitution on Potter Creek and largely emotional appeals for decriminalization. "It was a setup!" cracked one of Potter Creek's elder statesmen.

"How come there aren't 'any' men in women's groups?" asked Lipofsky "We're one of the groups that most need to be educated."



I just finished Joan Halsip's epic

The jacket perceptively offers "Elizabeth . . . was a modern woman at a time when that notion was unheard of. Her love of sport, gymnastic, dangerous riding, sailing, poetry and all things Greek were not catered for by Habsburg family life. . . . her restless search for freedom became as legendary as her beauty."





Why was decriminalizing prostitution, a legal matter with social and political implications, sent to the Commission on Women? Would you send the question of whether prostitution is "good or bad," a social or cultural matter with some legal implications, to a legal department?

". . . the critical economic issue this year boils down to whether middle class people think they are begin squeezed" writes New York Times reporter, Edmund L Andrews in his "Feeling it Around the Middle" in the West County Times.

"Worker Gap is Widening" by Steve Butler is also in today's West County Times--maybe not a good thing?

The Kruse boys were full of themselves early this morning--a good thing!

Mercury's retrograde until early September--hold on to your seats, hats, belts, . . . whatever.



Martin Snapp writes in the West County times "In a stunning development that threw Berkeley's District 3 city council race into a turmoil and rang a sudden curtain down on one of the most storied careers in Berkeley politics, Vice Mayor Maudelle Shirek failed on Friday to qualify for re-election to the seat she's held for the last 20 years. " Read more in his report , "Berkeley Council Fixture Won't Run."





the author of Isabel's Strawberries and the soon-to-be-posted, White Chocoalate Ice Cream recipes and

a reader and grad-student in Mexico City.


James Temple of the West County Times writes"The employees of Berkeley Bowl Market will be allowed to unionize as part of a settlement. . . . The settlement comes just days before an administrative law judge of the National Labor Relations Board was scheduled to hear the case."

And a responsive Linda Maio offers of her decision "[decriminalization] was sent months ago when the proponents asked us to place the measure on the ballot and we refused. We normally refer matters to Commissions when issues come under their purview."




Paul's family is almost moved-out--BOOOO! They've rented to École Bilingue faculty--HOORAAAY!

Rumors persist of other moves and sales!


Isabel sent this link to an animated cartoon with sound, "Italy vs. Europe." It could also be "Berkeley vs. America?" Check out


Julia Child died at age 91.


A Congressional Budget Office report concluded that the Bush tax cuts have shifted the tax burden from the Upper Class to the Middle Class.





Going to Summer Greek Festivals as a kid in the mid-West, I knew the Greeks could throw a party. Their Olympic opening last night showed I didn't know the half of it--what class, what imagination, what tradition. I don't know what the revisionist thinking is, but as a kid I was taught that the Greeks invented democracy. (Costa and Couric's ignorance was embarrassing.)


Denny Abram's crew broke ground for his 8th and Pardee project last week. And Kava's is progressing a-pace, it seems.


East elevation of Regan's project on 8th and Pardee. It has the same simple elegance as his across-the-street building and should be available for occupancy by mid-Fall.

For information about this and other Regan projects email





Eric Lichtblau of the New York Times reports "F.B.I. Goes Knocking for Political Troublemakers."

tsk, tsk.


And, check out H. "Chip" Johnson's San Francisco Chronicle column"Berkeley's Answer to Prostitution."

Write a letter to the editor, please!


Visits to this site are up 60% from last August.




Look for BUTTERCUP BAKERY memorabilia on ebay soon.

BUTTERCUP what? See Foods of Berkeley for its potted history.

Michael Powell of the Washington Post writes "'New York is the place to get your message out, any message,' Bloomberg says. 'It's no fun to protest on an empty stomach. So you might want to try a restaurant.' Hizzoner offers another example: 'Or you might want to go shopping, maybe for another pair of sneakers for the march.' . . . The program to welcome radicals comes backed by the full marketing power of the city's tourist wing, NYC & Co. Link to a Peaceful Political Activists home page through, (we're not kidding), and find pages of events and every legally permitted demonstration. Stuck with time to kill between the Planned Parenthood demonstration and the Ukuleles for Sanity Concert? Take the 'Bohemians and Beats of Greenwich Village' tour, walk by Stonewall Place (where the Gay Liberation Movement took militant wing), and end up with another tour: 'Radical and Immigrant Heritage of the Lower East Side. Walk the streets where . . . socialists, anarchists and free-thinkers gathered.'" in his report, "N.Y Mayor to Protesters: Shop till You Drop, Too. "

"Well ok then."





