Archive for the ‘East Bay’ Category

Brainwash a Movie Festival


If you are wanting something completely different the 16th Annual Brainwash Drive-In, Bike-In, Walk-In Movie Festival starts tonight – Saturday, August 7th, 2010

Then again next Friday, August 13th, and Saturday, August 14th, 2010.

All shows begin at 9 pm or shortly thereafter.

Get Tickets

Bring a portable radio and tune in to the sound – broadcast in stereo.

Mandela Village Arts Center

1357 5th Street in Oakland

Even if you don’t go to Brainwash the site will entertain.

The festival offers a unique chance to see Horror of Our Love: A Short Film by San Jose’s own Dave Reda. I asked Dave to tell me about the film:
I (Dave) produced/directed/wrote and was the monster in the short film. The short film is inspired by the song Horror of Our Love by the band LUDO, they are a great bunch of guys and it’s such an amazing song. Filled with romance, horror, and comedy. I think the song goes hand in hand with the film. It’s also cool to help such a great band reach their audience in a really fun way, and we also really appreciate all their support for the film as well…

We filmed it in January, in San Jose using an all San Jose Crew…Loved filming there because the S.J. locales fit the romantic feeling of the song so well, rather than gritty L.A.!! We got to shoot at John D. Morgan Park at night, something I have always wanted to do, and we only freaked out a few of the neighbors, ha! It’s a good thing we let San Jose PD and Campbell PD know we were filming and had friend and local Detective Todd Trayer on set!! He said there were a few nervous phone calls, but nothing too bad..Whew! .

Phil Grasso was my excellent Director of Photography, Kate Melia played “Girl” and I have known her since high school. She was phenomenal to truly understand the film’s balance of romance, horror, and comedy. It was great to work with my crew, they seemed a bit hungrier and fought along side me hard, NOT against me to make the best film we could.

Horror of Our Love: the song by, Ludo

Horror of Our Love: A Short ELFTWIN Film

Festival Movies a List

Berkeley Kite Festival 2010

We are not talking about the type of kites you flew as a kid. We are talking giant creature kites as big as a barn along with an assortment of other kites.

The annual Berkeley Kite Festival & West Coast Kite Championships will take place this weekend (July 31 and August 1) at the Cesar Chavez Park in the Berkeley Marina.

The Berkeley Kite Wranglers are the foremost giant creature kite team in the world with nearly 30,000 square feet of giant show kites in their collection. Watching a group of these giant kites fly in formation is stunning.

Highlighting the festival is a group from the Sode-cho Kite-Flying Society of Hamamatsu, Japan, which will present its traditional Machijirushi kites, made from fine paper and bamboo.

For the kids there is free kite making (11:00 – 1:00) and kite flying lessons (11:00 – 4:00) and a designated area for families and their kites.

Event highlights include: world-record attempt for giant creature kites, team kite ballet, Japanese-style Rokkaku Kite Battle, humongous kites & windsocks, worlds largest octopus kite, 20,000 sq. ft. of giant creature kites from New Zealand, kite sales tent, manufacturers’ demonstrations, Taiko Drummers, and more.

Bring your own picnic, as food is usually expensive at most events.

Parking is $10.00 at the Berkeley Marina and of course, there will be traffic. An option would be to park on the other side of the freeway (near University and 6th) and use the walkway overpass to get to the park. Parking prohibited along either sides of major roads in the Marina including University Avenue, Marina Boulevard, and Spinnaker Way. Vehicle access will also be significantly restricted on Marina Boulevard and Spinnaker Way.

The City will exercise zero tolerance for cars parked illegally or on unpaved surfaces.

AC Transit bus line 9 goes to the Berkeley Marina; line 9 is available from the Downtown Berkeley BART station.

Berkeley Kite Festival
Cesar E. Chavez Park at the Berkeley Marina

Saturday, July 31 & Sunday, August 1
11:00 am to 5:00 pm

510-535-KITE

Admission: Free
Parking: $10.00

DooF at the Berkeley Farmers’ Market

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors voted (3 to 2) to ban the toys which are included in fast-food kid meals. I doubt that the measure, presented by Supervisor Ken Yeager, will keep children from becoming obese. There are many other reasons why a child might become overweight. Turning off a child’s want of fast food by denial will not solve the problem. Education is the solution for learning good eating habits, and that is where DooF can help.

DooF (F-o-o-d spelled backwards) is a program designed to help kids make healthful food choices. Kids learn by preparing some of their own meals and snacks while having fun. Parents take the responsibility for setting the food budget, buying ingredients, and supervising the younger chefs.

I attended two DooF-a-Palooza events held at Google in 2007 and 2008. Cooking stations were set up where kids could experience hands on food preparation. Oh, the joy on their faces – and without a toy!

DooF-on-Wheels will be at the Berkeley Farmers’ Market – Look for a Creme Brulee – colored bio-diesel Mercedes with DooF on the side. There will be kids and a film crew near by. A citrus grower, Didar Sing, will ask questions like, “Do citrus fruits really have superpowers?”

