Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Emeryville Wants Your Poetry

Get on it, Shakespeares!

by Anna Pulley
Tue, Jul 22, 2014 at 1:44 PM

Calling all Billy Shakespeares! The City of Emeryville seeks your best villanelle, sonnet, haiku, free verse, or any other kind of poetry you deign to write (as long as it doesn't exceed fifteen lines) for its new contest, Poems on the Emery Go-Round. 

The Poet Laureate program of Emeryville (which is a thing that exists!) and the Emeryville Transit Management Authority (ETMA) are looking for poems that "surprise, delight, and inspire" on any topic or theme, and anyone who lives within the nine counties of the Bay Area (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma) is eligible to enter. 

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Survey: 2 Percent of the US Identifies as Lesbian, Gay, or Bisexual

The first large-scale survey estimates America's LGB populations.

by Anna Pulley
Wed, Jul 16, 2014 at 11:00 AM

About 2 percent of the US identifies as lesbian, gay, or bisexual, according to a first-of-its-kind national survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In a report released Tuesday, the CDC found that, of the 34,557 surveyed, 96.6 percent identified as straight, 1.6 percent identified as lesbian or gay, 0.7 percent identified as bisexual, and 1.1 percent identified as "something else," "refuse to answer," or "I don't know the answer."

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

New Dating Site for Pot Users Has High Hopes

by Anna Pulley
Wed, Jul 2, 2014 at 1:08 PM

A new dating site geared to the cannabis crowd aims to put the "bud" back in budding romance. is a dating platform that seeks to bring people together not based on silly things like religion, money, profession, or beliefs, but instead on how users feel about marijuana.

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

What’s Going On With Clean-Up?

by Katie Tandy
Wed, Jan 22, 2014 at 11:41 AM

Back in November, we profiled the story of a successful fundraising campaign to get West Oakland homeless resident James Boatner (aka “Clean-up”) off the streets in order to write his memoir (see “Street Stories With a Global Reach”). But since then, a fury of “he said, she said” has ensued: Several readers contacted us to say that Boatner is still on the streets of West Oakland and, worse yet, is claiming that attempts to contact the fundraiser’s organizer, Kate DeCiccio, have been unsuccessful and that she “ran off with the money.”

James Boatner (aka Clean-up)
  • James Boatner (aka Clean-up)

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Monday, April 8, 2013

Our Favorite Films by Les Blank

by Kelly Vance
Mon, Apr 8, 2013 at 11:57 AM

(East Bay documentary filmmaker Les Blank died at his home in Berkeley yesterday at age 77.)

Les is more. Useless to try to compile a “greatest hits” for a man who virtually invented the up-close, impressionistic, roots-music biopic. But here are a few unforgettable favorite riffs from the career of a filmmaking, music-loving, life-embracing son of a gun:

Les Blank and Werner Herzog in Burden of Dreams.
  • Les Blank and Werner Herzog in Burden of Dreams.

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Greil Marcus on "Stranded," Neil Young, and His Favorite Music City

by Alex Taitague
Fri, Mar 15, 2013 at 10:03 AM

On Oakland's northernmost stretch of Telegraph Avenue there's a record store called Stranded. On the Berkeley side of that stretch, in 1978, Greil Marcus — San Francisco-born music critic, Cal grad, and Rolling Stone's first reviews editor — wrote the introduction to Stranded: Rock and Roll for a Desert Island. Last night, at Stranded, Greil Marcus read from Stranded, a book of essays by twenty rock writers who share their experiences with the albums they'd each take if stranded on a desert island.

The reading, presented by the cramped store and the apparently thriving Rock 'n' Roll Book Club, was followed by audience questions — questions whose answers were insightful anecdotes about Lester Bangs, Bob Dylan's recording of “Like A Rolling Stone,” and a companion book called Marooned: The Next Generation of Desert Island Discs, for which Marcus also wrote the introduction — but, while browsing through the record store's finely curated selection beforehand, I asked Marcus some questions of my own:

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

How Gay Is Oakland?

by Ellen Cushing
Thu, Jan 10, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Pretty damn gay, at least according to the Advocate, which published its annual list of clickbait America's gayest cities yesterday and ranked Oakland at #11 — a full six spots, NB, above San Francisco:

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Monday, November 5, 2012

One Man's Ride to Bike the Vote in Temescal

by Whitney Phaneuf
Mon, Nov 5, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Looking for the motivation to vote? To exercise? To meet new people? Oakland's Matthew Szymankowski has plenty to go around.

Say hi to Szymankowski in Temescal, between the 48th and 51st block of Telegraph Avenue, where he sets up his stationary bike in the evenings and rides to remind people to vote in tomorrow's election.

Matthew Szymankowski on his stationary bike in Temescal, reminding his neighbors to vote
  • Matthew Szymankowski
  • Matthew Szymankowski on his stationary bike in Temescal, reminding his neighbors to vote

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ben Peck, Winner of the Express Best of Cover Art Competition, Explains His Process

by Rachel Swan
Wed, Jul 18, 2012 at 12:45 PM

It was a tough call, but after much quibbling and hand-wringing, a distinguished jury from the East Bay Express art department plucked one winner from more than a dozen "Best of the East Bay" cover design submissions. The honor went to 24 year-old Ben Peck, whose portrait combined elements of Emanuel Leutze's iconic 1851 oil painting, Washington Crossing the Delaware, with familiar tropes from East Bay culture. Instead of showing a famed general and several mariners braced for their surprise ambush on the Hessians, Peck drew an aged Hells Angel (or East Bay Rat), an A's fan, a barrista, a protester, a cop, a guy with giant headphones, and a few other contemporary local archetypes.

Revolution Cover
  • Ben Peck
  • Revolution Cover

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Party in Derek's Room, Guys

by Rachel Swan
Thu, May 3, 2012 at 4:09 PM

Never underestimate the brain power of UC Berkeley's undergraduate class, or the size of its ambitions. Case in point: freshman Derek Low, who got his first star turn in the blogosphere after transforming his dorm room into the ultimate party pad. No, really. Low, who clearly has a bright future in the tech industry should he choose to go that route, has tricked out his room with motion detectors that part the curtains as soon as he walks in; lamps that operate via wireless remote; appliances that respond to voice commands for "sleep mode," "party mode," and "romantic mode"; and even a voice-operated disco ball. The room, appropriately rechristened "Berkeley Ridiculously Automated Dorm" (or BRAD), even garnered accolades from culture blogger Angry Asian Man. Check it out:

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