Culture

Once upon a time - in 2004 - three friends decided to open a restaurant in Alameda. Since they were all Italian (two natives and an Italian-American), they figured it would be a good idea to feature Italian food and wine. They named their restaurant C'era Una Volta, which incidentally is Italian for "once upon a time." Eventually, one of the friends got homesick and returned to Italy. The others wished him well and redoubled their efforts to make their dream flourish. And flourish it did. But this is not the end of the story.

For the past few months, residents of Bay Farm Island have been seeing and hearing something totally out of the ordinary: A rooster has been walking up and down residents’ wood fences, running the length of Harbor Bay Isle’s tracts.

Over the past several years, Ron Cowan's Harbor Bay Isle Associates has offered several proposals to add additional homes to Bay Farm Island. The most recent bids to increase development there are only the latest in a series of development cycles that have transformed Bay Farm from marshland into Alameda’s own little suburb.

A sudden (albeit temporary) lull in the opening of new eating establishments in town prompted me to focus this month on our local wineries. What better way than by attending the yearly East Bay Vintners Alliance event Passport to Urban Wine Country?

A 94-year-old concrete bench that may be Alameda’s best-known piece of park furniture could fall to the wrecking ball.

Visitors can experience the USS Hornet's paranormal side for themselves at the Second Annual Grey Ghost Paranormal Conference, hosted by the Hornet and Alameda Paranormal Researchers. The event takes place on Saturday, February 22.

Wescafe Creamery is located at 1536 Webster Street, the site of the old Wescafe restaurant.

Alameda has been an incorporated city for well over a century. As the center for the Island's government, city hall falls in line with the age and history of the city: Alameda has been recognized as having one of the oldest active city halls in the state of California.

The 400-member California Historical Radio Society, which operates the Bay Area Radio Museum and Hall of Fame, is in the process of buying a former preschool building at 2152 Central Avenue to house their vast collection of vintage equipment and broadcast memorabilia.

Watching the news, “the faltering economy, the Occupy Movement, the 99 percent” resonated with artist Gabriele Bungardt, inspiring her to create “American Working Man,” a series of more than a dozen acrylic paintings. These works are on display at Spritzers Cafe.