Tag Archives: Karen Hester

Living in the O’s Fifth Birthday

8 Jun Sunset City Hall Federal Building

Though Living in the O is on hiatus, I couldn’t let my blog’s birthday pass without acknowledging it here. I’ve really wanted to write lately. It’s taken self-restraint to not write about the June election, so many fantastic restaurants and other businesses opening, and most of all, everything I’m learning about BART and the East Bay through my campaign. I haven’t blogged because I’ve needed to focus on campaigning to be elected to the BART Board.

But today I felt compelled to write because writing this blog and building a community around Oakland blogs is part of why I’m running for office.

Five years ago, many things rapidly changed in my life. Over a span of three or four months, my sister (who I’m very close with) and my two best friends moved away from the Bay Area. And right after that, my girlfriend (now wife) was diagnosed with a major health issue. To say it was a tough year would be an understatement.

I needed something positive to focus on outside of work, so I decided to start blogging, but I couldn’t have imagined how much blogging would change my life for the better. Continue reading

Karen Hester: Bites off Broadway – Mobile Food and Family Fun

21 Jul BitesonBroadwayPoster

This guest post was written by Karen Hester, an events producer who lives in Temescal Creek Cohousing and often cooks dinner for her community of 25 folks. You can subscribe to her event listings by signing up on her website. She is a board member of Destiny Arts Center, a bike enthusiast and loves to eat almost any street food, including fried crickets in Cambodia.

When I started Bites on Broadway last June, I wrote a pretty optimistic blog as it seemed pretty straight forward. We had permission from the Oakland Unified School District  to use the Oakland Tech Plaza for a weekly food pod event, I had a partner in the venture and we had plenty of food trucks lining up to participate.

What a difference a month makes. The risk manager for OUSD ended up denying our permit to use the plaza because of “liability issues” and I got an email from their legal counsel noting that I was engaged in “criminal activity” by trespassing on their lawn. Trespassing in this case means folks sitting to eat their pulled pork sandwich. I kept the event going because I believe that neighbors should be able to enjoy the public lawn that we pay for through taxes and that in fact the connection between Oakland Tech and the community was a positive thing. Continue reading

Karen Hester: Bites on Broadway – Mobile Fun and Family Fun

3 Jun BitesonBroadwayPoster

This guest post was written by Karen Hester, an events producer who lives in Temescal Creek Cohousing and often cooks dinner for her community of 25 folks. You can subscribe to her event listings by signing up on her website. She is a board member of Destiny Arts Center, a bike enthusiast and loves to eat almost any street food, including fried crickets in Cambodia.

Bites on Broadway is my latest attempt to actually do something about the blight I experience everyday along Broadway, especially between 49th and up to College Avenue. I am an events organizer so it seems natural that the idea of a local homegrown mobile food meetup combined with urban games would excite my interest.

I teamed up with Guerrilla Grub co-owner Elizabeth August whose healthy California comfort food I relish. We come out of the same mold as community organizers. First, identify the issue: lack of healthy affordable food, especially around 45th and Broadway, where fast food is king. Broadway, a main thoroughfare in Oakland that has become the ugly step child of Telegraph, College and Piedmont Avenues, a boulevard no one in the City seems to even remotely pay attention to, except for the few tried and true businesses like Art Tile and Bay Appliances and newbies like Oakland Karate and New Style Motherlode, opening a much needed dance studio once all the City permits are navigated. Continue reading

Karen Hester: The New Parkway to Land in Temescal?

24 Feb Omni Building

This guest post was written by Karen Hester, an events organizer who was a founder of Temescal Creek Cohousing. She served on Friends of Studio One during its renovation, is a board member of Destiny Arts Center, and is a member of ULTRA (Urbanists for a Livable Temescal and Rockridge Assocation).

I’ve lived in the Temescal for the last 13 years and have witnessed and been a catalyst for its change from a pretty run down neighborhood to a magnet for urban hipsters who appreciate the artsy vibe and gourmet eats. But just how many delicious and rather expensive meals can one have without thinking, ” I want some culture to go along with my Burma Superstar tealef salad.” Continue reading

Karen Hester: Eat Real Bike Tours – be the first on your block or in the Bay Area:

20 Aug

This guest post was written by Karen Hester, an events organizer of street fairs and same sex weddings and a founding member of Temescal Creek Cohousing. She is an avid biker and does not own a car (or cell phone).

We Oaklanders know we have some of the best kept secrets in the Bay Area and I decided to challenge myself and share the bounty by organizing a couple of foodie bike tours for Saturday and Sunday, Aug 29th and 30th to coincide with the Eat Real Festival at Jack London Square. Details and cost at http://www.hesternet.net/events.html. Use the $10 discount if you are reading this blog!

In the last year I’ve led three cohousing bike tours to 6 of the cohousing communities in the East Bay. I enjoyed it so much that I thought it would be fun to explore some of the out-of-the-way foodie places on bike, get some exercise and meet some new folks. I sometimes enjoy walking tours but they are generally too slow for me and bus tours, well those are for the sedentary. But bike tours—just right. Especially if you are normally afraid of biking in Oakland, this is the ride for you as it’s 6 miles total along the Oakland waterfront with bike lanes and very few cars and you’ll be in the midst of a little pod. And if you don’t own a bike, you can easily rent one from Bay Area Bikes in Jack London Square where we’ll start and end the tour.

What exactly are the foodie secret places along the waterfront in Oakland? How many times have you wondered about Numi’s Teahouse with its sign off the 880 freeway? Did you know they are owned by a brother-sister team and have a warehouse and tea room in Oakland that is open to the public? We’ll be biking there plus places that are opening up just for our tour. Call us biking VIP’s. Two great finds are Linden Street Brewery and a chocolate factory that produces Vice Chocolates that you have perhaps sampled at the Temescal Street Fair. We’ll end up at the delightfully air-conditioned Irish Monkey Cellars with a glass or two of delicious wine. Along the way, the owners (or manager in the case of Numi’s Teas) will describe their specialty and answer your questions.

If this tour kicking off my new sideline East Bay Evolution Bike Tours is successful, I hope to expand to foodie tours in Emeryville and Berkeley. I figure it’s fine to consume high caloric food and drinks as long as I’m biking there to sample it.

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