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GOING

TO THE

DOGS Give your pooch a proper pampering

A MATTER OF TIME Prop 7’s change to daylight savings is part of a longer story

HAUTE HIGHS Luxe markets embrace cannabis


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NORTH BAY SENSI MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019

sensimediagroup @sensimagazine @sensimag

28

F E AT U R E S

16

The Ghost of Time Past

Prop 7 wonʼt change the way Californians experience time.

22

28 34

Woke, Not Wasted

What is the sober-curious movement, and can sobriety really be fluid? SPECIAL REPORT

Haute Highs

How luxury has gone to pot.

Woo-Woo Woofers

The pet wellness craze has taken off in California.

D E PA R T M E N T S

9 EDITOR’S NOTE 10 THE BUZZ News, tips, and tidbits

to keep you in the loop THROWING SHADES:

Allyn Scura eyewear LUMINARIA: Holiday lights sans flames

40 THE LIFE Contributing to your

46 THE SCENE Hot happenings and hip

hangouts around town CALENDAR Close out the 2010s with nights of lights. ROCK ON with Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven.

50 THE END

ON THE COVER With all the buzz around whole-body wellness nowadays, is it any surprise that we are focusing on wellness for our best friends, too?

When fires rage, Californians rage right back.

health and happiness VOLUNTEER It’s good for you—and others, too. JUSTICE for immigrants, here and across the country

DECEM BER 2019

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T W I T TER Follow @sensimag to stay up-to-date on the latest news from Sensi cities.

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Magazine published monthly by Sensi Media Group LLC. © 2019 Sensi Media Group. All rights reserved.

EXECUTIVE Ron Kolb CEO ron@sensimag.com Tae Darnell President tae@sensimag.com Alex Martinez Co-Chief Operations Officer alex@sensimag.com

A

Mike Mansbridge Co-Chief Operations Officer mike@sensimag.com EDITORIAL Stephanie Wilson Editor in Chief stephanie@sensimag.com Doug Schnitzspahn Executive Editor doug.schnitzspahn@sensimag.com Patty Malesh Managing Editor patty.malesh@sensimag.com Leland Rucker Senior Editor leland.rucker@sensimag.com Robyn Griggs Lawrence Editor at Large robyn.lawrence@sensimag.com Helen Olsson Copy Editor

Dr. Angie McCarthy, Leland Rucker, Lori Tobias Contributing Writers DESIGN Jamie Ezra Mark Creative Director jamie@emagency.com Rheya Tanner Art Director Wendy Mak Designer Kiara Lopez Designer Josh Clark Designer Jason Jones Designer em@sensimag.com PUBLISHING Nancy Birnbaum Publisher nancy.birnbaum@sensimag.com Sam Delapaz Associate Publisher sam.delapaz@sensimag.com B U S I N E S S /A D M I N Kristan Toth Head of People kristan.toth@sensimag.com Amber Orvik Director of Administration amber.orvik@sensimag.com Andre Velez Marketing Director andre.velez@sensimag.com

EDITOR’S NOTE

As I write, the Kincade Fire has

already destroyed an area twice the size of San Francisco. Skeletal images of the Soda Rock Winery ablaze, displaced friends and their fur babies marked safe on social media, crowdsourced threads on how to keep food from spoiling during blackouts, air quality warnings—it’s not the kickoff to the holiday season I was hoping for. And yet it’s not unfamiliar. Increasingly, this is the reality of climate change, and we are learning what it means to live accordingly. In times like these, the North Bay feels close, like one community united instead of a patchwork of micro-cultures and counties. We are in this together. And we are unstoppable. As Jeff Goldblum famously quipped in Jurassic Park, as only Jeff Goldblum can, “Life finds a way.” Nature and communities rebuild organically. But this does not mean we don’t have to work for it. As we welcome winter and reflect on our tribulations and bounties in 2019, we are reminded of what it means to be human. Our responsibilities to one another and to the planet are often framed as black holes, inescapable and intense. But I think we are better served if we reclaim these responsibilities as bright stars in the darkness. We have the power, individually and collectively, to work with the planet instead of against it. Every day, we discover new ways to heal our fragile sphere and new ways to live in harmony with it. The same is true of our relationships. If we trust compassion, humor, and hope to guide us in thought and action, our responsibilities to one another feel a lot more like joy than effort. Humans thrive in community, and we aim to shape the ones we frequent for the better. One of the joys of being a part of the Sensi community is showcasing the arts, culture, people, and businesses of the North Bay. We share stories and connect people. We deal in community. We reflect and reflect on the brightest stars in our galaxy. You are our community, and we joyously accept our responsibilities to you. See you in 2020!

We are better served if we reclaim these responsibilities as bright stars in the darkness. We have the power to work with the planet instead of against it.

Neil Willis Production Manager neil.willis@sensimag.com Hector Irizarry Distribution distribution@sensimag.com M E D I A PA R T N E R S Marijuana Business Daily Minority Cannabis Business Association National Cannabis Industry Association Students for Sensible Drug Policy

Patty Malesh patty.malesh@sensimag.com DECEM BER 2019

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THE

Rose-Colored Glasses Are you more whimsical than Warby? Check out Allyn Scura’s curated collection of vintage eyewear online. This green, socially conscious company offers one of the largest and most affordable collections in the US. They stock more than 100,000 vintage and antique frames from the 1800s through the 1980s and often rent out instock frames for film and studio projects, including The Man in the High Castle, Dream Girls, 10 NO RT H BAY

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American Hustle, and Netflix’s new Tales in the City. Do you already own vintage glasses but are struggling to find someone to replace the lenses? No sweat. While the company’s solar-powered warehouse and lab in Sebastopol does not host a storefront, you can catch Allyn Scura regularly at Treasurefest (Treasure Island), the Alameda Point Antique Faire (Alameda), and A Current Affair: A Pop Up Vintage Marketplace

(Richmond). Head to their booth to peruse hundreds of vintage frames. Bring your lens prescription and you can be fitted for your lenses right then and there. Allyn Scura also recycles old frames and works with organizations that donate them to developing countries and optometry schools. They accept old frames in person at events and by mail (paying postage for current customers). Allyn Scura Eyewear / allynscura.com

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Check out these vintage vision-aries.


