Ben Fong Torres‘ refuses to brag in his straight ahead but eminently readable memoir The Rice Room, despite his enormous contributions to Bay Area radio culture and rock journalism including about a decade of hobnobbing with folks like Grace Slick, Hunter S. Thompson and Ray Charles as a writer and editor at Rolling Stone.
Instead, he writes a straightforward, chronological autobiography, giving if anything more real estate to his childhood in late 50s, early 60s Oakland Chinatown, his East Oakland adolescence DJing school dances at Oakland High, and his time as a reporter and editor at San Francisco State’s Golden Gater, just as State was entering the riotous late 60s student strike period. I love this unpretentious slice of Bay Area history and I love Ben Fong Torres.
(I don't know who to attribute the photo to - let me know if you know the photographer!)
Check out some clips of him interviewing the Jacksons here or his radio column at the Chron.
I just discovered this! Crosscurrents is re-airing an awesome series (starts here) created in collaboration with Mills students of Oakland Chinatown stories. So good!
The Old Oakland Farmers Market is the place to go for affordable, fresh veggies, including a wide-variety of Asian greens and other veggies. Fridays, 8-2.
(Photo of Old Oakland Farmers Market Cherries by jimmy dm - flickr creative commons license)
The Lincoln Square Recreation Center is the place to go for basketball, ping pong, after school and summer classes for kids, and one of the awesomest playground structures in the East Bay.
(photo pengrin™ via flickr creative commons license)