MONTCLARION: June 12, 2015
“The Condor Lady” — that’s what the CBS radio network called me in 1983. I was a reporter for affiliate KSDO, covering efforts to save the California condor from extinction. With just two or three dozen birds known to exist at that time, the news was so big that it always aired nationwide.
Today, an estimated 127 condors live in the wild — still a threatened population that needs human help for survival. Which brings me full-circle to the Oakland Zoo. I’ve been watching a California condor named “Miracle” as she recovers from lead poisoning in the zoo’s Kane Condor Recovery Center. She’s the first completely wild chick born in Big Sur in more than a century, and the lead was found during a routine check where the birds are trapped and tested.
Sometimes “Miracle” preens herself. Sometimes she flutters and flaps. And while it’s not exactly National Geographic TV, just the fact that I can see California’s largest land bird — up close — makes it worth watching. The FedEx Condor Cam can be found at: http://www.oaklandzoo.org/Condor_Cam.php?cam=Oakland_Zoo.
Dine around: Reader Ken Ball is watching the reviews of Piedmont Avenue’s newest upscale eatery — KronnerBurger. Apparently, Chris Kronner’s burgers are getting good buzz, and the cocktails get high marks, too. What goes best with a burger? A bloody mary with a fat dill pickle and olives, of course.
Speaking of rave reviews, I noticed Chowhaus is packing them in for Sunday brunch. Montclair’s newest restaurant has amazing Scotch eggs and killer pork belly sandwiches, according to Yelp. At the other end of town, the comfy wine bar, Duvin, has opened across from the Thornhill 7-Eleven. I hear it has a nice neighborhood feel and the owners want to bring in live music and other events.
Around town: Kudos to the Oakland Museum of California. Out of 100-plus things to do around town, the museum is Number One on Trip Advisor. Visitors love the diverse art and creative displays like the bee exhibit, where you can crawl through a human-sized hive.
Email bag: Pixar’s new movie “Inside Out” takes a playful jab at San Francisco and a Bay Area institution — Arizmendi Pizza. Reader Trish Hare says the film looks hilarious, and you can check out the scene with the pizza spoof on KQED’s website at http://ww2.kqed.org/pop/2015/06/04/watch-pixar-slam-san-francisco-pizza-in-this-clip-from-inside-out.
Highfliers: San Francisco’s Presidio is taking a cue from Berkeley as it launches its first Kite Expo on Saturday. This sounds like a great outing for dad’s day with kite-making workshops, team kite events and giant creature kites. Pterodactyls, anyone?