CONTRIBUTORS

Patty Malesh, Dr. Angie McCarthy, Leland Rucker, Doug Schnitzspahn

BY THE NUMBERS

7

IT’S NOT CBD

COOKIES PHOTO BY SHERI SILVER-VIA UNSPLASH

One letter makes a big difference. Everyoneʼs talking about CBD these days, but most people have never heard of CBN. Both are cannabinoids, chemical compounds that act on special receptors in the human brain and body to shift neurological and physical patterns. More than 100 cannabinoids have been discovered, and theyʼre being studied as treatments for everything from inflammation to anxiety. Right now, CBD is getting a lot of attention for its pain-relieving properties and is widely available around the world. If youʼve ever smoked or eaten cannabis thatʼs been sitting around, exposed to the air for a while, and then fallen into a sleepy stupor, youʼve experienced CBN. This cannabinoid is a metabolite of THC—the one everyone knows that gets us high—which has been degraded by oxygenation and UV light exposure. CBN has only mild psychoactive effects but strong sedative and calming properties. Itʼs being studied for many of the same ailments as CBD, things like pain, seizures, and insomnia. (Cannabis-testing facility Steep Hill Lab found that 2.5 to 5 milligrams of CBN is similar to 5 to 10 milligrams of Diazepam.) A major difference between CBD and CBN is how they affect appetite. Studies on mice found that CBN causes significant chow intake, while CBD did the opposite. Whether youʼre trying to lose weight or gain it, thatʼs another reason why itʼs always good to know your plantʼs cannabinoid content.

BIG SNOW STORMS PREDICTED

to hit the US during the 2019-20 winter season, including two in the Rocky Mountains in April. Source: The Farmerʼs Almanac

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were invented by Ruth Wakefield. Enjoy some on National Cookie Exchange Day, Dec. 22.

FUNGAL JOLT

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“If there is to be any peace or reason, we have to create it in our own hearts and homes.” —Madeline L’Engle, writer, in A Swiftly Tilting Planet

DECEM BER 2019

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THE BUZZ

VOX POPULI

Question: What was your most memorable moment of 2019?

DR. KIM MIEDER

KIM (& MAX) HUFF

JAY DONNELLAN

XIMENA CORTES

RACHEL CHAPDELAIN

___________________

___________________

___________________

___________________

___________________

University Professor, Sonoma

My best moment of the year was when I bought my new home in Santa Rosa and it didn’t burn down in the fires!

Business Owner, Sausalito

My son, Max, flew home mid-trip from four months abroad in East Asia and Africa to surprise me for Mother’s Day.

Cannabis Entrepreneur, Napa

Mine was smoking with Xzibit and shaking hands with the president of Mexico at the High Times Top 100 in Cannabis party.

Quality Control Assistant, Healdsburg

I passed my Q-Grader exam this year and got my dream job at Olam Specialty Coffee. I now taste coffee for a living.

Esthetician, Massage Therapist, Napa

The best thing about the year for me was starting my own business and moving into Oryn Salon.

Light the Night Bring battery power to the time-honored New Mexican tradition. Luminaria kits bring warmth to winter nights and welcome loved ones to home and hearth during the holidays. The traditional New Mexican sand-andcandle-filled paper bags used to line walkways are less than ideal in fire country, but this doesn’t mean you have to go without. Lumabase sells a variety of electric and battery-powered Luminaria kits to give that same inviting atmosphere without breaking the budget. Both fire-free versions are made of weatherresistant plastic and come in a variety of bag designs. Battery-powered versions are available in warm white light or color-changing lights, and come with a recurring daily timer—five hours on, 19 hours off. Set it and forget it. Batteries last 360 hours. Sensi readers get 20 percent off with code Sensi20 / lumabase.com

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THE BUZZ

SENSIBILITIES WHAT MATTERS THIS MONTH BY STEPHANIE WILSON

1 GOT ANY VACATION DAYS LEFT IN 2019? Use them! Last year, 55 percent of American workers did not use all their vacation days, leaving a record 768 million days on the table. That’s about $65.5 billion worth of forfeited benefits. Don’t be a sad statistic.

Providing First Hand Knowledge and Quality Agricultural Products

______ 2 NEW RULE: Catching up on your emails during the holiday break is forbidden.

Emails breed emails, so every reply or forward you click sends that task to someone else who is either a) trying to enjoy their holiday break, or b) trying to clean out their inbox as well. No more. If it’s in your inbox on December 22, it stays there until January 2. Deal? Deal.

______ 3 I REPEAT: No tossing your forgotten/low priority to-dos on other people’s plates when they are on vacay.

______ 4 IF YOU’RE RESOLVING TO CLEAN UP ANY BAD HABITS IN 2020, go all

in on them in December. Really indulge your vices: have that second drink, dab, dance, swim in the chaos, make bad decisions. You’ll not only get it out of your system, you’ll be so over it come January 1.

______ 5 IF YOUR VICE IS CONSIDERING THE BOUNDARIES OF YOUR MEANS IMAGINARY (thanks Oscar Wilde), disregard the above advice. You can lose the

holiday weight if you stop overeating, but credit card debt doesn’t work like that. It grows, no matter how much you believe Santa will take care of it.

______ 6 SMILE. The magazine you’re holding right now was made with a whole lot of

enthusiasm by some talented magazine junkies who have been working on the details of this redesign for the last year. This debut is like our Oscars, and we hope you like it. I love it.

"For fast-acting relief, try slowing down." -Lily Tomlin, Comedian

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GHOST OF TIME PAST Why our vote for Proposition 7 won’t change the way Californians experience time. TEXT PATTY MALESH

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T

ime. Twice annually, we screw with it. Take an hour from one day; add one around four months later. Every autumn after we “fall back,” I scowl at a night sky that’s jumped the gun and made early evening feel more like eternal night. I dream of revolution and revolt, of a march on Washington at dusk on the shortest day of the year. I want to see tens of thousands of Americans, all shades, all genders and sexualities, the richest oligarchs marching arm-in-arm with subway buskers, documented and undocumented, millennials and boomers, Texans alongside Californians flanked by Detroiters, all side-by-side in solidarity and unison chanting, “Hell, no! Hell, no! We won’t let our hour go!” and holding signs with slogans like “Keep Your Laws Off My Clocks.” Signs with photoshopped images of Johnny Cash giving us all the bird, only in this version, it’s Father Time underscored by the slogan “Time is Mine!” And I am not alone. Research has shown that time shifts in either direction—springing forward an hour and falling back—can trigger depression and bipolar disorders. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is associated specifically with losing an hour of afternoon light at the onset of winter, while increased rates of suicide, miscarriages, and heart attacks correlate with the start of Daylight Savings Time every spring. Time change also leads to negative, even dangerous, physiological and cognitive impairments,

albeit short term, due to changes in our circadian rhythms. This burdensome practice is surrounded by lore. Did the idea stem from a misread of Ben Franklin’s 1784 satirical letter to the editor in the Journal de Paris, in which he suggested Parisians wake earlier to save money on candles? (I doubt it.) Was it to give farmers an extra hour of daylight during the grow season? (No. No it wasn’t.) Did the US begin the practice as a fuel-saving measure enacted during the World Wars as it was in Britain and Germany? (Sure, but not for peacetime use.) Was the candy lobby really behind the 2007 postponement of our annual fall back to standard time from late October to early November? (Yes. Yes it was.) Time may change me… Time didn’t used to be malleable. Time change did not become law until April 12, 1966, when congress passed, and L.B. Johnson signed into law, the Universal Time Act mandating Daylight Saving Time (DST) observance from the last Sunday of April to the last Sunday of October. This means that your living friends and family members, anyone who remembers 1970, also remembers a time when time didn’t change. Not every state hopped on board in 1966, and that was their right— at the time. Hawaii and Arizona keep the same time year-round. (They look at us and SMDH.) And strangely enough, though the practice is said to be linked to farmers, it is the farm lobby we have to thank for delaying the mandate in peacetime that FDR hoped to enact permanently after WWII. By DECEM BER 2019

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Your living friends and family members, anyone who remembers 1970, also remembers a time when time didn’t change.

