On the state of things…

The murder of George Floyd has struck a chord with the world. It has created a spark, which has ignited the tinder ignored for decades. Unfortunately, unconscious bias, racism, and racial stereotyping exist. My hope is this movement will create the needed changes and initiate conversations for understanding and acceptance.

I am all for civil disobedience, freedom of speech, and the right to protest. There were thousands who came to Walnut Creek and peacefully protested. The key words are “civil” and “peaceful.” I deplore the few opportunists who choose to loot our cities. They dilute the message of the peaceful protestors and reinforce the opinion of those who are already biased or racist, and cause the police to be more vigilant. To be clear, I believe looting here and nationwide has mostly been done by outside agitators and opportunists who are not associated with the peaceful movement itself.

I live very close to downtown, and the night the looting occurred, I worried rioters would come into my neighborhood and I considered what I would do. The next day, there were some emails asking what we could do to keep our neighborhood safe if that happened. This photo was sent out. I suspect the police were preventing anybody from looting Kaiser, which is directly behind them, but also the main access to my neighborhood. The next night, when I heard helicopters, I felt safer and appreciated the police who are there to protect, though some heavy-handed police actions across the nation has made people skeptical about their intentions. The police, as a general entity, obviously have issues to fix. Their main duty is to serve and protect, and most do that admirably.

As a result of the looting on Monday, our beautiful town of Walnut Creek is boarded up. My heart also goes out to all the businesses who had to shut down or restrict their business activities due to the mandated shelter-in-place. They now have had to protect their businesses by boarding up the windows or repairing damage caused by the looting. The downtown area was closed off for a few days and there are very few who are wandering down there. Please continue to support them in whatever way you can. The day after the looting, many residents came downtown to help clean it up. Kudos to all who did. I only heard about it afterward – otherwise, I would have been there too.

I debated about posting this because there is fear in sharing it. Fear that I will say something wrong, offend somebody, or not say enough. I believe we all have a voice and we should express it when something is a concern and stand up for what is right. This is what protesting is all about and we should stand up for what we believe in. Our voices should be heard. Vote. Strive to make a change for good. Be heard.

I will end this with a quote by James Baldwin: “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

Event Round-Up: Mar. 14, 2020

Spring has nearly sprung around Walnut Creek, and though I’m so excited for the Open Space to bloom, I am hoping we have a good amount of rain in March! This can be a great time of year to go exploring – here are some fun events to check out for the next few weeks in and around Walnut Creek.

The Real Irish Comedy Fest at the Lesher Center – Mar. 15 (Walnut Creek)

Join comedians and performers at the Lesher Center for a gut-busting Irish-themed comedy show before the official St. Patty’s Day celebrations take shape. Tickets as low as $25.

St. Patrick’s Day Bands and Corned Beef at Norm’s Place – Mar. 17 (Danville)

Live bands. Green beer. Guinness. And hundreds of pounds of corned beef and cabbage! It may not smell great, but that’s going to be a darn good, tasty time at Norm’s Place in Danville! More info here.

Belgian Beer Tasting at Bierhause – Mar. 18 (Walnut Creek)

Bierhaus’ first tasting was a sold-out success! Join them on Mar. 18 to learn about the world of Belgian beer. A $20 tasting fee gets you a free drink and huge discounts. The event takes place from 6-7:30 p.m.

Sports Basement BrewFest at the Presidio – Mar. 28 (San Francisco)

Speaking of beer, you don’t want to miss this huge brewery blow-out at the Sports Basement in the Presidio. You can’t beat the locale, and you get to try beers from a ton of great craft breweries! Get more info here.

Easter at the Garden – Apr. 12 (Walnut Creek)

Bring the kids to the Ruth Bancroft Gardens for Easter activities! This will include an easter egg scavenger hunt and other festivities! Tickets are only $8-10 right now.


Event Round-Up: Dec. 14

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! We may not get snow in Walnut Creek, but it’s still a winter wonderland as far as I’m concerned. ‘Tis the season for holiday festivities, whether it be Christmas, Hannukah, or something else entirely! Enjoy some of these local events over the next month!

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1. Night Bloom SF – thru Jan. 5, 2020

The gorgeous Conservatory of Flowers does an awesome holiday-themed night bloom each winter and you must go see it! Lights and sounds will glorify the conservatory! More details here.

2. GLOW: Festival of Lights – thru Jan. 26, 2020 (San Francisco)

Kids 3 and under get into this fun, festive show on Pier 15 for free! The normal price of the ticket for adults is $30, but you’ll be treated to a brilliant display of lights during the holiday season.

3. Annual Winter Delight Night – Weds., 12/18 (Lafayette)

Take the family to the Lafayette Library for a winter-themed storytime and dance party, before winding down with crafts, hot chocolate and cookies. It’s a perfect holiday expedition!

