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2004 » December

Boston Buried in White

December 27, 2004 by  

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A note from a friend in Boston who I was trying to have dinner with last night or tonight or tomorrow night or…..He’s still stuck on the East Coast. Alas, this is the first time I’m experiencing the hellish New England snowstorms from afar. Jay writes, “I’m still in Boston. There was a huge coastal blizzard yesterday. Logan shut down by mid-afternoon. By the time it finally stopped snowing around 10 this morning, Boston has over a foot of snow on the ground; the South Shore and the Cape got closer to 18 inches. The storm has now passed, and the skies are clear and sunny with almost no wind, but Logan has only just started partially functioning.” AH – how well I remember those days…..back and forth in a cold dark taxi cab or waiting at the airport lounge for hours, knowing that we would never take off. And there’s more, “There are no planes, no crews, no gates, only one runway, and a huge backlog of travelers. When I talked to American last night, they had canceled all outbound flights scheduled for today, and I imagine Tuesday will be spent taking care of the backlog

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On Spirituality: Embracing All

December 25, 2004 by  

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This post references religion extensively, however it’s really about the magic that can come from the absence of organized religion and the awareness and harmony that stems from embracing all spiritual beliefs. So many of us retreat to a place of spiritual worship a few times a year at best depending on the religious holiday. For Christians, Christmas Eve is a traditional one and often there’s a candlelight service. Traditionally, Catholics attend a midnight mass, which often also involves candles and prayer. I haven’t gone to a church in years. Don’t get me started on all the reasons……. let’s just say that as a child, I was baptized under five different religions, sent to a private Catholic school even though none of my family had a Catholic background, lived on a kibbutz and an ashram and worked as a counselor at both Christian and Jewish summer camps……..need I say more. Life of Pi really resonated with me. Tonight I discovered a spiritual center in San Jose, which is an interesting mix of worship across all spiritual beliefs, yoga and meditation. Their vision is a unity of literally every belief system and they gracefully weave in philosophies…

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Banning Handguns in San Fran

December 18, 2004 by  

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Since I now live in this town, I’m starting to pay closer attention to “local news,” particularly if it has an impact on my life. Human after all. Apparently, San Francisco city supervisors have placed a measure on the municipal ballot for next year that would, if passed, effectively ban handguns in the city. You can listen to this segment about the topic on NPR. Hearing this made me think of my life in South Africa in the early nineties. I also lived there in 1984-85 but at that time, it was still a very white elitist place. When I lived there the second time around, nearly every woman I knew who lived or worked in Johannesburg, carried a handgun in their purse. When we parked our van in the city at night, my ex-husband Michael would disable parts of the engine to reduce our chances of theft, which was prevalent at the time — especially vans which could be repainted and turned into what was referred to as ‘black taxis’ overnight. I certainly don’t feel the need to carry a handgun in San Francisco, yet the urban feel of many parts of the city is a dramatic…

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Underground Wires in Portrero

December 16, 2004 by  

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This Noe Valley Voice article was written in 1998 and while I haven’t been able to find any recent discussions on neighborhoods facing daily noise and grief over the utility wires and poles ‘going underground,’ it’s happening. Since I’m a newcomer, I don’t know which areas qualify, but out of the ‘hoods’ I’m looking at, Noe, Castro and Portrero Hill are converting. Four years ago, they predicted that ‘undergrounding the wires’ had a $5,000 price tag per home, which included the cost of connecting the home to the new underground service and putting up new streetlights. As if the costs are not high enough here already. The ‘state streets’ in Portrero are being hit this month. Since I’m a night owl, its even more painful…..every morning for the past three weeks, the crains and drills wake me up at 7 am, sometimes earlier. One day I found a pile of dirt in front of the driveway that was close to six feet high – no chance I was getting my car out within the hour. I wear ear plugs now…..every night, and sadly don’t get much sleep. The end result will be great for those who have a…

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Ah Yes….The Ocean!!!

December 11, 2004 by  

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After seeing yet another over priced Noe Valley one bedroom flat that was advertised as a two bedroom, I was reminded of why I moved to California in the first place as I made my way down Route 1 along the coast. I headed south to have dinner with friends who live in Moss Beach, near Half Moon Bay. I could get used to this. It was not quite a half an hour from my Portrero Hill sublet. How can you stress over anything in the world with views like this? Halfmoonbaysb


A Miracle: Petrol at $2.02

December 11, 2004 by  

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I’m amazed at what excites me lately. Driving through Oakland, I discovered a petrol station with unleaded for $2.02. Compared to more standard $2.30-2.50 signs, it drew me in, like a drug. Don’t ask me how much I saved here! Probably the equivalent of a parking meter, but then, in a place where everything seems to be higher than any other city in the country, you find yourself longing for a bit of precious normality. I had to fill up here. JD stands with the sign responsible for drugging me, even if just for a moment. Cafes_027


Wanting to Move in Oakland

December 10, 2004 by  

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One of the nice things about being a newcomer in a place, is that people love to show you their favorite restaurant, bar, bistro or ‘hood.’ It’s a great way to learn about new areas of the city. JD Lasica dragged me to the Soizic Bistro, before we headed to Yoshis for jazz in the same neighborhood of Oakland in the East Bay. Yoshis is a well known jazz club in the greater San Francisco area that draws the same callibre of talent as Ryles and Johnny D’s in Cambridge. Last night, Gato Barbieri was on stage; their head saxophonist was leading the way in brightly colored attire, a loud red scarf and dark sunglasses. Fabulous show – my only quirk with jazz clubs is that there’s never enough room to dance nor does the protocol allow it. When you’re really connected and at one with the music, the most natural thing for your body to do is to move. And when I move, my feet follow. Then, I’m energized and in this absolutely fabulous zone I never want to leave.


Cheers to Dancing and the Blogosphere

December 9, 2004 by  

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I made a new friend in Utah through the blogosphere this week.  Halley told the world about my birthday and Ryan discovered my blog through her post. He read my post Swingin’ Again and inspired me with his response, so much so that I contacted him. I guess this happens frequently among bloggers, but I can’t imagine having the time to contact everyone who links to me or finds me somehow and yet, what a great way to connect with people. When I re-read what I wrote, I was able to relive the moment again: “When you close your eyes and listen ‘to the music,’ the moves are irrelevant because rhythm overtakes you. It swallows you. You become it. It becomes you.” Ryan, I won’t wait another five years to make magic happen on the dance floor. To you, Benny, Ella, Glenn, Louis, Ray and of course…….to “the dance.”


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