Tag Archives: Solano Avenue

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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Remembering Lu Charlotte: Adventurer, educator and ‘Mayor of Solano Avenue’

Lu Charlotte, who passed away on xx. Photo: Courtesy family
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Longtime Berkeley resident Lu Charlotte passed away peacefully in her home on The Alameda Aug. 9, 2016. She was 92.

Lu was born Lucille Charlotte Stein on Sept. 15, 1923, in Adams, Massachusetts. A bright and energetic student, she graduated from Adams High School in 1941 as class valedictorian. She subsequently attended Smith College, Massachusetts State College (now the University of Massachusetts) in Amherst, and the University of Maryland, where she studied under noted sociologist C. Wright Mills.

After graduating … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Gorgeous and Green
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WILLIAM STOUT CLOSES/RELOCATES Architectural bookstore William Stout has closed its Berkeley store, at 1605 Solano Ave., and is merging the business with its publishing arm on the Richmond waterfront. Owner Bill Stout told Berkeleyside the North Berkeley store never really met his expectations. “Moving means we can consolidate our inventory and service our mail-order customers quicker,” he said. Stout, whose flagship store has operated on Montgomery Street in San Francisco for more than 40 years, opened the Berkeley store in fall 2010. At the time, Bill Stout said he chose Berkeley because of the store’s publishing collaboration with UC Berkeley, and because he saw the Solano district as being “a more vibrant residential neighborhood than where we are now.” Stout also homed in on Berkeley because he believed there were more bibliophiles in the East Bay. “In San Francisco an interest in books is dying,” he said in 2010. Stout is hopeful that this latest decision”should be a good move.” William Stout‘s East Bay outpost is now at 1328 South 51st St., Richmond. Continue reading »

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Sponsored post

Shop Talk Spotlight: Grove Salon and Blow-Dry Bar

The salon offers a special glass-walled ventilated room for keratin treatments. Photo: Grove Salon
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[This story is sponsored by Grove Salon. Visit Grove Salon’s website for more information.]

Once people discover Grove Salon on Solano Avenue, they often don’t want to leave — literally.

“It’s not uncommon for clients to ask if they can stay longer even after their service is complete,” says Christina Lameraner, who opened the stylish salon and blow-dry bar last year with her husband, Chris Speer.

“They say it’s because of how much they enjoy the experience of being in such a vibrant, yet peaceful space and the genuine and warm service they receive,” she adds.

As one client put it: “Christina has created an oasis on Solano.” … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

YJM Photography and Gallery of Fine Arts. Photo: Yves Mozelsio
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NEW: GALLERY OF FINE ARTS Yves Mozelsio has just opened YJM Photography and Gallery of Fine Arts at 1865 Solano Ave. (a few doors west of the Oaks Theater in the former KNA Copy Center). Monday was the first day for the gallery which, Mozelsio says, he opened as a way to provide people with an alternative to online shopping, as well as a space for him to continue practicing his photography (a third of the space is devoted to his photography studio). The gallery has a lovely turn-of-the-century style décor, with Mozelsio’s personal collection of European paintings (dating from 1850-1950) on the walls. The gallery sells paintings by local artists and Mozelsio himself, sculptures by Mozelsio’s uncle, and 11 Queen Anne-style cases of jewelry, mostly silver, crafted by local jewelers. “This is a dream space for me,” said Mozelsio shortly after he made his first sale of a bracelet to his first customer. He said he hoped he has created a feel-good environment for people to enjoy, surrounded by wonderful art. He is happy to hear from local artists who might want to collaborate. Connect with YJM Photography on Facebook. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley merchants: New minimum wage proposal would ‘decimate’ businesses

Elmwood by Sharon Hahn Darlin
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Berkeley business owners say a new proposed minimum wage hike will quite simply drive them out of business and, in the process, destroy the unique flavor of shopping districts such as the Elmwood, Telegraph Avenue, downtown and Fourth Street.

At the same time, given that the city is at the forefront of progressive politics on so many issues, many merchants fear they will appear politically incorrect for opposing a higher minimum wage.

“A living wage is a great and lofty goal, but the business community feels very, very intimidated,” said Ky J. Boyd, proprietor of the Rialto Cinemas Elmwood. “People feel they will be retaliated against. Somebody’s got to stand up and speak out about this.”

