Month: December 2020

Does a Bird Not Tweet? An interview with Katie Jo Goldin, the creator of the wildly popular parody Twitter account, ProBirdRights.

Pass the Dortitos ann stay IN UR LANE, human!! Or so might go a typical avian remonstration from the internet’s most insanely addictive Twitter parody account, @probirdrights. ProBirdRights feathers its digital nest with a disarmingly straightforward profile description: “Hello yes this is a bird i am a birdsrightsactivist and I fight against antibird sentiment.” That’s true of the wildly inventive, brutally astute European robin known as Bird. (Bird often self-styles as Birb, in keeping with its ungrammatical—and also somehow perfect—Birdglish.) It’s also only part of the story. A day in the life of Bird according to Bird may involve everything from the usual—getting stuck yet again inside a “Dortitos” chip bag or a menace vending machine; bestowing excremental blessings on cars; you know...

Hot Tamales: A holiday favorite at La Guerrera’s Kitchen and Picante

Reyna Maldonado’s mother Ofelia Barajas is making sweet tamales this year during the holiday season at La Guerrera’s Kitchen. “It’s really, really rare to find sweet tamales,” Maldonado says. For people who are used to spicy tamales, she likens their assortment of strawberry, pineapple and brown sugar ones to dessert. Starting on Nov. 1, both the sweet and the savory tamales will be available for pre-order. They’ve also added a vegan option—calabacitas—which contains squash, corn, tomatoes and peppers. Although La Guerrera’s Fruitvale storefront closed in March, they’ve been selling tamales on the weekends out of Ale Industries on nearby E. 10th Street. The pandemic has certainly cut down their sales, but it wasn’t Covid-19 that forced them out of the space now occupied by Ruby Q Smoke Fus...

Time Warp: My love letter to Berkeley

Located in the hollow of a tree along the banks of a stream at the Curran Trailhead in Tilden Park, the fairy post office, otherwise known as the Tiny Tilden Post Office, is an intersection of wonder and whimsy that attracts children and grownup hikers alike. It is a miniature post office, about two feet high and one foot wide. It is populated with tiny things. Tiny figurines. Tiny letters. It is an impeccable diorama. When I reach my hand into it, I feel like King Kong. Lea Redmond of Leafcutter Designs installed the post office as an experiment in December 2013, expecting it would be taken apart by passersby or ravaged by the weather. When she returned to the site a few months after creation, she discovered the post office had expanded; over the months eagle-eyed hikers had left notes an...

Treasure Hunting: Exploring Temescal Alley

As the East Bay slowly reopens after months of lockdown, the region’s small businesses welcome back their customers. From vintage clothing to vegan ice cream, our local shops are at the core of what makes the East Bay such a fun place to live.  Temescal Alley, off 49th street in Oakland, offers visitors the chance to experience the best of our community’s world-class designers and makers. It’s the perfect place for holiday shopping or for filling a warm autumn afternoon (safely, of course). Here are the best shops to visit in Temescal Alley: Minds Eye Vintage This charming vintage clothing shop carries men’s, women’s and children’s clothes that ooze artsy Americana. Racks of denim, Western button-ups in a rainbow of colors and A-line dresses will please any style-lover. You might even...