Tag Archives: support local business

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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Dark Chocolate/Caramel/Sea Salt Reinforcements

I still love Fran’s–that’s what is readily available at Market Hall–but there are two other brands I’m loving that I discovered at Lulu Rae

I made a special trip to the upper Rockridge College Avenue confection boutique for Barlovento and Poco Dolce.

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As far as fleur de sel chocolate caramels go, Fran’s is a great staple.  Barlovento packs the biggest caramel chew (a big hunk of chewy caramel with a thin coat of dark chocolate) and most salt (high points for the latter).  Poco Dolce has the most sparing smattering of salt, but, in my opinion, the highest quality chocolate taste.  Poco Dolce is a small crispy center of caramel toffee and a solid sea of dark chocolate surrounding it.  

Bonus: Poco Dolce has a large variety of flavors all topped with sea salt.  YUM

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Update Your Bookmarks

Ici Ice Cream has  a new website!  Remember them? 

New soothing additions such as a forthcoming online shop (!), details on the history and founders of Ici (let us all bow down to Maria Canales), and Ici’s pioneering efforts towards sustainability (who doesn’t love it?).  

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Soothing pastels abound. 

I also found out that if you call Ici (510.665.6054 ) you can select the number ‘2’ to hear the ice cream flavors of the day.  Soothe.  The efficient way to find out if they are serving Meyer lemon without making the trip to Elmwood.

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Trip to Koreana Plaza in Pictures

 

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Every type of fish-, soya-, and seaweed-based product pre-pickled and packed for take-home

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In bulk

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These objects are smaller than they appear

armenianWho knew that Koreans were such fans of Armenian Brandy?  Or that it came in such fun containers? (cork is at the derriere)

Koreana Plaza, 2370 Telegraph Ave at 24th Street in Oakland, 94612

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On a Lighter Note

I’ve been meaning to share a new discovery.  While reading this month’s Sunset magazine (I seriously have grown to love it; it soothes me so hard, please don’t let it fold) I came across an article on Erin Rosenow, formerly of ARL local favorite Birch SF

Rosenow runs Rosenow Floral Design, which serves San Francisco and the greater Bay Area.  I’m always on the look out for new, fresh, beautiful floral design (harder to come across that one would think) so I was thrilled to find out about Rosenow.  

Rosenow’s designs range from the classic:

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to the avant-garde:

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Visit the website and click on the tab “I like color” to view photographs of more amazing designs in flash.

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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.  

prettyThe Pretty Penny window

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