Conversation with Authors Chloe Benjamin and Jessica Shattuck at Rakestraw Books in Danville Jan 10th

Conversation with Authors Chloe Benjamin and Jessica Shattuck:

Rakestraw Books
3 Railroad Ave, Danville
Wednesday, January 10th 2017

Debut novelist Chloe Benjamin, author of The Immortalists, will be joined in conversation by Jessica Shattuck, author of Women in the Castle (newly published in paperback!) on January 10, 2018 at 7 PM. This event is perfect for book groups.

Things to Do

European Train Enthusiasts Display through Jan 7th in Blackhawk Plaza in Danville

Blackhawk Plaza, Danville

European Train Enthusiasts is displaying this year in Blackhawk Plaza in Danville where Read Booksellers used to be across from Draeger’s. They’ll be open 10am – 5pm Wednesday through Sunday, however they will be open December 26th and January 2nd . To find out more about ETE click here.

From the Blackhawk Museum website:

For the 16th year, the European Train Enthusiasts (ETE) will bring their HO Scale European Model Trains and Modular Layout to Blackhawk to brighten the holiday season. This year, the Layout will be located inside the Blackhawk Plaza Shopping Center adjacent to Draeger’s Market.

ETE’s Module Group has created remarkably detailed scale versions of European landscapes, including mountains, villages, bridges, farms, lakes and industries, which come alive when they operate their trains though the carefully constructed countryside.

Each day during the run of the exhibition you will see a wide selection of locomotives, freight and passenger cars from various countries in Europe as different ETE members operate the layout.


A Lemony Snicket Holiday by California Symphony at Lesher Center Dec 23rd in Walnut Creek

A Lemony Snicket Holiday:

Lesher Center for the Arts
1601 Civic Dr, Walnut Creek
Saturday, December 23rd, 2017

Tchaikovsky—Selections from Nutcracker Suite

Stookey—The Composer is Dead
Manoel Felciano, narrator

Various—Audience Sing-Along

Anderson—Sleigh Ride

Running Time: approx. 1 hour 30 minutes, with one intermission

– The Composer Is Dead was composed with text by Lemony Snicket as a whodunit mystery for all ages, written in the style of Prokofiev’s Peter & the Wolf and Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, and someone in the orchestra is guilty!


Starbucks on Hartz Ave. in Danville to become Starbucks Reserve

398 Hartz Ave, Danville

In August we learned that Starbucks would be expanding on Hartz Ave. where Consignit Couture used to be and not only is this a simple expansion but it’s going to become a special Starbucks Reserve store which will offer a “more intimate small-lot coffee experience”. Find out more about Starbucks Reserve on their website here.

From the Starbucks Reserve website:

Apart from the full-scale theatricality of the Starbucks Reserve™ Roasteries, our bars and stores offer a more intimate small-lot coffee experience. These are the perfect places to pick up Starbucks Reserve™ whole bean coffee, enjoy a handcrafted Starbucks Reserve™ beverage and chat with a barista about all things coffee.

Thanks to a reader for sending word about this, can’t wait to check it out!


Popup Alert – Lina Shatara Jewelry Opens in Orinda Theatre Square

Orinda Theatre Square

A new popup shop, Lina Shatara Jewelry opened this month in Orinda Theatre Square. Check out their website here. They will be open here through January 2nd from 11am – 7pm.

From their website:

Lina Shatara’s love of travel inspired her collection along with the wealth of visuals (geometric patterns, organic shapes and calligraphy) that boldly influence her designs. Turning sharp yet simplistic pieces into edgy contemporary jewelry has become the DNA of the brand, although not one she is bound to. Every season is about challenging herself creatively. Her use of mixed materials, oxidized metals and matte finishes add elements of surprise to pieces, creating an undeniable unisex appeal.


Star Wars: The Force Awakens at Lafayette Library Dec 13th

Star Wars: The Force Awakens:

Lafayette Library and Learning Center
3491 Mt Diablo Blvd, Lafayette
Wednesday, December 13th, 2017
5:00 – 7:15pm | Free

Star Wars Episode 8 “The Last Jedi” is premiering December 15th. Come watch Episode 7 “The Force Awakens” with us and fellow fans in the Arts & Sciences Discovery Center on the Mezzanine Level.

This movie is rated PG-13 and is 2hrs. 15 minutes. Room will open at 4:30 and begin promptly at 5pm!

Some light refreshments will be available.



Main Street Deli Opens in Downtown Walnut Creek

1506 N. Main St, Walnut Creek

Last month Alamo-based Brass Bear Delicatessen closed in downtown Walnut Creek and now a new deli called Main Street Deli opened in its place. Check out their menu here. They use Metro Deli meats and a sign inside proclaims, “best sandwiches in town”.

From their website:

Brian Alikhani, owner of Main Street Deli, comes from a family of restaurant owners. His father attended culinary school in France and taught him about French cuisine, but Brian was always more interested in making great sandwiches. He also has a PhD in Science and is interested in US History.


Charming Charlie Closing Late December in Blackhawk Plaza – Files for Bankruptcy

Blackhawk Plaza, Danville

The Houston-based women’s accessories, jewelry and clothing store Charming Charlie is closing later this month in Blackhawk Plaza in Danville. According to this Houston Chronicle article they “filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Friday with a plan to revamp operations, reduce debt and shrink its chain of jewelry and accessories stores in a hotly competitive retail environment.”