Tag Archives: Downtown Berkeley Association
The Oscars are coming to downtown Berkeley this year for the first time with a glitzy new event at the Hotel Shattuck Plaza that promises to give those who go a taste of the red carpet, and the chance to support our homegrown movie-making engine, the Berkeley Film Foundation.
Berkeleywood, on Sunday March 2, the night of the 86th Academy Awards broadcast, offers the chance to watch the ceremony live on the big screen while enjoying delicious food and wine prepared by Stephane Tonnelier, executive chef of Five restaurant.
Political satirist Will Durst is the emcee for the evening and the special honored guest is Academy Award winner Rita Moreno. … Continue reading »
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.
Forget a mere box of chocolates or a bouquet of red roses or a pretty pink heart. The Downtown Berkeley Association has much bigger plans for Valentine’s Day.
To celebrate love, and the first Valentine’s Day since the repeal of Defense of Marriage Act and the overturn of Proposition 8, Berkeley will be holding a mass outdoor wedding for gay, straight and other couples on Friday. Everyone who decides to say “I Do,” at the 5:00 p.m. celebration near Berkeley BART also gets the chance to win an instant mini-honeymoon in downtown Berkeley.
“What better way to celebrate the first Valentine’s Day since the repeal of DOMA and Prop 8 than a mass wedding for all?” said John Caner, the CEO of the Downtown Berkeley Association. “Our merchants were thrilled to donate mini honeymoon packages for three lucky couples.” … Continue reading »
More than 1,400 housing units are currently in development in downtown Berkeley, with demolition on one of the first in the pipeline scheduled to begin this week.
There are eight projects, including a hotel, planned in the downtown core, with two more planned just south, on Dwight Way, and another proposal on University Avenue just west of downtown that’s set to have its first public city review next week.
Demolition for The Durant, which has frontage on both Durant Avenue and Channing Way, was slated to begin Monday, Jan. 13, according to Downtown Berkeley Association CEO John Caner.
Caner said the project is expected to break ground for construction several weeks after that.
According to Downtown Berkeley Association calculations, the new projects will bring at least 1,414 new units and more than 88,000 square feet of new retail space to the downtown area. Not included in those calculations is the project just beginning city review, The Overture, which would bring an additional 44 units and 4,151 square feet of retail and restaurant space to the city’s core. … Continue reading »
Parking in downtown Berkeley may get harder before it gets easier as a new project ramps up to demolish and rebuild the Center Street garage to add hundreds of spaces, improve seismic security and incorporate “green building” standards.
The project is expected to strain parking demand downtown, where availability is often scarce already. City staff have been working to improve the parking situation via its goBerkeley campaign, which has been underway this year. Merchants have been keeping a close eye on the Center Street project and say they hope the city will be thoughtful as it moves ahead.
The five-story Center Street parking garage — which has entrances on both Addison and Center streets — has 420 spaces, ground floor retail and was built in the 1950s, according to the staff report prepared for last week’s Berkeley City Council meeting. Tuesday night, as part of the consent calendar, the Council approved paying up to $1 million to a consultant who will plan and manage the project. … Continue reading »
Tuesday night, the Berkeley City Council voted to change parking rates in three city-owned garages, downtown and near the Cal campus, as part of its goBerkeley effort to change driver behavior and make it easier for visitors to find street parking.
The multi-pronged campaign has been underway since earlier this year, and has included the promotion of alternative modes of transportation — via the distribution of car-sharing memberships and free transit passes — as well as adjustments to parking meter rates and time limits downtown, south of the UC Berkeley campus and in the Elmwood.
The pilot program aims to reduce pollution, congestion and drivers circling for a spot by using what’s known as demand-responsive pricing, which sets parking rates based on a supply-and-demand philosophy. The most convenient spots tend to be the most expensive and are available for shorter amounts of time, while spots further away, which are in less demand, are cheaper and can be used for longer periods. … Continue reading »
The finishing touches are being applied to the program, the speakers, all world experts in their fields, are tweeting about their imminent appearance on stage in Berkeley, and the final decisions on wine pairings, music sets and lighting for the sure-to-be celebratory party at the art museum have been made. This time next week the inaugural Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas will be in full flow.
The program is bursting with entertaining and thought-provoking conversations. Here’s just a taste:
- Vivek Wadhwa & Scott Rosenberg: Everything you know about entrepreneurship is wrong
- Kalimah Priforce‘s: Could an app have saved Trayvon Martin?
