On September 1, I became an official Berkeley "citizen" while retaining my ongoing piano teaching relationship to El Cerrito. If I count my point of departure from the Central Valley, I would have three residential identities. The original 1979 touchdown in agriculture's heartland turned into three long decades, most spent wishing I were somewhere else.
An ex-New Yorker, I've dreamed of settling in Berkeley ever since I made jaunts to CAL over the span of my children's college years. The Eucalyptus, Hills, wafts of clean air, cafes, cultural venues, and bristling energy were reminders of a quality of life I longed for.
My prayers were answered two weeks ago, when I signed a lease to inhabit a lovely place, a heartbeat away from the Monterey Market.
It was love at first sight.
A sunlit space, hardwood floors, awesome acoustics, and a pleasing, verdant landscape, created an instant home sweet home even without furniture. (soon to arrive)
Immediately, I pictured my Steinway grand as the centerpiece of my living room, while the Steinway studio upright would soon sit in its new home on Martin Luther King Jr. Way off Rose. (A few walking blocks from my digs) That's where I'll teach on Tuesdays in addition to the El Cerrito location on Barrett and Sonoma. (traveling to homes will be another piano teaching option)
My third piano, "Haddy," the singing nightingale, found a temporary home in the Central Valley in the good care of a piano teacher.
The only sad part of my a Promised Land passage is the absence of precious feline, Aiden. A long-time member of our family, he was left in my care over six years ago by a daughter who was embarking upon Law School and commuting between two locations. Currently, she's works in Europe and can't reclaim her pet.
Readers will note the challenges I'd faced trying to find housing to accommodate Aiden. And through my journey, I noticed that "cats" in particular were singled out for discrimination over "dogs."
While attending a Labor Day picnic at a retired attorney's home in El Cerrito, I bumped into a Berkeley landlord who owned three cats, but would not let renters have felines. Dogs were okay. I asked why. She insisted that cats leave their "spray" in the carpets, or have an emblematic odor that's forever.
In this prevailing atmosphere, our cat would be sacrificed--
So Aiden has to be adopted, and we're hoping he can find a loving home like the one he's leaving. (A You Tube star, he's captured the hearts of thousands of viewers.)
The specs: An indoor cat exclusively, Aiden's adorability quotient is high-- 8 years old and neutered, he's never hissed a day in his life--sweet, cuddly, with a calm and content disposition, he'll make a loving companion, if treated with kindness.
I've attached videos and photos.
Please contact me at my e-address listed on my profile, if you're interested in adopting Aiden.