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A bittersweet morning in Oakland

19 Mar

I woke up this morning feeling good. Maybe a bit fuzzy from all of that bourbon tasting, but I was still reveling in Pican’s grand opening party that I attended last night (thanks dto510 for inviting me!). Pican is  gorgeous, large, and comforting, yet elegant. I think it will soon become a destination restaurant.

But then I checked my email and read that the Parkway will be closing its doors this Sunday night. My heart sunk. I started feeling guilty, since I haven’t been there in several months. And then I started feeling hurt, since I don’t think I’ll make it there again before they close.

The Parkway is such an important part of Oakland, in fact, so important that I’ve included it on my list of essential Oakland experiences. There’s nothing else like it. I guess the small silver lining is that the Parkway’s sister theater, the Cerrito (in El Cerrito), will remain open, but that theater never held the same charm for me.

But the larger silver lining here is that even as some of our treasured Oakland businesses shut down in the face of this deepening recession, new places are opening up that are likely to become important parts of the Oakland community. We now have the chance to create new memories at two new bars in Uptown – Ave and Somar. And next week we’ll be able to enjoy the comforts of Southern food with a California twist at Pican while sipping on one of the 80 bourbons the restaurant features.

So goes the bizzaro results of this recession in Oakland. Somehow many new businesses thrive as old ones crumble. And I’m afraid there will be much more of this to come…

(Check out City Homestead for a sweet write up on the Parkway, complete with some pictures and the full email the owners sent out this morning.)

The Parkway Speakeasy Theater

8 Sep

This weekend, I freaked out a bit when I realized I still hadn’t seen The Dark Knight, especially since everyone I know has seen it twice. So last night I coaxed my girlfriend into seeing it with me a second time at the Parkway Speakeasy Theater.

There are lots of options for movies in Oakland, but none are anything like the Parkway. Movies there are cheap ($5), but seeing a movie is only half the reason to go. Visiting the Parkway is kind of like going to a friend’s house, assuming you have a friend that has dozens of couches, a huge screen, and provides you with pizza, beer and popcorn.

We arrived early and my girlfriend snagged a couch while I bought us some pints and nachos. They have several great beers on tap and the food is what you’d expect – greasy, salty, and perfect for munching on during a movie.

The Dark Knight was as good as I’d been told, though Batman Begins is still my favorite in the series. The crowds at the Parkway are often a bit rowdy (especially when they’re showing cult films or really bad horror movies), but most of the crowd was quiet last night. There was one man in the back though who laughed insanely during some of the Joker scenes, which jarred me more than a little, especially thinking about Heath Ledger’s death.

The Dark Knight’s playing for the rest of the week so if you’re one of the last few people on earth who has yet to see it, I encourage you to head down there. When you go, here are some suggestions:

  1. Arrive a half hour before the movie starts to save a couch and get food. If it’s Wednesday, which is two-for-one night, you might want to arrive even earlier or purchase tickets ahead of time – those shows almost always sell out.
  2. Order some kind of food or beverage – that’s half the fun, and unlike most movie theater food, the food at the Parkway’s good and not very overpriced.
  3. Don’t order the nachos if you’re watching a movie you want to pay attention too. The nachos were yummy, but really hard to eat while trying to focus on all the action sequences. Pizza’s a much better choice.

If you’ve been meaning to go to the Parkway, but haven’t quite made it there yet, there are some great opportunities coming up. They’ll be showing all three presidential debates and the vice presidential debate at the theater for FREE! Show up early though, as I’m sure these will be popular events. I can’t wait to shout at McCain and Palin with my fellow Oaklanders, while drinking a pint and muching on some popcorn.
1834 Park Blvd., Oakland, CA 94606
Nightime shows Tuesday-Sunday and matinees on the weekends
(Nightime shows are 21+; matinees are all ages)
Accessible by AC Transit lines 18 & 14; also a bit of a long walk from the Lake Merritt BART station

Debate viewing info:
September 26, October 7, and October 15
as well as the VP DEBATE:
Thursday October 2
on our all of big screens, at both theaters, 18 and over, doors open 5:30.
Admission: Free, first come, first served!

(I consider seeing a movie at the Parkway Speakeasy Theater to be an essential Oakland experience. Read about other essential Oakland experiences here.)