- Carl Bass & Lance Knobel: What’s next in digital fabrication
- Brad DeLong & Joshua Bloom: I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords
- Randall Grahm & Felix Salmon: Why wine matters
- Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton & Phil Bronstein: Are we born racist?
- Nina Simon & Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton: Bridging social groups
- Kate Kendell & Lance Knobel: The new frontier of civil rights
- Chrystia Freeland & Paul Pierson: The rise of the plutocracy
- Felix Salmon: Money can buy happiness
- Nicholas Dirks & Lance Knobel: So what are the humanities, chopped liver?
Interested in postponing the start of fall? Then indulge in some classic films at the (free) Endless Summer Cinema outdoor movie series.
Endless Summer Cinema, presented by the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive and the Downtown Berkeley Association, features two nights of free short movies and feature films screened outdoors on the Crescent Lawn at Oxford Street between Center and Addison.
On Friday, Sept. 27, sit back, perhaps with a blanket, to enjoy Philip Kaufman’s 1978 remake of the 1950s vintage science fiction thriller Invasion of the Body Snatchers, which tackled the perils of mass conformity. The newer film follows a health inspector (Donald Sutherland) who uncovers the existence of a growing species of “pod people” inhabiting the bodies of human clones hiding among us in plain sight. The movie was shot in San Francisco and, along with Sutherland, stars Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum and Leonard Nimoy. (115 minutes)
… Continue reading »
A mentally disabled man from San Jose who’s been missing since mid-August was found in downtown Berkeley on Thursday evening, apparently trying to take BART to Fremont.
The man was found by a Downtown Berkeley Association manager who was heading home from work. Lance Gorée said he’d learned about the missing man at noon Thursday when a University of California police officer alerted a downtown ambassador who works with the association to help keep order downtown.
“The UC Berkeley officer came down and stopped one of the ambassadors and told her that they were looking for the man,” said Gorée. “She gave him one of our radios to announce it to everybody on the team.”
Forty-four-year-old Larry Morris had last been seen at 1 p.m. Aug. 15 in the Valley Fair Mall in Santa Clara. After he went missing, officers searched the area for him, and sent a notice to surrounding law enforcement agencies to ask them to be on the lookout for Morris. … Continue reading »
A mobile art gallery, numerous dancers, DJs, artists, art cars, and a host of surprises are in store when Berkeley Spark is held on Saturday at Civic Center Park. The 10-hour free festival will bring a touch of Burning Man’s Playa to downtown Berkeley.
Berkeley Spark was conceived both for “Burners” deep into preparations for the annual gathering at Nevada’s Black Rock Desert at the end of August, and for Berkeleyans to get a dose of the free spirits and creativity of Burning Man.
“We’re offering a space for other creative instantaneous collaborations to occur,” explains Kat Parkin, project manager for Berkeley Spark. … Continue reading »
A mayor’s office request to set Berkeley’s minimum wage more than $2 above than the state-mandated $8 per hour will be discussed at two city meetings this week.
The proposed policy shift has some local business owners concerned about whether they can afford the change, and how it might affect the city’s economy. Proponents of similar measures say they increase income equality and provide the people who earn the least with more room for discretionary spending. … Continue reading »
Berkeley expects to get $12.7 million in grant funding for changes to BART Plaza, Shattuck Avenue and Hearst Street that should make life easier for people using the Downtown BART station and buses, biking to campus and even just driving through the center of town.
On Thursday, May 23, the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC) voted unanimously on an initial approval of the city’s grant proposals for the three transit projects. Construction could begin in 2015, said Matt Nichols, principal transportation planner for the city. … Continue reading »
A free, one-day festival on Saturday, Aug. 10, hopes to bring some of the spirit of the Burning Man Playa to downtown Berkeley. Berkeley Spark plans to bring art, music, performance, dance and workshops led by so-called Burners — Burning Man participants — and East Bay artists to Civic Center Park.
“We want to tap into all the creative energy of Burners in Berkeley and the East Bay,” said John Caner, executive director of the Downtown Berkeley Association, which is sponsoring the event in partnership with Berkeley’s Office of Economic Development, Berkeley Partners for Parks, Livable Berkeley, Ecology Center, Streets Alive and Berkeleyside. “We want to get some of that Burner energy downtown.” … Continue reading »