Happy Valentine’s Day!!! Don’t you just love, LOVE.  I do!  We are all surrounded by love, every day.  Whether you are coupled or single, there is plenty to do this weekend in the YaY! for everyone.  Check out my “spotlight event” this Friday, Bay Area Rising, plus a whole plethora of things to do with your love or your friends or both!  Also TONIGHT (Wednesday) celebrate Love for Justice in the city and follow it up at Syrup, a new party in the heart of the Castro by Bay Area Faves, DJ Calalo and Slum B (see details below for both events).

This week I am so happy to interview Tina Banchero, co-founder of Grrrl Brigade and who is performing this Friday at Bay Area Rising’s event Stand for Real Love (deets below).  So let’s get going, let’s go out and let’s be love!
alayo_dance_company_tina_banchero__photo_by_bethanie_hines_1Miz Chris [MC]:  Where are you from?

Tina Banchero [TB]:  I live in Oakland and perform and teach dance across the Bay Area.

[MC]:  How did you get involved with Bay Area Rising?

[TB]:  I met Carolyn Hunt (Core Team/Producer for Bay Area Rising) through a mutual friend.  I have been a huge fan of Eve Ensler’s work for years and have used some of her writings and monologues to inspire my dance students’ work.

[MC]:  What will you be performing during the show?177909_470783202950953_1875617927_o

[TB]:  I have choreographed a dance for the Grrrl Brigade, a youth company I co-founded with Krissy Keefer, director of the Dance Brigade.  This youth company is based in San Francisco and is the daughter company of the Dance Brigade, a modern dance company I have been a member for the last 13 years.  The piece is set to a Grace Jones song called “This is my voice”.  The chorus is “This is my voice, my weapon of choice”.  The dance is very strong and utilizes martial arts movement as well as modern and jazz dance.  The story of this piece is that these young women will use their bodies and voices to speak out and up against violence towards women and girls.

241864_451173818234724_1681251658_oI will also be leading the “Break the Chain” flashmob dance at the end of the event.  This flashmob dance was choreographed by Debbie Allen for Eve Ensler and the One Bilion Rising movement.  Last year 220 countries around the world got people dancing the flashmob as a form of action.  This year we hope to fill the 1st Presybetrian Church of Oakland (2619 Broadway, corner of 27th) at 7pm with 650 people enjoying a performance ritual with some of the Bay Area’s finest performers and spiritual leaders and we will close our event with the flashmob dance.  Go to www.bayarearising.org for more information or to buy tickets.  All proceeds will go to local and international groups that support women and girls and an end to violence.

[MC]:  Why do you think the work Bay Area Rising is doing is important?BillionWomenRising_Oakland2013-1515

[TB]:  The Bay Area is one place in the world where cutting edge thoughts, laws and community behaviors around issues of human justice and earth justice are constantly being formulated and constantly influencing the rest of the world.  Bay Area Rising recognized the magnitude of Eve Ensler’s global campaign to challenge the U.N’s statement in 2012 that 1 billion women and girls will experience violence by getting close to 1 billion people to rise, dance and envision a world with out violence in 2013.  This year we hope to get 1 billion people to see a new way and a new future for girls, women, boys and men.  We hope to support that movement here in Oakland.

When an act of violence happens it sends deep painful ripples of emotion through individuals, families, neighbor hoods, schools, communities, cities and countries.  It is a heavy time for all of us.  In contrast when people come together to envision non-violence in large groups, the collective consciousness of a community is raised, filled with light and hope.  That same ripple effect happens in one person’s psyche, a family’s beliefs, a Tina and Patricia hold up the platformsneighborhood’s beliefs, a city, and a country.  Change can happen when we envision that change and we support each other in holding that vision.  Bay Area Rising is doing this by bringing together some of the Bay Area’s best visionaries and artists to help us hold that collective thought.  Oakland can be free of violence.  Berkeley can be free of violence.  SF can be free of violence.

[MC]:   Tell us a little more about what you do outside of Bay Area Rising.

[TB]:  I am a professional dancer and activist.  I have been working to support women’s rights for decades through my activist work, through my spiritual work and through my artistic work.  I have performed with many companies throughout the Bay Area and taught in many schools.  I work most extensively with the Dance Brigade and Grrrl Brigade.




