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Free Bocce Ball Clinic on Saturday

Monday March 2, 2009
The Santa Rosa Bocce League will be hosting a free clinic on March 7 in Juilliard Park (map) at 2pm. Teams are forming now and games will run from mid-April to mid-June. By popular demand, kids can play in the Family Night games.

If you're not familiar with bocce, think of it as outdoor bowling. (Don't tell the die-hard players I said that.) Yes, there is a fun, physical activity in there somewhere. But, the real point is to hang out with other folks, talk, have a few drinks, roll a ball, hang out and talk some more. And the kicker is that you get to do it outside instead of inside some noisy building. Considering how beautiful the weather is around here, it's little wonder that bocce ball is so popular in Wine Country.

Benefit Concert for SR Victims of Supspected Arson

Saturday February 28, 2009
On the night before Valentine’s Day, Santa Rosa residents Walter and Bevy Hansen went out to see the Celtic Band “Four Shillings Short.” When they returned, they found their home in flames and fire trucks surrounding the building. Police suspect arson because two other nearby fires were also reported that night. Not only were many of the Hansen’s possessions destroyed, but their dog and cats died in the fire. (See the article in the Press Democrat.)

On Sunday, March 1, Four Shillings Short (the band the Hansens were watching when their house caught on fire) will play a benefit concert. The show is from 7 to 11pm at The Orchard Spotlight, 515 Orchard St., Santa Rosa. (707) 542-7745

See Walter Hansen’s blog for more information.

Tattoos and Blues and Adventures

Tuesday February 24, 2009
Two of my friends went to the annual Tattoos and Blues festival last year. One went looking for inspiration for a new tattoo. The other just wanted to experience a subculture for an afternoon. ("It's to expensive to travel anymore, so I'll just let other cultures come to me," she explained.) Both had wonderful things to say about the event.

My tattooed buddy said the Flaming Resort Hotel, which hosts the event, was full of top tattoo artists from around the world. You can wander from booth to booth and watch them work, or, if you you're so inspired, you can get inked right there and then. And my wanderlust-friend had a blast learning about a whole new world. She's always full of great stories about her escapades traveling around the planet. And these days, she'll throw in a story about the Tattoos and Blues festival into the mix.

They both plan on going to the Festival this weekend when it returns to the Flamingo. One is getting a new tattoo. (A small starfish by her ankle.) And the other, I'm sure, will collect a new adventure.

Izzy's 18th annual Santa Rosa Tattoos & Blues
Friday, Feb 27 to Sunday March 1; 12pm
(530) 842-6100
Flamingo Resort Hotel, 2777 4th St. (at Farmer's Lane)
Santa Rosa, CA

Three days of the finest tattooing by artists local and from around the world. Live Blues music, tattoo contests, circus acts, seminars, unique gifts.

GG's Earth and Surf opening Monday

Sunday February 22, 2009

Like a lot of locals, I'm curious about GG's Earth and Surf, set to open in Santa Rosa tomorrow.

The new restaurant features all organic produce and seafood from farms within a 150 mile radius, as well as local, organic wines (20 of the wines are under $25 a bottle) and spirits. Granted, it's not 100 percent local--there are some ingredients that are simply just not made or grown around here. But, the restaurant is buying about 85 percent of their items from the area. Not only does their localvore philosophy help area farmers and reduce the carbon footprint, but GG's might also turn out to be a be a very cool place to take out-of-town visitors to show off our local bounty.

I'll write more after I eat there. Or, if you beat me to it, email me at santarosa.guide@about.com and let me know what you thought of it.

GG's Earth and Surf
630 Third Street
Santa Rosa, CA
(707) 528-1445

You can read up on the localvore movement in The Mindful Times, which is based in Santa Rosa.

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