Captain Dennis Garrison always felt more at home in the water than he did on land. He was born in the beach town of Playa del Rey, where he spent his days fishing, jet-skiing, and sailing along the coast of Southern California. His love of the open sea and knack for navigation eventually led to stints with the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard.
Unable to ignore the roaring of the surf and the call of gulls after retirement, Garrison founded his own sailing company?Imagine Sailing Tours. Drawing on 30 years of nautical experience, he shuttles passengers towards scenic coastlines and popular sites throughout the San Francisco Bay area. He helms a majestic Irwin Citation 34 yacht, pointing out passing dolphins and seals as he steers towards Angel Island, Half Moon Bay, or AT&T Park. Upon arriving at destinations, Garrison leads activities such as snorkeling trips in Monterrey Bay, wine tastings on Treasure Island, and pottery-spinning classes on top of the Golden Gate Bridge. The skilled seafarer also offers sailing lessons for passengers who?d like to try their hand at steering the ship themselves.
During three-hour classes at Art Social, instructors strive to foster an environment as lively as the paintings that inspire them. At various restaurants, wine bars, or galleries across the Bay Area, students begin the evening chatting with classmates against the backdrop of soft music and clinking wine glasses. Once students have settled into their personal painting stations, instructors delve into history, context, and scratch 'n' sniff features of the evening's chosen painting, which has included works such as Gustav Klimt's The Kiss or Van Gogh's Starry Night. Step-by-step instruction ensures students of all levels take home a personal masterpiece, whether it is a replica of the painting being taught or the bowls of fruit that haunt the student's mind.
UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley?s first plants sprouted in a modestly sized garden on campus in the 1870s, and in the 1890s, the plot became an official garden dedicated to hosting a living collection of native plants. Since then, the nonprofit garden has expanded to 34 acres in Strawberry Canyon and planted more than 13,000 different types of plants from around the world, including endangered cacti, redwoods, and a significant collection of native Californian plants. Given the garden?s vastness, its informative tours and programs offer a handy alternative to exploring alone.
Having shot more than 30,000 subjects throughout his career as a photographer, including many Silicon Valley business figures, Eric Gould understands how to create a good photo in any setting. His adeptness at communicating with subjects carries into his photography workshops, where he conveys difficult concepts clearly and methodically, saving students from such rookie mistakes as shooting with the lens cap on or turning the flash on while taking pictures of your imaginary friend's third grade graduation. In his own photo sessions, he frames professional clients in business portraits and headshots, high-school seniors in youthful poses, athletes in midaction, and a wide spectrum of people and places encountered on international travels.
Yoga to the People believes yoga instruction should be available to anyone who wishes to improve their health, and that inclusion is key to the yoga experience. Instructors welcome students by designing classes that provide a challenge for all skill levels. Experienced practitioners can test their limits by exploring deeper stretches and bends in the heated confines, and first-time visitors can follow sequences at a comfortable pace and focus on finding a balance between the physical and mental aspects of the workout. The studio also offers instructor-training classes that prepare yoga practitioners to lead sessions on their own without the hassle of copying notes onto their forearms before class.
At the Berkeley Playhouse, performances often begin before audiences even make it to their seats. The innovative theater company erects installation pieces in the lobby that encourage playgoers to engage and interact with upcoming performances through movement, writing, and music, deepening their understanding of the worlds they’re about to enter. Once in their seats, they revel in productions featuring multicultural and multigenerational casts, whether they’re watching a performance from the mainstage season or a production from the youth program.