Rising Like a Phoenix
Have you spotted the new art in downtown San Rafael? Through Thick and Thin by Mark Grieve and Ilana Spector was created from burned-out bicycle forks that were salvaged from a warehouse fire at the San Rafael nonprofit Bike for Kids program, and Gemantic Compass by Martin Munson is a kinetic sculpture created from recycled materials. Both are part of ArtReach, an ongoing public art project funded through Art Works Downtown and the City of San Rafael. The pieces are stationed in front of the San Rafael Community Center at 618 B Street and aren’t permanent fixtures, so see them before they’re gone! 415.451.8119,

Funds for a Cause
Lili Shahabi of Lili S Salon in Sausalito has created the Give Back to Your Children’s School program.  Parents of southern Marin students can enjoy services at her salon while earning points that will add up to donations Lili will make at the designated school.

Still Time to Take a Mammal Tour
You still have until September 11 to take advantage of the Marine Mammal Center’s docent tours. During these guided excursions, visitors observe the areas that overlook animal care pens and pools, food preparations and laboratories, all while docents give background and insight on the center and the animals it treats. Book your tour online at

Got Java?
Go ahead, wake up early—Weaver’s Coffee and Tea has opened its first retail store and coffee-roasting facility in San Rafael. The store will serve and sell a full line of hand-crafted artisan coffees and teas, and customers will be able to watch master coffee roaster John Weaver hand-roast controlled batches of beans. 40 Louise Street, 800.328.1178,

Christopher Home
Christopher Downs is already outfitting Marin with beautiful hair, so it was only natural he spruced up our homes (and closets), too. His new shop, Christopher Home, is connected to his fashionable Ark Row destination Christopher Salon. The new venture provides all things to decorate your abode: Neely Mack leather handbags, LAFCO candles, handmade shell boxes, batik pillows and Big Sur outdoor lanterns. Plus, Christopher Salon just started offering manicures and pedicures. Looking good was never this easy. 415.435.0111,

Hats off to Greenbrae’s Jean Larette! Her interior design firm just completed a project featured in an issue of House Beautiful. The home, a Napa Valley ranch-style cottage, was a collaboration between architect Marshall Schneider, landscape designer Robert Trachtenberg and contractor Nathan Herrera.

New Local Tomes
Mill Valley’s Eva Beale, whom we featured in the December 2008 issue, has just released her newest Grey Gardens Collections book, I Only Mark the Hours That Shine, the 1929 diary of her famous aunt, Edith Beale, who took the spotlight in the 1975 documentary Grey Gardens. Eva spent years transcribing the diary from Edith’s handwriting and the tome gives insight into Edith’s then-12-year-old self. Eva has also added a new fabric collection to her Grey Gardens Collection with textile designs inspired by the East Hamptons landscape of her aunt’s former home.

Mill Valley’s Karen Benke is getting kids excited about writing with her new book Rip the Page! The inspiring tome includes word lists to help with writer’s block, words of encouragement from professional authors, writing exercises and more.

Hay Day
Have the kids bring a new or gently used book and join more than 2,000 people for pony rides, relay races, cow milking, mechanical bull rides, steer roping and more at this year’s fifth annual Blackie’s Hay Day on September 25. Volunteers are still needed and proceeds from the event go to the Belvedere-Tiburon public library.

More Than Your Average Cupcake
Marin native Devin Glasser Alper’s new American Cupcake restaurant is serving more than buttercream frosting and sprinkles. Drop in and fall back in time as you take in the all-white interior, modern soda fountain and patent leather banquettes, and savor some good old cotton candy. In addition to a wide variety of cupcakes, Alper has an all-day dining menu featuring pulled pork sliders, mac ’n’ cheese, and a selection of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches—including choices with homemade peanut, almond and hazelnut butters. Stay for dinner or stop in to pair a cupcake with a beverage from the extensive champagne cocktail menu. 1919 Union Street, San Francisco, 415.896.4217,

Sausalito Artists @ Work
Don’t miss a viewing presented by the local art collective Sausalito Artists @ Work, as they welcome visitors, demonstrate techniques and display their finished pieces in their ICB studios on Labor Day weekend. The event complements the Sausalito Art Festival held that same weekend.

Corner Books Comes Alive
Now in its third month, Corner Books on the Boardwalk at 1550 Tiburon Boulevard is, according to co-manager Kay Smith, “on track to raise over $40,000 for the Belvedere-Tiburon library.” Since it’s smartly designed and features only “pristine” editions donated by local readers, “most customers don’t realize we’re a used bookstore,” she adds. Bestselling novels, nonfiction and children’s books, along
with cooking and gardening books, run $1 to $9; top-quality coffeetable books start at $20. 415.789.5000.

Mill Valley resident Tom Corwin’s newest project, Behind the Wheel of the Bookmobile, is set to be a documentary film that follows a classic bookmobile across America, with local authors like Michael Pollan, Michael Chabon, Paul Hawken, Amy Tan, Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida taking the wheel and inviting people to come on board, take a book and be interviewed about titles that changed their lives. The bookmobile takes off this fall, following the Lincoln Highway coast to coast.