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Recreation & Hobbies
510 Skateboarding (2500 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley, 510-843-1863) offers a wide variety of skateboard decks and related skateboarding equipment, as well as the knowledgeable staff required to assemble your board, or at least point you in the right direction of a smart purchase.
Alameda Bicycle (1522 Park St., Alameda, 510-522-0070) guarantees free adjustments on bikes purchased there, warranty their two wheelers for life, and offers classes in basic maintenance.
Alameda Yarn Company (2002 Encinal Ave., Alameda, 510-523-9003) slings yarn, knitting needles, personal instruction, and a convivial space.
Article Pract (5010 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, 510-652-7435) has lots of natural fibers, unusual blends and dyes, books, patterns, and workshops.
Baubles & Beads (1676 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, 510-644-BEAD) is a bead emporium featuring everything from Swarovski crystal to vintage Lucite, wooden to Japanese seed beads; they offer classes in all levels of beading, wirework, and even metalsmithing.
Blick Art Materials (5301 Broadway, Oakland, 510-658-2787; 811 University Ave., Berkeley, 510-486-2600) has been around since 1911 and offers everything you'll need to paint, draw, scrapbook, make prints, practice calligraphy, do projects with the kids on a rainy day, and more.
Destination 1440 (1440 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley, 510-526-7529) is a one-stop shop for boarders of all types.
East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse (4695 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, 510-547-6470) is a true inspiration point: You'll find sheet music, microscopes, empty mint tins, tiles, dry-erase boards, photos, toys, zippers, and all manner of what-have-you for craft or household projects.
Fish First (1404 Solano Ave., Albany, 510-526-1937) specializes in fly-fishing needs, and its knowledgable staff can offer tips, tricks, and advice.
Hank & Frank Bicycles (6030 College Ave., Oakland, 510-654-2453) is a bike shop with a large stock and a social conscience (you can "adopt an African Bike" through its web site).
Knit-One-One (3360 Adeline St., Berkeley, 510-420-8706) hosts classes — popularly called "knitting spas," owing to the warm, social vibe and delectable goodies provided — in crochet, purling, spinning, sewing, and beyond for beginning to advanced participants.
Mike's Bikes of Berkeley (2161 University Ave., Berkeley, 510-549-8350) is a big bike retailer: two stories with gear, accessories, and more.
Missing Link Bicycle Collective (1988 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, 510-843-7471) is a responsible business and a hub of the local biker community, sponsoring a few local teams, offering free in-store classes (like fixing flats, building bike wheels, and how not to crash), and providing support to local participants in the recent national Bike to Work Day.
Old West Gun Room (3509 Carlson Blvd., El Cerrito, 510-525-5329) can assist you in all parts of firearm use and care.
REI (1338 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley, 510-527-4140) is an East Bay institution that has the supplies you need to cycle, climb, ski, or camp.
Royal Robbins (841 Gilman St., Berkeley, 510-527-1961) stocks extremely comfortable clothes in both natural and synthetic fabrics.
See Jane Run (5817 College Ave., Oakland, 510-428-2681) offers shoes and swimwear to help women get moving.
Title Nine sports store (1840 Fourth St., Berkeley, 510-526-1972) specializes in stylish and functional women's sports apparel.
Utrecht Art Supply (1909 University Ave., Berkeley, 510-649-0808) chain carries its own brand of paints, canvas, and brushes alongside national brands of paper, studio furniture, DVDs, and whatever else a serious artist (or art student) could want.
Salons & Body Care
17 Jewels Salon & Spa (4801 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, 510-653-1059, 17JewelsSalonSpa.com) offers more than seventeen reasons to visit, but here are a few: The relaxed decor is chic without being slick, the hair gurus are so friendly you'll want to hug them when you leave, and the middle-of-the-road pricing is beyond reasonable given that they dole out some of the best cuts in town.
Albany Sauna & Hot Tubs (1002 Solano Ave., Albany, 510-525-6262) pulverizes any ache, fatigue, or ailment around — and the redwood hot tubs provide the perfect post-sauna soak.
Alchemy Skin Spa (380 Colusa Ave., Kensington, 510-558-9885, AlchemySkinSpa.com) begins each treatment with a series of questions about your spiritual and emotional state — it'll have a lasting effect on your spirit.
Beauty Center (3976 Piedmont Ave., Oakland, 510-653-7837, BeautyCenterOnline.com) stocks a multitude of shampoos, conditioners, gels, sprays, and relaxers — and that's only the hair products.
Beauty Supply Warehouse (2601 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, 510-763-9805) offers every hair-care item, beauty product, and accessory you can imagine — a rainbow of synthetic wigs, rows of extensions, curlers, brushes, elastics, bandannas, belts, purses, sunglasses, jewelry — even shoes.
The Claremont Spa (41 Tunnel Rd., Berkeley, 800-551-7266, ClaremontResort.com/spa) offers seven "Journey" packages; they're pricey but luxurious.
Entourage Spa (Two Theatre Square, Ste. 148, Orinda, 925-254-9721, EntourageSpa.com) offers a sensational full-service day spa featuring hair care, facials, massage, and body treatments.
Festoon Salon (1401 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley, 888-35-SALON, FestoonSalon.com) features trendsetting stylists who will do you right.
Glo Tanning (multiple locations, GloTanning.com) offers both the Orbit and Omega beds, so tanners have the choice of UV consumption and the Mystic mist machine.
Lafayette Park Hotel and Spa (3287 Mt. Diablo Rd., Lafayette, 925-283-3700, WoodsideHotels.com/lafayette/lafay_home.htm) has an oft-overlooked little spa that offers facials with heated river stones, apricot body glow treatments, and fireside massages for two.
Lucky's (948 Clay St., Oakland, CA, 510-836-5825) offers tapers, fades, edge-ups, and razor cuts, with notable clientele and basic cuts starting at $20.
The Nail Shop (multiple locations, 510-522-1401, TheNailShop.com) is where women peruse celebrity weeklies alongside men yakking into Bluetooth headsets while getting their feet scrubbed.
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