Oakland Art Murmur

6 Sep

I have an embarrassing confession to make – until last night, I had never been to the Oakland Art Murmur. It always seems like I’m out of town on the first Friday of the month, or I simply forget it’s the first Friday, or I’m just too exhausted at the end of the week.

But I’m so glad I finally made it out to the galleries!

At about 7:30 last night I met up with a co-worker of mine and headed to Awaken Cafe, where they were showcasing Concrete and Steel, a photography exhibit by Jorin Bukosky. I like taking pictures of odd, sometimes seemingly ugly objects too so I really appreciated this exhibit. Especially the photo of the steep, long escalator in a subway station.

There were dozens and dozens of people inside and outside Awaken – I’ve never seen so many people on 14th Street (well, except during a protest).

After leaving Awaken, we turned and walked down Broadway to Telegraph. My co-worker, who recently moved here from Chicago, kept commenting on the beautiful buildings (like my favorite Oakland building at the V intersection of Broadway and Telegraph), and I realized he had never been to Uptown! I felt like a bad friend but was glad to share his appreciation and wonder, as I played tour guide, explaining the history of the Fox Theater, pointing out all the buildings that used to be medical marijuana dispensaries, telling him about Flora (which incidentally used to be a dispensary).

We soon arrived at the heart of the Art Murmur, at 23rd and Telegraph, and I was amazed at how many people crowded the streets and the galleries. It was so inspiring to see hundreds of people in downtown Oakland on a Friday night! Every gallery was packed – as you entered, the temperterature rose 10-20 degrees and you had to maneuver quite a bit just to get around. So if you get claustrophobic, the Art Murmur might not be for you.

I found most of the art I saw last night to be at least visually interesting, but there were three standouts of the evening:

  1. Outpost at Johansson Projects, featuring David Hamill and Jeff Konigsberg: I think I could have spent hours in this gallery if it wasn’t so crowded. I really appreciated the play of light and dark lines that created a visual depth to the paintings and drawings. I’m not doing the best job of explaining this so do yourself a favor and head down there sometime this month – they’re open Thurs-Sat from 12-6.
  2. The laser cut butterflies at Ego Park: There were about 20 paper butterflies in glass display cases that had extremely intricate designs laser cut into them. I have no idea who the artist was, but the work was inspired by a British military spy who used to enter enemy camps and draw maps hidden within drawings of butterflies. Also, Ego Park was serving up some delicious sangria.
  3. The Poor Man’s Art Show at Rock Paper Scissors Collective, presented by Everybody Get Up: Incredibly creative paintings… on cardboard! There were hundreds of art pieces, and they were all on sale for under $50 (which stood in stark contrast to the other galleries, where few works sold for under $1000). Go check it out – chances are that if you really like something, you can afford it.

Besides the fun in the galleries, there were street musicians, ranting stilt walkers, and neat city images being projected onto a nearby building.

The only regret I have is not printing out the map of the galleries to bring with me, as we missed quite a few. I plan to be back again soon, and if you haven’t made it out to the Art Murmur yet, make sure to mark the next one – Friday, October 3rd – on your calendar now!
First friday of every month from 6-10pm (individual gallery times vary)
Uptown Oakland, mostly between Broadway and Telegraph, and Grand and 29th
Accessible by 19th Street BART station or by AC Transit lines 1/1R, 51, 72, 11, 12, 59

(I consider the Oakland Art Murmur to be an essential Oakland experience. Read about other essential Oakland experiences here.)

Fire Arts Festival 2008

15 Jul

This year’s Crucible Fire Arts Festival was my favorite so far. But I’ll let the photos do most of the talking… (Thanks to my awesome girlfriend for taking the vast majority of these pictures!)

On the main stage, there were performers throughout the night, but the highlight was this graceful, incredibly coordinated, strong pair of acrobats – it’s not pictured here, but at one point, one of the women was hanging from the hook by her neck!

And there was certainly a large crowd all night long to watch them and the other performers:

But the stage was not the main attraction for me. The Steampunk Treehouse was where it was at, both outside and inside (and climbing up it, finally!).

But the Kinetic Steam Works crew couldn’t bring just one art installation – they had to bring their steam powered train too:

Once I got my fill of the steam, I could focus on everything else that was around me, like Hydrogen Economy, an interactive piece that allows participants to turn bubbles into fire.

Or another interactive piece by the same artists – False Profit Labs – that hooked up a stethoscope to a participant and then projected his/her heartbeat into fire.