The current minimum wage in Berkeley, which took effect Oct. 1, 2015, is $11 per hour. Last year, the Berkeley City Council voted to increase the minimum wage annually to $12.53 by October 2016, but the city’s Labor Commission is calling for a higher wage than that (annual increases up to $19, to take effect in 2020) and has called for local enhancements to California’s new paid sick leave amendment.

Council will hold a special meeting to discuss proposed changes to the minimum wage and sick leave policy Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. at Longfellow Middle School Auditorium, at 1500 Derby St. … Continue reading »

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Man arrested in Pharmaca robbery linked to second case

Police have arrested a man they believe is linked to two Berkeley robberies, including one at Pharmaca, at Solano and Ensenada, in late August. Photo: Michael Patrick
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Police have arrested a 22-year-old San Pablo man in connection with a robbery at Pharmaca on Solano Avenue in late August, and say they believe he is linked to another Berkeley robbery two days later.

In response to a request from Berkeleyside, police confirmed the arrest of Covan VanHook in connection with the Aug. 29 robbery at Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy, at Solano and Ensenada avenues.

Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats said another agency arrested VanHook in Contra Costa County on Sept. 3 in connection with a different case.

In the Pharmaca incident, a man entered the North Berkeley business with a gun and demanded prescription medication from the pharmacist, Coats said previously. The robber “jumped over the counter with a gun pointed at the employees and told them to fill his backpack,” according to unconfirmed scanner traffic. … Continue reading »

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Photo Gallery: The 41st annual Solano Stroll

Solano Stroll 2015. Photo: Nancy Rubin
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The weather was perfect — not too hot, not too cold — and the Berkeley-Albany institution that is the Solano Stroll was a tremendous affair for the 41st straight year.

Billed as “one mile of free family fun,” the event saw a great big parade and tens of thousands of people ambling along Solano Avenue in North Berkeley and Albany, enjoying entertainment, conversations at the many booths, shopping at the dozens of retailers on the street, and great food and drink.

Many people stopped by the Berkeleyside booth to say hello and chat — it was a pleasure to see you. Enjoy these wonderful photos by our contributing photographer Nancy Rubin. (And view the full album.) … Continue reading »

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

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SOLANO STROLL The forecast is for a break in the heatwave this weekend, so it should be pleasant to amble down Solano Avenue with tens of thousands of others on Sunday at the annual Solano Stroll. As always, Berkeleyside is a media sponsor of the Stroll, and we’ll be there with our booth — conveniently located in front of iScream ice-cream shop at 1819 Solano Ave. Come by and say hello! In addition to Berkeleyside, you can enjoy the parade (which kicks it all off at 10 a.m.), plenty of live music, mechanical rides, juried hand-crafters, food and drink, and hundreds of local organizations in over 1 mile of free family fun. Sunday, Sept. 13, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  … Continue reading »

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Pharmaca in North Berkeley held up at gunpoint

Berkeley Police cruiser, Officer Jennifer Coats. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Police are investigating a robbery at gunpoint at a Solano Avenue pharmacy over the weekend.

The robbery took place at 5:10 p.m. Saturday at Pharmaca at 1744 Solano Ave., at Ensenada Avenue.

According to Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats, a man entered the North Berkeley business with a gun and demanded prescription medication from the pharmacist.

The robber “jumped over the counter with a gun pointed at the employees and told them to fill his backpack,” according to unconfirmed scanner traffic. … Continue reading »

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Hal’s Office coffee shop headed to Solano Avenue

Hal's Office will be located next door to Bonnee and Abraham Elterman's As You Like Frozen Yogurt on Solano Avenue. Photo: Sam Alcabes
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Albany is about to get a bit more caffeinated.

Construction has begun on a new coffee shop at 1207 Solano Ave., the former location of Hal Hoffman’s notary and real-estate business. Called, appropriately, Hal’s Office, the new café is a project of Bonnee and Abraham Elterman, the owners of As You Wish, the frozen yogurt joint next door.

“We wanted to honor Hal and hope to maintain this location as a meeting place for locals to gather,” said Bonnee Elterman this week.

Read more about East Bay coffee roasters.

Hal’s Office will be serving coffee from Bay Area newcomer Counter Culture Coffee. The North Carolina-based company opened its first West Coast roasting and training facility in Emeryville this spring. (Learn more about Counter Culture coffee in our tour of the roasting facility.) Counter Culture is still only in a few local coffee shops, so Hal’s Office will stand out. … Continue reading »

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