Saturday, September 25, 2010

Mr. Fisher's Journey

The papers reported the death of Eddie Fisher, a singer I remember from my New Jersey youth. His appeal may have been greater to my sister's cohort (born 1942) than mine (born 1947), but I definitely recall the hornet's nest he kicked when he took up with Liz Taylor. He ended up in Berkeley, like countless others from the east coast (including me). What is it about Berkeley that attracts them? The anonymity, maybe. Whatever one might say about the politics, this place is fairly cosmopolitan about private life. You have to go out of your way to draw unwanted attention, and mostly it's to point out just how hypocritical you are. (Fred Dodsworth's exposure of his older son's bureaucrat harasser is one example, and that rent-board guy who went to jail is another.) Others, who might be gossip-fodder elsewhere, walk these streets unmolested, only death drawing attention to their presence.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Elephant redux

I walked by the former Elephant pharmacy on Saturday (18 September) and found a post with plans announcing that it will soon be a Walgreen's. This conforms to location theory, a general rule of which is that like uses clump together. I miss Elephant. Walgreen's is more like what used to be Long's (and Bill's before that, and long ago a Lucky's, whose sign was inexplicably declared a landmark), but is now CVS. The two chains are fairly bitter national rivals, so here we are, witnessing that fight on the ground. I'd hoped the owners might subdivide the space and find more interesting tenants. Undivided, Walgreen's is what works. Given the continuing saga of the mountain lion memorial, perhaps Elephant's parking lot will follow the Lucky's sign as part of local history (big-cat division).

Friday, September 3, 2010

Cull the deer!

The big 94708 event this week was the bagging of a mountain lion that was spotted in the parking lot of the former Elephant Pharmacy on Shattuck near Cedar. Experts quoted in the Chronicle speculated the beast was addled, but my theory is that where there are abundant deer - and there are deer galore in the lower hills in the summer - mountain lions are bound to follow. It's like how seals attract sharks. Like bears in peopled habitats, this one may have been supplementing venison with garbage - a lion has to eat. But I'm sure deer were on the menu, and only sorry that it didn't make a little more headway on the predator front before being spotted. The BPD are understandably a bit defensive about killing it, but hey, we're predators, too. A hundred pounds of alarmed (if not addled) cat heading my way would be sufficient inducement to shoot. So, here's my point: if the City doesn't cull the summer deer population, expect more mountain lions. You read it here.