My neighborhood is bizarre. This thought is never far from my mind while I'm at home, but two nights ago it became even clearer. That incident, coupled with the fact that Mr. Island of Misfit Toys and I have found a place in SF and are soon to leave this neighborhood behind, has inspired me to put together an impartial list of what I'll remember and (in some cases) even miss about this Lorin District of mine.
[in no particular order]
1. The cacophony that is the drum circle at the Hash-by Bart.
2. The ice cream truck that can only play that one, oddly familiar, but extremely annoying song.
3. The business hippies, oh the business hippies. It must be hard living the indie-rock-art life in this run down neighborhood with daddy paying your rent while you drive his old Lexus that's tragically missing a hub cap.
4. "De Thang" (the sweet black cadillac down the block with the quotation as its vanity plate) and "Mo Thang" (the massive black van down the block with this quotation as its vanity plate). The owners of these two vehicles, awesome in their own right, have a spectacular jazz band that practices Tuesday night. I will miss their weekly practice sessions and the crowd that's started to gather on their steps to listen to the free show. I'll also miss my roommate's phone calls when he was home and I was out and Mo Thang was driving down our street. The totality of his call, "MO THANG ON THE MOVE." Then he would hang up.
5. El Nopal, your food, rather crappy, but ever so cheap.
6. Lois the Pie Queen. I will miss your gritty grits, your bacon, your egg salad sandwiches, and especially your lemony ice box pie.
7. The Bowl. I'm torn up about this one. Too sad to write an adequate adieu.
8. The Berkeley Tool Lending Library, and its neighbor, the Thai Temple Brunch. What a combo!
9. The kind and friendly grandma who lives down the street and cheered for me and Rordog when we were in our graduation robes on the way to the bus that took us to Commencement.
10. And finally, the incident I mentioned above involving an axe wielding neighbor. The other night, Jotina, Rordog, and Misfit and I went on a walk to the corner store (where, incidentally a drunken woman once grabbed my butt) in search of Reddi-Wip for the pumpkin pie I had baked. Berkeley Bowl's inferior Berkeley Farms whipped cream had betrayed us. Its product had no "wip," so to speak. Most likely some kid had already depleted its nitrous stores before I even purchased the can.
In any event, on our way down Woolsey, this crazed blond man walked up along side us. He was muttering to himself and, slung across his shoulder, was a sawed off electric guitar. His axe. He asked us if we had seen a guy in a t-shirt, wearing a hat, riding a blue mountain bike. He informed us that the police were looking for him.
Evidently, this poor soul's bike had been stolen and to wreak his revenge, he was going to wail on him with his axe. To our relief, this man proceeded on his way and left us alone to complete our mission. Our mission failed, the convenience store carries more in the way of alcohol, pork rinds, cigarettes, and canned chili. Even without the whipped cream, we were happy to have escaped unscathed.