Archive for August, 2010

Hotter Than July

Posted in 4 Square East Bay with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2010 by 4squareeastbay

Sure, sure we all know that on the national scale, California is the last to wake and the last to sleep in the continental US (love to our brothers and sisters in Hawai’i and Alaska), but does that mean that we gotta do everything late? After what seems like months of straight up WINTER weather, the Bay Area has finally experienced summer. This sucks for the kids in Oakland who finally got to get out in the sun just to go back to school shopping. But this week the heat was not the pleasant, breezy Bay heat, but oppressive heat, face-melting heat, James/Wade/Bosh heat. To cool off, we totally needed Stevie to take us in his Rocket Love just to drop back into a cold, cold world. That would have been nice…

Luckily, Thursday night was cooler in the parking lot … maybe because of the high level of cool people who showed up to play 4 Square? Probably… They were: Rory, Nina, Rasha, Lee, Uriah, Sam, Robert, Jordan, Gabby, Will, Kendall, Lali, Caroline, Ally, Robin, Justin, Vi, Linnaea, Allison, Michael, Mike, Rachel, Angie, Gabby, Liz, Laila, Charlie, Ariel, Dan, Alana, Sophia, Paul, Adam, Ben and Dorian. While the square itself was hot with action, nobody sweated through their t-shirts and everyone was reminded that body odor is a natural occurrence. Hey, if you’re not stinky or sweaty, you’re not playing hard enough and you need to go somewhere else with yo’self.

As always, 4SEB featured a plethora of rules some of which were the Commie Rule, Countries of the World, States of the USA, Capital Cities, the On-Deck rule, Precision Square, Spin Rounds, Compliment Square, the Pirate Rule, Spin-after-you-hit, Touch-the-ground-after-you-hit and a couple of insightful and hilarious rounds of Get To Know You square. 4 Square Challenges were issued by many, but completed by only one. To remind folks, the 4 Square Challenge is where upon entering D Square a player yells loudly and audibly ‘4 SQUARE CHALLENGE!’ This means that they have intentions on being in A Square in 3 turns effectively blowing away all other players. If they succeed and win, they have their picture taken and posted on the blog. If they lose, they suffer the reticule of the parking lot for their failure. That being said, the only one who wasn’t laughed at was Uriah. Hand clap ya’ll.

Again, 4SEB was able to maintain both Square 1 and Square 2 for an extended period of time. There were moments where the noobs found themselves bouncing balls blissfully in Square 2 without any vets to coming in to wreck them/make them feel welcome, but after a couple of well placed hits, everyone was laughing and playing with each other. Elimination came shortly after midnight even though everyone wanted be jammin’ until the break of dawn. At the end of a what seemed like forever, Sophia and Dan faced off to test their skills. Their skills resulted in two elimination faults, but the third time is a charm for Dan, because Sophia couldn’t contain her power and got herself out. Go Dan! Way to stand in the line and survive the square!

Whew! Wipe the sweat from your brow and drink some water! Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to love your community this weekend with the Eat Real Festival in Jack London Square, the Oakland Chinatown Streetfest in Chinatown, Sistah’s Steppin In Pride in Snow Park by Lake Merritt, the Annual Scraper Bike Ride & Festival in Downtown Oakland and the Summer B-Girl Jam over at the Eastside Cultural Center. Wow, you’ve got a busy schedule now, don’t you? See you next Thursday!


Albany Streets!

Posted in 4 Square East Bay with tags , , , , , , on August 24, 2010 by 4squareeastbay

On Sunday, August 22nd 4 Square of the East Bay gathered at the Albany Streets Festival to play games, make friends and get a little sun. The streets of Key Route Road were closed to cars and trucks, but open to bikers, hikers and game-likers. Put on the by the City of Albany and their bomb Recreation & Community Services department, Albany Streets featured not only 4 Square, but dodgeball, street hockey, wiffleball, hop-scotch, a water balloon toss, fitness workouts and other fun outdoor activities for families. Though the day was hot, it didn’t stop people from enjoying the summer and drinking bike-blended smoothies.

