Arts and Culture

My name is Dave LeMoine. Thank you for taking up the cause of Bay Farm Island. There are great stories that need to be told.

Englishman. Artist. Fisherman. Carny. Oh, and a huge Giants fan. All of these words describe Oakland actor and author John Mercer, who’ll be sharing his collection of true tales in his one-man show, Swearing in English, at the Altarena Playhouse this month.

What better way to celebrate the change in seasons than with a tequila/margarita tasting? My companion for this agave-filled adventure was Kimberly Skuta, a friend and certified tequila expert who earned her master’s degree from a program run by the venerable Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant in San Francisco. Her knowledge of tequila is endless, and it helped me navigate through a dizzying array of types and brands of tequila last Saturday night.

Some of today’s younger Alamedans may be familiar with Neptune Beach through nostalgically named organizations and events like the Neptune Beach Pearls baseball organization and the Neptune Beach Community Celebration, the great annual block party event held along Webster Street, along with some landmark signs at Alameda South Shore Center that pay the old amusement park tribute. But what was Neptune Beach, and was it really known all over the world?

I love family-owned restaurants – the ones where Mom and Dad are host, waiter and busboy all at the same time while their children sit quietly at a table off to the side keeping themselves busy until it is time to go home. This is Abigail’s Moroccan Cuisine.

Philosopher and cultural critic George Santayana said: “To successfully navigate your future, you must know your past.” And Alameda, thankfully, has had several prior generations pass on knowledge and links to the Island’s celebrated and remarkable past.

There are several great family dynasties still in evidence here, including the amazing and diverse Ratto family, one of Alameda’s first families. After last month’s article on Bay Farm Island’s original homes and history, one of the Rattos I’d reached out to finally got in touch.

Jamie Banes and Silvie Lukacova have occupied studio space at Autobody Fine Art for the past two years, and when a break in the gallery’s exhibition schedule permitted, they self-curated a two-person show.

In honor of learner and tutor accomplishments, Alameda Reads will hold a celebration from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. September 23 at the Alameda Free Library’s main branch.

James Ellroy, bestselling author of L.A. Confidential, The Black Dahlia and other acclaimed crime novels, essays and autobiographies, will be appearing at Alameda’s Books Inc. tonight to promote his new book, Perfidia.

Capone's opened on Saturday, August 30 and it's already the talk of the town, but not in a good way. The focus of the attention appears to be on the arrest of one of the owners, Mark Strachan, on opening night after getting involved in a dust-up with police. I was there that night and witnessed the scuffle firsthand, although I did not see what preceded the incident.