October 2004




The first person from Potter Creek who can identify the aircraft carrier, the F4B-4's squadron and the decade depicted in the painting will win a CD of one of the great jazz productions--Cannonball Adderly and Miles' "Somethin' Else."

Saturday, my friend Ferzaan Engineer was here visiting from Bangalore. We spent the day together and had an early brunch at Café Cacao. It's a proper restaurant now, a far cry from its first week when during our lunch my friend Kimar had to tell the wait-person how to make an iced-coffee. The brunch menu is inventive, the food artfully prepared and the service excellent. A detailed review and a menu scan will follow.

Sally writes that there is always a vegetarian entree on the menu.

Perhaps the crew at Caffé Trieste make a perfect espresso.






Peter Hurney at work in his Potter Creek instrument shop




And, our Kimar makes button bracelets


And, our Rick Auerbach makes the point that the Curtis Plus Partners development at 2700 San Pablo is not subsidized affordable housing with a sliding scale according to need but rather is a private development. And, it is my understanding that an attempt will be made to make them available "under market." See my 9/11/04 and following posts for background at September 2004.

The current Daily P has some articles about the creeks of Berkeley--an issue that Jerry Landis wrote about here on 9/14/04. See September 2004.

I have just begun reading Katz, 985 page "The Life and Times of Pancho Villa." I trust I will have the strength to carry it.




David M. Bowman correctly identified the Boeing F4B-4's squadron as VF-6, the carrier as the Saratoga and the decade as the 1930s. Mr.Bowman won Miles and Cannonball's "Somethin' Else."

Is there an art to brewing a cup of coffee? If there is, Papa's crew at Caffé Trieste have perfected it. This morning, I had a cup of house blend that was strong and flavorful without tasting bitter or burnt--well, it was just freshly brewed.

Ferzaan brought with him from India a beautiful art book, "RAJA RAVI VARMA, The Painter Prince 1848-1906." It is published by PARSRAM MANGHARAM, Bangalore--a quite astounding painter and an astounding production. He is beautiful only in a way Indians can be.




The Giotta Family and the Caffé Trieste Music Family invite the citizens of Berkeley to A GRAND OPENING at CafféTrieste on Sunday, October 24 from 2PM to 5PM.

Chron gossip columnist, Leah Garchik, offers in an October 6th column P.S. "Former San Francisco D.A. Terence Hallinan and former prostitute and Coyote (Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics)-founder Margo St. James will host a fund-raiser for Berkeley's Proposition Q (to make prostitution a low-priority crime) on Thursday at the Mariposa Yacht Club in San Francisco." Perhaps Ms.Garchik should read "Measure Q Enforcement of State Prostitution Laws." on the City of Berkeley Web Site.

Some words to live by from Pauli of the Sopranos "You're only as good as your last envelope."






I took a friend to the new TARGET last night and after ohing and ahing our way through the two story facility--in addition to the people up-and-down escalators the have ones for shopping carts--we sat under their palms in a perfect mid-autumn evening. Ah, consumer capitalism. My, there were a lot of people shopping in Birkenstocks.



On a bicycle ride today through the area north of Gilman and west of 6th, I was continually aware of secondary odors of epoxy, petroleum, plastic, etc. I almost picked up and put on the run-over, in-the-gutter face mask.

Though the new TARGET is not bicycle friendly--there is little bicycle-parking and much motor-vehicle traffic--TARGET does provide a lot of jobs for regular folks.



A tip from a Potter Creek business owner. It costs less to buy a new vehicle--in this case a truck--with 0% financing over six years than it does to buy a several-years-old vehicle over the same period with a finance charge.



Tom Bates, our casually dressed, low-key mayor gave a friendly presentation Tuesday morning before a standing-room only audience at Caffé Trieste. In his forty-some minute talk, he covered issues he felt of interest to those assembled. (Many, it seemed, the "usual suspects.") The Mayor began by assuring all, that though times were tuff, fourteen million dollars in cuts had been made in the City budget, many the result of union cooperation. He then stressed the real need to expedite city permit issuance, while observing that permit applications had been up 50% and so issuance was slow. He also alluded to some structural problems, though not specifically. Crime, he said in Berkeley is at an all time low--although there have been some high profile cases, and assured us that though a new Chief will be appointed soon, "community policing" will be continued. He is excited about the development of San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley, making it a first class business area, and mentioned that Caltrans money will contribute to the project. Against Measure Q, he offered "Bad for women, bad for the City." And the Berkeley Bowl issue he felt would be resolved next year. Finished with his talk, he opened the meeting to questions. John Curl wanted to know if, when, and how the West Berkeley Plan will be reviewed. (This development plan, drawn up in the '80s is, in some areas, now wildly out of sync with our time. It completely missed computerization and only through a revision mentions work-live development.) The mayor thought that it would probably be reviewed later than sooner. He concluded by stressing the need to support Loni Hancock and Maudellle Sherik's "replacement." My Caffé´Trieste espresso was excellent as usual.

