While idly discussing the prospect of creating a miniature-golf course festooned with elaborate art installations, Michael Taft realized that he couldn’t think of a single putt-putt course in the Bay Area. Fast-forwarding to his retirement plan of owning a small business, Taft snapped up an abandoned video store and enlisted artistic friends and local craftspeople to make his dream a reality. Subpar Miniature Golf’s map of handcrafted holes has players putting their way through Bay Area landmarks, including an Altamont Pass windmill and the Golden Gate Bridge, tricked out with loop-the-loops. A sprawling, hand-drawn mural wraps its way around the room, depicting scenes of NoCal life and tricking gullible coyotes into trying to sprint through the walls.
Subpar Miniature Golf’s ever-growing arcade area keeps button smashers busy with vintage pinball machines and a pair of air-hockey tables, contributing to Taft's dream of turning the space into a family institution and community fixture. As he told the San Francisco Chronicle, "Every once in a while, you'll hear a giant cheer in the back by a group that sunk a (great) putt. It makes me feel really good, like 'We did that. That's us.'"
Loved Twice's community volunteers seek out recyclable infant attire and assemble separate wardrobe sets for boys and girls, which licensed social workers then distribute to low-income mothers. Each wardrobe-in-a-box contains 75 clothing and accessory items in sizes 0–12 months, including newborn onesies, sleepers, hats, booties, books, a warm blanket and a First 5 California new-parent-education kit. In 2010, Loved Twice recycled enough items to clothe 1,050 newborns, thus keeping babies warm while easing new parents' financial burden.
For longtime dancers Rachel Jackson and Aderemi Rucker, the creation of Destined 2 Dance Studio & Performing Arts took a leap of faith. They had performed together as a gospel-infused praise-dance duo for several years, and had been asked many times about offering classes. In 2003, they decided to give it a try, and since then, they've helped both adults and children express themselves through dance. Classes include ballet, jazz, modern, hip-hop, and praise styles, and the studio also has its own dance company.
Max Results Boot Camp helps clients work toward their fitness goals by offering a fitness-boosting combination of in-home training, weight-loss programs, and boot camps. Led by owner James Patterson, Max Results Boot Camp's cadre of trainers includes a former Marine as well as athletes with experience competing at the college level. The signature boot camps convene Monday–Friday for 30 minutes of intensive exercises, which recharge weary metabolisms while burning calories like a bonfire in a candy shop. Depending on the day, the instructors stage sweat-inducing boot-camp sessions at Lakeside Park or the Cascade staircase on Lakeshore Avenue.
Gymboree offers a bevy of baby-engaging classes, in which parents and wee ones work together to build tots' creativity and encourage development through play. Weekly classes are available for every age from the freshly born sapling to the 5-years-young wise wanderer. This deal includes rhythm-building music classes, sports classes, imagination-expanding art classes, and Gymboree's most popular class, Play & Learn. The month-long membership allows you to take one class per week, with make-ups available during enrollment if you miss a class.
Northern Indian cuisine, such as dishes of tandoori lamb chops, lobster-papaya curry, and vegetable masala, dots the various tables stacked inside Khana Peena Indian Cuisine, an eatery reminiscent of not only an Indian curry house, but also a French bistro and American brasserie. Diners devour tandoori platters at linen-topped tables in the formal dining room or keep an eye on the open kitchen while seated at the curved copper bar. They can also enjoy a meal tucked away with a loved one inside a curtained-off, private room that boasts pillow seating and complete control over the land of Oz.