This Week’s Day-by-Day Picks

WED 28

They may be the cheapest rides in the tony Blackhawk environs, but the pedal cars in the Blackhawk Museum’s Pedaling Through Time: A Century of Pedal Cars exhibition are sure to provoke a smile from anyone who’s ever been a kid. The collection of pedal-powered children’s vehicles, from the late 19th century through 2000, includes fire trucks, airplanes, tractors, and — who knows? — maybe even a Dukes of Hazzard Hot Wheels from the ’70s. Many of the toy cars come from the collection of Stu Laidlaw of Angels Camp, who restores full-size autos for a living. The show continues through November 14 at the museum, 3700 Blackhawk Circle, Danville, 925-736-2280 or — open Wednesdays through Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. — Kelly Vance

THU 29

Capoeira is huge here. So it’s no surprise that the tenth annual International Capoeira Angola Conference is taking place in Oakland and Berkeley this year, right? It is when you consider that, though the conference alternates between Brazil and the United States, it’s never before touched down on the West Coast. The conference — which focuses on the traditional incarnation of the African-Brazilian martial art — will welcome more than two hundred participants, including masters from Brazil, France, and all over the United States. Tonight is the opening ceremony at the West Oakland headquarters of the International Capoeira Angola Foundation, 2513 Magnolia St., at 6:30 p.m. The workshops, lectures, and whatnot happen Friday through Sunday at the Pauley Ballroom in UC Berkeley’s MLK Student Union. $140 for ICAF members, $160 for everyone else. Info: Stefanie Kalem

FRI 30

A recent Broadway revival of A Raisin in the Sun starred none other than Sean “P. Diddy” Combs as Walter Lee Younger, the pent-up father at the center of Lorraine Hansberry’s 1959 play. When Ayodele Nzinga’s production of Raisin’ plays the Sister Thea Bowman Memorial Theater this weekend and next, it’ll feature no such bling-bling billing, except for the fact that, as WordSlanger, Nzinga is a popular local poet. Nzinga has set the award-winning classic in West Oakland, altering the themes of struggle and prejudice just enough to fit our times. The show plays Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and this Sunday and next at 4 p.m. Tickets cost $20 (sliding scale), and the Bowman Theater is at 920 Peralta St. in Oakland. For info: 510-208-5651 or [email protected]Stefanie Kalem

SAT 31

See the butterfly. Be the butterfly. And the moth, too, at Flying Flowers, a class and demonstration that also happens to be a benefit for Friends of the Regional Parks Botanic Garden. For $35 ($30 members), you can explore modes and methods of painting and drawing “flying flowers.” From 1 to 4 p.m. today, view demos in Berkeley’s Tilden Park Botanic Garden, and then take a whack yourself at catching the details, form, colors, and essence of flutterbys and their nighttime cousins — on paper, of course. Specimens will be supplied, and a materials list will be available upon registration. Attendance is limited, so please visit or call 510-845-41169 to RSVP. — Stefanie Kalem


Movie fans fall in love with Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s The Red Shoes for all sorts of reasons. Some watch it for the dance. Others become entranced with the fantasy of it all (the original story was written by Hans Christian Andersen), as a star-crossed ballerina must choose between a prince and a choreographer. But there are those who lose themselves again and again in The Red Shoes simply gazing at the cinematography. The 1948 British production was shot by the great Jack Cardiff, who also did The Barefoot Contessa, The Vikings, and Powell & Pressburger’s deliriously beautiful fable Black Narcissus before working his way up to, ahem, Conan the Destroyer later on. The title slippers, for example, leave their rivals from The Wizard of Oz in the dust. The Red Shoes screens at 2 p.m. today at the Alameda Multi-Cultural Community Center, 842 Central Ave., Alameda, as part of its Vintage Children’s Film Series. $3. Info: 415-572-8759. — Kelly Vance


The folks at KALW and KPFA are often heard touting the Irish, bluegrass, and swing music played live at McGrath’s Irish Pub. It’s that kind of place — a place where musicians do what they do best. No, not drink — play. Every Monday night, starting at 7:30, you’ll find a big ol’ bluegrass jam, with more banjos, mandolins, fiddles, and guitars than you could shake your John Fahey at. Members of bands that have played at McGrath’s — such as Cabin Fever and the Shots — sit in, and you can, too. McGrath’s can be found at 1539 Lincoln Ave. in Alameda. Call 510-522-6263 or visit to learn more. — Stefanie Kalem


The first thing any American who boards a European train learns is that it’s more comfortable and civilized than any US commercial airline. No, that’s not really the first thing. The first thing you learn is that it’s as expensive as any US airline. But the view is better. Eager to learn the ins and outs of catching the rapido between Firenze Santa Maria Novello and Roma Termini, or the Costa Brava from Barcelona Sants to Madrid Chamartin? Jay Brunhouse can help. His book, Traveling the Eurail Express, is now in a revised and updated edition, and Brunhouse himself is appearing this evening (7:30 p.m.) at Easy Going Travel Shop & Bookstore to show slides and talk about chemins de fer, lokomotivs, TGVs, and how much to tip the baggage porter in Moscow for helping you de-train your double bass. Easy Going is at 1385 Shattuck Ave. in North Berkeley, 510-843-3533 or EasyGoing.comKelly Vance

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