Though FLOAT's neon sign is small and easy to miss in the window of a converted historic cotton mill, its interior is anything but unremarkable. The artist-owned urban art spa stimulates the mind with work from established and rising local artists and submerges clients in warm, dark chambers that relieve bodies of their senses. These floatation therapy sessions enhance relaxation and open up channels of creativity, freeing brains from the incessant digital stimulation and algebraic speed-limit signs of the outside world. While enclosed inside the tank, clients float in a weightless state in a solution composed of 1,000 pounds of medical-grade Epsom salts and water. There, air, water, and skin become alike—refreshing the nerves while recharging the mind more efficiently than sleep. Complementing floatation sessions are massage services that enhance already relaxed states.
715 Fitness is an athletic training company. We like to think of every client as an athlete at heart and strongly believe that training that way brings out the heart and determination in all of us. Whether or not you are currently in a sport or are a retired athlete we want to bring you a vigorous workout.
Habitat for Humanity was founded in 1976 with the goal of building homes in partnership with families across the country in need of affordable housing. Since then, the organization has grown into a behemoth of goodwill in more than 70 countries, bringing housing financing to villages in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, promoting sustainable building and energy efficiency, and responding to overwhelming need during natural disasters.
But the organization is best known for its home-building projects. When Habitat for Humanity builds a home, it enlists the help of the family who will be living there. They dedicate their time and sweat to completing the project alongside volunteers, neighbors, donors, churches, and other supporters, engendering a spirit of renewal and fellowship. Once they move in, families pay a no-profit mortgage. Their mortgage payments go into a revolving fund that promotes the construction of more homes. In 2009, Habitat launched the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, whose holistic community development approach promotes construction, repair, and rehabilitation of affordable housing in partnership with low-income families in markets hit hard by foreclosures. To date, Habitat has helped build and repair more than 600,000 houses and served more than three million people across the globe, welcoming people of all races, religions, and nationalities to partner in its mission as a nonprofit Christian housing organization. Since embarking in 1986, the East Bay/Silicon Valley division of Habitat has put roofs over the heads of over 380 families in Alameda, Contra Costa, and Santa Clara Counties.
In the current landscape of big-box stores and chain restaurants, many fear the dissolution of the small business. The worry is understandable, as many of these local ventures are what give cities, towns, and neighborhoods their distinctive flavor. It doesn't help that, on average, only 13% of the money spent at corporately-owned emporiums actually finds its way back to the community. This means that 87% of the dollars spent find themselves in a faraway bank account with nothing but a distant memory of the newborn pennies they left behind at home. When people give local shops and restaurants their business, however, an average of 45% of their money goes toward keeping the area and its unique culture thriving.
Fueled by this understanding, the folks at Localize It! helm The Alameda Summer Stroll, an evening of neighborhood appreciation, art, and live music. During certain days throughout the season, participants meander along several streets of the bay-adjacent burg to peruse the goods from local operations and sample locally crafted food, beer, and wine. They can even participate in a wine tasting and food pairings, as well as take advantage of discounts at area restaurants, such as Pasta Pelican, Calafia Taqueria, and East Ocean Seafood Restaurant. Along the way, neighborhood crawlers can stop to take in the musical strains of Jim Parodi and Friends or admire masterpieces by local Alameda and Oakland artists.
Former law-enforcement officer Antoine Fisher has devoted his career to keeping people safe, from directing defense courses for locals to working security for Janet Jackson. His school's classes teach civilians how to safely handle firearms according to NRA standards, and specialized training classes help security professionals stay current with the latest defense tactics. Additionally, unarmed self-defense classes prepare participants to subdue or evade an attacker with strikes, takedowns, or by becoming invisible. He also offers special rates for active-duty officers. Beyond training, Antoine coordinates security services that range from supplying canine handlers to securing construction sites and office buildings.
The 500-acre Joaquin Miller Park located at 3590 Sanborn Drive in the Oakland hills is a respite that showcases the beauty of nature. The park, operated by the city of Oakland, provides a panoramic view of the San Francisco Bay Area while groves of redwoods and oak woodlands can be found along trails frequented by joggers, hikers, and cyclists. The expansive Coast Redwoods that grow throughout the park are thought to be one of a limited number of Redwood forests to thrive in an urban setting. The park was named for Cincinnatus Heine Miller better known by his pen name, Joaquin Miller, a colorful American poet and frontiersman, known as the “Poet of the Sierras”. The park is open from dusk to dawn and dogs, on leash, are welcome.