“Here’s to wine and waffles,” may seem like an odd wedding toast, but not if the newlyweds are Ken and Vickie Monize. That’s because the combination perfectly describes their union as well as their new restaurant, Wine and Waffles on Park Street.
Parents from across the Bay Area bring their children with autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder to Susan Diamond’s cozy cottage in Alameda to work on social skills. Author of Social Rules for Kids: The Top 100 Social Rules Kids Need to Succeed, Diamond is a licensed speech-language pathologist who diagnoses and treats communication disorders, including autism.
You have to be gung-ho, in-the-moment creative and a risk-taker to be an ice sculptor. That it is an extreme art form becomes clear chatting with Dana Eng, who has been making his glinting multifaceted ephemeral creations since the 1970s, which is when the third-generation San Franciscan moved to Oakland.
Pruning that can seem radical and overzealous often produces renewed healthy growth in plants and trees. Luckily for Alameda, the same can be said for Jacqueline Cooper’s Autobody Fine Art, which closed in early 2011. Now two galleries share the space at 1517 Park Street: Cooper’s reinvigorated Autobody Fine Art, and popUp Gallery, directed by Gabriele Bungardt and Mi’Chelle Fredrick.
Worry has given way to a “nice rooted phase” for artist Ginny Parsons. Her mixed-media paintings of oil spills and endangered birds were infused not only with beeswax, stain remover, and detergent—“the materials of motherhood” —but also “some inescapable evidence of a world bigger than the happy ending.” Rather than a warning or lamentation, her current work celebrates a local microcosm of nature: Lincoln Park, so close to her home studio that it is practically an extension of her backyard.
Stroll down the brick hallway of Park Street Plaza’s newly refurbished space, and for a moment, you just may feel like you’ve been transported to a European alleyway. It’s only fitting that Bonne Vie, meaning good life, greets you at the corridor with warm wood floors, a Native American wood statue (a former Pillow Park Plaza icon), and racks of wine, champagne, beer, and cigars from France, Germany, Spain, Africa, New Zealand, and other countries worldwide.
Those well-versed in the history of video games fondly remember the heyday of the video arcade in the late ’70s and early ’80s. There, among the mullet-coiffed in a spirit of camaraderie fueled by nacho cheese Doritos and Mountain Dew, records were broken on classic games like Donkey Kong and Pac-Man. All for the price of a fistful of quarters.
For travelers who want to disconnect from their busy work weeks and re-connect with nature, Tomales Bay in Marin County may be just the place.