Friday, October 22News That Matters

Tag: San Francisco Bay Area (Calif)

The Disco Ball Is How You Know She Won’t Give You a Parking Ticket

The Disco Ball Is How You Know She Won’t Give You a Parking Ticket

Business
SAN FRANCISCO — For years, Jennifer Devine, a human sexuality educator in San Francisco, would rumble onto school grounds on her Harley-Davidson, a grand entrance that broke the ice with the students before her workshops. These days, she arrives with even more fanfare — in a hot pink three-wheeled parking enforcement vehicle with old-school funk blasting on the stereo.After she broke her leg in 2018, Ms. Devine bought a 1996 Go-4 Interceptor, a vehicle best known for ferrying the city’s dreaded parking police, for daily driving. “People get out of your way because you’re driving a meter maid car,” she said. As she approaches, motorists fearful of a ticket quickly pull away from parking spots, even legal ones — despite the disco ball hanging from her fur-lined roof.Ms. Devine, 54, is among ...
It’s Never Too Late to Learn How to Swim

It’s Never Too Late to Learn How to Swim

LifeStyle
“It’s Never Too Late” is a new series that tells the stories of people who decide to pursue their dreams on their own terms.Vijaya Srivastava’s first 68 years had been resolutely land-based. She walked the Berkeley Hills in the San Francisco Bay Area, spent time with her young grandchildren, volunteered at the library. None of this required submersion in water, which suited her fine, what with water being terrifying. Fear of drowning was a big issue.Growing up in India, she never had access to swimming pools. By the time she moved to the United States, the idea of backstroking to and fro simply didn’t occur to her. Then one day her physician mentioned that regular laps would improve her health.“I can’t swim,” Ms. Srivastava, now 72, confessed. She’d never even put her face underwater.“Have...
A Graceful Place Where Bhangra and Bollywood Meet

A Graceful Place Where Bhangra and Bollywood Meet

LifeStyle
Growing up in California, Manpreet Toor remembers being exposed to bhangra — a lively Punjabi dance genre that is performed widely in the Indian diaspora — in her parents’ garage. “In Punjabi households, back in the day, we used to have parties in the garage all the time,” Toor said. She heard the sounds of music like the folk and pop artist Sardool Sikander, one of India’s most beloved singers, who died of Covid-19 in February.In March, Toor, a leading figure in the Bay Area’s vibrant South Asian dance scene, and her fellow choreographer Preet Chahal paid tribute to Sikander. In a YouTube video with the look of a retro home movie, Chahal leads a group of men freestyling bhangra moves to a mash-up of Sikander’s music in a garage turned dance floor. Toor twirls into the scene wearing a fest...
The PBS Chef Martin Yan Teaches Chinese Cooking to a New Audience

The PBS Chef Martin Yan Teaches Chinese Cooking to a New Audience

LifeStyle
HILLSBOROUGH, Calif. — Live from his home kitchen in the Bay Area, Martin Yan flashed a smile, raised his cleaver and chanted the catchphrase that the 150 or so people watching him online were clamoring to hear: “If Yan can cook, so can you!”For Mr. Yan — who over a four-decade career has played the roles of television personality, cookbook author, restaurateur and now YouTube host — this longtime slogan is more than just a shtick. It’s a summary of all he believes in. If a soft-spoken boy from Guangzhou, China, can make it big in America cooking stir-fries and dumplings, he figures, anyone can do just about anything.Mr. Yan doesn’t have an enormous social media following or a list of viral recipes to his name. But his impact on the culinary sphere is immeasurable. In 1982, at age 33, Mr. ...
House Hunters Are Leaving the City, and Builders Can’t Keep Up

House Hunters Are Leaving the City, and Builders Can’t Keep Up

Business
River Islands, the development where the Namayans hoped to live, is in Lathrop, Calif., which has a population of 25,000. It sits about a half-hour beyond Altamont Pass, whose rolling hills and windmills mark the border between Alameda and San Joaquin Counties. Though technically outside the Bay Area region, Lathrop’s farms and open fields have been steadily supplanted by warehouses and subdivisions as it and nearby cities have become bedroom communities for priced-out workers who commute to the Silicon Valley and San Francisco.Today in BusinessUpdated May 28, 2021, 12:54 p.m. ETIn Livermore, on the eastern side of Alameda County, the typical home value is nearing $1 million, according to Zillow. That falls to $500,000 to $600,000 over the hill in places like Tracy, Manteca and Lathro...
Another Unlikely Pandemic Shortage: Boba Tea

Another Unlikely Pandemic Shortage: Boba Tea

Business
A panic erupted on the West Coast this week. Over a drink.It happened when beverage aficionados learned that tapioca, the starch used to make the sweet, round, chewy black bubbles — or pearls — that are the featured topping in the popular boba tea drink, was in short supply.“I was shocked,” said Leanne Yuen, a longtime boba drinker and a student at the University of California, Irvine. “What am I going to do now?”The impending boba shortage is yet another sign of how the pandemic has snarled global supply chains, upended industries and created scarcities of goods from toilet paper and ketchup to electronics. In this case, a surge of pent-up demand for products assembled abroad, coupled with a shortage of workers due to coronavirus cases or quarantine protocols, has caused a monthslong mari...
My Family’s Global Vaccine Journey

My Family’s Global Vaccine Journey

Business
On Feb. 22, Mom texted that she and Dad had booked a March 11 appointment to get their first shots, followed by second doses in April. A day later, she reported that Dad hadn’t pressed the button to confirm the appointment on the online booking system and had lost the slots.The next week, they texted again: They had walked to a private clinic that was dispensing Sinovac shots. After a short wait, they received the vaccine. On April 2, they told us that they had gotten their second dose of Sinovac and were feeling fine. Mom groused that even though they had an appointment, they “still need to wait for half an hour.”Our responses were more enthusiastic.“Great news,” I wrote.“Yay!” Pui-Ying texted, followed by celebratory emojis.“Congrats!” Pui Ling said.Blantyre, MalawiPui-Ying had moved wit...