As the presidential candidates debate health care, the elderly wait in lines for hours to get flu shots--often finding that after those hours, there is no more vaccine.

Is Kruse-the-plumber the perfect neighbor? Well, in their saftey classes they stress to their drivers the special importance of watching for the neighborhood's children--specially those of next-door École Bilingue.

Adams and Chittenden Scientific Glass' George Chittenden does it again. With apparently little regard for his and others safety, he careened around the corner of 8th and Pardee on his bicycle into the on coming traffic. Almost got hit by an on coming École Bilingue parent, he did.

"Well OK then."



Residents of Potter Creek who believe early morning refuse pickup of a business-neighbor's trash is loud should try sleeping through pickup in peaceful, serene, residential North-Berkeley--or residential Danvile, for that matter.



A Potter Creek reader writes "About 10 days ago, somebody sealed off the gate allowing people to access Berkeley's Aquatic Park from the west end of Heinz. A lot of people who work around here are really p@##ed. We like to walk and jog in the park during breaks. Also, there are people who live on the block, artists in the old Delmonte Bldg., who like to walk their dogs. There was no warning of this action, and the actual culprit is still in question. I sent emails to the administrator at the building where I work (right at the end of Heinz), and the administrator claims that the 'railroad police' closed off the gate because they thought it was dangerous for people to cross the tracks. I don't know if this is true but . . . there are plenty of areas along the tracks where there are no fences. In fact, now that this gate is closed, some people walk around the block to the end of Grayson which has no fence and cross the tracks into Aquatic Park from that location. . . . . My guess is that there may have been some criminal activity blamed on the [those] who hang out in Aquatic Park and Wareham decided to shut off access. We have sent emails to the City of Berkeley claiming that our right of access has been curtailed, and we haven't heard back."

If you'd like to have an MP3 file or the CD of music played on one of neighbor, John Phillips' French harpsichords, check out the Triemer Cello and Harpsichord Sonatas performed by Ensemble Mirable of JungHae Kim and Joanna Blendulf. They are now available at Ensemble Mirable at Magnatune.com Produced by the musicians themselves, this CD of Baroque cello and harpsichord sonatas, is full of memorable tunes, creative embellishment, fine ensemble, and excellent sound. It's as good a recorded-music effort as I've heard and the equal of any harmonia mundi Baroque music release. My appreciation of this remakable work will follow soon.






Kava Massih Architects writes "The proposed West Berkeley Bowl project at 9th Street and Heinz Avenue in West Berkeley was submitted to the City of Berkeley on July 15, 2004. The City has completed its initial review. The City's first public meeting will be at Design Review on Thursday, November 18. Berkeley Bowl and Kava Massih Architects have scheduled a community meeting on Tuesday, October 26 at 6:30 PM. The meeting will be held at 2830 Ninth Street (Kava Massih Architects office). We will present the West Berkeley Bowl project and seek community input."

How about some Persian food-treats at the meeting Kava?






Well? . . . WHAT!


"Creeks Ordinance Decision on Hold" reports Martin Snapp in the Berkeley Voice and also offers the I-find-frightening "Closed Precincts Force Vote by Mail."

And our own Zelda Bronstein comments in "Measure Q Would Hurt Women."






École Bilingue Halloween Parade





More than a case of "thinking outside the box" gone terribly wrong, "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" is on Channel 7 at 8:00 PM on Tuesday, October 26.

Think you're "hearing things" while walking around Potter Creek? You are! Thursday night there was a ukelele concert at Travlin'Joes restaurant, on Saturday a harpsichord recital at Suzanne's open house, and Sunday an opera recital by the Giotta family at Café Trieste.

And, Saturday afternoon Richard Adelman brought Marty Schwartz around for a brief schmooz. Marty and friends were responsible for the Kletzmer music revival of the '70s and the continued interest today.

Is Claudia Bermudez a serious opponent of Barbara Lee's? Read "Lee's GOP Foe Takes Tough Stance" by West County Times Guy Ashley in Sunday's "And the Bay Area" section. (Maybe more than less?)


Developer, Jubilee Restoration, is planning a "low income" housing development of 110, two and three bedroom units between San Pablo Avenue and 10th Street and Parker and Carleton. It would consist of eight, four to five story buildings occupying over an acre.Whoa!

There will be a community meeting to discuss this project on Thursday, October 28 at 7:00 PM in the Francis Albrier Community Center in San Pablo Park, 2800 Park Street.



A Potter Creek reader writes from the gut "Great . . . more low income housing is just what we need for property values--there goes the neighborhood. . . . Now that [values have] just been coming up [on property] between 4th Street and Ikea. Idiots . . . all idiots!!!





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