Daily Archives: January 22, 2013

News

The Berkeley Wire: 01.22.13

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

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NOODLES ON SHATTUCK A new noodle shop, Toss Noodle Bar, is coming to 2272 Shattuck Ave. Pin Toh, a Vietnamese and Thai restaurant, appears to have closed. According to reviews on Yelp, the shop was closed as of late December 2012. The state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) received an application in December for an on-sale beer and wine license, which is  pending. [Hat tip: Downtown Berkeley Association] … Continue reading »

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Big Screen Berkeley: Good old Eurowestern ‘Navajo Joe’

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If you’ve been keeping score at home, it should be obvious by now that yours truly isn’t much of a western enthusiast. Since I began writing for Berkeleyside three years ago, I’ve penned precisely one column about this most American of film genres – and that concerned a rather non-traditional example of the style.

There’s one subset of the oater, however, that I’ve always found completely irresistible: the Eurowestern. During the 1960s and ‘70s, well over 500 Old West adventures were produced on the continent. Most of these films were Italian — hence the mildly pejorative descriptor ‘spaghetti western’ – but plenty of other countries also got into the act, including West Germany, Yugoslavia, Britain, and France.

Italy, however, was responsible for the vast majority of Eurowesterns, and it’s Italy that’s the focus of Pacific Film Archive’s current series, ‘The Hills Run Red: Italian Westerns, Leone, and Beyond’. As the series’ title suggests, director Sergio Leone remains the name most of us associate with the genre. Indeed, his reputation is well deserved — there are few films that equal The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly and Once Upon a Time in the West – but he was hardly alone. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley documentary filmmaker Les Blank to be honored

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Update, 9:10 p.m.: Les Blank was able to attend the City Council meeting and heard the proclamation that was made about him. He was accompanied by his son Harrod Blank and many friends showed up to support him. Berkeleyside’s Emilie Raguso was at the meeting and posted the photo below to Twitter and on our Facebook page (where there’s also video of Harrod Blank addressing the Council.)

Original story: “Les Blank is one of the best documentary filmmakers in America,” says Susan Wengraf, councilwoman for district 6 in Berkeley, who plans to present Blank with a proclamation at tonight’s meeting of the City Council.

Blank, who has lived in Berkeley for 35 years, and whose company Flower Films, is based in El Cerrito, may not be able to attend the meeting at which he will be honored, however, as he is very ill. (On Monday, Blank’s son Harrod told friends he hoped his father would be there.)

Wengraf, who has know the filmmaker for nearly 40 years, says she is crossing her fingers Blank will be there, but she takes comfort from the fact that an informal proclamation was made at a recent screening of clips of Blank’s films. Many of his friends were there and Blank answered questions from the audience. “Harrod said it made him very happy and lifted his spirits,” Wengraf says. … Continue reading »

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All Berkeley comes together, celebrates hope on MLK Day

It felt like all of Berkeley was represented at yesterday morning’s Martin Luther King breakfast celebration down by the bay.

They came from seminaries and temples, political groups, law enforcement, schools, neighborhood associations and government departments — our assemblywoman, mayor, and chief of police were there, as were many church and community leaders, councilmembers, teachers, students, business men and women, and children. (Watch the slideshow of photographs, above, by Nancy Rubin.)

On a crisp winter morning, nearly 400 local people gathered to mark Martin Luther King Day, to share breakfast and to watch together live-streaming of the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States. … Continue reading »

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Turkish coffee meringues: flavorful and fragrant

Turkish Coffee Meringues (10)
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I’ve always thought of Turkish coffee as a special-occasion sort of drink. It’s not just coffee: it’s extra-rich coffee that’s often spiced, sweetened and presented in pretty little mugs.

Then there’s the way Turkish coffee is prepared. The coffee beans are ground into a very fine powder, then brewed filter-free using ornate metal pots made just for the process. Finally, the water nearly bubbles over the edge before the scrumptious concoction is ready.

Having only had it at friends’ houses and Turkish restaurants, I admit I may not have a grasp of authentic Turkish coffee. But the versions I’ve tasted have been distinct and delicious enough to remember with fondness and a craving for more. Not surprisingly, the brew has also often left me daydreaming of its rebirth as a dessert.

So I finally created these candy-like cookies in its honor. … Continue reading »

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