Uptown Wednesday night

Couple crosses Telegraph Avenue

It’s empty out. I’m coming back from a long day at the newsroom. I’m eastbound at 19th Street, stopped at Telegraph Avenue and waiting for the light to change. Then I notice this couple, her in a lovely summer dress, him suited and booted, standing on the corner and waiting for the light to change.

Times like this, I wish my Nokia N82 still worked. Best cameraphone I ever had, quick on the draw, easy to just swing up out of my pocket and into my hand, flick the lens protector aside with a fingernail tip and pop, just like that, a picture. But the maxim about the best camera in the world being the one in your hand still holds.

So up comes my Samsung Captivate, and there I go frantically touching icons and sliding panels to get the app I want activated, and there goes the shot as the couple steps off the sidewalk and are halfway across Telegraph when the shutter finally goes click.

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Meeting Travis

Travis Campbell at The Commonwealth

More talk today with an unexpected connection (re-)made over the weekend: I got to have a beer at The Commonwealth and an extremely interesting conversation with Travis Campbell. I used to read one of his sites, The Black Informant, back in 2006 after I’d started Negrophile.

It turns out he’s moved from Southern California to the East Bay, and he was free to meet me after work today before I had to go to choir practice. He was full of questions about the sites I read nowadays, the opinions I have about certain high-Klout score-holders and the potential of black media and rich content plays. I think

Tacking into the winds

Luke Stangel of Tackable shows off TapInBayArea iPad app

In the wake of last week’s announcements about the coming changes at the newspaper, all sorts of interesting people are appearing. The first one I saw this week was Luke Stangel.

How news stories appear in TapInBayArea app TapInBayArea iPad app home page

Now, like many folks at the paper, I don’t own an iPad. But I do use the Web, play with a smartphone and consider myself open to looking in on and making content for other people to use online. So when Luke came up to Walnut Creek and showed off the app that his company Tackable has created for the Bay Area News Group, I had to hear more.

Offering a bounty on pictures in Alameda

I asked a lot of questions. Luke gave me the answers he could give at that point. I have a feeling I’m not done here.

How to dominate a sub

The Breakroom cafe

Speaking of places I like to go eat? Ankita and I have had brunch here several times, and she still likes to go by during the day when she can for hot chocolate. I envy her the times she’d stop in and someone like DJ fflood would be spinning.

The Breakroom sign PETA approved veggie meatball sub

So it’s Sunday and I wind up running around downtown and my corner of Lake Merritt with laundry and returning a library book and running into a fellow choir member. It’s a wonder I even had time to eat!

I’ve been eating the meatball sub for several years here, but I don’t think I’d ever looked up at the wall and noticed this award. Come here, buy one and give it an order and you’ll see just what can happen.

Bending and blending

Scream Sorbet chandelier

After brunch at one of those places I can never stop going to (Lynne and Lu’s Escapade Cafe on Grand Avenue — know how I know it’s one of those places? I used to be its Foursquare mayor, and my former boss took someone he was interviewing there, looked it up and saw it and told me, and I hadn’t set foot in the place in weeks), I went over to Scream Sorbet with the homie Amy Gahran.

Scream Sorbet

I’m glad places like this exist. Sure, people would get along just fine without a place where flavors like vanilla and almond, orange and rooibos, lavender and lemon bend and blend together.

Scream Sorbet

But on a day when you feel like stepping outside of typical culinary profiling, I’d miss not seeing the lime-mint combo (which I didn’t see, and would’ve gladly tried) in a scoop — or the plain-but-fancy chocolate I went with, or even Amy’s melon.

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