The Cafe
2369 Market St., SF
9 p.m. – 2 a.m.
No Cover

*****SYRUP SF*****
A Pre-Valentine’s Day JAM!!!
Slow Jams & RnB

Djs: Calalo + Slum B.

NO COVER | 21+ | Drink Specials All Night!

~*~*I don’t see nothing wrong with a little bump and grind~*~*


1486034_10202957359241125_744682465_oLove for Justice
The Woman’s Building
3543 18th Street, SF
6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Buy Tix

Come show love for a revered comrade, Alicia Garza, and the organization she’s put her heart into for the last decade!

** Immerse yourself in revolutionary love with some of your favorite comrades in the Bay
** Get in the mood with a live DJ, goooood eats and drinks
** Swoon over decadent chocolate and desserts
** Double the love: every dollar donated will be matched if we raise $10,000 or more!


Alicia has spent nearly a decade door-knocking in Bayview Hunters Point, agitating at actions for environmental justice, building global united fronts, and raising the battle cry for the resurgence of the grassroots Black Left. POWER is forever changed by her courage and insightful leadership.


1656280_845235612159916_629177507_nHouse of Devine presents:  In & Out of Love, My Bloody Heart
White Horse
6551 Telegraph, Oakland
DOORS OPEN: 8p, come get on the White Horse and enjoy drink specials.

SHOWTIME: 9p (stage is located in the back of the bar)

This Month’s show theme is “BLOODY HEARTS.” Our line-up includes your hostess with the mostess, the mother of all the lovers- Cemora Valentino-Devine, Slick Lover- Guy Shelby, Jorell Medley as the sensual Honey Daniels,the stunning and sexy Amelia D Ross, HoT & Seductive Blue Charisma, Christopher Alvaro as Aequorea Victoria, the Big Daddy King Chico Suave, and Najee Rene.


1502360_10201524058840341_1098583929_oMark Farina
The New Parish
579 18th St, Oakland
8 p.m.
Buy Tix

Something exciting for those who love good music!

MARK FARINA brings a special set of Mushroom Jazz-House Thursday February 13th @ The New Parish!!

<< Special guests >>
featuring Aima The Dreamer & Deuce Eclipse (Bang Data)

*DJ HEYLOVE (thePeople)

MARK FARINA – http://www.djmarkfarina.net/
Modern day record minstrel, Mark Farina, has thrilled crowds globally, entertaining over 1 million fans per year. As one of the most ubiquitous DJs in Dance Music, Farina’s known for both his unique style of mixing Jazz, Downtempo and House Music as well as being the creator of Mushroom Jazz: West Coast jazzy, organic productions combined with East Coast Hip-Hop, Urban beats.


Erotic Shorts Competition
The Grand Lake Theater
3200 Grand Ave, Oakland
7 p.m

Briefs is the East Bay Express’ Erotic Shorts Film Competition showcasing works by amateur and professional filmmakers. The annual one night screening allows filmmakers who have explored the limits of erotic entertainment to engage attendees in a liberating experience.


19 Grand Ave, Oakland
9 p.m. – 2 a.m.
9 pm doors $5 $10 after 10
Free before 11pm with RSVP on this event page or at

Amour ~ VIP Valentine Soiree – for singles and couples
At Oakland Era Thursday February 13, 2014

Music By DJ Hector Salazar
21+ event
Drink specials all night with a Valentines Signature Cocktail

Join us for an evening of Amour…..a Singles and Couples Celebration!


77 Cambon Dr, SF
10 p.m.

SKRATCHPAD… is an event dedicated to “carrying on tradition” for Hip Hop purists. Spawned from a similar, legendary event called “The Beat Lounge” in the mid-90’s, this event focuses on the art of scratching in Hip Hop. The event also opens doors for bboys/bgirls, emcees and other enthusiasts to come out and network or just enjoy the styles… Catch this monthly event at its new home starting this Thursday, February 13th!!!!!

February 13th, 2014: OPENING JAM SESSION
hosted by Johnny Krush, DJ Deeandroid, DJ Celskiii, DJ Ameriica & crew

Doors 10pm-2am | 21+ | FREE ALL NIGHT
(((every 3rd Thursday of the month)))

ALL DJ’S ARE WELCOMED AND ENCOURAGED to participate in this unique event. (DJ’s: bring your own headphones, needles, and records). This is a community event: “No cover, just culture!”