Sam, Lee and Gabby showed up around 11am to set up the square with tape and chalk. After much anticipation, the games started and players played for at least an hour. Due to the lack of shade on the streets, the regulars took a break to wander around and were joined by Robert who was appreciating the day. The music kept bumping and soon the square was back to life as young and old took turns trying to rise to the top. The day ended around 2pm where everyone hugged and drank water to rehydrate. Thanks so much, Albany Streets you were awesome! So glad we could be a part of something this fun…

Check out Albany Patch‘s photos of the event here, but we’ll leave you with some of our own snapshots… Enjoy!

Sam’s Crazy 4 Square Dream

Posted in 4 Square East Bay with tags , , , , , , , , on August 22, 2010 by 4squareeastbay

The night before Albany Streets I was hanging out with a bunch of 4SEB folks at Paul’s place near Rockridge BART for his birthday party. With a love for Oakland washing over me as I left to get a couple hours of sleep before playing in the sun the next day, I obviously had 4 Square on the brain. It came out in my dream that went like this …

It was Thursday night and we were all getting ready to play our regular games in the parking lot when my parents called me.

“Sam, we just left a function where someone told us that Jean Quan is planning on dropping by 4 Square tonight to play and talk to you guys about voting for her. How cool is that?”

I immediately told the group that we were going to have a mayoral candidate visit our game and we needed to be extra welcoming and play like badasses. It was very important to me that we look cool and be awesome to solidify 4 Square of the East Bay as a legit Oakland organization. When the group heard this, Baseball Mike, who works for the Rebecca Kaplan campaign, spoke up.

“There is no way we are letting Jean Quan corner the 4 Square vote! I’m calling Rebecca and telling her to get down here!”

Suddenly, what had started as a regular 4 Square night was turning into a local political hot spot. Somehow the media got wind of this (probably because I was tweeting about it) and cameras started descending on our part of the lot, walling in players with cameras, backing us up against the retrofitting. People started to mill around, looking like urban gamers caught in headlights. Obama showed up (because he was a 4 Square regular in this dream) dressed ready to play and was excited to see Jean and Rebecca in action. I wanted the whole thing to seem natural and relaxed when the politicians showed up, but everyone was standing on the square acting like they didn’t know what to do. It was like as soon as the spotlight was on, everyone had forgotten how to play 4 Square. Hell, they had even forgotten how to move out of the way! At this point I got pissed off and lost my shit. I started screaming at everyone in the parking lot who was covering the square.

“Get out! Get out of the square before Jean Quan comes! Act like you know how to play games!”

When I told this to the regulars who showed up to the Albany Streets Festival, Lee laughed and said

“Sam, I like how you think 4 Square is so important that it holds political sway … in your dreams!”

Queuing Up: No Visas Necessary

Posted in 4 Square East Bay with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2010 by 4squareeastbay

Is 4 Square of the East Bay blowing up? Why don’t you ask the millions of people who showed up this past Thursday to play games, make friends and be merry. They’ll tell you that they liked it back in the old days of 4SEB, before the long ass lines, when there were only 3 players. Seriously though, new faces are appearing every week and that couldn’t make us happier. They are even traveling from across the world to come and hang out in our little corner of the parking lot. It seems that the craze that has been sweeping England has turned out more than a couple of international travelers. Ah global community, 4SEB is happy to help foster relationships between all sorts of people… we’ll let you play even if the US government wants to kick you out. That’s right folks, NO VISAS NECESSARY to have a good time!

The play was phenomenal and everyone brought their best game. Gotta show love to all the folks who stood in the queue to represent where they’re from. The ballers were: Anne Marie, Will, Gabby, Allen, Lee, Justin, Allie, Rachel, Taryn, Nina, Shannon, Travis, Mike, Adam, Leila, Robert, Sam, Sanjay, Uriah, Jordan, Farrah, Jules, Angie, Liz, Mike, Caroline, Lali, Ben, Phil, Sarah, Gabe, Jerome, Dorian, Casey and Kendall. What good sports! First time players were confused at 4SEB’s wacky culture, but, like all good new arrivals, they adapted. Ruling the rule roost was the commie rule, precision square, jump as you hit it, the pirate rule, spin rounds, the on-deck rule and (obviously) countries of the world. 4 Square Challenges were called and some were won. Well done Justin, Sam, Uriah, Robert and Lee, well done chaps!