1966, however, congress could no longer tolerate the free-for-all that led to inconsistent time practices across states and regions, voting to lock it all down under federal law. Specifically, time was now under the purview of the Department of Transportation staffers, overlords—er, I mean overseers—of time zones and the “universal observance of Daylight Savings Time.” It makes sense when you think about it. Our time lords are transit professionals because it’s not just time travel that matters,

it’s time that matters to travelers (and goods and the sellers of goods). The Universal Time Act marks the end of chapter one in our story about changing time. Then things get weird. In 1972, the law was amended for states that spanned two time zones, allowing them to opt out of the observance of Daylight Savings Time in part or all of their state. Enter Indiana. Pay close attention; this isn’t pretty. Taking full advantage of this legal tweak, most of the counties in Indiana decided to ob-

serve Eastern Standard Time year-round and opt out of Daylight Savings Time. A few rogue counties followed their inner Johnny Cash and decided to choose #TeamCentralTime and #TeamDST, thereby syncing them with Chicago, Illinois, year-round but with Indianapolis only during the national observance of DTS. This hot mess lasted until 2005 when, because of this legal loophole, Indiana was granted the gift of time. The state was allowed to refuse to observe DST like its Hawaiian and Ari-

zonan kin. Then in 1986, Ronald Reagan signed into law yet another time f**k whereby DST began on the first Sunday in April, rather than the last, extending DST from approximately six months to approximately seven months in duration. Then again in 2005, George W. Bush, with much encouragement from the candy lobby— and the golf lobby and big barbeque (what?)—saw opportunity in one more hour of daylight guaranteed through Halloween. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 changed the start DECEM BER 2019

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PHOTO BY HEATHER ZABRISKIE ON UNSPLASH

of DST to the second Sunday in March and the end to the first Sunday in November. Our current approach to time, in California and 46 other US states, began after the passage of this act on March 11, 2007. …but you can’t trace time. When all is said and done, I’m not mad at it. The way I see it, we are now only four months shy of year-round late-day sun. I am holding out hope that we can just go Full Monty this time, all 12 months every year from now on, instead of eking in that direction by falling back later or springing forward sooner until time stands still enough to fuse together as one again. With any luck (and a bit of lobbying), this past November just may have been the last time California f**ks with time. In the 2018 California general election, ballot Proposition 7 passed with 7,167,315 “yes” votes, just shy of 60 percent of total votes and a fairly strong victory for proponents. Prop 7 called, in its own cute and totally user-friendly-ballot-language kind of way, for the end of time change protocols and procedures in our great state. However, the ballot proposition was not a straight vote to make Daylight

I am holding out hope that we can just go Full Monty this time, all 12 months every year from now on, instead of eking in that direction by falling back later or springing forward sooner until time stands still enough to fuse together as one again.

Savings Time permanent because…laws. Rather, it gave the state legislature the authority to “change Daylight Savings Time period by two-thirds vote, if changes are consistent with federal law.” And right now, federal law still prohibits doing so. Unsurprisingly, then, the one thing we can all agree on is changing time is never simple. In January 2020, Democratic Rep. Kansen Chu from San Jose, an original sponsor of Proposition 7, vowed to move California Assem-

bly Bill 7 forward in the Senate Energy, Utilities, and Communications committee. In order for the bill to become law, it needs a two-thirds vote from both the Assembly and the Senate. Even if it does pass, however, we still need to deal with that pesky federal law. Currently, there are four bills in the US Congress designed to grant states the power to change the changing of time—but not in a timely manner. Congress has until December 2020 to act on these bills. Le sigh. DECEM BER 2019

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WOKE, NOT WASTED They say they’re not alcoholics, and they’re certainly not anonymous. What is sober curious—and can sobriety really be fluid? TEXT ROBYN GRIGGS LAWRENCE

I

drink badly, and I have a lot of fun doing it (when I remember). That’s a lethal combination, and when you throw in my unfortunate discovery of White Claw—I can drink as many as I want and never feel full!—I flamed out with alcohol last winter. On February 1, just as everyone else was celebrating the end of Dry January and just ahead of the Summer of the Claw, I swore off the seltzer. I figured I’d give myself one month (note: the year’s shortest) to reset. It wasn’t an easy 28 days, but when March 1 rolled around, I felt better than I’d felt in years. The

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chronic inflammation I had attributed to everything from gluten sensitivity to genetics was clearing. I saw the light, and there was no going back. I thought sobriety would be lonely, that every Saturday night would be Netflix. I forgot the Brett Kavanaugh generation isn’t in charge of culture anymore (thank God). Millennials and Gen Xers aren’t interested in swilling beer until they black out like we did in the ’80s. Sober is sexy—or, as hipsobriety.com sees it, “sobriety is the new black.” On Instagram, there are influencers such as @stylishlysober, @thesoberglow, and the darker @fucking_sober

and hashtags like #soberliving, #soberAF, and #sobercurious. Millie Gooch, who posts as @sobergirlsociety, encourages her nearly 60,000 followers with inspirational messages like “Mocks not cocks” and “Sobriety: a surefire way to improve your wellbeing and your Uber rating.” Just like that, I’m a cool kid—with a huge range of new options on Saturday night (and beyond). I’m exploring elixirs made with raw cacao, maca, and horny goat weed at Tonic Herban Lounge just a few blocks from my home in downtown Boulder (I can walk home after imbibing, and it amuses me that I don’t need to). I can

do yoga and shake it before dawn at a Daybreaker dance party (daybreaker.com) in Denver, one of 27 cities where the alcohol-free early morning rave pops up and invites people to “sweat, dance, and connect with ourselves in community.” I’m surely not alone in this realization that life is better without booze. Worldwide, alcohol consumption fell by 1.6 percent last year. Led by young people, heavy-hitting countries like Russia, Canada, Japan, and the UK are seeing drinking rates as well as tolerance toward intoxication decline. An international survey found that about a third of people wanted


