SEARCH: SCRAP, San Francisco

SCRAP, San Francisco
By Emerian Rich

SCRAPSFSCRAP is an awesome place for crafters, teachers, and makers. Essentially an art and crafts thrift store, this nonprofit is a great place to both donate and shop.

Calling themselves “a source for the resourceful”, SCRAP is a creative re-use center, material depot, and workshop space founded in 1973. Breathing new life into old objects, SCRAP reduces waste by diverting over 200 tons of materials heading to landfill every year. For those looking for a learning opportunity, SCRAP offers classes and workshops. Some are regular drop-in events, while others require registration beforehand.

Located at 801 Toland Street, San Francisco, this is a creators dream. Supplies are inexpensive and range from fabric and home decorating items to paper, craft supplies, crayons, and books. Educators will love…continue reading in the Winter issue for 2017.


SEARCH: Rodeo, California

Rodeo, California
By Leslie Light

RodeoRodeo, California was not my first choice to live in. It’s a small town on the north-western edge of the San Francisco Bay Area. It isn’t tony, or upscale, or even hipster. What it is, however, is easy. Easy to get to and out of. Easy to stay in and make a quiet home. We’ve been here five years and will probably stay five more.

Rodeo is bisected by the I-80 freeway. The built up part of town can be divided into three areas: Old, Mid-Century, and New. Most of the Rodeo town limits is open space where cows graze, and there is rumored to be an old military installation somewhere. Regardless of where you are, you can see a field of grass.

In the “old” part of town are cute three and four bedroom houses built before WWII. Sitting porches with views of rose bushes are the primary look and feel. Many have back decks have a view of San Pablo Bay. Most of the Mid-Century houses were built for…continue reading in the Winter issue for 2017.

SEARCH: Galindo House, Concord

Galindo House, Concord
By Emerian Rich

Galindo.jpgMost Concord residents never knew the Galindo house existed until a few years ago when the Concord Historical Society took charge of the estate and cleaned up the trees and greenery in front of it.

Located at 1721 Amador Avenue, Galindo House was built in 1856 for one of Concord’s founders, Don Francisco Galindo and his wife Maria Dolores Manuella Pacheco. The six-room farmhouse sat on the then seventeen-thousand acres of land granted to Galindo after the Mesoamerican War. The names Galindo and Pacheco will sound familiar to residents because many of our streets and buildings are named after the founding fathers. Don Salvio Pacheo’s Adobe at 1870 Abode Street—belonging to Maria’s father—is another notable building still standing from that time period, but Galindo House was the first wooden house built in town. …continue reading in the Winter issue for 2017.

SEARCH: El Sobrante

El Sobrante
By Emerian Rich

EL SOBRANTE_Rancho El Sobrante used to be the home of the Huichin, an Ohlone Tribe. Spanish missionaries took over the land around 1795, and after Mexico independence from Spain, it was deeded to Juan Jose and Victor Castro. El Sobrante is Spanish for “remaining land” and it’s fitting, given the three odd -shaped pieces of land it covers in-between Pinole, Richmond, and San Pablo.

El Sobrante used to have the reputation of being wild but in recent years has become a more family oriented with many parks in the area. Kennedy Grove, for example, is a great place to have picnics or toss around a football. They also have hiking trails and excellent bird-watching opportunities. For water sports, San Pablo Reservoir offers fishing, boat rentals, kayaking, and canoeing. Water birds abound at the reservoir including white pelicans, geese, ducks, and shorebirds. Along the trails, you can see wild turkey, quail, and dove, as well as predators such as eagles, ospreys, hawks, and owls. You might even spy a deer or a bobcat.

The annual El Sobrante Stroll is an event…continue reading in the Fall issue for 2017.

SEARCH: BAY AREA, Maritime Museums

BAY AREA, Maritime Museums
By Sumiko Saulson

As a world-renowned seaport, the San Francisco Bay Area is home to several maritime museums. The San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park is home to two maritime history museums: the J. Porter Shaw Library of Maritime History and the Maritime Museum across from Ghirardelli Square.

Aquatic Park Cove, is an encased area with swimming between Hyde Street Pier and Aquatic Park Pier. There are several historical vessels one can visit along Hyde Street Pier. The oldest, the 1886 squarerigger Balclutha, looks like a pirate ship Vallejo’s Mare Island Strait is home to a haunting series of partially deconstructed naval vessels called the Razorblade Fleet. The Mare Island Museum gives a glimpse into the island’s history with tours of maritime vessels and officer’s quarters. The Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum showcases the city’s long history as a naval port. …continue reading in the Summer issue for 2017.

SEARCH: City Spotlight on Concord

Concord, CA
by Emerian Rich

Picture of ConcordConcord is the largest city in Contra Costa County. Founded in 1869 by Salvio Pacheco as Todo Santos, the name was changed within months to Concord. Now, the city center park, Todos Santos Plaza, is a reminder of that first name. With multiple stops on the BART system to connect it with San Francisco, Berkeley, and Oakland, Concord has expanded past its bedroom community status. New condos and neighborhood renovation has made this community bigger in the past few years as lack of housing has pushed the city to think of new innovative ways to build.

