Cafe Van Kleef is located right in the heart of Oakland's Uptown neighborhood. The theme of Van Kleef is unconventional and all about the quirky artwork everywhere. The specialty at Van Kleef's is their Greyhound - a drink of vodka with grapefruit juice, which you can watch them squeezing fresh at almost any given point during the night. On most nights in the week, the bar plays live jazz music. Certain nights come with a cover charge so be sure to check details before you head here.
Perennially ranked among the top universities in the world, this 1,232-acre (499-hectare) campus is embellished with iconic museums, historic libraries, architectural marvels and immaculate lawns. In addition to being educated and enlightened by Nobel laureates, the university also encourages its bright young minds to excel at sports NCAA sports, molding them into well-rounded individuals. Founded in 1868, UC Berkeley is the oldest educational institution in the University of California system. Campus life centers on Sproul Plaza and Sather Gate where you can find a reminder of Berkeley's place in American social history. The site also includes the plaque marking the spot where Mario Savio launched the Free Speech movement in 1964. Steve Wozniak, Chris Pine, Eric Schmidt and Gordon Moore are some of the university's most notable alumni.
A penny for your thoughts? In addition to a melange of penny structures, this quirky, offbeat museum has a variety of interesting gadgets and knick-knacks. A must-see is the toothpick amusement park, built by San Quentin inmates. Bring a handful of quarters to Musée Mécanique so you can play some of the antique games, including the miniature pinball machines. Visiting the museum is free of charge.
If you want to know how a cable car works, the Cable Car Museum is the place to learn. The world's first cable car rests here and with it a concise explanation of how those little cable cars make their way up those famous San Francisco hills. In an underground viewing area, you can look at the system's enormous cable wheels, which pull 11 miles (18 kilometers) of cable at 9.5 miles (15 kilometers) per hour. Closely examine the steel cables, gears, and pulleys that bring this city's most famous transportation to life. Don't miss the gift shop, where you can purchase your very own length of used cable!
Pinball machines, although they look like cheery little things, have a troubled past. From their rise to fame during the depression to their ban in 1940s, they've seen a few ups and downs. The Pacific Pinball Museum, established in 2004 by Michael Schiess, commemorates their story. Featuring some 400 pinball machines, some of them dating back to 1879, this museum traces their history quite interestingly. If you are the regular pinball enthusiast, this place should fill you with wonder.
The New Parkway rose from Oakland's desire to get a speakeasy-style theater back after the beloved original Parkway Theater closed. After several years and tons of donations, the New Parkway was born. The theater is devoted to showing second-run and independent and new classic movies at much lower than average prices, and once inside you can order food, wine and beer to be delivered to you in the theater. And they aren't your average theaters, either! One theater is set up like a big dining room with wooden tables and chairs with a balcony full of cushy couches, while the other is a hodge-podge of old couches, armchairs and coffee tables, arranged on the floor to resemble entire living room sets. Select menu items can be ordered from inside the theater during the movie.
What could a 20,000 square foot (6096 square meters) complex of five levels in San Francisco possibly contain? A whole lot of Japanese pop culture memorabilia, that's what. New People Cinema housed in Japantown reflects hordes of latest possible examples of Japanese culture expressed through mediums of film, art, fashion and events. A collective source of anime, manga, clothing, kawaii and movies, the New People Cinema or the J-Pop center as it is more popularly known, makes for a strangely voyeuristic peek into Japan's pop culture landscape.
Often known as the "first neighborhood" of San Francisco, the Mission District is one of the favorite places of the people of the city. The district has its own share of fun places, restaurants, theaters and bookstores and is a hugely popular destination for avid foodies. Spend a day at Dolores Park or admire the colorful murals on the buildings throughout the district.
Hailed as San Francisco's real 'crookedest' street, Vermont Street is a hidden gem often overshadowed by Lombard Street. Tucked away between 20th and 22nd Streets in the Potrero Hill neighborhood, this winding road is full of hairpin turns and switchbacks. Unlike Lombard, Vermont Street doesn't see many tourists, so walking paths are limited. However, ask any tour guide and they'll confirm Vermont is indeed, the 'crookedest' street, making it a San Francisco must see!
This is a modern troupe dedicated to the ancient Indonesian art of shadow puppets. The programs range from classic myths from Southeast Asia to modern interpretations of classic stories about Kublai Khan, to startlingly vibrant productions of contemporary tales such as their virtuoso performance of Joseph Marchs Jazz Age poem, The Wild Party. Most, but not all, are suitable for kids. All are magically beautiful. This company also welcomes audience members backstage after each show to see how the magic is made. Performances are at various venues around the Bay Area.