In an ongoing effort to find out who I am, one thing is clear. I must be part cat. Why else would I love having my head rubbed? This explains why I spend so much time in Dina’s salon on Park Boulevard. She colors and cuts and rejuvenates my scalp and I’m almost purring when she’s done.
But I’m not the only cat on the block who likes having her hair fussed over. Dina’s shop is buzzing with activity as she celebrates 33 years of business in Oakland. That’s a lot of blow drying for a woman who puts in 12-hour days with the same enthusiasm she had when she started three decades ago. And the excitement is contagious. A day at Dina’s is like sitting in Dolly Parton’s salon in the movie “Steel Magnolias.” Women are laughing and swapping stories as the hair dryer hums and the foot bath bubbles and the smell of almond gel lightly scents the room.
Happy anniversary, Dina. Your place is more than just a salon — it’s a warm place to gather and feel good about yourself. The cut and color are the icing on the cake. (Dina wants everyone to know that for her 33rd anniversary, she’s offering a cut and style for $33 through Dec. 10.)
LITERARY LIGHTS: Food, art and literature came together beautifully, the other night, at the Montclair Bistro. Local Realtor and landlord Faye Bidgoli read from her new book “Cracked Pomegranate” as a mostly female audience drank in every word. And the event was a complete Village affair — it was sponsored by A Great Good Place for Books on La Salle Avenue.
Bidgoli’s story revealed her struggle to break free from the oppressive traditions of her homeland, Iran, and forge a new life in Berkeley. But her book wasn’t the only thing that made a lasting impression. Chef Henry Votriede’s presentation of food was magnificent. In a way, it was his debut, too, as he prepares to open a banquet room next to his restaurant.
CUT FOR CANCER: It’s been just over two years since Oakland broadcaster Faith Fancher died of breast cancer. But her legacy lives on, in the form of at least two charities that help underprivileged women fight this disease. On Nov. 21, Gina Khan Salon/Yosh for Hair in San Francisco will donate 100 percent of its profits to one of those groups — the Breast Cancer Emergency Fund. The goal is to raise $17,000 in five hours.
DUST TO DUST: Regarding last week’s column on scattering cremated remains in the East Bay Regional Parks, program coordinator Mark Ragatz says only individuals can buy a permit. They won’t be issued to mortuaries, crematoriums, funeral directors or other commercial enterprises. As far as memorials, they’re not allowed in the parks and neither is any digging. In other words, it’s ashes to ashes and dust to dust — and that’s it.
MOVIE PICK: If you’re looking for a homegrown holiday flick, “Bee Season” could fill the bill. Filmed locally, it even features a scene with former Montclarion editorial assistant Ann Fields. There are a couple of other names you may recognize, too — Richard Gere and Juliette Binoche.