Operating for more than a decade, Piedmont Avenue Pumpkin Patch both hosts Halloween outings and brings autumnal revelry to you. The expansive pumpkin patch and halloween store sell 15 types of pumpkins, as well as fall essentials such as gourds, masks, spider webs, and multicolored Indian corn. A harrowing haunted house tests visitors’ adrenal glands with dark corners, spooky sounds, and a befuddling maze. In addition to supplying frights, the staff also constructs pumpkin patches off site, redecorating homes and offices with pumpkins, straw bales, and house-trained scarecrows.
Segway Off Road strips the wheels off of timid city Segways, replacing them with rugged off-road tires ready to explore the rambling wilderness that still sprawls just outside San Francisco. Their tours send riders rolling right into the heart of these outdoorsy sites, tackling trails in the Redwoods or exploring the history and shops of Jack London Square’s waterfront. The adrenalin tour ramps up the action, taking experienced riders on a high speed zip through the meadows and trails of the Redwood Forest. Special tours test rider’s mettle and imagination, challenging them with everything from marathon sessions in the Redwoods to rousing games of Segway polo.
In addition to keeping their fleet ready for wilderness excursion, Segway Off Road's resident mechanics also trick out and customize personal Segways with upgrades including gold plating, hyped-up motors, and wheel spikes to take out cyclists competing for road space.
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.
Segway of Oakland harbors a fleet of off-road Segway x2s and street-friendly Segway i2s, which renters mount for city tours, lessons, and offsite events. Both tours and lessons begin with a video overview of segway basics to acquaint the rider and the ridden. Tours then traverse the city, with guides sharing historical tidbits on Oakland?s oak-ruled past on a route that hits Jack London Square, the downtown sector, and the shores of Lake Merritt. Group lessons jet through skill-building exercises in parking lots and on bike paths. After building confidence, students graduate to higher speeds and more varied terrains, such as bridges and grassy fields, and lessons culminate in an independent ride. Segway of Oakland can also enrich team-building events for companies or exceptionally competitive families with segway demonstrations.
After working at a slew of vineyards and wineries, husband-and-wife team Michael and Anne Dashe struck out on their own, building Dashe Cellars on a foundation of more than 40 years of combined experience. Specializing in single-vineyard zinfandels?including the 2011 Todd Brothers Ranch Old Vines Zinfandel, a wine crafted from grapes grown on 50-year-old vines?they use traditional and natural winemaking techniques. Small-lot fermentation and the application of indigenous yeasts, as well as little to no filtration, result in wines that truly reflect their soil, climate, and regional characteristics, such as indecipherable accents. The Oakland tasting room offers visitors the chance to taste the winery's catalog, allowing them to sip samples of current releases and even purchase bottles on site.
Owner Jeff Cohn of JC Cellars has always been interested in the world of wine, but it wasn't until he tasted a Chateauneuf-du-Pape that the cosmos unfurled before him. "To go from tasting only single varietals to a blend really opened my eyes," he wrote in his bio. He started crafting his own wines and tinkering with production methods, experimenting with different yeast strains. Cohn eventually produced the 2003 Rhodes Vineyard Zinfandel, which was named number three on Wine Spectator's Top 100 List—the first time a California Zinfandel had even been in the top 10.
Now, Cohn curates a roster of 21 vintages based on Rhone grape varietals at JC Cellars. The wines are the product of both his own production techniques and time-tested French methods. Visitors to the cellars can gaze upon the aging barrels during tastings led by seasoned wine educators, before taking a bottle home to christen a life-size replica of the Millennium Falcon.