Daily Archives: November 27, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 11.27.12

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Allen Graubard: So many books, so little time

Alan Graubard-2
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By Judith Coburn 

Allen Graubard, free-school activist, teacher to anyone who would listen, and aficionado of the Cheese Board slice, died October 9 in Belmont, Massachusetts. He was 74.

Friends and family gathered recently in Berkeley to eat Cheese Board pizza (tomato/ mozzarella/ basil) and tell stories about him. The gathering had the spirit of evenings at Allen’s many Berkeley apartments over the years.

He liked people to drop in unannounced. There you might find friends like Françoise Sorgan-Goldschmidt from UC Berkeley’s French Department, UCSF epidemiologist Andrew Moss, writer Leonard Michaels (toting his copy of Schopenhauer), painter Frances Lerner and others. Allen’s son Moses “Mo” Graubard (now an emergency room doc at Kaiser Oakland) might be banging on the piano, there would be a beer or a toke or a nectarine to share. Allen would be be reading: John Rawls, Thomas Nagel, Epectitus or one of his calculus texbooks. He might be wearing his favorite t-shirt  inscribed “So many books, so little time.” … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

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FAST TURNAROUND  Ethnic Arts had to move out of the Gilman Village Complex  last week to make way for a new Office Depot, but it opened up within days at a new location at 2236 San Pablo Avenue, between Allston Way and Bancroft Ave. The new space is 4,000 sq ft — about half the size of the old store — but is beautifully laid out and has an eye-catching bright red facade. The store is next door to Metro Lighting and owner Eleanor Hopewell said the area is emerging as the city’s new center for design. “It’s a great street, a great neighborhood and an up and coming part of Berkeley,” she said.

FOUR ARTISTS TOGETHER   Jeweler Lynne Belmont was looking around to open a holiday pop-up store and approached the realtor John Gordon about using some vacant space in Oakland’s Montclair Village. To her delight, Gordon suggested a vacant space on College Avenue instead. The end result is Four Amazing Artists Pop-Up Shop at 2948 College, right off Ashby. Open from 11 am to 7 pm during the week, and 10 am to 7 pm on weekends, the store features Belmont’s jewelry, Gila Sagy’s glass art, Kevin Brown’s paintings, and Janet Appleton’s line of dog accessories and large glass pieces. “A pop-up in a thriving neighborhood is a win-win for everybody,” said Belmont, who added that neighboring merchants have been welcoming. The store will be open through Dec. 31 and will donate a portion of its profits to three charities: Friends of Faith Fancher, Children’s Hospital, and the Cerebral Palsy Center of Oakland. … Continue reading »

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Tom Bates to Kriss Worthington: Move away from me

Mayor Tom Bates (right) and Councilman Kriss Worthington, sit next to one another at meetings. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Mayor Tom Bates is moving away from City Councilman Kriss Worthington. Not politically. Just physically.

Bates has put an item on Tuesday’s council agenda to change the seating arrangements of city council members on the dais. Worthington currently sits on Bates’ right. The mayor wants to move him one seat away and have his ally, Councilman Laurie Capitelli, sit next to him.

When asked why he wants Worthington to move, Bates half-joked, “So I don’t strangle him.” … Continue reading »

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In Berkeley, slide the door for homey Japanese food

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In a regular feature for NOSH, food writer Anna Mindess sets out to explore the journeys of East Bay immigrants through the lens of  food.

I first met Noriko Taniguchi as I was examining a package of gray speckled noodles at Berkeley’s Tokyo Fish Market. The pixieish grandmother leaned over her shopping cart and whispered, “Yam noodles — very good for the digestion.” As we chatted, I learned she owns a Telegraph Avenue restaurant that features home-style Japanese cooking and promised to visit.

Two weeks later I arrived at Norikonoko at 2556 Telegraph Ave. for lunch. Once I figured out how to slide open the restaurant’s traditional wooden door, I was charmed by the cozy interior that resembles a typical Japanese countryside inn, adorned with innumerable tiny treasures, like miniature tea sets and teensy origami cranes.

The menu also intrigued me with unusual items such as a daikon salad with chirimenjako (tiny dried fish that Noriko sautés in butter to make them crispy). … Continue reading »

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