The dedicated framers at Artistic Expert Picture Framing protect artwork, personal photographs, and mementos with a vast array of shapes and moldings that prepare them for display. The framers walk customers through the creative, and often confusing, process, consulting with clients before custom-sizing the frame or shadow box to fit paintings or war medals of any size. Conservation grade materials, such as acid-free archival paper and UV-protecting glass, ensure timeless treasures keep guarded against fading and bleeding.
Eudemonia, open seven days a week, serves as a beacon for button mashers and role players of all interests with an eye-catching array of retail collectibles and gaming opportunities. The entertainment emporium's 40 PCs become virtual portals where gamers dive mouse-first into the fantastical worlds of preinstalled games and use word processors to rewrite the Bill of Rights in pig Latin. Eudemonia's calendar details ongoing weekly events, including tournaments for popular titles such as Magic: The Gathering, World of Warcraft, and Vampire: The Eternal Struggle. Guests can also host their own gaming events and private parties inside Eudemonia’s play space, which remains open until 2 a.m. on Fridays for late-night gamers and owls addicted to Sims 3.
A group of teachers and parents founded Habitot Children's Museum in 1998 with one specific mission in mind: to foster children up to 6 years old by encouraging their creativity and natural curiosity. Today, the 4,000-square-foot museum backs up this mission with research—gleaned from studies by scientists, psychologists, and educators—positing that healthy play spurs social skills, creative thinking, and problem solving, laying the foundation for kids to succeed later in life and imprison boogeymen in their booby-trapped closet tomorrow.
At Habitot, kids find such opportunities at small-scale exhibits and themed play areas throughout the museum. Aspiring firefighters steer a small-scale truck, race through a pretend burning building, and maneuver the hose and nozzle from a fire hydrant, all while donning coats, boots, and helmets. Young explorers press buttons, turn dials, and issue commands for pretend space launches inside a 13-foot model rocket ship or navigate a vertical floor-to-ceiling maze designed to mimic worm tunnels. At the waterworks table and pumping station, young engineers manipulate water using buckets, funnels, waterwheels, and pitchers to help them understand H2O’s unique properties, such as how it keeps boats afloat on the arms of a thousand mermen. (At different times throughout the year, the staff transforms this area with a different theme; at times it’s been a car wash, a marine-science lab, or the racing grounds for a rubber-ducky regatta.) Visitors can tap into their inner Van Goghs at the art studio, where they play with soft clays and go nuts on a paintable wall. Habitot also hosts year-round children's camps with themes such as beaches, transportation, space, castles, and science.
The Berkeley City Club stands just one block from the campus of the University of California Berkeley, home to some 36,000 students and a still-thriving activist spirit. Lined with cafés and smoke shops, colorful Telegraph Avenue bustles with scholars, bohemians, and vendors hawking tie-dyed graduation gowns. World-famous musicians and actors take the stage at Hertz and Zellerbach Halls and the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and plenty of bars and restaurants along Shattuck Avenue pour frothy microbrews and serve farm-to-table cuisine. Wandering Berkeley’s residential neighborhoods can be a charming diversion in the spring, when tangled gardens spill their blooms across tree-lined sidewalks.
Housed in a historical turn-of-the-century storefront, Home 101’s airy shop is brimming with carefully curated vintage items and eclectic gifts. In the penthouse portion of a weathered wooden cabinet, a flock of Stonehouse olive oils and vinegars ($14–$24) preens in preparation for its yearly migration to local kitchens, and a bevy of June Taylor preserves and syrups ($12–$18) sits patiently on the floor below. At the same time on a nearby table, a menagerie of Soap and Paper Factory hand creams, candles, perfume solids and soaps ($8–$28) struts brightly patterned packaging plumage in a futile attempt to impress the stony faces of David Dexter’s pastel-colored wood-panel portraits ($16–$24).
Laundry Locker 24/7 Dry Cleaners' fleet of laundry pickup boxes collects soiled duds for convenient wash-and-fold or dry-cleaning treatments, a service that ranges all over the San Francisco area and for which the company was named winner of SF Weekly's Best Dry Cleaning award in 2011. Patrons safely ensconce laundry in VIP bags and drop off garments at a storefront location or one of the cleaner's 650-plus lockers, alerting the store of a clothes drop-off via email, text message, or 49ers flag hung at half-staff. Laundresses and laundry lads then sort clothes into wash-and-fold ($1.49/lb.) or dry-cleaning piles, sprucing up fibers with hypoallergenic and eco-friendly detergents in a wash separate from other patrons' items.