February 22, 2018

Carmel: Outdoor Forest Theater


1 South

CARMEL THEATERS

●Outdoor Forest Theater  Mountain View/Santa Rita.  PacRep Theatre:  (831) 622-0100, live performances Thur-Sun, Aug.-mid-Oct.  $8-$44; 65+ & under 12 reduced rate.  Forest Theatre Guild:  (831) 626-1681, live performances June–July.  $8-$38; 65+ & under 12 reduced rate.  Film series Tu & W June-July.  $5, under 6 free.  Reservations advised.  The oldest outdoor theater west of the Rockies, this venue opened in 1910.  Renovations were made by the WPA in the 1930s.  A small outdoor bowl is framed by towering pines and boasts ideal acoustics.  Seating is on long wood benches (bring a cushion), and two stone fireplaces on either side of the audience section are lit for evening performances and produce a warm and fragrant fire.  Dress warmly, come early, and bring a picnic dinner to enjoy under the stars.  If you walk, remember that this town has no streetlights.  You will need a good flashlight, though my iPhone worked fine. 

ticket window at Outdoor Forest Theater in Carmel, California
ticket window at Outdoor Forest Theater in Carmel, California


fireplace at Outdoor Forest Theater in Carmel, California
fireplace at Outdoor Forest Theater in Carmel, California


pre-performance at Outdoor Forest Theater in Carmel, California
pre-performance at Outdoor Forest Theater in Carmel, California


pre-performance at Outdoor Forest Theater in Carmel, California
pre-performance at Outdoor Forest Theater in Carmel, California


stage at Outdoor Forest Theater in Carmel, California
stage at Outdoor Forest Theater in Carmel, California

Golden Bough Theatre  Monte Verde St./8th Ave., (831) 622-0700, (831) 622-0100.  Performances Mar-Dec.  $7-$38.  In a building reconstructed on the site of a playhouse that has burned to the ground twice (each time after performances of By Candlelight!), the ambitious Pacific Repertory Theatre  company presents varied fare in the recently updated venue.  The 300-seat Golden Bough Theater is the main theater, and the 99-seat Circle Theatre located downstairs is the venue for intimate theater-in-the-round staging.


More things to do in Carmel.

More ideas for exploring Northern California.

images ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

February 20, 2018

Carmel beaches


1 South

CARMEL BEACHES

Carmel Beach  At foot of Ocean Ave., (831) 626-2522.  Free.  Dogs ok.  Known for its white powdery sand and spectacular sunsets, this world-famous arc of a beach is a choice spot for a refreshing walk, a picnic, or flying a kite.  Swimming is unsafe.  New restrooms are award-winning and exceptional in design. 

     The Great Sand Castle Contest is held here each September or October, depending on the tides.  This year it is scheduled for September 15, 2018.  Contestants are encouraged to bribe judges with food and drink.





Carmel River State Beach  At end of Scenic Rd./Carmelo St., 1 mi. S of Ocean Ave., (831) 649-2836.  Daily 9-dusk.  Free.  Very popular with families and divers, this beach features a fresh-water lagoon that is safe for wading and has an adjoining bird sanctuary.  It is located behind the Carmel Mission, where the Carmel River flows into Carmel Bay, and offers beautiful views of Point Lobos.  Locals refer to it as Oliver’s Cove; the southern end known as Monastery Beach is particularly gorgeous and has an entrance off Highway 1.  Swimming is dangerous.  Picnic facilities are available.


More things to do in Carmel.

More ideas for exploring Northern California. 

video ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


February 15, 2018

Berkeley: Long Life Vegi House


80 North

Long Life Vegi House  1725 University Ave./McGee Ave., (510) 845-6072.  L-D W-M: $.  This inexpensive Chinese restaurant moved recently from its location close to the campus to a farther away but spacious new spot with big windows to the street.  It features many dishes with mock meats but also has a lengthy menu of real seafood dishes.  Portions are huge, and zucchini is a favorite filler--and good for you.  Vegetarian items include vegi-pork and vegi-chicken with spicy garlic sauce, sweet-and-sour fried tofu, steamed taro buns, scallion pancakes, and orange chicken.  My personal favorites are sweet-and-sour pork, and eggplant and tofu with spicy garlic sauce.  The bargain $6.99 lunch special includes a bowl of hot and sour soup, a spring roll, and brown rice.  Ask for the good chili sauce, which they keep in the back.  


interior of Long Life Vegi House in Berkeley, California
interior of Long Life Vegi House in Berkeley, California



eggplant and tofu in garlic sauce at Long Life Vegi House in Berkeley, California
eggplant and tofu in garlic sauce at Long Life Vegi House in Berkeley, California



sweet-and-sour veggie "pork" at Long Life Vegi House in Berkeley, California
sweet-and-sour veggie "pork" at Long Life Vegi House in Berkeley, California



inexpensive check for two at Long Life Vegi House in Berkeley, California
inexpensive check for two at Long Life Vegi House in Berkeley, California
Long Life Vegi House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 
More things to do in Berkeley.

