Institute of Mosaic Art — A Berkeley Spin on an Ancient Art

A lavendar mosaic bundt cake on a table alongside a plate of cookies at the Institute of Mosaic Art, Berkeley, CA.  Photo by BF Newhall

The bundt cake is inedible — it’s a mosaic. The cookies, on the other hand, seem to be the real thing. At the Institute of Mosaic Art, Berkeley. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

The Institute of Mosaic Art left its creative mark on facades all over Oakland’s Jingletown neighborhood before moving last year to Berkeley, where its owners hope the studio and its artists will get more public exposure. [Read more...]

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In Judge Harbin-Forte’s Courtroom — Where Jury Duty Is an Exercise in Mindfulness

A long line of people waiting to enter the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda, Hayward Hall of Justice, 24405 Amador Street, Hayward, CA. Photo by BF Newhall

A long line of people, many of them prospective jurors, waited to enter the Superior Court of California building in Hayward at 9 a.m. on a Monday morning. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Tired of multitasking? Want to get away from Facebook, your cell phone, your boss, and that squeaky faucet that needs fixing? Get yourself called up for jury duty. [Read more...]

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Amazing Places: A Walk Around Oakland’s Jingletown

First panel of the murals along Rue de Merde in Jingletown, an Oakland, CA, neighborhood is by Bill Silveira. It shows the words "Oakland Riviera." Photo by BF Newhall

Bill Silveira’s mural is the first of many along Peterson Street, nicknamed Rue de Merde in honor of its role as a popular dog walk . Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Is Oakland the next Brooklyn? Lots of people are saying so. [Read more...]

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Oakland’s Jingletown: Arts, Crafts, Cool Kitsch — And Cookies

The facade of Jingletown Art Studios in Oakland, CA, is decorated with colorful mosaics of fanciful castles and towers. Photo by BF Newhall

Jingletown Art Studios in Oakland, CA, is decorated with mosaics inspired by Laurel True, founder of the Institute of Mosaic Art. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

It was a lovely afternoon for wandering in and out of artists’ studios in Oakland, California’s Jingletown neighborhood, where a vibrant, up-and-coming arts community mingles with a robust Latino population. [Read more...]

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The Summer Solstice, Arriving Right Now in a Sky Near You

Yellow, orange and lavender sky at sunset on the eve of the summer solstice 2014 in California. Photo by BF Newhall

Last night, on the eve of the summer solstice, the sun traveled way north on our horizon and set on the far side of our neighbor’s monterey pine tree. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall, June 21, 2014, 3:51 a.m.

It’s midsummer. Right now. Today. [Read more...]

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