Sunday afternoon in Dolores Park

Rusticating with laptops, cannabis and whiskey
Rusticating with laptops and whiskey

Enjoy your afternoon while you can, my lovelies. Lurking just around the corner, a grammatically challenged assault on the privileged awaits:

DSC_0357

I don’t know what to make of this.  Is this an announcement or a call to action?  According to Zillow, the cheapest house for sale on this block is $1.3 million.   Is this who the pamphleteers are appealing to?  Are million dollar homeowners at issue, or is it their failure to become landlords?  Are Google employees being asked to cyber-protest their bosses, or to forgo homeownership themselves? Who is writing here? Mere rent in San Francisco now requires a close to six figure income.  One feels as though one is being asked to litigate a dispute between the upper-middle class and the uber-wealthy in a state in which most of us are neither.  Maybe a walk up Sepulveda Blvd would offer perspective.

Up there on a visit

In the folly of youth, I found this road tedious and provincial
In the folly of youth, I found this road to town tedious and provincial
Even the Valley Oaks were
Even the Valley Oaks bored me
Why couldn't there be something cool and relevant, like a freeway?  At long last I'm getting my wish
Why couldn’t there be something modern and relevant, like a freeway? At long last I’m getting my wish. (Note the horses)
You can eat these organic, pastured cows at the pub in town. Farm to table they stay in-county.
You can eat these organic, pastured cows at the pub in town. Farm to table, they stay in-county.
Getting dark, almost home
Getting dark, almost home
Hippie splendor at dusk on the upstairs balcony
Hippie splendor at dusk on the upstairs balcony
My father likes to talk as he gardens. To my horror I have  many of the same mannerisms
My father likes to talk as he gardens. To my dismay, I have developed many of the same mannerisms.
My cousins are characters. They smoked me under the table in about an hour.
My cousins are characters. They smoked me under the table in about an hour.
Mendocino Gothic
Mendocino Gothic

Brewing has begun at MacLeod

DSC_0013 (1)

America was born in taverns. Before the first shot was fired at Bunker Hill, before the founding documents were written, America breathed in the hearts of free men who gathered around tables and drank and argued and came to a particular conclusion what liberty meant and what it didn’t mean and what price they would pay to obtain it.

The grog they drank was often made nearby, or by the proprietor. When the hour arrived to stand and declare American ground,  it was men from taverns, not the names one is taught in high school, who took the first British volley and the next, and all those which followed,  their martial spirits nurtured and restored at the inn.

Alastair
Alastair

Van Nuys is as close to a colony as we have in California. A generation ago, it was small city unto itself with a distinct historical identity at the crossroads of the Valley, and nearly the population of Spokane. It was the subject of no less than three Hollywood films, and known nationally as the center of car cruising culture. The Camaro and the Firebird were built and sold on the same street and how many towns could say the same?  Today Van Nuys has not a single elected representative at any level of government numbered among its residents. None.  This may be unique among cities in the developed world.  It has become a distant, shabby plantation from which City Hall and Sacramento extract blocs of votes and tax dollars. In return the government does….well, as little as possible, and does it abundantly.

Revolution can begin quietly, and not seem like revolution at the time.  This month, we will be able to lay claim to something Sherman Oaks cannot, home of the only craft brewery and tasting room in the Valley.  It is here, in the summer evenings, the restoration of Van Nuys may be contemplated over the pleasure of the pint.

DSC_0007

The first two batches went in the tank today.   Ironically, (not for Alastair, for me) they are brewing traditional British ales.

Grand opening: Sunday the 22nd, Noon-8pm. C’mon down.