Tag Archives: Mrs. Dalloway’s

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Berkeley’s independent bookstores survive, thrive

Photo: Nacio Jan Brown
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2016 BABF logoThis article is brought to you by the Bay Area Book Festival.

Fill in the blank: B–k. Maybe you read “Book.” Or possibly your mind extrapolated a bit and thought “Berkeley.”

Berkeley means books. There have been terrible losses: Cody’s (can it actually be eight years?), Shakespeare & Company (only last year), Black Oak Books on San Pablo (last month), and, back in 2011, the rambling Serendipity Books on University Avenue, of which the New York Times wrote: “The lack of direction was on purpose and in earnest. [Owner] Mr. Howard wanted people to search for books and find not just what they were looking for but the book next to it, which they might want more if they only realized it existed.”

But Berkeley still has one of the most thriving book scenes in the country. Founded in 1959, Moe’s Books lives on, all five stories of it, now led by Moe Moskowitz’s daughter Doris.  … Continue reading »

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Threepenny Review marks 35th birthday with new book

Wendy Lesser. Photo: Threepenny Review
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Wendy Lesser started The Threepenny Review in 1980 in Berkeley with the intent of highlighting art, literature, and music, not just in the Bay Area, but around the country. Over the years, the quarterly journal has evolved into one of the most respected, and idiosyncratic, intellectual publications in the country.

Each issue contains a broad spectrum of articles, from short pieces that look at television shows like “The Wire” and the Kirov Ballet, to longer meditations on opera, concerts in unusual places like San Quentin State Prison, birdwatching, and other pursuits. There are many poems, stories, and reviews of movies and musical performances.

The Threepenny Review is really a reflection of Lesser’s intellect and interests, according to observers. (Check out her blog, The Lesser Blog to see the vast number of opera, symphony, and other types of musical events she attends.) The author of ten books, Lesser was described in the New York Times as “an intellectual of unflinching dignity and gravitas.” … Continue reading »

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

Tilden lake
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FREE PARK LIFE The East Bay Regional Park District is celebrating its 80th birthday by offering “free third Fridays” in its parks, including Tilden. From April to December, fees will be waived for a variety of park services, every third Friday of each month, which includes Friday, Aug. 15. On those days, you get free parking, free boat launching (note, boat launchers still have to pay for the required invasive mussel inspection); free entry for horses and dogs, free swimming, free fishing permits (anglers still have to possess a California state fishing license, for which there’s a fee. And there will still be fees for camping and for group picnic reservations); and there’s free entry to Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont (normally $2-$6). The Park District says Free Fridays are its way of thanking the public for eighty years of support. “A grass-roots movement provided the political momentum for establishment of the district back in 1934, and public support has been key to the district’s successes ever since.” … Continue reading »

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Richard Nagler: Here’s looking at you, looking at art

Richard Nagler
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For his new collection of images, Berkeley photographer Richard Nagler spent a lot of time in museums. He also spent a lot of time waiting. Stationed in front of a work of art, he would wait for someone to come along and complete it. The serendipitous, unposed results come from both Nagler’s creative eye as well as his patience.

Looking at Art, The Art of Looking, published by Berkeley’s Heyday Press, and launching tomorrow night at Mrs Dalloway’s bookstore in Berkeley, is the culmination of all those hours spent at major art museums around the world.  … Continue reading »

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Photos: Just another fabulous weekend in Berkeley, Calif.

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Free Comic Book Day, Berkeley Architectural Heritage Associations’s spring home tour, the first ever California Bookstore Day, Hip Hop in the Park, a Nutty Run, a riot of color at the Hindu Holi Festival, and a Native American style pow wow… never let it be said that there’s nothing to do on a spring weekend in Berkeley.

Enjoy this photographic essay that represents only a fraction of what went on over the weekend in this city we all call home. … Continue reading »

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

102-Rose Walk-3
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BAHA SPRING HOUSE TOUR Maybeck, Morgan, Ratcliff… This Sunday is the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association’s annual who’s-who tour of Berkeley architecture. The 39th annual Spring Tour follows Rose Walk, which was designed by Bernard Maybeck 100 years ago. Participants will see the storybook houses that were built by the Berkeley architectural greats following the destructive 1923 fire, and will visit the beautiful secret gardens that abound in the neighborhood. Tickets cost $45 or $35 for BAHA members. A tour map, illustrated guidebook, and refreshments are provided on the self-guided walk, which lasts from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on May 4. Be prepared to climb some stairs. … Continue reading »

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Go local, small, popup and artisanal for holiday shopping

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Local businesses are hoping residents will spend their dollars at small stores in Berkeley. Why not think about visiting Solano Avenue, the Elmwood, Telegraph Avenue, the Lorin District, downtown Berkeley or Fourth Street before heading to Walnut Creek or Emeryville.

The Downtown Berkeley Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration is on Friday, Dec. 6 5:30-6:30pm at BART Plaza and includes family-friendly festivities, fresh baked goods from Paris Baguette, Almare Gelato’s famous hot chocolate, a visit from Santa Claus, and live holiday music by Berkeley Community Chamber Singers. All of which should get you in the mood for some heart-of-the-city shopping.

