Neighborliness reaches new musical heights this Sunday in Napa. The 5th Annual Porchfest, a non-stop outdoor concert from noon to 6 takes place on 50 porches most within walking distance of each other. It’s a music sampler for all kinds of tastes –bluegrass, jazz, country, surf, new wave (is it still new after all these years?), plus a food truck roundup. It’s summer in Napa so be prepared to hydrate. Free.
Some of the most irresistible attractions of Oakland have nothing to do with the current hipster incursion. This Sunday, for example, the 35-piece Oakland Municipal Band plays at the Bandstand on Lake Merritt from 1-3 as part of its 105th season. Bring a blanket and a picnic lunch for a rousing, old school afternoon. You’ll find it on the northern shores near Children’s Fairyland. Check their website for the day’s program. Free. The Lake is home to gondola rides, a wild bird preserve (so dog walking is not allowed) and on July 24, the US Rowing Western Regional Championships. Mark your calendars.
Locate luxury on an intimate scale only an hour away in lush, bucolic west Marin. Druid’s Hall in Olema was built in 1885 as a meeting place for the Ancient Order of the Druids. The white clapboard landmark has been beautifully restored with three suites boasting antiques and individual Jacuzzis plus a separate Japanese-style cottage in the garden. Morning fruits and pastries delivered from Bovine Bakery in Pt. Reyes Station. 2-night reservations from $390-$810. Next door is the multi-starred Sir and Star Restaurant.
Thinking SFMOMA is the hottest new museum around? Wrong. Over at 3400 Broadway in Oakland you’ll find the Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment,ie. themade. Your video game playing teenage grandkids will go bananas over the hundreds of titles they can play here from innocent beginner games to sports to aggressive intergalactic shoot-em-ups. It’s the sort of venue that can make geezers feel their age. Open weekends 12-6. $5.
Union Square turns into a soccer field this Saturday and Sunday. Don’t expect to see a grassy sward. This is street soccer, the 2016 Cup Series, with teams from ages 6 to adult competing in 15-minute matchups, including homeless and formerly homeless players. Keep your eyes out for San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski.Free.
People get ready to churn your booty at the 5th Annual Island Reggae Festival Saturday July 9 from 10am to 11pm at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds. Tons of Jamaican food and merch, tattoo, car and dance showcases, carnival rides, a rugby tournament and plenty of live, help-I-can-stop-dancing music.$60.
This is what we wait all year for. Golden, sweet peach pies, ice creams, cheese cakes, jams, cookies, dumplings, ice tea, milkshakes, even burgers, chocolate covered peaches and of course all varieties of these ambrosial fruits dribbling down our chins. Welcome to the Marysville Peach Festival July 15 & 16 in its historic downtown. Stick around for live country music, a peach pancake breakfast in the Silver Dollar Saloon, a pie eating contest, a 5k run, the crowning of Miss Peach Festival 2016 and a Tasty Treat Challenge pitting (pardon the pun) the best local crops against each other. Free.
Still in the mood to celebrate independence? There’s always Bastille Day coming up on the 14th. The French Consul General invites you to a banquet (held for some odd reason on the 9th) where you can win two round-trip tickets to Paris. The liveliest B-day revels always happen around the cafes on Belden Place. At the Rickshaw Shop on Fell a dance party saluting 60’s France, Bardot a GoGo, with free shag hairstyling, takes place on Friday. Greener festivities occur in the Redwood Grove of the Berkeley Botanical Garden. For my euros the most authentic Parisian spot in the city has always been Café Claude, with great croque monsieurs and their humming French waitstaff.
Frido Kahlo would be 109 this Saturday and from the evidence of activities planned this weekend in the Mission this sui generis artist still lives. Catch a fresh documentary from Mexico on her, a salsa birthday party, a Day of the Dead celebration,a mural inauguration, a fashion show, art exhibits, mexcal tastings, raffles, local and Mexican crafts and plenty of food. Most events are free. She was here with Rivera, actively painting in the City in 1930 and 1931. Viva Frida!
Make your own culinary fireworks this holiday with local, seasonal fruits. There’s nothing quite as spectacular as a summery, rich trifle dense with angel food cake and whipped cream. Here’s just one recipe.