The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

The UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley kicks off its 125th anniversary celebration on Sunday June 28.
The UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley kicks off its 125th anniversary celebration on Sunday June 28. Photo: Vicky Brock

UC BOTANICAL GARDEN’S 125TH BIRTHDAY During its 125 years of existence, the University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley has served as a haven for endangered plants rescued from smugglers, a lab for studying climate change, biomagnetism and hummingbirds’ territorial behavior, a seed bank, a classroom for children and an idyllic backdrop for weddings. The Berkeley garden, home to one of the oldest, largest and most diverse collections in the U.S,. kicks off its 125th anniversary celebration on Sunday, June 28, with music (by the Tiny Rock Band and The Banjo Racketeers), a beer garden featuring Trumer, cupcakes (by Kelsey Robinson of The Whole Cake), lemonade, and gelato (by Bar Gelato) at its 34-acre site overlooking San Francisco Bay. Read all about it.

Photo: Aurora Theatre

LISA D’AMOUR’S ‘DETROIT’  Watch the 2011 Pulitzer Prize finalist play in its first week at the Aurora Theatre (2081 Addison St.). A satire about life in uncertain economic times, the play features two couples: “barely middle class” Ben and Mary and their new, furniture-less neighbors, Sharon and Kenny. The show runs for an hour and 40 minutes without intermission and will be at the Aurora through July 19. Buy tickets for Saturday at 8 p.m. or Sunday at 2 p.m. or 7 p.m. online or by phone: 510-843-4822.

Photo: East Bay Amateur Radio Club

AMATEUR RADIO FIELD DAY  Learn how to communicate with ham radio, which you might have to do after an emergency, at the American Radio Relay League’s “Field Day.” The league is dedicated to exploring how to send messages without phone, internet, or other infrastructure that could be compromised in an emergency.  The East Bay Amateur Radio Club will be demonstrating Amateur Radio at Cesar Chavez Park (11 Spinnaker Way) from 11 a.m. on Saturday to 11 a.m. on Sunday. See the radio’s capabilities, meet local “hams” and learn how to get your own FCC radio license.

Photo: Escapist Comics

IVAN BRANDON’S ‘DRIFTER’ Update: Kevin Wada has been invited to speak at Comic Con so has postponed this reading to Saturday July 25! Ivan Brandon will be signing Saturday June 27, at 7 p.m. at Escapist Comics (3090 Claremont Ave.) to celebrate the release of his science-fiction graphic novel “Drifter: Out of the Night, volume one.” The graphic novel, set in a future where mankind has spread across the universe for its own survival, follows Abram Pollux, who has crashed onto a backwater alien world called Ouro. “‘Drifter’ follows his “journey to the very edges of what it means to be human.”


Photo: Berkeley City Club Conservancy

JULIA MORGAN TOUR Join the Berkeley City Club Conservancy for a free tour of pioneering architect Julia Morgan’s “little castle,” the Berkeley City Club building. The Bay Area born architect, who was the first woman architect licensed in California, designed over 700 buildings in the state, including Heart Castle in San Simeon. The 45-minute tour is on Sunday June 28 (and on the fourth Sunday of every month), between 1 and 3 p.m. at the Berkeley City Club (2315 Durant Ave.).

Don’t miss these other events featured on Berkeleyside:

Regina Carter: Fiddling with genius in Berkeley
Preview: San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival

For more events in and around Berkeley, check out Berkeleyside’s new-look Events Calendar. Submit your own events there — the calendar also offers options for making your event stand out.

-By Francesca Paris