Oakland, CA; Adams Point and Lake Merritt Lakeshore with amazing view.
December 23, 2022

Lake Merritt

Local residents and frequent visitors to Lake Merritt might think they know everything about what has long been considered a “crown jewel” of Oakland. But much like an image appearing in a mirror held up to the city in which it is a centerpiece, the lake that is actually a lagoon and harbors the nation's first wildlife refuge reflects a layered, complex, intriguing history.
The Punchdown co-owner DC Looney celebrates 12 years in the natural wine business.
December 23, 2022

The Punchdown

The owners of The Punchdown named their natural wine bar and bottle shop after a harvest term. During the process of fermentation, winery workers push the grapes down as they’re producing carbon dioxide. “Those are the little bubbles that push the grapes to the top,” explained DC Looney, one of the co-owners. Throughout the winemaking process, you need to push down on the mixture, ‘for a healthier fermentation.’”
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Naima Shalhoub, local musician and activist.
December 23, 2022

Naima Shalhoub

Naima Shalhoub’s first album of original material, Siphr, covers a lot of emotional, geographical and musical ground. It plays like a suite and includes arrangements that draw on Middle Eastern and American modes. It also includes her reinvention of “Lamma Bada Yatathanna,” a song from Moorish Spain that’s more than 1,000 years old. The music was recorded in San Francisco, but Shalhoub said the idea behind it began brewing a few years before, during a trip to Lebanon, her parents’ birthplace.
December 23, 2022
Rita Moreno in her one-woman show, ‘Life Without Makeup,’ at Berkeley Repertory Theatre in 2011.
The only thing cold about Rita Moreno when we speak is the fact that she has one. Otherwise, the “EGOT” actress—one of an elite group of actors crowned with the theater industry’s prestigious Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards—is warm, salty, even fiery, and only occasionally pauses as if about to sneeze or grumbles like a Christmas Carol curmudgeon about her raspy voice. 
September 1, 2022
Berkeley Rep's 'Goddess'
A goddess’ birth can be a long process—but her emergence is glorious. Director/creator Saheem Ali, playwright Jocelyn Bioh and composer Michael Thurber have been midwifing the world-premiere musical 'Goddess,' which recently opened at Berkeley Rep, for years. The piece has gone through multiple iterations and four postponements, and has now stridden exuberantly onto the stage.
December 23, 2022
Bilingual education students in Ecole Bilingue’s three learning tracks become ‘not just bilingual, but bicultural.’
"In the 21st century, we are looking at what students need to become global citizens." – Sebastien Robert, head of school for Ecole Bilingue de Berkeley
The Rainbow Connection
Many moons ago, my preschool teacher asked each of us kids sitting in a circle to share our race or ethnic heritage. One by one, my classmates proudly declared that they were “Korean” or “Black” or “white.” When it was my turn, I stood up and said, “I’m chicken!”—crossing the signals of being told I was “Chicana,” or Mexican American, to hilarious effect.