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Tilting Toward Fine Art         

Pinball, long considered a lowbrow form of entertainment, now makes a serious foray into the world of art, its look akin to that of comic or cartoon art. To raise awareness and appreciation for the art of pinball, the Lucky Ju Ju Pinball Art Gallery shows a collection of custom machines, paintings, photographs and paraphernalia. The exhibit, Pinball as Art and the Art of Pinball, runs 9 a.m.–9 p.m. daily through Feb. 4, free, Neptune Beach Amusement Museum, 713 Santa Clara Ave., (510) 205-9793, www.nbam.org.     —By Kathy Hrastar

Events

Mr. Obama Goes to Washington
Inauguration Day Celebration, Jan. 20. Join Rhythmix Cultural Works in welcoming the new President of the United States. 6 p.m.–8 p.m., free with donation for beverages. K Gallery, 2513 Blanding Ave., (510) 865-5060, www.rhythmix.org.

Christmas Tree Pickup
(Jan. 3) Recycle your Christmas tree and help out Boy Scout Troop 11 after the holidays. Please remove tree stands and decorations. Pickup of trees available only in Alameda, and flocked trees cannot be accepted. Leave your tree curbside by 8 a.m. Jan. 3. To purchase a tree-pickup/recycling ticket ($5 donation), call (510) 522-2656, e-mail customerservice@click-a-tree.com or visit www.click-a-tree.com or www.alamedatroop11.org.

Antiques and Collectibles Faire (Jan. 4, Feb. 1) The first Sunday of each month, Antiques by the Bay holds the largest antiques and collectibles fair in Northern California. Now in its 10th year, the fair has more than 800 booths and draws some 10,000 collectors to Alameda Point. All pieces sold at the show are at least 20 years old and reproductions are not allowed. Also not allowed at the show are pets—although held outdoors, the fair is located next to a National Wildlife Refuge. 6 a.m.–3 p.m., prices vary depending on time, free for children 16 years and under, Alameda Point, (510) 522-7500, www.antiquesbythebay.net.

Déjà Vu (Jan. 9–24) Support the Frank Bette Center for the Arts by donating and purchasing old artwork at the Gently Used Fine Arts and Crafts auction. Drop off items noon–4 p.m. Jan. 2-3. Starting at the opening gala, 7 p.m.–9 p.m. Jan. 9, you can buy pieces from this auction and exhibition of used arts and crafts. The show concludes with a silent auction 5 p.m.–7 p.m. Jan. 24. Frank Bette Center for the Arts, 1601 Paru St., (510) 523-6957, www.frankbettecenter.org.

Chili Cook-off and Barbecue Dinner
(Jan. 31) Don your western gear for a night of dinner and dancing at the 10th annual Chili Cook-Off competition. Hosted by the Kiwanis Club of Alameda, the event benefits local charities. No-host bar opens at 5:30 p.m., chili tasting 6 p.m.–7 p.m., followed by dinner, silent auction and dancing until 10 p.m. $20 kids 5–12, $50 adults, Albert DeWitt O’ Club, 641 W. Redline Ave., (510) 764-1472, www.alamedakiwanis.org.

Valentine’s Ball
(Feb. 8) Celebrate and dance to ballroom, swing and Latin classics played by the Albany Big Band. Dressy to formal attire is suggested for this 7th annual Dance With Me event, led by dance instructor Marilyn Bowe. Lesson starts at 3 p.m., dancing 4 p.m.–6 p.m., dinner 6 p.m.–7 p.m., more dancing 7 p.m.–9 p.m., call for prices, Alameda Elks Lodge, 2255 Santa Clara Ave., 3rd floor ballroom, for reservations contact (510) 523-5587 or visit www.dancewithme.info.

Valentine’s Day Dinner Cruise
(Feb. 14) Sail away on a Commodore luxury yacht for romance on the San Francisco Bay. The evening cruise includes buffet dinner, no-host bar, DJ music and dancing. Boarding begins at 6:30 p.m., cruise 7 p.m.–10 p.m., $25–$125 depending on age and choice of deck, Commodore Events, 2394 Mariner Square Drive, (510) 337-9000, www.commodoreevents.com.

Theater/Performance

Art (Jan. 9–Feb. 7) Three friends debate the merits of a recently purchased painting in this clever comedy, winner of a 1998 Tony Award. The play, by Yasmina Reza, dares to ask the question “What is art?” May not be suitable for young children. 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., $15–$20, Altarena Playhouse, 1409 High St., (510) 523-1553, www.altarena.org.

