Amblin' Alameda: This Time of Year

Amblin' Alameda: This Time of Year

Morton Chalfy

This is an emotional time of year, this period from Thanksgiving through the first week of the new year. Like it or not, because our society and its culture demand it, we come face to face with friends and family and how we feel about them and how we interact with them. Even with the most positive of spins it is tiring and emotionally draining to go through the Dance of the Winter Solstice.

Please don't get me wrong. I've had a season of joy and sharing, visits from children and grandchildren, meals and parties with friends and family that left me sated both physically and spiritually and the warmth I've felt will last a long time. But it has been tiring.

And then the new year begins and the media shower us with the 'best of's' and the 'worst of's' the last year and resolutions for the next. It's time to take stock, of ourselves (oh my), our city and area and on out to the world as a whole. At the level of the whole world we can only shake our heads and pray for peace while in the full knowledge that World Peace is unlikely to be seen by anyone alive today. We can hope for the avoidance of world destruction and turn to the work at hand.

We can hope that someday humanity will learn how to live in balance with the rest of the natural and unnatural world, that we can learn how to apply “best practices” across all disciplines and countries, and how to solve our differences short of violence. There are signs of hope but we are such a contrary species that all hope must be tempered.

So here we are in Alameda, which sometimes seems to have dropped off the radar of the media in the Bay Area, and I sort of like it that way. We're quieter, friendlier, more livable and in general inhabited by people we'd be happy to have as friends. It may be due, in part, to being unnoticed, tucked as we are between the two giant newsmakers of San Francisco and Oakland. While they make headlines we make happiness. So much better.

My hopes for the new year in Alameda are pretty much “more of the same.”

A slightly belated Happy New Year.