.42 Things You Absolutely Must Do in the East Bay this Summer

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Visit a Not-So-Chaotic Craft Fair Free-For-All

After a successful inaugural event in 2015, the KPFA Summer Crafts Fair is coming back to the Craneway Pavillion, except this time it’s totally free. The massive event, which benefits KPFA 94.1 FM Public radio, will feature more than 180 local artists selling handmade goods. That means everything from glasswork to basket weaving. And each participant is selected by a jury, so it’s not just some chaotic free for all. There will also be a curated exhibition called Quilts & Quilters, which will feature local quilted works. Free parking is available, as well as a complimentary shuttle from Richmond BART. Saturday June 18, and Sunday, June 19; 1414 Harbour Way South, Richmond, free, KPFA.org. (SB)

Enjoy a Shakespeare Sandwich

Since 1973, the California Shakespeare Theater company has been performing the works of the Bard of Avon as well as a select number of other literary giants — such as Anton Chekhov, Zora Neal Hurston, and Loraine Hansberry — for East Bay audiences. This year’s lineup is no different. Cal Shakes is sandwiching the genius American playwright August aWilson’s Fences and George Bernard Shaw’s romantic farce You Can Never Tell between two of Shakespeare’s greatest, and most dissimilar masterpieces — the comedy Much Ado About Nothing, and the dark commentary on empire, race, and betrayal Othello. All should be great productions, but if you can only make one, get tickets for Wilson’s Fences, a complex exploration of Black life in 1950s Pittsburgh for which Wilson won the Pulitzer Prize. May 25 through October 9, at Bruns Amphitheater, 100 California Shakespeare Theater Way in Orinda; $15-$87; CalShakes.org. (DB)

Check Out a Hyphy-as-Hell Art Show

At the inaugural Mac Dre Art Show last year, someone got a portrait of the Bay Area hip-hop legend buzzed into the back of their head. The sizable pop-up gallery overflowed with people from every walk of life, there to pay respects — and party. By the end of the night, a mattress had been set on fire. Yeah, it was hyphy as hell. And this summer, the art show homage will return. Now, it will be take place at Venue in downtown Oakland and will once again be curated by local artist Street Bleach, who does his own incredible tributes to the rapper in the form of digital collage. Often, they depict Mac Dre as an idol from on high. Rightly so. June 11, 4–10 p.m., 420 14th St.,Oakland, VenueOakland.com. (SB)

Unite with East Bay African Communities

Umoja is the Swahili word for “unity.” And it’s in the name of West Oakland’s Umoja African Festival, with the goal of promoting cultural exchange by bringing various prominent African communities together for a cultural celebration. As in the past, this year it will feature local African food vendors and artisans, as well as local DJs and musicians from the community. Umoja is also partnering with the local fashion designer SuRu Clothing to put together yet another massive soccer tournament, which will feature MVPs from various African soccer leagues from around the Bay Area. And while the adult tournament is going on, the local soccer nonprofit My Yute will be doing a day-long soccer tournament for young ones. August 20, 1180 14th St.,Oakland, TheUmojaFestival.com. (SB)

Take on a Literary Beast

Only in its second year, the annual Bay Area Book Festival has already become a beast. A literary, thought-provoking, and eclectic beast. Similar to San Francisco’s LitQuake, the festival is made up of many events at various locations around the neighborhood — including Freight and Salvage, BAMPFA, and the David Brower Center among many others. This year’s festival is teeming with both local and flown-in intellectuals talking about today’s most relevant topics. That includes Peggy Ornstein in conversation on her new book Girls and Sex, Sherman Alexie discussing storytelling with Daniel Handler (that’s Lemony Snicket), and Rebecca Solnit, Aya de Leon, and Chinaka Hodge on a panel about writing for social change. Sessions are free the day of, but most will sell out for $5 (or a free RSVP) online beforehand. Saturday, June 4, and Sunday, June 5; DowntownBerkeleyBayBookFest.org. (SB)