Gypsy (Feb. 27–Apr. 5) Based on the memoir of burlesque entertainer Gypsy Rose Lee, this Broadway musical tells the story of a showbiz mother trying to raise her two daughters on the vaudeville circuit. Choreographed and directed by Christina Lazo. 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., $15–$20, Altarena Playhouse, 1409 High St., (510) 523-1553, www.altarena.org.

Community

Lawyers in the Library (Jan. 7, Feb. 4) Local attorneys, through the Alameda County Bar association, offer free legal assistance and referral at the Alameda Free Library the first Wednesday of each month. Signup begins at the check out desk at 5:30 p.m. for consultations between 6 p.m.–8 p.m. First come, first served, free, Main Library, 1550 Oak St., (510) 747-7713, www.alamedafree.org.

Shoreline Habitat Restoration (Feb. 8, 16, 28) Help beautify Crab Cove’s beach and nearby pond. Have fun, protect wildlife and find out which animals depend on a healthy shoreline and bay. Students can earn community service hours. 1:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m., Crab Cove, 1252 McKay Ave., (510) 521-6887, www.ebparks.org.

Volunteer at Alameda Hospital (Ongoing) This year, give back to the community by joining Alameda Hospital’s more than 100 volunteers. Assist the patients and staff, help operate the gift shop or help raise funds for new medical equipment. Alameda Hospital, 2070 Clinton Ave., (510) 814-4043, communityrelations@alamedahospital.org.

Girls Inc. of the Island City
(Ongoing) Volunteer for an organization dedicated to inspiring young women to realize their full potential. Whether your talent is writing, illustrating or teaching, Girls Inc. has a place for you. Girls Inc. asks all volunteers to commit for at least three months. Girls Inc. of the Island City, 1724 Santa Clara Ave., (510) 521-1743, www.girlsincislandcity.org.

Food/Drink

Wine Club (Jan. 7, Feb. 4) On most first Wednesdays of the month, learn about the grapes and regional styles of Italian wines—and taste a range of Italian varietals—at C’era Una Volta’s Wine Club. Call for time and price, C’era Una Volta, 1332 Park St., (510) 769-4828, www.ceraunavolta.us.

Essence of Italy (Jan. 27, Feb. 24) You can enjoy a different regional cuisine and wine selection monthly at C’era Una Volta’s Essence of Italy event. 6 p.m., last Tuesday of the month, $15, C’era Una Volta, 1332 Park St., (510) 769-4828, e-mail essenceofitaly@yahoo.com or visit www.ceraunavolta.us.

Museum/Exhibits

Modernist Architecture
Local author Richard Knight shares images from his new book Saarinen’s Quest. This memoir features behind-the-scenes photographs from Knight’s stint as “in-house photographer” for Eero Saarinen, the modernist architect who designed the St. Louis Arch, Dulles Airport and other visionary projects. Knight will be joined on Feb 26 by architect and author Pierluigi Serraino, who wrote the endnote for the book. 7 p.m., $5, free for museum members, Alameda Museum, 2324 Alameda Ave., (510) 748-0796, www.alamedamuseum.org.

Layers of Insight
Artist Anna Morales Simson builds artwork layer by layer. Into the printmaking process she incorporates photography, stencils and digital media. Her work has been shown around the Bay Area, including the de Young Museum and the Legion of Honor. Now view her artwork at Julie’s Coffee & Tea Garden, Jan. 8–Mar. 3, free, 1223 Park St., (510) 865-2385, www.juliestea.com.

Wabi-Sabi
(Feb. 6–28) See how visual artists interpret the Japanese world view known as wabi-sabi, an aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience. Described as “the art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in nature,” wabi-sabi is characterized by asymmetry, temporary, modesty, simplicity, vulnerability, intimacy and natural process. First Friday Opening Gala 7 p.m.–9 p.m., Feb. 6, exhibit continues through Feb. 28, Frank Bette Center for the Arts, 1601 Paru St., (510) 523-6957, www.frankbettecenter.org.

Figures and Time: Chronopho-tography Nudes (Feb. 6–March 6) PJ Reptilehouse, a pseudonym of a Canadian-born artist, borrows the multiple-image techniques of chronophotography to create photographs that blur the line between figurative and abstract photography. He captures a unique take on the classic nude with custom-built LED strobe equipment, controllers, camera mounts, a bit of serendipity and zero use of Photoshop. Come see the kaleidoscopic effects that result in this exhibit at the Lucky Ju Ju Pinball Gallery. Opening reception 7 p.m.–midnight, Feb. 6, show continues 9 a.m.–9 p.m. daily through March 6, free, Neptune Beach Amusement Museum, 713 Santa Clara Ave., (510) 205-9793, www.nbam.org.