Way more thing to do in Berkeley. 

More vegan-vegetarian places. 

More ideas for exploring Northern California.  

images ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

February 13, 2018

Carmel: unique specialty shops


1 South

Carmel Bay Company  Ocean Ave./Lincoln St., (831) 624-3868.  Daily 10-5.  This shop operates within the historic Seven Arts Building, which was built in the 1920s as an artist’s studio and then in the mid-1930s became Ed Weston’s photography studio.   It purveys “unusual, functional items for the home with honest, clean design.”  That includes fine housewares and accessories, lovely coffee table books, and the best souvenirs—old-time map-embossed dish towels, throw pillows, and drinking glasses. 
exterior of Carmel Bay Company shop in Carmel, California
exterior of Carmel Bay Company shop in Carmel, California
  
Conway of Asia  Dolores/7th Ave., (831) 624-3643.  Oriental rugs, colorful Tibetan chests, and Buddhas galore are for sale in this tasteful, mysterious shop.  The collection hails from India, Tibet, Burma, and Thailand and includes fine antiques. 
interior of Conway of Asia shop in Carmel, California
interior of Conway of Asia shop in Carmel, California


The Secret Garden  Dolores St./5th Ave., (831) 624-4955.  Daily 11am-6pm.  Tucked down a narrow brick walkway lined with bamboo, this serene mostly outdoor shop (part of it is in a 1970s geodesic dome) purveys a large selection of succulents and an eclectic collection of garden accents.  
passageway to The Secret Garden shop in Carmel, California
passageway to The Secret Garden shop in Carmel, California

Adjacent and under the same ownership, tiny Pilgrim’s Way Books--the last bookstore in town--also  provides a good browse. 
entrance to Pilgrim's Way Books shop in Carmel, California
entrance to Pilgrim's Way Books shop in Carmel, California

Thinker Toys  7th Ave./San Carlos Ave., (831) 624-0441.  M-Sat 10-6, Sun 10-7.  This store offers an exciting selection of puppets, dolls, workbooks, and puzzles and is where to bring the kids to select a souvenir. 
interior of Thinker Toys shop in Carmel, California
interior of Thinker Toys shop in Carmel, California
 
The White Rabbit  Ocean Avenue, in the Court of the Golden Bough, (831) 624-2556.  Located not down a rabbit hole but instead up a narrow curving outdoor stairway, this sweet little find is tucked inside one of the town’s fairy tale buildings.  Featuring the world's largest variety of Alice in Wonderland collectibles, you’ll find everything from a garden statue to a backward-running clock among the offerings.
Court of the Golden Bough in Carmel, California
Court of the Golden Bough in Carmel, California

More things to do in Carmel.

More ideas for exploring Northern California.

images ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

February 8, 2018

San Francisco: Tacorgasmico/Simple Mexican Pleasures


San Francisco

Tacorgasmico/Simple Mexican Pleasures  2337 Market St./Noe St., 2 blks. from Castro St., (415) 565-0655.  L-D daily; $.  Situated in a narrow space with hand-painted Day of the Dead murals decorating the angled walls, this spot offers bargain prices and counter service.  Chips cost extra, but several delicious salsas are complimentary (the green one is spectacular).  I am a big fan of the house specialty slow-cooked conchita pibil filling (citrus-marinated pork cooked in banana leaves), especially in sopes.  A large variety of fillings are available, and menu choices include Oaxaca cheese burritos, Yucatan-style panuchos (fried tortillas stuffed with black beans), tlayudas (crisp tortillas with toppings), elote (corn on the cob with crema and cheese), potato flautas, and enchiladas verdes, as well as tortas, taquitos, gorditas, empanadas, and way more!


interior of Tacorgasmico in San Francisco, California
interior of Tacorgasmico in San Francisco, California

 
interior of Tacorgasmico in San Francisco, California
interior of Tacorgasmico in San Francisco, California



mural at Tacorgasmico in San Francisco, California
mural at Tacorgasmico in San Francisco, California

 
menu at Tacorgasmico in San Francisco, California
menu at Tacorgasmico in San Francisco, California


 
chips and salsas at Tacorgasmico in San Francisco, California
chips and salsas at Tacorgasmico in San Francisco, California



sope at Tacorgasmico in San Francisco, California
sope at Tacorgasmico in San Francisco, California


empenada at Tacorgasmico in San Francisco, California
empenada at Tacorgasmico in San Francisco, California
Tacorgasmico Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 


More things to do in the Castro District.

