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Last Day in the East Bay 

Local luminaries tell how they'd spend their last 24 hours here.

Ahmed Rahim

In 1999, teahouse owner Rahim moved from Prague to Oakland, where he started Numi Teas with his sister, Reem. The company manufactures a variety of tea and tisanes (herbal teas), and wholesales them across the country. It also takes credit for introducing America to rooibos, a South African herbal that's become quite the rage.

I would definitely recommend Gaylord's Coffee on Piedmont Avenue for its nice atmosphere and selection of coffee and snacks. Nearby there's the [Morcom] rose garden; it's such a nice little oasis of beautiful roses and fresh blueberries and quiet tranquility. I'd probably peruse the Organic Cafe on 40th Street by Adeline because it always has wonderful people and homemade banana bread. The meals are always very nutritious and hearty. Then, because my stomach was full, I'd do a little shopping at the Berkeley Bowl for its abundance of natural health and organic products. I'd probably wind down the day with a bike ride up in Tilden Park with the beautiful view of the bay up there by Grizzly Peak. For dinner, there's a place in downtown Oakland called Sabina, which offers a great selection of Indian food, or there's the Vulcan Cafe -- it's just hidden away and not many people know about it, but it offers great fresh fish and all kind of traditional Thai food. For a drink, hmm, I'd have to go to a few places: I like the Stork Club over on Telegraph; it's got a great array of experimental music and a pool table in the back. There's also La Note, a French restaurant that has great wines; and I like Cato's Ale House for their selection of beers.

Tom Lane

Lane is the winemaker and general manager at Concannon Vineyard, one of the oldest wineries in California -- having planted its first grapevines in 1883 -- and one of the top fifteen award-winning wineries in the country.

I like eating at several sushi restaurants in Livermore: Kawa Sushi and Sammy Sushi. I get a mixed-sushi plate at both places. I'd go to my favorite Thai restaurant in Livermore called Lemongrass. I'd go for a walk in Morgan Territory in Livermore, which is in the hills on the north side of the Livermore valley, and go to Sycamore Grove Park, also in Livermore.

Marc Weinstein

Weinstein is co-owner of Amoeba Music, which first opened in Berkeley in 1990. Eight years later, Rolling Stone magazine said it was; “perhaps the country's best -- not to mention the biggest -- independent record store.” Amoeba has expanded to include two more locations, San Francisco and Hollywood.

I would have breakfast at Meal Ticket. It's the most incredible little restaurant in Berkeley, a real musicians' hangout, at San Pablo near Gilman. It's like a hangout living room. The couple running it has been doing it for ten years now, and they know everyone.

Once I had enough room in my stomach, I would go for a slice at Cheese Board Pizza on Shattuck. Then I'd go sit in front of the Royal Coffee on 63rd and College, and just drink coffee for the rest of the daylight hours. Then I would probably have to go to Chez Panisse too -- the cafe definitely. The pizza's unbelievable, but I already had pizza.

I would probably also go to the Starry Plough for a beer at the end of the evening. I've hung out there many, many, many times over the years and they have great bands, but always good beer. It's such a friendly, neighborhood place. There's the Albatross, too; I might stop off there on the way home, too.

Shiraz Jivani

Jivani is the man behind Fremont's Naz 8 Cinema, the place to go for Middle Eastern, Indian, and Southeast Asian films.

First of all, I'd go to Naz 8 and catch a good movie. If you enjoy live performances, the Berkeley Community Theater and Chabot College in Hayward are good. They have good live dramas, you know? Afterward, if you're a good vegetarian lover, I'd go to India Mahal, a great restaurant on El Camino. Absolutely great vegetarian food. If I'm a meat eater, it's definitely Shalimar in Fremont. I have eaten in restaurants all across the universe, I've eaten in London, Paris, and there is no comparison. They have the best chicken and gold curry in the world. For the kids, though, there's a place called Jungle in Concord. It's similar to Chuck E. Cheese. It has a good ambience around it; it's clean and tidy. To watch the sunrise, well, I hate to say it, but I'd go to the shoreline where they found Laci Peterson's body. You can sit there peacefully -- it' s very nice. I love the East Bay. San Francisco has too much traffic, the peninsula has too much smog and fog, but the East Bay is just perfect.

Annie Hayes

Annie's Annuals, Hayes' popular wholesale nursery, got started back in 1990. Specializing in Mediterranean and native plants and wildflowers, her bustling 2.5-acre Richmond-based operation supplies eighty retail nurseries from Carmel to the Oregon border.

I would go to the UC and Tilden Park botanical gardens. Both of them are great horticultural treasures of the Bay Area. Tilden has all the California natives; it's beautiful and very peaceful and charming there. And the UC garden is a world-class, fascinating place with great views of the Bay Area. I never have time to eat -- I eat, like, donuts -- but I suppose I'd go to Zack's Pizza. And a flashlight walk in Wildcat Canyon, I like to do that. If you get up real early, you can also catch the coyotes running around in the canyon, which is pretty wonderful. I'd also go to the Chabot Space and Science Center and look through the telescopes they have outside. It's so wonderful and nobody goes there, except for telescope geeks. I guess you can tell I'm not a party girl.


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