4. Grand Menorah Lighting – Sun., 12/22 (Walnut Creek)

For those who celebrate Hannukah or for those who just want to see a cool holiday spectacle – venture down to Broadway Plaza from 4-6 p.m. for a free lighting ceremony of a grand menorah!

5. Big Fat Year End Kiss Off Comedy Show – Sat., 12/28 (Walnut Creek)

Head on down to the Lesher Center to see a comedy show that looks back at the major news stories of 2019 using stand-up comedy, improvisation, and loosely-written sketches! More information here.

Event Round-Up: Nov. 16, 2019

Looking for some fun activities between your family time around Thanksgiving? I’ve got you covered. Here are five local events you can do over the next month or so!

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Walnut Creek on Ice! (thru Jan. 20, 2020)

If you haven’t taken advantage of Walnut Creek’s little ice rink in previous winters, now is your chance! Visit their website for more info on prices, hours, etc.

Leonids Meteor Shower (night of Nov. 17) – Anywhere!

This is a regular event, but still well-worth staying up late to watch! If it’s a clear night, you can wrap up in a blanket in the backyard and see a dazzling display of shooting meteors. One of nature’s best performances.

Exploratorium After Dark (Nov. 21) – San Francisco

This week’s Exploratorium After Dark is called “Nonsense Machines,” which sounds just so San Francisco. This is a super fun adult nighttime outing in the City. Tickets are about $20!

Jack London Square Christmas Tree Lighting (Nov. 22) – Oakland

Always wanted to witness a huge public Christmas tree get lit up? Now’s your chance! Go down to Jack London Square and bring the kids for this free event on a Friday night. The event begins at 5 p.m.

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Walnut Creek Holiday Stroll (Dec. 6)

Stroll down the streets of Walnut Creek and take advantage of open houses, sips and savors, caroling, live music, an ugly sweater contest, and more! It kicks off at Water Light Public Plaza at 5 p.m.

Event Round-Up: Oct. 12, 2019

It’s almost spooky season, folks! As we approach a heavy holiday season, I wanted to put together a few fun events around the area that anyone can enjoy! If you go to any of these, please reach out and let me know how you liked them – you might even see me there!

Bedford Gallery: “Off Menu” (thru Dec. 15)

The newest Bedford Gallery exhibit is live, and it’s a doozy. This one is called “Off Menu,” and is all food-related contemporary art. Check out works from artists as famous as Salvador Dali. More info here.

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2019 Oktoberfest: Civic Park (Oct. 19)

Join your friends and neighbors at Civic Park for the 2019 celebration of Oktoberfest! This free, family-friendly event will feature a ton of craft brews and wines, and kicks off from 11-6 on Oct. 19. Check it out!

Fall Festival: Le Jardin Salon in Pleasant Hill (Oct. 20)

Le Jardin Salon is hosting a treasure hunt! They will be offering unusual gifts for the holiday season like decor, furniture, collectibles, and jewelry. There will be vendors and collectors aplenty! Get more here.

Moonlight Comedy: Stand Up Under the Stars in Oakland (Oct. 23)

Take in some live stand up comedy on the outdoor patio of The Uptown in Oakland. Doors open at 7 and shows begin at 7:30 – make sure to dress warm – it could get chilly! More information here.

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Trick or Treat in Downtown Walnut Creek (Oct. 25)

Kids are invited to trick-or-treat through downtown at participating businesses. Meet at City Hall Plaza in your best costumes to start the fun from 2-5 p.m., then stay for the after-party! Details here.

Event Round-Up: Aug. 10

We’re going to go a slightly different direction here today, as I usually pull from a larger list of events and compile them for you. Instead, I’d like to focus on the Broadway Plaza Concert Series which has started this month. First, a few thoughts on the series itself:

Since they re-did the mall and have moved these concerts into the event plaza by Macy’s, I don’t really enjoy these shows as much as I used to. It is too crowded and it is fenced off, so people can still walk through.

I really liked the casual area that was once next to Stanford’s and behind the parking structure. It never felt too crowded there. I was thinking it might be better to move it to the top of the parking structure by Macy’s in the future.

With all that said, this is a good opportunity to get downtown on a warm summer night and enjoy some music with family and friends. Even if the layout isn’t as good as it used to be, the music is still there! So, here is the schedule for this summer – go check it out and let me know how you like it!

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(We’ve already had two of the shows go by, but there are still three more! You can bring blankets or chairs to the venue. Music always starts at 7 p.m.)

Aug. 15: The Cheeseballs

Aug. 22: The Unauthorized Rolling Stones

Aug. 29: Queen Nation

Event Round-Up: July 13th

Summer is in full swing, which means the event season is too! In a town like Walnut Creek, with a climate like the Bay Area’s, there is never a shortage of fun events in the warm summer months. Here are a few coming up!

Inflatables II (July 14-Sept. 15) – Walnut Creek

Following an overwhelmingly positive reception to the initial Inflatables exhibition in 2015, the Bedford Gallery is bringing it back this summer, with an opening day party on July 14th. Check it out here!