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cus, Presence, and Deep Connection” is February 14–16, 2020, at Massachusetts’ renowned wellness retreat center Kripalu). Her take is that a lot of Americans might not have a “problem” with alcohol but see it as getting in the way of their healthy lifestyles. “We eat well. We exercise. We meditate,” the press release for Sober Curious states. “So, why do we… still drink?” Warrington wants to to reduce their alcohol APPS FOR THAT know why the only peointake because of everyple who don’t drink are Loosid: Digital platform for sober dating, destinations, and meetups Sober Grid: “The worldʼs most popular mobile sober community” thing from sexual regret the ones who can’t and Twenty-Four Hours a Day: Inspiration through daily meditations and embarrassment to asks, “What if I am just…a little bit addicted?” physical health. A 2018 Call me old school, survey found that nearly but a little bit addicted 40 percent of global consounds a lot like a little sumers want to drink less pushing more women, mi- As Sean Paul Mahoney norities, and poor people writes on The Fix, a web- bit pregnant. I worry that for health reasons. to the bottle, according to site about addiction and In the US, CNBC repeople who shouldn’t ports, 52 percent of adults a study published in JAMA recovery, “I didn’t get so- will take the advice of ber to be cool. I just got John Costa, who writes are trying to lower their al- Psychiatry. The national on twentytwowords.com cohol intake, and underage Institute for Alcohol Abuse sober to stop dying.” and Alcoholism reports drinking has steadily dethat being sober curiclined in the last 10 years. that 17 million adults in A LITTLE BIT ADDICTED? ous is like being bi-curiBut only 21 percent of US the US are alcohol de“Sober curious” became ous—you don’t always adults in a CivicScience pendent, and the Centers a thing after Harperhook up with people of poll said they had any for Disease Control and Collins released Ruby the same sex, and you interest in drinking less Prevention says one in Warrington’s Sober Cudon’t have to cut out or not at all, and most of six binge drink—defined rious: The Blissful Sleep, drinking forever. “Be those were 21- to 34-year- as drinking four or more Greater Focus, Limitless sober half the time,” he old, vegan-leaning flexitar- drinks over two hours or Presence, and Deep Conwrites, “and sauced the ians who practice yoga and until blood alcohol reaches nection Awaiting Us All on other half.” He’s joking, consume cannabis daily. 0.08—nearly once a week. the Other Side of Alcohol but those are dangerous Women, especially those For this White Claw guzin 2018. Warrington also words for me. That’s the in their 30s and 40s, are zler, that definition is, well, has a podcast, runs Club life I was living: sober by drinking more than ever. sobering. I called that hap- Söda NYC (featuring day + tanked by night = Booze still rules for py hour. sober events like Kundbalance. most Americans, and Giving up alcohol isn’t alini Disco), and stages Like all disorders (and “increased stress and dea hashtag for a lot of peo- events (“Sober Curious: pretty much everything moralization” is actually ple. It’s not even a choice. Choosing Sobriety for Fo- in our culture), alcohol DECEM BER 2019

SOBERING STUDIES

Alcohol accounts for nearly 1 in 10 deaths of people aged 15 to 49 and is the leading risk factor for disease and premature death. Source: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Binge drinking rates in states where cannabis is legal fell to 9 percent below the national average and 11 percent below non-legal states in 2016. Source: Cowen & Co.

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SPIRITS FOR NEXT-GEN PARTIERS The joke goes that nonalcoholic drinks are like listening to porn on the radio, but times have changed. Theyʼre the CBD of the alcohol world. Nonalcohol (NA) beverages are a bright spot in a declining alcohol market, and their sales are expected to grow 32 percent by 2022, according to a Bon Appetit report. Todayʼs creative, health-inducing craft beverages are a lot more than just alcohol-free.

BEER

Athletic IPA: Robust alcohol-free craft brew Heineken OO: The OGʼs first NA brew OʼDoulʼs: Anheuser-Buschʼs classic has new limited-edition meant-for-Instagram cans by local artists in New York, Chicago, and LA

WINE

Napa Hills: Blend of fruit-flavored water and VitaRes (antioxidant blend with resveratrol, red grape skin, and red wine extract) with as many antioxidants as red wine O.Vine: Grape-infused wine water with “the health benefits of the real thing”

use runs on a spectrum. I was at the end that spent hours upon hours researching whether drinking while on this antibiotic would really make me projectile vomit and scoffed at friends as they struggled through Dry January, Dry July, Sober September, and Sober October. I wasn’t interested in giving up drinking for any reason or any amount of time, until I had to give it up for life. Warrington, who sees reducing alcohol intake as another step in the wellness revolution, is at the other end of the spectrum—and she is aware of the difference between recovering from alcohol addiction and feeling better during yoga. I hope all of her fol-

lowers are, too, because the last thing most drinkers need is a loophole. I want to believe the trend Warrington is leading toward spirits-free activities and thoughtfulness about alcohol’s role in our culture—where every ritual, celebration, loss, entertainment, and even sporting event is cause for a drink—is not a trend but a movement. That we’ll look back at “mommyjuice” like we shake our heads at “mother’s little helper” pills from the ’60s and ’70s. The infrastructure to support sobriety is being built, and public opinion is turning. After centuries of going hard, America is getting woke, not wasted. Cheers to that.

SOBERING STUDIES

A British study of Dry January abstainers found that 82 percent felt a sense of achievement, 62 percent slept better, and 49 percent lost some weight.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Robyn Griggs Lawrence is the author of the bestselling Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook and Pot in Pans: A History of Eating Cannabis.

SPIRITS

Curious Elixirs: Individually bottled alcohol-free craft cocktails High Rhode by Kin: “Euphorics” made from nootropics and adaptogens, including 5-HTP, rhodiola, and caffeine Ritual Whiskey: “As a veggie burger is to beef, or almond milk is to dairy, Ritual is an alternative to traditional whiskey” Seedlip Spice 94: Gin-like blend of Jamaican allspice berry, cardamom, and citrus peel Stryyk: “Zero-proof spirits,” including Not Vodka, Not Rum, and Not Gin Three Spirit: “Social elixir” made from yerba mate, lionʼs mane, damiana, and cacao

DECEM BER 2019

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HIGHS A

t the end of October, the Wall Street Journal ran an article titled “Cannabis Open Houses Are Putting the High in High-End Real Estate.” The trend piece by author Katherine Clarke revealed the emerging discovery being used by developers and real-estate agents to move luxe properties in communities where recreational cannabis is not just legal but widely accepted. It’s not unlike Los Angeles, where the rising industry is being hailed as an untapped source for buyers of high-priced homes. Throwing cannabis-related events—everything from elaborate seven-course pairing dinners with vapes in lieu of vino to live trimming classes—at multimillion-dollar properties on the market is garnering attention, building social buzz, and attracting buyers with money earned in, around, or on cannabis. Not everyone sees the genius behind the trend, however. Clarke spoke

SPECIAL REPORT

Luxury has gone to pot. TEXT LORI TOBIAS AND STEPHANIE WILSON

to one agent in New York, where recreational cannabis is still a pipe dream and old tropes live on about munchie-motivated stoners. “When I think about cannabis, I don’t think about buying an expensive house,” says Warburg Realty’s Jason Haber. “It’s not a call for action as much as a call for Doritos.” Someone should tell him friends don’t let friends make tired stoner jokes anymore. Especially ones implying cannabis consumers indulge their munchies with mindless consumption of unhealthy snacks when the reality is cannabis appeals to what The Economist dubs the “health-conscious inebriate,” citing a poll that 72 percent of American consumers thought cannabis was safer than alcohol. A 2018 The New Yorker headline declared cannabis to be a wellness industry in California where, in fact, a cannabinoid cousin of THC and CBD is starting to garner a whole lot of buzz.

