Morton Chalfy's blog

Amblin' Alameda: Haircuts

My ambivalence about hair cutters began long ago and far away, in the wilds of the East Bronx at the end of the 1940s. I was about 10 when my mother sent me to get my haircut at the regular place (the local barbershop - they were barbers before they became hair cutters) trusting that I would come home looking as I always did after one of these visits. Read more >> about Amblin' Alameda: Haircuts

Amblin' Alameda: The first farmers market of summer

It's a week and a day early, but the first farmer's market of the summer happened Saturday. The stalls were all bursting with produce, the stone fruits are in abundance, Asian vegetables abound and the air is warm and soft and inviting. Even without the evidence of the fruits, veggies and flowers, the appearance of bare legs and arms would give it away. Read more >> about Amblin' Alameda: The first farmers market of summer

Amblin' Alameda: The parking minuet

Parking is tight in Alameda, but I didn't have to tell you that. Parking is tight in the commercial corridors, but even tighter in the neighborhoods.

On my block of Walnut Street, there are a maximum of 13 on-street parking spots at any given time; that would be approximately one spot for every unit in addition to a good deal of off-street parking. It's clearly not enough for all the cars owned by the block's residents. Read more >> about Amblin' Alameda: The parking minuet

Amblin' Alameda: As the crow flies (or doesn't)

The outstanding feature of many adventures is just how unexpected they are. "Expect the unexpected" is an old saying - pithy but useless. One cannot, by definition, expect the unexpected. But stuff happens and serendipity will lead to more adventures than careful planning ever will.

It started as a normal Sunday morning: a stroll along Shore Line, a shower and a short drive for me and my sweetie to meet a good friend for brunch. We had a lot to talk about, and the setting was comfortable and unpressured, with endless refills of our glasses and weeks to catch up on. Read more >> about Amblin' Alameda: As the crow flies (or doesn't)

Amblin' Alameda: Walking and talking

On Sunday mornings when both of us are in town, my friend Larry, his three legged dog Maggie and I go for a walk. We walk at Maggie's pace - which, oddly enough, is not affected by her loss of a leg but by the number of spots visited and marked by other dogs.

The pace falls into a clear rhythm: 10 or 12 steps, stop and sniff, squeeze out a few drops of urine to mark her presence and then on for another dozen steps. Twice along the way Maggie blithely drops several mounds of poop, which Larry obligingly picks up poop in a plastic bag and carries it to the next drop off spot. Read more >> about Amblin' Alameda: Walking and talking

Amblin' Alameda: New streets

After walking and driving the streets of Alameda for the past five-plus years, I began to think that I know this town pretty well. Intellectually I knew that was an overstatement, but emotionally, the feeling that Alameda was filling the place in me where "hometown" resides was very strong.

To my delight, I discovered how many streets of Alameda I hadn't yet been down or along this past Sunday. Read more >> about Amblin' Alameda: New streets

Amblin' Alameda: Out of towners

We are spending the weekend with friends and family from out of town, who are here to celebrate my sweetie's birthday. These are old friends who have come from the East Coast and Southern California and are themselves the presents my sweetie requested.

We ate breakfast in a local restaurant this morning and it was quite a sight: Five old geezers around the table, pretty much laughing our heads off and enjoying each others' company. Read more >> about Amblin' Alameda: Out of towners

Amblin' Alameda: Return policy

Yesterday we were shopping in a store we occasionally shop at and often make purchases. We bought a pair of fuzzy slippers for my grandchild because she had hurt her foot and couldn't get into any other footwear. Alas, they turned out to be too small, so I had to return them.

We had paid cash and specifically asked about the return policy since she wasn't there to try them on, and were informed that if we returned the slippers within 30 days with no wear and with all the tags and the receipt there would be no problem. Read more >> about Amblin' Alameda: Return policy