- Sophie &Friends
I am very lucky to have my incredibly talented sister Freda working with me day in and day out. Freda has been with me for 12 years. During her tenure with me has created some amazing work. That being said, it’s rare that we actually get to spend much "sister" time together. We’re usually pow-wowing on the newest crafting craze, or figuring out how we are going to pack too much decor into my truck. So when Freda and I had the opportunity recently to slip away on a “sister date” we grasped that golden ring with two hands.
About a year ago my sister introduced me to the world of Podcasts. Since then, I’ve become obsessed. I love spoken word and storytelling. I spend a great deal of time in my van driving between events. Podcasts are a great diversion from listening to the Harry Potter series over and over. Freda and I regularly update each other on our newest finds. She recently introduced me to This is Criminal and Missing Richard Simmons (both of which are brilliant in my humble assessment). I introduced her to my all time fave - The No Sleep Podcast. NO SLEEP is an exceptionally well produced podcast that features a new short horror tale weekly. Both my sister and I love the podcast. So, when they announced that they were going on tour and would be appearing in Oakland, I jumped on the chance to buy tickets.
If you know anything about the Bay Area, you know that our traffic is on par with LA and NY’s. Being the boss (and sister) that I am, I decided Freda and I should check out of work early so we didn’t sit for 2 hours trying to get across the Bay Bridge. Instead, we planned ourselves an afternoon playing hooky in Jack London Square. We had a blast!
We started out with a wonderful walk along the waterfront looking at the tall ships, which are an amazing array of ropes, lines, sails and pulleys. It makes one wonder how sailors were able to keep from getting tangled during storms, or even keep those ships upright in the big waves.
Pier 39 in San Francisco may have their sea lions, but Oakland has it’s tame wildlife as well….pigeons! I was able to get within an arm’s length of one without it even batting it’s beady little eye. And let me tell you, unlike Philadelphia, where most look like they have feather rot and are more than likely missing a toe or limb, these pidgies are sleek, fat, and well groomed - they are the Rockefellers of Pidgeonhood.
One of the coolest attractions is a mini version of Jack London’s wilderness cabin. I say mini, because when his original cabin, found in the heart of the Klondike, was dismantled in 1965, the logs were split between Oakland and Dawon City before being re-assembled as 2 smaller replicas.
The cabin sits right next to Heinold’s First and Last Chance Saloon - a tiny little hole in the wall that hasn’t really changed much since it’s inception 136 years ago, unless of course you count the fact that the entire bar is slanted on an angle from the 1906 earthquake. It’s an awesome place to peek in, read up on history, and have a beer.
Other attractions along the waterfront include this totally cool, high tech, open air bowling alley, arcade, bocce ball court, and beer garden called the Plank. I swear, if I was still doing Mitzvahs, I’d convince my client to have their party there!
Freda and I had a great waterside meal at Forge. We sat outside and enjoyed watching folks walk their dogs, work out with their trainers, and ride bikes while we sat munching pizza and drinking cocktails!
From there we excitedly made our way to the Oakland Opera Theatre to see our beloved No Sleep cast perform! Now, don’t let the grand name fool you. This place reminds me of the black box theatres I used to perform in when I was in college. Freda commented she hadn’t felt a floor as sticky as that since leaving a Philadelphia movie theatre. However, the lights were low and the ambience perfect for an evening of “radio” drama. It was fun seeing the physical forms that hold the melodious voices we’ve been enjoying this past year. It’s interesting when you realize that the image your mind creates from only hearing one’s voice is not necessarily a fit to the actual vessel. Some were younger than we pictured, others older, and some the complete physical opposite. I wouldn’t say it was disappointing, just intriguing.
All in all it was a wonderful outing together, and just serves to remind me how much fun it is to interact with those you love! I definitely recommend taking some time and hanging out in Jack London Square. Take some bread crumbs and make some friends. The pidgeys are waiting.