In his book about the Mexican Revolution, Martín Luis Guzman describes his breakfast as a guest at a Yankee house in San Antonio. "The scents of baking flour, vanilla, cinnamon, of coffee wafted to us. [Then] shortly afterward, seated at the table, those remote perfumes became embodied in the breakfast set before us--simple, and at the same time, succulent and, I would go so far as to say, esthetic. White, or, at most, cream, was the predominant color. Butter melted on the steaming, fluffy pancakes; the blackness of coffee disappearing in the whiteness of milk; the water glass glittering, and in the big glass dessert bowl the curds for which Morelia was famous floated in the syrup."





Bon Anniversaire!





An owner of one of Potter Creek's longtime-businesses thinks that a business-park would be a good idea here--diverse use with its accompanied stability and some green-space. Sounds better than completely cementing over our Mother's face. (A good revenue source, too.)

Naaa, . . . too conventional.





Jimi Hendrix

"When Six Was Nine" from the soundtrack to Easy Rider.

If all the hippies cut off all their hair-I don't care!
Ain't nobody know what I'm talkin' about.
I've got my own life to live.
I'm the one that's got to die when it's time for me to die.
So let me live my life
the way I want to.

From a story about Jimi by reader and longtime Bay Area resident, Tony Almeida at Journal of Recorded Music 10.


In his The Eagle and the Serpent, Martín Luis Guzman writes about the end a trip in the Nineteen-teens "Our impressions of Aquascalientes, when we finally got out of the train, were different, but no less pleasant. The slow dimming of the afternoon, the faint twinkle of the stars above, the slow lighting of windows and street lamps on the street, the walk from the station down the long, tree-lined avenue of the city, all tended to submerge the spirit in a gentle melancholy. And in this sensation of autumnal warmth, of twilight well-being--neither dark nor bright, neither sad nor joyous, the remoteness of limbo--lies the essence of all Mexico."





Variation in electric service caused the lights to dim off and on for some twenty-minutes or so--a regular phenom since neighbor, Adams and Chittenden, made one of their seemingly endless upgrades. "Perhaps they're overloading their circuits the way they overload their ventilation system" I thought to myself. "I don't think your roof exhaust turbines are working" I said to Tom. ("Don't talk to George, he doesn't listen to anybody" advised one of their workers.) "No they are, we can see them turning from the inside of the shop" he offered confidently. "Lets, go up on the roof and see" I said, and we did. One turbine was completely stationary off its mount. Another, corroded, wasn't moving either. Tom went over, kicked it, and quipped. "Now it's turning." As It creaked slowly around I was puzzled. The turbine that was moving was the little one over their glass-cutting room. Exhausting air, it spun like a top. "You sure you're not getting stuff from Jay? " Tom asked.








A week in Potter Creek





If you want some honest, old-time diner food, prepared at the time of your order from fresh ingredients, check out Gustavo's lunch wagon, The Rolling Stove. It's parked on the Northwest corner of 7th and Potter and there is plenty of parking--and there are a couple of tables outside with real checkered tablecloths. His old fashioned, grilled to order cheeseburger is $2.75, with lettuce, tomatoes, onions and mustard on a large bun. Gianni and Francis from the Wells Fargo Business Office suggested the place. "Everything's good" said Gianni--he recommends the breakfast bagel. But make no mistake this is modern diner food. Gustavo's menu includes veggie burgers, a snapper plate, and turkey burgers. You can also buy cold drinks. He's open 9 to 5 weekdays.Check it out!


In Berkeley, the soft market shelters students and lower rents and increased vacancies make finding post-dorm housing less of a chore reports Patrick Hoge in theSan Francisco Chronicle.

"How about a "village" in Potter Creek like the one around the Fruitvale Bart Station" suggested Anthy Victor as she showed her beautiful photos of the Olympic opening sent by a family friend.