Experience a Unique Oakland Holiday

Art and Soul weekend is more like an official Oakland holiday than an event. This year, the elaborate outdoor party will take place the weekend of August 20–21 in a familiar set of blocks in downtown Oakland: between Broadway and Martin Luther King Jr. Way, from 16th to 11th streets. Although the schedule has yet to be released, the usual suspects are sure to be there. Last year featured BANDALOOP, Oakland’s internationally famous aerial dance company, as well as a Turf and all styles dance battle, and a stage featuring world dance all day. And the incredible Sheila E, a frequent musical collaborator with Prince, headlined the many musical performances. Aside from that, slam poetry, participatory art, and tons of food can also be expected. Save the date. Saturday, August 20, and Sunday, August. 21; noon–6 p.m.; ArtandSoulOakland.com. (SB)

Have a Damn Picnic

The best thing about summer is the wealth of opportunities it affords you to get out of your damn house. May I humbly suggest, then, that you take advantage of one of the Bay Area’s great treasures — your local farmers’ market — and put together a picnic? If it’s a Saturday, head to the Downtown Berkeley market, where my go-to stalls during the summertime include Fifth Quarter Charcuterie (for awesome rillettes and pâtés), Guru Ram Das Orchards (for Blenheim apricots), Triple Delight Blueberries (for some of the sweetest and fattest berries you’ll ever see), and Morell’s Bread (for a loaf of bread, naturally). On Sundays, the Temescal market is where it’s at — don’t miss the cheese curd guy and Tomatero Farms’ many varieties of outrageously juicy strawberries. The downtown Berkley market is at Center Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way; the Temescal market is at 5300 Claremont Ave., in the DMV parking lot. (LT)

An Island VaCAY … in Alameda

It’s not really summer unless you’re on an island and getting blitzed on some type of blended drink. Maybe a little brain freeze, too. The bad news in the East Bay, however, is that there’s no tropical island with fine-sand beaches. Sorry. But there’s Alameda — actual island! — and the tiki and blended drinks at Forbidden Island not only fit the bill, but they’re also very much respected in the local bartending scene. Forbidden is a dimly lit, shotgun-style bar with a ridiculous selection of classic island dranks and tiki sippers. If you want a big-ass cauldron of straight-to-the-dome, blended fruity goodness, try the Chamborlada (a piña colada variant with raspberry Chambord floater ($13). Or, stay true to the 510 with a Classic Mai Tai, which the owners of Forbidden note was created right here in Oakland at the original Trader Vic’s. 1304 Lincoln Avenue, Alameda, 510-749-0332, ForbiddenIslandAlameda.com. (NM)

Beat the Heat With Spicy Chili Oil

It may seem like a paradox, but eating a fiery meal on a hot day can actually help you cool down. It’s all in the sweat. Find the spiciest of spicy Chinese food at Chengdu Style Restaurant, which specializes in Sichuan cuisine. Try the Sichuan jelly noodle with chili sauce ($5.95), which isn’t really a noodle dish at all. The slippery, chunky strands of translucent jelly are made from mung beans and served cold, swimming in bright-red, Sichuan peppercorn-packed chili oil. Prepare for a mouth-numbing effect so distracting that you probably won’t even notice your internal temperature shift. 2600 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, 510-845-5807, ChengduStyle.com. (JB)

Cool Down with Taro-Flavored Snow

I like ice cream as much as the next person. But for the handful of days each summer when East Bay temperatures crack the mid-80s, it might be instructive to look at the frozen-dessert innovations of countries that are, you know, legitimately hot. Take the island nation of Taiwan, where the summers are as brutal as the food is delicious, and where something called “snow ice” has long been a fixture on the dessert scene. The idea is to take giant blocks of what is essentially rock-hard ice cream and shave it into paper-thin ribbons. You wind up with a dessert that’s creamy, delicate, and incredibly refreshing — it melts on your tongue like real snow. Here in the East Bay, try Vampire Penguin, the downtown Berkeley outpost of a Sacramento-based chain, for interesting toppings and Sanrio-like cutesy Asian kitsch. The globally inspired snow ice menu includes a reinterpretation of a chili-spiked Mexican fruit cup and a delightful take on Filipino halo-halo — taro-flavored “snow” topped with condensed milk, taro paste, jackfruit, and caramel-y leche flan. 2575 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley, VampirePenguin.com. (LT)

