~Year of the Tiger~TOP TEN LIST for 2022

Happy 2/2/22 – Gong Hei Fat Choy!

Greetings & welcome to the annual TOP TEN LIST of 2021 (+ 2020? who knows, fuzzy boundaries) – here, a handful of enriching experiences to delight the mind & nourish the soul.

I offer this list of opportunities as a way to connect you to a few of my faves (so many! but a select few here) high-quality local-&-largely-female-owned resources to enjoy & share with friends & family and hopefully spark some good dialogue. In our home, we observe many rituals – one is honoring the outgoing/incoming Chinese New Year. Tidying our spaces, stating intentions, making plans with friends & family, focusing fresh eyes forward towards positive change. Also, reflecting on the past year, (oh, what a year) despite & in response to hardships, culling resources that felt most memorable. What it’s always about: COMMUNITY

EAT: Wahpepah’s Kitchen – Artfully prepared & always delectable Indigenous cuisine, authentic traditional decor, & Native music enhance the overall experience by tapping all of the senses. (Fruitvale Bart)

Nido’s Backyard + Juanita & Maude – I’ve posted both before, but extra props to them for creating such extraordinary outdoor eating experiences & service, both places are a total dining pleasure!    

Flora & Ferment – lovely local ciderhouse on lower Solano – super cozy, airy plants, & kombucha on tap!

Rocky Island Oyster Co – Craneway newcomer, wknd hangout slurping oysters, crudo, chowda & beers – sunset vistas that simply cannot be beat..

Speaking of the Craneway, last time I was there we saw Bjork in concert. (Yeah, trippy!) I read an interesting quote by her recently that I thought was hopeful & worth repeating: [in response to a question about closing the digital and human divide] Bjork: “Maybe the strongest impact it had on me was to see the reaction of all governments combined — how quickly we can change stuff, and maybe hope that they will use that wisdom we have for the environment. That’s maybe where my head is at. Both me and Greta Thunberg have a manifesto {as expressed in her “Cornucopia” show}. Since humankind can react so strongly when the pandemic comes, we should react in the same way in the emergency that is the climate change and environment.”

READ:  So! Many! Books! Here are just a few… Deep Hanging Out: Wanderings and Wonderment in Native California  – a meditation on his immersion into the local Indigenous community these past 50 years, by ever-brilliant always thoughtful Malcolm Margolin – one of Berkeley’s all-time finest treasures with a truly poetic heart.  

Cloud Cuckoo Atlas by Anthony Doerr – Don’t let this tome’s heft deter you – well worth the effort, a beautifully intermingled tales of woe & redemption, as found by always betting on the long game. 

Orwell’s Roses by Rebecca Solnit – an ever-fascinating series of essays, drawn along the common thread of Orwell’s life experiences through the lens of roses as muse & metaphor, generously dotted with moments of sheer genius.

The Shimmering Is All There Is by Heather Catto Kohout (edited by Matt’s childhood friend Martin Kohout) elucidates the many-faceted topics that truly mattered to her, fiercely intelligent writing, deeply felt & laced w humor. Overriding it all, her steady voice of kindness & compassion.

Migrations – first-time author Charlotte McConaughy’s soulful narrative enviro-novel grabs you at Go and never lets go. Just try to put it back down. Nope.    

ART: DeYoung MuseumJules Tavernier and the Alem Pomo exhibition, documentary film and stunning display of Pomo Basketry & Regalia, from this Nation’s territory along the southeastern islands of Clear Lake, CA. Tavernier’s 1878 painting is a rare cultural encounter depicting a traditional Roundhouse – itself a giant basket in the ground – replete with Native dancing, as told from the Indigenous perspective.  

Vitra Design Museum, Weil-am-Rhein, Germany – Here We Are! Women in Design 1900-Today WATCH ONLINE HERE – an exhibition of work/working conditions of women designers from Early Modernism to the Present in four chronological parts (Ray Eames, Eileen Gray, Charlotte Perriand, Patricia Urquiola..)

FREQUENT: Umami Interiors – local gem carrying both old & new, beautifully & cleverly curated. Truly stellar service!

Paraiso Plants – a great selection of lush & lovely – a mini-vacation unto itself – this Shangri-La of plant shops 

FOLLOW: MissTANGQ – multi-media artist/educator/community activist/dancer/performance generator /creator; BRILLIANT forecasts & readings (I Ching, Bazi) – deeply insightful missive on the new Year of the Water Tiger a pure offering of enlightened thought including answering what it means to be masculine. 

@CoyoteThunder – Obi Kaufmann, observant, highly skilled & spiritually attuned enviro-mapmaker & author/illustrator of The California Field Atlas (The State of Water; & the Forests of CA)

@_shuvam_photography_ converting the bug/insect-fearing masses via his awe-inspiring skill with his subjects’ beauty. WATCH if you want to learn to appreciate & love bugs/insects.

WATCH: As entertaining as it was, do not for one moment believe SNL Weekend Update’s Peyton Manning as he waxes poetic on Emily In Paris (low energy morally bankrupt broken record of frenemy betrayals, BTW doing Paris no favors..) I instead suggest Aziz Ansari’s compassionate-but-w-teeth take on the state of pandemic world in Netflix’s Nightclub Comedian. Bite-sized & surprisingly sweet.

Beforeigners – slyly hilarious Oslo-based crime drama featuring time travel, immigration, racism, misogyny, & – oh, yes – Jack the Ripper. Perfectly cast, impeccable comic timing, don’t you dare dubb.

Staged – howl out loud funny meta fest w David Tennant & Michael Sheen playing (or are they?) actors cast in a new production on the eve of the pandemic, deciding to forge ahead with rehearsals on Zoom. The mad/faux-dull romp only gets funnier as it rolls along, with a slew of SOLID GOLD cameos.

Pig – Nicholas Cage stars in the role of his lifetime, a perfect marriage of casting / acting / directing / story-telling / cinematography – an odyssey about love & loss, quietude & commitment, friendship & food.


Raye Zaragoza haunting, fresh, plaintive, beautiful – listen once to Red & it will never leave you.

Montana talent Medicine Bundle by Supaman with I Hope You Know so moving (birdsong!) & One More

SELF CARE: please remember to be gentle w yourself. With others, too, as you can. Times are still tough, so seek out what helps you ~ a couple of the things I’m doing for myself are THIS, THIS & THIS

I am deeply & profoundly grateful for all the friends who have met me where I have needed to travel, with open arms. Sending you all love & hopes for a bright, calm & kind 2022 ~


*Caveat emptor may the buyer beware! advance apologies for incompatibility should you choose to accept any/all of the following suggestions.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s