What To Do In Albany On A Saturday Night


Ivy Room’s grand reopening is tonight starting at 9. Ivy Room is one of the many wonders of San Pablo Avenue and the oldest Albany neighborhood bars. It’s been a dive bar, a lounge, upscale cocktail bar and now in its latest incarnation a locals bar/club/music venue. San Francisco’s Face the Giant us headlining.

I’ve always loved Ivy Room’s neon sign. It’s beckoned to me since I first moved to the Bay Area and yet I’ve never been inside. I hear there will be cozy booths, a good stage and sound system, and prohibition era fixtures. It’s less than a 10 minute walk away from Plan B-ing it at Albany Bowl with its new and improved glow in the dark light show.

See you there.

What To Do In Albany On A Saturday Night

Fun! Date Ideas

I’m the worst bowler ever!

What do you do when a man asks you out and says, “Let’s do something fun?”

  1. Tell him that you look forward to finding out what fun plans he comes up with.
  2. Assume he’s talking about sex and head to the family planning section of your nearest drugstore.
  3. Research and poll all your friends. You are #1 fun date planner.

I’m the #1 fun date planner type. The date would have been tonight so my first step was to research various sites (Berkeleyside, Fun Cheap SF, etc.) to find out if there were any fun events happening tonight. A “fun” event might be an art party or when Romper Room in San Francisco turned the bar into a giant ball pit.

In this case I couldn’t really find anything. I very briefly thought about the Dirty Old Women Literary Salon at Octopus in Oakland but decided that would be weird. On St. Patrick’s Day I polled my friends who were with me drinking green beer. Lucky for me, one of my friends is the Nosh writer for Berkeleyside (that’s two mentions in one post K!).

I typically think fun dates involve some type of alcohol and play. Kink Studios tour, Thursday night at Exploritorium, and Playland Japan all in SF are examples. I wasn’t sure if he meant going into the city when he asked for fun. My friend K said that: 1. The East Bay is the best (agreed). 2. Usually people who are visiting have their own idea of what’s fun to do in San Francisco. 3. She’d ask her BF to create a Tenderloin Tour for me (stay tuned for that blog post). It’s challenging getting into the city for a weeknight date IMO.

K and I started talking about how much we love San Pablo Avenue. There are many wonders to behold from Oakland to El Cerrito on San Pablo Avenue. Here’s a short list (all great date locations as well): Albany Aquarium, Tap Plastics, Missouri Lounge, Tokyo Fish Market, and Albany Bowl is one of the most fun places in the whole world. I love taking dates to Albany Bowl with a Hotsy Totsy Club and parking lot El Autlense taco truck chaser.

Albany Bowl is the best. It’s not at all for hipsters. There are a lot of sheet cake type birthday parties going on there on any given night. There’s arcade games and skeeball. There’s a dive bar attached with darts where you can get pitchers of good beer (Lagunitas) to bring back to your lane. There’s also a diner for feasting.

Bowling is so fun even though I get worse when I drink and everyone else seems to get better. Circumstances prevented me from showing the guy that I am the #1 fun date planner. I wonder if he would have had fun? Actually, scratch that. I KNOW he would have had a blast.

Fun! Date Ideas

Books, Beer, Belong

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Last night we went to Woods Bar & Brewery and then Make Westing in Oakland for sandwiches (mine was oxtail)

I’ve joined seven book clubs in my life. I didn’t stick with six of them for various reasons such as the fact that I don’t actually want to read classic books or talk to people that do, I don’t want to truck to San Francisco, I don’t like mean girls, and I don’t like old women. That last one isn’t true but it is true that older ladies love book clubs. I was intrigued when I heard about Books and Beer because of well, the books and the beer.

I can’t remember where the first meeting was held (maybe Lost and Found in Oakland?) but I do remember that the book choice was shitty (sorry leader Stephanie). I watched Angelina Jolie’s even shittier movie based on the book (Unbroken) instead of reading it. I came for the beer and stayed for the amazing women, who are now my amazing friends.

We meet once a month at a beer place and sometimes also go on social outings together. I was pleased that I was able to talk the club into going to Albany Bowl and Big Band Night at Rooster’s Roadhouse (may it rest in peace). We vote on a book selection each month and I like to win, so I always make a suggestion. Last month the amazing “A Little Life” lost to a Mindy Kaling book. I didn’t read it, even though I love Mindy Kaling, to protest against not winning (sorry leader Stephanie).

I must admit that the club has become less about reading for my liking. Everyone’s excuse is that the book is already checked out at the library. I guess they want to spend their money on beer more than books. Finally, I want to change the name of the club to Books and Whiskey. Who’s with me?

Join us

Read “A Little Life”

Books, Beer, Belong