Sip a Summer Tea That Refreshes

With lightly sweetened, creamy tea, and pleasingly chewy tapioca pearls, boba tea — otherwise known as bubble tea — makes for an ideal summertime snack. But with so many boba shops in the East Bay — and so many mediocre ones to weed through — choosing a destination can feel overwhelming. And once you’ve done that, you have to choose from a menu vaguely detailing as many as 50 options. For something beyond the standard milk-tea-with-boba-please order, try the mango sago pomelo ($4.95) from Taiwanese chain iTea. Modeled off the popular Hong Kong dessert, this simultaneously rich and refreshing drink features mango, pomelo, and coconut milk blended up, plus fresh mango chunks and sago pearls, which look and feel like teeny-tiny tapioca balls. The only downside? The line that perpetually wraps outside iTea’s door. Don’t be too discouraged, though: There’s hardly any space inside the actual storefront, so what you see is what you’re dealing with. 388 Ninth Street, Suite 125A, in Oakland; 510-882-2228. (JB)

Let it Ride at a Food Truck Party

For the more jaded food adventurers among us, the novelty of the food-truck rally may have worn off a while back. But that doesn’t mean Off the Grid and other events of its ilk — wherein four or five mobile food vendors get together to sling tacos and chill — haven’t become a beloved part of the East Bay’s social fabric. That’s especially true during the summer, when an impromptu food-truck picnic makes for an appealing dining option. In the East Bay, Off the Grid’s Friday night event at the Oakland Museum of California is the blockbuster of these street-food events, with as many as twenty participating trucks, plus family-friendly dance lessons and half-price museum admission. But don’t sleep on Bites Off Broadway, the other major Friday night event, which takes the crown for the kid-friendliest and most low-key food truck gathering. Off the Grid is every Friday, 5–10 p.m., at 1000 Oak Street in Oakland; Bites Off Broadway is Friday nights, 5:30–8:30 p.m., at 365 45th Street in Oakland. (LT)

Get Addicted to a Croissant

It’s embarrassing, really. The first thing I think of when I get up on Saturdays isn’t that my dog needs to go for a walk. It’s the ham-and-cheese croissant at Crispian Bakery, the relatively new, French-inspired artisan pastry and bread shop over on the island in Alameda. The croissant is designed traditionally, like a pinwheel, with strips of cheese and ham folded inside to form a perfect world of savory and buttery good morning. It’s also seasoned perfectly, which imparts a welcome umami first thing in the morning. This is by far the best $4.50 one can spend any weekend. 1700 Park Street, No. 120, Alameda; 510-239-4751, CrispianBakery.com. (NM)

Do It, Dog

Nothing says summer like a good weenie roast, and Top Dog is a hands-down classic. Dominating the Berkeley sausage scene since its origination in 1966, Top Dog has carved its name into the hearts and taste buds of the East Bay with menu items varying from smoked chicken apple, German bratwurst, mango habanero, and even a vegetarian option, all for under $4 a dog. The place is often hailed as a late night favorite for college students, but if you’re trying to avoid lines, the business also sells dogs in bulk to throw on your own barbie at home. 2534 Durant Avenue, Berkeley, 510-843-7250, TopDogHotDogs.com. (SJ)

Go New York with that West Coast Slice

It was a bizarre afternoon. I won’t bore you with needless details, but what’s important is that the good times made their way to Prizefighter, the excellent Emeryville bar. Brews, shots — you’ve been down that road. Then, I trip you not, Oakland Raiders coach Jack Del Rio walks into the place and posts up at the corner chair. Great guy! We chatted for a bit. The reason I’m sharing all this is because — pro tip — the nearby Rotten City Pizza delivers to Prizefighter (among other locations, such as your pad). Excellent thin-crust pies, in the New York tradition, but with high-level West Coast toppings. That pie was so amazing that I yelled across the bar, “Hey coach, you gotta have a slice of this!” I’m still embarrassed to this day. Go Raiders! 6613 Hollis Street, Emeryville, 510-655-2489, RottenCityPizza.com. (NM)

Barbecue Grub (with No PESKY Kids)

