Tag Archives: Downtown Berkeley
Later this year, three Berkeley business districts will experiment with new approaches to parking aimed at reducing double parking and circling, and making it easier for visitors to find a metered spot.
The effort is part of a new campaign underway by the city — dubbed goBerkeley — and is funded by federal grants to help staff analyze data, collect input from the public and study the impact of changes to parking-as-usual; drivers can expect to see changes start in September and last for a year. … Continue reading »
It’s called Build because you will build your own pizzas there. It was nearly called A90 because that’s the name of the freeway that encircles Italy’s capital, and Roman pizza is what’s on the menu. The ambitious new restaurant that will open next weekend on Shattuck Avenue on the corner of Bancroft Way, is, like Gather and Comal before it, taking a chance that downtown Berkeley has an appetite for a buzzy, big-city eatery.
And the restaurant is just the start. Later this year, Build’s owners, Lisa Holt and David Shapiro, whose background is in hotel development, are planning to transform the property’s 8,000 sq ft basement — formerly Shattuck Down Low – into a happening underground culture club serving up drinks and food along with the comedy and music acts. … Continue reading »
Construction work has begun on the new Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive which, all things going well, is slated to open in the summer of 2016, bringing bold contemporary architecture into the heart of Berkeley.
The UC Berkeley-owned museum, which includes the Pacific Film Theater, has raised $95 million worth of pledges towards the $100 million goal it needed to create a new home on Center St. at Oxford, the site of a former printing plant owned by the university. The new BAM/PFA is to be designed by New York firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, architects of New York’s High Line and several museums, including the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston and the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington D.C.
BAM/PFA has been planning to move since 1997 when it was determined that its current building on Bancroft Way — built in 1970 and designed by Mario Ciampi — did not meet present-day seismic standards. It cannot be upgraded without eliminating open exhibition spaces required for the galleries. … Continue reading »
Some may say that chocolate has no place in a cocktail. We beg to differ. Particularly at this time of year, a little extra sweetness helps reduce pre-holiday stress, and increases the ability to enjoy the spirit of the season.
We gave ourselves an early present by sampling from the Twelve Cocktails of Christmas featured during December at FIVE Bistro & Bar. Listed between the Eight Maids a Milking (chili vodka, chocolate liqueur, sugar and cayenne rim) and Ten Ginger Lords (vodka, ginger liqueur, apple cider, gingerbread cookie rim), the Nine Ladies Dancing leapt into a clear lead in a very competitive field.
Since it’s early in the month, bartender Victoriano had yet to tackle the Nine Ladies. This proved not to be a problem for the chemist-by-day, bartender-by-night, however. “Bartending is just like chemistry,” he assures us, as he reviews the ingredients and mixes the requested drink, which he then served in a glass with a cocoa-coated rim. … Continue reading »
Throughout the 1970s and ‘80s, New York City was the country’s Sodom and Gomorrah, a place shunned and feared by Middle America. Near bankrupt, its school system in a state of collapse, and riddled with crime, crack cocaine, and urban decay, the city had lost the sheen acquired during the glory days of Fiorello La Guardia and Robert Moses.
On April 19, 1989, a 28-year old investment banker was brutally attacked and left for dead in the northernmost reaches of Central Park. Within days, the New York Police Department claimed they’d found the monsters responsible: five African-American teenagers. The case, and the horrendous miscarriage of justice that followed, is examined in a new documentary, The Central Park Five, opening at Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas on Friday, December 14. … Continue reading »
Marie Sitaro, who opened Cakes and Purls bakery on Allston Way in downtown Berkeley on Saturday, would like everyone to slow down just a little. “We all need to get away from this fast-paced world sometimes,” says the baker who, with her new venture, is hoping to combine her passion for sweet treats with her love of knitting.
The new small-batch bakery offers the types of New York-style pastries Sitaro, who is of Italian heritage, remembers eating as a child growing up in Brooklyn: thick, luscious cheesecakes, seven-layer cookies, and pignoli made with pine nuts. ‘The types of things you don’t see so much here,” she says.
Sitaro worked as a pastry chef under the direction of Jean Georges and is a graduate of Women’s Initiative, which provides high-potential, low-income women with the training, funding and support to start their own businesses. She says she chanced upon the cute brick building in Trumpet Vine Court, around the corner from Jupiter and kitty-corner from Café Panini, and seized the opportunity to lease it when she saw it was for rent. … Continue reading »
A Los Angeles real estate group has snapped up the 92,000-square foot building that holds the Shattuck Cinemas, according to the San Francisco Business Times.
Hill Street Realty paid about $20 million, or $217 a square foot, for the property, formally known as Berkeley Center. In addition to the cinemas (which used to hold Hinks Department Store) the property houses Habitot Children’s Museum, a Starbucks, and various offices. The Hotel Shattuck Plaza sits on the block, but was not included in the transaction. … Continue reading »
What is always in your refrigerator?
Kimchi from Sinto Gourmet. They have a stand at the San Francisco Civic Center market on Wednesdays. They make several varieties of delicious Korean style pickles, nappa cabbage, cucumbers, turnips. They last forever and I can make an easy delicious meal by steaming some rice, and grilling chicken thighs or Korean cut shortribs to serve with the pickles.
