is Black History Month
West County Times reporter, Martin Snapp, writes about Berkeley
High's slang dictionary in "Slang
Dictionary Gives Parents a Clue."
In his story Snapp mentions that Richard Grossinger of North Atlantic
Books is publishing the dictionary. (Richard was my neighbor in
Potter Creek for some time, some years ago.
Meredith May, San Francisco Chronicle
reporter, wrote about this dictionary last year, breaking the
story that then was picked up by CNN where Richard heard about
A deep-Winter sunset
in Potter Creek by Rick Auerbach
Bob and Paul were Potter Creek
neighbor's for a decade and though they now now live in New Mexico
they got married in San Francisco yesterday. You can see the San
Francisco Chronicle after-the-ceremony color-photo of them here! Click on their thumbnail and it gets REALLY
Tjhi, a reader from Taiwan, who works in a domestic placement
bureau should, judging from her photograph, also model.
Two of Potter Creek's leading
citizens got married yesterday, to each other, in a touching ceremony
in opulent surroundings. I think those Oriental rugs are real.
Tara Duggan writes of Potter
Creek's Café Cocao in her San Francisco Chronicle
"What's New" column "The restaurant is a co-venture
of John Scharffenberger, Robert Steinberg and Raymond Klein of
San Francisco's Tartine Bakery & Cafe. Elizabeth Prueitt of
Tartine will train the eventual pastry chef;. . . " More
can be read in her Openings
Also in the San Fransico Chronicle, Graceann
Walden reports "New
mini-mall planned for North Berkeley
Lots more food, but no more parking." What's up with
John Canarina writes
in his book,
about one of many "suitable
dates" in our history that were never found.
"Also of interest
is a program that did not take place. During his Los Angeles visit,
Monteux became acquainted with the work of the African American
tap dancer Bill 'Bojangles' Robinson, well known through his many
motion picture appearances. So impressed was Monteux with Robinson's
artistry and agility that he proposed an appearance for him with
the Los Angeles Philharmonic if a suitable date could be found-otherwise
he would perform in San Francisco. As quoted in the Pasadena Post
of 8 December 1935, Monteux said of Robinson, 'He expresses as
much beauty with his feet as a singer does with his voice. I am
happy to be the one to introduce him as a classical artist.'
The prospect of Robinson's
tap dancing to the great works of the masters brought a great
deal of apprehension to the traditionalists among Los Angeles
music lovers, but Isabel Morse Jones praised the idea in the Los
Angeles Times of 15 December 1935. Her article emphasized the
importance of rhythm in music and went on to say that a few years
earlier, Maud Allan had managed to dance aimlessly to Tchaikovsky's
'Pathetique' Symphony with no attention whatsoever to the work's
rhythm, and that the public accepted it because it was thought
to be highbrow art. She continued that Monteux believed rhythm
was an important factor in American life and was impressed with
the possibility of experimentation involving music and dance.
Besides, Jones wrote, Robinson's sense of humor was something
everyone could appreciate, and that combination of humor and rhythm
was something the Philharmonic could use a little more of. She
further felt that such a program could be beneficial in bringing
about a better relationship between the Philharmonic and the general
public. As might be expected, however, a suitable date could not
be found for this program."
More stories about
Pierre Monteux can be read at Pierre
fruit trees are blossoming in Potter Creek
is opening today.
Francisco Chronicle ran a lengthy article by Alfred Frankenstein
on 14 March 1943 under the headline 'The Symphony Has Modernism
Trouble.' A greater-than-usual number of complaints about 'too
much modern music' had prompted Monteux to cancel a performance.
. . . Frankenstein went on to discuss the points raised in an
editorial in The Daily Californian, the student newspaper of the
University of California, Berkeley, which was severely critical
of Monteux's programming of contemporary music. One would have
thought students would be more open minded on this issue than
their more conservative elders, but this was apparently not the
case. . . . Frankenstein summed up:
blanket condemnation of modern music implies as gross a lack of
judgment as would a blanket oath of allegiance to everything written
since 1900. And those who do issue such blanket protests are so
lacking in powers of discrimination that one wonders what the
'classics' can mean to them. It has been my observation that this
kind of cry for the 'classics' does not mean what is says. A program
of Bach, Beethoven and Brahms without soloist will not draw any
better than a program of Bliss, Berg and Bartok; the 'classics'
these people demand are Tchaikovsky, Godard and such eminent old
masters as Edward German and Victor Herbert.... Most Americans
are tolerant, and there are some, even among the students of the
University of California, who are inquisitive and informed about
their own !world. Unfortunately the intolerant are always more
vociferous than the others, and if in this instance they have
their way, the results may easily be disastrous."