BAR_FlyerBay Area Rising
Stand for Real Love
2619 Broadway Ave, Oakland, CA 94612
7 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Buy Tix

spotlightBay Area Rising, on V-Day, will be holding their next performance ritual featuring numerous Bay Area artists and healers.

This year our event is called ‘Stand for Real Love’.

Join an ever growing number of performers for an evening of beauty, community, and holding the collective consciousness for a violence-free planet.

100% of proceeds go to women’s projects around the world.

For more information on this event, or to volunteer, go to: www.bayarearising.org

To donate, please go to: http://www.razoo.com/story/Bay-Area-Rising-1


Legionnaire Saloon
2272 Telegraph Ave, Oakland
9:30 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.

Music is Life ♥

Celebrate love, life and music.

A party brought to you by DJ LadyRyan singing and spinning all night.

For lovers old and new, playing all genres of music to satisfy the earbuds of everyone.

Come join the party!



1796534_267960970028806_406538846_nEast Bay Bike Party
Richmond Bart
Meetup 7:30 p.m.
Rollout 8:00 p.m.

Bike Party, will you be my Valentine?

February is here and love is in the air, bike love that is. Cupid’s Arrow has landed on Richmond this month and trust us you will LOVE this route. Come celebrate Valentines day with a very special Bike Party next Friday the 14th at 7:30 PM at Richmond BART (up the stairs out of BART, not the ramp). It’s going to be cooooold so bring lots of layers and maybe someone to snuggle with. We are going to party rain or shine so depending on how the weather shapes up you may want to be ready for some less than ideal conditions.

We (the volunteers) love our party and all you that join us every month. We especially love our friendly, safe and law abiding riders and we give them all our thanks for their consistently positive vibes that give us the energy to keep doing this. There are some elements of the community that we could do without however and I risk my love-dovey mood to list them here but they include the taggers, the light runners, the reckless riders and those riders that have had one too many. These riders represent a minority of the group and so I want all of you rock solid Bike Partiers to help curb these behaviors and speak out when the ne’er-do-wells act in a way that endangers the party and those that participate. We strive to be a considerate, conscious and safe party and so that I ask you now to read and repeat the following Bike Party Creed:

Stay Right | Stop At Lights | Ride Straight | Don’t Hate | Pack Your Trash | Don’t Get Smashed

Please give all your respect, love and support to any volunteers you see and know we do this all for you! Can’t wait to see all your lovely faces this Valentines Day!


7_lo-res_2Friday Nights @ OMCA: Valentine’s Day
Oakland Museum of CA
1000 Oak St, Oakland
5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Cost: Half-price gallery admission for adults, ages 18 and under are free. Admission for Members is always free. Cash bar. Prices vary for Off the Grid food trucks.

This Valentine’s Day, bring your sweetie, young ones, or group of singles to Friday Nights @ OMCA for a hot night of local music, food, art, and culture! Savor California beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages around the Koi Pond at the Blue Oak beer garden. Enjoy half-price admission, live music, hands-on activities for kids, and extended OMCA Store hours. Get a taste of the hottest in Bay Area curbside cuisine!

What to expect on February 14:

-Valentine’s Day cocktails, local beer, and wine specials, coffee, tea and hot cocoa in the Blue Oak beer garden all night!
-Dance instruction, costume contests, comedy, and more
-He(art) Attack! in the Gallery of California Art. Show your love by placing a paper heart by your favorite work of art, all weekend long
-Family-friendly drop-in art activity: make your own mini hero figure, inspired Black History Month and the exhibition The Smallest of Worlds, from 5 to 8 pm
-DJ Dotmatic on the 1s and 2s in the 10th Street Amphitheater from 5 to 6:30 pm
-All-ages hip hop dance lesson led by Samara Atkins of Destiny Arts Center in the 10th Street Amphitheater from 6:30 to 7 pm
-Love Pub Trivia Game, where family and friends of all generations come together to compete for the team prize, with categories like The Birds & the Bees, Pop Culture Couples, and more, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm
-Live band Pan Extasy bringing the sounds of Carribbean music to the 10th Street Amphitheater from 7 to 9 pm
-OMCA-in-the-Headlines, a special discussion series in Above and Below: Stories From Our Changing Bay, this week with Cris Benton presenting his book, Saltscapes, followed by a special book-signing, from 7 to 8 pm
-A Snack Size Docent Tour, a fifteen-minute mini-tour led by a talented OMCA Docent to introduce you one of the Galleries—you won’t know which until the tour begins!—meeting at the ticketing desk on Level 2 at 7:30 pm
-Extended hours in the galleries and special exhibitions
-Twelve gourmet food trucks from Off the Grid featuring the best in local cuisine