Instead of stimulating appetites, THCV may suppress those hunger pangs. When 2021 is declared the year of THCV, you can say you heard it here first.

CONSUMPTION AND CONSUMERISM Cannabis has moved so far beyond the clichés of yore. Tie-dye tees, bell-bottom cords, dancing bear patches, plastic bongs, Ziploc baggies: these tired trends are so out of style, some have already circled back and left again. (Looking at you, tie-dye.) The stoner kids of yesterday are the cannabis entrepreneurs, enthusiasts, and connoisseurs of today. And as they’ve aged, their tastes in cannabis aged with them, like the fine wine they can now afford. Cannabis consumers have money to burn. And since we live in a capitalist society (an unjust one where people remain locked up for nonviolent drug charges in states that earn taxes off now-legal cannabis DECEM BER 2019

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF BARNEYS NEW YORK, INC.

The High End at Barneys New York in Beverly Hills

sales—that’s a whole layered story for a different day), money makes things happen. And what’s happening now is the emergence of a cannabis experience elevated to a higher level. If you were paying attention to the pop-culture cues over the decades, you would have seen the high-end highs coming. When cannabis prohibition began its slow-and-steady march to its forthcoming end, it emerged from the black market with an established following of consumers—loyal cannabis consumers with no brand loyalty, because cannabis brands didn’t exist. Dealers did, growers did, activists, advocates, and believers, too. But the concept of cannabis brands was all brand-new. With strict laws surrounding where the substance can be marketed,

sold, advertised, distributed, and more, establishing customer loyalty in this industry is more difficult than it would seem on the surface. What differentiates one edible brand from another, one vape pen from the next is complicated to discern for those who aren’t well versed in the modern verbiage or its meaning. (Full-spectrum distillate, live resin, 2:1 ratios, oh my!) This is where marketing and branding comes into play. And with marketing and branding comes the emergence of new market segments, including the ultra-luxury category. It is from within that category that future trends are likely to emerge. That’s how trends play out, as Miranda Priestly (played by Meryl Streep) explained to her new assistant in one iconic scene of The Devil Wears Prada. (If

“Expensive breeds expensive things. You wouldn’t have expensive cannabis if you didn’t have people who wanted to buy expensive cannabis.” —Karyn Wagner, Paradigm Cannabis Group

you haven’t seen it in a while, a quick refresher: “The color of the shirt you are wearing right now was determined years ago by high-end designers preparing their collections for fashion GOT MONEY TO BLOW? week runways.”) This Caleb Siemon Trickle-down trends Blown Art Glass are a hierarchical proWater Pipe will cess whereby individuals set you back with high status establish about $950. fashion trends, only to be imitated by lower-status individuals wearing cheaper versions of the same styles. “It’s always been a thing,” says Karyn Wagner, CEO of Paradigm Cannabis Group, a women-owned extraction company specializing in pre-rolls and extracts made from small-batch sun-grown flower. “There’s always been those products that are better than others. But now, with adult use, we have to be more brand-conscious. With DECEM BER 2019

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that, how do you distinguish yourself from someone else? Why is this better? What makes it better?”

PHOTOS (FROM TOP): KATHLEEN HARRISON, KIKOKO HIGH TEA / COURTESY OF BEBOE

SOME LIKE IT HAUTE With any luxury good, consumers want the assurance of quality and efficacy, Wagner says. But you can never underestimate the prestige that comes with a high price tag. “The moneyed class always loves expensive items,” she says. “This normalizes it in their world. It brings in folks who didn’t normally have the desire. It made it OK in their class. Expensive breeds expensive things. You wouldn’t have expensive cannabis if you didn’t have people who wanted to buy expensive cannabis.” Jenny Le Coq, president of Le Coq & Associates, a marketing and communications firm in San Francisco that represents Kikoko cannabis-infused botanical mints, points out that most people typically don’t seek out a cheap bottle of wine, but look for something fine, trustworthy, and familiar. They want to know the winery, its reputation, who recommends the vintage. “People are looking at wines today with a more discerning eye—how their grapes

With any luxury good, consumers want the assurance of quality and efficacy. Luxury doesn't always have to indicate price, but what it must indicate is quality.

are grown, for example,” Le Coq says. “People are looking at cannabis in the same way: with a discerning eye.” “Discerning” can add up to big money, for sure. Anecdotal stories abound in national media outlets, suggesting couples in Colorado will drop several bills on “cannagars” and other high-end party favors to celebrate weddings and anniversaries. At The High End, Barneys New York’s luxury cannabis lifestyle shop in Beverly Hills, shoppers can splurge on a $1,475 sterling silver bud grinder or a $950 water pipe. New York fashion brand Alice + Olivia partnered with luxury cannabis brand Kush Queen to debut a CBD wellness line earlier this year—bath bomb, body lotion, bubble bath with lavender. Alice + Olivia packaging features CEO Stacey Bendet’s signature “StaceFace” motif, with big sunglasses and a bold red lip. A timeless statement-making style that trendsetters of every era make their own while trendy types try to emulate the overall aesthetic. That’s just the way things work. To be fair, luxury doesn’t have to mean $$$$. What it must indicate, however, is quality. “Luxury is an assigned

label. It is typically assigned by marketers,” Le Coq says. “So, what do you want cannabis to be? As a consumer, how do you perceive luxury? The concept is really defined differently by every person. We want people to experience something that is luxurious. Not only the packaging is beautiful, the taste is beautiful, the place you are put into mentally is a nice, beautiful place.”

DECEM BER 2019

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lori Tobias is a lifelong journalist based on the Oregon Coast, where she lives with her husband, Chan, and two rescue pups, Luna and Monkey.

