8:12 p.m. Friday, May 16: Best Place to Drink Wine and Bid the Sun Adieu

Oakland Greek Festival

It’s quite simple, really. You get to the Greek Festival in the late afternoon, pay your admission, and head inside. Pick up some fried calamari, Greek sausage, or maybe some of the fabulous grilled lamb chops. Go to one of the bars for some wine. Nothing fancy here; just a couple of reds, a couple of whites. Choose one and carry your glass and plate over to the wall at the western side of the church grounds. Contemplate the view for a moment. It’s a magnificent vista. Downtown Oakland, the bay, San Francisco — all glistening and hazy as the sun begins to set. At the moment the sun sinks into the horizon, raise your glass to your lips, inhale its perfume, take a sip, then a long draught. Cares melt and fade away with the day’s last light. Turn around: the bouzoukis are starting to play. Dancers, skilled and clumsy alike, are moving to the beat. The whole place is alive with people talking, laughing, meeting old friends, and making new ones. There’s no place you’d rather be.

Readers’ Pick for Best Place to Drink Wine: César

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