walterA few weeks ago, we told you about how to replace all that outdoor physical activity nonsense with some healthy outdoor non-physical-activity nonsense — namely, free outdoor movie showings in downtown Berkeley. We now bring you an exciting update about the Center Street Summer Cinema.

The Downtown Berkeley Association has announced their final movie selections based on a survey of local residents (we’ve tacked on some Clog-endorsed, potentially-illegal-to-consume-outdoors food and beverage recommendations … and of course, popcorn goes well with them all):

Aug. 6: Princess Bride – mead
Aug. 13: Up - Fenton’s ice cream
Aug. 20: Raiders of the Lost Ark – whiskey shots
Aug. 27: The Big Lebowski – White Russians, bathrobes (to wear, not to eat, please, what are we now?)

Image Source: Drafthouse
Four films selected for Center St outdoor movie series [Berkeleyside]


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We Cloggers are notorious for having a profound infatuation with food – think Tina Fey on “30 Rock” (God we love that show). As it turns out, this is highly beneficial for all of you lovely readers as we continuously work on keeping you up to date on all the fabulous Bay Area eateries, which, on occasion, happen to have deals that are almost impossible to pass up on.

San Francisco’s Dine About Town event is one of these deals, being quite possibly the greatest thing that has ever happened to the Bay Area since … well, since the sun finally decided to visit us again. From now until Wednesday, June 15, over 100 San Francisco restaurants read more »


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All right, so we’re kind of putting words in people’s mouths. But that does seem to be the subtext of a recent survey conducted by the UC Graduate Assembly and Associated Students of the University of California, which found Berkeley students reluctant to patronize the Telegraph Avenue and downtown districts for anything other than food.

After all, three-quarters of respondents said the streets are too dirty, and 65 percent complained that there are too many homeless hanging around. About that many also stated that they don’t feel safe enough walking around — the main danger ostensibly being big scary read more »


twinsies

It’ll take more than mere architecture to say that Berkeley and Los Angeles are similar cities, but not for a lack of trying. Word is, New York architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro is in the process of designing a set of twin museums, each to be located in the downtown area of its respective city—Berkeley and LA.

We knew that Diller Scofidio + Renfro were responsible for the new BAM/PFA (to be opened on the corner of Oxford and Center), but we had no idea that there’d be a So Cal counterpart.

This exciting undertaking is already creating a buzz about town, as Diller was in Berkeley just this past week to meet with museum staff, and an initial design concept is expected to be ready in a month. Though both of the museums will sport similar designs, we’re pretty sure that our local joint will find a way to have some flair all its own.

Image Source: blacque_jacques under Creative Commons
Museum Designer Links Berkeley, Los Angeles [SF Gate]


The new—or, perhaps more accurately—relocated Ben & Jerry’s has opened its doors on Center Street, between Oxford Street and Shattuck Avenue, a stone’s throw from its old location on Oxford Street across the street from campus.

We have yet to patronize the new location, but it is now serving all the delicious ice cream you could possibly want in this hot summer weather, and we hear tell that its grand opening will be taking place next month, when more students will be around, we imagine. In the mean time, we will no longer be deprived of a place to buy frozen bananas.

Perhaps a source of more intrigue are the storefronts at and next to Ben & Jerry’s old location. Both are still closed, but signs in the window advertise a restaurant that has something to do with barbecueing and what looks to be a cinnamon bun shop, but we’ll keep you posted.

Image Source: sachman75 under Creative Commons
Earlier: Northside Cafe Now Open


building erectionAnd a summer controversy finally culminates. Remember all the ado over developing Downtown Berkeley (the sprinkling of some new tall buildings)? Well, it really got us thinking about what Downtown Berkeley means to us. The resulting five paragraph essay was straight up too obscene for the internet. It also lacked a conclusion – until now.

The plan that passed over the summer was rescinded Tuesday night in favor of a new one put forth by our mayor, Tom Bates. The old plan allowed for two 180 foot (and if a hotel, higher) buildings, four 120 footers and four 100 footers. That makes 10. Ten tall towers. read more »


homeless musicians

It’s official: the fest is on. Whether you like it or not, many of your downtown Berkeley hangouts will open their doors to a smorgasbord of live acts. Fun for the whole family, the second annual Downtown Berkeley MusicFest offers musical genres that could span a good isle, isle and a half at Barnes and Noble. We hope you like Jazz, blues, bluegrass, country/western, reggae, world, tango, latin and klezmer. We really do. read more »


petitionA rare turn of events suggests that taking initiative does indeed get things done (depending on your perspective.) At least such is the case for the anti Downtown Berkeley development folks. In the face of … uncalculated odds and alleged harassment by pro-Downtowners, the Alliance for a Green and Livable Downtown managed to round up more than enough signatures to shoot down the City Council’s official plan. Back to the drawing board, guys.

Five thousand five hundred fifty-eight signatures in 30 days were needed to halt the plan for revision or a public vote yea or nay, and around 9,200 signatures were gathered—more than enough to account for invalid signatures and possibly the most ever gathered by a petition in Berkeley. Woah! That’s over 9000. “Green and Livable” must have quite a ring.

Editor’s Note: As a clarification, the purpose of the petition was to place the current Downtown Area Plan on a ballot, not to dismiss it altogether.

Image Source: mrtwism under Creative Commons.
City Clerk Confirms 9,200 Signatures Submitted for Downtown Plan Referendum; Verification Process to Begin [Daily Planet]
Berkeley downtown plan foes meet signature goal [Mercury News]


sky-scraper

Looks like the Berkeley City Council is about ready to officially give the finger to urban sprawl, opting instead for a taller, denser Downtown Berkeley. What does this mean for you (and your weekend,) you wonder? Mo’ housing, mo’ jobs, mo’ foot traffic and maybe some hotels aiming to scrape the East Bay sky higher than any Berkeley edifice has done befo’. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal to us. Being Berkeley though, someone’s bound to find something to fuss about. Here’s the conflict: read more »


As the bigger summer concerts around the bay wind down, you may be itching for the simpler, freer and more classical lunchtime performances of yesteryear, which the music department usually hosts every Wednesday right here on campus. Don’t mourn their absence too much–the noon concerts are currently on hiatus and plan to tear up Hertz Hall in full force come fall semester.

Until then, you can catch free noon performances (albeit jazzy, street-style ones) at the Downtown Berkeley BART plaza. Various esteemed jazz performers grace the plaza from 12 to 1 p.m. every Thursday, possibly inciting jealousy in Berkeley ‘s other resident street performers. Check ‘em out before the plaza goes silent on Aug. 21.

Image Source: The West End
under Creative Commons
Downtown Berkeley Association – Summer Noon Concerts 2008 [Website]
Earlier: Visit the New Museum in the City


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