Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Perks of blogging 2: the more, the merrier.

This weekend, my friend sfmike, author of the great photojournalism blog Civic Center, came to visit me in Oakland to see the exhibition at the Oakland Museum entitled The Birth of the Cool. Mike brought with him his partner Tony, his friend Ron, a recent transplant from Michigan and Namaste Nancy, who is proprietress of her own blog dealing with the arts in San Francisco. I had met Tony before on my earlier trips to San Francisco, but Ron and Nancy are new to me, and I had a wonderful time getting to know them.

Slowpoke that I am, both Mike and Nancy have posted their reviews of the show and the afternoon here and here. The show highlighted the California additions to the architecture, art, furniture and music we now identify with the late fifties and early sixties before the hippie movement. Some of the pieces were a bit of a stretch. They included some film and video clips that I thought fit very well, but Chuck Jones' great creation the Road Runner doesn't quite fit the mood created by Dave Brubeck, architectural shots from North by Northwest and an old kinescope of Playboy After Dark. Nancy and I agreed that the early brunette Barbie doll was an excellent addition, but I was a little disappointed that none of the feature architectural work was actually an Eichler home, a somewhat upscale company that built homes with lots of ceiling to floor windows all around the Bay Area back in the day. Nancy grew up traveling the world as a Navy brat, but the show reminded her of her childhood because her parents subscribed to Sunset magazine when she was young.

After the visit to the museum, the five of us traipsed through Oakland's Chinatown to have lunch at the Pacific Coast Brewing Company, followed by a quick tour of my favorite game store EndGame, which is just across the street from the brewpub. Mike did a separate post on the store and the game playing area on the second floor which does a great job of capturing the spirit of the place. I then walked with them down to Jack London Square, where the quartet rode back to The City on the ferry, also chronicled by Mike.

I want to thank Mike, Tony (look for the guy in the lime green t-shirt in the photos), Ron and Nancy for coming over this weekend. I had a great time playing host and Mike's blog is a favorite read of mine even when I'm not part of the story. His photos are so evocative and his writing so clean that every new post of his on any topic is a treat to read. This photo of me is the best picture I've taken in about twenty five years, because the guy holding the camera is a freaking genius. I don't deny that I've gained too much weight, but looking at this shot, I can't deny there's still some sparkle in this old guy's eyes.

Thanks again, everybody, and I hope to see you all soon.


CDP said...

You're adorable. Glad you had a good time. That sounds like a great exhibit.

jolie said...

how fun to see you current! I'm going to hop on over to the blogs you mention for more, and may even add to my routine reads.

the net gives us such great experiences in seeing stuff despite how we're so many miles away.

oh - and ted stevens was just indicted on seven counts by a federal grand jury. sweet, eh?

ken said...

There's a special place for Eichler, and if there's any justice, it's not a nice place. I lived in one of those travesties for 8 years or so, and I can assure you they're awful. Roof gravel & ceiling paint separated by about 2 inches of cheap wood, no insulation, ineffective heat, and those killer windows. I wonder how many kids died when they pushed their walkers through one. My son has big scars on his face & neck from falling (as a 3-year-old) through one of them. IIRC, it was the day after your 40th birthday party. Coincidentally, I'm sure.

OK, sorry to be gloomy.

- ken

Matty Boy said...

Yeow. I didn't know about that, Ken, thanks for informing me. I thought the windows looked cool when I was a kid, but now I look at them and figure the heating and cooling bills must have been a nightmare, and if the insulation is bad, that just makes it worse.

I hadn't even thought about the safety factor.

sfmike said...

You've got lots of sparkle left, dude. Looking forward to our next adventure.

Karlacita! said...

Tino's dad lives in an Eichler - and hoowhee, that's one cold-ass house!

But trendy!

You looks so cuuuuute!

namastenancy said...

Mike did capture your essence, didn't he? Nice nice guy with a twinkle in his eye.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Ah Matty Boy, ye never looked better than ye do now.

dguzman said...

There's definitely an "oh boy, TOYS!" twinkle in those eyes, buddy. Love the shirt too--tres cool.