With summer comes barbecues: kids frolicking in the grass, beers sitting in the cooler and hamburger patties sizzling on the grill. What’s not to like? Well, depending on who is hosting the shindig, those patties might be from Costco’s freezer aisle, that beer might be Bud Light, and those kids might be super annoying. Take the party inside and ensure the grub will actually satisfy at Gogi Time, where the $26.95 all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue is among the best in the region. Grill marinated meats, like beef bulgogi or spicy pork, or keep it pure with un-marinated brisket or pork belly. You can even get seafood. Or spam. Whatever you do, go for dinner or during a weekend, when the restaurant stocks its tables with charcoal grills. You’ll taste the difference. 2600 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, 510-394-1949, GogiTime.com. (JB)

For that Sausage and Beer Fix

The entrance to Telegraph Oakland Beer Garden is right next to the flat-top grill, so before you can take in the communal picnic table seating, quality selection of brew or the work of local artists adorning the walls, the rich aromas emanating from the small but efficient kitchen encourage you to order the food. It’s legit. Grilled-to-order specialty burgers, such as the 5150 with a half-bacon, half-Angus beef patty, and a BLT to die for when you can catch it on the special board — that housemade bacon — are both great. But where the kitchen really shines is the handmade sausages seared on the grill, served on a toasted roll with jalapeño-cilantro slaw. Dog-friendly, family-friendly, and with outdoor-seating, Telegraph is an excellent place for a bite and a brew on a summer afternoon. 2318 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, 510-444-8353, TelegraphOakland.com. (JM)

Taste the Burmese Rainbow

Maybe you’re contemplating your bathing suit these days. Maybe you find yourself saying, “I should eat a salad tonight.” Maybe you’re dreading it. Let your slimming, salad-eating experiences be grand, bold affairs — let them be Burmese. At Burma Superstar, the most famous dish is the 20-ingredient tea leaf salad. While certainly delicious, its fermented pungency can be a little intense for some folks. For an easier introduction, look no further than the rainbow salad ($11.75), a medley of 22 ingredients, including four types of noodles, dried shrimp, and green papaya. Tossed tableside in a tamarind dressing, it’s a wealth of textures and bright — ahem — summery flavors. 4721 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, 510-652-2900; 1345 Park Street in Alameda, 510-522-6200; BurmaSuperstar.com. (JB)

Wait in a Long Line for Amazing Ice Cream

The always-slammed ice cream parlour by Mary Canales, a former Chez Panisse pastry chef, does everything right. Its unique, seasonal ice cream flavors — think green tea rose, candied Meyer lemon, and honey-lavender pistachio — are not only delicious, but their ingredients are also sourced from local farms. But before you spend your twenty minutes in line agonizing over exactly what flavors you’ll taste, remember one word: sandwich. Ici Ice Cream‘s individually wrapped ice cream sandwiches ($4.35) bring to mind the novelty treats of your childhood, with a thin, delicate cookie hugging a fat layer of cold, creamy goodness. Call ahead to find out what flavors Ici is serving that day, but if there’s earl grey tea on chocolate wafers, you want it. 2948 College Avenue, Berkeley, 510-665-6054, Ici-IceCream.com. (JB)

Experience A LEGIT PIZZA Delivery

The pizza guy is at my front door. But there’s no cardboard box; there’s something wrapped in butcher paper. And the pizza isn’t even cooked. Yet it’s one of the more exciting, original, flavorful pies you can get in the East Bay. How it works: Visit Pizza Matador‘s website, behold the awesome daily specials (such as the jamon serrano ham, pineapple, romesco and manchego pie, $23, and it’s gentle zing and citrus bite). Pro tip: Anticipate your craving for Matador and order earlier in the day, before their pizzas sell out. Then, later, between the hours of 4-8 p.m., Matador will transport partially baked full pies. All you have to do is fire them up for a few minutes, then enjoy this high-quality, 100 percent organic delivery piping hot, as it should be. Bonus: No delivery charge (but, please, don’t be a cheap ass, tip the driver). 510-394-5422, PizzaMatador.com. (NM)

Have Coffee That’s Like Guinness For Breakfast

Highwire Coffee didn’t just jump on the nitro coffee trend — the local company became a national pioneer when it started brewing the stuff in 2014. Then, it got all fancy by giving its nitro coffee a name, the Howling Wolf ($4). Titles aside, nitro coffee is already pretty fancy. Essentially, cold brew gets pumped up with nitrogen, then served on tap. The beer comparisons don’t stop there. The result pours thick and creamy, with a distinct layer of foamy head. No need for cream or sugar, which would only distract from the coffee’s effervescence and natural decadence. It’s like Guinness for breakfast — and, OK, the beer comparisons officially stop there. 2049 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley; 510-647-5270; 5655 College Avenue, Oakland; 510-653-0450; HighwireCoffee.com. (JB)

