Last Day in the East Bay 

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

Ayelet Waldman

Ayelet Waldman is author of The Mommy-Track Mysteries and the upcoming literary novel, Daughter's Keeper. The Harvard law grad and former public defender began writing as a stay-at-home mom, weaving tales about Juliet Applebaum, a crime-solving single mother. She lives with her four kids and novelist husband Michael Chabon.

I would start off with breakfast at Rick & Ann's and kind of plan out my day. I'd have those potato pancakes with cheese and scrambled eggs, then I would do a bookstore crawl on Telegraph Avenue hitting Cody's, Shakespeare and Co., and Moe's. Also, I'd stop in at Amoeba Records on Telegraph, mostly to watch the people shopping. And then it would be lunchtime and I would head out to Vik's Chaat House and have some chaat to fortify myself for a bout of shopping on Fourth Street where I would spend most of my time in Rabat and Molly B, but I would also head into This Little Piggy Wears Cotton -- it's this great kids' store. After an exhausting afternoon of shopping I would head over for a tapioca tea back on Telegraph Avenue at Sweetheart Cafe -- they have the best one in the city. I'd pick up a Cheese Board Pizza for dinner, and then I would catch whatever movie was playing at the Piedmont; they have giveaways on Friday and Saturday night and it's fun. We almost never go into San Francisco [to eat out] because there's no reason to.

Kevin Army

During the late-'80s East Bay punk renaissance, Kevin Army was the man behind the mixing board. He has produced and/or engineered seminal albums for a who's who of local punk bands including Green Day, Operation Ivy, Mr. T Experience, and One Man Army. His side occupation is buying and selling used records.

I'm not a morning person, so there's no breakfast thing I'd do. I'd probably go to Roberts Park in the Oakland Hills. I'd also want to see Lake Merritt and go to Alameda Beach for sunset, because that's pretty great. I'd eat at the Emeryville Public Market -- it's the best cheap food around. I'd probably also want to eat at Top Dog. I'd get the chicken-apple; if I was still eating beef, I'd get the Top Dog, but I'm not. Probably in the afternoon, it's kind of disgusting now, but I'd go to Telegraph Avenue. I'd at least go to Moe's. That's where I discovered used records, even though they don't have 'em anymore. I remember Moe tracking me down once because I'd sold them some used books and he thought they'd underpaid me. I hate Contra Costa, but I'd probably go to Martinez for the antique stores and Pleasant Hill for the thrift stores. If it was the first Sunday of the month, I'd go the Alameda Antiques Faire. Actually, I'd make sure my last day was on that day so I could go there: It's so vast; no one can be all over the whole place. You can find great things at eleven o'clock.

Jen Loy

Loy is the 29-year-old editor of Kitchen Sink, an Oakland-based literary magazine, and the co-owner of Mama Buzz Cafe.

I'd bike to Royal for a small cup of coffee and read Jesse Reklaw's latest Slow Wave strip. Fueled by fruit from Yasai Market, I'd head to Comic Relief for Laurenn McCubbin's latest, Pendragon Books for Bitch magazine, and Pegasus Books for something by Beth Lisick. After I realize I don't have time for yoga or climbing at Berkeley Ironworks, I'm headed for the fire trail [in Berkeley's Strawberry Canyon above Memorial Stadium] for a sunset run. Now hungry for familiar faces, a soy latte, and a vegan BLTA, I get behind the counter at Mama Buzz to bid farewell to co-barista Nicole Neditch and our regulars from galleries Liminal, Ego Park, Door.7, and 21 Grand. Next up, Jupiter for DJs Brandin and Addi, then the White Horse for something sweet. It's late, my hands are greasy from Smokehouse fries, Kitchen Sink editor Jeff Johnson tunes the car stereo to KALX's DJ Kitty, and we sing along until the signal fades.

Rico Pabon

Pabon is MC for Richmond hip-hop crew Prophets of Rage and the Berkeley band O-Maya, which plays May 17 at the Malcolm X Jazz Festival in Oaktown; the Prophets next perform on May 31 at La Peña, accompanied by an eight-piece band.

The day would begin with an early walk at the Berkeley Marina, then up to the farmers' market on Milvia for a late breakfast at Sofrito's, the traditional Puerto Rican food booth. Then I'd run by Funky Riddms record store on Bowditch Street and pick up a lil' mixture of vinyl goodies: I'll take that new Zion-I joint and a Deuce Eclipse album to wash it down, please. Lunchtime would find me at La Bayou on Shattuck, getting my fill of Cajun cooking, catfish and cornbread, 'nuff said. If it were Monday night, I'd then be at "Liberated Zone" at Jahva House for freestyle sessions/open mic at 7 p.m.; Wednesday, with my guayabera on, dancing salsa at Mingles in Jack London Square; Fridays, either "Roots and Rhythm" at Capoeira Arts Cafe for reggae/dancehall; "Pass the Peas" for live hip-hop performances at the Down Low; and of course La Peña or the Black Box in Oakland always have something happening. I'd end my last 24 in the East Bay with a drive over the Richmond Bridge and a prayer that the oil refineries use alternative methods of dealing with their waste and make updates on their facilities to avoid "accidents."


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