What do you cook up for a late night snack?
I keep bagels in my freezer at all times. They’re from my friends Blake and Amy’s Montreal-style Oakland bagel bakery, Beauty’s Bagel Shop.
Where/what do you eat on your day off?
I know it sounds cliché since I worked there for almost nine years, but I still love Delfina and their pizzerias. I also like to check out the new restaurants that my colleagues are talking about. I don’t frequently have nights off, so I need to make it count.
Do you have a secret ‘junk food’ vice?
Butterfingers, Reese’s, or any peanut butter candy.
Any food you can’t stand?
Cooked farmed salmon. I can tolerate it cured as Gravlax, but cooked? Gross, metallic flavor and mushy texture. … Continue reading »
Studies show that Australian beer consumption is in a death spiral. Recent research by the Japanese brewery Kirin indicates the land down under has slipped from 4th to 8th place in worldwide per capita ale imbibing since 2004 — in fact, it’s been nothing but bad news for Aussie brewers since the late 1970s, when the locals began switching to wine.
It was a much different story during the 1960s and early ‘70s, a Golden Age of Australian wrist raising during which suds consumption soared to all time highs. The era is captured in all its lager-soaked glory in 1970’s Wake in Fright, an existential drama beginning a revival run at Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas on Friday, October 26.
Set in remotest New South Wales during a sweltering mid-summer, Wake in Fright stars English actor Gary Bond as John Grant, a primary school teacher desperate for the Christmas holidays to arrive. Grant has six weeks’ leave (the Australian school year begins at the end of January and ends in mid-December), a sweetheart in Sydney, and just enough cash to have a good time. … Continue reading »
An estimated 30,000-40,000 people headed to Shattuck Avenue on Sunday for Berkeley’s first Sunday Streets event which saw 17 blocks, from Haste to Rose, closed to traffic and open to pretty much everything else: from scooters, to strollers, from bikes with triangular wheels to roller blades, as well as people playing music, doing yoga, whipping hula hoops, eating, laughing, running and playing.
“It was a wild success,” said John Caner, Executive Director of the Downtown Berkeley Association, who added that he was particularly pleased to see the local merchants doing such great business. “We are absolutely thrilled that it brought so many people downtown. It was zany, creative and a cascade of fun and cultural entertainment for everyone.”
Caner was pleased to see how Shattuck Avenue’s width, originally designed to accommodate trolley cars, was so accommodating to the great numbers of people who stepped off the sidewalks. “It absorbed all those people and could comfortably absorb double that number,” he said. … Continue reading »
More than a mile of Berkeley’s Shattuck Avenue will be open to pedestrians, cyclists, roller-skaters, dancers, and kids on Sunday Oct. 14 — but not cars — as the city holds its first Sunday Streets event from 11 am through 4 pm.
Seventeen blocks, from Rose to Haste streets, will also be a hive of activities as merchants, musicians and community organizations take the opportunity to engage with and perform for local residents. The offerings run the gamut from free free bike repairs courtesy of Mikes Bikes, Missing Link Cooperative and the Bike Station, to street soccer games, free yoga classes, belly dancing, hands-on science activities for kids, and a performance by the UC Berkeley Gospel Choir.
The idea of Sunday Streets, or Open Streets as they are also known, originated in Bogatá, Colombia and has spread around the world, including to San Francisco where it has been a regular occurrence in different neighborhoods for a couple of years. … Continue reading »
Two utility boxes in downtown Berkeley, decorated by artists as part of the city’s Streets Alive initiative, were vandalized over the weekend.
One of the boxes, on Allston and Shattuck, whose artwork was unveiled a year ago this month, had two sides almost completely ripped off. The letters “FLIGO” were also inscribed at the top of the box, on the east-facing side, according to Christina Monzer, Restorations Project Associate at Streets Alive. The design, titled “Redwood,” is by artist Ryan Kerrigan who is known for his rock poster art. It is sponsored by the Earth Island Institute.
The other vandalized box was recently installed at Kittredge and Shattuck outside of Peet’s coffee shop, which sponsored the artwork. Two panels were removed from the box. The artwork, titled “Cup to Cup,” was created by Amelia McCrea, Jamine Hain, Alaytra Johnson, and Lilian Zakki Manahl of Berkeley’s YMCA-PG&E Teen Center, and unveiled on Oct. 2.
Ever wonder what Kenneth Branagh and Judi Dench might look like in shorts? Wonder no longer: the two thespians appear together (but separately) in Stars In Shorts, a program of seven short subjects opening at Landmarks’ Shattuck Cinemas on Friday, September 28.
As you’ve probably guessed, Dench and Branagh aren’t alone — each of the program’s seven films includes at least one cinema big-shot within its cast. One might suspect such larger-than-life personalities would overwhelm the small-scale proceedings in which they’re involved, but thankfully that’s never the case.
Best of show is clearly Not Your Time, a very funny comedy headlined by former ‘Seinfeld’ star Jason Alexander. Alexander plays Sid Rosenthal, a film editor whose job it is to remove expletives from movies prior to their airline bookings. A frustrated musician with a thankless day job, Sid pitches a remake of Babes In Toyland entitled Babes in Toys R Us to some Hollywood bigwigs, who are immediately enamored with the gruesome concept. … Continue reading »