Tag Archives: Berkeley events

Ask Berkeleyside: Why no toilets at the Solano Stroll?

Solano Stroll 2016. Photo: Steve Crawford
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It wasn’t a conspiracy, and it wasn’t by design. There were no portable toilets at the Solano Stroll on Sunday due to “a simple error,” event organizer Allen Cain of the Solano Avenue Association told Berkeleyside this week.

Exactly whose error is a matter of dispute. Cain said he emailed in the toilet order months before the huge annual event. The alleged service provider says no order was received. 

Cain, who has spearheaded the Solano Stroll for nearly a decade, said he makes all the arrangements the prior April — five months in advance — to ensure he has all the rental supplies he needs. The toilets are usually set up Saturday, the day before the Stroll, to avoid vandalism to the units or to the properties around them.

(Berkeleyside first reported on the missing toilets Monday.)

Saturday, Cain said he was on the avenue at 5 a.m. to mark off the street with chalk, to prepare for the event, before traffic got in the way. Around 11 a.m. or noon, he said, he started wondering where the toilets were. He wasn’t too worried, though, because they sometimes don’t show up until 8 or 9 p.m.

“At about 3-4 o’clock, we start to get a little nervous,” he said Tuesday night. Organizers tried to call the rental service to find out what was going on. But Cain said they could only reach an answering service. The answering service said it had two numbers for United Site Services, the rental company Cain said he ordered the toilets from. But both numbers went to voicemail, and that voicemail was full. … Continue reading »

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Photo Gallery: The 42nd Berkeley-Albany Solano Stroll

Solano Stroll 2016. Photo: Nancy Rubin
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“I’ve come to the conclusion that at the Solano Stroll, if you don’t see the essence of Berkeley, you’re not paying attention,” wrote Daniel McPartlan to Berkeleyside when sharing with us some wonderful photographs he took at this year’s Stroll, which took place on Sunday. Of course, the Solano Stroll includes Albany too, but we hear what he’s saying. Meanwhile, Berkeleyside contributing photographer Nancy Rubin commented on submitting her amazing portfolio, “I feel the Stroll represents the best of Berkeley — such good feelings, such diversity — of both humans and animals.”

People turned out in droves to the 42nd annual Stroll, despite the vain attempts by the sun to shed any warmth on events, and the unfortunate absence of portable toilets at this year’s event (we’ve asked the Solano Stroll Association for more on this and will update the story when we hear back).

[Update, 4:15 p.m. Allen Cain tells Berkeleyside he submitted his request well in advance, noting, “We go out of our way to provide facilities.” He said there was only an answering service for United Site Services picking up the phone Sunday, and the service could not provide any information. “If they had just told us that they lost the order, we could’ve navigated something but they kept us hanging,” he said.]

The parade was as impressive as always, and this year local election candidates were out in force. And there was a near-constant stream of visitors to the Berkeleyside/Nosh booth and the onsite team — Wendy Cohen, Bethany Del Lima, Kate Williams, Emilie Raguso, Debbie McKeen and Tracey Taylor — were delighted to meet everyone and hear your positive feedback. We will draw the winners of our two raffle prizes — a basket-full of East Bay food and drink goodies and a copy of Kenji López-Alt’s The Food Lab book — shortly.

Meanwhile enjoy the Stroll photographs published here — and thank you for sharing them with us.

See more photos of the Solano Stroll by Nancy Rubin.

See more photos of the Solano Stroll by Daniel McPartlan. … Continue reading »

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Visit Berkeleyside, Nosh at the Solano Stroll

Solano Stroll 2015. Photo: Nancy Rubin
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It’s that time of year again, and the East Bay’s biggest street festival is coming Sunday with the 42nd annual Solano Stroll.

You can find the Berkeleyside team in our usual spot, between Pegasus Books and iScream, where northbound Colusa Avenue hits Solano Avenue. We hope you’ll come by to say hello.

This year, Berkeleyside’s Nosh site will be our booth’s focus. To that end, we’ll be raffling off a big basket of East Bay food and wine, as well as a copy of “The Food Lab” by J. Kenji López-Alt (don’t miss him at our Uncharted festival, coming in October).

This year’s Stroll is set to feature over 500 vendors including 50 entertainers, 50 food booths, 150 government and non-profit agencies, 150 juried hand-crafters, a 75-entry parade, mechanical rides and much more, organizers say. (The parade begins at 10 a.m.) The expected estimated attendance is 250,000.