If You Actually Have to Study this Summer …

At Lindgren’s Coffee & Café in Berkeley, summer schoolers can choose among a list of caffeinated classics to get through the grunt work. Or $15 mimosa pitchers to celebrate afterward! Tucked away near Shattuck Avenue, the cafe often has ample seating and, even more crucially, open charging outlets. It’s even got a shaded back patio for larger groups, or for studiers trying to soak up the summer sun. Menu items such the $11 breakfast sandwich — eggs, bacon, avocado, tomato, and Swiss all loaded on house-made raisin bread — don’t always align with a student’s budget, but it will deliciously fuel the grind nonetheless. 2120 Dwight Way, Berkeley, 510-982-1905, LindgrensCafe.com. (SJ)

Build a Robot

If you have a teen or pre-teen in your life who’d think that learning how to handle a welding torch is the raddest thing ever, you should check out the catalogue of weeklong day camps at The Crucible. The Oakland-based nonprofit might be the biggest advocate in the country for the preservation of such old-school industrial arts as welding, glassblowing, and blacksmithing. According to youth-program associate Ismael Plasencia, even camps that focus on more modern technologies take a scrappier, more low-tech approach than what you might expect: In the robotics camp, for instance, students build robots out of popsicle sticks and other repurposed materials instead of just using a ready-made kit. Plasencia’s favorite camp? The one in which students design and build a bicycle from scratch over the course of the week. Most half-day classes run $300–$400, and kids who choose both a morning and evening session can make a full day of it. Need-based scholarships are available. 1260 Seventh Street, Oakland, 510-444-0919, TheCrucible.org. (LT)

Teach your kid code

Silicon Valley tech companies have rightly taken heat for how few women occupy the highest leadership positions. At least one kids’ summer camp would like to nip that trend in the bud: This summer, UC Berkeley will host Alexa Cafe, a tech camp for girls between the ages of 10 and 15. Sponsored by the Silicon Valley-based ID Tech, which runs hundreds of kids’ tech camps all over the country, Alexa is a “cafe” in the loose, tech-startup coworking space sense of the word, as campers spend large chunks of the week lounging on beanbag chairs, laptop in hand. Joy Meserve, ID Tech’s chief program officer, said the all-female setting helps free up girls hitting that dreaded “too cool for school” age group to be enthusiastic about, say, coding or video game design without worrying about what the boy sitting next to them is thinking. A weeklong session costs $949, plus $599 for girls who stay overnight in a Cal dorm. www.idtech.com/alexa-cafe. (LT)

Rescue an Animal

It’s a fact: You’re going to be lonely at some point this summer. And that’s one reason why you should rescue an animal — you’ll never not have someone by your side, ever again, and you’ll feel pretty damn good bringing a buddy in need into your home. There are many animal-rescue options in the East Bay, including Oakland Animal Services (OaklandAnimalServices.org), East Bay SPCA (EastBaySPCA.org), Hopalong and Second Chance Animal Rescue (Hopalong.org) and Berkeley Humane (BerkeleyHumane.org), among other deserving spots. But be advised: Bringing a pet into your casa is a major responsibility (i.e., don’t be some jerk who adopts a dog, but then leaves them alone all the time). That’s just supplementing one lonely creature on this planet for another. Not cool. (NM)

Just Zoo It

There are tons of family activities available at the Oakland Zoo. Zoovie Nights are animal-themed outdoor movie screenings ($7 per ticket). This summer offers Kung Fu Panda 3 on July 22 and Ratatouille on August 26. For Teddy Bear Tea with Friends, kids come with an adult and stuffed animal for a tea party complete with morning snacks, activities and a chance to learn and interact with one of the zoo’s animals — that’s Sun Bears on July 16 and Macaws on August 14 ($26 for kids, $15 for adults). And if you really want to please your kid, sign up for a Family Sundown Safari (July 8 and August 6) for which families are invited to camp out for an overnight adventure including a twilight tour, special show, and campfire session complete with s’mores ($85 per person). 9777 Golf Links Road, OaklandZoo.org. (SB)

