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White stuff falling from the sky by any other name is still snow.

Posted by Ted on Dec 7, 2009 in Memories
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Courtesy of M. Amidon, MA

This past weekend, we began hearing reports of our friends on the east coast having the first decent snowfall of the winter season. There were some beautiful pictures that were posted that almost made me pine for that feeling of seeing snow fall, reflecting the streetlights, covering the world in a blanket of white.

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Courtesy of C. Sandifer, VA

Growing up in Cleveland and moving to Boston, winter, and snow, have always been a part of my world.  I still remember building snow tunnels in our front yard during the Blizzard of ’79.  I remember a certain party back in ’92 at Fandom House where one of the guests arrived on cross-country skis.  I enjoyed being stuck in the hotel during Arisia ’05, getting room service as the world outside the 9th story window turned white.  There’s just something magical about the falling of snow, and the way that the landscape changes, bringing to mind childhood images of sleighs and roasty fires.

3236856342_4225eee4caAlmost a year ago now, we escaped the two feet of snow that had been piled on top of cars, shoved to the side of the street, and filling every yard. We tell people about that here in the Bay Area, and you can see them visually shiver at the very thought of it.  I do miss the image of snow and that feeling, but I won’t miss the shoveling, the trying to find a parking space, the crazy drivers, the dirty slush, the stepping in a cold puddle, or the slipping on the ice.

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What we found interesting when we woke up this morning was that even here, just a few minutes away, there is still snow. The difference now is that we have to drive to it, albeit not as far today as other days.

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Posted by Ted on Nov 16, 2009 in Memories

I was in Boston a year ago, having just voted in the most important election of my 36 year lifetime and being excited for the future. I’d just had a small birthday/election celebration party, and had no idea that in a year I would be living on the other side of the country.

Yesterday I watched a dirigible land and take off again as I passed the Oakland airport just before sunset. This was after going to the Fruitvale farmers market (every Thursday and Sunday, year round), and an East Bay Bicycle Coalition appreciation BBQ, where I may have volunteered to help promote the building of a bike/pedestrian path across the western span of the Bay Bridge. Saturday, we drove down to Glen Park for brunch, and then made our way up to the Sutro Baths to walk around and through the cliffs overlooking the Pacific, watching a huge cargo ship come out of the horizon, probably from China, and most likely bound for the Port of Oakland, the fourth busiest container port in the United States. Then we met some of Liz’ school friends for Burmese dinner in the Richmond district, before heading back across the bay to Fruitvale, where we enjoy being a minority in a latino neighborhood with at least a dozen taco trucks within a mile radius.

Everywhere we go, we discover new nooks of the Bay Area that make us fall in love again and again. There is so much good food to be had, both in the groceries and farmers markets, and at thousands of restaurants of every nationality. I’m sure we could never eat in the same place twice for years if we wanted to. The geography continues to take our breaths away, from the majestic redwoods to the expansive Pacific and the sometimes rolling, sometimes leaping hills that permeate the bay area. There are 7 regional parks in Oakland alone, 51 in the bay area, and 280 in the state of California. We love it here.

We miss our friends and family in Boston and New York more than any of them probably realize. We left a vibrant community, closely-knit and deep-rooted, to pursue our dreams to head west. The ache we feel in being so far away is often palpable, and yet this has very quickly become our home. It’s been reminding me lately of my first burn. After the culture shock wore off, I felt completely at home in less than a day. There is a very good reason that Burning Man evolved out of San Francisco; we have everything here, it seems. Great local food, stunning scenery, and more going on than you’ll ever be able to go to. We have schools like the Crucible and Trapeze Arts, festivals like the Fire Arts Festival, Fleet Week, and Folsom Street Fair. We have blooming flowers in November, and a palm tree in our back yard.

I wonder when the honeymoon will wear off?

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