A Guide to Odd Nights Out
By Stephanie Miller
The San Francisco Bay Area is world-renowned for arts, culture, music and performance. Part of what makes the area surrounding Berkeley City College so wonderful for students, faculty and locals is the bustling nightlife that hosts just about any interest.
Most occupations for students require workers to be present on Friday nights, Saturdays and Sundays, which are traditionally reserved for leisure. In light of this generality, “industry nights,” or special events for those who work in the field, are generally held on weekdays. This gives those who are working their way through school by mopping up at the end of the night or taking tickets at the door some reprieve. The following events are by the industry and for the industry, so that working residents have a chance to experience the best of what The Bay has to offer, while keeping a busy weekend schedule.
After speaking with organizers of various events throughout Berkeley and the surrounding area, the BCC Voice has compiled some advice, tips, secrets and special invitations to summon even the busiest Berkeley City College students for a night out. For the busy student who has that odd day off, here is a list of recurring events that take place on weekdays. All of the events have been running for over a year, in the East Bay or San Francisco (and are located within a mile of BART).
Before You Go:
Free For Students — Bring your student ID for discounts at any museum event. Go see the student help desk for assistance if you do not already have your BCC student ID card.
Visit the Student Service Programs page on the BCC website to find information about acquiring a student ID to save even more at local events.
Free: The Starry Plough, an Irish nightclub, hosts a free matinee concert from 4-7 p.m. at 3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley.
All Ages: Oakland Museum of California has First Sundays for only $5 all day long. Check it out at 1000 Oak St., Downtown Oakland.
Special: Club SF Circus has free Sunday night juggling classes at 755 Frederick St., San Francisco.
A giddy group of jugglers practicing near the Circus Center after the free classes offered to novices. Photo: Stephanie Miller
PROTIP: “Whether you’ve never held juggling balls in your life or you regularly toss around flaming knives for fun, Circus Center’s juggling classes have a place for you,” boasts the Circus Center’s website. Visit circuscenter.org/juggling for more information about how to register and make circus friends.
All Ages: When the desire strikes to wax nostalgic about old movies and meet new people at the same time, The New Parkway Theater hosts Popcorn and Poker: Movie Trivia Night at 474 24th St., Oakland.
Special: Motown on Mondays is fun, fresh and hot at the Legionnaire Saloon in Oakland. It is also free before 9 p.m., so get to 2272 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, early enough to make this event as light on your wallet as you’ll want to be on your feet.
Free: Legion of Honor hosts First Tuesdays at the de Young Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco.
PROTIP: “Parking is first come first serve so it’s a hike up to the museum, but the views are most spectacular in the western half of the city. If you come and picnic there, usually there are some well-to-do folks who will give up their tickets so you might get in for free,” says life-long resident of San Francisco, Susan Wurden.
All Ages: Poetry Tuesdays, (most Tuesdays) 6:30 p.m.. North Beach Library, 850 Columbus Ave., San Francisco.
Special: In a BCC exclusive interview, local comic and event host, Mean Dave says, “In the East Bay I recommend: Tuesdays at Layover and #HellaFunny at Starline Social Club.” Anyone with interest in comedy better check it out at 2236 Martin Luther King Jr Way, Oakland.
Free: Housepitality DJ Party and Free Champagne is held at F8, a multi-room lounge, nightclub and bar in SoMa at 1192 Folsom St., San Francisco.
All Ages: Dandelion Chocolate Factory hosts their Guided Tour and Tasting at 740 Valencia St., San Francisco.
PROTIP: “We also offer educational classes, and are open to the public seven days a week,” said host and chocolatier Maggie McBride.
Special: Wormhole Wednesdays Live Music and Live Art Shows at New Parish, 1743 San Pablo Ave., Oakland.
At Wormhole Wednesdays, local artists are encouraged to bring their own art equipment and paint live for attendees, while performers of all kinds come to practice light shows, hooping and even poi (fire dancing). Photo: Zita Molnar
PROTIP: It’s less expensive to get tickets at the door than it is online. Event coordinator Morgan McCloud stated of the last event that “[Tickets] will sell out, but we will release 200 extra tickets at the door, so be there early.” This event is not to be missed by anyone who likes electronic music or the music festival atmosphere. Find tickets for this and other events at thenewparish.com
The New Parish is host to unique events that bring out the best of the Bay Area’s electronic and hip-hop acts. The live art, open concept venue and stage design are the usual attractions. Photo: Zita Molnar
Free: Dancehall Thursdays offers dancehall reggae, Afro-Caribbean cuisine, and much more. Level 13, 341 13th St., Oakland
PROTIP: It is free if you RSVP at level13oakland.com
All Ages: After Dark Adult Hours at the San Francisco Exploratorium has scientific marvels for the curious kid in all of us. They have exhibits on everything from cannabis to chemical reactions. Pier 15 The Embarcadero, San Francisco.
The Exploratorium is one the most aesthetically pleasing hang-outs in all of San Francisco, and it’s educational too! This exhibit is a coyly psychedelic place to rest in between spurts of curiosity. Photo: Stephanie Miller
PROTIP: Come from 6-10 p.m. for the main events, and bring cash for science-experiment-themed treats in the cafe.
Special: Asian Art Museum has $10 Thursday Nights. 200 Larkin St., San Francisco.
PROTIP: Located two blocks from Civic Center BART, the breathtaking three stories of pan-Asian artwork is perfect for an accessible and cultured date night.
At the top – Photo: Zita Molnar