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Under Construction
Chinese New Year festival in Oakland

February 6th, 2005

For A While
I was sitting at my breakfast cafe late this afternoon eating a Valentine cookie (heart shaped, red frosting, not very tasty), listening to a local four piece jazz group when I realized the reason there were so few people present was the Superbowl had started. I have nothing against the Superbowl, nothing against football - I played when I was a kid - but times, it seems, have changed. An American ritual, the Superbowl. I wonder who won?

I've been chasing after a sake this weekend. A friend mentioned it was a favorite and I figured it wouldn't hurt to try it, what with my fondness for microwave heated Ozeki. There's a sushi restaurant in Rockridge (When was I last in Rockridge? I lived in Rockridge not all that long ago after all.) that serves Onigoroshi (Ghost Killer), the sake in question with the double headed red demon on the label, so I drove over yesterday around 3:00. The place, it turns out, doesn't open until 5:00.

OK, walk around for a while, take a single picture in an hour and a half of walking, get in the car because I didn't feel like waiting any longer and check the sake section of the local organic everything grocery store (no Onigoroshi in evidence), check the Beverages and More in Berkeley fifteen minutes beyond in the hope their stock was more extensive than that at my local Beverages and More in Jack London Square (it isn't), turn back to head toward home catching the Tokyo Fish Market (yes, they stocked it, but they were sold out) and then, finally out of options, back to the apartment. So much for Onigoroshi. Too much excitement for a Saturday, I was thinking.

Not to be deterred and to cut to the chase, I revisited my local Mr. Sushi down the street this evening and, studious ex-wine geek that I am, sipped a flask or two of the double demon, taking notes. Not bad. Better than the swill I'm accustomed to drinking here in my apartment. I wonder where I can buy it here locally? Who sells sake? Who sells Onigoroshi? Why am I talking about sake, when this Sunday has been (for other reasons) such a good experience?

I wanted to photograph the Vietnamese Tet festival being held not far across the lake this afternoon, so I drove over early with two cameras, a pocket full of film and a clear head. No parking. Believe me, no chance of finding any parking. Cars were rolling slowly down the surrounding streets looking for parking like vultures. Don't want to duel over a parking spot with no vultures. Return to downtown Oakland and the New Year festival being held in Chinatown (hence the photograph). The lady above is not very Chinese, but I like the picture. A good, clear headed, felt like going out and getting around with a camera day, today, something I haven't seen for a while.

The photograph was taken at a Chinese New Year festival in Oakland with a Nikon D2h mounted with a 135mm f2.0 Nikkor lens at ISO 200.