Town Crier: It feels like Christmas in August

MONTCLARION: August 12, 2016

My husband says we have the world’s best weather. We both love the fog and have no problem wearing flannel in summer — a fashion faux pas in some circles.

But this run of cool weather has me worried. I keep waiting for that blast of hot August air that typically comes right around my birthday — making me want to strip down to my birthday suit. It’s the dog days of summer that folks without air conditioning tend to dread. I know I do.

Yet, the first signs of winter are already showing too. The Terrace Room has started running ads for holiday party bookings. It’s Christmas in August, and I guess with the weather, it’s not much of a stretch. Think I’ll keep the flannel out.

Good eats: It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it. Oakland-based chef Francis X. Hogan has returned from a cooking and tasting tour of Europe to head up the kitchen at Sabio on Main in downtown Pleasanton ( Hogan is a master at melding locally grown foods with whole animal butchery. And the X in his name honors the creator of tapas, Spanish King Alfonso X, also known as el Sabio (the wise one). The King would, no doubt, have been impressed by Sabio on Main’s fresh take on tapas like oxtail empanadas and salt cod croquetas.

Email bag: Speaking of restaurants, reader Richard Schwarz stopped by Izzy’s at Webster and Grand avenues after I wrote about the site being the first Oakland home of I. Magnin’s. “I was a bit skeptical after wandering around the building looking up at all that gingerbread,” says Schwarz, who didn’t end up seeing the old sign, barely visible under layers of paint. This was I. Magnin before the store moved to its iconic Art Deco building on Broadway. “Great work as always,” he says, “pointing out some things Oakland should cherish.”

Meanwhile, readers have been asking about the progress of the butterfly mural along Mountain Boulevard in Montclair. Artist-school teacher Mandy Lockwood has been working hard to complete the project by summer’s end. Have patience — she’s a “one-gal band,” as organizers put it — and it’s a long wall.

Around town: You’ve got one more weekend to see “Chicago” in Oakland at the Woodminster. It took six years for the amphitheater’s patron angels, Joel and Harriet Schlader, to win rights to produce this vaudeville-inspired Broadway play. What a treat as Woodminster continues its 50th anniversary season.

Animal tales: If a pack of wallaroos is called a mob, then a baby —‰’roo” must be a mobster. In any case, a new little joey has emerged from mom’s pouch at the Oakland Zoo. Good thing he waited. Wallaroos are born blind, furless and the size of a kidney bean. It takes six to eight months in the pouch before they’re presentable. Do you want to see him? The best bet is to take a ride on the zoo train, which traverses the ridge line past the whole mob of wallaroos.

Got news? You can reach Ginny Prior by email at or on the web at http://www.”




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