• NOW AVAILABLE!


     The CASUAL COMMUTER Riding With You On Your Way To Work

    by Vicky Semones

    Share a fascinating ride with The CASUAL COMMUTER and catch entertaining glimpses of San Francisco Bay Area commuters being themselves.

    Available through XLIBRIS PUBLICATIONS (click book cover)


    Also available at:

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Local Events

Montclair Village Clock

Montclair Village Clock

Montclair Women's Cultural Arts Club

Montclair Women's Cultural Arts Club

Two recent local events provided perfect venues to get the word out, some-more.  The annual MONTCLAIR VILLAGE ARTS &  CRAFTS FESTIVAL, where we wandered among the  booths full of  unique and wonderful creative expression. We shared lattes and stories with local carpoolers.  In an hour and a half, we handed out 145 flyers.  Then, we performed an ‘act’ at the MONTCLAIR WOMEN’S CULTURAL ARTS CLUB, whch sponsors an informal ‘show’ on the 3rd Thursday, monthly from Sept to May.  Lots of music – planned and spontaneous;  authors reading their fiction or poetry; and then an ‘open mic’ for 5-minute presentations.  Cindie and I pretended to think we were at the Montclair carpool stop (there isn’t one), then took advantage of our ‘mistake’ by reading a couple of sensuous stories and announcing my Book Launch.  By all accounts we captivated the audience of about 50 with our  humorous and targeted presentation.  Just shameless and a lot of fun!
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Albany Casual Carpool

Cindie at Albany Carpool

Cindie at Albany Carpool

Vicky at Albany Carpool
Vicky at Albany Carpool

Our last morning marketing at the 19 Casual Carpool stops in the East Bay. We’re in  Albany on a cold and windy, over-cast Autumn day.  No official sign marks the Casual Carpool along Pierce Street (south of Central Ave), which  parallels  Highway 80.  Cars and people line up facing one another at the beginning of the red curb marking near this empty news stand across from Pacific East Mall.  Its a long walk from condos about two blocks away. The curbside is debris-strewn and  unprotected from the unrelenting freeway noise and gushing wind.  Double layers of jackets barely keep us warm from 7:20 to 9AM, then we’re off to IHOP for a hearty breakfast.  #176 flyers.  

MacArthur and High Street ~ Oakland

MacArthur & High Street

MacArthur & High Street

In the Laurel District, near the Laurel Bookstore. This stop use to be  on  High St.,  next to a bus stop and quick on-ramp to 580. Carpoolers say there’s a dramatic drop in drivers at the new location in front of the Laurel Foot Clinic, because its not convenient (drivers have to circle the long block) and its dangerous  (virtually no space between awaiting cars and traffic).  Two final riders and no cars in sight: the woman runs for the last bus around the corner;  and the man, reading Neale Donald Walsch ‘Conversations with God’ gets philosophical, saying we are enslaved by our fears, and faith keeps our options open.  He agrees with my comment that time is an illusion.  Just then, a car pulls up with one empty space just for him.  Two attempts at flyer-ing over two days totally 1& 1/2 hours for #116 total flyers.

Fruitvale and Montana ~ Oakland

Montana & Flagg

Montana & Flagg

Mopntana & Flagg ~ Park 'n Ride

Montana & Flagg ~ Park 'n Ride

 

 

 

 

 

 Nicely situated under two shade trees, across from the Park and Ride lot under the overpass at Flagg Street.  Grab the morning newspaper at the newsstand; catch a free ride to The City; then do some shopping at Farmer Joe’s for dinner tonight. Most  drivers begin roll down their windows well in advance of our approach to give them a flyer.  7:30 – 9:30AM, 227 flyers.

Oakland Ave and Hillside ~ Piedmont

Oakland Ave & Hillside

Oakland Ave & Hillside

 

 The quietude and mature canopy continue up Oakland Avenue  along with narrow sidewalks lined with lush flora.  With only a couple of exceptions, everyone is receptive to our flyers.  Someone  commented: ‘I was wondering when someone would write this.’  And, as we’ve heard at a couple of other stops, someone said they have heard about us at work – that really helps to know there may be a  little ‘buzz’ in The City, ’cause it’s hard to tell out here at 7AM!  From 7:30-8:45A, #109 flyers.

 

Oakland Ave and Monte Vista ~ Oakland

Oakland & Monte Vista

Oakland & Monte Vista

Pedestrians converge from all directions on this spot under a lovely shade tree on a bright morning in front of Plymouth Church, which is being  restored. The quiet neighborhood is dotted with  apartments and lush with mature flora.  Be careful of  that first step over the curbside pavers, exposed by years of wear. In response to our flyer, one woman said in a low, secretive  voice, that ‘The Casual Commuter’  will draw too much publicity to the casual carpool, and she likes it just the way it is!  An active two hours from 7:30 – 9:25AM and #339 flyers.

Park Blvd and Hampel ~ Oakland

 

Park Blvd & Hampel, Oakland

Park Blvd & Hampel, Oakland

The Park Presbyterian Church spire seems to rise from the street sign, as riders line up along the chain link fence at the empty corner lot across the street.  The neighborhood street seems sleepy, leaving one to wonder if there’ll be ample cars for the people in line.  A stop light at the corner makes for easy egress onto Park Blvd, and an AC (Alameda County)    TransBay  bus stop.  An easy and sunny   morning, from 7:15 – 9AM;  # 137 flyers.