All California is not the same: Oakland is not Roseville. But citrus & sun are everywhere.

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It is 62 degrees. And blindingly sunny. In February. Mid-february no less.

Clearly I am not in Seattle. I’m in California. I came for shitty purposes (my dad had an initial consult for potential liver transplant,) but now I am spending 2 days in Oakland seeing some friends and resting with a heavy dose of sunshine.

I had a lovely brunch with an amazing person, who will always be kiddo to me. I met them when they were only 14. Pre them coming out and subsequently becoming Master of the Queers. Now, 16 years later, the term “kiddo” hardly fits… but it sticks. I just love them. Profound, authentic, sweet, soulful, engaging, brilliant and cute as a button. Sigh. Cool kiddo all grown up. For some reason this does not make me feel ancient.

Random aside – I recently found out my vitamin D levels are in the toilet. Duh. I live in Seattle. Seattle-where-the-sun-appears-3-months-a-year. Vitamin D is important for loads of things – prevention of osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis and breast cancer. Necessary for maintaining healthy weight. Protection against harmful crap in the environment. I won’t go on & on so let’s just say you need it. And if you live some places, you don’t get it.

Anyway, the concept of living in California has been a mystery to me for decades. Why does anyone do it? I really haven’t gotten it before. But today, sitting outside drinking a beer in a cool bike-positive café, after watching the barista squeeze a shit-ton of fresh citrus, I get it. Loud & clear.

Garden Kitchen Growandresist

Do you live in California? Maybe you live in awesome places and the reasons for your California location make sense. I didn’t live in those places. I lived in Rocklin/Roseville, California from ’85-’92 (plus a few summers afterwards) and awesome place it is not. Some claims to fame are one of the largest automalls and something like the 10th highest statewide shopping revenue. It is a haven of all-things-box-stores. Now, no offense if you live there, it just really (really, really, really) doesn’t work for me(*). I just don’t like the greater Sacramento area. I find it incredibly limiting & suffocating. It is a hotbed of conservatism. I left there to move to Iowa and found it to be far more progressive. So there you go.

(*My folks still live there and I like to visit. I really like hanging in their home… I just don’t like to venture too far. I prefer sitting in the backyard, in the sun, and ogling the lemons and bazillion-gagillion birds while pretending drizzle & clouds don’t exist. Plus, my folks rock! Hi Mom & Dad!)

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah. How easy would it be to eat locally if you lived in California? I mean really – name an edible that won’t grow here? Nope, I can’t think of one either. They get citrus! And avocados! Predictable tomatoes and peppers! I get why someone in the middle of, say, North Dakota can’t eat locally. But in California, you can have it all. Sigh.

The urban farming and food scene is alive and well. Check out here, here, here and here to get a whiff of an idea. Oakland is pretty much everything that Rocklin/Roseville is not. So, of course I love it. It has a vibe that works for me.

And they have sun. And citrus. Swoon.

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