With all of the people yearning to play free the games went late into the night. Square 2 had been taped out around 9:45 and didn’t stop until around midnight. That left Square 1 with the longest elimination line in ages. While many tried to conquer the kingdom only one man managed to stay atop the masses and claim victory. Long live King Uriah! We will recognize you as a figurehead, but 4SEB will make it’s own policy…

And that’s another night of fun for the record books! It was great, thanks for the memories. 4SEB appreciates the warmth and spirit that comes with free activities and new friendships. As the summer draws to a close, the Bay Area is teeming with things to do. Check out 4 Square of the East Bay at Albany Streets on Sunday from 11am to 2pm! Also all weekend is the Art & Soul Festival in Downtown Oakland. Saturday is all about great events with the SF Street Food Fest in ‘the city’, a wiffleball game in Mosswood park and the Rock Paper Scissors Collective is having a Zine-A-Thon! Do yourself a favor, experience this great area while you can cuz you never know when you’ll have to catch a flight taking you away. Much love world, 4 Square will always be here for you…

Province of the Mists

Posted in 4 Square East Bay with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 13, 2010 by 4squareeastbay

Even though it’s summertime, the Bay Area has been having some crappy weather. While we are used to having extended periods of gray though out the wintery months (we don’t get snow) we also appreciate the patches of blue with sunshine during the warmer seasons. This year, none of that. We’ve had gray for a couple weeks now. It’s tea and book weather, not summer fun weather. Yesterday the East Bay was granted with a reprieve from the gray an the sun came out to remind us that ‘Hey! It’s August!’ While the day itself was nice, the night brought a different story. Fog. Mist. Haze. There was only one way to clear the air: generate hella heat while playing 4 Square. 4SEB did just that and by the end of the night, the fog had burned off. We take full responsibility for that. You’re welcome.

Players from all over came together last night to meet each other and have fun. Riding the successful release of our latest video the existence of 4 Square of the East Bay has become known by more and more people. And for some reason they think it’s cool! Super fun rules came around and newbies were introduced to the commie rule (not the ‘tommy’ rule), pirate square, the bird rule, countries of the world, get-to-know-you square, the on-deck rule, dance square, spin rounds and many more. Remember, if you are in ‘A’ square you are King and make the rules in your Kingdom. Have fun with it, but don’t be a tyrant or the mob will rise up against you. As we’ve learned from the SCA guys just down the lot, be benevolent or be overthrown and beat up by knights.

The players were old and new: Travis, Steph, Rachel, Paul, Lee, Jordan, Uriah, Sam, Sanjay, Jane, Nicole, Jess, Nathan, Robert, Liz, Angie, Ian, Amy, Cole, Mike, Chris, Yaminah, Laura, Gabe, Madeline, Catherine, Adam, Mike, Gabby, Wade, Kendall, Mike, Zaheen, Jerome, Casey and Rasha. It’s not easy to be a winner, let alone to win a 4 Square Challenge but 3 of the vets were successful and get to be on the blog. Again. Woo-tothe-hoo for Jordan, Lee and Uriah!

Gotta show love to everyone who came out and had fun. It’s gotten to the point where Square 2 opens earlier and earlier each week to accommodate all of the hungry ballers who show up. And that’s just the way we like it. After going strong for most of the night Square 2 was closed about 10 minutes to midnight and the line formed up on Square 1. The intensity was totally on. There is nothing like sweaty people staring at you while you are playing (hoping you lose) to distract you. Of course, some players thrive in those conditions. At the end of the night Wade and Gabby faced off to see who really was the King of the Province of the Mists. While Wade put up a good front he just couldn’t handle the pressure and buckled allowing Gabby to ascend to power and posterity. All hail King Gabby!