From the San Fancisco Chronicle's "What's Preventing Utopia?" "Connie Funderburg also needed little persuasion to move into Oakland's Fruitvale Village. Even before construction had started, she'd researched the project on the Internet and then placed her name on the waiting list for one of the 47 rental apartments. Between her job at the Oakland Library's Cesar Chavez Branch and her nearby apartment, Funderburg was well aware of the area's rough edges: Drug-dealing, prostitution and vandalism regularly occurred in the poorly lit street, and her car had been broken into. Though her family pressed her to move from the area, she loved its diversity and set her sights on living in the Village.

Despite some patience-trying delays -- at one point, all the affordable units had been spoken for -- Funderburg got her chance, and moved into a spacious one-bedroom loft in January of this year. Commuting via BART to two part-time jobs -- one at a worker-owned co-op in The City and another at the Oakland Library's main branch -- she says she uses her car about once a week.

Security, she reports, is 'excellent,' and the well-lit Village has even improved the surrounding nighttime street scene. 'The residents here feel a real sense of pride in living in such a nice place,' she says. The Cesar Chavez branch of the Oakland Library has a new home in the Village, and as a former employee, Funderburg is especially pleased with the transformation. 'The Village is an extreme makeover, for both the library and the neighborhood,' she says." Read more at SF





How to eat-out three good meals a day within bicycling distance of Potter Creek for under $6.00 total, tax included. First, have a late breakfast at IKEA of their open-face shrimp sandwich--a piece of buttered Swedish-rye, topped with one hardboiled egg and a big handful of shrimp on a leaf of lettuce with a little mayonnaise, and garnished with cucumber and lemon slices, $2.16-- and coffee is free with this before 11:00 AM and so are the sample-cookies in the bins at the food-shop on the first floor; lunch at Subway on the corner of San Pablo and Solano on a 6-inch meatball-sub with everything for $2.15 but bring a drink in your water-bottle; then finally have a heavy dinner at Costco of their foot long Polish sausage on a bun and a medium drink, making sure you top the Polish with mustard, kraut, onions, relish, catsup, etc, etc, the cost $1.63. (Don't worry, you have the bike trip back to work it off.) All this totals $5.94, tax included. If you want to come closer to $7.00, have a cheese, turkey, or veggie burger for lunch at Gustavo's lunch-wagon at 7th and Potter.


Want old-fashioned licorice chews? I love licorice chews and the best that I've tasted are Panda. They are black, come in a 7oz box, and are made in Finland--ingredients: molasses, wheat flower, licorice extract, natural flavor. The box side-panel offers "Throughout history the licorice root has been used for relaxing the body and reducing stress. Give your mind and body a treat today. Enjoy the pure taste of Panda, the finest all natural licorice in the world." Get them at The Junket in El Cerrito Plaza in back of the farmer's market--they cost $2.50.


A source in Andronico's management says the now-closed Emeryville store made money primarily on its deli in the early years.


What's with Aquatic Park Center? It's a nice facility, but this morning there was more action in the V & W Windows Office than in the whole of the Aquatic Park development--a dark restaurant, darkened, locked-up offices, a kid wondering about, loudly talking to himself, and a few women going somewhere in nohurry. What's up with that?


Potter Creek's leading gearhead figures we should build an auto mall--clean use and a GREAT tax base.





[The decriminalization of prostitution, Measure Q] "faces an uphill battle in November, even in liberal Berkeley" writes Martin Snapp of the West County Times "Lining up against it are local pastors, Police Chief Roy Meisner, school board president John Selawsky, and the entire city council." Read more in Snapp's report "Prostitution Ballot Issue Sparks Fear."

Decriminalization is not legalization, it is a never-never-land. And prostitution cannot be legalized in Berkeley for there is a state law prohibiting it. A sex worker wrote to Scrambled Eggs "Basically, I think that consensual adult prostitution should be decriminalized. It can be regulated by civil codes like other businesses. However, all Berkeley or other cities can do is propose a resolution to the State. Prostitution is a criminal offense at the State level."


Travlin' Joe's on 7th and Grayson now has a back room with beer on tap. Sounds like a good place to go specially on day afternoon.


Billy Goats are back at 8th and Heinz. If you don't want to go down there to see them, check out The Potter Creek Billy Goat Page.