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Cover | Elke Behrens

Let There Be Peace (mixed media), was inspired by artist Elke Behrens’ hope and enthusiasm for the new administration. Born in Germany “under much different circumstances,” Behrens says she rejoices in how far the world has come. The artist’s love of painting has inspired her extensive international travel and exposure to the world’s rich art history. Behrens says these experiences have helped to shape her “weltanschauung,” or world philosophy and guided her artistic sensibility. Behrens turned to painting after suffering several significant personal losses. Now she rarely spends a day without painting. Her images are often whimsical with a child-like simplicity and contrasting depth. Her paintings are densely layered and covered with a mesh of vivid colors and graffiti or scratched images. View more of Behrens’ work at or at 4th Street Studio,1717 D Fourth St. in Berkeley;



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2009 Issue:

Table of Contents

|  Winter Light
Armed with only a small digital camera in his pocket, world-renowned photographer Raphael Shevelev set out from his El Cerrito home to snap East Bay moments during his favorite season. Shevelev’s glimpses of winter may inspire you to take another look at the landscape we often take for granted. Enjoy The Monthly’s rare photo essay. By Raphael Shevelev

UP FRONT   |   One to Tango
Soulful tango singer María Volonté flourished in her native Argentina, winning the U.S. equivalent of the Grammy, producing six CDs and inspiring an international following. She moved to Oakland last year for love and now she’s wowing Bay Area audiences and honing a style inspired by her new East Bay digs. By Reese Erlich

The gardener forges an unexpected bond with his friend Vikki’s canine pooch Peggy Lee during a walk through dog heaven. Later, when he helps Vikki transplant a lemon tree, she pulls some unusual fertilizer from her freezer.  By R.E. Faro

ARCHITEXTURE | Built on Tribal Wisdom
A mosaic story pole and feather marquee mark the front of a new Native American health-care center in Oakland’s Fruitvale District, a $32-million mixed-used building inspired by American Indian traditions and philosophy. By Lauri Puchall

SHOPPING AROUND | Boot Camp Has Its Rewards
At 5:30 a.m. when most sensible folk are asleep, participants in East Bay athletic boot camps are already doing push-ups, sprints and squats in an effort to shape up in a short four to six weeks. But read the fine print before signing up because some of these camps will even bar you from uttering the word doughnut. 
By Elizabeth Kennedy

SHOP TALK | Three inviting shops in your neighborhood
The newly remodeled M. Lowe & Co. in Berkeley combines an extensive selection of international gems, including Australian colored diamonds and Sri Lankan sapphires, with estate jewelry and contemporary designs.
East Bay designer Erica Varize is passionately attached to her sewing machine at her “cut and sew” boutique, EVarize, in Berkeley, where she offers customers “urban, sexy soccer mom” styles off the racks or custom-sewed.
Mom pals Erin Carter and Keri Levy have recently opened Kid Dynamo, a children’s clothing and toy shop in North Berkeley, featuring nontoxic, green, local, fair-trade products.

The Kilduff File |  Dave Weinstein
The author of It Came from Berkeley—How Berkeley Changed the World explores the nature of the city, touching on Cal’s marching band, tree-sitters and the future of the hippie lifestyle. By Paul Kilduff


Editor’s Note


Be East Bay: Go, Meet, Shift, Create, Read
A short section of cool things to try, hot things to read and interesting people to meet in the East Bay.

Critic’s Choice

Shop Talk

Boutique Bazaar

Food for Thought

Dining Guide

Marketplace: Home & Garden

Marketplace: Personal & Creative Services

Kartoon Korner


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