With thousands of frame-and-mat combinations, Deck the Walls can satisfy any and all framing fantasies. The expert framespeople can make diplomas radiate ($100+), personalized jerseys glisten ($300+), and man-cave movie posters sparkle (many 24"x36" pieces are less than $100). The design wizards can also find a home for any prized possession, such as shoebox photos, baby booties, ticket stubs, medals, and really good pot roasts. Deck the Walls' no-hassle guarantee and assurance that all work is done on-site means frameables won't be subject to mistreatment at underground commercial framing facilities.
Blackhawk Museum shines the spotlight on historically significant classic automobiles, showcasing more than 90 one-of-a-kind cars from every era of driving history. Automotive archivists display jewels of internal combustion with their expansive 70,000-square-foot facility, which sprawls over two floors and four dramatically lit exhibition galleries filled with iron horses polished to a high gloss. Knowledgeable docents mill about the gleaming, custom Jaguars, Mercedes-Benzes, and Rolls Royces, ready to answer questions about engine sizes, production specs, and ejector seats. Blackhawk Museum also houses a host of rotating exhibits, including nonvehicular attractions such as Jukebox Saturday Night's nostalgia-packed collection of classic music makers. A museum store and automotive reference library complete the learning experience, filling visitors' hearts with glee, brains with knowledge, and gas-powered cats with premium conventional oil.
Trained by legendary acting teacher Sanford Meisner, Christy English Wioncek opened the Bay Area Acting Studio to teach a new generation of actors how to—in the words of her mentor—"live truthfully under imaginary circumstances." Her stable of equally Meisner-steeped instructors leads classes including introductory adult courses, intensive courses for working thespians, and children's classes for young'uns looking to break into the industry early or convince babysitters they've been diagnosed with a life-threatening ice-cream deficiency.
Behind the Victorian columns of Crocker Art Museum’s 126-year-old gallery building, ornate galleries house works that span six continents and several centuries. In one of the first public art museums in the Western United States, the collection pays homage to the region’s cultural lineage with a robust Californian collection. The museum updated its look and tripled both its exhibit space and running time for games of hide-and-seek in 2010 with the addition of the Teel Family Pavilion, a 125,000-square-foot building that boasts geometric designs and sunlit rooms. The expanded gallery furthers the museum’s mission to function as a community hub by hosting a Thursdays 'til 9 program that lures in scholarly lecturers, film screenings, and live music. Art-history classes keep adults informed, and children’s programs inspire young artists to commit their creativity to canvas, rather than living-room walls or ephemeral Mr. Potato Heads.
ComedySportz, voted Best Comedy Club by KCRA’s A-List in 2009 and 2010, turns out quick-witted performers from classes helmed by experienced improvisers. Designed for students of any experience level, classes help people overcome social shyness and stress. Beginners get a feel for improv basics through games and exercises, learning the bones of scene structure and character development while exploring creativity and facing fears of speaking in front of audiences that are not stuffed animals. During the Intermediate 2A class, students with previous experience tackle the long-form style of improv juggernauts such as Second City and iO, and Intermediate 2B students revel in performance games common during ComedySportz and Whose Line Is It Anyway?. Each class aims to get students ready to create scenes, work with partners, and get out of tickets by saying, "OK, now I'm the police officer."
On Sunday, February 24, runners get up at the crack of dawn to embark on a journey through downtown Niles, which begins at 7:30 a.m. The flat courses send participants snaking in and out of the bustling streets and along the lakes of the Bay Area burg. During both the half marathon and the 5K, supporters line the courses, cheering on the runners with shouts of encouragement and signs reminding them to never run from their problems. In the 12 weeks leading up to the races, a running coach from Stanford University leads free training sessions for runners of all levels. This helps athletes perfect their times so they can have something to celebrate at the finish-line party.