And everywhere I turned, there was fire.

Or a flaming head…

Or flaming cacti…

Dan Das Mann & Karen Cusolito were back with two of their figures from Crude Awakening, which were also on fire for most of the night.

And of course, there were some Burning Man reminders.

If you didn’t make it to the festival this year, no need to be jealous. It happens every year, and it really does seem to get better and better every time. Though it’s a bit pricey, I found out something neat from one of the festival staffers – the Crucible gives out free tickets to everyone who lives within a three block radius!

And though the above photos focus on the fire and arts, one of the best parts of the festival for me was seeing such a wide range of Oakland and Bay Area residents enjoying fire arts together. Young, old, people of every color, experienced Burners, people who would never dream of spending a week in the desert – and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves thoroughly. Thanks to the Crucible for producing such uniquely Oakland events and for drawing thousands of people into our beautiful city to celebrate fire!

(By the way – could anyone else hear the festival from across the city? I fell asleep on Friday night in my apartment in North Oakland to the sounds of deep rumblings and explosions – though I live far away, I can’t imagine what else the sounds could have been.)

Middle Harbor Park = Awesome

9 Jul

(So I haven’t been doing too good a job of writing about the places and events on my list of essential Oakland experiences, but I’m back on track now and will hopefully write some more soon. Also, I went back through old posts and linked to some of them on the essential Oakland experiences page, so head over there if you want to check those out.)

On the advice of V Smoothe, my girlfriend and I drove out to Middle Harbor Park on Saturday. Part of the reason I was so easily allured to the park was the promise of nice views of the crane, and as we drove down 7th, we started to catch glimpses:

After we passed the West Oakland BART station, we could still see the cranes, but there wasn’t much more to see. If we hadn’t looked up directions before going, I would have thought we were lost by how empty it was:

After enjoying the view along the way, we arrived at the park, which was full of people eating lunch, riding bikes, hanging out in tents, playing volleyball, and playing the guitar. The park was also full of geese:

We sat down at a picnic table to eat the Vietnamese sandwiches we had picked up at Cam Huong on our way, and were intrigued by the shade structures and the seemingly random polls that filled the park:

But we soon found out that the structures and polls weren’t random at all. As one of the informational signs told us, these structures were part of Building 122, which was part of the old Naval Supply Depot. It apparently was used by the Navy up until 1998, when it was turned over to the Port of Oakland.

There’s other bits of history scattered around the park, like the mast of the USS Oakland:

And of course, there’s plenty of evidence of Oakland’s continuing use of the port in the dozens of cranes that can be seen from the park:

There were some surprises for me at the park, like the fact that there’s a sandy beach in Oakland. It may be small and certainly not fit for swimming, but it was nice to walk along the sand and look across the bay:

There were also free binoculars that offered stunning up close views of the Bay Bridge, San Francisco, and, of course, the cranes:

We had a wonderful afternoon at Middle Harbor Park. We couldn’t believe that we hadn’t heard about this incredible Oakland park sooner, and I intend to tell everyone I know that they need to go there.

My only complaint it’s almost completely inaccessible by public transit. On weekdays, there’s no bus that goes there! It’s not walkable from West Oakland BART and it would be a long bike ride. Fortunately, the 13 line goes there on weekends, but it runs only once an hour and stops service in the late afternoon. There’s no reason this Oakland gem shouldn’t be accessible by the carless 7 days a week!

There’s also a depressing historical fact about Middle Harbor Park, that I found out last night while reading The Country in the City: The Greening of the San Francisco Bay Area. During World War II, “the Army and the Navy expanded their Oakland and Alameda bases, moving the East Bay’s shoreline a mile closer to San Francisco.” So where Middle Harbor Park is today, used to be the Bay and was home to sea creatures and birds. Luckily, there is an ongoing effort to restore this habitat, some of which I witnessed by the scores of birds that could be seen in and around the park.

So if you have a car or are willing to wait around for the bus on the weekend, check out Middle Harbor Park soon:


Middle Harbor Road
Oakland, CA

Park Hours:
8 a.m.-10 p.m.

Public Transit:
Take AC Transit #13, hourly from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. weekends, from Park/14th Street along Broadway and 7th Street in Oakland.

