A long time ago in a neighborhood close, close by I was a holiday hire at the Crate & Barrel Outlet on 4th street. There among the discounted painted egg ornaments, pine-scented candles and glittering but slightly dinged picture frames, the Spirit of Christmas and the true meaning of Black Friday became my lifeblood.
I never expected it would lead to decorating Christmas windows at Macy’s Union Square, or filming the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade Santa in a TV studio on 34th and Broadway. (Yes, Virginia, Santa has Justin Bieber stories.) I like the spectacle of the holidays and Christmas in New York is grand, but next to the feelings of goodwill the season inspires, I appreciate the chance to indulge the people I care about in gifts from the quirky city I get to call home, Berkeley.
But I don’t consider myself an elf, I identify more as a gift Jedi urging everyone to find the presents they’re looking for at local independent stores.
Our first episode of #Berkleley’s Holiday Gift Guide, sponsored by Buy Local Berkeley, takes me back to the street where my visual design training began. A quiet industrial area in the 90’s, 4th Street between Virginia and Hearst is now home to a trendy mix of acclaimed restaurants, coffee shops, artist supply stores, an Apple store and a salon. Their Dazzling Holiday Lights show lives by its name, inspiring ooh’s ahh’s and #FourthStreetBerkeley Instagrams. 4th Street is more inspiring than ever.
But we don’t stop there. Watch the video for gift ideas from:
4th Street’s Stained Glass Garden
West Berkeley’s Metro Lighting
Solano Avenue’s Pegasus Books
Elmwood’s Boss Robot Hobby
Berkeleyside’s story on the BPA’s toy donation shortage has gone viral and is saving Christmas!
They’re reporting, “Donations of new, unwrapped toys can be dropped off at the department at 2100 Martin Luther King Jr. Way daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. until Friday, Dec. 18.”
You can also donate to the Berkeley Police Association’s Go Fund Me campaign.
Games of Berkeley posted on their blog, “Anyone purchasing toys for the toy drive will get a 15% off today and tomorrow (Dec 17 and Dec 18 till 4pm). Details in store.”
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