• In Berkeley: Cuban pianist sensation Alfredo Rodríguez

    As Cuba’s latest piano sensation, Alfredo Rodríguez knows he’s walking in exalted company. A graduate of the Manuel Saumell Conservatory, the same Havana institution that launched Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Manuel Valera, Rodriguez found out early on that prodigious talent could be a passport to an illustrious musical career.

  • Fire at Berkeley’s Great China restaurant on Kittredge St.

    Update,01.26.12, 5:50 pm: A Bay City News report puts the value of the fire damage to Great China restaurant at $700,000. The fire also destroyed the restaurant’s stock of wine, according to Berkeleyside reader Foster, a fan of the restaurant, who writes: “James Yu, the second generation owner, said it would be six months before they will be able to reopen. James’ wonderful wine collection was lost.” (Berkeley winemaker Chris Brockman of Broc Cellars recently selected Great China’s wine list as one of his favorites, for no other reason, he said, than it was “completely unexpected”.)

  • Berkeley Sketchbook: Birds doing their thing

    Berkeley graphic designer and artist Diana Howard pulled out her sketchbook to capture some birds taking a snack break. “It’s that time of year again… rowdy flocks of mixed-species birds, gorging on berries even as the hawks glide above,” she writes.

  • Will Berkeley pass a plastic bag ban soon?

    Kriss Worthington is tired of waiting for Berkeley to ban the use of plastic bags. He plans to urge the City Council on Jan. 31 to quickly pass a new law.

  • Where in Berkeley?

    Know where this is? Take a guess and let us know in the Comments.

  • Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

    BYE BYE BBQ Despite rave reviews on Yelp, Ironwood BBQ at 2130 Oxford Street has closed its doors. If your cravings for one of its pulled-pork Memphis-style sandwiches with coleslaw gets the better of you, rush to Golden Gate Park Golf Course where, according to Ironwood’s website, the restaurant is still serving up its southern treats. [Hat tip: Ryan Christensen-Schwarz.]

  • 2 arrested after shootings on Sacramento Street

    Update, 01.25.12: New information received from Assistant District Attorney Teresa Drenick from the Alameda County District Attorney’s office clarifies that Tyler Frank Jamison is in fact 16 but that he was filed on as an adult.

  • Made in Berkeley: Along Came a Spider

    Made for TV movies have a terrible reputation. Network staples from the mid-‘60s until the late ‘80s, these anodyne films generally featured low production values (including unimaginative scoring, predictable plotting, and lazy cinematography), and were produced with built-in commercial fade-outs that sapped attention spans and (even worse) foreshadowed the imminent arrival of several minutes’ worth of ads.

  • Book explores impact of Berkeley Art Museum’s Peter Selz

    When Peter Selz arrived in Berkeley in 1965, the university only had a small art gallery to display its modest collection of art. Selz had been recruited from the Museum of Modern Art in New York City to oversee the construction of a new, contemporary museum, the Berkeley Art Museum on Bancroft Way.