Weekend Wanderings #4

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The Bay Area is full of interesting things to do, but are there really enough interesting things that both parents and children dig? The answer is, yes, by way of two options: sheer luck or succumbing to the overwhelming effort of joining a thriving network of savvy parents. Weekend Wandering #4 was a product of the first. During our ritual Saturday farmer’s market, my roommate and I were randomly given a flyer for the 5th Annual Bay Area International Children’s Film Festival. We were surprised that the film fest even existed, but more disappointed by its little following and lack of promotion. It can be hard for hip parents to find these types of events. Coming up on a children’s film festival is a delight, especially when awkward playground playdates are the norm.

I, of course honed in on the unique fashion choices the little festival goers stunted. I saw red skinny jeans, leopard fur coats, mixing prints, leather and tutus. These little fashion lovers made me reminisce on my childhood: bedroom floor hidden under discarded clothes. Everything in perfect chaotic order, a catalogued system only decipherable by me. Changing six, even seven times a day to coordinate my activity and mood. Real talk, nothing has changed.

The films, cute and interesting. The fashion unordinary. The short films were definitely the highlight, among our favorites were:

“Papa Cloudy”
“Adventures of a cardboard box”
“Le fenetre/ The window”
“Snap”

Glad we found this little indie event.

Weekend Wanderings #3

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Trappist Provisions in Oakland: Endless interesting bottles to choose from

Tasty provisions in Rockridge

Not four days before 2013, Oakland’s purveyor of fine Belgium beer opened a second lovely location in Rockridge. Trappist Provisions is a simple place furnished with picnic like tables and stacked with lots of exciting beers. I’m used to low lit funky beer bars, but my friend, Cicerone Sayre Piotrkowski pointed out that Trappist Provisions is very much in the aesthetic tradition of a local pub you’d stumble upon in the Flemish land: narrow, simple, all about the beer.

I tasted the slowly poured “Band of Brothers” from Brasserie De La Senne. It was the best beer I’d tried in while. This would easily join my rotation of staple beers along side my favorites “Death and Taxes” from Moonlight Brewery and Arend Tripel. Cicerone Sayre geeked out about the “Fou’ Foune” from Brasserie Cantillion on tap. I can’t remember the details about what makes this a precious pour, but after it aired a bit, it was sweet and lovely to drink.

I recommend stopping by Trappist Provisions…
…before dinner next door at Wood Tavern
…to catch your breath in between errands up and down College Ave
…on your way to a party to pick up an interesting and impressive bottle for your hosts.

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Weekend Wanderings #2

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Beer shed at Jaded Toad

There’s room for good beer in wine country

My little hometown of Windsor has changed so much since I left in 2002. Some would say it’s been in a continual state of change. Windsor has grown from a predominantly migrant worker community to the posh little place it is today, “gateway to wine country”. The town has definitely grown to be more diverse, but I’m glad to say old Westside Windsor is still recognizable and is enduring wave after wave of change. The same families occupy their same neighborhoods. Some businesses have kept their same long standing shops, Pohley’s Market and the Red Door Barbershop (my father and brothers have been getting cut by Clarence for years).

The latest addition to Westside Windsor seems more like my grandmas backyard than a pub, keeping true to the simple nature of this side of town. The Jaded Toad just opened a few months ago and the owners are still planning unique additions like a “secret garden” for private parties complete with pond and waterfall. The open beer garden with fire pits and handcrafted taps won me over immediately. Please add this to your next Sonoma County wine country tour. I will certainly stop by every time I visit my pops and the family (who conveniently live down the street in my childhood home).

Great atmosphere, great people, but I will critique that the Jaded Toad need to make room on their taps for a Moonlight “Death and Taxes” handle. This unique beer garden needs a unique beer experience to make it a true indieDarling.

Eat, drink, love my indieDarlings

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Feels like grandma’s backyard

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Worthy slogan

Weekend Wanderings #1

Cerrudi Winery in Jack London Square, Oakland

Cerruti Cellars in Jack London Square, Oakland

The best thing about living in the Bay Area is the perpetual feeling of discovery. Since I’m keen to public transpo, most of my discovery comes along by foot. San Francisco itself has been called the most “walk-able” big city. My Weekend Wanderings series will document my wandering about the Town and City in pursuit of random inspiration and fun.

Weekend Wandering #1

My first weekend wandering discovered some amazing spots in Jack London Square, Oakland. First I brunched at new-bee Mexican restaurant Nido. Offering organic horchata, chilaquiles, and flavorful pork chops, I gladly co-sign on Nido’s brunch and dinner. Next I walked over to Cerruti Cellars that sits right on the tracks of Jack London Square which sets a “Stand by Me” mood. The space is lovely, a unique venue for a private event.

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Rustic backdrop :: Hat by local designer Lendesigns :: scarf at Common in Oakland