Our guest is East Bay mom of four, Ayelet Waldman. You might also know her as New York Times bestselling author of Bad Mother, Red Hook Road, and Love & Treasure. She shares her local favorites with us.
Favorite restaurant to eat as a family? There are so many places where we love to eat, ranging from the Thai Temple on Sundays to the Jon’s Street Eats truck in Emeryville, but our absolute favorite restaurant is Pizzaiolo in Oakland. Best food in the bay!
Best way to spend an afternoon in the East Bay? My favorite thing to do is to chase down the Cupkate’s truck (you can find it on College avenue in the Elmwood on Saturday afternoons). Then take a nice long cupcake-fueled window shopping walk from the Elmwood through Rockridge.
Best birthday party I’ve been to with my kids? With four kids I try really really hard NEVER to attend the birthdays. Otherwise I’d be spending most of my weekends at Pump It Up. The best birthday we ever had for one of our kids was when we dumped all of their LEGOs on the kitchen table and had a dozen kids build build build for a couple of hours, taking breaks for LEGO-shaped cake.
By what name do you refer to your neighborhood? What is your neighborhood best known for? Our neighborhood is the Elmwood. I suppose we’re best known for the little shopping street, where Ozzie’s used to serve a terrific milkshake and where you can now get delicious pastries at the Elmwood Cafe. My favorite thing about our neighborhood is Star Grocery, where you can sign for your groceries and be billed at the end of the month, where they have a fabulous Halloween Jack-O-Lantern contest every year, and where most of the neighborhood kids end up getting their first jobs. You can find anything you want, no matter how esoteric, at Star, and the meat counter and produce sections are amazing.
Cactus or Picante? Picante is much better, but it’s WAY too far away from us.
Favorite date night destination? Date night? What’s that?
— and the question we wish we asked, from her own website, ayeletwaldman.com — What is your definition of a good mother? As one of my interview subjects said, “A Good Mother remembers to serve fruit at breakfast, is always cheerful and never yells, manages not to project her own neuroses and inadequacies onto her children, is an active and beloved community volunteer. She remembers to make playdates, her children’s clothes fit, she does art projects with them and enjoys all their games. And she is never too tired for sex.”
[photo of and from Ayelet Waldman, interview from 2010]