The other day, I walking into the Peet’s on 51st Street in Oakland and I thought I had somehow landed in Mogadishu Somalia. The cafe was packed with tables of men speaking an Arabic dialect going about their lives. There were no vacant seats so I thought to myself, “Now which one do I go to?” I headed to the original Peet’s location at Vine and Walnut in Berkeley.
There I found the usual crowd of retired professors and faculty from nearby Cal Berkeley campus. The usual conversations overheard revolves around how Trump needs to be impeached and the need for more bike lanes in Berkeley. This is the same Peet’s I ran across the frail death camp survivor from Poland awhile back. I wonder often about her.
Finally this morning, I hit my usual hang out on Lakeshore in Oakland. This is the place where that little old homeless lady was seen camping out in one of the store’s comfortable chairs. She would then make her way across the street to the all night donut shop until the reopening of the store the next day. A younger woman in a Mercedes Benz would drop by and give her spending money daily…
There is a lot of diversity in these local Peet’s. They don’t have Peet’s in Florida nor New Jersey and it’s only in California where Somali men can meet up and talk politics without being considered terrorists. Only in Berkeley can a diverse group of thinking souls resist what’s going on in these dangerous times. I love Peet’s and California. This too will pass