May 18, 2007

the one in which i am slightly hypocritical

Posted in restaurant review, self-flagellation at 7:03 pm by Marise Phillips

while on my nightly internet crawl, i stumbled on this article on LA’s pinkberry frozen yogurt obsession. as a proud “orange curtain escapee”, nothing raises my ire more quickly than the vapidity of my former homies.

as is my custom, i got all frothed up. i could instantly picture the impatient throngs of over-tanned, underfed MILFs double-parking between spinning and bikram classes for a nonfat treat. these are the same people who believe in the negative caloric effect of celery. and high colonics.

so anyway, here i am up north, feeling all superior cause i compost, and occasionally ride my bike to work. (never mind that it’s been over three weeks.) yet sadly, this morning, i had to forgo the bike once again and drive into work so as not to arrive later than 10am. (woops.)

halfway down Park Street, i questioned my habit of picking up a bagel or a croissant for breakfast along the way. declaring such a meal insufficiently nutritious for my on-again/off-again healthy-eating plan, i decided to stop in Oakland’s Chinatown for a banh mi at Cam Huong.

as usual, the streets were filled with cars, trucks and pedestrians going about their morning errands, so I couldn’t find any parking nearby. as luck would have it, however, someone had double-parked in front of the tiny storefront, so i rationalized this meant that i could double-park there too.

keeping my eye on the car while i ordered and waited for my sandwich, i began to notice traffic getting worse and worse along Webster Street. maybe the nearby closed-off streets for the farmer’s market, and that big Golden State Warriors sign i saw out in front of the convention center actually meant something.


eventually, a cop drove by, and i actually had the balls to assume, “nah, he won’t stop to ticket me. Oakland cops have far bigger fish to fry.” but before i knew it, the ladies in the restaurant were all a-flutter, along with several passing shoppers, everyone having noticed before i did that the cop did indeed stop to ticket me, and that i better get a hustle on, and now.

“but i haven’t paid yet! or gotten my sandwich,” i whined. i stomped out to my car, fuming, waiting for the officer to bring me my ticket, which was doubtless going to cost me plenty.

then a miracle happened. as i sat in my car, one of the ladies working the counter brought me my sandwich, and then change for the $10 bill i gave her. then the cop, a handsome, strapping young Vietnamese-American man, gave me my ticket — and literally apologized for it. he explained that area merchants had complained so much to city hall about the double-parking problem, the police had been ordered to crack down on offenders.

and the cost of the ticket? $30. that, plus the $2 for my delicious sandwich, was well worth the price of admission.

awwww. i ❤ oakland. i really, really do.

and i promise not to double-park again!!!