The City of Berkeley
Planning Commission will meet Wednesday, February 11th at 7:00
P.M at the North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst Avenue. The
meeting will be informational only, discussing two options for
the West Berkeley Bowl Project. The options are changing the zone
from MU-LI to C-W on the proposed site or use a variance to allow
the project to move forward.
traffic report studied five intersections surrounding the projected
Bowl site. Only one, Heinz and San Pablo, would be a problem.
The back-up there would be reduced to an acceptable level with
a stoplight--level of service B on a scale from A to F. (After
reading the report conclusions, my sense is the traffic-flow study
is an art not a science. ) The real problem the study sees is
parking, even meeting the city requirement, on-site parking at
peak hours would exceed capacity and overflow onto city streets--already
at max during peak hours.
"Hoping to skirt
a legislative morass that could sink workers' compensation reforms,
Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi on Tuesday proposed a plan
that he hopes will bridge the gap between labor and business leaders'"writes
George Avalos of the West County Times in "Garamendi
Proposes Comp Plan."
Chilling, however, is this quote
"'The Garamendi bridge doesn't address the major issue, which
is rising insurance premiums,' said David Rockwell, an officer
of the California Applicant Attorneys Association, which represents
injured employees. 'Garamendi doesn't want to regulate excessive
rates. There is no promise of rate relief for California employers
in this measure.'"
Monteux was arguably one of the great conductors of the 20th Century.
A Frenchman, born in Paris in 1875, he premiered the Stravinsky's
The Rite of Spring as well as Ravel's Daphnis aet Chloé,
and Debussy's Jeux. In the Nineteen-teens he rebuilt the
Boston Symphony and later rebuilt and then conducted the San Francisco
Symphony in the 1930s, 40s and 50s. In a recent book about him,
Pierre Monteux, Maître, author John Canarina writes
about our University of California, Berkeley "A signal event
took place in 1939, one with so little fanfare that perhaps 'event'
is too strong a word for it. Eight fraternity men from the University
of California at Berkeley pooled their resources and bought a
box for the Saturday evening concert series. Soon students from
Stanford University, Mills College, and other institutions followed
suit, purchasing boxes as well as season tickets in other sections
of the opera house. Campus forums were organized to discuss the
music that would be performed. Members of the orchestra and even
Monteux himself came to the meetings to talk about the programs
and answer questions. So was born the San Francisco Symphony Forum,
the student affiliate of the Musical Association of San Francisco."
From John Canarina's Pierre
longer stories about Pierre Monteux read "The Monteux Era" by Thomas Simone and
San Francisco Years."
For Valentine Day
from Kimar's kitchen
3/4 C. all purpose flour
1 C. Malted powder
1t. bkg powder
1/2 lb unsalted butter plus additional for the pan at room temp
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 C. sugar
3 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350.
Butter and flour a 9x13 pan.
In medium bowl combine flour, malt, bkg powder and salt, mix till
Place butter and both kinds of chocolate in double boiler and
stir until half melted, remove from heat and stir until completely
malted. Transfer ot large bowl and allow to cool for 5 min.
Beat sugar into choc mixture or with an electric mixer at med
speed continue beating until smooth and uniform. About 3 min with
a mixer. Beat in the eggs one at a time, incorporate before adding
the next egg. After beating in the 3rd egg for 1 minute add the
With a wooden spoon stir in the flour mixture just until incorporated.
Do Not Beat. Spoon into prepared pan
Bake 35 min or until tester comes out with a few moist crumbs.
Cool on wire rack cut into 24 squares.
Will stay fresh for 4 days if covered properly.
from the Ultimate Brownie book by Bruce Weinstein
For Valentine Day,
from the kutchen of Richards baked by Kimar
Cream Cheese Brownies
4 oz semi sweet chocolate (Scharffen Berger 62%)
1/4 C. butter
3/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. all purpose flour
1/2 C. chopped pecans (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Melt chocolate and butter together
either in a microwave or in a double boiler. Cool slightly.
Stir sugar into melted chocolate mixture. Stir in eggs and vanilla
until completely mixed. Stir in flour until well blended and stir
in the nuts. Spread in a greased 8x8 inch pan.
Cream Cheese layer
4 oz cream cheese softened
1/4 C. sugar
In a small bowl mix with an electric mixer, cream cheese, sugar,
egg, and flour until smooth.
