Published June 9th, 2021
Lamorinda makes slow return to a sense of normal
By Vera Kochan, Sora O'Doherty, and Jennifer Wake
Top left: Moraga Commons Park bustles with activity; lower left: Moraga police officers talk with skateboarders. Upper right: Patrons enjoy coffee and food on Lafayette Circle; lower right: Orinda Farmers' Market bustles with activity. Photos V. Kochan, S. O'Doherty and J. Wake
With June 15 anticipated to be the marker for a return to a sense of normal for most Californians, signs that the world is reverting back to familiar times are being seen throughout the three Lamorinda communities.
Tutu's, The Cooperage, and American Kitchen were replete with diners - both inside and out - and Papillon in La Fiesta Square and the Coffee Shop tables on Lafayette Circle were brimming with patrons June 4, with sounds of laughter and chatter filling the air as residents enjoyed each other's company and even shared occasional hugs as they greeted one another on the street.
Moraga Commons Park was bustling with visitors enjoying a warm, sunny morning June 3 with a little bit more "freedom" than people have been used to for over a year. From toddlers to older citizens, the park welcomed the types of activity that it was built to handle.
Kids amused themselves in the sandbox and on the playground equipment, and could be heard squealing with delight while their parents sat nearby catching up with each other's news. Every picnic table in sight was occupied with lunch-goers or craft activities. Boys played a casual game of baseball on the shaded lawn. Mothers had their babies in strollers out for walks on the paved paths. Elderly folks strolled along through the park at a leisurely pace, while joggers weaved their way through young and old alike, adding to the joyful sights and sounds of returning normalcy.
The June 5 Orinda Farmers' Market was quieter than usual, with shoppers choosing to continue wearing masks, but lunchtime was busy at the food stalls and live music was back. Many in-person openings and summer events were announced the week of June 1, including the reopening of Orinda Library Gallery (see story Page A7), the East Bay Open Studios in-person event (see story Page B2), the return of the Taste of Lafayette (see story Page A3), and plans for Hacienda Nights to start up again at the Hacienda de Las Flores in Moraga July 15.
As Lamorinda awaits final details surrounding the June 15 lifting of restrictions, mask-wearers throughout the three towns are a visual reminder to all that we're not out of the woods just yet.
But, oh, we're getting there!

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