Transportation: OMCA is located one block from the Lake Merritt BART Station. Event parking is available at the Museum for a $5 flat fee after 5 pm.


1898677_10152314392019155_715817720_oThe Rejection Project
Big Umbrella Studios
906.5 Divisadero, SF
7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

The Rejection Project (TRP) is a multi-media art installation creating a conversation around the impact of rejection on the human psyche and the transformative power of art.

TRP seeks to utilize art as a transformative tool offering access to healing and freedom. Using video, sound and words, this installation asks the viewer – the observer – the reader – to confront their own experiences of rejection head-on.

All featured artists committed to creating an original piece of art through the lens of rejection. The art featured in this show stands as testaments to the struggle within the rejection experience and to the mental and spiritual space available beyond it.

The Rejection Project asks you to join the artists in creating conversations where rejection and its impact are freely shared, allowing us all to escape our silos of shame and access authentic connection and transformation.

Curated by:
Ain Besell
Melonie J Green

Featured Artists:
Ain Besell
Todd Elkin
Mark Harris
Steve Javiel
William Rhodes

Multi-media Interaction curated by SpacEKrafT
Catharsis Booth installation by Afterscience


1557477_10101113266272328_91388794_nThe Seshen
Brick & Mortar
1710 Mission, SF
8pm Doors/9pm Show
$12 adv/15 door
Buy Tix

Valentine’s Day dance party & tour kick-off for The Seshen.

Joining us is Zakiya Harris and Okapi Sun from San Diego. Come thru!


1898785_10203096779370324_1495804189_oARTE Y TAPAS
Valentine’s Day
Neck of the Woods
406 Clement Street, SF

7:30 Doors
8-11pm Show
Buy Tix

Skip the expensive restaurant prix fixe this year and join us for the 3rd Annual ARTE Y TAPAS Valentine’s Day! Admission includes live music by Whitney Myer, all-you-can-drink specials and artisan tapas by Lovage Cooking PLUS visual art exhibition by Alexa Treviño & Ivan Lopez of Artillery AG – it’s the best deal in SF!

This is the 3 Year Anniversary of ARTE Y TAPAS, the unique SF-based Performance Series that showcases top Bay Area and International musicians, dancers, actors, poets, artists and chefs! TICKET LINK: http://VdayARTEyTAPAS.bpt.me/


Whitney Myer: www.whitneymyer.com
+ Special Guests Jenevieve Francisco & Avo Chalaganyan!


1551768_10151827266451193_360324001_nGet Your Heart On with the Klipptones
Palace Hotel’s Pied Piper
NO COVER. $10 minimum on food and/or beverage requested. 2 New Montgomery, near Montgomery BART
Fall in love with a swinging band in a swanky joint (and take your date to the cheapest, sexiest spot in town).

Bay Area love band, The Klipptones, have been described as “the BootieSF of swing”. A 6-piece ensemble, The Klipptones irreverently mash up Sinatra-era classics with Billboard topping pop: Sinatra and Prince, Ella and MJ, Sarah Vaughn and Zedd, Hoagy Carmichael and The Cure. Sometimes they just make brand new classics with swinging arrangements of Joan Jett, Janelle Monae, Beyonce, and more.

The Klipptones are: Joshua Klipp and Emily Day (vocals), Jeremy Harris (sax), Bob Brumbeloe (guitar), Kim Cass (upright bass), and Ben Brown (drums).