Spoon over brownie mixture, swirl with a knife to marbelize.
Bake in the middle of preheated oven for 35 min. (DO NOT OVERBAKE)
Cool and cut into squares.
You can double this recipe and bake in a 9x13 pan.
The San Francisco
Chronicle's Jesse Hamlin writes about Potter Creek Fantasy
Records' Orrin Keepnews in the lengthy "Jazz
Just Up and Grabbed Venerable Disc Producer." While Orin Keepnews was producing
jazz records in the States, my friend Harold Lawrence was producing
classical records for Mercury in the U.S. and Europe. Read Harold's
stories about his experiences in Journal of Recorded Music
Nos. 2, 3,
Today is New Zealand Waitangi
About a dozen people were
present at yesterday's Home Cafe meeting to discuss the increased
traffic that the Berkeley Bowl would generate--those in attendance
included two members from the City of Berkeley Planning Commission.
The sense of the meeting was that the impact of increased traffic
on Potter Creek should be minimized. Four proposals thought to
accomplish this will be forwarded to the City, all involving stop
lights at San Pablo and Heinz. Beyond that, they vary from allowing
no access from the Bowl to Heinz at all, to allowing access, but
placing barriers at 8th, 9th, and 10th and Heinz. My proposal
"Do nothing, Anarchy rules!" was rejected.
in Berkeley, from librarians to street sweepers, can now take
one work week off a year in exchange for tutoring at- risk students"
writes Meredith May in her "School
Notes" in the San Francisco Chronicle.
"In an example of the law of unintended consequences,
the Berkeley Food and Housing Project reluctantly decided to shut
down its oldest program, Quarter Meal, which has served dinner
to homeless people for more than 30 years" writes Martin
Snapp in his "Charity
Hit by Wage Hike in Berkeley" in today's West County
We hadn't had
a proper lunch together for years, maybe decades, but finding
the Sante Fe Bistro was an accident. After roaming downtown Berkeley
for over an hour, we found ourselves next to Campus on a block
of Center Street lined with restaurants. We simply picked the
one filled with adults. The Sante Fe is just what it says it is,
a bistro--smallish setting, tiled floor, tiny bar along the wall,
small tables, and French food, the sophisticated menu offering
a good mix of meat, fish and vegetarian dishes. But, you order
at the counter--though once seated you are offered polite service
with refined touches like a good basket of country bread, water
in goblets, and white linen napkins. I had a salad of baby Roquette
with blood oranges, toasted hazelnuts, shaved Asiago cheese, and
house balsamic dressing--it was terrific. The salad was lightly
dressed and I could fully taste all its ingredients. A nice European
touch were the toasted hazelnuts. I also ordered the seared scallops
appetizer served with a drizzled balsamic reduction. Seared to
perfection, were these the sweetest, best scallops ever? Ron had
the whole rainbow trout, perfectly grilled, served on a bed of
saffron rice, and accompanied by a portion of tasty oven-roasted
root vegetables. Atop the trout was a dollop of house-made, Meyer
lemon Aioli--very nice! For the atmosphere, quality, and sophistication
of menu, the cost was a reasonable $30.00 for two without wine.
The Sante Fe Bistro is at 2147 Center Street, Berkeley California,
94704. Their phone number is 510-841-4047.
San Marino Santa
Sri Lanka Independence
There will be a meeting on Thursday, February 5th
at 8:00 AM in the Home Cafe, Grayson and 7th, to discuss the traffic
that the Potter Creek Berkeley Bowl will generate--problems, issues,
solutions, solutions, solutions, etc.
"Police said Tuesday
that a violent robber and sexual predator has assaulted four women
since late November in the city" writes Karl Fischer in his
West County Times story "Berkeley
Crimes Called Related."
Just out of Potter Creek at 2397 San Pablo Avenue
is Famous Foam Factory. A family owned retail store, the Famous
Foam Factory has been serving Berkeley customers for 29 years.
They specialize in foam (cut to size) for seat cushions and mattresses,
including latex rubber and memory foam. They also offer an extensive
selection of platform bed frames, bedroom furniture, and futon
mattresses and frames, along with custom sewing services. Check
out their store. There is plenty of free parking and the staff
is friendly and knowledgeable. Their phone number is 510-841-9001.
