Should I update this blog more often? Probably.

I wrestle with how often I should post on this blog about the podcast work I do. But since I’ve done little more than podcast work over the past several months, there’s not much else to post about at the moment. So.

I’ve done a bunch more interviews for The Eastern Shore about publishing, biking, the Bay Area art scene, the Oakland Book Festival, and the politics of fabric. The show turned one year old on May 12, 2015. I guess I have to stop calling it “a personal experiment” now.

My wife and I continue to amuse mostly ourselves with our mini-podcast It’s Called Toast.

And I’ve been producing a podcast for SPUR, the Bay Area planning & urban policy organization, built around their live events. This one’s mostly for the planning nerds. I know you’re out there.


It’s Called Toast, a Podcast About Breakfast Noises

I haven’t posted about this here, but my wife Heather and I have started recording a short podcast of breakfast conversation every week. Each installment is two minutes long and often there are chuckles. For us, at least. New episodes go up every Thursday morning, unless we’re traveling or something. You can check out the latest episode (#7), and here’s a playlist of every one we’ve done so far. Enjoy.

Some New Podcasts

People keep coming in and talking to me and letting me ask all kinds of sometimes personal questions and it is crazy, but here they are, the latest episodes of The Eastern Shore.

TES #24 – Rue Mapp, founder and head of Outdoor Afro, on her work to reconnect African Americans to outdoor experiences and to change cultural perceptions about those connections.

TES #25 – Maysoun Wazwaz and Kate Rhoades, producers of the Bay Area’s #1 Art and Culture podcast, Congratulations Pine Tree.

The Eastern Shore in January

I had another set of great conversations over the past month. Here’s what you might’ve missed on The Eastern Shore in January (and early February).

TES #20 – Actor, writer, director Lisa Drostova on Oakland’s news multi-ensemble theater space The Flight Deck, plus what it’s like to be a working (theater) artist in the Bay Area right now.

TES #21 – James Beard Award-winning writer John Birdsall on good food, good food writing, and what he likes in Oakland right now.

TES #22 – I read my Boom essay on the history of my house & Oakland, and I talk to Burrito Justice about the maps he made to accompany that essay online.

TES #23 – Alexis Madrigal on the work he’s doing at Fusion, finding the future of technology & social change, and the technological world his 18-month-old son is growing up in.

House History, Condensed and Reflected

The history of my house — and thanks to those of you who read the long blog posts about it — can now be found in a different form in the Winter issue of the journal Boom. I wrote an essay for Boom about why I started the project, what I found (a condensed version of the story of my house I wrote starting here), and reflections on what I had learned once I was done. I also had help from pseudonymous friend Burrito Justice creating some custom maps for the online version of the essay.

If you’d rather hear the story in audio form, I read the essay (plus a few embellishments that were cut from the published version) on my podcast recently. Stick around after the reading for a talk with Burrito Justice about the challenges of mapping history and a bit more reflection on what I hope is next for my city.

The Eastern Shore Round-up

I’ve put up several more episodes of the podcast since I last noted it here on the blog. I’m fortunate that fun, fascinating people continue to be willing to sit down and talk with me. Here’s the run-down.

TES #15: Berkeley-based writer Leah Reich on finding your voice as a writer, figuring out how to make a living with words, and riding out the bad feelings.

TES #16: Laura (who asked that I withhold her last name) on activism and not-activism, politics and movements, and fighting for a life worth living.

TES #17: Richard Raya on how he went from dropping out of high school with dreams of becoming a hitch-hiking poet to leading policy advocacy organizations and running for Oakland City Council.

TES #18: Charlie Hallowell, chef & founder of Oakland restaurants Pizzaiolo, The Boot & Shoe Service, and Penrose, on food as a profession, a way into politics and philosophy, and a service to the body and soul.

TES #19: In the week between Christmas and New Year’s, I had a Very Special Episode of the show. It wasn’t Very Special because we all learned an important lesson about tolerance by the end, but because it was non-canonical. I talked with my friend and planning school classmate Thomas Rogers. I let him in the studio even though he’s not an East Bay person. We talked about his goal of walking every street in San Francisco, the photos he takes when he’s doing that, and a lot of planning-related things. He also spent a while effectively interviewing me before I wised up to his schemes. It was fun. You should listen.

Thus ends 2014 for The Eastern Shore.

Houses, History, Impermanence

You know Blake’s instruction to the struggling real estate salesmen in Glengarry Glen Ross: A B WATHOH – Always Be Writing About the History of Houses. I live by that easy-to-remember credo.

The design-focused Medium collection re:form, edited by Sarah Rich right here in Oakland, California, gave me some space to write about a little obsession of mine: houses that were once twins or triplets but have diverged in the time since their construction. There are a bunch of those around here, though the development pattern that produced them is by no means unique to Oakland. Our house is a twin, and I look for them everywhere I go. If I did it right, maybe someone who reads this will catch my obsession, and we can trip on the sidewalk because we’re too busy staring at buildings … together.