Well that does it for our little corner of the world! It was super fun to see and meet all the new people, hope that you come back with tons of friends. Hit up our facebook page and help spread the word about urban games! This weekend holds a lot of fun community events so get out there and enjoy Oakland! It all starts tonight with the Superhero Bike Ride at 7:30pm launching from Lake Merritt BART. It’s gonna wind its way through the Town and eventually end up somewhere fun with drinks and pizza! On Saturday there isn’t just one, but two awesome scenes you should check out. For those in East(ish) Oakland head over to the Laurel Street Fair from 11am to 4pm. For those of you in North Oakland, the Fresh Fest is going down with hella performers from the Bay including Boots from the Coup, Erk the Jerk, J.Million and D0 D.A.T. This is gonna be a smackin green time for everyone! Lastly, don’t forget that 4 Square of the East Bay is headlining at Albany Streets on Sunday, August 22nd in Albany so mark your calendars and get ready to play some games! As always, be safe, have fun…

4SEB: Episode II

Posted in 4 Square East Bay, 4 Square network with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 11, 2010 by 4squareeastbay

Do we need to say more? It’s the next 4 Square East Bay video! This was shot during ‘Movie May’ and is awesome! Watch it, love it, repost it… holla! The music is by our good friends Elle Niño, an electro-funk band from the Bay Area. Support!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

4 Square of the East Bay: Episode II, posted with vodpod
If you’re having trouble viewing this version of the video, try the youtube version here…

Best of the East Bay

Posted in 4 Square East Bay with tags , , , , , , , , on August 6, 2010 by 4squareeastbay

In the midst of delight at the overturning of Proposition 8, California and Oakland is hella down to party this week. Most folks know that the East Bay Express is having their Best of the East Bay Party tonight in Jack London Square , but what people might not have known about is that 4 Square of the East Bay kicked that party off last night with the best 4 Square games in the town! While we are not on the official list, 4SEB likes to think that of all the 4 Square providers out there (including the smart-phone check-in app) that we da, we da best. Judging by the sheer amount of people at Thursday night’s game, it’s kinda true…

The people who came out to play and party in the Rockridge BART parking lot were: Vi, Lee, Mike, Dominic, Ben, Will, Uriah, Robert, Sam, Gabby, Jordan, Chris, Phil, Sanjay, Ian, Amy, Casey, Rasha, Jerome, Rachel, Ben, Paul, Ben, Daniella, Pete, Dorian and Jared. While 4SEB usually has a balance of two genders (with the occasional appearance of a third or fourth) the bromance was strong last night. As the testosterone rose the rules fell. It seems that guys just wanna hit balls at each other without any complications. Of course, there were spin rounds, countries of the world, let the ball bounce in the square and a couple of complicated rounds of doubles. 4 Square Challenge wins were hard to come by, but Jordan and Phil both survived the gauntlet of chalk and balls to conquer the square!

Around 11:40 Square 2 was closed out and the line of ballers wound their way around Square 1. Complainers were ignored and told to drink another PBR. While Double’s Square made a quick appearance, the solo game was the main focus as many players tried to prove their worth against the looming masses of people. Elimination was finally called after midnight and after many rough and tumble rounds, Ian and Amy faced off against each other. After the customary 3 nice hits they attacked like rabid animals and the round ended with a perfectly placed spin ball from Ian landing at the very edge of Amy’s square. It was so subtle that many missed it, but maybe they were just blinded by rage being that they were no longer playing. Congratulations Ian, you are the best of 4 Square of the East Bay!

Thanks for reading the recap! Wanna let you know that we are gonna be making an appearance at the Albany Streets festival (similar to Oaklavía, but in Albany) on Sunday August 22nd from 11am to 2pm. Come and play! Also what do you think of the new logo idea (up at the top)? We want to put them on the backs of t-shirts and hoodies and represent when we go to the 4 Square World Championships. If you have an idea for a t-shirt design the send it in to the facebook page or email it to Be well East Bay, you da, you da best!