"I've noticed that quite a lot of people who are prominent in the animal liberation movement are Jews. Maybe we are simply not prepared to see the powerful hurting the weak." --Peter Singer (Author, Animal Liberation)


San Francisco and Berkeley: Oy Vey!

I got back from San Francisco / Berkeley last night. I successfully pulled off my two goals for the trip: attend Jewish punk shows and eat at as many vegetarian restaurants as possible.

On Thursday night, I went to see Eastern-European folk-punk band Golem at an event called "Vodka Latka: Festival of Rights." Before Golem and an a capella band played, an assortment of social justice activists gathered onstage to light a menorah and dedicate each candle to a different cause (the event was cosponsored by California's wonderful Progressive Jewish Alliance). Golem played a rousing set in front of "every Jew in San Francisco," as one girl said on her cell phone. Their punked up klezmer was danceable and outrageously fun, and I'm ecstatic that I get them to see them again in less than a week. All hell broke loose when they played the hora, which got half the people in attendance to dance around the room while Golem's "Hanukkah Horas," singer, fiddler, and drummer showed off underwear with Hebrew lettering.

On Friday and Saturday, I attended shows for a punk rock Hanukkah tour featuring Yidcore, Jewdriver, Zydepunks, and Jericho's Echo. I went out to California to cover this tour for a newspaper, and I'll refrain from talking about it here until the article comes out later this month (I'll certainly post the article when it comes out). In the meantime, I'm posting a picture of Yidcore from the tour's opening night.

When I went to San Francisco's and Berkeley's legendary vegetarian restaurants, I often told servers that I wanted to make the most of the experience because I might never be back in the area. In retrospect, they were so wonderful that I have a feeling I'll be back. Millennium, an upscale all-vegan restaurant that publishes a cookbook called The Artful Vegan, served up quite possibly the best meal I've ever had. Golden Era (where I had the opportunity to meet up with Veggie Jews founder Pete Cohon), Herbivore, and Cha Ya were all wonderful in their own right. I walked away from the experience motivated to be more adventurous in my cooking, because vegan dishes can be absolute masterpieces and there's no reason not to try making some semi-masterpieces in my own kitchen.


  • At 12/18/2006 11:36 PM, Blogger ByTheBay said…

    I'm sad that I missed Vodka & Latkes. I love Millennium, though they use wheat gluten in a lot of their recipes so I can't really eat there anymore. I have their cookbook and I use it often - It's incredible.

  • At 12/19/2006 9:30 PM, Blogger heebnvegan said…

    I'm sorry you missed Vodka Latke too! I left the event having a huge desire for more--and if I didn't go to two Jewish punk shows the next two nights and have plans to see Golem again this coming weekend, I'd feel very unfulfilled right now! :-)

    To read another account of Vodka Latka and the other two shows I attended, check out the blog of Liz Nord (the director of Jericho's Echo: Punk Rock in the Holy Land) at http://lizfilm.blogspot.com/2006/12/121706-hardcore-hanukkah.html


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