Picks of the Week: S’mores, science and seals for the end of October

Wikimedia/Creative Commons

Related Posts

Happy Monday, Berkeley.

There are still eight weeks left until winter break starts for UC Berkeley students, and personally, I’m feeling pretty worn out. So today, I might cheer myself up with a childhood classic — s’mores. Some weeks, you may be tempted to head to the complimentary s’mores nights at Spark Social SF in the Mission Bay neighborhood or to test out variations on the recipe, such as s’mores dip, but today is not that kind of day.

Head to Safeway and buy the classics — graham crackers, jumbo marshmallows and an excess of Hershey’s chocolate, as well as some skewers for toasting the marshmallows over the stove. My perfect s’more is simple: a vaguely tan marshmallow, chocolate on both sides and as little graham cracker as I can get away with. But even if you’re a graham cracker fan or a marshmallow-burning kind of person, make the s’more that makes you happy — that’s what they’re are all about.

Or maybe you’ll save the cooking for Tuesday. Head down Adeline Street for the South Berkeley farmers market, where from 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., you can explore a variety of produce, preserves and other food items. Maybe you’ll buy fresh apples or figs to top your overnight oats, or maybe you’ll pick up a variety of squash to fold into your fall-themed flapjacks. And if the weather is too warm to turn on the oven but you still want an autumnal delight at the end of the day, mix up a batch of no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies.

And after all that sugar at the beginning of the week, you might feel like it’s time for some exercise. So check out “Cats on Mats (Yoga With Cats)!” at KitTea Cat Cafe in San Francisco on Wednesday. True to its name, the café offers both tea and rescue cats — some that are adoptable and others that are permanent residents. A $30 ticket to yoga night includes a complimentary cup of green tea as well as a class on restorative hatha yoga alongside the cats.

Then Thursday, you could head back to the city for your choice of scientific nightlife events. You could check out the Exploratorium for its “After Dark: Science Fiction Turned Fact” event, featuring a talk by longtime Exploratorium scientist Ron Hipschman. But this week, I’m more interested in the California Academy of Sciences and “Creatures of the NightLife,” which will feature the museum’s annual drag show and costume contest hosted by the Boulet Brothers, the drag queens behind the reality show “The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula.” The $22 tickets to the event also include a haunted planetarium show, creepy creatures, virtual reality experiences and a dance floor with music from DJ Omar. If that’s not enough to convince you, the 21+ event also features multiple bar areas, each of which serves a different seasonal cocktail.

On Friday, relax from your busy week with a few new albums. John Legend is starting the holiday season early with A Legendary Christmas, featuring classics such as “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” And Swedish pop star Robyn is dropping Honey, her first new album in eight years. If you’re not sure if you’ll like it, listen to her lead single “Missing U,” which pits heavy synths against lyrics focusing on relationships. Or if you just need some study music, check out the instrumental album IC-01 Hanoi from Unknown Mortal Orchestra.

And keep the tunes playing early Saturday morning as you get in the car and head to Sausalito. Stop by the Lighthouse Bar and Grill for brunch — the variety of eggs Benedict are calling to me, as are the stuffed hash browns and fruit pancakes. Then, drive to The Marine Mammal Center, an ocean conservation center that operates a marine mammal hospital. Aside from the variety of exhibits, you may be able to see some of the seal, sea lion and otter patients currently being treated. Entrance to the center is free, and tickets to guided tours are $5 for students.

Then on Sunday, just a few weeks before the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht, check out a screening of “In Darkness” at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. This event closes out a series of films by Polish director Agnieszka Holland, who will discuss the film after the screening. “In Darkness,” known in Polish as “W ciemności,” is based on the true story of a group of Jewish individuals who hid in the sewers beneath the city of Lvov, Poland, during the Nazi occupation. Tickets to the 2 p.m. screening cost $5 for UC Berkeley students.

And for another realistic take on a tough social issue, check out the play “Fairview,” as reviewed by theater beat reporter Kate Tinney. The show initially centers on an upper-middle-class Black family, then brings in a significant twist in later acts. In Kate’s words, it “asks the question of what theater would look like if it stopped talking to white people.”

And if you have any s’mores tips or seal sightings, let me know: [email protected]. I’ll be as excited as anyone who’s seen Chubbs the alligator.

Until next time.

Subscribe to our Picks of the Weeks newsletter

Check out our arts & entertainment staff's weekly newsletter on local concerts, shows, cultural events and more.
  • Please let us know what types of events you'd like to learn more about, both in terms of type of art (e.g. concerts, art galleries, theater shows) and in terms of location (e.g. Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco).

Contact Ketki Samel at [email protected]. Tweet her at @ketkisamel.