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Daily Life

The Next Frontier in Social Distancing Covid-19 Battles – Restaurant Patios

As the weather warms up with social distancing shelter-at-home orders in effect until at least until May in the Bay Area, I have a feeling the next battle in social distancing is going to be the restaurant patio. Currently, restaurants can offer either take-out or delivery. Recently I noticed one city’s local email newsletter tout open restaurants. Some offered take-out while others offered both take-out and delivery. What surprised me were those that only indicated they were open. Surely this must be a mistake I thought. So I called a few of them up to see what the deal was.

I asked if I bought something could I eat it there. They said I could eat out by the patio if I wanted to. And there you go. They know they have patios, but instead of publicizing patio dining, they leave it as an unspoken feature.

My prediction: the first weekend with nice weather, restaurant patios are going to be semi-packed with diners eager to get out and enjoy the weather. The media will report about it, possibly with egregious video / photographic evidence. And patios will be forced to close. Just like parks, playgrounds and other outside public areas that people congregated to.

Have you noticed diners eating out at restaurant patios?


Swan’s Fine Books Relocating within Downtown Walnut Creek

850 S. Broadway, Walnut Creek

Despite the morbid news emanating throughout our region and the world, life goes on as Swan’s Fine Books, which opened about seven years ago in downtown Walnut Creek, is planning to relocate to the newly remodeled historic Walnut Creek train station where Vic Stewart’s used to be. Before it was demolished I was able to snap a photo of the exposed Southern Pacific Rail Car which was super cool to encounter. Check out Swan’s online shop which remains open here.

From their website:

Our specialities are Fine Press, Illustrated, and Artist books, and it is these that you will most likely find on our web site and at book fairs. We particularly love the early British fine presses, such as the Kelmscott Press, the Ashendene Press, the Cresset Press, and the Golden Cockerel Press. Illustrators of which we are particularly fond include Arthur Rackham, Edmund Dulac, and Eric Gill – but there are so many it’s impossible to name them all.


Daily Life

Broadway Plaza Almost Empty as Residents Adjust to Shelter in Place Order

Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek

It was rather eerie strolling through Broadway Plaza in downtown Walnut Creek over the weekend during prime shopping hours as stores were closed with the exception of Boudin Bakery for pick-up and almost nobody around except for the occasional dog walker. Oddly, the same pop music was piping through speakers as if nothing had changed.


Lesher Center Closed through April 30 in Walnut Creek

1601 Civic Dr, Walnut Creek

The Lesher Center is closed through April 30th in downtown Walnut Creek

From their website:

In response to the Contra Costa Health Services order to cease non-essential operations and gatherings in order to limit community exposure to COVID-19, all City buildings are closed until further notice.

Therefore, the Lesher Center for the Arts will be closed to the general public, and ALL EVENTS through April 30 are postponed/canceled. Lesher Center staff is communicating with all clients and ticketholders.

All impacted ticketholders will have the option of:
1. Ticket credit
2. Exchanges
3. Donation to producing company
4. Refund

We appreciate your patience as we work our way to you. There is NO NEED FOR YOU TO COME IN to exercise your option.


TravisMathew Opened at Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek

Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek

Not the greatest timing for a new store but SoCal-based men’s clothing store TravisMathew opened over the weekend at Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek. Interestingly there is a tabletop video game (Pac-Man I think), which you can see in the photo below at left. Too bad nobody can go out to see it. Since parts of SoCal are shutting down as well it’ll be a while before online orders are delivered but you can check out their online selection here.

From their website:

Due to the Orange County Ordinance issued on March 17th regarding COVID-19 requiring businesses to temporarily shut down, the TravisMathew office and warehouse will be closed until end of day March 31st at the earliest. Unfortunately, orders will see a delay in shipment until at least this date. Thank you and be safe!

Daily Life

Shelter at Home Order Issued by Contra Costa and Other Bay Area Counties

I’ve been harping about coronavirus since before it was officially declared a pandemic, with increasingly distressing news from around the world, and now it has come to this. A Shelter at Home order in all of Contra Costa and other Bay Area counties, mandating people stay home except for essential needs through April 7th, punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both.

From the FAQ:

Vulnerable populations must stay home. Everyone should stay home except to get food, care for a relative or friend, get necessary health care, or go to an essential job. It is OK to go outside for walks if you are not in a group. It may be extended depending on recommendations from public health officials.

What’s Closed?

Dine-in restaurants
Bars and nightclubs
Entertainment venues
Gyms and fitness studios

• You cannot engage in group activities in person with others.
You cannot have dinner parties. You cannot invite friends over to your home to hang out.
You cannot go to a nail salon or get your hair cut by a stylist or barber.
• You cannot go shopping for non-essential goods.
• You cannot take unnecessary trips on public transport or in your car or motorbike.

Stay safe everyone!