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WOO-WOO

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WOOFERS The pet wellness industry is taking off, with a barkload of new ways to give your pooch some extra pampering. TEXT STEPHANIE WILSON

I

’m sitting at my desk in the early hours of the morning struggling to write the anecdotal opener to this story. There’s soft music playing, so soft I can hear Gidget’s content snores coming from the pineapple dome she sleeps in when I’m at my desk. If the music were too loud, she would stomp as much as a chihuahua could out to the living room to get in her pressure-activated heated bed, engulfed by the soft white throw blanket I bought for myself. Gidget saw it, she liked it, she wanted it, she got it. This is the way it works. The nails on my fingertips are past due for a manicure (Gidget got hers done today). My dinner was peanut butter spooned from the jar. Gidget dined on a gour-

whole host of things.* KILLING SPREE Really, we’re just reI typed “millennials killed” into the directing our limited search bar and audiscretionary funds to tocomplete results things we deem more included “mayo,” “Hooters,” “golf,” worthy than, say, an “romance,” and intrinsically worth“malls.” We should less shiny stone that De be thanked, all those needed to Beers’ marketing firm convinced Americans is a go—yes, including romance as detoken of love and esteem fined by the patriarthat lasts forever. (Read: chal archetype, but thatʼs a different millennials are killing topic for a different diamonds.) day. Weʼre talking Millennials do spend about dogs here. HOOMANS AND FLOOFERS money on pets. This I wouldn’t have it any year, the US pet indusother way. Gidget may try is projected to rake in be a furry freeloader, but $75.28 billion, up more she’s my furry freeloadthan 30 percent since er and I love her hard. 2010 according to the Because she is awesome. American Pet Product All dogs are. Fight me: Association (APPA). A I’m an elder millennial, majority of millennials and I’ve got a genera(76 percent) would be tional army of pet-pammore likely to splurge on pering 20- and 30-some- luxury items like expenthings to back me up. sive treats or a custom Millennials have been bed for their pets than accused of killing a for themselves. met blend specially formulated to deliver the exact level of antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, probiotics, and minerals she needs for optimal health. After dinner, she got a bath and a towel massage before tucking into the pineapple. That’s when I sat down to start writing. I work hard so my dog can have a better life. The meme is real.

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“The pet care industry is booming, as people around the world—especially millennials—blur the line between human child and animal,” according to Business Insider. The senior brand manager of Purina, Ryan Gass, suggests that millennials are putting off marriage and having children, turning to pets to “fill that void,” but I don’t know what void he’s talking about, so we’re moving on. Millennials’ love for their pups is so intense, it’s spawned its own language. Us hoomans chase our heckin floofers, iPhones in hand, snapping pics of their snoots and bleps to share with frens, posting with captions about the goodest boy in the world. This has all led to a rise in what more serious folks call the “humanization of pets.” Sounds ominous. But it indicates how much our lives and our pets’ lives are intertwined—and therefore following the same trends. And what’s trendier or more millennial than wellness, wellness everywhere? In 1979, veteran journalist Dan Rather quipped during an episode of 60 Minutes, “Wellness…that’s a word you don’t hear every day.” Fast forward 40 years, and we’re hearing the word so much every

as well as sensory-based experiences, like the use of crystals, sound baths, and aromatherapy.” In Denver, Zen Pet is all about these modalities. Run by Dr. Becca Klobuchar, the mobile holistic veterinary medicine’s range of services is rooted in energy balancing and Chinese medicine. “I began exploring holistic therapies in an effort to provide pets with additional healing options when traditional treatments were unsuccessful,” says Klobuchar. “The intuitive treatment modalities I use approach pets’ health from the physical, energetic, and spiritual perspectives.” The energy balancing service is based on the concept that all living things have their own energy field that, when not in balance, can lead to disease, emotional LAYING ON HANDS Oh, yeah, and dog Reiki is stress, and pain. During a session, the ancient a thing here, too. Gidget practice of “laying on hasn’t tried it yet; she— like me—thinks it sounds of hands” transmits the healing energy of the a little bit woo-woo. This is how Health mag universe through the practitioner to the anidescribes the basic prinmal for healing effects. ciple: “Energy medicine While energy medicine (or biofield therapies) is the act of channeling and is the farthest mystical extreme of the modern manipulating the energy that courses through your wellness world, there are some forms backed by body in order to heal it. science. Acupuncture, This can be done with for one, and even Reiki. hands-on practices such as acupuncture and Reiki, Health reports that a 2010 day it’s almost lost all meaning. The fresh “pet wellness” phrase could mean pets are doing well overall or it could mean pets are judging you for not drinking kombucha. Don’t worry, dogs don’t judge. But they are getting more probiotics in their diets, just not from kombucha. Probiotics in sales of pet foods grew by 139 percent last year, according to the Nielsen market report, “Trends in Pet Care Mirror Those of Pet Owners.” We eat super foods; our dogs eat super foods. We take CBD; our pups take CBD. We get massages; our dogs get massages. We have fitness studios where you can work out with your dog, acupuncture for pets, doggy day spas with swimming pools you can rent out for puppy parties.

US HOOMANS CHASE OUR HECKIN FLOOFERS, IPHONES IN HAND, SNAPPING PICS OF THEIR SNOOTS AND BLEPS TO SHARE WITH FRENS, POSTING WITH CAPTIONS ABOUT THE GOODEST BOY IN THE WORLD.

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PHOTO BY STEPHANIE WILSON

review of research in the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine found strong evidence that biofield therapies such as Reiki and therapeutic touch can alleviate pain. The caveat: It could be a placebo effect, and our pups aren’t swayed by the power of suggestion. But if you think it’s working for her, then the session is working—for you. It’s called the “caregiver placebo effect,” and there’s nothing wrong with it. As long as it’s used in conjunction with traditional vet visits—a supplemental part of a whole wellness plan. CHIRO FOR CANINES Dog chiropractic is an another emerging field gaining traction as a beneficial supplemental treatment therapy. At Denver Central Chiropractic (DCC) in Centennial, Dr. Erin Moran is providing holistic health care to both people and pets—“holistic health care for you and your dogs.” While it’s still an emerging field, animal chiropractic at its core follows the same principles and practices as the human kind. She suggests you consider chiropractic treatments if your pooch is showing signs of pain: reluctant to climb stairs, difficulty getting up after laying

LIVING WITH A DOG IS GOOD FOR HUMAN HEALTH AS WELL. SO SAYS SCIENCE. SO THEY DESERVE TO LIVE A HEALTHIER LIFE RIGHT ALONG WITH US.

