Amblin' Alameda: A Sunday in Alameda

Amblin' Alameda: A Sunday in Alameda

Morton Chalfy

After several days of downpour the sun came out to play Sunday morning (appropriately), and my day began with a dog walk. I joined my friend Larry and his three-legged dog Maggie for a morning constitutional down Broadway and along the bay in the bird sanctuary.

Sunday was the day of the annual Bird Count and as if to make it easier, the largest number of shorebirds I've seen in Alameda were congregated along the marshy shoreline. It was really glorious. The birds swooped and turned and settled and cooed and twittered and the sun glistened on the water and the world was natural and bright.

Breakfast followed with The New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle, the perusing of which ensures the leisurely pace necessary for good digestion, and then to get ready for the day. I hurried to take part in the demonstration in front of City Hall in support of Black Lives Matter along with 50 or 60 other folks.

It does strike me that after nearly a week of demonstrations around the country and especially around the Bay Area, we have yet to hear any political leader of weight directly address the demonstrators and acknowledge the desire the gatherings promote. The right to peacefully assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances is severely diminished when the import of the demonstrations is ignored and the gatherings are met by riot-geared police. That wasn't the case in Alameda (though no civic leader appeared while I was there), but the silence from our leaders around the country has been deafening.

The proper response to demonstrations is dialogue leading to action, not police control of the citizenry.

From that exciting gathering I went to the local Death Cafe with my sweetie and a friend of ours. Death Cafe is another movement, this one begun in England to foster open discussions on the topic of death. It is not a support group, though support is often found there, and it is not a proselytizer for any point of view. It is a discussion group, and every time I've attended I've come away with a renewed feeling of carpe diem: Talking about death makes life sweeter and more vivid.

It has also been my experience that at every meeting one or two new people show up with burning questions and most often find answers and guidance in the experiences and stories of others. Sunday was no exception.

After the Death Cafe we ate on Park Street, enjoying the company of our friend, and then finally headed home. A real Alameda day: interesting events, interesting people and a wonderful setting. Seize the day!


Submitted by marvie (not verified) on Wed, Dec 17, 2014

Congrats, Mr.Chalfy on your success... I too, passed my driver's license renewal this year at the age of 67... I actually hope the self-driving cars don't come too soon, so that my grandchildren (11 and 8) can experience the pleasure and freedom of driving, but I imagine it may come to fruition pretty soon. My grandson said he wanted to join the Air Force someday, but I wonder if they will still have piloted planes by then, as we can see, the drones seem to be taking over already. Isn't it amazing how things are changing in this high tech world today? I just hope it's for the better...for the sake of our children...

Submitted by marvie (not verified) on Wed, Dec 17, 2014

Somehow, my above posting got placed in the wrong article; it was meant for the Dec.9 article, Amblin' Alameda: Rite of Passage, by Mr. Chalfy..,

Submitted by Chuck M. (not verified) on Wed, Dec 17, 2014

Mr. Chalfy, how are the protests publicized so others can participate? However, given that Alameda voted out its first African-American mayor, it's hard to take a protest on "Black Lives Matter" in what has been dubbed the "most racist city in the Bay Area."

Submitted by Michelle (not verified) on Thu, Dec 18, 2014

Hi, Chuck,

I organized the demonstration. I wrote on the Nextdoor site in order to suss out interest, was offered help from some people with planning, and they spread the word through Facebook and fliers, the Alamedan, etc. Feel free to write your email and I'll put you on my list, which I plan to compile more formally when I have some time. If we continue to hold demonstrations, we'll brainstorm about vaster ways to broadcast the information, and ways to approach demonstrations, as well.

I love Alameda, and, frankly, I did not know that we've been voted the "most racist city in the Bay Area"! That makes me very sad. Gratefully, I personally don't know anyone who fits that bill. Further, it never dawned on me that our first African-American mayor was voted out because of her race, rather than as a result of the success of her tenure. Just my two cents!