Thursday, October 30, 2008

Coffee at Strada

I have been going to Caffe Strada in Berkeley for many years. It is right by the UC campus and has a nice area outside to sit and have coffee. Dave, George G. and I went the other night and enjoyed the Halloween mood we found there. George had a hilarious video of George T and himself singing a Sinatra song as well as hanging out in Voulgiagmeni, Greece.

The noble Athenian face of George G.
The counter guys at Strada like to kid around.
It's all about the brand.
Dave on the "catwalk."

Friday, October 17, 2008

Grapes in the Old Town

[Paleochora, Crete, Greece, 2007]


I am still mining the trove of pictures from last year. I hope you don't mind!


We were walking down the street in Paleochora, getting ready to pass by Barba Christos's house, preparing to be sad, for he had been gone for over a year. (In my own heart, I know his memory will be eternal.) But his door was open and there were Kleoni and Georgos. Kleoni had come from Hania and Georgos had come from Montreal. Georgos was staying in Christos's (his father and my great-uncle) house. Of course, we got swept up in a day of activities, including a perfect lunch at Captain Jim's, complete with barbounia.


Somehow, this photo, although absent of humanity, sums it all up for me. Christos's old, tiny, simple house, where he and Theano raised so many children, and with so much love, has an inner courtyard which is covered by a trellis. The grapes were hanging there, looking so beautiful. They were like memories, preserved for us. All we had to do was raise our eyes, and there they were.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fire on Angel Island

Angel Island as seen from North Beach, San Francisco, 10/12/08.

[Image by Danleo, Wikimedia Commons]

This past Sunday, we were invited by a friend to join the closing night celebration for the Mill Valley Film Festival, a cruise on the Bay, originating in Sausalito. We boarded the boat at 8:00 pm and were immediately plied with food and drinks. It was wonderful, slightly decadent and felt not a little like 1929, due to the current world financial crisis.
At 9:00 pm we pulled out from the dock, under the glorious October moon, and almost immediately noted the fire on Angel Island. How eerie it felt, at one point, to be standing on the top deck as the boat sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge, with the moon above us and the fire blazing off to the starboard side. For more on the fire, see: http://www.sfgate.com/.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

In Memory: George Tyrogalas, 1939-2008

Paleochora, Crete, Greece. October 2007


It has taken me nine days to be able to write this. George passed away in Athens last Monday. He was 69 years old.
I met George about 10 years ago at the Strada Caffe, near UC Berkeley. He and his friends were speaking Greek and so we started to talk to them. Not knowing I understood (my Greek is basic), he told my friend I looked like Eleftherios Venizelos! Of course I liked him instantly.
I, and many others, here and in Greece, are missing our dear George. Here are a few words I might use to describe him: hilarious, friendly, kind-hearted, loud, leering, unpredictable, parsimonious, loquacious, sensitive, compassionate, artistic, loving, curious, loyal, peaceful.
There are so many more things I could say. I think the key to the real George was watching him with animals. His heart went out to the mistreated and you could see that in the way he treated not only his own cats/dogs but how he often went out of the way for others. When in Greece he always carried food for the many strays in Athens. He really was an example of much-needed compassion and in his own way followed the Golden Rule.
The funeral was last Thursday in Vyronas, Athens. There will be a memorial in Berkeley in early November.
I used to tease George by calling him the Buster Keaton of the Greek World. He had marvellous expressions and could always make me laugh, no matter what was happening in my life. I will miss popping over to Peaberry's Coffee after work and running into my George. He was like no other friend.

Friday, October 3, 2008

What the heck--a few more vacation shots

Sagamore Bridge.
Dave, Sifi, Carmen @ Copley Square
Some very embarrassed lobsters. Poor things.
The bustle of Commercial Steet, in Provincetown.
Joe (Sif) hanging out at Joe's Coffee Shop
A perfect fantasy vacation home in P-town. Ahh! Wouldn't it be lovely? I would invite you for dinner. Really, I would!