Bad Berkeley Fire Fails to Fell
Telegraph Ave. Apartments

Posted in Telegraph Avenue, The Berkeley Scene on November 25th, 2015 by admin – Be the first to comment

by Steed Dropout
Nov. 24, 2015


Photo by Ted Friedman.

“It could have been worse,” said Stu Baker, of a two-alarm fire at Berkeley’s Chandler Apts. Baker is the voice of Telegraph Avenue businessmen.

Ranked by Berkeley Fire a “full assignment” fire, the blaze brought four fire trucks, a command vehicle, seventeen firefighters, paramedic vans and hoses pumping 400 gallons per minute—a real blast.
Continue reading “Bad Berkeley Fire Fails to Fell<br />Telegraph Ave. Apartments” »

Of Columnists and Contests

Posted in Med Heads & Cafe Culture, The Berkeley Scene on November 21st, 2015 by admin – Be the first to comment

by Steed Dropout
Nov. 20, 2015

I’m posting from Berkeley’s
Caffe Mediterraneum

Dustin Hoffman is looking over my shoulder. I don’t need to turn around to verify that. But when I do, I see that he’s not looking at me at all. He’s looking at Moe’s books.

Hoffman is trapped in a picture frame at the Med in “the Graduate,” 1967.

Hoffmann seems riveted to his view of Telegraph, which is Westward, but the best window view is Northward—where a stream of converging Southsiders and weekend slum- tourists from the burbs stumbles steadily nearer, like characters from “Night of the Living Dead.”
Continue reading “Of Columnists and Contests” »

Lots of Ifs to High Hopes
for New Berkeley Pot Club

Posted in Telegraph Avenue, The Berkeley Scene on November 15th, 2015 by admin – Be the first to comment

by Steed Dropout
Nov. 14, 2015

High Hopes at Amoeba. Photo by Ted Friedman.

A lot of pieces must line up if Berkeley’s Amoeba, an independent music and video store is to dispense cannabis on Berkeley’s Telegraph Avenue.

At a formal pot pitch, Thursday evening at Amoeba, Marc Weinstein and his business partner, David Prince traced the Berkeley store’s declining customer base, while boasting of Amoeba’s support for Berkeley causes.

As would anyone with a product to sell, Weinstein praised marijuana while pledging to provide the best organic-strains, grown under the best conditions.
Continue reading “Lots of Ifs to High Hopes<br />for New Berkeley Pot Club” »

Move Over Jesus, Pot Saves

Posted in Telegraph Avenue, The Berkeley Scene on November 7th, 2015 by admin – Be the first to comment


Amoeba, already trippy, could be a pot shop. Photo by Ted Friedman.

Move over Jesus, pot saves. Especially on Berkeley Telegraph
Avenues’ troubled 4th block. This would not be the first time pot has saved.

Vietnamese high-grade weed solaced U.S.Vietnam War grunts.
Online sources claim the marijuana industry could bail out the treasury.
Even a small dispensary might, reportedly, gross 36 million.

Can pot save a troubled commercial hub at Telegraph/Haste?

Pot might get a shot (to save Teley) if Amoeba, an independent
Telegraph Ave. music/video store, succeeds with its application
to become a marijuana dispensary.

Site of Berkeley’s latest pot shop, if approved.
Bob Marley, pictured ,approves Photo by Ted Friedman.

The proceeds from a dispensary could either boost the block or not.
The city’s usual annual cut of such profits is 1.5 million, per club.

The three corners at TeleHaste have not contributed taxes for
many years and one corner is in arrears.

This is an opportunity any superhero would die for and the marijuana
industry may be that superhero. But whether there would be a neighborhood
trickle-down from the millions in pot profits is unknown.

Less than three blocks away from Amoeba, a 15 year-old dispensary has had
little positive impact on its neighbor businesses. Pot patrons score and scram.

Perhaps Amoeba pot patrons might find a few of the neighborhood businesses
worth shopping.

When Amoeba’s Haight-Ashbury store hosted a pot prescription spot, the
store’s traffic rose. This is sure to be a factor at Berkeley’s Amoeba.

Pot shoppers might also visit Amoeba’s across-the-street competitor,
The Mad Monk, opening in months, Amoeba itself, Piology, Little Gem
Belgian Waffles, or perhaps the Caffe Mediterraneum, where stoner/patients
might meet up with other heads—Medheads.

As Mad Monk threatens Amoeba’s bottom line, Amoeba could be holding
a 36 million dollar trump card.

The 36 million would just be icing on the victory cake.

