Tag Archives: Rockridge

On My Calendar

Exciting things coming up in August both in and around Rockridge and further afield:

  • Subculture the East Bay Express’s Best of the East Bay Party:  With something for everyone (and I mean everyone), the East Bay Express will be celebrating everything wonderful about the East Bay at the Oakland Museum this Friday, August 7 from 5pm to midnight.  The party itself is so massive and diverse that it makes summary a futile endeavor.  Download a large copy of the invitation by clicking here (invite) or check the blog the EBE has set up for more information.  (Best of the East Bay 2009 Party Blog)
  • FLUX Super 8 Showcase: Sets from the short film Synesthesia by directors Corey Creasey and Ian Kibbey of Terri Timely will be part of this exhibition curated by RESFEST founder Jonathan Wells.  This is the first annual showcase by FLUX, organized to celebrate eight of the most exciting and emerging young artists working in film, video, music and design.  Watch Terri Timely’s film here (Synesthesia via Terri Timely).  Opening: August 15, 7pm  Scion Installation L.A. 3521 Helms Ave (at National) Culver City, CA. 90232 (310) 815-8840.  Through September 8.

synesthesiafrom Terri Timely’s Synesthesia

  • Oliveto Tomato Dinners: Oliveto’s annual Tomato dinners are the perfect capstone to tomato season, but this year in particular.  Oliveto’s new Community Journal has been tracking the cultivation of this years crop from the time the Early Girls were planted as seeds back in February via Tomato Watch (check out their brilliant Tomato Watch timeline by clicking here).  For those of us who have been watching all along, the Journal has taken the experience of anticipation of eating this prized fruit to new levels.  Whether you’re a regular or an Oliveto virgin, the Tomato Dinners are sure to delight.  Wednesday through Saturday, August 26 through 29, 2009.  (Oliveto Restaurant, Oliveto Community Journal)
  • Chalk Hill Clematis’s Mary Toomey Garden Open House:  The eminent clematis cultivators Chalk Hill will open their doors to the public later this month for a tour of the Mary Toomey Garden.  From the Chalk Hill website: The Mary Toomey Garden is adjacent to the nursery and consists of a large pergola planted with roses and clematis and five individual gardens each with a different theme including an eighty foot long perennial bed featuring many herbaceous varieties. Chalk Hill also produces their own Olive Oil and Vinegar, available for sale at the farm.  In addition, cultivator Kaye Heafey’s book A Celebration of Clematis will be available for purchase  Open House Friday August 28th from 9am-4pm.  Chalk Hill Clematis PO Box 1847, Healdsburg, CA 95448 (707) 433-8416 farmmgr@chalkhillclematis.com


MTGsiteplan_smallArtwork by Martha Kemp

  • Os Mutantes LIVE: One of my favorite musical acts of all time will be performing live at the Independent in San Francisco as part of the second annual Outside Lands festival.  Their blend of Tropicalia, Psychedelia, and progressive rock have made them a unique (and we all shudder to use that word, but in this case it’s appropriate) force in 20th century popular music consciousness since their debut in the mid-1960s.  Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see them in action.  Sunday, August 30, 9PM (Os Mutantes Myspace) (Tickets via the Independent) (About Os Mutantes via Wikipedia)

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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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Sylvan Mishima Brackett of Peko Peko at Mission Street Food

Post updated 10:55pm PST 6/18/09: This Saturday at MSF from the MSF blog

I first heard of Mission Street Food (a pop-up restaurant in the Mission District of San Francisco) through Chris Ying of the McSweeney’s clan.  Rimpletide had bought me a ticket to see Michael Pollan, Bonnie Azab Powell, and Harold McGee on a panel at 826 Valencia moderated by Ying back in February of this year.  The whole thing was lovely, and perhaps loveliest was Ying and his vintage volume of Beard.  I’m not totally clear on the connection (perhaps Ying knows the two who started this whole madness?) but my understanding is that Ying cooks at MSF on a regular basis.

I never really followed up on MSF, since I, as a devoted resident of Rockridge, rarely venture across the Bay (and dine almost exclusively at Oliveto, but you all know that), but when I got word of a new collaboration, my curiosity was piqued.