1559509_10201390987482842_1493907044_oDaddy: A Visual Art Exhibit
Wicket Grounds
289 8th St, SF
7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Celebrate the release of Madison Young’s first book, Daddy. Madison will be reading from her memoir, as well as unveiling works created by various artists inspired by her new book.

Art works by Dan Berle, Aye Hayward, Alyssa Walker, S.M.Shifflett, Pat Mazzera, James Mogul, Tanya Wischerath, and Madison Young inspired by Ms Young’s newly released memoir, “Daddy” exploring the intricacies, psychology, love, kink , relationship dynamics & gritty reality between a submissive and dominant . In this fascinating and intimate exhibit Madison Young curates painting and photography, side by side with the written word. Opening reception will include a reading of Madison’s memoir along with a book signing.


1623615_10152130713174694_1038552451_nChef Caabay Birthday Celebration
2101 14th Ave, Oakland
All Day

If you are a small business owner or know someone who is a small business owner then you know they rarely get days off. This year Charleen/Chikun/Chef Caabay has to work on her birthday. Booooooo!

So her friends thought we should bring the party to her!

Join us on Saturday, February 15th to wish happy birthday to our favorite local chef, a great friend and a fabulous community member.

– We will be serving Birthday cake (YUM!)
– Magic Mic will be on deck. (We are sure you will want to serenade the chef on her special day.)
– BYOB. Share a shot with the chef or pour her a glass of wine it’s her birthday!

The birthday party will be going on from 5pm to close, however if you can’t make it during that time, stop by any time during the day to wish her a Happy Birthday!


1796424_10203149515317110_1514037716_nLiving Room
1919 Market Street, Oakland
4 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Free b4 5pm
$5 After 5pm (no one turned away)

Engaging Your Body, Mind, & Soul

*Resident Sound Jedis:
Trinity (TrinityWolf Network II Living Room Project)
LP (Free Lunch Crew II Social Life II No Pants)

*Visual Curater:
Bushmama Africa

Chef Yulanda (Simply Bliss Catering)

About the Living Room Project:


1724851_734389039905736_225099107_nAbrazo: A Queer Milonga
Finnish Brotherhood Hall
1970 Chestnut St., Berkeley
7 p.m. – 11 p.m.
$15 General
$7 Students with ID
$5 Never-been-to-a-milonga Special

Every 3rd Saturday of the month, we gather to dance, prance and make merry, and this February 15th we are taking Valentines sweet and deep into the night.

Everyone is welcome, every kindred in the kingdom: Lead :: Follow :: Switch :: Dance :: Queer tango.

7:00 – 8:00 Beginner’s/ Fundamentals Lesson with the queer tango favorite, Glenn Corteza. New to tango, want to fall in love with the basics again, Glenn will take you there.

8:00 – 11:00:

-Dancing to DJ Glenn’s Alternative & Traditional Tango Music.
-Merrymaking and sweet and savory yum yums!

**No partner required. No experience necessary**
Friendly dancers from the queer tango community are available to dance with beginners and newcomers throughout the night




White Horse
6551 Telegraph, Oakland
Door 7pm
Show 8pm

This month we celebrate ALL LOVE. Whether you’re single, committed to one, love many or simply love our beloved community — come out and let Debauchery sooth your Valentine’s Day woos and wants with the vivacious teases of our oh-so sultry queers!

Debauchery is: queers stripping for queers in hot, anti-oppressive space, raising money for organizations that serve the queer and LGBT+ community.

The show features stripteases, tons of audience interaction and even birthday lap dances onstage! Be sure to bring plenty of dollar bills — a portion of the proceeds goes to groups providing health, fun and social services within the queer community.




lThe Chop Bar
247 4th St
Ste 111
(between Jackson St & Alice St)
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 834-2467

2 copy

Eggs Benedict

I have been here a couple of times and was ambivalent about posting a review until I went to brunch this past Saturday.  Seriously two thumbs up for their great brunch selections.  We had the Eggs Benedict (highly recommend), the French Toast (really good) and the Veggie Scramble (which was a huge hit).

The dishes came out fast (I love fast service) and hot.  The waitstaff was friendly but not overly friendly.  The vibe is nice and it is a great place to just sit and relax.

I am not sold on their dinner but I am totally sold on their brunch!

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Apple French Toast

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