Increased fitness, unbeatable views, and an instant mood boost: the benefits of open-water swimming are drawing growing numbers of swimmers to the East Bay’s coastal waters. Whether it’s Alameda’s 2.5-mile sandy shoreline,the Berkeley Marina’s more challenging chop, or the relatively calm cove at Richmond’s Keller Beach, saltwater swimming is making a splash.
Nature is really growing on us. A new survey found that almost six out of 10 Americans have developed a deeper appreciation for the outdoors since the pandemic began — and the national parks are getting much of the love.
With popular options like Yosemite National Park filling up fast this summer, though, how do you visit and still enjoy solitude? The answer is to take the road less traveled. The Hetch Hetchy gate is the least visited entrance to Yosemite and the only way into the park without securing a day pass this summer. That alone is incentive to take Highway 120 through Groveland, but there’s much more to like about this lesser known route.
If there’s a silver lining to COVID-19 restrictions, it’s that the hospitality industry has found new ways to enjoy the outdoors. From electric bike rides in the country to virtual-reality goggles in the pool, resorts are reinventing what guests can do outside.
An industry leader in outdoor adventures is a group of properties started by famed bandleader Lawrence Welk. It turns out the folksy entertainer best known for champagne music was pretty perceptive about customer service.
Ginny Prior/for Bay Area News Group Farmstead Cheeses and Wines’ chief cheese monger, Jeff Diamond, “cracks a parm” — slices open a giant Parmesan cheese wheel — for food and wine writers recently at his Montclair store.
MONTCLARION: May 20, 2019
As far as cheese goes, it was a beaut — 85 pounds of fresh Parmesan, a wheel so big it took a young clerk to flip it. Farmstead Cheeses and Wines’ chief cheese monger, Jeff Diamond, treated journalists to a show the other night. “Cracking a ‘parm’ is a very cool thing,” he quipped. “And I’m always excited when I can show folks how it’s done.” Continue reading →
“Four Days Diablo” hikers dine recently at Curry Canyon Ranch in the shadow of Mount Diablo. At least three Montclarions participated recently in the soft-adventure hiking and camping trip along the 30-mile Diablo Trail linking Walnut Creek to Brentwood.
MONTCLARION: May 9, 2019
Montclarions Steve and Carolyn Balling have hiked all over the world. So has Oakland’s Shirley Langlois. But there’s a place in their own backyard that keeps calling them back — Mount Diablo. Continue reading →
Ginny Prior/for Bay Area News Group Kent Steinwert, the chair of Farmers and Mechanics Bank (F&M), appears recently in front of the new building his bank financed in Montclair. F&M will occupy one of three new spaces in the building.
MONTCLARION: April 25, 2019
It’s been 15 some years in the making, but plans are moving forward to transform Montclair’s Antioch Court into a pedestrian plaza. A handful of us reminisced the other night about our meetings back in the early 2000s, when we first started exploring this concept. With the Montclair Village Association behind it, the money is starting to come in for a community space on a little street with so much potential. Continue reading →
Potholes and parking are making us crabby. And yes, the two are related because they add stress to driving on increasingly crowded Oakland roads. The pitted streets read like a laundry list: Park Boulevard, Thornhill Drive, Valley View, Shepherd Canyon, Tunnel … and on and on. Critics note despite Oakland’s high property taxes that never seem to quench our city’s thirst for spending, streets like Thornhill have been on the repaving list for years. Continue reading →
An artist once told me that everything is a canvas. Even a drab concrete slab can be transformed into an inspiring art installation. Enter the Montclair Parking Garage, which has rapidly become a kind of open-air gallery. Twelve murals — some up to 50 feet high — now adorn the ramp walls, including the latest piece by Shannon Hood and Victor Garcia. Continue reading →