Let Your Kid Use a Real Handsaw

If your child has exhausted his or her enthusiasm for the humdrum swings and slides of a conventional playground, it may be time to pay a visit to Adventure Playground, an only-in-Berkeley wonderland of makeshift forts, abandoned rowboats, scrap wood and stray nails. Here, kids are encouraged to use real hammers and handsaws, and the only governing rule — aside from the ones having to do with basic safety — is to let one’s creativity and sense of adventure roam free. Older kids won’t want to miss the zipline. 160 University Avenue, Berkeley, 510- 981-6720, www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/adventureplayground. (LT)

Dance at a Museum

Combine half-price Oakland Museum of California admission for adults (ages 18 and under are free) with the diverse food truck offerings from Off the Grid — plus a pop-up cash bar, live music, and a dance floor — and you’ve got yourself Friday Nights @ OMCA. This local and visitor favorite takes place every week from 5-10 p.m., but come on the first or last Friday of the month from 6 to 8 p.m. for tastings and demos from local breweries, coffee roasters and organic farmers. Also, every week the event features a free art workshop, along with what many folks come for: live music and groovin’ dance lessons. 1000 Oak Street, Oakland, MuseumCA.org. (SJ)

Show Your Pet You Love Them

Gourmet chicken liver bites. Barbecue strips made with 100 percent natural beef. A plush porcupine with a super loud squeaker. My dog straight adores all his goodies from George, the upscale pet shop in Berkeley. George is to pets as the jewelry store is to engagements: It’s where you go to remind your dog or cat that you’re committed. That you’re all in. And the best part is that, unlike a ring, you don’t have to spend three paychecks. Sure, George has a lot of swankier treats and toys. But people throw down on big-ticket purchases for themselves all the time; why not splurge on the four-legged ones for once? 1824 Fourth Street, Berkeley, 510-644-1033, GeorgeSF.com. (NM)

Uplifting Day Party Vibes

It’s always a celebration when Soulovely, now in its fifth year, returns to the New Parish in late spring. The seasonal day party is the brainchild of rapper Aima the Dreamer and DJs Emancipacion and Lady Ryan, who envisioned it as a place where queer and straight folks alike could dance to uplifting party music free of misogynistic lyrics. Taking place in the afternoon every second Sunday, and usually from May to October, the event turns The New Parish’s patio into a dance floor, with eclectic sets and rotating monthly guest DJs and live performers. While Lady Ryan typically likes to play a mixture of R&B and hip-hop throwbacks, plus newer tracks, Emancipacion prefers to bring in house beats and occasional nods to her Egyptian heritage. And, like Aima the Dreamer said in a previous interview with the Express, there’s no Top 40 — unless the Soulovely crew is reclaiming it in the name of the goddess. Second Sundays of the month from 3-8 p.m., 1743 San Pablo Ave., Oakland; $5, $10; TheNewParish.com. (NV)

Dig Some Jerry

Screw Dead & Co. (OK, so maybe don’t screw them, but do you really want to fork over all that cheddar to Bob Weir?) Anyway, if seeing the Dead Lite isn’t your bag, consider the fourteenth annual Jerry Day, later this summer on August 14. The name says it all: Bands, costumes, vibes, all directed at the former Grateful Dead frontman. Jerry Day’s become a classic Bay Area gathering; if you haven’t checked it out, make a point to do so this summer. And, oh yeah, you can donate to help the cause on their website. Sunday, August 14, at 11 a.m., at McLaren Park/Jerry Garcia Amphitheatre, 45 John F. Shelley Drive in San Francisco; JerryDay.org. (NM)

Festival Without Fear of Missing out

In its 79th year, Stern Grove Festival is a music gathering in San Francisco that’s rolled out in weekly installments from June 19 through August 21. There’s a certain advantage to having the festival spread out throughout the summer, as opposed to being packed into a single weekend. This way, concert-goers can choose who to see without worrying about wasting their time on those they’d rather skip — without the guilt or FOMO of bailing on a chunk of an all-day festival. This year’s Stern Grove lineup is stellar, and all the shows are free. The festival debuts with a concert by avant-pop and neo-soul songstress Janelle Monae on June 19, followed by a performance from George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic. On July 3, legendary Oakland hip-hop collective Hieroglyphics performs alongside the all-female Oakland dance crew Mix’d Ingrdnts. Other notable acts include the San Francisco Symphony and Oakland indie rock act Astronauts, etc. — basically, something for everyone. Every Sunday, June 19 through August 21, at 2 p.m.; 19th Ave. and Sloat Blvd., San Francisco, free; SternGrove.org. (NV)

