May 27, 2012

Authenticity

Is striving for self-actualization a pursuit of authenticity and a path to spirituality? An important component to add to this equation is practicing and receiving loving kindness.

May 26, 2012

Mission Bowling Club

Out again with my chef colleagues, this week it is bowling in the Mission. After all these years of bowling birthday parties I have not improved, at all.

May 24, 2012

Looking Out for Each Other

Today I took an overly-crowded BART train from school and it was much like being on the London Tube during rush hour. As the train became ever-more crowded an older man, bent over a walker, got on and many of us moved aside and made space. I thought to myself, "we are such a friendly kind of people here in the Bay Area, looking out for each other.

As we approached my stop I started to slowly make my way to the door. It was difficult because of the over-crowding and stop-and-go driving style of the engineer. As the doors opened the woman behind me started to push her way out. When I asked her to stop pushing she started to yell, "then move!" to which I calmly responded, "please stop pushing, ma'am, please stop pushing." she did not stop and instead stepped on the back of my feet. I recognize that she was probably not comfortable in crowded places so I didn't get bent out I shape. However, her bad attitude did have me question my previous happy thoughts about us folks being neighborly.

When.I got up to street level I decided to wander into a store and as I did I recognized another woman from the train also going into the store. She stopped, turned around and said, "I was following that woman who was so mean to you on BART and I was going to say something to her for you." We chatted for a minite about the situation and them went our different ways.

For some reason I was ery moved by her gesture and realized that I felt protected, recognized and taken care of by someone who is a total stranger. This renewed my feelings abut how in the Bay Area we look out for each other.

May 19, 2012

Cheese Party!

One of my chef colleagues is having a cheese birthday party and we just finished setting up all the deliciousnes: cheeses, meats, Raclette, Pan Con Tomate and cheesecake for dessert.

Geyser at Oakland Greyhound Station

Look like a bus hit a fire heidrant.

May 7, 2012

Branding My Hood

Oakland seems to be branding my neighborhood as KONO for Korea Town Northgate. At first I was skeptical - why invest in street art and banners? But then today they added a woman riding around on a scooter picking up trash. Now that's what we need. Kentucky Fried Chicken cups were her biggest pick-up task. I helped her collect up a few, as did another woman, and we ended up smiling at each other and saying kind words. That's the cascading effect of good deeds and how you create a caring neighborhood. We just needed a catalyst.

May 2, 2012

Occupy Oakland is Ruining Oakland's Downtown

Downtown Oakland is in an economic turnaround with new businesses popping up. But with events like the May Day strike Occupiers are scaring away business owners, residents, workers, and visitors. I saw and smelled yesterdays protest as I walked to the BART station on my way to school. The air was filled with pot smoke and I had no idea who the people were in the protest beyond angry anarchists.

In advance of the protest promotional fliers were glued to newly painted street art along my street and people had spray painted May Day along freshly painted buildings. After the protest yesterday, seemingly insane people were screaming obscenities along the streets as parents with small children waited at a bus stop hoping to get away from downtown Oakland. I witnessed workers boarding up windows of small and large businesses. As I walked past these scenes and approached my neighborhood there were drunk protestors, five hours after the protest, partying on a sidewalk with a DJ playing ear-splintering music. Helicopters were over the streets all day and late into the night.

Is this what Occupy wants for Oakland?

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