The City of Berkeley Medical Marijuana Commission will meet at
Amoeba Nov. 12/7p, for a hearing on Amoeba’s application.

More photos:

Berkeley for Real

Posted in People's Park, Telegraph Avenue, The Berkeley Scene on November 3rd, 2015 by admin – Be the first to comment

by Steed Dropout
Nov. 2, 2015


So Berkeley. Photo by Ted Friedman.

A recent forum on Berkeley’s values left out Berkeley’s Southside transient bums and its Street Crazies. And oh yes, it left out Karl Marx.

Berkeley is full of Karl Marxes. You see them everywhere, slovenly, slouching. To maintain their status as Marxists, they need not fear accumulation of wealth so long as they do not control a means of production, like a factory.
Continue reading “Berkeley for Real” »

Moving in on the Homeless

Posted in Telegraph Avenue, The Berkeley Scene on October 28th, 2015 by admin – Be the first to comment

by Steed Dropout
Oct. 27, 2015


'We’re just like you.' Photo by Ted Friedman.

They rolled up to People’s Park in two cars filled with clothing, which was scattered, each day, on the sidewalk alongside People’s Park.

The merry band of young off-the-road, fur-hatted itinerants made a monster mess with sleeping bags, cardboard, and assorted junk off-the-streets— across the street from the park.

Each day, they displayed a poster board, which referred to street theater, Ronald Reagan, and the 1985 Iran-Contras brouhaha.

Perhaps there was a backstory here.Only I never found out because they slipped out of Berkeley like lambs who arrived as Lions. Before I could interview them.
Continue reading “Moving in on the Homeless” »

Berkeley’s Caffe Mediterraneum Held Hostage by Department Store Film Crew

Posted in Med Heads & Cafe Culture, Telegraph Avenue on October 17th, 2015 by admin – Be the first to comment

by Steed Dropout
Oct. 17, 2015

Biggest film shoot at the Med since Mike Nichols,’ the Graduate, 1967.
Photo by Ted Friedman.

Claiming to be filming for Kohl’s department stores, a 15-man film/production crew, two film trucks, two big video cams, and aspiring actors took over the Caffe Med last week.
Continue reading “Berkeley’s Caffe Mediterraneum Held Hostage by Department Store Film Crew” »

There’s Gold to be Mined in People’s Park Unless a Bomb Blasts

Posted in People's Park, The Berkeley Scene on October 13th, 2015 by admin – Be the first to comment

by Steed Dropout
Oct. 13, 2015

Gold in them thar hills. Photo by Ted Friedman.

Dave said he metal-detected People’s Park monthly. He long ago recouped the money he spent on his metal detector, roughly $800.

Reporter commented this isn’t the most lucrative patch in Berkeley. “You’d be surprised,” said Dave. Park people panhandle a bonanza in change, but it falls out of their pockets and becomes buried,” he told me.

Dave said he earns $80 a month detecting.

Once Dave found a rare-cut diamond/ring that was worth thousands. He gave it to his girlfriend.
Continue reading “There’s Gold to be Mined in People’s Park Unless a Bomb Blasts” »

Kiss the Blood from My Meat!

Posted in Telegraph Avenue, The Berkeley Scene on October 8th, 2015 by admin – Be the first to comment

Bloody Meat Burger on Telegraph Was to Die For;
Now Is Itself Dead Because Wimp-Ass Diners
Winced at the Oozing Blood

by Steed Dropout
Oct. 8, 2015

What's left of a bloodless meal. Photo by Ted Friedman.


A Roar From A Telegraph Ave. Character We Call ‘Rare’.

Berkeley Reporter had been sampling Telegraph Avenue burgers
for an article, when wimp-ass diners who winced at its oozing blood—
killed off the sweetest burger this side of Steak ’n Shake.*

The Melt burger was too good to be true, so it had to die.
Continue reading “Kiss the Blood from My Meat!” »

Pleonasm Spasm

Posted in The Global Scene Through Berkeleyan Eyes on September 26th, 2015 by admin – Be the first to comment

by Steed Dropout
Sept. 26, 2015


“Black darkness, burning fire, and malignant cancer.” Perhaps you can spot the unnecessary words. String enough of these redundancies together and, brother, you’ve got a bloated sentence.

Here at Reporter, we live by the sword, whacking unnecessary words, like a Hemingway.

It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t lean–a trend in fiction and prose since Hemingway. There’s even software to turn your prose into Hemingway’s.

I had an editor once who asked me to write features like Hemingway, then this editor began adding words to my copy (awkwardly), ruining my rhythm and rime.

I made a supreme sacrifice. I quit.
Continue reading “Pleonasm Spasm” »