Outdoor Garden Concerts

The manicured park surrounding Yerba Buena Center for the Arts will host 75 performances this summer for Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, which began earlier this month and lasts throughout the hot months. Programming includes outdoor concerts on weekends and during lunchtime on some weekdays — perfect for those who work in San Francisco — as well as salsa-dancing parties with live music, other entertainment for kids, poetry readings, and performing arts. Highlights include lunchtime concerts by the Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble (June 9); singer-songwriter Zéna Carlota, who is a virtuoso on the kora, a harp-like instrument from West Africa (July 21); and Naima Shalhoub, an Oakland jazz singer and prison abolition activist who plays on August 25. As far as the weekend sessions, readers can look forward to the hip-hop orchestra Ensemble Mik Nawooj, which plays on May 28; and Red Baraat, a band that combines North Indian bhangra with elements of rock and jazz, on August 27. May 1 through October 30, Mission Street between Third and Fourth streets in San Francisco, free, YBGFestival.org. (NV)

Chill Under the Redwood Trees

Enjoy mellow live music and a picnic under the cool shade of towering redwood trees in UC Berkeley’s botanical gardens at the annual Red Grove Summer Concerts, a performance series that takes place all summer. The events feature a variety of indie, folk, and classical music acts, which fit the bucolic setting. The series kicks off with a show by the Berkeley Symphony’s string ensemble, Quartet San Francisco, which will be playing a sampling of jazz, pop, blues, and gypsy swing arranged for violin, cello, and viola (June 2). Celebrated indie folk band Vetiver performs the following week (on June 9). Acoustic Brazilian band Grupo Falso Baiano, which blends the traditional folk genre choro with jazz, flamenco, and samba, is also one not to miss (on August 18). June 2 through August 25, 200 Centennial Drive, Berkeley, prices vary, BotanicalGarden.Berkeley.edu. (NV)

See the World … in Point Richmond

Taking place in downtown Point Richmond in monthly installments from June to September, the Point Richmond Summer Music Festival is the place to be for world music and jazz lovers. The first concert of the series, which is on June 10, features Afro-Brazilian band Namorados Da Lua, which blends samba, forró, reggae, jazz, rock, and funk, as well as award-winning blues singer-songwriter Johnny Rawls. New Orleans-style brass band MJ’s Brass Boppers and Zydeco Flames are sure to bring a dynamic set in July, while Kenya B Trio will bring retro jazz and blues stylings for the August edition alongside Patron Latin Rhythms. June 10 through September 9, Washington Ave. at Park Place in Point Richmond, free, PointRichmondMusic.org. (NV)

Must-Do Rap Fest

Curated by the same folks who put on Oakland Music Festival, Red, White & Booze is the Memorial Day blow-out that rap fans must add to their calendars. The first edition of the event last year featured Post Malone as headliner, and concertgoers got the chance to see him in an intimate setting just weeks before “White Iverson” blew up into a mega-hit. This year’s Red, White & Booze takes place at the newly reopened Uptown Nightclub, and topping the lineup is none other than local legend Keak Da Sneak, King of tha Supa Dupa Hyphy, as he dubbed himself in the title of his 2006 mixtape. Other acts to look forward to at the event include 1-O.A.K., a celebrated local R&B singer and producer; Shmoplife affiliates Dave Steezy and Daghe; up-and-coming vocalist YMTK, who makes house-inflected R&B; and producer Softest Hard, who combines florid, melodic synth playing with booming bass. Monday, May 30, 4-10 p.m., at The Uptown Night Club, 1928 Telegraph Avenue in Oakland; RWB16.com. (NV)

