All posts filed under: Local Tourist

meet the maker.

For the last East Bay Yelp Elite event of 2019, we visited Melissa Joy Manning‘s jewelry shop and studio in Berkeley. In true Yelp Elite style there were of course treats (both to enjoy at the event and to take home!) and merriment! I invited my friend Connie to be my +1. It was her first Yelp Elite event! The evening started with jewelry perusing and shopping. The staff knows everything about everything and they were so happy to be able to share the Melissa Joy Manning process and code of ethics with us. There were many everyday pieces as well as more extravagant pieces, each carefully made in the back studio. I loved the look of the shop, too. There were vintage jewelry cases and inspirational design elements like ceramic hangings and geode wall art throughout the shop. Then, a behind the scenes look in the studio where their team of jewelry makers create each piece of jewelry sold in shop and online. Our studio guide Lisa shared the brand history, showed us around …

favor.

Favor in Berkeley is filled with colorful jewelry, treats, and gift items for all your fun friends! I visited last month during peak Christmas shopping times so they also had a great assortment of ornaments, too. There’s something to look at everywhere you turn. Take your time because there are some hidden gems – like felted mushroom garlands! And kitten zippered pouches and balloon animal ornaments! And appropriately inappropriate bracelets. And tequila necklaces. What a fun visit! The owner even treated us to bon bons and I went home with a mushroom garland. Have you visited Favor? Share your favorite gift shops below!

burning man.

The Oakland Museum of California curated an exhibit called “No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man.” Since I had many unanswered questions about Burning Man (like, what is it exactly?) and I have no plans to go to Burning Man in my lifetime (I don’t do camping), this was the exhibit for me! There are no spectators at Burning Man because everyone is a participant. The 10 Principles of Burning Man sums up the experience quite nicely. The exhibit begins with Burning Man origin stories and fashion! Then, lots of art! There were video visuals, a sound bath/performance, photography… My most favorite piece were these origami mushrooms that expand and contract with human interaction (participants step on a pad to activate the mushroom!). Gifting is one of the Burning Man principles. There was a creative station where you could create a gift (we made dinosaur jewelry with Ace Monster Toys), place it in the Gift-o-Matic (super cool, btw), and you can take one gift in exchange (my friend got a beaded bracelet and I got …

tea | shop hop.

My friend May of Timmy Mays hosted a studio sale at her maker space along side Cinq and Kaoru Sanchez so my friend Joy and I made a crafty lady date out of it. First stop: Malaya Tea Room in Alameda. Malaya is the cutest tea room I’ve ever been to – ever! Seriously. All the other tea rooms are too stuffy and old feeling. The space was so inviting and beautifully decorated. Even though most of the plants were fake, they still brightened up the room. The tea and snacks – brilliant! Especially the chicken curry sandwich and warm scones. I felt like I was on vacay. They even offered to take our photo on our way out. Then, to the studio sale! May has her studio space at Phoenix in Alameda. I had a pop-up here a few years ago and it’s supah fun. May creates leather goods including bags and belts, and also intricately painted wearable art! And this is her pup Mycroft, the shiest pup I ever met. Plus, jewelry by …

eagle rock.

A quick work trip to LA meant I got to visit with my FamBam. We spend the afternoon together in Eagle Rock before I had to catch a flight back to the Bay. So much fun togetherness times! Here are a few things you can experience in Eagle Rock. Heart Wall Do it for the ‘gram. Milk Farm Cheese experts will walk you through the cheese experience. We took home a few slices. Bok Bok Chicken I love the name. Falafel plates for all! Folia Collective You know how much I love plants. Swork Cafe hangs! And such a good smoothie with ginger and citrus. Yay FamBam! Where do you like to hangs with your fambam? Share below!

shops of DC.

DC adventures continue with shopping! Union Kitchen My favorite souvenir shopping happens at local markets. I love finding the “made in [insert place of vacay here] items.” Union Kitchen is a boutique market that carries lots of locally produced goodies, most of which unfortunately I could not bring home this time around (luggage constraints) but look! Stuffed bagel holes! Pickled jalapeños! National Museum of Women in the Arts We didn’t have time to visit National Museum of Women in the Arts, but we did have time to visit the museum shop! I think it gave us major FOMO though. A collection of women empowerment, women made, and inspo… Salt & Sundry Salt & Sundry is a cute gift shop in the Logan neighborhood. Soft light, home goods, jewelry…. It was less easy to find the made in DC items (or maybe there just wasn’t a lot of them), but I did score some made in DC chocolate bars! Little Leaf Little Leaf is a sister store of Salt & Sundry. It. Is. So. Lush. The …

art of DC.

Washington DC is full of art, too! I visited the National Portrait Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and spotted murals and neighborhood art all over town. National Portrait Museum When I go to art galleries I like to get up close with the art and see all the textures in the paintings. At the National Portrait Museum I got to see Barack Obama’s portrait. It was even more amazing in person – so colorful and grand. Blagden Alley I love, love, love alleys with murals! I enjoyed reading about Blagden Alley’s history, too. It made walking through so much more meaningful. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden At the Hirshhorn I spotted a Pollack and a Mondrian! There was a special Manifesto exhibit and in the video room they timed it so the 13 character monologues were at one point in sync and almost chanting with each other. Art! Also at the Hirshhorn, a sculpture series which I didn’t quite understand, but I had to photograph all the pieces. Watermelon House We spotted the …