Archive for October, 2010

COSTUME SQUARE 2010!

Posted in 4 Square East Bay with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2010 by 4squareeastbay

Halloween is almost here! Can’t you just feel the sugar rushing through your veins? Aren’t your teeth disintegrating just thinking of all the candy? Isn’t your liver quivering in anticipation of all the ill-advised drinking you may or may not be doing? Don’t your feet already hurt from wearing those ridiculous shoes to match that piece of fabric called a costume? Yes! Gotta love this time of year because it fits right in the 4 Square East Bay spirit which is to bring back the days of being a kid and put them front and center in your adult life. Pure fun, grown-up style. 4SEB has been going on and on about this year’s Costume Square and last night did not disappoint! There were zombies and cats and hipsters galore! Also, there have been reports coming in from all over that Giants are in San Francisco. For your own safety, please take refuge in the East Bay and wait until the danger passes. We don’t want anyone getting stepped on. Remember, this A’s country but we welcome those from the SFC to support their team and play 4 Square. Plus, Bailey just put out a slappin track to represent. We don’t need to get too political before the elections (oh forgot about those, did you? check out theballot.org for info on your area), but Californians need to make a statement not only in politics but in sports and not let our country get dragged to the right (or whatever crazy direction the Tea Party wants to take us).

There were hella people who came out dressed up! It was amazing to see so many different folks feeling comfortable enough to be slightly crazy in a parking lot. The music was good, the candy was eaten, cupcakes were passed around and Kendall’s birthday was celebrated! The rules showed up but it was all about the people last night.

These are the folks and their costumes: Gene, Shae, Caserra (dressed as a family), Lee (scarecrow), Sam (the King), Lali (Harvey from Harvey), Caroline (Supergirl), Will (Wanksta), Justin (Devilish), Jordan (Pippy Longstocking), Sanjay (Green Lantern), Eric (cat), Anne Marie (Giants fan), Mike (a bitter A’s fan), Julian (Leisure Suit Larry), Mick, Glenn, Judi (flasher), Rachel (Magic 8 Ball), Isaac (pirate), Lyman, John, Laila (Carnival), Ezar ($3 costume from the dollar store), Travis (some sort of steam punk pilot?), Charlie (emo boy), Ariel (hipster), Liz (Sabina from the Unbearable Lightness of Being), Angie (fairy), Paul (pirate), Julian (a bug? a butterfly?) Adam (Gypsy musician), Laura (zombie), Kailey (giraffe), Phil (member of the Bomb Squad), Gabby (Harley Quinn), Kendall (Leelo), Uriah (Donnie Darko), Julian, Daniel, Rita (sparkles?), George, Mike, Vi, Mike, Mark, Zack (Sub-Zero), James, Kogi, and Robert (Captain America). Great effort everyone! While 4SEB is waiting for the pictures to be emailed to put together a good slide show, let these iPhone photos whet your appetite.

The games lasted well beyond midnight because everyone loves playing. Maybe it was that people don’t want to be the one to call elimination because it forces them to fight through the entire line. It’s been done, but it hasn’t been done in costume. At the end, after getting the birthday Leelo out, the King and a zombie dueled for supremacy of the square and to see who truly ruled costume square. It was the King. Good work Sam, you are royalty!

What an amazing event with spectacular people! Your costumes were incredible and unique which reflects the diversity of the area we live in. It’s always a pleasure to play and have fun with good folks all around you. As a reward, pumpkins were given out to those with the best costumes so clap it up for Captain America, Carnival, Pippy Longstocking, the Flasher, Leelo and Harley Quinn! You’re costumes make us all love you just that much more.

Be safe this weekend, there is a lot going on. For one, our friends Elle Niño are throwing a Zombie flash mob/Prom in the Mission ending at El Rio in San Francisco on Friday (tonight) from 8pm till they kick you out. Be there dressed as a Zombie and get in for cheap! On Saturday, there is Journey to the End of the Night, a race through the San Francisco which fits right into the urban game profile that 4SEB loves! Get to Justin Herman Plaza by 7pm to be one of the hundreds participating! On Sunday (actually Halloween) BodiRock Entertainment is having an all ages Monster Mash at La Peña in Berkeley from 6pm to 11pm. Get your trick-or-treat on and have a great time! HAPPY HALLOWEEN/DIA DE LOS MUERTOS EVERYONE!

