You don’t have to be an artist to enjoy a night of wine and paint. Our artist community in Alameda hosts lots of places to put your creativity to the test. I will say that I am not an artist, but I really enjoy the process of creation. Maybe it’s just getting out that I love, but regardless, these Alameda art and paint nights have me captivated.
I will make every attempt to create an exclusive list, but there is likely more tucked away in churches and senior centers. Let me know what I have missed in the comments and we will add it.
If you look through our Instagram you will see that we are no stranger to the artistic delights of Twirl. The adult painting and crafting classes are tons of fun. My friend and I loved how we got to use nice brushes and just had more creative range than you get in some of the other places. Wine and snacks were available as well as the creative expertise of the owner.
You’ve likely seen this bright and delightful party store on Santa Clara, but you might not know that they host creative classes. I have taken the watercolor calligraphy class, and it was crazy fun. The class is a bit more costly than the others, however they are longer and a quality skill is taught. I went with five friends, and every one of us loved it.
If you really want a wide variety of date and style choices, Pinot’s Pallete cannot be beat. There are classes many times every week, and it is easy to send a link to your friends to sign up together. I have always had a great time. The wine cost is in addition to the painting fee. The paintings are very easy to do, so this is more for those looking to just have fun.
I popped in for a few minutes to say hello when they first opened. This place was filled with real creativity. This class list is a variety of mediums and methods that will delight those who are more advanced. From fairy houses to mosaic windows, what’s not to love here.
If you think learning to sew would be a hoot (I think I could do it as long as someone would thread my machine), then the sewing room has so many classes. From beginners to adults, this studio doesn’t just sew for you, they teach you to do it yourself. I have had several friends express an interest in learning to make pillows and little totes. I am quite sure when we find the time this will be our spot.
I can see they have some bridal projects and a “call to find out more about canvas painting”. I wasn’t feeling really excited about the information I received online so this is just an honorable mention.
I took a cake making class at Michael’s so many years ago, and although I don’t use their recipes, it changed me forever. It sparked a love of making fresh cakes with buttercream frosting. So even though Michael’s isn’t owned by anyone living in Alameda, their courses may make your life more fun. They have great ones from crochet to cake making. Check it out.
If you want to learn to paint furniture, create a rust finish or take a series of painting classes this is your studio. The artistic owners Ja-Ying and Rachel live on the island and love to share all their creativity with their students.
Planning a fancy date or a cool night out but don’t feel like crossing a bridge? These are our current picks for restaurants in Alameda with great ambiance and delicious food. Let this jog your memory so you don’t go to the same places over and over! Do you agree with our list?
Wonderful sushi and Japanese dishes served nightly with warm ambiance. You will often find the owners greeting customers. This is a great spot for special occasions and birthdays. They have a special birthday dessert which is so much fun.
Living on an island is great thing, if you ask Alameda residents. You might wonder if being water locked by the San Francisco Bay and Oakland Estuary is a good way to live. We know it is. These are 8 reasons we love living on an Island!
1. We have lots of waterfront
There are expansive beaches, walking trials and biking paths all over this 6 x 6 mile island. Much of those trails overlook the bay or the estuary. Many gaze right at the exciting San Francisco skyline. We have beaches for kids, water sports, tide pools and biking trails. For residents with an active lifestyle they never have to look far from home for outside adventure along the waterfront. All in all, being surrounded by water is the coolest reason we love living on an Island.
Alameda Island – Photo by Google Earth
2. Non-residents don’t just swing by
Those of us living here know the 2 tunnels, 4 bridges, 2 ferry stations and city wide bus routes so it is easy to find your way off the island when you live here. However, to get to the island for our friends and guests, they may need a little practice and a GPS. Even our land locked bayfarm island is a bit tricky to find. Most of us like that our city feels a little protected from the busy San Francisco Bay Area and has a sleepy vibe.
3. We have a bird sanctuary
Because of our expansive, quiet beach and the work of an amazing lady, Elsie B. Romero, we have a bird sanctuary. Elsie B. Romero Bird Sanctuary is part of the Crown Beach system to preserve the delicate ecosystem of over a dozen birds. These birds thrive on the salt march and live on the bay.
Birds like the snowy egret and marsh wren grace our shores. The estuary is a very quiet place, where residents can bird watch or just stroll. If you haven’t done this yet, you should!
Alameda is second to Marina Del Ray as far as most boat slips in California. We have a thriving active boating community, and there are even racing teams like like the Alameda Dragon Flyers. We also have 5 yacht clubs and a house boat community on Alameda Island. Much of our boating community is tucked away from open view, so you might even forget it’s there.
5. If you work in the city, you can ride the Ferry to work
22 minutes Ferry ride to San Francisco isn’t bad. If you consider they serve cocktails, it is even better. It’s a quick trip and quite relaxing for those who are spending their work days in the financial district of SFO. If you are lucky enough that you can ride the East Bay Ferry to work, you will agree this is one reason we love living on an island.
6. We can say cool things like “I never leave the island”
It’s true. Many of us love to say to other locals “I try to never leave the island”. We also get to say we live in “Island City” or we have “Island fever”. Not everyone gets to do that!
photo: Matching Hats
7. We have a lighted boat parade
For 39 years, Alameda Island has celebrated the Lighted Yacht Parade on the Oakland Estuary. Boats large and small celebrate the holidays with enthusiasm and flair. We love this snoopy boat. So festive for the holiday season.
Because residents have such pride in living in Alameda, many times they live here and have businesses here. Many of our restaurants, flower shops, boutiques and stores have local residents behind the counter. Some businesses just love that sleepy island feeling to call home. Ultimately, it means that you never have to cross a body of water to get something special or needed.