Oakland Rose Garden

24 May

The non-profit that I work at recently decided to give employees half days every other Friday for the summer so I took advantage of this yesterday and decided to start embarking on my list of essential Oakland experiences. I plan to blog about all of these experiences and to make it easier to reference these blog posts, I’ve created a page that will serve as a directory to these blogs posts. You can find this page at the top right hand corner of any page on this blog, under the Pages heading.

Since it was a beautiful day yesterday, my girlfriend and I decided to go to the Oakland rose garden. It’s kind of ridiculous that I had never been there before, considering that my sister used to live right across the street from it, but now that I’ve been, I’m sure I’ll be back.

I don’t know much about roses, but I really enjoyed the diversity of colors, shapes, sizes, and smells found throughout the garden (click on the pictures below to see larger versions).

The space is much bigger than I had expected, but not overwhelming because it’s easy to navigate section by section.

I appreciated that though there were several people in the garden while we were there, it was pretty easy to find somewhat private or at least quiet space.

I’d recommend bringing a picnic to the rose garden. My girlfriend brought some strawberries and cherries and we sat on a bench for a while enjoying the sweet fruit and staring at the roses. We also saw people jogging, walking dogs, pushing strollers, or just stopping to smell the roses. And before we went up to the rose garden, we stopped at Awaken Cafe for the most delicious chai I’ve ever had and the barista told us that he got married at the rose garden, which is apparently fairly common and it does seem appropriate.

Go check it out yourself:

700 Jean Street
Oakland, CA 94610
(You can also enter from Monte Vista Avenue or Vernon Street.)
Via AC Transit: It’s a quick walk from the 11, 12, and 57 bus lines.

And when you’re there, look out for these two perfect roses:

Essential Oakland Experiences

8 May

Over the past week or so, I’ve started to realize that there are a lot of amazing things in Oakland that I haven’t experienced (and probably an equal amount that I have). With life as hectic as it is, I really don’t think I’ll get to most of these experiences anytime soon unless I make a list and commit to it.

I’ve already done some of these things/been to some of these places, but I plan to do them all over again and hope to make it through the majority of the list by the end of 2008. I’ll try to blog about all of them here. So here’s the list (in no particular order):

  • Checking out galleries at the Oakland Art Murmur
  • Seeing a movie on a couch at the Parkway Theater
  • Going to one of the farmers markets (Temescal, Lake Merritt, Jack London, etc.)
  • Seeing the sun set (or rise) over the shipping cranes
  • Seeing a show at the Paramount Theatre
  • Visiting the Oakland Rose Garden
  • Visiting the Oakland Zoo (I have mixed feelings about zoos, but I’ll put those aside for now.)
  • Visiting the Oakland Museum of California
  • Sitting through an Oakland City Council meeting
  • Visiting the Chabot Space and Science Center
  • Walking through various neighborhoods/business districts
    • Rockridge
    • Temescal
    • Uptown
    • Piedmont
    • Old Oakland
    • Jack London Square
    • Lakeshore
    • Park Ave
    • Fruitvale
  • Walking around Lake Merritt (believe it or not, I’ve never done this)
  • Going to an event at the Historic Sweet’s Ballroom
  • Going on one of the Oakland walking tours
  • Attending a neighborhood group meeting or forum
  • Seeing a show at Yoshi’s
  • Having a picnic in Joaquin Miller Park
  • Going hiking somewhere in the Oakland hills
  • Visiting Children’s Fairyland
  • Going to a fire arts event at the Crucible
  • Going to a neighborhood street fair

I’m sure I missed a lot so I’d love some help filling in this list. (Keep in mind that I purposefully kept restaurants off this list because the list would go on and on if I hadn’t.)

Winter’s Still Here

30 Jan

Maybe I’m just a wimp, since I grew up in LA and have spent my whole life in California, but this winter has been really cold for the East Bay. It seems like the coldest winter we’ve had in my eight years living here, and it’s been one of the wettest too.

Yet somehow I’ve managed to make it down to the Temescal Farmers Market at least a couple times per month to enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of the winter. And I have to say that it’s been well worth it.

The winter market is enjoyable in a very different way than the summer or fall market. It’s quieter, very serene, and a bit slower. I sometimes get into a meditative mode as I walk from stand to stand, picking out onions, potatoes, greens, apples, and dried fruit. The summer market is more frenetic, and I tend to walk more briskly, sometimes having to push through crowds to grab the perfect peach.