Berkeley Farmers’ Market
Center Street @ M. L. King, Jr. Way
(510) 548-3333
Saturday, May 1
10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
DooF-on-Wheels there Noon to 3:00 PM

DooF will be visiting other locations throughout the Bay Area.

DooF the Blog
DooF on facebook
FoodBackwards on twitter

Berkeley Kite Festival 2009

octopile-kitesWe are not talking about the type of kites you flew as a kid. We are talking giant creature kites and kites made from fine paper and bamboo along with an assortment of other kites.

The 22nd Annual Berkeley Kite Festival will take place this weekend (July 25-26) at the Cesar Chavez Park in the Berkeley Marina.

The Berkeley Kite Wranglers are the foremost giant creature kite team in the world with nearly 30,000 square feet of giant show kites in their collection. Watching a group of these giant kites fly in formation is stunning.

Highlighting this year’s festival is a group from the Sode-cho Kite-Flying Society of Hamamatsu, Japan, which will present its traditional Machijirushi kites, made from fine paper and bamboo. The Machijirushi kites used in a nearly 500 years old kite-fighting competition, the goal of which is to force the other kite out of the sky using just your kite.

For the kids there is free kite making (11:00 – 1:00) and kite flying lessons (11:00 – 4:00) and a designated area for families and their kites.

Event highlights include: world-record attempt for giant creature kites, team kite ballet, Japanese-style Rokkaku Kite Battle, humongous kites & windsocks, kite sales tent. manufacturers’ demonstrations, Taiko Drummers from Taiko Spirit, and more.

Bring your own picnic as food is usually expensive at most events.

Parking is $10.00 at the Berkeley Marina and of course, there will be traffic. An option would be to park on the other side of the freeway (near University and 6th) and use the walkway overpass to get to the park. The event is free.

AC Transit bus line 9 goes to the Berkeley Marina; line 9 is available from the Downtown Berkeley BART station.

22nd Annual Berkeley Kite Festival
Cesar E. Chavez Park at the Berkeley Marina

Saturday and Sunday, July 25-26, 2009
11:00 am to 5:00 pm

510-535-KITE

Admission: Free

Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum

I visited the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum last weekend so I could see two independent films that were playing Saturday night: Around the Bay, by Bay Area filmmaker Alejandro Adams, and Passion Flower, a short film by Tennessean (soon to be Bay Arean) Jarrod Whaley.

Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum

Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum

The museum is located on Niles Boulevard in Fremont and there is free parking on the street. As soon as I walked through the front doors the friendly museum docents asked if they could give me a tour. The theater was built in the 1920s and was the first movie theater in Fremont. Soon business was booming so nicely that a newer, bigger theater was built next door and Niles was closed down. During the next 80 years it spent time as a dance hall, photography studio, and sometimes just a storage room. The newer theater burned down in the 1950s but it wasn’t until 2004 that the Niles was bought by its current owners and in 2005 they opened up the theater.

Inside the theater, Museum in back

Inside the theater, Museum in back

The theater holds about 80 wooden chairs with comfy leather cushions. There is a piano where live music is played for many of the silent films. It had never occurred to me that the old silent films had live music accompaniment – but duh. If they could record music, they would have sound, right? I found that an interesting silly fact that I should have already known. The actual museum part is in the back of the theater and there you can find several old style cameras and projectors along with many photographs and other film paraphernalia. The gift shop is in the lobby and there are many books, pictures and cards to look at.

Old projectors in the museum

Old projectors in the museum

Their schedule of silent films varies so you should check their website for specific days, or give them a call. The 12th Annual Broncho Billy Silent Film Festival is coming up on June 26-28 and it is recommended that you pre-order tickets. June is also Independent Filmmakers Month and the theater will be visited by John Korty, Les Blank, and the Scary Cow Short Films Show among others. You can also rent the museum and theater for lecture discussions, musical concerts or a movie showing for family and friends – they even have the original 1933 King Kong film!

Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum
Open: Noon – 4PM Saturday and Sunday
Telephone (510)494-1411
37417 Niles Boulevard
Fremont, CA 94536

Chocolate in Berkeley!

chocolateThis Saturday May 30 is the 13th Annual Chocolate & Chalk Art Festival along North Shattuck Avenue.

Amateur to professional artists young and not so young will be assigned areas of sidewalk to create their own chalk drawings for free; same-day registration at the event booths located along North Shattuck Avenue. Artist’s chalk is available for a fee. There will be a contest for the best drawing with a first prize of $250, judged after 4:00 pm.

Now, on to the real reason we are here, chocolate!

Select merchants (flying festival balloons) along North Shattuck Avenue, Vine Street, and Walnut Street will serve up classic chocolate treats like truffles (various types), dark chocolate sorbet, and ice cream to some very interesting items including chocolate chicken tikka kabob, Caribbean black bean chocolate soup, chocolate pizza w/ricotta, chocolate jalapeño gelato, and other joys. Check the chocolate to-go menu for items, locations, and times. Tickets are $10 for 10 tickets available at any of the registration sites; chocolate items are from 1 to 5 tickets each. Strolling around looking at the artwork, listening to music, and enjoying the day is free.

Vendors with chocolate-related items and hand made arts & crafts fill the Farmer’s Market area along with entertainment at various locations throughout the day.

