Town Crier’s Pitty Party


It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to….

Pardon me if I wallow a moment in self pity. It’s my birthday week and I’m feeling my age. Too young for retirement and too old to be bossed around, I’m officially a junior senior. My blemish of choice is the sun mole, not nearly as fun as a pimple. I’ve replaced Margaritas with joint juice. And I’m single-handedly keeping the Postal Service afloat with offers from AARP.

Did I mention my joints? I can’t remember. But in case I haven’t brought up my bones in this missive – they hurt. I probably should have skipped the media bull riding competition a few years back. Ditto the Olympic bobsled run.

Yes, the sins of my youth are catching up with me. But I feel better already, just sharing. Now if I could just find a good recipe for vodka and joint juice….

Feathered friends: Chickens have always been big in the Oakland hills, but now restaurants are getting into the act. Pizzaiolo on Telegraph Avenue has just put in a back yard coop for farm fresh eggs and a little panache. I say panache because the publicity far outweighs the number of eggs the birds can lay daily.

Meanwhile, readers like Elaine Hofman say they’ll never “recoup” the price of the coop and the chickens and feed, but they love it just the same. Hofman’s Chinese Silkies are so cute; they look like little puffballs with fur, not feathers. And to guard them from intruders, she has a tiny brass bell on the coop, which rings when raccoons try to enter.

Street beat: Parking continues to be the number one topic in letters to the Town Crier. Lori says the Oakland Police are “out of control”. She and her neighbors were all slapped with $70 tickets, recently, for parking the wrong way on their cul-de-sac. The fines included a $10 service charge. “I am outraged at the city for doing this,” she writes. “We will be voting our city council members out of office!!”

Steve in the Glenview says his 50 cent muffins cost him $9.15 each when he got hit with a parking ticket outside Arizmendi’s on Lakeshore the other day. “I knew I was at risk,” he writes, saying “green tickets fall like autumn leaves on Lakeshore. Better off skipping those muffins or latte until you get your hands on more quarters.”

Joyful noise: Summer is winding down and so are the hundreds of summer camps in and around Oakland. Thanks to teacher Ginny Lee for inviting me to the last day of the 19 year old Art and Discovery Camp at Leona Lodge. It was great to see kids so engaged in art, dance and martial arts – taught by such a diverse group of instructors. The children learn everything from Chinese Calligraphy to glass painting and international folk dance. It beats the heck out of playing video games.


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