Tag Archives: Pretty Penny

My New Pop-Up Book

I got this beautiful woodcut pop-up book made by Alison Yates at Pretty Penny’s craft exposition this weekend.  This combined with a recent trip to Addison Endpapers is really tempting me to start making books.

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I Love I Love I Love My Calendar Girl

There are just too many good things going on these days.

IN ROCKRIDGE:

Craft Fair at Pretty Penny, Saturday July 25, 11am-7pm

Pretty Penny, recent winner of not one, but three East Bay Express Best of the Bay 2009 Reader’s Poll Awards (Best Vintage Clothing, Best Women’s Clothing, and Best New Business) (and my favorite vintage shop to boot) will be hosting a craft fair all day this Saturday featuring Oakland and San Francisco’s finest artisans.  Come enjoy beverages and hors d’oeuvres gratis while browsing their wares–plus the hottest vintage styles around.

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A soothing spot to sit in Pretty Penny

Open Opera presents Figaro, Saturday July 25 and Sunday July 26, 3pm

Open Opera is a new organization with a mission–to bring more opera to the world to new and wider audiences (starting with the Bay Area)–and all for free.  In order to do this Open Opera’s performances are staged in our beautiful public parks.  This Saturday and Sunday Open Opera will be performing the Marriage of Figaro at John Hinkel park in North Berkeley.  Peko Peko will be on hand in case sopranos make you hungry.  Sylvan Mishima Brackett says, “Intermit with our summer katsu-sando bento, American-size king salmon onigiri, luxury melon drink, and strawberry ice cream sandwiches!”  You know I will Sylvan, you know I will.

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August Closing Oakland Location Clearance Sale, July 24, 25, and 26 11am-6pm

I report with a heavy heart that I returned to Rockridge to learn that we are losing one of our inveterate retailers, August.  I could always rely on August to bring me a tiny bit of Brooklyn via Refinery29-style faves like Vena Cava and Loomstate, but no longer.  Thankfully their Mill Valley location will stay open, but their loss will be felt in Rockridge.  Stop by to say goodbye and pick up some of their gorgeous wares at painfully low prices.

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FURTHER AFIELD (TONIGHT! TONIGHT! TONIGHT!)

Inara George and Van Dyke Parks, Friday July 24, McCabes Guitar Shop

On her most recent solo album Inara George (the multi-talented member of various and diverse acts such as the Bird and the Bee and the Living Sisters) collaborated with longtime friend Van Dyke Parks, famed composer, songwriter, lyricist, arranger, and producer.  The results are intoxicating.  The New York Times says “Ms. George muses on love, yearning and separation in lyrics that can be ingenuous or surreal…meanwhile Mr. Parks surrounds her ballads and waltzes with a nonstop counterpoint of melodies and of allusions…”  And to see these two characters on a stage together (and one as intimate as McCabes at that) is a real treat.

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Not events but worth mentioning…

Oliveto Community Journal reports via their Twitter: “Rumor has it Catalan Farms has the first EXCELLENT slicer tomatoes of the season! @ [Berkeley Farmer’s Market Thursday and Saturday].”  Tomato season is on the verge of beginning in earnest.  See more on Catalan Farms here.

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Commis Restaurant opened while I was away and I can’t wait to try it…if anyone has any early reviews let me know.

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Results of an Afternoon Shopping Trip in Rockridge

I went out on the hunt for coasters (I happen to love coasters and constantly be on a search for good ones), but in this case I was gift shopping.  Who doesn’t need coasters?  I found some I like on the Gumps website (on sale too) but I am absolutely hell bent on spending my money where it matters–in Rockridge.  I decided to see what was new at Atomic Garden, and found the perfect coasters for my recipient.  Clean design with natural flare.  Could go in either an ironic or earnest direction, depending on the surrounding decor:

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Coasters from Atomic Garden ($6 ea.), crystal tumbler by William Yeoward

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Then I took a little detour to hit August-they are having a huge sale.  Super premium denim from Habitual, Loomstate, and everyone’s favorite, Acne, is marked down-down-down!  The Acne dark rinses they have at around $100 are especially enticing—get over there!  They have tons of sizes too.  Very exciting if you’re like me and you’re loath to pay full price, but would love something a little more special than the 3rd-hand Levi’s you usually wear every once in a while. 

My last stop was Pretty Penny, one of my absolute, number one favorite spots on College.  Just look at what I found:

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Can you tell I have a white loafer obsession or what?  Guess how much?  Just guess.  $26.  !!!  I love Ferragamo and I love Pretty Penny.

The final thing I found on my shopping trip doesn’t make me happy:

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Another empty retail storefront.

Dear Rockridge residents and any Oaklanders who enjoy the Rockridge life,

Rockridge is in danger.

Small businesses, especially retail establishments, are closing one after another.  Unlike some places (perhaps New York City) small retail business closings do not beget new, hipper small retail business openings.  Instead, we get Jamba Juice and Pasta Pomodoro.  Residents of Rockridge have the income to afford small boutique shopping.  If you’re smart about it, it doesn’t cost any more than a trip to Nordstrom and a tank of gas to Walnut Creek, Emeryville, or San Francisco.  If we lose these small businesses, our neighborhood loses charm and functionality, and ultimately, the value of the beautiful homes and neighborhood we work so hard to maintain.

Please join me in supporting our local retail vendors.   More on this on ARL to follow.  

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Last Minute Christmas Shopping Part II

I had some good luck.  Santa was on my side.  Now allow me to make some recommendations.  Most gifts are in the $20 range.

For the lazy gourmand:  Truffle salt, in 5 and 10% truffle content.  $20-$30 at Pasta Shop.  Amazing on pasta, french fries, or any vegetable.  Who needs to cook?

For anyone who loves Paris, tea, or both: Pasta Shop has an excellent selection of Mariages Freres tea.  I picked up the Provence Green ($22.50) for my sister in law who lived in Kyoto and speaks French.  Porquoi pas?!

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For book lovers: Diesel does soothe, but Pendragon is the place to go if you’re looking to save some dollars to keep food on the table in the new year.  They have some AMAZING deals right now.  Tons of new Taschen coffee table books (Atget, Doisneau, etc.) on sale for less than $10 (!!!).  I got my aunt- and uncle-in-law Art of the 20th Century, also published by Taschen.  So beautiful.  I found it in the used section a month ago and have been lusting over it.  It’s almost impossible to even tell that it is “used,” and priced at $50.  

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For a good laugh: I’ve never had success at Rockridge Home, but I have to give it to them.  That place is banging for the holidays.  The price is right and options abound, so much so they get their own section.

The “NPR Map of the United States” is amazing for the liberal Rockridge/Berkeley business traveler in your life.  Maps local AM/FM NPR channels across the US.  

For the Catholic grandfather who has done it all I suggest the How to be Pope book.  

For the miscellaneous and omnipresent oppressed woman in a committed relationship with a messy man: I suggest Porn For Women now available in the XXX version.   

I picked up the necktie napkins for my adorable MBA holding brother-in-law who can’t get through a meal, much less a business meeting, without spilling on himself.

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For the girls who work too hard and just want to have fun:  I picked up $20 gift certificates at Pretty Penny and Crush on College.  Pretty Penny has an AMAZING selection of vintage shoes, denim, and (just for the season) gold lame and sparkly dresses.  It’s a brilliantly styled place AND the accessories are phenomenal.  Prices are gentle too.  Crush on College was the perfect place for my high school-age cousin-in-law who digs fresh styles at low prices and hasn’t gotten into the vintage thing.  

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