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$1 A’s Game (July 17) – Oakland

Every Wednesday home game, you can set your own price to sit in Section 322 at an A’s game! All proceeds go to community groups in Oakland. This is a very cool idea, and the A’s are playing great right now, too! More info.

Boundary Oaks’ 50th Anniversary (July 19-21) – Walnut Creek

Bring the family to this celebratory weekend at Walnut Creek’s most popular golf course. A family-friendly ice cream social and open house has live music, face painting, and more on Sunday. (Call GM Mike Ash at (925) 934-4775, x. 12 for more info!)

FREE Family Movie Night (Jul. 26) – Walnut Creek

Go enjoy a free movie at The Orchards Amphitheater by The Shadelands! Films start at 7:30 p.m. and there will be food available for purchase. This week’s show is Spider Man: Into the Spider-Verse. More info here.

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Sports Basement Brewfest (Aug. 9) – Walnut Creek

Play games, listen to music, and drink craft beer at Walnut Creek Sports Basement from 5-8 p.m. This is their 6th annual event, and they also have them in other Bay Area locations. Check it out.

Event Round-Up: May 18th

We’re almost all the way into summer here in Walnut Creek! The kids will be out of school soon, and the days will keep getting longer and warmer, giving us ample opportunities to take advantage of some awesome Bay Area events.

Diablo Symphony – May 19th (Walnut Creek)

The Diablo Symphony presents Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony and Bach’s Double Violin Concerto tomorrow at the Lesher Center in Walnut Creek! You can get tickets at the door, preceding the 2 p.m. concert. The Symphony Orchestra will be joined by members of the San Ramon Valley High School orchestra for this performance!

Rooftop History Walking Tour – May 31st (San Francisco)

Real estate nerd alert! This sounds so interesting to me, and if you like rooftops with beautiful views, you’ll be amazed by which buildings in the city might have them. This is a really cool tour to take if you like history, as you’ll get into some of the more exclusive private buildings in SF. Tickets are just $35.

Art & Wine Festival – June 1st (Walnut Creek)

For the weekend of June 1st, you can take advantage of an awesome event right in our own backyard! Pair your wine and beer with food vendors, art, live music, a Kids Zone, and more! It’s time for the Walnut Creek Art & Wine Festival. More info here.

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Walnut Creek First Wednesdays – June 5th (Walnut Creek)

Did you miss out on last month’s First Wednesday celebration? Because they are a great time! You can make up for it by coming downtown on Weds., June 5th to take part in a small street fair right here in Walnut Creek. Get more info here – you won’t want to miss it!

Walnut Creek Uncorked – June 20th (Walnut Creek)

Sip, stroll, socialize. Walnut Creek’s Uncorked event is taking place on June 20th downtown! You can sip wines, eat local food, listen to live music, and just wander downtown with your wine. I’d recommend getting tickets in advance, as this event is popular every year!

Take part in Bike to Work Day this week!

This Thursday, May 9th, is Bike to Work Day! As if you needed any more reason to hop on your bike and cruise through the beautiful Bay Area, the forecast for Thursday is mostly sunny and 72 degrees. Yes, please!

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I think Bike to Work Day is an important initiative for many reasons, not least of which is because it helps save the environment (or just makes people think more about the environment). With so many millions of cars on the roads every day in the middle of a climate crisis, it is nice to have a good excuse to help curb those emissions.

More than 100,000 people are expected to take part in the 25th annual celebration, and there will be about 400 “energizer stations” scattered throughout the Bay Area. The City of Walnut Creek will host an energizer station for the public in an effort to promote cycling as a fun, healthy, and environmentally-friendly commute option. The location will be in front of the library on the corner of Lincoln Ave. and N. Broadway, from 7-9:30 a.m.

Go check out First Wednesdays tomorrow!

Every first Wednesday of every month from May through September, Walnut Creek Downtown will be hosting Walnut Creek First Wednesdays! That means that tomorrow is the first celebration of the entire season.

Walnut Creek First Wednesdays
Credit: WalnutCreekDowntown.com

Walnut Creek First Wednesdays include live music, dancing, food trucks, wine and beer, a Kids Fun Zone, interactive games, free prizes, and a Chef’s Demo – sounds like a mini Bottlerock! To add a little bonus, parking in garages downtown after 5 p.m. on Wednesdays is free.

Tomorrow, the festivities kick off with the band Neon Velvet. You can take part from 5:30-8:30 p.m. on Cypress St. Admission is free, and it’s a great way to explore our little downtown that has become so hip in recent years!

I’d highly recommend checking it out. I’ve been to events like this in the past on Cypress St., and it’s always a good time with the family or friends, especially on warm evenings. The Walnut Creek Downtown organization does a great job hosting, so check it out if you are not in the mood to cook!