Band Aid

School’s ending and with it goes the music on San Jose Avenue. Residents who live on the tail end of the street near Lincoln Middle School get treated to tunes al dente on a regular basis.

The school’s marching band leaves the campus and hits the road with their saxophones and trombones and drums and all the other bassy and trilly things that make songs sound patriotic and holiday-ish.

For a first-timer hearing a live band outside the house you’re visiting, it’s a surreal treat. At first, when it’s not up close, you wonder if a caravan of ice cream wagons have converged. As the notes come closer, it’s clear this is real music. It stops and starts as the instructor calls the shots. Then you go to the front door and there, right in the street, not on the sidewalk, is your band.

Every street should have one. Every school should have one. And every school budget should be able to afford one. But that’s a subject for another day. Let’s just leave this on a light note.


Sign of the Times — VACANCY

The good news on Bay Farm Island is that La Piñata opened a restaurant at the Harbor Bay Isle shopping center a while back and it’s usually packed. And some time ago, Jim’s Diner opened at the golf course. Those eateries help cushion the blow that residents have faced with the closures of Enrico’s and the Ice Cream Dock.

And that empty Ice Cream Dock storefront begs the question: Will Alameda’s longest-lived, independently owned ice cream shop perhaps open a second store?

Alas, no. Kate Pryor, owner of  Tucker’s Super-Creamed Ice Cream said she is so busy with her Park Street location she wouldn’t have time to give to a second shop. Too bad for Bay Farmers, but true enough. Tucker’s fills up regularly with home-made ice-cream lovers, even late at night.

She made her latest creation in honor of Southwest Airlines. Turns out she and her husband, Dave, didn’t get their peanuts during a flight and mentioned it to the flight attendant during the landing. The attendant gave them an enormous bag of pretzels and honey roasted peanuts and pretzels and mentioned that she lives in Alameda and goes to Tucker’s. So Pryor used the gift to make “Nuts about Southwest”  ice cream.

Anyone else out there who has a gift for making good ice cream and who wants to make a business out of it? There’s a shop waiting for you at Harbor Bay Isle.


This Saturday: Planting daffodils near the Fruitvale Bridge

If you’d like to join a group of Alamedans and Oaklanders planting daffodils on the Oakland side of the Fruitvale Bridge (because, as you likely know, that’s one heck of an untended area) they’ll be a group out there working this coming Saturday, November 15, from 9 a.m. to noon. They’ll be meeting between 880 and the Fruitvale Bridge, near East 7th Street. I’m sure they’ll be easy to spot. Participants are advised to bring garden gloves and tools if they have them, wear work clothes, and be ready to plant. The event is sponsored by the Fruitvale Bike Station, the City of Oakland and Keep Oakland Beautiful.