Alameda Museum (Ongoing) The Alameda Museum offers permanent displays of Alameda history, a rotating gallery showcasing local Alameda artists and student artwork, as well as souvenirs, books and videos about the rich history of the Island City. Open 1:30 p.m.–4 p.m. Sun., Wed.–Fri., 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Sat., free (donations are encouraged), 2324 Alameda Ave., (510) 521-1233, www.alamedamuseum.org.

Dance/Music

Saturday Afternoon Gallery Acoustic (Jan. 3, Feb. 7) Share the microphone and the music on the first Saturday of each month at Frank Bette Center for the Arts. Co-hosted by Sarah Dunham and Boundless Gratitude, the program offers composers and musicians a chance to perform up to three original works. Signups begin at 1:30 p.m. Public welcome, 2 p.m.–4 p.m., free, Frank Bette Center for the Arts, 1601 Paru St., (510) 523-6957, www.frankbettecenter.org.

Rooster’s Roadhouse (Ongoing) Come hear yourself sing at the Roadhouse’s version of karaoke, referred to by some as kee-OH-kee, weekly on Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. Every Thu.–Sat., live music gets started around 9 p.m., prices vary, 1700 Clement Ave., (510) 337-9190, http://groups.msn.com/roostersroadhouse.

Community Music (Ongoing) Get jazzed on the second and fourth Friday of each month with the Jazz Placebos band. On the first and third Fridays, kick up your heels with the Circle R Boys bluegrass band. 6:30 p.m.–9 p.m., free, Crosstown Community Center & Coffeehouse, 1303 High St., (510) 864-8600, www.crosstowncoffee.org.

Ukulele ensemble
(Ongoing) Whether you’ve ever plucked a ukulele or not, you’re welcome to join this musical group. Play and sing in a casual, nondenominational environment, church membership not required. Every Thursday, 1:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m., free, Trinity Lutheran Church, 1323 Central Ave., (510) 522-5220, www.trinityalameda.org.

A Spot of Tea and Music
(Ongoing) Enjoy live music at Julie’s Coffee & Tea Garden every Tuesday, 7 p.m.–9 p.m., free, 1223 Park St., (510) 865-2385, www.juliestea.com.

Speisekammer (Ongoing) Get a feel for German culture at Speisekammer. The menu features a variety of traditional German foods such as jägerschnitzel (sauteed pork loin) and bratwurst (sausage). Partake from the extensive list of special cocktails, wines and beer in the biergarten. Live music Thu.–Sat. nights, free, Speisekammer, 2424 Lincoln Ave., (510) 522-1300, www.speisekammer.com.

The New Zealander (Ongoing) While you savor the dishes of chef Clive Hitchens, enjoy live music at this Alameda landmark. The Lost Cats play jazz on the first and third Fridays, 7 p.m.–11 p.m., free, 1400 Webster St., (510) 769-8555, www.the-newzealander.com.

McGrath’s Pub
(Ongoing) Grab your banjo, guitar, fiddle or mandolin and head to McGrath’s weekly jam sessions where local musicians can show off their chops. The stage is open on Mondays for the Bay Area’s best bluegrass jam. Tuesdays, it’s open-mic night. Both get started around 8 p.m. Ages 21 and over, free, 1539 Lincoln Ave., (510) 522-6263, www.mcgrathspub.com.

Kids/Family

A Red Carpet Evening
Girls in kindergarten through fifth grade can escort their father, or other favorite male role model, to a Valentine’s celebration on Feb.6. The 8th annual event, co-hosted by Girls Inc. of the Island City and the Alameda Recreation and Park Department, includes arts and crafts, refreshments, photos and dancing. Prepare to walk down the red carpet for this year’s theme “A Night at the Oscars.” Doors open at 5:30 p.m., dancing 6 p.m.–8 p.m., $20 a couple, $10 each additional daughter, Albert DeWitt O’ Club, 641 W. Redline Ave., contact (510) 747-7529 or www.ci.alameda.ca.us/arpd to register no later than Jan 23.