Many Berkeley businesses will participate in Small Business Saturday with its motto “Shop Small and Local.” The idea is to entice shoppers to purchase unique and unusual holiday gifts offered in locally owned stores rather than buy mass-produced goods offered by big-box and department stores. … Continue reading »

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Bites: What’s new in East Bay food, XX

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Openings, closings

Screen shot 2013-05-02 at 2.24.55 PMHIVE A new coffee shop called Hive (“the place to bee”) should be open within a month in Oakland’s Dimond district at 2139 MacArthur Blvd. Calanit Kamala, who is opening the spot with Bree Dezort, says they will be serving Highwire coffee and Starter Bakery pastries, as well house-made sandwiches and salads. “We are going to have honey cake as one of our specials, as well as completely vegan honey-lavender-coconut granita,” she adds. Follow Hive on its Facebook page for details of opening day. … Continue reading »

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Bites: What’s new in East Bay food, XIX

Hoi Polloi friends and supporters have been doing lots of work at the Alcatraz Avenue space to get it ready to open. They're shown here getting rid of the old vinyl tile. Photo: Courtesy of Hoi Polloi
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Bites is Berkeleyside Nosh’s round-up of restaurant, bar and food-related news in the East Bay. To stay up-to-speed with all that’s going on locally, read our daily Nosh Wire, and check out previous editions of Bites. We always love receiving food-related tips at nosh@berkeleyside.com.

Openings, closings…

BEER GARDEN OPEN Moxy Beer Garden, in South Berkeley, opened recently at 3136 Sacramento St. The business is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to midnight, and offers burgers and fries as well as beers. Recent customers have raved about truffle fries and say the spot will be “in heavy rotation” for nights out. Read more on Berkeleyside about Moxy.

TOMO’S JAPANESE CUISINE Tomo’s Japanese Cuisine plans to open next week at 2026 San Pablo Ave. in Berkeley, a space that used to be Chinese restaurant Lee Wah. Details are thin, but Chef Tomo Owada says on the restaurant’s website that his eatery will provide traditional Japanese food with an emphasis on local and sustainable ingredients. (Hat tip: Lawrence Grown) … Continue reading »

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Michael Lewis talks writing, reading for World Book Night

Berkeley author Michael Lewis spoke at Mrs. Dalloway's bookstore to promote World Book Night 2013.
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Berkeley author Michael Lewis sauntered into Mrs. Dalloway’s bookstore on College Avenue on Monday, dressed for the 85-degree weather in a white cotton jacket and pants.

The crowd, which had been expecting him a half hour sooner and had started to disperse, quickly returned to the seats set up before a podium. Within seconds, Lewis, the bestselling writer of books such as Moneyball, Liar’s Poker, The Blind Side and The Big Short, had captivated the audience with his easygoing humor.

Lewis had come to Mrs. Dalloway’s to promote World Book Night, a national effort to get books into the hands of people who rarely read. … Continue reading »

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

BORP wheelchair basketball
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MARCH MADNESS, BORP STYLE The annual Northern California Hoops Classic wheelchair basketball tournament runs all weekend at the James Kenney Recreation Center, 1720 8th Street. Hosted by the Bay Area Outreach & Recreation Program (BORP), Berkeley’s own BORP All-Stars — an adult team — and BORP Bay Cruisers — a youth team and the reigning West Coast Conference champions — are among the teams competing. Games run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Mar. 23 (nine games) and from 9 a.m. to noon on Sunday, Mar. 24 (four games). Admission free.

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MASH UP AT BAM How does this sound: “The lyrics of Bob Dylan set to the music of Prince? Or the lyrics of Prince set to the music of Bob Dylan?” That’s the promise of this week’s L@te event on Friday, Mar. 22 at BAM, Positively Alphabet Street. PC Munoz’s Singing Blood does the mash up of folk and funk. Also on offer is Schumann’s First String Quartet and a video piece from Christopher Ariza. Tickets are $7 and doors open at 5 p.m. for the 7:30 p.m. performance.  … Continue reading »

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

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On eunuchs and intrigues: Talking with Anita Amirrezvani

Anita Amirrezvani 3 by Rex Bonomelli
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A lustful eunuch intent on revenge. A Persian princess seeking to bend an empire to her will. A bloodthirsty Shah with a jones for opium and a deadly streak of paranoia. Anita Amirrezvani’s second novel, Equal of the Sun (Scribner) is a beautifully crafted tale based upon the intrigues that followed the death of Tahmasb Shah, who ruled the Persian Empire from 1524-76. Amirrizvani reads from “Equal of the Sun” at Mrs. Dalloway’s in the Elmwood tonight at 7:30 p.m.

A long time Berkeley resident who settled here after earning a BA in English from Cal, Amirrizvani spent more than a decade cogently covering dance for the Contra Costa Times and San Jose Mercury News. Her first novel, 2007’s “The Blood of Flowers” (Little, Brown and Company) was set in 17th-century Iran, but it wasn’t based on historical figures. “Equal of the Sun” delves into the inner workings of the palace during a time of upheaval, and the critical role played by eunuchs.

Andrew Gilbert: Let’s talk a little about your family background. You were born in Tehran, and your father is Iranian and your mother American. How did they meet?

Anita Amirrezvani: My mom is Lithuanian-American, and she emigrated to the US when she was young. She and my dad met at the University of Miami when they were college students in the late 1950s. Thinking about it, I realized, how else did people of such diverse backgrounds end up meeting at that time? They got married in Iran, and I was born there. Things being what they were, they separated and I came back to US with my mom when I was two and a half. … Continue reading »

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