down, constantly licking or chewing paws, walking differently. “Dogs get the same back issues as people, and chiropractic is a great option to address those issues without the use of drugs or surgery,” says Moran. “People get great results from seeing a chiropractor, and I want people to know that their dog can experience the same benefits.” It’s a nonsurgical, drugfree option for correcting disorders related to a fixation in the spine or joint. When vertebrae become immovable through trauma, injury, or standard wear-and-tear, the joints between them become jammed, often affecting the nerves in the congested area. Those nerves are the communication link between the brain and the spinal cord, so when they are out of order, it can set off a cascade of effects that leads to pain and loss of function. But pets can’t tell us where they hurt or why they’re limping, so treatments are a bit more complicated. When working with animals, Moran looks for abnormal or restricted movement, with a goal of restoring it to reduce pain and improve mobility. “The results I’ve seen have been amazing,” she says. Moran has helped

dogs who have lost the use of their back legs because of slipped discs; after adjustments, they’re able to regain use of their legs and walk again. She also treats arthritic dogs, “getting the pep back in their step so they can have a better quality of life.” Healthy pets can experience benefits of spine checkups, too, she points out—especially active and athletic ones. The DCC website is clear that the practice is not meant to replace veterinary medicine. Rather, animal chiropractors work in conjunction with veterinarians, treating areas that often go unnoticed by traditional care. And that pain in your back as a result of hunching over your desk spoon-feeding yourself peanut butter while your pooch snuggles in your new comforter? As it turns out, living with a dog is good for human health as well. Having a pet lowers stress, reduces blood pressure, and may even help you live longer. So says science. So they deserve to live the same aspirational lifestyle to which we have made them accustomed. It’s the least we can do to repay the unconditional love

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Stephanie Wilson is the editor-in-chief of Sensi magazine.

Rebecca Treon contributed to this piece.

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THE

For the Good of Everyone Research shows that when you volunteer your time and talents for others—especially during the holidays—you also help yourself. TEXT LELAND RUCKER

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The holidays are approaching, and maybe you haven’t been feeling so good about yourself. You’re looking for a change in attitude. Or maybe you’ve recently moved to the area and are trying to find new friends and like-minded people. Or maybe you’re out of work and looking for something challenging. There is no doubt that helping others can help

make you feel better. Not that you need a study to prove it, but a few certainly suggest it. (And we can’t find any that say it’s bad for you.) If you’ve ever volunteered, you know exactly what we’re talking about. “When nonprofits post for help, there are real-time needs in organizations that can create impact. Volunteering is a great way to help,” says Basil Sadiq,


senior marketing manager at VolunteerMatch, an online resource that hooks up nonprofits and volunteers. For many people, the first thing that comes to mind when they think of volunteering is serving dinner at a shelter on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day. While working a food line on holidays is a wonderful way to get involved, meet other people, and make a difference, Sadiq says offering your skills can be even more valuable. “There are ways that can be tailored to you as a person,” he says. “Adding expertise is adding value, and we’re doing it in a way that we haven’t been able to imagine before.” VolunteerMatch works with 122 nonprofits and volunteer efforts around the country. More than a million people visit the website every month. Sadiq calls VolunteerMatch a two-way marketplace—like Airbnb or Uber. On one side are nonprofits posting their volunteer needs. On the other are volunteers looking for the right organization. The site’s search parameters are designed to hook people up with opportunities based on their passions. “They can include skills they have

or ones that they’re looking for,” Sadiq says. “If you play music, you can volunteer to play guitar, or if you’re a programmer, you can create computer code for a nonprofit website,” Sadiq explains. So begin by thinking about what skills you can offer and where they might be most beneficial. Do you love animals? Look for local humane societies and shelters to find out what help they need. (Consider adopting a shelter animal while you’re at it.) Want to help veterans or seniors? There are organizations that deliver meals, build or reno-

vate facilities, or provide childcare to those who can’t leave their homes. Have a love for history and art? Look into becoming a docent for a local museum. If you’re passionate about education, there are endless volunteer possibilities at your local schools, libraries, and resource centers. There are also business mentorship programs where you can help up-and-coming professionals become more successful in the workforce. If you’re retired, there are plenty of chances to get involved. “Volunteering makes seniors feel less lonely because of

the social component,” Sadiq says. Plus, adults over 50 who volunteer on a regular basis are less likely to develop hypertension, according to a study published in Psychology and Aging. Don’t feel bad about getting something out of it for yourself, either. “It’s a way to leverage your skills and learn or get better at those in very practical ways,” Sadiq says. “I saw an article recently that said when we give to others, we feel happier than when we take from others. We’re all a little wired to give.”

80% of holiday volunteers

report improved mood, self-esteem, stress levels, and overall well-being. SOURCE: Kantar THS on behalf of United Health Care, 2016

VolunteerMatch.com

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CRAWFORD NATIONAL IMMIGRATION LAW FIRM

With a main office in San Rafael, the firm can assist anyone nationwide. crawford-immigration.com

Immigrant Justice Lawyer Mike Crawford believes every family matters. TEXT PATTY MALESH

Mike Crawford didn’t want to ever look back on his career with a twinge of regret. Missed opportunities and making safe choices over inspiring ones were not the reasons why he went into law. “The concept of being a lawyer was always fascinating to me. Just knowing that I could make a difference in someone’s life by using my mind inspired me,” Crawford says. Living in Santa Rosa with a law degree from Santa Clara University in hand, Crawford had been balancing work in insurance law with some pro-bono hours for Sonoma County Legal Aid. But recent changes in US immigration policy were keeping him awake at night, day after day. This past fall, Crawford opened Crawford National Immigration Law Firm. The practice is focused on family-based immigration law, and his mission is to “facilitate the unification of families and help them confront the complexities of the US immigration system with as much ease as possible.” He spends his time protecting what he loves. “I fell in love with the Bay Area because we are so diverse here. I see protecting that diversity as an act of patriotism,” Crawford says. “We are a nation of immigrants. Look at Silicon Valley. So many companies that boost our economy were founded by immigrants.” But it’s not just the highly visible

contributions to our economy that matter, according to Crawford. Our communities are also built by those whose contributions are much less visible but no less important. Born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, Crawford knows first-hand the challenges undocumented families face. “Coming from Tucson, I’ve grown up around undocumented families, but it often went unspoken. They couldn’t make it to certain events because their parents were afraid to drive them to places too close to the border.” And things are only getting worse. Crawford is working to dispel the myths and misconceptions about immigrants that flood the airwaves. “California, especially this part of the North Bay, has thrived thanks to hard-working undocumented workers for generations. We have

entire industries that could not exist without migrant labor,” he says. Crawford is quick to point out that the majority of undocumented workers pay payroll taxes and pay into social security for benefits that they will never see. “They add billions to the economy annually.” He is also on a mission to help unpack the realities of immigration court. “You don’t get an attorney—a public defender—or any of the other legal protections ruled necessary for justice in criminal courts,” he says. “Increasingly, children are having to appear in immigration court alone, with no adult representation. How can there be justice in a situation like this?” Crawford is putting his mind and his time to work so his clients don’t feel alone in the courtroom. He will be there with them.

