Picks of the Week: Fresh activities for freshmen (and everyone else)

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Happy Monday, Berkeley.

You may have noticed a sudden influx of fresh faces around town — that’s right, UC Berkeley will be back in session in just a few days. This week marks the beginning of Golden Bear Orientation, a weeklong program that introduces new undergraduate students to the campus and the city. Here’s hoping that it goes better this year than it did last year.

This all doesn’t start until Tuesday, though, so to all the old Bears and brand-new cubs: On Monday, go somewhere outside Berkeley. You’ll have plenty of time to explore campus on your way to and from class. Whether your style is $100 mixology classes in San Francisco or a free film industry potluck at a Richmond studio, check out all that there is to do in the Bay Area.

Then, spend Tuesday with a playlist of sorts. For some, that might mean heading over to Amoeba Music or Rasputin Music and perusing the racks for that one album you’ve been searching for — mine is Devendra Banhart’s Mala. For others, open up Spotify and throw together a mix of songs that remind you of a special someone. (I rather like this one that I made.) And if you want to widen your music tastes in a low-stakes environment, check out some of these playlists by staff members at The Daily Californian.

Now, the forecast for next Wednesday shows some clouds, but don’t let that fool you — Berkeley weather changes fast. I’d bet that no matter the climate, you’ll be in the mood for this mango ice cream. With just three ingredients, the recipe is easy to make, even if you’re cooking in a residence hall room.

Thursday might be a good day to finish off some summer reading. I’ve been chewing on Mary Roach’s “Packing for Mars” for a while, and it’s far more enjoyable than any of my astrophysics textbooks. And I discovered David Attenborough’s “Adventures of a Young Naturalist” at a bookstore the other day and couldn’t resist buying it. On my fiction short list currently are “The Idiot” by Elif Batuman and “Homesick for Another World,” a short story collection by Ottessa Moshfegh.

Reward yourself for getting through all those pages with tickets to Clairo’s 8 p.m. show at the Great American Music Hall. For $63, you’ll get to watch the 19-year-old sing ironic electropop tunes such as “4EVER” and “Flaming Hot Cheetos.”

For a more affordable concert experience, go out Friday night instead. Roughly $20 will get you a ticket to your choice of music — be it political rap from Bambu at Oakland’s The New Parish, dance tracks from Moon Boots at San Francisco’s 1015 Folsom or old-school blues from HowellDevine at Berkeley’s The Back Room.

And now, a change of pace. You’ve probably heard of the wildfires raging across California. Nearest to Berkeley are the Mendocino Complex fires, which, at more than 300,000 acres, are now the largest in California history. As of press time, the fires have injured two firefighters, destroyed more than 200 buildings and forced mandatory evacuations across three different counties.

So, take a moment to help someone in need. Organizations such as Mendocino-ROC are providing aid to those affected by these fires, if you have the means to donate. Otherwise, even the smallest gestures can go a long way in making the world a little bit better. Maybe you can donate blood at your local Red Cross center; maybe you can give food to a food bank. Maybe it’s as simple as a call to a friend who’s been down recently.

On the topic of volunteering, a friend of mine works with the Lindsay Wildlife Rehabilitation Hospital over in Walnut Creek, where she helps the center provide veterinary services to the more than 5,500 injured and orphaned wild animals it sees each year. This Saturday, you’ll have the perfect opportunity to take a peek at the hospital and more, as Lindsay Wildlife Experience will be hosting its inaugural “Summer and BEEyond” event. Bees will be present, of course, with activities ranging from honey tasting to beekeeper presentations.

And then round out your weekend with a day trip. Sunday marks National Aviation Day, commemorating Orville Wright’s birthday (why Wilbur got the short end of the stick, I don’t know). In his honor, head across the San Mateo Bridge in your Gig car and hold a barbecue at Coyote Point Recreation Area. From the beach, you’ll get great views of planes flying overhead into San Francisco International Airport. On your way back, satisfy your sweet tooth in Burlingame with boba from Tpumps, donuts from The Original Royal Donut or candy from Retro Sweets Shoppe.

If you’re anything like me, the semester’s impending start has probably got you feeling nostalgic for when the first day of school meant coloring sheets instead of problem sets. So check out Sahana Rangarajan’s review of “Christopher Robin.” Disney’s new Winnie the Pooh film centers around the titular character as an adult, and it offers humor and joy wrapped up in stunning visuals. Watch it soon, and let us know what you think.

And please reach out if you have any event tips or comments, or if you just want to chat: [email protected]. We’ll be watching the inbox the way a bearded dragon watches its blueberries.

On a personal note, this week also brings some new faces into the Daily Cal office — as of 5 p.m. Friday, our fall editorial staff will take over. With that, some bittersweet news: I’ll be the senior arts & entertainment editor this fall, so I’m passing the newsletter baton on to Ketki Samel starting next week.

She’s finishing up her term as the managing editor here, and in addition to writing this newsletter, she’ll be using her newfound free time in the fall to take photos, learn about animals and, of course, eat good food — keep your eyes peeled for some stellar restaurant recommendations.

Until next time.

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Olivia Jerram is the assistant arts & entertainment editor. Contact her at [email protected].
Ketki Samel is the managing editor. Contact her at [email protected].