Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Community, evolution, and business

I don't usually blog about businesses - there are lots of great Oakland blogs featuring our local small businesses and their offerings, and I love to read those and try to always support local when I can. Since that area is covered by so many talented, enthusiastic bloggers I don't feel like there is a need for me to be in that niche.

The reason I'm going to make an exception and write a little bit about Square One Yoga Collective (in Emeryville, a mere 2 miles from my house) is that for me, they are such a great representation of a trend I believe in and see as the way of the future. Square One looks to me like a business that is a strong, authentic expression of a person's beliefs and mission. The business is oddly stripped of "appearances" and that vaguely annoying and fake feeling that comes when yoga studios and other businesses are trying to be something that they think they should be to get my attention. You know that feeling you get when a yoga teacher is giving you "spiritual" teaching despite clearly being an ego-driven mess themselves? Or when a restaurant is so enthusiastic about its superiority you know that they don't actually buy their own hype? That awful saccharine taste of Marketing? It's so last decade. Last century, even.

I have been reading the blog by Square One's owner, Katy, and reveling in the naked realness of it. This is near-complete transparency. I have never before been a customer of anyone who so frankly shared the annoyances, triumphs, insecurities, and daily grind of being a business owner. She's not trying to make it pretty for fear that her customers can't handle real.

It's powerful. It's not why I've chosen this yoga studio - I like the studio and the teachers and think that they offer excellent value for my money - but it's incredibly liberating for me as a customer and student. It builds trust, because I feel like I am not paying for a fake image, I am just paying for a service that I appreciate. The lack of frills and the startling honesty may be why I commit to this yoga studio.

In a world full of people trying too hard, it's truly refreshing to engage with people who are just honestly trying.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Reaction to Balls

A brief message stating "Suck ma balls" elicited this fantastic response from a random poet in the Myrtle Street Review Live Notebook:

Long day running
that sharp cactus
over there
so calm and
patient compared
to me
But exitable
is good too.
My balls
Gotta go!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Myrtle Street Harvest

For the next few days, I will be posting some of the delightful harvest from the Live Myrtle Street Review Notebook. The first one is from our friend Gene at the great Our Oakland. Hi, Gene!

New Garden

A few pics from the Official Myrtle Street Review Guerrilla Garden.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spring in the Parking Lot

The earth beneath our parking lot is particularly fertile. Aloe, small trees, and other plant life are constantly forcing their way to the surface and asserting their photosynthetical needs.

This is due to weather and other conditions in the netherworld - as I wrote earlier, everything there is upside down to us, so their water pressure and stomping herds of dead livestock push things out on our side of reality.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Give feedback to Oakland Police!

The OPD is working on their Strategic Plan Framework, and asking for feedback from the community. Go answer this brief survey, and be a part of making a difference.

My feedback includes suggesting they just call it a Strategic Plan. The word "framework" is totally unnecessary.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pothole Gardens

Pothole gardening is the way of the future. I've guerrilla gardened the square of dirt around the tree in the sidewalk in front of our door, and this is where I'll take my efforts next. Join me in a silent, and really pretty, demonstration!

Gardens spotted on Apartment Therapy.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Arctic Psychedelia

Oh what the heck. Call it Finnish Psychedelia Week on Myrtle Street Review. Hertta Lussu Ässä can be found on MySpace and Last FM. The trio consists of the artists Lau Nau, Kuupuu and Islaja.

Pretty Music from Finland

It's still snowing in Finland. Here is a pretty music video that sounds like February light.

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