Give Praise to Two Wheels

The bicycle is probably the most elegant, humane and practical contraption ever conceived. Bikes are beautiful. They’re the original zero-carbon transportation devices. They keep us fit. And unlike the new fad-gadgets that roll us from A-to-Z, from wheeled-heeled-shoes to hoverboards, bikes never get old. Pedalfest is a celebration of the noble bicycle’s quotidian uses and exceptional joys. For the practical riders, you witness a pedal-powered sound stage for music and see demonstrations of bicycle contraptions that create art and make food. For kids, there’s a bike parade and bicycle rodeo activity. For bike nerds, the Exploratorium will host an exhibit on the “science of cycling.” For beer drinkers, suds will be served by the bicycle-loving brewery New Belgium Brewing Co. For the adrenaline set, there will be a bike stunt exhibition and the Whiskeydrome, “a 30-foot banked wooden velodrome” inside which riders orbit past one another at high speed. And of course dozens of vendors will be showing off the latest bikes, parts, and accessories. On July 23 at Jack London Square, Oakland, no cover, PedalfestJackLondon.com. (DB)

Surf with a Kite

Visit the west end of Shoreline Drive in Alameda on any windy summer weekend, and it’s a sight to behold: Dozens of kites floating above the water, attached to surfers on boards. Some glide cautiously over the bay tide, others shoot through the sky, ten or more feet airborne. It’s awesome. So much so that you kind of want to join them. And you can: Just visit Boardsports California for kite-surfing lessons. All summer long every weekend, they do $50 beginners classes in Alameda, San Francisco, and San Mateo. They also rent out trainer kites, which you can practice on in your free time. And, yeah, you’re basically going to want to have a lot of free time, and will want to be in the water as much as possible. Find out more at BoardSportsCalifornia.com. (NM)

Cycling for Those Who Can’t Embrace Mainstream Cycling Culture

FWOD is a women’s only, trans and gender non-conforming inclusive social bike ride that meets every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Lake Merritt BART, rain or shine. As a safe space for people who might normally feel excluded by cycling culture, FWOD offers a rebuttal to a sport that still uses “podium girls” to award trophies in professional races. The name has many interpretations, but its main meaning in Oakland is #flywitchesofdoom. Any and all women are welcome with open arms — there’s no need to register. Find FWOD Oakland (and its sister clubs in Brooklyn and Chicago) on Instagram at @fwod_oakland. (BJ)

Become An Urban Triathlete

Triathlons are the new craft beer. No, really, it’s true: All those beer guzzlers of yesterday are migrating to the swim-bike-run competitions, probably to work off all those IPA calories they hooked themselves on last decade. Anyway, the third annual Oakland Triathlon Festival is the perfect entryway into this world, as the course is a lot more manageable (i.e., shorter) and there’s a race for everyone. Beginners can do the AquaBike, a.k.a. the half-mile swim and 12.5 mile bike ride. Those not yet ready for a half Ironman should register for the Olympic Race (1.5 kilometer swim, 24.9 miles on the bike, 10 kilometer run). And there’s also run-bike and swim-bike combinations, all set in urban downtown Oakland (the swim portion is in the bay estuary near Jack London Square). And, if you’re not down to compete, cruise over to the waterfront to check out the competition, anyway. On Saturday, July 31, various entry-free prices, OaklandTri.com. (NM)

Dive in the Local Watering Hole

It isn’t summer until you’re taken a dip in the local watering hole, and for the East Bay, that’s Lake Anza. Less than four miles away from the Downtown Berkeley BART station, Lake Anza combines the sought-after splendor and solitude of the great outdoors with the convenience of being only a short drive away from home. Here, you can take a walk around the surrounding hiking trails in Tilden Regional Park, or bring lunch for a picnic on the beach. Adventurous explorers might want to venture to the lake’s east side, where you can find rocks to jump off into the lake (just be sure to check the current water quality conditions before taking the plunge). Find out more at EBparks.org. (SJ)

Sailing that Won’t Bust the Wallet

Fun times on the water are no longer reserved for only the rich. At Cal Sailing Club, a nonprofit sailing club in Berkeley, members can join for three months — ideal for some time off in summer — at only $99, or for a full year at $297. Club members, who are required to complete at least two hours of volunteer work, have access to things such as sailing and windsurfing lessons, equipment use and cruises, among other club perks. And if you’ve never set sail before, even better: CSC says most members have no sailing or windsurfing experience by the time they first join. 124 University Avenue, Berkeley, Cal-Sailing.org. (SJ)


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