Turning up the Heat on the Downtown Art scene this Friday

Hello friends, Yes I know, by now you may have seen this information 2-3 times already on facebook or email, but I’m just a little too excited to stop pounding social media sites until I’m satisfied that I’ve spread the word enough to everyone I know. This Friday should be a fairly big day for Fist of Flour Pizza Co. This past weekend was pretty sweet, with all the Vulcan madness, a great way to end the month of March. And the April gigs are just looking awesome. But today is really cool.

Pause for a moment.

I will be vending on 23rd st, Oakland Art Murmur this First Friday of April 2011. and it really wasn’t all that hard after all…

Yesterday I got an email from my new friends at Guerilla Grub, asking if I would like to vend at the Art Murmur this April. I was like, Yeah, duh, but I don’t know if I can get the permits in time. Its already Monday afternoon. Knowing how the permit office can be, I was not too hopeful. My last few visits resulted in no permits, but each time i went, I did learn a thing or two. Don’t get me wrong, everyone there is down to make things happen for you. There are a lot of rules. Rightly so, customers need to be protected, and food has to be Safe, no doubt. Fees seem high to me, and to a lot of us just starting out. But they cost what they cost right now, and I know that Oakland is working to modify laws, and expand the current food concession regulations. Maybe 6 months to a year from now, we’ll see a lot more types of legal street food popping up all over. I’m sitting in on as many meetings as i can down at the commisary, putting in my little voice. I think its getting heard. we’ll see.

At about 4:19 yesterday afternoon I called the County permit office and left my first voicemail. I just wasn’t sure I could run down there and pay the fee, submit the form and get the permit. I mean I read all the stuff on the website, looked at the checklist, and yep, I got all that, now. Now that I’ve spent the last few months learning the system, figuring out exactly how I can qualify myself for all this stuff. Its kinda the same approach I used in college picking my classes and working on my BA. I didn’t see an advisor/counselor till my 9th semester, at a second college here in SF. And well lets just say that was NOT going to be my last semester after all, because I had failed to meet a requirement or two along the way. At this point my dad would say RTFM…

There is no manual per-se on starting a new business. I’ve only seen one other company doing what I do in the bay area. I know there’s some good stuff happening on FrankenWebers in SF. There are others, but we are few. So its been an interesting learning experience for me, but now I think, its safe to say, I’ve passed the first hurdle.

At 9:17 this morning I made my second call to the Office. At 10:32 I made my third, and final attempt logged in around 12:34 today. Four calls and I was moving on. I had an appointment in the middle of the afternoon, so if they called after 2:30 or so, it was too late, I’d be gone. I just needed to hear the words: just come on down and fill it out and pay the fee from someone down there. I was sure I did all things I needed to cover. I went about my afternoon and prepared for a visit to my PT therapist, when I got a voicemail on my iNeverhear this damn device. It was the Health Dept. calling to say yes just come on down and pay by 4:30 today or noon tomorrow (maybe). I got out of the appointment at 4:02, and proceeded Starsky/hutch like across town, past the Airport, and down to the Alameda County Health Dept. way out at the end of Alameda, or the edges of Oakland, I’m not quite sure. Planes flying overhead, big golf course out there, all very surreal. No turn on red. man I was losing time.

Parked the car, its now 4:13, and I’m at the front desk, blank form and no pen in hand. She’s like, “you’ll have to hurry because they close at 4:30.” Boom down goes my paper and pen, and with “feverish fluidity” I filled out the application for a temporary One day event! Both sides, flew over them, ink splashing across the desk as I signed my name and dotted that I right in the center of my Name. Turned around, got the passkey and off to the fees office, down the hall three doors, yeah ok, thanks.

Buzz, click. Hello, yes, take this brother, give me my permit, here’s my money! and my form, and all my information. Boom. Check the clock, Oh 4:19…

and I did. I got the permit today at 4:21 PM. The fee office indeed closes at 4:30, and note to other would be permit pursuers, they do prefer you come in a little more than three days before the event. If I had a little more scrilla on me I may have just bought my May permit.

Lets see how this Friday goes first. Will you be there? Menu TBA by tomorrow evening (wednesday)

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