This Business Directory Map has locations of area merchants, very handy.

Take BART to the Downtown Berkeley BART Station and walk north six blocks.

13th Annual Chocolate & Chalk Art Festival
Sidewalks along North Shattuck Ave., Berkeley

Saturday, May 30, 2009
10:00 am – 5:00 pm

510.548.5335

Oakland Museum of California Free Second Sundays

Oakland MuseumExplore and learn more about California’s environment, history, art and people at The Oakland Museum of California free second Sundays.

The museum has permanent Art, History, and Natural Sciences Galleries along with special exhibits. Note that the Art and History Galleries are currently under renovation and will reopen in 2010.

Currently through August 23 is the exhibition Future of Sequoias: Sustaining Parklands in the 21st Century featuring photographs by Jeff Jones and prose by retired National Park Interpretative Ranger William C. Tweed. The exhibition includes 40 color prints by Mr. Jones.

The museum is open for the free second Sundays 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

April 12, 2009
May 10, 2009
June 14, 2009
July 12, 2009
August 9, 2009

Oakland Museum of California
1000 Oak Street
Oakland, 94607

Directions & Parking here.

510-238-2200

Special free second Sunday events –

April 12, June 14, and August 9
1:00 pm

Tour of the Building and Gardens: Members of the museum’s Council on Architecture lead tours of the building and grounds, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Kevin Roche and renowned landscape architect Dan Kiley. Meet by the Admissions Desk on the second level.

May 10
1:00 pm

Meet the Museum: Join a docent for an inside look at the museum’s past, present, and exciting future.

June 14
2:00 pm

The African Presence in Mexico: Join a museum docent and learn more about the exhibition.

July 12
1:00 pm

Meet the Museum: Join a docent for an inside look at the museum’s past, present, and exciting future.

July 12
2:00 pm

Join Curator of Art Karen Tsujimoto in a tour of the exhibition Squeak Carnwath: Painting Is No Ordinary Object.

Check out The Tech Museum of Innovation’s Free Second Sundays here.

The Niles Canyon Ghost

Back when I was in High School, maybe even back in Junior High, there we the stories of the Niles Canyon Ghost. I cannot completely remember how the story goes, I was in a fog back then, but to this day, I do not want to travel Niles Canyon Road at night any time of year.

There are various versions of the story. The story is that a young woman was killed in an automobile accident on February 26 along Niles Canyon Road. What varies is the year (20’s, 30’s, to the 40’s) and if it was her wedding night or that she had been to a dance in Sunol.

The story is that she often makes an appearance on the anniversary of her death and stands by the side of the rode near the place on the highway where she lost her life. Drivers will stop to offer to help her. She gives an address where she would like to go in San Francisco. As the driver approaches the Dumbarton Bridge, she mysteriously vanishes from the car. This story, when told many years ago, continues with the driver going to the address given. An old woman answers the door and says that was her daughter who died many years ago,

Even though the accident was on February 26, this story is often told on Friday the 13th and around Halloween.

Special Olympics Summer Games

Special Olympics Summer GamesThis weekend is the 13th Special Olympics Northern California Summer Games on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley.

Athletes from throughout Northern California will compete in aquatics, track & field, bocce, tennis and volleyball. Athletes trained for 6-8 weeks and then participated in a regional competition to qualify for the Summer Games.

A short list of events includes Aquatics: assisted swim, flotation race, individual medley, and relays; Track & Field: running & walking events, high jump, running long jump, standing long jump, softball throw, tennis ball throw; and wheel chair events.

Bocce is played with one small ball and eight larger balls, four for each team. The small ball is thrown first becoming the target. Then each larger ball is thrown with the goal of placing it as close to the small ball as possible. The 4-person team competition for bocce will take place at Martinez Waterfront Park.

On Friday evening, there will be an Opening Ceremonies that will include the traditional parade of athletes and the lighting of the Special Olympics Caldron.

Volunteers are a very important part of Special Olympics throughout the year. During the Summer Games, there will be more than 300 coaches accompanying the athletes and another 1,300 individuals will help at one of the five venues hosting a competition.

Schedule, maps and parking here.

Special Olympics Northern California Summer Games
University of California, Berkeley and Martinez Waterfront Park

Friday, June 6 – 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm – Opening Ceremonies
Saturday, June 7 – 9:00 am to 4:00 pm – Competition – event times
Sunday, June 8 – 8:00 am to 2:00 pm – Competition – event times

Admission: Free to all events

For information about Special Olympics Silicon Valley, including upcoming events in the South Bay, check here.

I think today is going to be a good day.

So I rushed onto the last car of the San Francisco BART train this morning and noticed some changes in the seat arrangements. Then, be still my beating heart, I saw a bright blue image of a bike on the wall usually reserved for wheelchairs. Then, I looked above this blue bike and saw these words: “Bicycle Priority. Strollers and Luggage OK if Bicycle not Present.” Take that! All you pedestrians who give me the stink eye during my commute. Take that! All those times I wasn’t allowed on the train because it was too crowded. That’s right. I. AM. A. PRIORITY.

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