(The other day, when I was there, a couple from Marin had come
to Famous Foam after shopping at The Bowl. They'd originally come
just to go the The Bowl but while here decided to stop at Famous
Want to read an article showing how to build a 1/48
scale-model of one of the P-40s flown in WW II by a Tuskegee Airman?
It's written by Tom Choy, who also built the model. The piece
also has some background on the Airmen and their aircraft and
a very extensive reference section. It's as much a history of
the Airmen as it is a model construction story. Check
Also, check out the Tuskegee
Although not quite in Potter
Creek, the cafeteria at IKEA is still worth a visit. (It's a short
bicycle ride or a long walk from here.) The cafeteria itself is
remarkably large but pleasantly quiet and offers a panoramic view
of the Bay and its bridges. And all-in-all, it provides a clean,
orderly setting for a meal. I had the Swedish meatballs with potatoes
and salad, and the dessert-pastry sampler. My meatballs were baked
and nicely browned, their sauce creamy with a hint of spice. The
small red potatoes took on a quiet zip in the sour-cream gravy
and the green salad was made of tender, fresh baby greens. Of
the three pastries in the sampler, my favorite was a tiny green
log, coated with dark chocolate at the ends, and filled with rum-soaked
chopped nuts. The cost for the meatballs, potatoes, and salad
was about $6.00. (A smaller portion of meatballs and potatoes,
without soup or salad is available for $4.00. ) The pastry sampler
was $2.00. Altogether a classy cafeteria lunch.
The head of one of Potter
Creek's businesses is quoted extensively in a West County Times
story about the breakup of Pixar and Disney. Read what Tippet
President, Jules Roman has to say in
Jon Fortt's "After Divorce:What's Next fot Pixar?"
Best news so far in 2004?
Juan's back working the tables at his restaurant!
elevation of Regan's new project on 8th and Pardee. It's constructing
apace. It has the same simple elegance as his across-the-street
information about this and other Regan projects email firstname.lastname@example.org
And, why not learn about some
of Potter Creek's other buildings? Have you wondered about the
Heinz building on San Pablo, between Heinz and Ashby, or the "sawtooth
warehouse" on 8th, between Parker and Dwight? Well, find
out about the Heinz building here and the "sawtooth warehouse" here.
And, the ever alert Meredith
May reports "Record
albums draw bomb squad."
A recent conversation with
a Potter Creek business owner brought up an interesting dilemma.
The health insurance that he carries for his employees in some
cases gives the same coverage that he pays for with California
workmen's comp. So sometimes he's paying twice for the same coverage.
And, almost unbelievably, in the last two years his workmen's
comp premiums have increased four-hundred percent (400%). What's
up with all this?
And, if you think this is
just a business person's problem. Remember, . . . you the consumer
are going to pay for this.
Café Cacao will open
on Valentine Day, Saturday, February 14th at 7:00 AM.
I missed Bay Area Sean Penn's
revisit-to-Iraq stories that appeared in the San Francisco
If you did too, you can read still read them. Check out Part
1 and Part
2 at SF Gate. It's good on-the-ground
stuff with the PMC information particularly chilling.
Soon Scrambled Eggs
and Lox pages will have a Berkeley's food stuff page. "Food
Stuff of Berkeley?"
Today is Australia Day and
India Republic Day
The Café Cacao web
"Café Cacao, an
original dining destination located at the factory of Scharffen
Berger Chocolate Maker in Berkeley, California, is a joint production
of Scharffen Berger co-founders John Scharffenberger and Robert
Steinberg and California restaurant developer Raymond Klein.
Café Cacao offers pastries,
ice cream and Peet's Coffee seven days a week as well as breakfast,
lunch and limited dinner service. Seating is available both indoors
and outside on our covered patio and in a private special events
Our casual atmosphere is welcoming
and relaxing, but if you're in a hurry, we also offer an exciting
selection of sandwiches and salads for take-out. Some of our savory
menu selections feature Scharffen Berger chocolate or contain
ingredients that pair well with the finest American-made dark
For lots more, check out the
Cacao web site.
Associates proposed Ashby Loft Project, 1001 Ashby
Story to follow
A female-biker friend offers
One day my husband decided
to wash his sweatshirt himself.
Seconds after he stepped into the laundry room, he shouted to
setting do I use on the washing machine?" It depends,"
"What does it say on your shirt?" He yelled back, "University
"Dr. King also loved
to do what's right, and he always likes to eat, I think"
is a quote from a Berkeley student in Meredith May's "School
Notes" in the San Francisco
As much a Berkeley tradition
as Moe's Books on Telegraph Avenue, is Ashkenaz Music and Dance
Community Center on San Pablo Avenue. If you love live-music and
dance, check them out!
