With not much snow in the Sierra, we are enjoying a visit in the opposite direction — holing up at the historic Claremont Hotel in Berkeley/Oakland, no less. Set in the Berkeley Hills, the Claremont provides scenic views of San Francisco. The main hotel building is entirely in Oakland. But the spa, the gardens and parking area falls within the city limits of Berkeley. The grand hotel’s roots date back to the turn of the century. My grandmother Clara, who graduated from UC Berkeley herself, told me about the hotel in its early days.
We’re going to hang out the 25-meter pool and read, walk our dog in the tree-lined Claremont neighborhood, visit UC Berkeley, the International House (where I lived for two years while at Cal), and the Lawrence Hall of Science. No visit is complete without a visit to Zachery’s pizza, which rivals Chicago’s deep-dish pizza; Great China, which made the James Beard semifinalist list this year; and the upstairs cafe at Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse.
As it turns out, our friend Tom Dalldorf and his wife, Arlene, now of Nevada City, and going to be in Berkeley this weekend, hosting a 30th anniversary celebration for his Celebrator Beer magazine. Tom relocated to the foothills from Hayward. He also has a show on KVMR.
We are enjoying our coffee with a copy of the San Francisco Chronicle and New York Times. An article on the front page of The Chronicle is about a popular Silicon Valley-style, co-work site having its craft beer taps turned off because of a “gray area” under alcoholic beverage laws. But never fear, the beer has been replaced with drinks like kombucha!
Have a great President’s Day weekend!