By Ginny Prior
Since biblical times, folks have enjoyed the fruit of the vine and other
fermented juices. After all, it’s the spirit that warms the body and
soothes the soul. So it’s no surprise that the Kerry House is hosting
twice-monthly discussions on religion in its Irish pub. It’s a “six-pack
of presentations,” if you will, that begins with a happy hour and evolves
into lively talks on God.
There’s no doubt, this is geared for the young at heart. Pints flow freely
at the Piedmont Avenue bar as folks congregate to share ideas and listen
to speakers. Priests from local Catholic churches talk openly about
Christianity today, providing a forum for new thoughts. And perhaps it’s
the spirits that allow for such free-flowing conversation — ideas you
might not share in the hallowed halls of your own church. For a schedule
of upcoming Tuesday night talks and more information on Theology on Tap,
log on to http://www.eastbaytot.org.
Montclair has three new shops on La Salle Avenue, next to Movie Express.
Two are jewelry stores, which are great for window shopping. The sparkling
beads and baubles catch your eye as you pass by Jewel Box of Montclair and
Meridian Jewelry and Design. There’s a new clothing boutique, Le Rouge, on
the block, too, where Special Tees used to be.
Next to the post office, Nelly’s Java has been remodeled in warm colors,
with a high-tech feel. The coffee shop is offering free wireless Internet
access to customers now, so I think I’ll set up shop there. Oh, and one
last thing. New garbage and recycling cans are springing up in the
Village. They’re definitely an improvement over the badly stained
containers we’ve had for the past few years.
Here’s a lesson for anyone who thinks you can’t fight City Hall. Reader
Jill Broadhurst says she’s finally talked the Public Works Department into
making some pedestrian safety changes at La Salle Avenue and Liggett Drive
“After much back and forth and feeding me the line of ‘there is no
collision history,’ they finally put down a crosswalk and posted signs for
zooming motorists,” she writes, adding that it’s time to give Oakland
credit where credit is due.
At 76, hills artist Fred Martin has a passion that shows no signs of
aging. In fact, he has several exhibitions up right now, including a
brilliant retrospect at the Oakland Museum of California.
It’s fun to see how Martin’s work has changed over the decades. In the
late ’50s he painted San Francisco’s decaying Victorian homes. In the
decade of “free love,” he played with collages and fertility themes.
>From early urban landscapes on masonite and board to large pastel drawings
of his travels, Martin’s work is thought-provoking and often deeply
spiritual. He’ll be giving a slide lecture at the Oakland Museum at 2 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 12. For more information, log on to http://www.museumca.org.
Great night out
After years of hearing about the fantastic performances at Alameda’s
Altarena Playhouse, I finally made it to one the other night. What a gem!
This intimate Park Street theater offers A-1 entertainment for about the
same price as popcorn and a movie.
The playhouse’s rendition of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” was
riveting, and I really felt like part of the asylum. Next up is the
perfect Halloween offering: “Jekyll & Hyde — The Musical.” For more
information, log on to http://www.altarena.org.
The weed-munching goats have left the Oakland hills for greener pastures
in Dixon. Modern-day shepherd Jose Surichaqui goes where his flock goes,
living in his little trailer and tending the herd with the help of three
ranch dogs. How appropriate that he spends time each summer on Shepherd
And how serendipitous, too, that a contractor doing a remodel in the hills
recently found this in the home’s wall: A 1937 newspaper with the
headline, “Goats for sale in the Fruitvale area.” Some things never