More things to do in San Francisco

Way more things to do in San Francisco.

 
More ideas for exploring Northern California.  
 
images ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

February 6, 2018

Carmel: The Tuck Box


1 South

The Tuck Box  Dolores St./Ocean Ave., (831) 624-6365.  B-L daily; $.  No reservations.  No cards.    Featuring fairy-tale architecture and verily reeking of quaintness, this tiny English-style tearoom can often be quite difficult to get seated in.  Additional seating is available on a tiny outdoor patio.  The breakfast menu offers egg items and hot oats as well as unusual and delicious spongy scones (they’re more like English muffins) with a choice of homemade olallieberry preserves or exceptional orange marmalade—all made in house.  At lunch, sandwiches, salads, and omelettes are available along with Welsh rarebit.  Afternoon tea service stops at 2:30 p.m. and is limited to scones and hot English tea. 

exterior of The Tuck Box restaurant in Carmel, California
exterior of The Tuck Box restaurant in Carmel, California


interior of The Tuck Box restaurant in Carmel, California
interior of The Tuck Box restaurant in Carmel, California


scones and tea at The Tuck Box restaurant in Carmel, California
scones and tea at The Tuck Box restaurant in Carmel, California


Across the street, tiny Picadilly Park, which is dominated by a California live oak tree, invites relaxing contemplation with its benches, flower garden, and water features.
Picadilly Park in Carmel, California
Picadilly Park in Carmel, California



More things to do in Carmel.

More tea times around the world.   

More ideas for exploring Northern California.  

images ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

February 1, 2018

Carmel: historic buildings


1 South

CARMEL'S HISTORIC BUILDINGS

Church of the Wayfarer  Lincoln St./7th Ave., (831) 624-3550.  17 Service Sun at 10am.  The oldest church in Carmel village, this United Methodist Church was founded in 1904.  It has a tall steeple and a functioning church bell and holds the peninsula’s finest pipe organ.  If you look closely at the stained glass windows, you can find a whale and some otters.  A Biblical garden has labeled plants.
exterior of Church of the Wayfarer in Carmel, California
exterior of Church of the Wayfarer in Carmel, California


interior of Church of the Wayfarer in Carmel, California
interior of Church of the Wayfarer in Carmel, California


City Hall  Monte Verde St., between Ocean and 7th aves., 831-620-2000.  M-F 8am-5pm.  This rustic building is probably most famous for once being known as “Clint’s Place.”  That was for the period of 1986 to 1988 when actor/director Clint Eastwood was city mayor.  His campaign was built on  "Bringing the Community Together," and people did enjoy having him in office.
exterior of City Hall in Carmel, California
exterior of City Hall in Carmel, California


The First Murphy House  SW Corner of Lincoln St. and 6th Ave., (831) 624-4447.  This historic house was moved here from a few blocks away.  It was the first of more than 300 town structures built by M.J. Murphy.  Located at the edge of First Murphy Park, it features historic town exhibits and a growing research library.  Outside in front is an unusual weathered-wood milk shrine that was used until the 1950s.
exterior of The First Murphy House in Carmel, California
exterior of The First Murphy House in Carmel, California


milk shrine at The First Murphy House in Carmel, California
milk shrine at The First Murphy House in Carmel, California


Harrison Memorial Library  Ocean Ave./Lincoln St., (831) 624-7323.  M & Sat 1-5, Tu 11-8, W-Thur 11-6.  Designed by Bernard Maybeck and built by M.J Murphy, this club-like library is considered the heart and soul of Carmel.  It has plenty of benches in its large front garden and is a great place to sit and read a book.  Free Wi-Fi and Internet work stations are available inside.
exterior of Harrison Memorial Library in Carmel, California
exterior of Harrison Memorial Library in Carmel, California

 
More things to do in Carmel.


More ideas for exploring Northern California. 

images ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers