The Sit List: 5 events in Berkeley to end the week

Laugh with comedians, drink wine with the novelist Jonathan Lethem, learn about Berkeley’s food history, declutter your closet, watch a documentary about maternal mental health.

Image: Lockdown Comedy

We’re entered into a new era. It’s time to celebrate the change by laughing at a comedy special, joining a wine and novel pairing, perusing a Berkeley food history exhibit, decluttering your closet, and watching a documentary about maternal mental health. 

LOCKDOWN COMEDY Laugh your way into a new chapter of U.S. history. They say laughter is the best medicine and there’s no better way to heal ourselves from the last four years than with a post-inauguration comedy show. Join this month’s installment of Lockdown Comedy, the brainchild of Lisa Geduldig, creator and producer of Kung Pao Kosher Comedy. This month, comedians Greg Proops, Ophira Eisenberg, and Sandra Valls will perform, along with Geduldig’s octogenarian mother, budding comedian Arline Geduldig. Listen to these comics breathe a sigh of relief and give a humorous take on dark times. Streamed on Zoom. Thursday, Jan. 21. 7 p.m. Tickets start at $10.

WINE & WORDS Cheers to a new administration. Join Vintage Berkeley’s wine pairing event with author Jonathan Lethem, a New York Times bestselling author who worked at a trio of Berkeley bookstore — Moe’s, Pegasus and Pendragon Books in the 1980s. The author will host a discussion of his latest novel, The Arrest, with a glass of wine in hand. The vino of choice for this pairing is “Blue Desert” from Jason Lefler’s Stereophonic project. The Arrest takes place in a world where all technology has stopped working. If you need a drink to even process that possibility, don’t worry, your ticket to the event includes a bottle of wine. Thursday, Jan. 21. 7 p.m. $50.  

DECLUTTER We’re approaching the last week of January which means you still have time to work on those New Year’s resolutions. If you promised yourself that you would clean out your overflowing closet, we’ve got the thing for you. To help you reduce, take this Decluttering Minimalist Capsule Wardrobe workshop. You’ll work through the piles of laundry, figuring out what you like and what you actually wear, and choose eight interchangeable outfits to cycle through. You’ll learn how to manage an excess of clothes, handle out of season outfits, and design a wardrobe customized to your preferences. Trim away what you no longer need and make more room to grow. Saturday, Jan. 23. 12-12:30 p.m. $10.


MENTAL HEALTH We are living in troubling times and it is affecting our mental health While mental illness can affect anyone regardless of race, Black people are especially likely to have negative outcomes due to systemic racism, poverty, and stigma. Shoh Gallery is hosting a debut of Theresa Fortune’s short documentary, From the Ashes, about maternal mental health in Black communities. The film uses photography, video sequences, sound design, and dance to map a Black woman’s journey through postpartum depression. The film seeks to shed a light on suicide and inspire action to help mothers of color struggling with postpartum depression. See this important show and join the fight against stigma. Until Jan. 31.

painting of food and reference to Berkeley
Painting by Madeline Rohner. Image: Berkeley Historical Society

FOOD HISTORY If you’re obsessed with food (like us), come and learn more about Berkeley’s food culture with the Berkeley Historical Society’s online exhibition, “Berkeley’s Fascination with Food.” Berkeley Historical Society, like so many others, pivoted to create this first online exhibition during the pandemic. You’ll learn about what Berkeley is famous for — Chez Panisse and the area of North Berkeley formerly known as the Gourmet Ghetto — but you’ll also go back to the nineteenth century to the area’s farms, ranches, and orchards. You’ll dive even further into the past to the eating habits and lifestyles of the indigenous Ohlone people who lived here before the Europeans arrived. Dig in!