On the cover
Hidive Restaurant, It’s Only a Step Away
MTC Trip Planner Unfriendly to Alameda’s Ferries
MTC Honors Excellence in Motion at 26th Awards Ceremony
Community Calendar
San Francisco Ferry Building Marketplace Directory
No Flu Shot? Could be No Worries, Mate!
Cool Places to Shop on the Eastern Waterfront
Places to Shop for the Holidays
Bay Crossings Cuisine: Neptune’s
Let Your Light Shine on Angel Island
Vallejo Ferry Chief Fired, Resigned or What?
Help Save the Palace
Holidays at the Exploratorium
U.S. Coast Guard Honors BoatU.S. Emergency Beacon Rental Program
WTA Pages: Making Cents for Ferries
Libations: Christmas,
South American Style







Cool Places to Shop for the Holidays

Christmas and Hanukah are the best known annual holidays in December. Plus, kids of all ages the world over are sending out their lists for Santa Claus to grant their wishes. Shopping after work and on weekends for family and friends, clients and suppliers, and the household pets can be a daunting challenge or great fun. Having a list of great places to shop helps make holiday shopping fun. Most of these favorite shops can be visited by ferry or a combination of ferry, bus, or cab. Happy holidays from all of us at Bay Crossings, and please enjoy the second installment of COOL places to shop for the Holidays.

San Francisco
A favorite place to shop for the holidays continues to be the festive PIER 39. PIER 39 has held the distinction of being the #1 tourist attraction for years, but in the fall and winter months the majority of shoppers are local Bay Area residents. The Ferry and the Embarcadero F line make visiting the Pier easy. With 110 retail shops, 11 fine restaurants, 1 restaurant on the water, 23 casual eateries, and 11 entertaining attractions, there is much to see and do at the Pier. PIER 39 management is always on the lookout to add special shops to its interesting roster. Two shops, new for 2004, join the Bay Crossings list of particularly Cool Places to shop.

Department 56,
“Holidays, Special Days, Everyday” tagline epitomizes a company that recognizes the importance of celebrating life’s extraordinary momemts. Walking into Department 56 on PIER 39 is like walking into a wonderland of festive cheer. A display of Snowbabies(TM) playing with Disney characters followed by sugar-coated gumdrops that were really candles set next to a replica of a gum drop factory. Among the many sparkling Christmas tree ornaments was a tree filled with sea lions. One wall offered fanciful long-legged land and sea characters, including a tree top angel, eliciting smiles from browsing shoppers.
The company began almost 30 years ago when a group of friends, out for a nighttime holiday stroll, were inspired by the twinkling houses nestled into the hillsides of Stillwater, MN. They loved the look of the buildings so much that they wanted to take the buildings home with them. They did, in a way, by carefully handcrafting six replicas of the buildings, creating the beginning of the still very popular Snow Village(TM). Throughout the shop are displays of Department 56’s famous village replicas including: Snow Village(TM), Dickens’s Village Christmas in the City, and the North Pole.

Each building is a work of art. Each building is lovingly handcraftedand hand-painted. The entire process from ideation through completion involves 60 steps. Creating one finished builing takes almost as much time as building an actual home. Each November, selected creations are retired and the mold destroyed, making Department 56 building replicas collectibles. New pieces range in price from $20 to $120.

PIER 39’s Department 56 shop is one of six corporate stores around the country plus there are 1400 licensed retailers. Their web site, www.department56.com, gives store locations. Whales and Friends in Alameda, Ironworks in Oakland, and Giftique in Tiburon are licensed Department 56 shops.
Department 56, PIER 39 G-1, San Francisco (415) 391-1660.

Nantucket Natural Oils
Fragrance lovers have a fun new option in California. Nantucket Natural Oils provides a wide selection of fragrances for men and women, and they even offer a unisex scent, all from a base of natural almond oil. People with allergies and sensitive skin can also wear these fragrances. What makes these fragrance and perfume oils so different is that by not using alcohol as a base, one or two drops will last all day.

Nantucket Natural Oils opened this summer to the delight of Pier visitors. The walls are lined with designer scents on one wall and natural single and simple combinations plus aroma therapy oils on the other. Attractive hand-blown and cut crystal perfume bottles from around the world adorn the center of the shop and the front window. Dead Sea bath salts fully dissolve in a bath making them greatly appreciated by any lady on your list. Popular fragrances are already made up, or you can select unscented salts and have them scented with her favorite scent. Or, give her a gift certificate to come in to make her own choice. Simple scents are $18, $25 for blended, and $45 for designer fragrance (1/4 oz.). There are specials available, or bring ten or more friends and have a Fragrance Experience party. Nantucket Natural Oils closes the shop to all but your group for the private party. They provide libations, hors d’oeuvres, or discount certificates for one of the PIER’s 11 fine restaurants. Stop by for a free drop of fragrance. Nantucket Natural Oils, PIER 39 D-02, San Francisco (415) 986-3350

What’s new at the Ferry Building?
Kingdom of Herbs
Opened this summer by William Rosenzweig, the creator of the Republic of Tea and a lecturer at UC Berkeley’s Business School, and partner Chiquita Woodward.

