Bay Area – Spring!

Tea at Lake Merritt in Oakland

It had been way too long since Edna and I had spent much time in the Bay Area. Other than one day at Occupy Oakland, it had been over a year, and even then it was a short visit. So many friends live in the Bay that in order to see as many as we could we jumped around from place to place: Santa Rosa to Sebastopol to San Francisco to Palo Alto to Oakland to Berkeley.

Tea party with Ithaka peeps and friends on Stanford campus

I’ve been spending a lot of time in farther Northern CA working on Edna and feeling in the groove of community in the Arcata/Eureka area. There’s plenty of places for us to park there, farms to dig, people to sip tea with, work to be done, shop spaces, etc. It was hard to find a reason to leave. But, I do have to say that it was a great move. Ever since passing through the Redwood Curtain out into the rest of the country, things have been more exciting.

The kitchen staff enjoy tea

One highlight was spending time with the folks from Ithaka, a community house in Palo Alto. Most of these folks are Stanford students who live in a amazing community setting – cooking and eating together, living in close (but not too close) quarters. We hosted two tea parties in one day in Palo Alto: one on University Ave, and the other on Campus at an open mic (where even the kitchen staff at the cafe joined in) . Bobby and Jan are my heroes from Ithaka, but many other there were super fun. I was interviewed for a radio show and for a documentary project. A big thanks to all the folks there!

I got a call from my dear friend Case as I was getting ready to leave Ithaka asking if I wanted to be on West Coast Live, a nationally syndicated, live broadcast, live audience, radio show he produces with half-a-million listeners. Stoked on life, I drove to a small birthday party/tea gathering in the same neighborhood as where the radio show would be aired the next morning.

Tea at the lake

As I waited in the green room and prepared to be on the air, I imagined I was about to just be sitting in the bus talking to regular tea-sipping guests. On stage, I was comfortable, and the host Sedge was great. I poured him and his piano player Mike tea as we talked about the tea bus and life. I had absolutely no idea what he was planning on asking me, so I didn’t have any way to be prepared. I think that having a live audience actually helped me remain calm because it made me forget that half-a-million listeners were out there. I’ll get a link on this page to stream the audio when I have one…

I announced a tea party at Lake Merritt on the air for the next day. I figured that since many of West Coast Live’s listeners were Bay Area people, I may have a bunch of people coming. In actuality, not a single person who heard me on the air came. Weird! I guess I wasn’t that interesting… Either way, the people who did end up coming were stoked! It was a total success of a tea party (especially compared to last time I served at Lake Merritt). My dear friend Geraldine from Germany, whom I met while serving tea in 2006 on Hollywood Blvd. ended up there, as well as a girl I knew from college (who happened to be joggin by), some people from a tea party at the lake two days earlier, and many, many randoms…

It was a good trip to the Bay. I know, I didn’t get to see all of you! But that just means I’ll have to come back soon. I already want to go back…­




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