Friday, March 30, 2007
Milo Foundation ... and my own Berkeley conundrum
Solano Avenue can be a great place to walk, to shop, to hang out.
Unfortunately, it sometimes mirrors what I loathe about Berkeley: Its snobbishness, willingness to pick stupid fights, narrow-mindedness, judgmental nature, and intolerance.
Enter the Milo Foundation, which I've visited several times. They're in the business of rescuing and adopting out homeless animals. But after June 1, they'll no longer be in business on Solano.
This quote from the Chronicle article says so much: " 'This is Berkeley, after all,' said Zippie Collins, president of the Thousand Oaks Neighborhood Association, which encompasses Solano Avenue. 'Everyone has so much self-righteous indignation. The neighborhood was totally divided on this.' "
Self-righteous indignation. That sums up Berkeley. I apologize if the first picture is tough to read -- it's a letter of support posted in Milo's window. It reads, in part: "Sometimes I'm embarrassed to live in Berkeley, where we're so clear about what should be done halfway around the world in Iraq or Sarajevo, but we can be so mean-spirited with those who we live next to."
Neighbors complained of noise and odors coming from Milo. Huh? I see more noise and odors coming from half the restaurants and kids' boutiques on Solano. Please.
Berkeley is a beautiful and intellectual place, but it's also an immensely frustrating and tightassed community. If I didn't have the most beautiful cottage in the world here, I'd really consider leaving for slightly saner waters.
Thanks for listening.