The store has a splendid selection of fresh herbs in dry form and as live plants. Herbs can be planted for customers in one of their many pots. Among the products are herb books, books on the use of herbs, cookbooks featuring herbs, herb and lovely festive wreaths, mortar and pestle selections, and many more special gifts for the cook and herb lover on your list. Check www.kingdomofherbs.com for more info. Kingdom of Herbs, Marketplace #20, Ferry Building, San Francisco

Boulette’s Larder
Opened just in time for the holidays, this is a different kind of food lovers’ shop. Created to supply home cooks just getting started, home chefs increasing their level of ability in the kitchen, and fully prepared dishes to select from to create whole meals for anyone to take home to finish in the oven for a fabulous home cooked meal. Chef partner Amaryll with business partner Lori Rogis wanted to create something useful. Amaryll said, “Most people in the Bay Area know good food. They eat well and travel enough to know quality ingredients. We offer the products that can boost confidence in cooking. We make quality ingredients typically only used and available to fine Bay Area restaurants.”

Open seven days a week, they sell pantry items such as beurre compose (Meyer lemon, hallots, and fat leaf parlsley), citrus juice (Meyer lemon or Satsuma mandarin orange), organic pomegranate reduction and organic baby foods, and more. To bake at home are options such as Brined Prather Ranch Pork Chops, Apple Farm Golden Delicious Applesauce and Hungarian Cream Cheese spread and Chocolate Bon Bon Cookie Dough for dessert. They also serve breakfast and lunch onsite Monday thru Friday in front of their open fireplace used to slow cook stews, ember roast vegetables, or grill meats.

Amryll Schwertner has spent the last 25 years in fine restaurants. For the last four years, she was the chef at Stars in the city and before that she worked for Sole Luna and the Santa Fe Bar and Grill. Amaryll started cooking at Chez Panisse, along with Peg Smith of the Cowgirl Creamery and a few others scattered about the Marketplace. After graduating in Neurological Science, she continued cooking because it had become her passion and continues to bring her great joy. Amaryll’s excellent kitchen offers classes for 2 to 20 by reservation after 6pm, and she will also host private seminars and dinner parties.  Boulette’s Larder, Marketplace, Ferry Building, San Francisco (415) 300-1155

Gallery 108 has moved down the hill and around the corner from Ark Row, so it is now visible from the ferry dock walkway. Nina and her dog Nicky greet customers six days a week under the distinctive black crane sign. After many years at 108 Main Street on Ark Row, Nina and Gary Gerhard made plans for the move to the hub of downtown together. They planned the remodeling and new layout for the long narrow shop, the new logo and signage, and then Gary died suddenly. Nina had to implement the plans and move just days after losing her husband. It was a true challenge for this fine lady to reinvent their pleasant gallery and expand their fine gift store. The result is wonderful. New products have added dimension and the shop is a pleasure to visit.

Gallery 108 is the only gallery on the West Coast to showcase Jie-Wei Zhou, a famous young Asian artist who paints in a classic style. Among Gallery 108’s extraordinary gifts are tasty hand-crafted jellies, wonderful teas including a potent blend of Chai, hand-blown glass seashells and starfish, local artisan-crafted and beaded jewelry, work of a local metal sculptor and functional artist, and Chinese silk pillows. There are gifts in all price ranges. Displays of new hand-crafted gifts are among the many beautiful Asian antiques and collectibles. The antiques are for home decorating and practical use. They are artfully arranged around hand-crafted designer American furnishings used to create homelike settings to spark the imagination. Nina also offers a collection of beautiful fabrics from all over the world for the discerning interior designer to choose from. Gallery 108, 1704 Tiburon Blvd., Tiburon (415) 435-2511

North Bay
Zellique Art Glass in Benicia is a very Cool place. Benicia is directly east of Vallejo. Benicia is an old-fashioned town with lots of history and historical buildings. Zellique Art Glass and their neighbors are located at the eastern end of H Street. Joe and Debbie Morel created a business in Benicia that attracts attention from around the world. Their shop showcases the hand-blown glass created in an open work shop that can be viewed through a window, allowing customers to observe the artisans blow glass pieces while shopping. Zellique’s neighbors are two glass-blowing companies not to be missed. The shop displays a variety of fine wine and water goblets, lamps, vases, perfume bottles, jewelry, Christmas tree ornaments, and much more, including fine art glass pieces that are truly stunning. www.zelliqueartglass.com
Zellique Art Glass, 701 East H Street, Benicia 94510, (707) 745-5710

Ho Ho Ho from the Wild Side.
On Sunday, December 12, 2004, Safari West is throwing open their gates and doors for their first open house. Welcomed by friends (furry and otherwise), guests can visit the fabulous African Preserve for the special rate of $18 per adult and children 12 and under are free!

Celebrate the holidays with Safari West giraffes, Macaas, Ostriches, and Cheetahs. Say Ho Ho Ho to the many hoofed animals of the African plains. Hourly tours on the African Queen and the Nairobi Express leave between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. for a slightly shorter tour to make it possible to start each tour on the hour. Plus, enjoy reptile rodeo, winged animal encounters of the closest kind with colors fitting for the bright and cheerful holidays!

The Safari West store features wild stocking stuffers. Enjoy 10 percent off holiday gift certificates and items from our gift shop for purchases valued at $25 or more. It’s a chance to do something really unique and delightful for the whole family...while contributing toward the well being for all our animals.
There’s one important catch: Reservations are required. To reserve space, call 707-579-2551 or e-mail info@safariwest.com. Identify yourself as a “friend of wild life” to get the discounted rates.