Oakland / Berkeley
About five years ago, I went to a ballgame and fell in love with the Oakland A’s. I honestly don’t remember who they played against, nor do I claim to even know the rules very well: I only know that the sun was shining, the beer was cold, I was with a pretty girl, and I was terribly happy observing this most American of pastimes. I’d seen a few Red Sox games on TV during my stint at RISD, as befits a New England-based person, and had enjoyed it, but TV never really gets you to that place, does it? No, it certainly does not. So while the Sox held my heart on the East Coast, the A’s were my boys on the West Coast.
So why not try again? Why indeed! This time, the A’s were facing the LA Angels. And the sun was shining and the beer was cold and it was generally just a really nice time. There was a home run by the A’s, then one by the Angels. A guy tried catching a ball, but hurt his hand and spilled his drink. We saw him still shaking his hand in agony some fifteen minutes later, poor bastard. In the end, the A’s lost and that was that. Nobody got beat up, everybody went home and we went to Berkeley.
Being back in Berkeley was weird. It was sort of like coming home, but you know…it’s not. It looked pretty much the same. The giant tuning fork still humming to the groove of the earth and so on, a couple of new stores…Comic Relief recently moved to bigger and better locales … I mean, it was nice. Telegraph Ave was the same, lots of political bumper stickers, trustafarians hitting you up for money … Moe’s Books was great as always. I could not afford nor carry all I wanted to buy, but I did pick up a Simic collection, Hotel Insomnia, Harlan Ellison’s Spider Kiss, and at Shakespeare and Co., I found his Memos From Purgatory.
Dinner at Ichiban’s, where the portions had grown a lot. The Starry Plough was pretty quiet, although it should be pointed out that it’s summer, so there are few students about. Still, it was nice just to be there, taking it all in and catching up with old friends.