Friday, April 22, 2016

Thank Goodness Irene Asked

Hands Up, Don't Shoot
Jackie Houston
Alerted by the New York Times article, my friend Irene asked, "Go to this for me?" This being,  Neighborhoods Coming Together: Quilts Around Oakland, a citywide show of around 100 quilts, all produced by members of the African American Quilt Guild of Oakland. And Oakland being, quite plainly, an important part of the organization's name, as well as the focus of the exhibition.

So sure, of course I would go. I even tried enticing her to fly across the country for a visit and see the show for herself, but, oh well, that didn't happen.

Sadly, I missed the exhibition at City Hall, as well as the one at Laney College. But at least I made it to the show at the Joyce Gordon Gallery.

Oakland, You Are Welcome
Teri Green
Delilah Beasley
Marsha Carter
And what a show it is: a beautiful selection of quilts, featuring familiar landmarks and events, ideas, social movements and political issue, all carefully elaborated and stitched.

The show continues through the end of the month. So if you are around downtown Oakland, I encourage you to stop by. And Irene, "Thank you!"

Joyce Gordon Gallery
406 14th Street
Wed. - Sat.

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Local Lending Library

Colby St.
Hillegass Ave.
When my mom went back home after her visit in March, she left behind some books. Not keepers these books, but clearly meant to passed along. However, since our local branch library no longer accepts book donations, you have to cart them down to the Bookmark bookstore in Old Oakland. But that meant driving and, even worse, parking.

Shafter Ave.

Instead, I wandered over to my local Little Free Library. Started in 2009, the movement's mission is "To promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide and to build a sense of community as we share skills, creativity and wisdom across generations." People certainly support the idea - Little Free Library estimates that there are now at least 36,000 free book exchanges worldwide.

I think there are even more. The one on Shafter is registered with the organization. But the ones on Colby and on Hillegass don't appear on their map.

So next time you need something to read, or drop off, consider strolling over to your neighbor's front yard and see what's on offer.

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The hummingbird's nest is now empty. Sadly, one of the two baby birds did not survive. All of the neighbors are very hopeful that the second baby did make it, and is off sipping nectar nearby.