Lively longtime Cannery Row merchant Kalisa Moore, the last living connection to the John Steinbeck era, dies at 83.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
The "Queen of Cannery Row," Kalisa Moore, died Thursday after more than four decades as a Peninsula institution, a salty, artistic character with a big heart.
Moore’s kingdom on Cannery Row welcomed John Steinbeck, Ed Ricketts and countless lesser-known bellydancers, bohemians and beatniks. She was one of the few remaining vestiges of the Row’s rougher roots, and when her historic La Ida Café was sold in 2007, the queen lost her castle, where she ruled from a wooden throne wearing feathers and drinking cheap wine, and where on any given weekend night drum beats pulsed and sitar melodies wafted from the upstairs windows. When La Ida shuttered its doors, dancers and drummers, poets and musicians lost a place that was more like a home than a performance space.
No one felt the loss more than Moore, who tried to recreate the magic at other venues. The Queen is dead. Long live la vie boheme.