Slick like Rick

Posted in 4 Square East Bay with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2010 by 4squareeastbay

*** yes, this post is late, but like the one before it, it was written just never published. deal with it ***

It’s the gray season in the Bay! That means, it’s our version of winter. For our readers across the world, in the Bay Area, we have two seasons, blue or gray. After another round of strange weather (let’s face it folks, our world’s weather will never be what it was when we were kids), Oakland has started it’s journey into ‘winter’. How do we know? It’s started to rain! While 4 Square NYC and Philly FourSquare might be affected by the ‘winter’ the East Bay has got this magical thing called ‘the freeway’ which 4SEB has taken refuge under. Fear no precipitation! Games will happen under the protection of the giant concrete pathways that connect Berkeley with Walnut Creek. Yaaay! The splish-splashiness of rain does provide some other challenges for 4 Square ballers though. The asphalt becomes slick and we slide when running after balls. It’s kinda like ice. No, not really. We live in California. And it’s awesome.

Our asphalt might have been slick, but so was our game. Many players pulled out the trickery and craftiness that makes this game so unique. There were enough people for 2 squares, even though Square 2 looked like it had a little trouble pulling itself together. Let’s be honest, them lines was crooked! It still got play on cuz people are fiends for the square.

Showing up and representing were: Adam, Kailey, Glenn, Angie, Liz, Lee, Uriah, Sam, Paul, Mick, Lali, Justin, Robert, Liz, Will, Anne Marie, Julian, Mike, Tom, Judi, Ryan, Gia, Eric, Travis, Caroline, Laila, Dorian, Kendall and Jordan. There might have been other people there, but it’s hard to take names when you are kicking so much ass. Rules included the Commie Rule, Countries of the World, Professional Sports Teams, Dance Square, Spin Rounds, Cities of the World, Things You Are Afraid Of and more. It was great fun!

Only one 4 Square Challenge was won, so put your hands together for Robert who knew just the right light to stand in as to have a semi-okay picture taken for the blog. You’re so smart! And good at 4 Square.

While people could play forever, the night ended as it usually does, with elimination around midnight. It was long and hard fought, but only one can survive. Congratulations, Travis! After being an avid participant for a long time, you get to take home the win! Please rub it in people’s faces.

That’s all! Also there is tons of stuff happening this weekend, but the ones 4SEB are concerned with are the ones that involve us! Mainly, Brats & Beer Festival happening at Linden Street Brewery in Oakland! 4 Square of the East Bay will set up a square around 1pm and play till about 4. We will also eat brats and drink beer. How cool is that? If you are feeling less like stuffing your gut and more socially responsible, check out the ILWU Rally in support of Justice for Oscar Grant happening at noon at City Hall in Oakland. The Longshoremen/women are shutting down Bay Area ports to show solidarity with the Grant Family and their quest for justice. Stand up, make noise, support in numbers. Also, stay safe East Bay, you are our home.

NEXT WEEK IS COSTUME SQUARE 2010! DRESS UP!

Consider this: Be considerate

Posted in 4 Square East Bay with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2010 by 4squareeastbay

*** this post is late. by a while. don’t worry the words were written in a timely fashion, it was just never published. sorry ***

4 Square happened. I wasn’t there to take pictures, take down names or blog about it. No worries, New York was beautiful and they’ve got their own 4 Square NYC thing going on out there, so their was a feeling of unity across thousands of miles. Justin took home the win and posed for this picture at the end of the night.

