“No Pelé But Want to Play?” reads the Craigslist ad that has inspired a flourishing pickup soccer league in the East Bay. EBOT, or East Bay Over-Thirty, is a diverse group of men and women in their thirties — and even beyond — who have expanded their social circles while enjoying “the beautiful game” at Grove Park in Berkeley.The group is the brainchild of Cyrus Johnson, an Oakland-based attorney who founded the coed league last June. Johnson says he created EBOT “for second-generation enthusiasts who relish camaraderie over competition, friendship over fierce battle.” Unlike many existing leagues, EBOT welcomes the novice. And there’s an added bonus: the teams spend as much time at Cato’s Ale House in Oakland as they do on the field. True to the local multicultural spirit, friendships have blossomed among players from such diverse locales as Malaysia, Scotland, and Nepal — friendships that transcend the boundaries of race, gender, and nationality. The EBOTs have created an international sense of community among players who refuse to hang up their football boots.
Climb vicariously in E’ville
Kilimanjaro is more than just the tallest mountain in Africa. Not that the bare fact of a 19,344-foot elevation, with 2.5 square miles of its surface over 18,500 feet, isn’t impressive enough. But there are worlds within worlds along its dizzying heights — the mountain’s summit crater, Kibo, measures 1.5 miles across, and in its center, buried in sulphurous ashes 600 feet down, is a smaller crater. Learn about what it’s like to explore the mountain and its surrounding plains when Iain Allan (who has lived in Kenya since he was eight) and Alex Fiksman, a native of the former Soviet Union, cover “Kenya and Kilimanjaro: Walking the Wilds,” a slide show at Mountain Travel Sobek (1266 66th St., Emeryville). RSVP for this free event by calling 510-594-6020 or e-mailing [email protected] — Stefanie Kalem