Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events


Sad you didn't get to go see ICP in Oakland this week? It's ok! It's the weekend! Here are five perfectly fun activities that are sure to make you WOOP WOOP (ICP face paint always encouraged):

ISSUES 6-Year Anniversary
The East Bay has no shortage of niche-based shops — selling such items as tinctures, boutique camping goods, and imported Japanese kitchen-wares — but one my favorites is ISSUES, which is dedicated to stocking every magazine you've ever heard of, and many more that you probably never knew existed. Apparently owners NoellaTeele and Joe Colley decided to open the store after struggling to find a place to buy a magazine to pair with their brunch at Au Coquelet in Berkeley. Six years later — and despite the fact that print publications have suffered at the pitiless hands of the Internet — ISSUES is alive and well, hosting record swaps, readings, and art shows to boot. Swing by this weekend to celebrate its anniversary, with live DJs, beverages, desserts, and discounts on everything in the store. 12-6pm, free. IssuesShop.comAzeen Ghorayshi


Friday Nights @ OMCA
In case you missed it, the Gallery of California Natural Sciences at the Oakland Museum of California is reopening after two years, and it's INCREDIBLY AWESOME. This Friday, OMCA will have special extended hours for guests to wander in and out of their newly jazzed up natural sciences wing, which houses — among other things — a mini replica of many parts of Oakland itself. Off the Grid will be there, as will a beer and wine garden, family fun activities (gold panning!), DJ's, and a re-screening of the much-loved Oakland Internet Cat Video Festival. Make sure to come back on Sunday — when there will be free admission — in case you miss anything amidst all the hullaballoo. 5-midnight, free. MuseumCA.orgA.G.

Chocolate and Chalk Art Festival
Humankind never ceases to amaze at all the random things it can master. In Berkeley, the results tend to be particularly idiosyncratic, as in the case of the Gourmet Ghetto's annual Chocolate and Chalk Art Festival. A quick scan through past years' highlights reveals an impressive array of sidewalk sketches, including a near-photographic giant Pacific octopus, a highly abstract amalgamation of shapes called "Imaginary City," and an exaggerated Star Trek caricature entitled, simply, "Spock". But if chalk art isn't your thing, the festival also offers live music, pony rides, circus arts, and, true to its name, more than 25 gourmet chocolate offerings. Sat., June 1, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., free. AnotherBullwinkelShow.comA.G.


Smuin Ballet
The reviews are in on the Smuin Ballet's spring season, which comes to the East Bay following its well-received San Francisco run. The dancers have never looked stronger, and in Helen Pickett's Petal, an athletic and colorful contemporary piece set to music by Philip Glass and Thomas Montgomery Newman, they have choreography that showcases their prodigious talents. Picket creates ballets for companies around the world, and Smuin's acquisition of Petal marks her long-overdue return to the Bay Area, where she trained under Michael Smuin himself. The show at Lesher Center for the Arts opens with Chants d'Auvergne, a bucolic Smuin creation danced to traditional French folk songs as arranged by Joseph Canteloube, and closes on a sultry note with JAZZIN' by Darrell Grand Moultrie, who choreographed ballet and jazz to standards by Duke Ellington, Wynton Marsalis, and more. May 31-June 1. Fri. 8pm, Sat. 2pm and 8pm, $54-$70. SmuinBallet.orgClaudia Bauer

Sacred Wheel Cheese Shop
Despite the popularity of this Temescal cheese shop, many customers still aren’t aware that owner Jena Davidson and her crew serve a full American comfort food menu all day long. And that’s a shame because the food at Sacred Wheel is legitimately great — from the colorful pickled eggs to what may be the best mac ’n’ cheese in town. The shop’s pièce de résistance is its grilled cheese sandwich, which pairs perfectly with Davidson's tangy, slightly spicy PBR tomato soup — each batch made with an entire twelve-pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. And the playfully named “Loafin’ Around,” a stellar meatloaf sandwich that’s built like a grilled cheese, is simply too delicious to be missed. SacredWheelCheeseShop.comLuke Tsai