Residents enjoy a wide array of entertainment packed in to the thirty miles of town. The Concord Pavilion on one side of town brings in headliners and festivals. On the other side Solano Drive-in—one of the last surviving Bay Area drive-in theaters—hosts not only movies, but a year-round public swap meet Saturdays and Sundays.

In the center of town, Todos Santos Plaza hosts a weekly farmer’s market with a wide array of fruits and vegetables at reasonable rates. A handful of hot food vendors, including my favorite teriyaki-on-a-stick booth, offer ready-made goods to enjoy… Read more in the Summer issue of SEARCH Magazine.

SEARCH: Summer Adventures Feature

Summer Adventures
by Emerian Rich

This summer, adventuring doesn’t have to involve expensive plane tickets or resort stays. In this article, we will bring you some amazing places to go, play, and explore right in our own backyard. If you enjoy walking, cycling, camping, or beach combing, we’ve got you covered.

Camping in Mount Diablo State Park ~ Family Fun

Bordered by Walnut Creek and Clayton, Mount Diablo State Park often goes unnoticed by locals. An excellent place to camp close to home, with the added bonus of spectacular Bay Area views. The park offers many nature trek and biking trails. Mount Diablo’s peak at 3,849 feet, is visible to most of us in the Bay Area, but few know the history of the mountain. What we call Mount Diablo (Devil Mountain) is a sacred mountain to many Californian Native Indian tribes and is fabled to be the point of creation. Known by many names, it was never considered a bad place for the tribes, who often pilgrimaged there to hold ceremonies. Legend has it that Mount Diablo’s negative connotation originated in 1805 when the Spanish soldiers had trouble tracking the Indians through the willow thicket. Today Mount Diablo is known for a place families can picnic, hike, and camp as well as an excellent workout for cyclists. The park offers many walking trails and …continue reading the Summer issue of SEARCH Magazine.

SEARCH: Japantown

by Emerian Rich


Away from the main shopping district, BART train, and Muni system, Japantown is often an overlooked part of San Francisco some people don’t even know is there.

Tucked away behind non-descript buildings, the only clue to its presence from the main Geary Street thoroughfare is the Peace Pagoda piercing up through the cityscape in Peace Plaza.

Japantown (also known as Nihonmachi) was part of the Western Addition built after the 1906 Earthquake. In the 1968, the Peace Pagoda was installed, a five-tiered concrete stupa given as a gift from sister city Osaka, Japan. Although Peace Pagoda may be the only recognizable landmark you can see from the street, Japantown actually covers six square city blocks.

Japantown celebrates two major festivals…continue reading the Spring issue of SEARCH Magazine.

SEARCH: City Spotlight Orinda, California

Orinda, California
by Laurel Anne Hill


Picture a semi-rural community. Narrow roads wind their way around wooded, home-studded hillsides. Oaks and conifers provide habitats for clever raccoons, acrobatic squirrels, and many species of birds—including wild turkeys. Deer munch on gardeners’ favorite plantings while daytime visits from curious fawns remain a thrill. Welcome to Orinda, California, likely named by a nineteenth-century sheriff’s wife after the seventeenth-century English poetess, Katherine Fowler Philips, also known as “The Matchless Orinda.”

Orinda was established as a town in the 1920’s by Edward Ignacio de Laveaga and was incorporated as a city in 1985. Close to nineteen thousand people now live there, many families drawn by the excellent schools. Orinda does not rate high on the diversity scale, yet in 2012, Forbes magazine listed the place—with an area of nearly thirteen square miles—as one of America’s friendliest towns. Specifically noted was the annual Fourth of July Parade with its all-volunteer marching band….continue reading the Spring issue of SEARCH Magazine.

SEARCH: The Ghost Ship Fire

The Ghost Ship Fire
by Sumiko Saulson


ghostshipFriday, December 2, 2016 marked the tragic loss of 36 lives in a fire at the Ghost Ship, a warehouse near the famous Jingletown art district in Oakland’s Fruitvale community.

Ghost Ship was a live/work art and event space and, like many such spaces here in East Bay, home to an eclectic group of creative people. Many of the people who lived there were integral parts of the Bay Area’s underground art scene. They included both members of the synthpop act Introflirt, Nicole Renae Siegrist and Ben Runnels, DJ and beatboxer Billy Dixon, and Ara Jo, a key member of the East Bay Alternative Book and Zine Fest’s organization team.

The SF Zine Fest made this official statement regarding her passing. “Ara’s work in the zine community asked us to hear the least heard voices and to value the least valued lives—in other words, asked us to remember the society that zine culture says is possible.”

James Leon, a DJ and underground horror filmmaker, once spent nine months as a resident artist and event organizer at Ghost Ship. During that period of time, he produced a musical event called Fabrik Haus at the ill-fated venue.

“The artwork within was amazing,” said Leon. “They were actively involved with making a positive difference within the community. They had all …continue reading the Spring issue of SEARCH Magazine.