We invite readers to share Solano Stroll photos with us by tagging #Berkeleyside on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can also add photos to our Flickr group or simply email them to tips@berkeleyside.com. (We always love seeing your photographs of any interesting sights around Berkeley.) … Continue reading »

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Uncharted Berkeley Festival of Ideas 2015: The best yet

Meklit Hadero performs at Uncharted 2015. Photo: Pete Rosos
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The third annual Uncharted Berkeley Festival of Ideas closed Saturday after two days of engaging and compelling conversations that ran the gamut from the inadequacies of the criminal justice system — outlined in no uncertain terms by Judge Alex Kozinski — to the flaws in our education system, articulated by extraordinary 18-year-old reformer Adora Svitak, the perils of Vladimir Putin, who writer Masha Gessen described bluntly as “a thug,” and the dangers of over-treatment in the healthcare system, articulated all too clearly by activist and author Shannon Brownlee.

The festival, held in downtown Berkeley and on the Cal campus, was far from being one long downer, however. For what emerged from nearly all the sessions and discussions, on and off the stage, was a call to action of sorts: to get uncomfortable and to fight back. Or, as Krissy Eliot interpreted it in her excellent report for California Magazine of the festival’s first day, “Screw the system” — let’s dismantle and then reconstruct some of those systems to create a fairer society.

And perhaps that, ultimately, is what an ideas festival is all about: people coming together with a diverse range of experiences and perspectives to wrestle with the pressing issues of the day and then to begin to look for creative ways to make progress. And what more fitting place for that to happen than in Berkeley? … Continue reading »

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‘2 for 1’ ticket offer extended for Uncharted Ideas Festival

Among the speakers confirmed for Uncharted are Elñora Tena Webb, Nicholas Dirks, Alice Dreger, Doug Solomon, Anna Lappé and Shannon Brownlee
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This year’s Uncharted Ideas Festival in Berkeley, Oct. 16-17, is gearing up to be the best yet. Newly confirmed speakers include UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks, bestselling author Anna Lappé, also founder of the Small Planet Institute, Alex Kozinski, the most outspoken judge on the Federal bench, Ethan Nadelmann, the nation’s point man for drug policy reform efforts, and historian and sex researcher Alice Dreger.

And coming to the two-day festival — with its packed program of conversations, live-music performances, interactive workshops and opening night party — is more achievable than ever. The “2 for the price of 1” ticket offer which we launched a month ago has proved so popular we have decided to extend it until Sunday Sept. 20. This special offer means you can attend Uncharted with a friend for just $86 a day each (the regular ticket price is $345 for two days). Other Early-Bird tickets include single and one-day tickets.

Reserve your “2 for 1” tickets now — there’s a limited number of them!

Austin has SXSW. Aspen has its ideas festival. The Bay Area has Uncharted. … Continue reading »

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Photo Gallery: Berkeley celebrates Independence Day

July 4th. Photo- Jimhairphoto
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Berkeley celebrated Independence Day in a variety of ways — flying the flag, eating, drinking, spending time with friends and family, and enjoying a stunning fireworks display at the Marina. We’re delighted to publish some of the photographs shared by Berkeleyside readers.

Berkeleyside publishes many articles every day. To see all our stories in chronological order, and read ones you may have missed, check out All the News.

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Ellen Johnson: A jazz child’s child in Berkeley

Ellen Johnson, playing
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Is there anything that chocolate can’t do? An offering to the Mayan gods, a source of joy for children around the world, and an abiding bond between two great jazz musicians who perform 8 p.m. Saturday at the California Jazz Conservatory.

Polymathic vocalist Ellen Johnson was attending a jazz education convention in Toronto back in 2003 when she met the well-traveled tenor saxophonist Don Braden, an encounter that led to an intermittent but ongoing collaboration. Over the years they’ve conducted numerous workshops demystifying the sinuous dance between singers and horn players, performed occasional concerts, and a developed a firm friendship cemented by their love of dark chocolate. … Continue reading »

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First Bay Area Book Festival in Berkeley a soaring success

Books appear to fly at the Lacuna installation in front of Old City Hall at the first Bay Area Book Festival in Berkeley. Photo: Nancy Rubin
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How do you decide if an event is a success? One clear indicator is how many people turn up, but the day after the inaugural Bay Area Book Festival came to a close, its creator and executive director Cherilyn Parsons was still trying to put a number on that.