The word: Sylvan Mishima Brackett of Peko Peko will be a special guest chef at MSF this coming Saturday and I’m just too excited not to shout it from the rooftops (and by doing so making it harder for myself to get a table, but, well, all in the name community service).

And the best part is, I even got my hands on the menu! Dishes are no more than $12 each and a portion of the proceeds will benefit Mercy Corps and St. Vincent de Paul. Apparently, Brackett got his hands on the last of the season’s freshly dug bamboo shoots harvested localled in Livermore.  And in addition to the notable shoots, the menu consists of:

Buta no kakuni
Braised pork belly and daikon with sake and ginger; with hot mustard and mustard greens

Kare karaage
Whole fried local petrale sole with mori tsuyu

Asari sakamushi
Tomales Bay clams steamed with fresh dashi, sake and mitsuba

Hirame kombu-jime
Local halibut cured with kombu; with little lettuces and radishes

Korokke
Panko-fried potato and cream-corn croquettes

Ochazuke
A bowl of rice with green tea and dashi, salt-cured steelhead salmon, scallions and nori

Oshinko
Cucumber with shiso, napa cabbage with kombu and red chili and green pepper and katsuobushi pickles

Aisukuriimu!
Apricot and boysenberry ice cream with apricot sauce and noyeaux whipped cream

My mouth is watering just thinking about the amazing flavor combinations.  One of my favorite things about Brackett’s cooking is his ability to balance fresh delicate moments with crunchy deep-fried indulgence.  Consider the Oshinko and the Kare Karage, or the Korokke (I must try that–there are few people I trust when the work “croquette” is involved, they are too often too mediocre, but I have a feeling these will be the dark horse hit of the evening).  I’ll be lining up early.

But if for some reason you don’t make it, the line is too long, the fog is too thick, you live too far away, or heaven forbid the inevitable happens–MSF runs out of food–you can experience something close with Peko Peko’s most recent bento featuring a Tonkatsu Sanwhich for just $12.50.  A truly authentic Japanese experience, the Katsu-Sando bento is a recreation of the humble but extremely popular lunch of students, salary men, and OL’s alike.  I am loving the new boxes…

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Fighting the Humpday Hangover with Peonies

I found these red ones at Bloomies the other day and couldn’t resist.  So gorgeous with the yellow stamens.  Impossible to photograph though–so deep/dark/rich a color.  I didn’t expose correctly, but these at least give you the idea, if not translate the true life brilliance.

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While I somehow seemed to have slept through ranunculus season, I think I’m doing a good job of enjoying peony season to the fullest.

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An Unusual Sight

I love oak leaf hydrangea.  There is just something wild about it to me–the mix of frou frou hydrangea blossoms and something as strong and iconic as an oak leaf.  I spotted this one on a rare jaunt on “the other side” of College (i.e. the northeast side) and found it striking due to the mix of white and pink blossoms.  While hydrangea bushes are known to grow different colored blooms, and even grow blooms of different colors depending on the stage of the growth season, I’ve never seen anything other than a pure white oak leaf hydrangea.

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The pink blossoms near the base of the dominently white bloom

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Rockridge Azalea Season 2009 in Retrospect

For some reason I have never been a huge azalea fan, but the azaleas around Rockridge this year changed my mind.  I just kept walking and driving by these bushes absolutely bursting with color, and I couldn’t resist any longer.  Unfortunately, my (former) distaste meant I waited a little too long to start photographing the blooms, so I missed my change to capture a few of my favorites (there is an amazing orange-pink one a few doors down from me that has since lost its blooms).  I did manage to catch a few though.  The orange and white at the bottom are some of my favorites.

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azalea close

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RED!

white and orange!!

white and orange!

I learned more about azaleas (such as the fact that all azaleas are rhododendrons but not all rhododendrons are azaleas, similar to the fact that all daffodils are narcissus, but not all narssisus are daffodils) from the Azalea Society of America.  They have a great FAQ section.  Some azaleas are native to Japan, and azaleas, similar to cherry blossoms, are quite celebrated in Japan.  There are some great photographs of an azalea festival in Shiofune-Kannon (Ome, Tokyo) on Yumi’s flicker page.

On a related note, you should definitely look at this slideshow from the NY Times on Philadelphia gardens.  Great pictures of alliums, primroses, poppies, peonies, and of course…azaleas!

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