A lot of people I know dread winter’s produce, but I feel pretty lucky to have so much fresh food during these cold days. One of my new year’s resolutions was to cook at home more, and I’ve been following through pretty well. Mostly, I’ve been making soup after soup after warm soup, all from ingredients found at the farmers market.

I’ve also started making vegetable stock, which I now can’t believe I’ve never made before. It’s really easy, and it costs nothing. I just save my vegetable scraps throughout the week and throw them in a pot of water while I’m cooking something else. An hour or two later I have vegetable broth.

I’m not much of a recipe follower (or creator), but here are some attempts to share what I’ve been cooking. Please excuse the impreciseness, but this is how I cook…

Creamy Purple Cauliflower Soup

This can be made with white cauliflower, but purple cauliflower makes this soup a beautiful lavender hue.

  • 1 head purple cauliflower, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons oil or butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups liquid (can be vegetable broth, water, milk, or any combination of these)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Spices or herbs (I prefer Indian spices, such as cumin, coriander, and garam masala)

Heat a tablespoon of oil or butter in a wok or pot. Add in the chopped cauliflower and saute for about 5 minutes. Add a few tablespoons of water and a pinch of salt, cover, and cook until cauliflower softens.

While this is happening, make your roux by combining the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil or butter with the flour and cooking over low heat in a pot. Stir until combined – it should be a light brown color. Add your 4 cups of liquid to the roux and stir until combined. This can sit while the cauliflower cooks.

When the cauliflower is ready, combine with the liquid. Blend half of the mixture and then combine this back into the soup pot. Season with salt, pepper, and anything else you like. Enjoy!

Spinach Soup

(Adapted from Chez Panisse Vegetables) This recipe calls for a LOT of spinach, but it’s well worth it and is surprisingly satisfying and filling.

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 pounds spinach
  • Agave or honey
  • Salt & pepper

Heat the oil in a large pot (I use the biggest one I own). Add the carrots, onion and garlic, saute for a minute, then cover and cook until onions are translucent.

Add the vegetable broth, bring to a boil, and then turn off the heat.

Add the spinach. If your pot isn’t big enough, add it in small chunks, stirring. It should shrink down pretty quickly.

Blend half of the soup and return to pot. Add a small amount of agave or honey to taste (it rounds out the flavor), as well as salt and pepper.

Move over Project Runway to make way for Hot Couture

23 Jan

Last Friday night I was lucky enough to experience Hot Couture, a fire filled fashion show and performance art spectacle at the Crucible in West Oakland. And wow – the night thoroughly surpassed my expectations.

If you’re not familiar with the Crucible, I think NovoScene described this place pretty accurately:

The Crucible is like that one little cousin you had when you were young that was always setting shit on fire. Every time you turned around-lighter in hand, I didn’t do it expression on face, flames everywhere… But it helps that the shit they set on fire is pretty damned cool and that you probably won’t get in trouble if you’re mom walks in and finds the place ablaze.

I’m not going to lie – I’m not a fashion expert, but the designers featured in this show were all incredibly talented. Check out this jacket from Antoniya Ivanova that I’m lusting after:

Anotniya Ivanova Jacket

From AreWeReally? Hot Couture Flickr set.

And take a good look at this hot collection from Eimaj Design and Escama Studio. In case you can’t tell, the handbags and metal on the dress are made from recycled aluminum pop tops.

Eimaj Design and Escama Studio at Hot Couture

From AreWeReally? Hot Couture Flickr set.

But the fire rings on the stage and outlining the catwalk were not the only flames of the night. Throughout the evening, Oakland firefighters walked across the catwalk, and at the end of the show they seemed giddy as they got the chance to play with fire instead of extinguish it:

Oakland Firefighters at Hot Couture

From AreWeReally? Hot Couture Flickr set.

And there was of course more fire throughout the night:

Fire Dancers Hot Couture

More Fire Hot Couture

From AreWeReally? Hot Couture Flickr set.

The models and fashions weren’t the only entertainment of the night though. It was really interesting to see and interact with the diverse mixture of people at the event. When Michael Sturtz, the Crucible’s director, asked how many people had been to the Crucible before, only half answered affirmatively. There was a great mix of burners, Oakland residents, and Bay Area fashionistas. At one point, I turned to my left and heard people admiring the welding involved in some of the fashion, and I turned to my right and heard two women comparing the designer clothing they were wearing. And I could tell they were more than a bit thrown off when Bad Unkl Sista’s fashion graced the stage, though I must admit even I was a bit disturbed by this performance art piece. Just try to imagine more than a dozen of these creatures slowly moving across the catwalk to the choppy beats of deconstructed techno:

Bad Unkl Sista Hot Couture

Bad Unkl Sista Hot Couture

From AreWeReally? Hot Couture Flickr set.

