Across nearly three-fourths of the United States, AMF Bowling Co. reverberates year-round as families, friends, and competitors send bowling balls in search of upright pins careening down slick lanes. The company first established itself as an industry leader in 1946, the same year the sport introduced automated pinspotters.
Today, more than 20 million bowlers annually make AMF their battleground for wars against pins. As the largest owner and and operator of bowling centers in the US, AMF locations offer high-tech scoring technology, a classic design, and a menu stocked with American-inspired classics such as wings, pizzas, burgers, and beer.
At Tokyo Shabu Sushi Restaurant, sushi masters slice up delicate sashimi and handrolled maki while chefs put flame to chicken katsu, teriyaki steak, and umami udon noodle soups. But the crew also takes their flavors a step beyond the offerings of many other Japanese restaurants. The menu has a knack of blending Japanese and western influences, as seen in teriyaki-style New York strip steak and a creamy cheesecake dessert made with earthy green tea. Potent sake cocktails and frosty Japanese beers go with just about any dish and help visitors work up the courage to perform their spoken-word versions of "Purple Rain" during weekend karaoke.
At Hercules Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, the instructors have one small goal: to change each of their student's lives. The enormity of such a task takes a simple approach??teach pupils to develop self-confidence, get in great shape, and most importantly, learn the art of self defense. Unique in that practitioners of jiu jitsu can challenge other martial artists of any discipline, the Brazilian-hailing sport prepares students for real-world situations, such as defending yourself or another person against an opponent of any strength or size.
For more than 100 years, Moler Barber College has trained students in the art of cutting hair. The school provides clients with inexpensive haircuts, all of which are performed by the hands of student barbers-in-training. Fades, lines, and tapers are available at the Oakland location Tuesday-Friday from 9:30 a.m-4:30 p.m. and Saturday from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m, and at the San Pablo location Tuesday-Saturday from 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
For more than three decades, ABC Tree Farms have provided the Bay Area with seasonal fun October through December. Summer inspires the first round of recreation in the form of Summer Fun Zones packed with inflatable bounce houses masquerading as castles and slides and fresh harvests of local cherries, peaches, melons, and other fruits. During October, they run 20 pumpkin-themed locations, some of which also feature inflatable bounce houses and other attractions. Once Thanksgiving passes, groves of Christmas trees spring up, having made their way south from Oregon and Washington. There they will stand until Christmas Eve, hoping to decorate homes or become the model that inspires a revamped line of evergreen air fresheners.
A black-tie affair with good times in mind, San Francisco Chic! is an annual party that rings in the new year with panache. Held at the Westin Hotel, the party spreads across several different rooms—guests might laugh it up with the comedians in attendance, head over to hear the funk, soul, and rock-and-roll of party hosts Top Shelf, listen to jazz with Sonya Jason, or groove with Raquel con Bolero y Mas! for salsa dancing. Additional packages include dinner theater, a makeshift casino that donates its proceeds to charity, and a bouncer to make sure 1973 doesn’t try to come back for seconds.