The traffic-deterring giant slug, systemic honk reform and fruit-picking through the car window with a retired bat researcher

# Lyft Line # Kids Who Lyft A college-aged guy sits down in the front seat. After announcing that he has philosophy homework and a big research project to turn in, he gets to work.  The app tells me our ride has two stops; next we will be picking up his niece at her elementary school.Continue reading “The traffic-deterring giant slug, systemic honk reform and fruit-picking through the car window with a retired bat researcher”

Pancake dates, fruity conversations, and fireworks galore: Lyft passengers on 4th of July

“Make sure you secure your pets tonight Folks, because some of them might get scared!” the woman on the radio encourages in a sweetly concerned tone of voice, as I drive the crowded July 4th streets of San Francisco. It’s cold out. One guy has his arms folded up inside his short-sleeved American flag shirt whenContinue reading “Pancake dates, fruity conversations, and fireworks galore: Lyft passengers on 4th of July”

Honks, Expletives, and Relentless Traffic: Dispatches from the Wild Wild Road

The driver lets out a sigh as he waits for pedestrians to cross the street at the speed of molasses. Seeing that one of them has a walker, he eases up on the steering wheel, which he’d been gripping tightly before. “No one to blame, Anger. Stay down,” he instructs his festering emotions. The walker scootsContinue reading “Honks, Expletives, and Relentless Traffic: Dispatches from the Wild Wild Road”

Toast with Me: Golden State Bars

Step inside and unwind at these California bars with memorable ambiences—all stumbled upon in my excursions as a Lyft driver across the state. **No need to worry, as I can assure you that sparkling water was my beverage of choice at pretty much all of these. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ First and Last Chance Saloon (Oakland, CA) PaperContinue reading “Toast with Me: Golden State Bars”

Off the Beaten Path: Exploration of the Artsy & Historic in California & Nevada

Come explore artistic flair and interesting history in this latest batch of towns—all stumbled upon during my stint as a Lyft driver! Marysville, CA (Yuba County) Back in 1857, Marysville was a prospering city—one of the largest in California, due to its proximity to so many gold-mining sites. Though it was slated to become the “NewContinue reading “Off the Beaten Path: Exploration of the Artsy & Historic in California & Nevada”

Rural passengers, 1950s vibes, and Walter the failed botanist in Ukiah, CA

Nice things people on Yelp had to say about Ukiah, a rustic town in Mendocino County with a population of 16,000: “The air is always sparkling clear (unless there are forest fires). Every night we can go outside and look up and feel as though we are camping in the Sierras—billions of stars! There areContinue reading “Rural passengers, 1950s vibes, and Walter the failed botanist in Ukiah, CA”

Ride with Me: Exploring California’s Rustic, Woodsy Towns

Ride along this week as we step foot into the snow globe town of Shasta City. Later we’ll let notes from a gently strummed harp seep into our souls as we stare out at a view of the state’s largest lake (in California’s Lake County). We’ll soak in the bucolic, woodsy calm of a townContinue reading “Ride with Me: Exploring California’s Rustic, Woodsy Towns”

Coastal Redwoods, Cathartically Empty Roads, and the Erudite Cat Caller in Santa Cruz, CA

I love all the redwoods. I love the transcendentalist feel. Driving by the beach I saw screaming, sunburned teens plummeting down the Big Dipper Roller Coaster; sea lions being cute and blubbery out on the pier, with no regard for their neighbors’ personal space; people in bikinis playing volleyball in the sand. I wrote thisContinue reading “Coastal Redwoods, Cathartically Empty Roads, and the Erudite Cat Caller in Santa Cruz, CA”

Ride with Me: Endless Vineyards, the Joys of Reading, and Goat Alarm Clocks in Santa Rosa, CA

I’d set out to Santa Rosa–a city that Sonoma Magazine described as “the kind of place where natural bounty serves as a muse for utopian dreams, sleepy residential streets hide ambitious farm-to-table kitchens, abandoned buildings are resurrected as art galleries, and the corner coffeeshop turns nightlife hot spot with craft-beers on tap, all to theContinue reading “Ride with Me: Endless Vineyards, the Joys of Reading, and Goat Alarm Clocks in Santa Rosa, CA”

The Bucolic Life for Me: Exploring California’s Central Valley, Part 1

In general terms, the Central Valley encompasses the land-locked farm towns of California, spanning from Redding down to Visalia. Back when I first started to compile this entry, I wanted to know how the locals felt about living here. Did it suit their needs? Had they lived anywhere else? What made it special? One passengerContinue reading “The Bucolic Life for Me: Exploring California’s Central Valley, Part 1”