Fog City, Chocolate's in the News : Small Market Street Newsstand
Touts More than Just Magazines by Janet Fletcher of
the San Fransico Chronicle should be read, and not just
because it mentions Potter Creek's own Scharffen Berger.
And what size, Potter Creek's
Berkeley Bowl? The City of Berkeley Planning Commission memorandum
offers "The applicant is interested in applying for a permit
for a store of about 55,000 square feet, with an associated warehouse
of about 30,000 square feet. . . . As a comparison, the existing
Berkeley Bowl at 2020 Oregon Street is 42,486 square feet, and
the Andronico's Store at 1414 University Avenue is 26196 square
While talking about our environment
with Rick Auerbach this afternoon in front of his house, an overflying-seagull
whizzed on my forehead--puts things into perspective, it does.
HAPPY LUNAR NEW
It's the Year of
HAPPY M.L.K. DAY!
King's Legacy" is a report
by Elaine Rivera of the Washington Post
My gourmet friends say the
café at Scharffen Berger's is going to serve Peet's coffees.
Why not serve Uncommon Grounds'? They're a mere block away in
Potter Creek, and the best espresso I've EVER had is served at
the Saffron Café, brewed from an Uncommon Ground roast--followed
by Sandro's from Caffé 817 at 817 Washington in Oakland's
I just had a slice of Hershey's
"Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake
made with Scharffen Berger's Cocoa. I believe it to be THE classic
American chocolate cake and maybe, just maybe, a controlled substance.
Iraqi Oil Gets Its Own Police Force: Recruits Defend
Against Infrastructure Sabotage. "The guards go through
a one-week training course before being sent out to the field
in dark blue uniforms, hand sewn by factory workers here. The
force is trained and managed by South African-based Erinys, a
private firm founded by former members of the British special
forces. The coalition government awarded Erinys a $39.2 million
contract . . . writes
Jackie Spinner in the Washington Post.
Lots a good stuff about Berkeley
in Meredith May's "School
Notes" in the San Francisco
"Where You Live Page" is of interest. Go there and
enter our ZIP, 94710. Then, check out Potter Creek and our surrounding
A neighbor who attended last night's Planning Commission
meeting reports "An important item on last night's Berkeley
Planning Commission meeting agenda was a discussion about options
for the Berkeley Bowl market and warehouse being proposed for
the Potter Creek neighborhood in Southwest Berkeley. Zoning for
the Ninth and Heinz site currently prohibits the construction
of a large supermarket and warehouse. The applicant has requested
that the zoning be changed or amended to allow this project to
proceed as planned. After comments from the public, there was
a lengthy discussion among the commissioners about various options
but no actions were taken or proposed. City staff were asked to
provide a more detailed description of two of the options (variance
and amend current language) with specifics for comparison. The
other two options (rezoning and changing the map boundaries) were
considered too extreme and difficult to accomplish."
Kava's office informed me
that tonight at 7:00 the City of Berkeley Planning Commision is
meeting at 1901 Hearst Ave. to discuss options for the West Berkeley
"Ya can't get ahead for keepin' up" offered
David Snipper Sunday morning in relation to computer upgrades-probably
has wider application.
"President Bush showed little interest in policy
discussions in his first two years in the White House, leading
Cabinet meetings 'like a blind man in a roomful of deaf people,'
former Treasury secretary Paul H. O'Neill says in an upcoming
book on the Bush White House" reports Washington Post
writer Jonathan Weisman in his story, "O'Neill
Depicts a Disengaged President."
"'Scrambled Eggs' was
the working title of Paul McCartney's 'Yesterday' when all he
had was a tune with no words. (The next line was, 'Oh, my dear,
you have such lovely legs.')" write Erin Barrett and Jack
Mingo in their West County Times column.
I just had some truffles made
with Scharffen Berger's bittersweet chocolate to a recipe in our
Alice Medrich's Bittersweet:
Recipes and Tales from a Life of Chocolate.
It was the very best chocolate experience. (I gave some out around
David's rain gauge also read
4 inches for this week's first storm and 2.5 inches for the second
storm for a total of 6.5 inches of rain for the week.
Sharffen Berger is doing well
and expects to open their cafe this month.
Peter and Geralyn's rain gauge
showed four inches total for this week's first storm.
Today is Cuba
Anniversary of the Revolution Day.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Check out The Best of 2003