.Readers Say the Darndest Things: Arts & Culture

Sexy stories, seat warmers, and low standards.

Best Author Readings
The Octopus Literary Salon
Self-identified older women read sexy stories and poetry. Where else can you get this? — Susan Kuchinskas

Best Band
Based in Berkeley. Listen to “I Was Just A Kid.” — Alexis Pratt

Best Charitable Nonprofit
Alameda County Community Food Bank
Together with their food bank network, they serve 116,000 people per month in the Alameda County with nutritious food. They are determined to end hunger in the community. — Aleth Dimaano

Best Cultural Event
Berkeley Juneteenth
It is the oldest running Juneteenth in the Bay Area. It continues to be a meeting place for African Americans to gather and celebrate our freedom and achievements. — Barbie Penn

Albany FilmFest
Albany FilmFest is a gem of a short film festival (now ten years old!) that screens original, thought-provoking films promotes local emerging filmmakers, students, youth, and widely diverse topics and voices. — nell

Best DJ Night
Pahleaze if you don’t know you should. — Aaronette Leboothang King

Suavecito Souldies at The Uptown Nightclub
I come from all the way across the bay just to go to this night! — Bryan M

Best East Bay Movie of Last 12 Months
Best Oakland-centric movie of the past year. It moved me deeply, and was made with such a sense of place. — Janet Winter

Best Free Event
Chabot Space and Science Center
They are the only science center on the West Coast to offer free, weekly viewing through research-class telescopes. — Anthony Chabot

Best Live Theater Value
Shotgun Players
Always high-quality, pushing the envelope, challenging and interesting productions. Not everyone is a hit but I never regret buying a season ticket. — Cygna

Best Local Podcast
2 Girls Talking Trash
Two locals talk food waste. They are making food waste fun!! — Hope

Best Movie-Viewing Experience
Century 19 Downtown Walnut Creek
Seat Warmers!!!! — Kara

The Lot
San Ramon — Norma Batongbacal

Best Place to Dazzle Your Sweetie on Date Night
The Soiled Dove
They are the best show in the Bay by far!!! Nothing else like it. Any date would be dazzled to the max here! — Leah Colecchia

El Gato Negro
I have no standards. — anshil

Duvin: A Gathering Place
This intimate venue screams of old world charm. It feels like you are entertaining in your own living room, with small seating areas when you want your privacy. Featuring local musicians every Friday and Saturday nights, game nights and open mic. Private cannabis club by invitation only on Wednesday nights. Innovative CBD cocktails and alcohol free euphoric mocktails. This is an incredible find for sharing an evening with friends or a first date. — Lisa McFadin

Chabot Space and Science Center
The coolest date night ever. They have laser shows, romantic telescopes and a great lineup of adult only events. — Anthony Chabot

Pro Athlete Most Worth Their Salary
Steph Curry
He’s just an overall great guy with a lot of common sense. He was brought up with great manners. — Ann Marie

Best DJ
Only Bay Area DJ that’s on a world tour — Leandre

Best Rising Political Figure
Kamala Harris
Come on, that one was expected, right? — Dejon Gill

Most Affordable Gallery in Which to Buy Art
E-clectique Art Gallery
Kris Mikkelson who curates E-clectique Gallery has a philosophy that not only everyone likes a deal but the inventory needs to move and change consistently. A lot of patrons mention how reasonably priced the inventory is. — Clara Bellino

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