Rock ’n Roll Adventure Trip
(Jan. 2) Children in grades K–5 can spend the day at the new California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Pack a bag lunch and appropriate clothes for the weather, and prepare to rock and roll. Kids will be picked up and returned to Harrison Recreation Center, Lincoln Park. The cost includes admission, transportation, ice cream treat and staff supervision. 9 a.m.–4 p.m., $40, 1450 High St., contact (510) 747-7529 or www.ci.alameda.ca.us/arpd to register.

Family Overnight Adventure (Jan. 16) Experience life on the seas with your family aboard the USS Hornet. Eat, sleep, receive a personal tour and take a flight simulator ride. Program begins at 5 p.m. and ends at 10 a.m. the next day. Participants must be at least 5 years old. $100 per person, USS Hornet, 707 W. Hornet Ave., Pier 3, Alameda Point, reservations required, (510) 521-8448 ext. 280, www.uss-hornet.org.

Sing Along with Cowboy Jared (Ongoing) Kids and families start gathering at 10 a.m. on Fridays to spend time with Cowboy Jared at the Crosstown Community Center & Coffeehouse. Each week, Jared Altura encourages kids to sing along and then pulls out instruments for the kids to play. Most Fridays, 10:30 a.m.–11:15 a.m., $5 donation per child; $10 per family, 1303 High St., (510) 864-8600, www.crosstowncoffee.org.

Pond Exploration
(Jan. 3, 10, 24, 31) Discover what lives in this wild corner of the park, from cattails to birds to turtles. Find out how you can help care for them through guided exploration. 2 p.m.–3 p.m., free, Crab Cove, 1252 McKay Ave., (510) 521-6887, www.ebparks.org.

Bay Species Eat While You Watch (Jan. 11, 18, Feb. 1, 15) It’s feeding time at Crab Cove’s six aquariums, home to more than 20 Bay species. Discover who eats what as they get their meal. Learn how the aquarium environments are kept healthy. 3:15 p.m.–3:45 p.m., free, Crab Cove, 1252 McKay Ave., (510) 521-6887, www.ebparks.org.

Catch of the Day
(Sundays) Drop by Crab Cove to find out about the critters and animals of the Bay through guided exploration and hands-on fun. Learn about animal habitats and the way they eat, sleep and move. Topics change frequently. Every Sunday, 2 p.m.–3 p.m., free, Crab Cove, 1252 McKay Ave., (510) 521-6887, www.ebparks.org.

Literature/Lectures

Legendary Man (Jan. 13) Writer Paul Malmont crafts a story about the final days of Jack London’s life in the new romantic and adventurous novel Jack London in Paradise. Meet the author at 7:30 p.m., free, Books Inc., 1344 Park St., (510) 522-2226, www.booksinc.net.

Alameda Library Book Club (Jan. 12, Feb. 9) Meet the second Monday of each month to talk books at the Alameda Free Library. Everyone welcome. 6:30 p.m., free, Family Study Room at the Main Library, 1550 Oak St., (510) 747-7777, www.alamedafree.org.

Desert Island Book Club (Jan. 28, Feb. 25) The Desert Island Book Club meets every last Wednesday of the month at Books Inc. Discuss your interpretation of the monthly book at 7:30 p.m., free, Books Inc., 1344 Park St., (510) 522-2226, www.booksinc.net.

Storytelling Swap (Jan. 15, Feb. 19) Don’t miss out on sharing your story. Previously held on Tuesdays, Frank Bette Center’s storytelling swap shifts to a new meeting time. Every third Thursday, 7 p.m.–9 p.m., free, Frank Bette Center for the Arts, 1601 Paru St., (510) 523-6957, www.frankbettecenter.org.

Seniors

Diabetes Conversation Map (Jan. 6, 13, 20, 27) Registered Nurse Jane Dolphin facilitates this four-part program to help you discover what you want and need to know about managing your diabetes or that of a loved one. 1 p.m.–2:30 p.m., free, Mastick Senior Center, Room D, 1155 Santa Clara Ave., (510) 747-7500, www.mastickcenter.com.

Emergency Preparedness Discussion Group (Jan. 14) Alameda County Health Department’s Senior Injury Prevention Program leads a discussion on how seniors can prepare for emergencies. Participants receive a list of potential items for personal “Go Kits,” instructions for developing communications plans and information on issues concerning pets. 1 p.m., free, Mastick Senior Center, Dining Room 2, 1155 Santa Clara Ave., call (510) 747-7506 to register, www.mastickcenter.com.

