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Valentine’s Day 2006

Graphics by Malinda Groening

What to eat…

calm those butterflies by filling your tummy.

expensively: Cesar. 1515 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley


With great drinks, a long wine list, and amazing tapas style food, Cesar is an all around fantastic restaurant. It's small, popular, and they don't take reservations, but you can order drinks while you wait. Show up early or late (they're open until midnight) to decrease your wait time.

affordably: Zza's Trattoria. 552 Grand Ave. Oakland 510-839-9124

The service is always great and sometimes rude, but the pizza and salads are decadent and mouthwatering. It's not all that romantic, but a stroll around Lake Merritt just across the street is. Bring kids or a bunch of friends. Prices range from $10-40 depending on wine consumption, even cheaper if you load up on the free bread, carrots and garbanzo beans.

cheaply: Use your swipes at the Tea Shop, grab the blanket off your bed, and go grab a good space on a lawn somewhere. Eating outside makes even french fries more romantic.

What to watch…

cuddle up with these rentable flicks to laugh at relationship mishaps, celebrate your independence or get excited to get your freak on.

Nine to Five (1980) Three female employees kidnap their misogynistic boss and teach him a lesson.

Sex in Lucia (2003) Lucia receives help from two charming men in the search for her missing husband.

Thelma and Louise (1991) The classic about an Arkansas waitress and a housewife who kill a rapist and take off on a wild adventure.

Sugar High Glitter City (2001) Sugar is outlawed and "cane-addicted" lesbians will stop at nothing to get it.

40 Year Old Virgin (2005) No matter your situation on Valentine's Day this year, Steve Carell's character will make your sex life look awesome.

Women-directed porn. Good Vibrations (see "How to give…") has a generous variety of erotic DVDs and instructional videos, but watch out for the unforgiving late fees.

What to drink…

among other consenting adults.

expensively: Paragon Bar at the Claremont Hotel.

Fantastic fancy drinks, super chic modern decor, and a patio with a view to die for. The best bar in the East Bay to go when you're in the mood to splurge.

affordably: Kona Club. 4401 Piedmont.

A newish Tiki bar, this place has pool, tacky decor (think half naked gyrating statue of a hula girl) and fairly cheap drinks. Lots of seating makes this a great place to go with friends.

cheaply: grab a bottle of wine at the Tea Shop and enjoy behind closed dorm room doors with friends of age.

Where to go…

get some quality alone time in these well populated spots.

make out: Grizzly Peak Blvd

Take a drive up to this scenic road above the Caldecott Tunnel and park. Some of the best views of the Bay Area available, all from the privacy of your own car.

ice skate: Oakland Ice Center. 519 18th St.

The rink opens to the public from 7-8:30 p.m. and Tuesday's Cheap Skate deal includes a skate rental with the $7 fee. Unless you want to show off, wear pants.

bowling: AMF Southshore Lanes. 300 Park St. Alameda. Open until 11 p.m. It's a national chain, but the bar gets good reviews and serves all your favorite bowling snacks.

How to give…

when your presence just isn't enough.

expensively: Pimlico Place. 4135 Piedmont Avenue.

This funky store has everything from $15 earrings to antique

furniture for thousands. Almost everything is unique and imported from Europe. Most "fashion accessories" range from $40-$150.

with your own budget: Good Vibrations. 2504 San Pablo at Dwight, Berkeley.

The renowned woman-positive sex-positive toy store has more than you could dream up as a gift to yourself or a loved one. They even have a Valentine's Day gift guide with ideas for every price range, from tasty pasties to anal plugs with fuschia Austrian Swarovski crystals.

for free: Safer Sex kit on the Tea Shop Steps, 11-2 pm or all day in the Division of Student Life.

University Health Services and Mills Health Programs will be giving out over 100 kits equipped with safer sex tools and Valentine's treats, first come first served, first come!

make Valentine cards. Surely you have a pink highlighter, and campus computer labs are stocked with clean paper.

What to do…

because even though you celebrate love everyday, these events only happen once a year.


11th Annual Love Fest 2006 at La Pena Cultural Center. 3105 Shattuck Ave. Hip hop theater artist, poet and activist Aya de Leon hosts this alternative Valentine's day spoken word and music extravaganza. 8 pm, $10 in advance, $12 at the door. For tickets, call: 510.849.2568 or visit

for free:

The Dirtiest Valentine's Day in the World contest at the Canvas Gallery, 1200 9th Ave. Inner Sunset, S.F. Contestants get a chance to tell their version of "The Aristocrats," the dirtiest joke in the world and win prizes. To enter, e-mail with "The Aristocrats" in the subject field. To attend, show up! This 21+ event is free.

for charity:

Concord High School's 3rd Annual Valentine's Run Run a 5 or 10k and help raise money for Concord High's Communications and Human Services Academy. Check-in and registration begin at 7am.