Berkeley Eccentric, Rare’s Last Roar

Posted in Telegraph Avenue on July 12th, 2016 by admin – Be the first to comment

by Steed Dropout
July 10, 2016


Rare, right, testing new name. Photo by Ted Friedman

‘Rare,’ a Telegraph, Ave. legend told me, yesterday, that he’s changing his street name from ‘Rare’ to “Hell Yeah.”

The news comes, as Rare’s 40-year persona—RARE—has fallen on hard times.

The former Rare has told me he’s a self-described “fat slob” now. Once a gymnastic dare-devil who could chin himself on street poles, Rare has struggled even to roar out his name, which lately has gone from roar to rasp.
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Berkeley: The Homeless Mind

Posted in The Berkeley Scene on July 11th, 2016 by admin – Be the first to comment

by Steed Dropout
Jul 10, 2016


Photo by Ted Friedman

Solutions to Bay Area homelessness rolled off the presses like EXTRAS, recently, as major media ganged up on homelessness.

Even as demands for homeless services explode, San Francisco, reportedly, was giving its all to take a bite out of the crisis.

Huddled between Oakland and Albany, tiny-land-mass Berkeley, with its frazzled homeless communities on the Southside and near the freeway, seems to have accepted homelessness as a life-style—for someone else.

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Free Pizza Ain’t What It Used to Be

Posted in Telegraph Avenue, The Berkeley Scene on June 29th, 2016 by admin – Be the first to comment

by Steed Dropout
June 28, 2016

A TALE OF A BERKELEY BUSINESS EMPIRE


Ed Monroe’s Blondies. Photo by Ted Friedman

Telegraph Avenue street artist Ed Monroe’s hand-to-mouth life-style took a paste to the mouth recently when he lost free pizza for life at Berkeley’s Blondie’s Pizza.

Blondie’s was sold recently to a longtime employee.

Blondie’s was the 1960s (“Make Pizza Not War!”) love-child of the nine store Rasputin music chain and other enterprises of Berkeley’s titan of Telegraph trade—Ken Sarachan.
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Is Berkeley A Hilton to the Homeless? Part 2

Posted in People's Park, Telegraph Avenue, The Berkeley Scene on May 27th, 2016 by admin – Be the first to comment

by Steed Dropout
May 27, 2016


Photo by Ted Friedman

A lot of bedrolls have been unfurled since “Is Berkeley a Hilton to the Homeless?” appeared in the Berkeley Daily Planet five years ago.

That piece, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, suggested that Berkeley was an oasis of homeless services and compassion.
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Berkeley’s Protest Lifestyle

Posted in Occupy Berkeley, The Berkeley Scene on May 16th, 2016 by admin – Be the first to comment

by Steed Dropout
May 16, 2016

Mario Savio, a founder of Free Speech Movement, back at Sproul; his spirit trickle’s down to a new generation of Berkeley protesters. Photo by Ted Friedman.

YAKETY-YAK, WE TALK BACK

We’re sick of all your flak.
Push us, we push back
Yakety yak we talk back

While Berkeley’s hotel industry-sponsored visitor’s bureau touts: “come for the culture, stay for the food,” it might more realistically suggest, ‘come for the food, stay for the demo!’

Or, ‘Come for the political action, and bite it.’
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Why We Punks Do It

Posted in The Global Scene Through Berkeleyan Eyes on May 14th, 2016 by admin – Be the first to comment

by Steed Dropout
May 13, 2016

Photo by Ted Friedman.

Ray showed me the tree-trunk fissure that spontaneously appeared in everyone’s favorite Peoples Park tree, leaving the gnarly appendage with its seam hanging out.

The fissure, reportedly, occurred (miraculously) overnight. It was two days before anyone noticed the miracle of the spontaneous branch-split.

Maybe this fissure in the park was a sign.

Ray Gibson, an adept park philosopher and a root of wisdom, was lounging on the fissured limb. I joined him—out on the limb.

Gibson had recently witnessed a number of violent Southside attacks.
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Southside Perps Get Royal Treatment

Posted in People's Park, Telegraph Avenue, The Berkeley Scene on May 7th, 2016 by admin – Be the first to comment

by Steed Dropout
May 6, 2016

A TALE OF TWO PERPS

Home-run head-dent averted. Photo by Ted Friedman.

The sentence “Southside perps get royal treatment” needs some treatment itself. Perps is a cheap shot, and royal treatment an exaggeration.

Yet, in scores of my photos of Southside arrests, there is a theme: our cops treat crime suspects kindly and with protectiveness to match their mottos, “Protect and Serve.” I can’t count the times they yelled at me, “get out of the street.”

Two recent Southside incidents make my case.
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Decline of Hip

Posted in The Berkeley Scene, The Global Scene Through Berkeleyan Eyes on April 27th, 2016 by admin – Be the first to comment

by Steed Dropout
April 26, 2016

PEOPLES PARK AT 47

WAVY AT EIGHTY

A joint with Jesus. Photo by Ted Friedman.

Funky Nixons were smoking a joint with Jesus.*
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Sexually Harassed by Cal Clowns

Posted in The Berkeley Scene on April 22nd, 2016 by admin – Be the first to comment

by Steed Dropout
April 21, 2016

ZERO TOLERANCE TOUCHING

Stephanie Nicolle Garcia, right, surviving. Photo by Ted Friedman.

As U.C. Berkeley belatedly curtails sexual harassment, with forced resignations, firings, and other sanctions, the radical group, “By Any Means Necessary, (BAMN)” could claim a victory, of sorts.

And BAMN claimed such a victory to me, this week in Sproul Plaza, where I ran into one its most effective spokespersons, Stephanie Nicole Garcia at the BAMN table.
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Cody’s Books Mad Comeback

Posted in Telegraph Avenue, The Berkeley Scene on April 14th, 2016 by admin – Be the first to comment

by Steed Dropout
April, 14, 2016

New sign blows smoke. Photo by Ted Friedman.

CODY’S COMEBACK, OF SORTS

Cody’s Books is sort-of-back, after a nearly twenty year Rip-Van-Winkle.

Cody’s Books, deceased 2008, has stood empty ever since–a big chunk of a blighted block at Telegraph/Haste. With nearby Moe’s Books, and the Caffe Mediterraneum, Cody’s formed an historic triangle harking back to Berkeley in the fifties.

The Bally-hooed book and author-talks center could re-open (softly) by week’s end, as a used books and records store.

Whether the opening is timely depends on what the Cody Building owner Ken Sarachan’s staff call’s ‘Ken time,’ a timing system of starts,stops, and reversals. “I can do something Ken wanted only to have him change it,” says a staffer.
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