Picks of the Week: Poems, breakfast spots, Fab 5 antics to ramp up your week


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Happy Tuesday, Berkeley!

“Queer Eye” released its newest season on Netflix this week. Spend your Tuesday afternoon getting your fill of Jonathan Van Ness by streaming the entire season in one sitting. “Jones Bar-B-Q” and “Black Girl Magic” are two especially fantastic episodes as the show branches out into including more women in need of Fab 5 assistance. Moreover, while I already recommended the premiere in last week’s Picks, after watching “Shrill,” I feel it deserves a second, more confident recommendation! “Shrill” is the kind of show that reminds you just how little representation of different bodies exists on TV and just how valuable it can be to see it.

If you haven’t been or even if you have and need some reminding, spend Wednesday morning at The Sunny Side Cafe on Oxford Street, right on the outskirts of the west side of campus. It is a cheap, delicious cafe, and eating a great big breakfast is the best way to get over the midweek slump. The Mexican scramble is my personal favorite to order whenever I go there. Also, take some time Wednesday to catch up on some new songs released over the past few weeks. “King James” by Anderson .Paak, “Missed Connection” by The Head and the Heart and “Sucker Punch” by Sigrid are great places to start. If new music isn’t your thing, take some time to reconnect with an old playlist. I’ve been jamming this week to a playlist of mine from August 2017 with some old-school Frank Ocean and Hiatus Kaiyote. Or if you don’t have saved playlists, you can be inspired by someone else’s with Manisha Ummadi’s cutting room floor about her extensive Spotify library.

In honor of World Poetry Day, spend Thursday checking out some great poetry, of which there is always an ever-growing amount. If you are in the mood for something funny, try “Litany” by Billy Collins or “I Have News For You” by Tony Hoagland. If you are in the mood for something a little more serious, “may i feel said he” by E.E Cummings, “Look” by Laura Kasischke and “Forgotten Language” by Shel Silverstein are great choices.

Later, go check out Berkeley alumnus Joyce Kwon’s performance at The Back Room. Kwon put out her debut New-American folk album last year, which sounds like a soothing soft dream. If you can’t make it to the concert, why not check out her album that’s streaming on Spotify? My favorite song from the album is “When I’m a Raisin,” which begins, fittingly, with the lyric “Someone gave me some advice, stay out of the sun or you’ll get wrinkles.”

In other music news, last week saw the marker of what would have been Nat King Cole’s 100th birthday! Spend some time this week reconnecting with some of the hits from one of the greatest American jazz vocalists and pianists ever to play “Smile” or “It’s Only a Paper Moon,” or perhaps discover some lesser-known tracks such as “Mona Lisa” or “Darling, Je Vous Aime Beaucoup.” Honestly, you should just pull up “Nat King Cole Story” on Spotify and press shuffle — you’ll be sure to find something amazing.

On Friday, check out the half-hour special from HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” with John Oliver on public shaming, featuring an interview with Monica Lewinsky. If you are still in the mood for politics after the episode’s fascinating exploration of all the good and bad things about public shaming, maybe check out the new episode of “This American Life” called “Beware the Jabberwock,” dedicated entirely to discussing the radical conservative conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

On Saturday, head down to San Francisco’s Fraenkel Gallery to see the opening of its new exhibition of Alec Soth’s photography called “I Know How Furiously Your Heart is Beating.” The exhibition, which gets its name from the Wallace Stevens’ poem “Gray Room,” will focus on photo portraits and “investigates the possibilities and limitations of what photographs can convey about the inner lives of their subjects.”

Spend your Sunday with The Daily Californian, checking out all our great new content from the past week. The Arts & Entertainment department kicked off our own version of March Madness this week with pieces on the most outrageous red carpet looks, play-to-screen adaptations, musical-to-screen adaptations and more. Meanwhile, our weekly Arts columnist Areyon Jolivette is back with another fantastic piece about art and queerness. Finally, our very own editor Maisy Menzies published a sparkling review of James Blake’s visit to the Fox Theater in Oakland on March 12.

Until next time,


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Kate Tinney writes the picks of the week newsletter. Contact her at [email protected]. Tweet her at @katetinney.