Unfortunately, the three night run of Hot Couture is over, but this post isn’t just here to tease you. They’ll likely have a fashion show again next year, and before that there are two events that should be just as hot:

  • The Crucible’s Benefit Fire Ballet, FIREBIRD: “L’oiseau de feu”, April 9-12 and 16-19, 2008. Last year, I missed out on the Romeo and Juliet fire ballet because I waited too long to buy tickets. So get your tickets ahead of time if you’re interested.
  • The Fire Arts Festival, July 9-12, 2008. This is the Crucible’s biggest event of the year and spans several blocks in West Oakland. Last year, the festival featured fire sculptures, fire games, and a fire opera. You can read all about last year’s event here.

Can’t wait until April for more fire? Check out AreWeReally?’s Flickr sets for hundreds of pictures from Saturday night’s fashion show gala event:

Fall’s Here

4 Nov

It could be argued that it’s been here for some time now, but as I’ve written here before, I track Bay Area seasons by produce, not by weather.

I didn’t make it to the Temescal Farmer’s Market last Sunday, but as I walked up to the market this morning, I immediately could tell that it was no longer summer. The market’s thinned out significantly. No more Kashiwase Farms, with their juicy assortment of peaches, nectarines, plums, and pluots. Lucero Farms had also disappeared, and along with them, their summer squash, zucchini, and a dozen varieties of tomatoes, from Green Zebra to Brandywine. The crowds of shoppers had also thinned out, though the market was still busy.

end-of-summer.jpgAs I wandered through the market, I picked up what will likely be some of the last fruits of the summer harvest: some bright yellow tomatoes and sweetly-pungent basil from Happy Boy Farms, and a pound of strawberries grown in Watsonville. (I also froze a few pounds of strawberries in October, knowing what a treat they’ll be in a few months.)

Though I’m sad to see the summer go, I’ve come to grow fond of fall (and even winter) produce in the Bay Area. Growing up, I always thought apples were edible, but I never thought much about their taste. Now though, I think of them as such a treat. Though a few farms offer apples at the Sunday market, I’m loyal to MacDonald’s Organic Farm. I highly recommend the unknown variety (really, that’s what they’re called), Fuji, and Jonagold. All of them have a balanced mix of sweet and tart. Be careful though – you’ll need a napkin to eat one because the juices will likely drip down your chin.

Persimmons are also a fairly new favorite of mine, since I never even tasted one until I moved to the East Bay! I like to munch on them, thinly sliced, with nuts. Or I add them to salads. They’re also scrumptious with many cheeses.

I pick up persimmons and other goodies at Twin Girls Farm, which has become my favorite farm stand to visit. Maybe it’s that the family who works at the stand has always been overly friendly, and they’re never shy to explain about odd fruits (like jujubes) or offer samples. I also like to support them because while much of their produce is certified organic, some of it is “transitioning”. Lacking the official organic stamp, I know others might be skeptical and shop elsewhere, but it seems pretty clear to me that they’re moving towards 100% organic. (KQED featured a nice piece about Twin Girls, complete with a slide show of the inner working of their farm.)

After picking out three small Fuyu persimmons, including this strange looking one below, I was excited to grab some of the remains of summer and a preview of winter. Grapes will soon be gone from the market so I plucked a couple large bunches. And to my surprise, Twin Girls is already offering tangerines! I practically live on citrus fruit during the winter and am excited to taste these…

freak-persimmon.jpg twin-girls.jpg

Unfortunately, some fall produce is missing from the Temescal market. No farmers offer pears, asian pears, or figs! So I’ve only had a few pears this season that I picked up from the downtown Berkeley market, and I have splurged on some local organic figs at Whole Foods, though I try to avoid buying produce outside of farmers’ markets. So if you know farmers that offer these fruits, tell them to head over to Temescal next fall because they’ll make a lot of money and make me very happy.

Fall’s not completely about fruit though, and I did pick up some purple cauliflower, red peppers, and king oyster mushrooms. Here’s what I’ll be cooking with and devouring this week:



Summer’s gone, but I’m glad to know fall’s here.