At this point, it’s time to remind folks that while 4 Square of the East Bay loves to have fun and everyone is invited, we don’t invite disrespect to our space or to our people. 4SEB offers a unique avenue for socializing that functions on a culture of welcome and respect. If you feel like you need to be a dick (or an asshole) please don’t show up. If you come with people who are acting out of line, please, be their friend and check them so they don’t make things uncomfortable to others. As a non-sanctioned activity that takes place on semi-public property, 4SEB would like to inflict the least amount of damage on our surroundings. While we cannot regulate your intake of alcohol and other substances, we ask that you regulate yourself and be in control. We are not opposed to consumption, but everyone is opposed to obnoxious, belligerent behavior. Our square is open to all, including kids so keep that in mind. Our event is a fun, friendly environment that will not benefit from inconsiderate people trying to get wasted and cause trouble. Be responsible, be respectful, be nice and have fun. Those aren’t the hardest rules to follow, are they? 4SEB trusts that the people who show up understand and uphold the unique culture that we have worked hard to create and will continue to reinforce these ideas.

Now, that the serious message stuff is out of the way, 4SEB needs to give a great shout out to Robert for holding it down at the Old Oakland Beer Festival on Saturday, October 16th! He got there, set up the square, drank beer and played for hours with the friendly people of Oakland. We love being invited to stuff to facilitate games and getting drinks ain’t too bad either. Let’s just hope that no one got sloppy and skinned their knees.

That’s it! Sorry this post is a little late, but life happens. Plus, how many of you out there are reliant on this blog to survive? Hmm, maybe that question is better left unanswered… remember, BE CONSIDERATE of others around you, of your actions and your impact on the spaces you pass through. 4 Square East Bay wants to keep happening, don’t get us kicked out because of jerky behavior.

COSTUME SQUARE 2010!

Sloshtober

Posted in 4 Square East Bay with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2010 by 4squareeastbay

Is that a chill in the air? No, it’s just all those grown-up kids from 4 Square East Bay being cool. We don’t get bad weather in the Bay, we just dress in layers. It’s October already (already?) and while the rest of the country runs in doors and grabs sweaters, 4SEB sips on spiced ales and does what it does best … beats you at 4 Square. Autumn and winter have proven hard times for outdoor urban games but with a strong following and serious players, the crew from the parking lot will skip hibernation and play year round. We’ve braved the rain and the wind before, it’s just this time, we’ve got a blog to document it. Don’t be left out in the cold, warm up with a friendly game! 4SEB is here for you. Always.

The ballers got their hustle on all night. There was discussion of the World Championships of 4 Square but financial concerns brought up the possibility of having our own tournament on the West Coast (possibly the 4 Square International Championship?). Either way, 4SEB will be in the mix, one way or another. Players mixed it up with a variety of rules with the favorites being: the Commie Rule, Cities of the World, play with one hand, Spin Rounds, On Deck Square, Jump out of your square, touch the ground after you hit and things that live under water. This ain’t yo daddy’s 4 Square, this is Parking Lot Square!

Shout out to the long list of players who showed up! They were: Sanjay, Sam, Daniel, Caroline, Linnaea, Katy, Lee, Jordan, Anne Marie, Liz, Lali, Julian, Rachel, Mike, Caroline, Phil, Nam, Stephen, Robert, Julian, Justin, Laila, Rasha, Angie, George, Paul, Adam, Kendall, Celia, JP, Julie, Mike, Vi, Juan, Hugo, Casey and Jerome. There were also spectators but you don’t get your name in the blog if you don’t play. Sorry (not really). Also thanks to Robert for cinnamon bunning the whole crowd. Yum!

4 Square Challenge winners were numerous and most were well deserving of their victory. The rest of 4SEB, you gotta stop these people! Congrats to Sam, Phil, Lee, Daniel, Justin and Lali!

Squares 1 & 2 raged for quite a while as people took forever to work themselves up to elimination. Eventually, it did happen. Square 2 closed out first followed by the bellowing call to end the night. Everyone lined up and talked smack but, in the end, it didn’t matter. Vi and Adam squared off and, once again, Vi stands for Victory. Wayta win it all!

