Daily Archives: December 4, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 12.04.12

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

510 burger
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SLIVER PIZZERIA Sports bar and restaurant Sportivo at 2132 Center St. in downtown Berkeley will not be renewing its lease and plans to close on Dec. 15. Sliver Pizzeria is moving into the space and expects open in January 2013. Sliver says it plans to “use the freshest and finest quality ingredients on our pizza as a means to promoting human health and empowering the fight against human trafficking around the world.” Sliver Pizzeria, 2132 Center St.

SEA SALT Haig and Cindy Krikorian’s K2 Restaurant Group has sold Sea Salt, the Berkeley seafood restaurant on San Pablo Avenue, on the heels of its September divestment of T-Rex Barbeque. (K2 also owns Lalime, Jimmy Beans, Paisan and Fonda.) Sea Salt’s new owner is Sung Su Han, according to Inside Scoop which reported that the pair wants to downsize. Sea Salt will keep its name and menu through December, when it will close for about a week, then reopen as Eat. Chef Quyen Vu will stay on board, but will change to a small-plates format, according to Diablo. The adjacent dining room will be transformed into a lounge in the next six to eight months, after which it will become Eat + Lounge. The Krikorians will stay involved as outside consultants. Sea Salt, 2512 San Pablo Ave., 510-883-1720.Continue reading »

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Big Screen Berkeley: Eyes Without a Face

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Remember Billy Idol? The punk rocker turned ‘80s rock star projected an image of bad boy stupidity, but it seems there was more going on beneath the studded leather jackets and spiky blonde pompadour. An English Literature student at university, Idol apparently also spent time at the local art house, soaking up the inspiration of an obscure French film entitled Les yeux sans visage (Eyes Without a Face). The rest is Top Ten history.

Co-founder with Henri Langlois of the Cinémathèque Française in 1937, archivist Georges Franju began making documentary short subjects in the late 1940s, but moved into more fantastic realms a decade later. Eyes Without a Face (screening at Pacific Film Archive on Friday, Dec. 7 at 8:50 p.m. as part of the ongoing series “Grand Illusions: French Cinema Classics, 1928–1960”) was his second feature-length film and the one for which he’s best remembered. … Continue reading »

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Op-Ed: Outgoing Rent Board commissioner says ‘More work to do’

Igor Tregub
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Reflecting on his four years of service, outgoing Berkeley Rent Board Commissioner Igor Tregub looks back, in an Opinionator piece published today, at the internship programs he helped created, the support the organization provided to those facing foreclosure, and the stronger tenant protections he leaves behind. And his organization of several Seismic Days of Action means there is now stronger property owner compliance with Phase I of the Soft-Story Ordinance. But, he says, one year after the devastating Sequoia Building fireContinue reading »


Op-Ed: Rent Board Commissioner Tregub: ‘More work to do’

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Rent Board Commissioner Igor Tregub delivered this farewell address to a November board meeting:

It’s difficult for me to evoke my feelings about the orderly transition of policy-making authority that I am about to pass on. Some transitions can be planned for over the course of months or even years; in my case, I had less than two weeks to take the projects I planned to undertake and pass them off to the next board. As unexpected as this shift … Continue reading »

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Why most Berkeley 9th-graders aren’t actually failing PE

District officials say after-school sports can count toward PE credits, but also make it hard to administer state fitness tests to all students, especially at the ninth-grade level. Photo: Berkeley Unified School District
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A recent state report that includes fitness test results for Berkeley students in three grades shows the district’s ninth-graders falling far short of county and state benchmarks.

Berkeley Unified School District officials said last week, however, that the results actually are an indicator of a more holistic approach to health, rather than a sign that Berkeley teens are out of shape.

The 2012 Physical Fitness Test Results, released in mid-November, were given to 1.3 million fifth-­, seventh­- and ninth-­graders statewide; they make up more than 93% of all students enrolled in those grades in California public schools, according to the state Department of Education. … Continue reading »

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Rib-sticking soul food: The original Oakland cuisine?

Brown Sugar Kitchen Oyster Po'Boy Smoked Mashed Yams Black Eyed Pea Salad
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New restaurants are popping up like wildflowers in now hip Oakland neighborhoods like Temescal, Rockridge, and Uptown, and the foodie frenzy has descended on the city like a swarm of ravenous bees. But what many of these eaters forget is that Oakland has never lacked for good food, perhaps only Internet glamour. Tacos and barbeque are good bets for a taste of pre-hipster Oakland, but one of the best ways to eat in Oakland is a huge platter of soul food.

Arguably one of the few true American cooking styles, soul food is a multifaceted blend of cuisines borne in the Southeastern US. Most of the dishes one associates with soul food today could be traced directly to the resourcefulness of poverty-stricken slave cooking: pork scraps and fatback were used to flavor greens discarded from plantations and corn from the native soil. Ingredients like okra, sesame seeds, yams, and peanuts were introduced to the Southern American diet from direct imports from Africa, and techniques like alkalizing corn to make hominy grits were borrowed from the Native Americans scattered across the South. Frying in rendered lard was a cheap and easy method for cooking a filling meal, and it provided a convenient technique for preparing celebratory dishes like fried chicken when there was an abundance of food. … Continue reading »

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Truly modern: Cocktails, couches, street art, meatballs

On a wet night in an abandoned ink factory, west Berkeley turned into Brooklyn for a few hours, or maybe New York City’s Meatpacking district, with a gathering that included a canvas of wall-to-wall graffiti, cool couches, cocktail waitresses and scrumptious meatballs.

The event was the brainchild of Edgar Blazona, owner of True Modern, the contemporary furniture store at 1659 San Pablo Avenue.

Blazona had set up a photo shoot in the old Ink Flint factory at 1350 Fourth Street, which was recently host to Endless Canvas‘s Special Delivery Bay Area 2012 Mural Exhibit. And he figured that after all the effort of orchestrating the shoot — which included hauling furniture into the vast building, pumping out the lakes of water that had pooled there as a result of torrential rains, and lighting up the warehouse’s cavernous nooks and crannies — he might as well round off the work with a party. … Continue reading »

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