“I fell in love with the Bay Area because we are so diverse. I see protecting that diversity as an act of patriotism.” –Mike Crawford, JD

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On the Calendar Cap the decade with star gazing, festivals, and fireworks. TEXT PATTY MALESH

Holidays Along the Farm Trails Nov. 14–Jan. 1, weekends Sonoma County Free tickets at eventbrite farmtrails.org

Register for an interactive map of 46 N O RT H BAY

DECE MBER 2019

participating local artisans, farmers, and producers. Cut Christmas trees and shop for handmade gifts, fresh produce, and more. Offerings change weekly.

Trivia Night at Corks & Taps Dec. 5 & 19 Windsor corksandtapssc.com

Don’t miss this upscale pub Trivia night every first

and third Thursday of the month.

Telescopic Nights Dec. 7, 7–10 p.m. The Space Station Museum Plaza, Novato thespacestationca.org

Join museum volunteers and members of the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers for an evening of star gazing. Telescopes provided. This is an outdoor event, so dress accord-

ingly. Attendees are encouraged to check The Space Station social media pages prior to arrival, because weather-related last-minute cancellations are possible.

Spirited Marin Community Dinner Dec. 5, 6–9:30 p.m. Marin County Mart, Larkspur spiritedmarin.org

This community dinner will be an


LEFT: SAUSALITO BOAT PARADE RIGHT: SAN FRANCISCO FIREWORKS PHOTOS: JM PHOTOGRAPHY

elegant evening of farm-to-table fare and cocktails, with dinner provided by A Food Full of Earth and live music by Redwood Tango and the a cappella group ’Til Dawn. A portion of proceeds will support Turning Green, Integrated Community Services, and Youth in Arts.

cal fantasy holiday happening.” All ages romp into a Wonderland that features dancing horses, Alice in Wonderland characters, and a robotic Jurassic Park. The Mad Hatter Holiday Parade kicks off at 4:30 p.m., Holiday Tree Lighting at 6 p.m., and Lighted Boat Parade at 6:30 p.m.

10th Annual Mad Hatter Holiday Festival

X: Xmas Tour

Dec. 7, 2–8 p.m. Historic downtown Vallejo visitvallejo.com

This festival is billed as “California’s most whimsi-

Dec. 7, 8 p.m. Sebastiani Theatre, Sonoma sebastianitheatre.com

One of the final shows of punk band royalty, X, on their 2019 West Coast winter tour.

32nd Annual Sausalito Lighted Boat Parade & Fireworks Dec. 14, 5 p.m. Gabrielson Park, Sausalito winterfestsausalito.com

Bundle up for this annual family-friendly waterfront event. Tickets are also available for the over-21 Captain’s After Party at the Spinnaker Lounge, featuring live music and dancing.

Kenny G Dec. 27–31 Blue Note Napa bluenotenapa.com

Ring in the New Year to the smooth grooves of Kenny G. The Blue Note jazz club and restaurant in the historic Napa Val-

ley Opera House will host multiple shows daily. Your ticket is also your dining reservation.

New Year’s Eve Masquerade Ball Dec. 31 Castello Diamorosa, Calistoga castellodiamorosa.com

Cirque de Bohème: À Paris! New Year’s Nov. 29–Dec. 22 Eve Blowout Cornerstone Sonoma, Featuring Sol Sonoma Horizon! cirquedeboheme.com Cracker & Camper Van Beethoven Dec. 29, 8:30 p.m. Mystic Theatre & Music Hall, Petaluma

Read about this event on p. 49.

Dec. 31 Rock Star University House of Rock, Santa Rosa rockstaruniversity.com

Ring in the new year with Sol Horizon, voted best “Best Reggae Band” in Sonoma county.

New Year’s Eve Fireworks Sail on San Francisco Bay Dec. 31 Schooner Freda B, Slip 465, Sausalito Yacht Harbor sfbayadventures.com

DECEM BER 2019

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47


CRACKER & CAMPER VAN BEETHOVEN

December 29, 8:30 p.m. at Mystic Theatre & Music Hall

REVIVAL TOUR: Clockwise from left, David Loweryʼs new album; getting the band back together; Lowery conjures nostalgia.

Rock On Holiday jingles? How about a dose of punk and OG Indie rock music with funky undertones and a dash of California country? TEXT PATTY MALESH

Led by David Lowery, the bands Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven are on tour together with a Dec. 29 stop at the Mystic Theatre & Music Hall in Petaluma (start time, 8:30 p.m.). The bands love the North Bay and we love them back. Having them together tastes like a savory Van Beethoven pie baked into a slightly sweeter Cracker crust. No doubt, we’ll also be treated to a few songs off Lowery’s new solo

album In the Shadow of the Bull. This latest project is Lowery’s most personal and heartful work, and not surprisingly, is not available for streaming. CDs will likely be for purchase alongside band music and merch at the Petaluma venue. Even if you’re not a vocal fan of these projects and all things Lowery, this show is guaranteed to be a good time. If you came of age in the late ’80s or ’90s, their songs

made it onto at least one mix tape you owned, guaranteed. And their years of playing our favorites have not done those songs any disservice. The nostalgia they conjure is good reason to bundle up and make your way to the Mystic in the quiet week between Christmas and New Year’s. Their particular brand of clever cynicism and humor amid ill-fitting luck is a pretty nice antidote to 2019. DECEM BER 2019

S E N S IM AG.CO M

49


THE END

California Strong Looking for hope in a brutal fire season.

ABOVE: Inmate firefighters, some of approximately 400 on the Valley View crew, who saved homes and fought back the Kincade Fire near Windsor.

“Even if fire hasn’t touched us, we’re all part of California’s figurative tent city,” laments Emmy award-winning KGO-TV reporter and Marin resident, Wayne Freedman. His professional photography of late looks more suited to dystopian film than the adventure and nature varieties. In California, fall is becoming more and more synonymous with fire and

50 N O RT H BAY

DECE MB ER 2019

losses—of homes, lives, livelihoods, and landscapes—and it’s creating a disruption in the force for North Bay residents. But it is also synonymous with the resiliency and gratitude among the locals. Heather Orosco, a resident of Marin, spent much of the last week of October and first week of November without power. She brought Ziploc baggies filled with ice home on

the bus from work in San Francisco every day to keep her groceries chilled and charged her phone enough to check in with her mom, Ginger Orosco, in the Coffey Park neighborhood of Santa Rosa, which was devastated by the Tubbs Fire in 2017. That fire stopped within a couple hundred feet of her family home on three sides. This go-round, Ginger is counting her blessings

once again. Now skilled at quick escapes and transient travel tricks, she texted Heather after the winds died down from her life in the new normal. “Blue sky and not a trace of smoke in the air this morning. I am unpacking my car and no longer worrying about this!” What is past is past, even if it might happen again in the future. We are strong. We are resilient. We got this.

PHOTO BY WAYNE FREEDMAN, ABC7NEWS.COM

TEXT PATTY MALESH


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