And that was a quick recap of everything that happened! Well maybe not everything, but if you missed it, you missed another great night with 4SEB. Speaking of great nights, what are you doing tonight? You should be joining the East Bay Bike Party for Zombie Ride! It’s starting tonight at 7:30pm departing from Frank Ogawa Plaza/Oakland City Hall (hey, isn’t that the place they play capture the flag on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays?) and riding all around Oakland and Alameda. Or if you are afraid of Zombies, hit up the Oaktoberfest in the Diamond District on Saturday. This is an all day, beer enjoying affair with live music and great dancing by our friends Mix’d Ingrdnts and BODIROCK! If that wasn’t enough food, why don’t you register right quick for the ForageSF Underground Market happening in Oakland Saturday night! Yeah baby, eat up! Lastly, Sunday is 10/10/10 and the East Side Arts Alliance is holding a conference on Cell Phone Justice. If you were wondering how to help improve your community by using your communicator, this event is gonna be very insightful.

That about wraps it up! 4SEB has a couple of events we’re gonna be at including next weekend at the Old Oakland Beer Festival! Check us out! Also, folks are gearing up for Costume Square 2010 so shouldn’t you be doing the same? See you next week!

The end of ‘Indian Summer’

Posted in 4 Square East Bay with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2010 by 4squareeastbay

It’s the beginning of October and the East Bay feels like mid summer. Like, it has been hella hot this week. This warm weather has come so late that many are tempted to refer to this warm climate as ‘Indian Summer,’ but 4 Square of the East Bay is gonna stay far away from that term for a couple reasons. Mainly, it’s a sensitivity issue. While the etymology of the term is murky, there is no denying that the native people of this land have suffered unmeasurable ills thanks to the United States of America, that our popular culture has marginalized them and their struggles and history that has tried to act like they never existed. The few glimpses that Americans have into a culture before the mass influx of Europeans is reduced to a couple of colloquial phrases and stereotypical mascots for sports teams. We are just a couple of weeks away from the loaded and controversial national holiday of Columbus Day where the citizens of the USA get a day off to remember Christopher Columbus, the man who ‘discovered’ the New World (even though people think that both the Vikings and the Chinese were here prior to him, not to mention the people already living here). Personally, I think that celebrating this holiday is kinda like me getting off BART, finding 4 Square East Bay for the first time, cutting everyone in line to go straight to A square and then having my picture taken as winner of the 4 Square Challenge. It just ain’t right! But 4SEB, does love a day off and if we are going to celebrate anything, lets do it right. Being that we are practically in Berkeley, during this hot weather 4SEB is gonna stay away from using terms that make us seem culturally insensitive and celebrate Indigenous People’s Day. Take part in the Sunrise Ceremony at Alcatraz or just observe and reflect upon the fact that most things we were taught in history class were wrong. But, if you wanna be culturally insensitive, try this on for size. In conclusion, we should stop using the term ‘Indian Summer’ and start using the more accurate term ‘this weather is crazy because of pollution and over-consumption summer.’ Who’s with me?

As in keeping with our theme, the weather at Thursday’s game was not hot. 4SEB has officially ended ‘Indian Summer’ but just because the weather was cooling off, does not mean that our skills were. Let’s just say we kicked ass. Usually, 4 Square of the East Bay kicks ass and takes names, but not this week. This week was just about kicking ass. If you were there, you know you were there and you know that you kicked ass. Yeeeeah!

There were a couple of winners of the 4 Square Challenge and they actually worked their way up legitimately, not just by

‘discovering’ it. Let’s celebrate Uriah, Justin, Julian and Lee!

Let the haters hate and the players play… but elimination hates all players except for one. It was after midnight and the line curled around Square 1 and ballers fell like bees in a blizzard. The final battle was between two newcomers, Blake and Juan. It was brutal, but Juan, who just happened to be walking by and jumped in line for the last round, won out and got surprised with a picture. Way to win off the street Juan!

That’s it for this week! Thanks for reading the rant and you are all encouraged to do the right thing. This weekend Oakland has Art Murmur on Friday night in the Uptown district and the 4th Annual Estria Graffiti Battle at Defremery Park in West Oakland on Sunday. Get active! Also big shout out to everyone who tried to find us at the Rockridge Out & About… our set up was not so good so 4SEB went to Barclays to make a plan which ended up never happening. We had a great time tho!