“I would say 50,000 to 60,000 as a ballpark figure,” she mused Monday, after throwing out some venue capacity numbers and drawing on estimates suggested by festival colleague Lisa Bullwinkel who produced the whole show.

The truth, as anyone who attended the two-day festival that took over downtown Berkeley on June 6-7 can testify, is that there were lines down the block to get in to most author events. Of which there were 100 at indoor venues across town, with many more happening outdoors on the teen and children’s stages. More than 300 authors flocked to the city to participate, and stayed on to sign books and attend panels. And the festival’s centerpiece, the dramatic Lacuna “temple of books” installation in Civic Center Park, which Parsons said quickly became “the emotional and spiritual heart of the festival,” was thrumming with people all weekend. To the extent that the 50,000 free books on offer were almost all gone by the end of the festival’s first day.

So, it seems fair to say the first Bay Area Book Festival, conceived by Parsons three years ago, and inspired by her experience working at the Los Angeles Book Festival, was an outstanding success. … Continue reading »

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Events

40th Solano Stroll, one mile of free family fun, on Sunday

Solano Stroll-1 Nancy Rubin
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The East Bay’s largest street festival is back for its fortieth year on Sunday Sept. 14, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visitors to the Solano Stroll can look forward to a mile-long stretch of attractions, including food, music, rides and live entertainment.

The annual festival, which is hosted each year by the cities of Albany and Berkeley, will feature 500 street vendors, as well as all the businesses and organizations that line Solano Avenue’s 26 blocks, and also boasts 50 entertainers, 50 food booths, 150 government and non-profit agencies, 150 juried hand-crafters, a 75 entry parade, and state-of the-art mechanical rides.

As in previous years, the event is expected to draw 250,000 visitors,  including folks from across California and from neighboring states. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Ideas Festival is just 6 weeks away; marriage equality pioneers Sandy Stier and Kris Perry will be there

Sandy Stier and Kris Perry. Photo: William Newton
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This year’s Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas 2014 is just six weeks away.

Happening in downtown Berkeley on Friday Oct. 24 and Saturday Oct. 25, the Bay Area’s only ideas festival promises to be one of the most memorable events of the fall. 

Buy your tickets now and take advantage of the special early bird rate!

Berkeleyside created and produces Uncharted, and we have been working furiously behind the scenes to make the festival an event you will love. We’ve signed some wonderful new speakers for you to meet, including:

  • Brian Christian, author of The Most Human Human
  • Steve Coll, Dean, Columbia Journalism School
  • Sandy Stier and Kris Perry, marriage equality pioneers
  • Dale Dougherty, Founder, Maker Media
  • Andrés Roemer, Consul General of Mexico, San Francisco

See the full speaker listContinue reading »

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Sundays on Telegraph street festival continues to Sept. 21

The Sundays on Telegraph street festival runs through Sept. 21 in Berkeley. Photo: Ted Friedman
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Sundays on Telegraph is continuing on Telegraph Avenue through Sept. 21. The street festival, which started last year, closes Telegraph to vehicle traffic on Sundays from July through September, and offers a smörgåsbord of entertainment, including live music, street performers, giant board games, model car racing, jugglers and much more.

The photos shown here from previous Sundays offer a flavor of the event. … Continue reading »

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Photos: All catered for on spring weekend in Berkeley

UC Berkeley students gathered at Memorial Glade to celebrate 4/20 Day on Sunday, April 20, 2014. Photo: Ted Friedman
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If it’s a spring weekend in Berkeley you can guarantee there’s something  going on for everyone. Among the many activities of this past weekend, contributing photographer Ted Friedman caught 4/20 day on the Cal campus, when marijuana fans celebrate their passion; the Solano Art Walk; and Record Store Day at Rasputin Music on Telegraph Avenue. … Continue reading »

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Couples say ‘I do’ in Berkeley Valentine’s Day celebration

wedding1
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Kelly Ross and Alyssa Journey were married in downtown Berkeley on Friday Feb. 14, but it was fluke that it happened at all. The couple, from Little Rock, Ark., was traveling to New York with plans to get married when their flight was cancelled. They rerouted to San Francisco and happened to see on Facebook that Berkeley was holding a mass wedding on Valentine’s Day. They decided to head here to tie the knot.

Ross and Journey were one of several couples, straight and gay, who were wed or who renewed their vows at a mass celebration at BART Plaza in downtown on Friday.

The event was orchestrated by the Downtown Berkeley Association on the first Valentine’s Day since the repeal of Defense of Marriage Act and the overturn of Proposition 8. … Continue reading »

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