Hey friends, sorry this post is so late. As I mentioned, my dad’s in the hospital, so I’ve been running between SF and Sacramento, juggling work and family and friends and politics — so what else is new? — but right now with more emphasis on the family.
Unsurprisingly, as tough as it’s been to see my dad sick, it’s also offered many opportunities for grounding, reflection, and appreciation. That’s how this clear-sightedness stuff works, sometimes, in the midst of difficulty.
And it’s reminding me of a less-serious incident, a couple weeks back, when Ryan and I arrived, stomachs bellowing with hunger, at a highly recommended Thai restaurant tucked away in a corner of Oakland, only to discover that it didn’t open for another half hour. (I say this event was less serious, and it was, but I think we can all agree that when crap like this happens to us it can feel pretty damn grave.)
So there we were, ravenous and cranky. But as luck would have it, the same alley that housed the restaurant also contained a tiny, art-filled park. “Dog Shit Park,” as a wooden sign proclaimed. (Or warned.)
Busted pianos, colorful sculpture, plants and trees and chairs for sitting. And so, as we’ve seen before here on Kloncke, an inconvenience turned into a lovely opportunity.
This place was the kind of sweet, fantastical thing that’s got a dark, sour undertone: embodied most grotesquely in the upside-down-I.V.-like flytrap, dangling from a treebranch, that eliminated 18 types of flies by capturing and liquefying them into a stratified, bloody mush.
But even though the killing part was rather gruesome, its very artificiality somehow underscored the beautiful naturalness of other kinds of brokenness and decay. It’s different with objects than with beings, of course, but there’s still something awe-inspiring and peaceful about witnessing the slow process of falling apart.
And yeah, when we finally got to eat amazing Thai food, we enjoyed that, too.
Thanks to everyone for the well-wishes for my pops! He’s recovering with the help of my mom, friends, and some fabulous nurses and doctors, and will hopefully be back to commenting on the blog (and other worthy activities) in no time. ;)
Whoa! Was this Thai restaurant called Vulcan Cafe? Over in East Oakland?! All this looks very familiar! I’ve seen that piano but never bothered to investigate all the stuff around it. It seemed just like junk. Didn’t know it was a park.
Yes Cat-stah, I’m pretty sure it was Vulcan Cafe! When did you go?
What made it harder to get turned away (we asked someone if we could come in before official opening at 5pm; she said no) were the amazing smells from the kitchen! Goodness! Ryan’s dish was frickin’ stupendous: not too sweet or greasy, with a nice tang to it…plus they have that mini-forest of lovely plants out on the patio.
Ok, sorry, this is turning into a Yelp review.
Point is, I would go there with you in a heartbeat, and we could explore the park, too.
It’s amazing how often we pass by things (or people) that we think are junk or just plain ordinary. Kudos for having the sight to see the kind of things that many of us miss every day! It’s amazing how our own illness or that of those closest to us can open our eyes. Wishing you and your family the best.
I’ve been trying to find this place! If you wouldn’t mind contacting me and giving me the location it would be extremely appreciated. My name is rob and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org Cheers!