Holding a warm cup of vegan minestrone instead of the usual cold drink, I snake my way through the crowded patio at Oakland’s Temescal Brewing taproom. After a decade of attending queer-identified parties and events, I realize none have felt like this: I’m able to hear my friends speak over the music, everyone…

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A Visit to the Aftel Archive of Curious Scents   Mandy Aftel wants you to get to know your nose. Smells—both pleasant and unpleasant—are all around us, but we often take them for granted. Opening our senses to the world of scents can heighten our awareness and bring daily pleasure. This was Mandy Aftel’s midlife…

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Wild Spring Nettles (Urtica dioica), a vibrant spring medicinal, can be delicious in the kitchen Recipe and photos by Anna Marie Beauchemin Clinical Herbalist, East Bay Herbals Well known for their fine stinging hairs, nettles may have risen to fame due to the pain caused by their prickly leaves. But hidden below their tough exterior…

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Some of us can be overwhelmed with the seemingly endless flow of booze that accompanies the holiday season. But remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Here are some of Oakland’s best low- (and not-so-low) ABV cocktails to slow down with. Try a naturally low-octane highball like the Ramen Shop’s smoky Shop Highball made with…

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Herbal DIY gifts for the holiday season Recipes and photos by Anna Marie Beauchemin Clinical Herbalist, East Bay Herbals As an herbalist and chef I’m always looking for creative ways to share the culinary magic of herbalism. Here are three recipes that allow you to share the healing magic of herbs in a way that…

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New Urban Wine Trails An Illustrated Guide to Some of Berkeley and Oakland’s Hot New Wineries Story and illustrations by Nikki Goddard   One of the great perks of living in the Bay Area is the ease of launching a weekend wine country getaway. But if you have only an afternoon and want to spend…

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      What’s the secret to having your own farm under the constraints of city living? Come find out at this year’s East Bay Urban Farm Tours, hosted by the Institute of Urban Homesteading. The tours showcase farms that range from private homes to community spaces where the public can participate. You’ll see small-…

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An Old-Fashioned Solution with a Tech Twist Tired of tossing disposable cups into the trash or just hoping they’ll be recycled? Join the reuse revolution, starting with reusable cups for your coffee, tea, juice, and water. The Ecology Center is paving the way through a partnership with Vessel, a reusable cup service. Their pilot program…

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    Not every dog has perfect café manners, but if yours does, you probably have a favorite East Bay place to eat out with your canine companion. Tell us a good tale and include a picture. If we’re amply amused or impressed, we’ll put your chosen spot on our map of Favorite East Bay…

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Illustrations by Margo Rivera-Weiss Story by Cheryl Angelina Koehler   Good Asian noodles are deliciously easy to find in the East Bay—or so we discovered when our readers offered their favorites for this map. In sorting through oodles of mouthwatering suggestions, we realized what we most needed was some taxonomy and a map of Asia…

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