Diamond in the rough

OAKLAND, Calif. — He has a 2.45 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 45 strikeouts in 47.2 innings and his team is tied for the wild-card lead. He would figure to be a high-paid reliever who is playing a big part in the success of one of baseball’s perennial  superpowers;  however is not. Oakland, which according to many baseball experts was destined for 100…

From the Big Apple to the City by the Bay

SAN FRANCISCO — On August 1, Colleen Holgate, a long-time Mets fan, showed her team spirit at the game against the Giants in downtown San Francisco’s AT&T Park. A road trip from the Big Apple landed Holgate and some friends in San Francisco to watch one of her first Mets game in years. When asked about the Giants…

From hipsters to Cal girls

BERKELEY, Calif. — It’s impossible to generalize Berkeley’s style because of  its diversity. To describe the town as a haven for “hipsters” would stereotype the majority of the town. Mars Mercantile, the famous vintage thrift store in Berkeley, is at the extreme end of the fashion spectrum. Anastasia Roderigues, a Mars employee for two years, refers to herself as…

The original grocery store

BERKELEY, Calif. — There was once a time when grocery stores didn’t exist, and the only way to acquire fresh produce was to attend farmers’ markets. Many years later, while “fresh” produce is available in almost every grocery store, the real deal is still at farmers’ markets. At the Farmers’ Market in downtown Berkeley, more…

Slow food capital continues to thrive

BERKELEY, Calif. — “I grew up in New Jersey. This way of eating is irresistible,” says Varun Mehra, assistant to Alice Waters, founder of Chez Panisse. “This way of eating” has been, for more than 40 years, to create food that is 100 percent organic and locally grown. The restaurant has been placed on numerous…

Chez Panisse soon celebrates 41st anniversary

BERKELEY, Calif. — The sidewalk transforms into maroon steps with a soft wooden overhang covered in vines that lead to a rustic sign: Chez Panisse. The small building exudes a feeling of intimacy and almost appears as if it were a small home. Soft, dark wood and the warm aroma of goat cheese soufflé and mussel…

Alice Waters’ push for a healthier lifestyle

BERKELEY, Calif. — Hidden along the busy streets on the northern end of Berkeley lies a unique restaurant. Made with fresh and organic foods, Chez Panisse welcomes up to 500 people per day for lunch and dinner. Even though prices escalate throughout the week, its organic and local fare draws in many customers. All of the ingredients are brought in from local farms,…

The market and changing lives

  BERKELEY Calif. — Have you ever thought of the people who work behind the scenes of farmers’ markets? Terrance Womack, a determined 20-year-old, was once the assistant manager at the Farmers’ Market here in downtown Berkeley. He has worked with the vendors since high school and said, “Working here was a life-changing experience.” There…

Markets draw a crowd

Four times a week, people from all over gather in Berkeley for one reason: to shop. Instead of designer-name stores stand canopies that sell fresh produce, flowers and even those much-needed morning coffees. The Farmers’ Market in Berkeley has been active since 1987 and it has been bringing the community together ever since. The shoppers are…

Transforming his passion into a profession

BERKELEY, Calif. — It’s 9 a.m. and folks unpack folding tables and neatly arrange their artisanal crafts upon them.  These vendors often go unnoticed; they seem to blend in with the background of the streets.  It may be instinct to some to drive stereotypes about their seemingly simple lifestyle, but it’s in this simplicity that…

The road not taken

  BERKELEY, Calif. — “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I– I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost mirrors Alice Waters’s journey on a path less taken at the time, 40 years ago, when she established her restaurant, Chez Panisse,…

Berkeley 101: Through the eyes of a native

Cold. Convenient. Energetic. Groovy. Just a few words that locals use to describe the unique city that is Berkeley. A well-balanced combination of college-town meets bustling community, Berkeley offers a variety of experiences in every nook and cranny of its historical streets. From T-shirt Orgy to Cream, from the Free Speech Movement to a Cal…