Humor in Tough Times (Jan. 20) Listen to a talk about humor in tough times by a Fulbright scholar familiar with both. Speaker Roswitha McIntosh grew up under Hitler and did extensive research on that period for her two books The Madman and His Mistress–History in the Making and Live, Laugh and Learn. 1 p.m., free, Mastick Senior Center, Room D, 1155 Santa Clara Ave., call (510) 747-7506 to register, www.mastickcenter.com.

Music Appreciation Class (Jan. 22) Join volunteer instructor William Sturm for “The Feminine Muse: The Music of Cécile Chaminade,” a piano recital and discussion about the colorful music of French composer and pianist Cécile Chaminade, a late-19th-century specialist in salon music. 1:30 p.m., free, Mastick Senior Center, Social Hall, 1155 Santa Clara Ave., call (510) 747-7506 to register, www.mastickcenter.com.

Arts/Crafts

Paint Party (Feb. 8) Participate in an interactive acrylic painting party. You bring your preferred surface and brushes, and Chroma supplies the paint. Sign up early. 2 p.m.–5 p.m., free, Frank Bette Center for the Arts, 1601 Paru St., (510) 523-6957, www.frankbettecenter.org.

Community Craft Night (Ongoing) Get inspired and get your projects done in the company of fellow creative crafters. Julie’s Coffee & Tea Garden, every Friday, 6 p.m.–9 p.m., free, 1223 Park St., (510) 865-2385, www.juliestea.com.

Artist Trading Card Group (Jan. 24, Feb. 28) The tradition of trading 2.5 x 3.5 inch cards filled with original, small-edition artwork was started in Zurich in 1997 and has traveled all the way to Alameda the fourth Saturday of every month at the Frank Bette Center for the Arts. Join the group to discuss, make, share and trade these cards. The rules say these cards are never sold; they must be given away or traded. 1 p.m.–4 p.m., free, Frank Bette Center for the Arts, 1601 Paru St., (510) 523-6957, www.frankbettecenter.org.

Bette’s Bodacious Beading Beauties (Ongoing) Bounce your ideas off fellow beaders while creating beadwork in this supportive group. Share techniques from bead stringing to bead weaving at Bette’s Bodacious Beading Beauties night. Bring your beading equipment and your enthusiasm every Wednesday, 6 p.m.–9 p.m., free, Frank Bette Center for the Arts, 1601 Paru St., (510) 523-6957, www.frankbettecenter.org.

Classes

Selling on eBay (Jan. 17, Feb. 14) Avoid mistakes that many newcomers make. Learn how to set up an eBay account and navigate through Paypal. Discover ways to maximize profits with effective listings and strategic pricing. Basic computer knowledge required. 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., $55, McKinley Center, 2165 Buena Vista Ave., contact (510) 747-7529 or www.ci.alameda.ca.us/arpd to register.

Interactive Kinetic Art and the Pinball Machine (Ongoing) Before the Nintendo Wii and PlayStation 3, there was the pinball machine. With its complex amalgam of science, mathematics, artistry and wizardry, the pinball machine takes us back to our childhoods, when interactive play had a different meaning than it does today. Instructed by multimedia artist Michael Schiess, this class will introduce you to all aspects of the pinball machine—from its history to play strategies. Class length is 20 hours, split into five sections, $250, Neptune Beach Amusement Museum, 713 Santa Clara Ave., (510) 205-9793, www.nbam.org.

Sports

Golden State Warriors (Ongoing) Cheer the Golden State Warriors this season at Oracle Arena. Warriors vs. L.A. Lakers Jan.7; vs. Indiana Pacers Jan. 11; vs. Sacramento Kings Jan. 14; vs. Atlanta Hawks Jan. 16; vs. Washington Wizards Jan. 19; vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Jan. 21; vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Jan. 23; vs. L.A. Clippers Jan. 25; vs. San Antonio Spurs Feb. 2; vs. Phoenix Suns Feb. 4; vs. Utah Jazz Feb. 8; vs. New York Knicks Feb. 10; vs. Portland Trailblazers Feb. 12; vs. L.A. Lakers Feb. 18; vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Feb. 21; vs. Charlotte Bobcats Feb. 27, Oracle Arena, 7000 Coliseum Way, (510) 986-2200, www.warriors.com.

Farmers Markets

Webster Street Farmers Market (Ongoing) This certified market allows farmers to sell their crops directly to the public. Come get the freshest produce, artisan breads, nuts, honey, fresh-cut flowers and more. 9:30 a.m.–1 p.m. Tuesdays, Webster Street at Taylor Avenue, (925) 825-9090 or (800) 949-FARM, www.pcfma.com.
 

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