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Last Day in the East Bay 

Local luminaries tell how they'd spend their last 24 hours here.

Agha Saeed

Saeed is national chairman of the Newark-based American Muslim Alliance. He also teaches political science and communications at UC Berkeley and Cal State Hayward.

I'd go to Berkeley and visit the campus. I'd visit different cafes in Berkeley, starting with Cafe Strada, where I get different teas. Berkeley represents a state of being to me, which is always flexible in its attitude toward life. I'd go visit my old house in Berkeley and then hit campus. I'd take a stroll on Telegraph Avenue and move on to University Avenue. I'd go to the office of the Daily Cal, where I used to be on their board of directors. Then I'd hit the Cal State Hayward campus, where I'd take a quiet stroll. I'd also go to a restaurant called Chandni in Fremont, where they hold poetry readings and civil rights discussions for people from South Asia.


Frank Moore

Moore is a performance artist and public access TV show producer. Since he gets around by wheelchair and is unable to speak, Moore describes his last 24 hours via e-mail.

I'm walking down Telegraph Ave., which is recovering from the Mayor Dean-era “cleanup.” Street musicians, kids, vendors, etc. -- LIFE -- are back! Have to drop off my extra stuff at the People's Park free box, and drop in to Cody's and Moe's bookstores one last time. What great characters they were. There's “the bubble lady,” a great poet! Too bad I can't go to the Whole Note poetry series at the Beanery on College Avenue anymore. But that's on Tuesdays.

I decide to get a room at the French Hotel; we've been drinking their great espresso for years. Hope they have cable! I'm a B-TV (channel 25) addict. Sure, it airs my show, but it's also developed strong art and political programming.

Shoot! I forgot! We're doing one of those art orgies, er, performances in a classroom somewhere on the UC Berkeley campus. (Where else could we have pulled that off?) So first we get a quick meal either at the Cheese Board Pizza or Razan's Organic Kitchen. What we do in the classroom is best not revealed here. Clubs like Ashkenaz and 924 Gilman Street, which in the past were welcoming venues for such art, are now “family-friendly,” and will not allow this kind of art. Their founders, David Nadel and Tim Yohannan, are rolling over in their graves! So when the performance ends at 10 p.m., we're wondering where to go now. Fire marshals closed down underground hardcore club Burnt Ramen in Richmond last month, so we head to about the only club left, Oakland's Stork Club, to see eXtreme Elvis, my protégé.

After that, we just drive aimlessly around Berkeley, channel-surfing between KPFA, KALX, and Berkeley Liberation Radio. Damn, I will never again be on Barb Golden's KPFA show, Crack O' Dawn, never again outrage Betty Olds, never again eat Flint's beef and chicken barbecue! What a bummer.

I cry myself to sleep. When I awake, I head to the Organic Cafe for its all-day, all-you-can-eat brunch. Then I go back to our purple North Berkeley house, barricade myself in, and wait for them! I AIN'T GOING EASILY!


Ed Penhoet

Cal biochemistry professor Ed Penhoet took a leave in 1981 to establish Chiron Corporation, an Emeryville start-up that grew under his leadership into a world biotech player. He's now part of Alta Partners, a venture capital firm that builds life-science-related companies.

I would have breakfast at Bette's Oceanview Diner -- fruit, pancakes, and coffee. I would take a hike in Tilden Park because it's beautiful and the whole system of regional parks is such an East Bay treasure. I'd have lunch at the cafe at the Jazzschool in Berkeley. The Jazzschool is a wonderful place, providing a focal point for hundreds of musicians, young and old alike; the cafe has really good food and you can experience the music energy and even hear some over lunch. I'd also visit the Oakland Museum, walk around Lake Merritt, have an early dinner at Chez Panisse (downstairs), and then spend the rest of the evening at the Chabot Space and Science Center, where I'd check out the exhibits, go to the planetarium show, and look through the telescopes. I might end the evening with a nightcap at the Claremont to enjoy the great view.


Henry Clark

Clark, founder of the West County Toxics Coalition, a grassroots urban environmental group in Contra Costa County, is considered a pioneer of the environmental justice movement.

I love fish, so I’d have to stop by Red’s Seafood Restaurant on MacDonald Avenue for a fish dinner. If my last day was on a Friday, I suppose I’d have to go to the farmers’ market in the Richmond Civic Center and buy fresh vegetables.

I’d have to get one last look at the shoreline and Mount Tamalpais from George Miller Park in Point Richmond. That’s one of my favorite cooling-out places. Point Pinole is also a good place for relaxation.

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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