Over the past twenty years, Scrabble has emerged as an extremely addictive pastime and a
highly competitive sport. Local Scrabble players run clubs and tournaments all over the Bay
Area. Players are encouraged to bring a pen, some paper, a Scrabble set, and a chess clock.
Here’s a detailed list of well established Bay Area Scrabble clubs.
SAN FRANCISCO COUNTY
The San Francisco Scrabble Club meets at Rincon Center on Tuesdays at 5:30 PM. Contact
Chris Patrick Morgan at (415) 573-5926.
SANTA CLARA COUNTY
The Palo Alto Scrabble Club meets at the Boston Market Restaurant, located at 3375 El
Camino Real. Admission is free, but players are expected to purchase something from the
restaurant. This club meets on non-holiday Monday evenings, from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM.
Players are allowed to choose from two sections: “Social” and “Competitive.” Players in the
social section are NOT required to keep score or use a chess clock. Contact Mitch Bayersdorfer
at 650-326-6243 for more information.
The Oakland Scrabble Club meets at It’s Your Move Games and Hobbies, located at 4920
Telegraph Avenue at 51st Street. Players congregate on the first, third, and fifth Saturday of the
month at 1:00 PM. Admission is one dollar. For complete details, contact the lovely and
endearing Cynthia Pughsley at (510) 839-4090. Tell her Judee said hello.
CONTRA COSTA COUNTY
You can also play Scrabble at Carl’s Junior, located at 1530 Kirker Pass Road in Clayton, on the
second and fourth Saturday of each month, from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Admission is one dollar.
Contact Mike Treshler at (925) 672-8332.
Magicians, also known as illusionists, share the unusual skill of executing magic tricks. Magic tricks are divided into categories such as card tricks, optical illusions, escapes, and mentalism (a.k.a. mind reading). Among America’s most famous Illusionists are Criss Angel, David Copperfield, Harry Houdini, Penn & Teller, and James “The Amazing” Randi. Here’s a descriptive list of Magicians’ Circles in and around the Bay Area.
In San Francisco, join a group of Magicians known as Ring 38. The group meets at 7:30 pm on the last Tuesday of every month except December. Meetings take place at the Cafe Sinfonia, located at 465 Grove Street, near Gough. For details, contact Art Gagne at 650-992-0697.
The Oakland Magic Circle hosts flea markets, auctions, an annual banquet, stage shows, and contests with cash prizes. Visit their website at oaklandmagiccircle.com for a list of upcoming events.
In Carmichael, near Sacramento, a chapter of the International Brotherhood of Magicians meets at the Mission Oaks Community Center, located at 4701 Gibbons Drive. The meeting is hosted by Victor Saint Leon. For scheduled events and meeting times, contact Pamela Impson at 916-873-1079, or visit the website at magic1.org/ibm192.
Pete Carey, of the Mercury News, writes:
“After the Bay Area housing market’s biggest price run-up in years in 2013, with frenzied bidding wars in some markets and cash investors snapping up homes in others, experts are predicting a much calmer market in 2014. That’s good news for potential homebuyers, since there will be more homes to choose from, fewer bidding wars and less worries about spiraling prices. It’s not necessarily bad news for sellers. They may see their homes take longer to find buyers, but last year’s big price gains are giving many plenty of equity for the down payment on their next home.”
Read full article here: http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_24896980/slower-price-appreciation-more-sales-seen-bay-area
Coin collecting is a popular activity for a number of reasons. Not only are coins interesting and
beautiful, but some people see numismatic study as a viable investment opportunity. Here’s a
detailed list of Coin Collector clubs in and around San Francisco.
Most San Francisco coin collectors belong to the Pacific Coast Numismatic Society. Meetings
are held on the 4th Wednesday of every month except June, starting at 7:30 pm. PCNS
members meet at Fort Mason Center, Building C. Visit pcns.org for details.
Also stop in on the San Francisco Coin Club. Collectors meet on the 4th Friday of every
month at 6:30 pm, in the Tennessee Grill, located at 1128 Taraval.
Visit the Alameda Coin Club on the 1st Tuesday of each month at 6:45 pm. Meetings are held
in the Alameda Free Library building at 1550 Oak Street. Parking is free.
In Concord, check out the Diablo Numismatic Society. Meetings are held on the 3rd Thursday
of each month at 7 pm, in the Concord Police Department meeting room, located at 1350
Galindo Street. Contact: James Laird at 925–200–2276, or visit diablocoinclub.org.
The Fairfield Coin Club meets at 7 pm on the 4th Wednesday of each month. Meetings are
held at Grace Episcopal Church, on the corner of Grace and Kentucky Streets.
The Fremont Coin Club meets at 7 pm, on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month. Meetings
take place at the Elks Club, located at 38991 Farwell Drive. For details, visit
Also popular is the Vallejo Numismatic Society in the Florence Douglas Senior Center, located
at 333 Amador Street, Room A. The meeting starts at 6:30 pm. For further details, call 707-
Backgammon is an exciting two-player board game involving both luck and skill. The game is
typically played for money, and the world’s strongest players can earn a fortune. Here’s a
detailed list of Backgammon clubs in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The San Francisco Backgammon club meets on Monday evenings at the San Francisco Cafe.
Contact Jason at 415-519-7528.
In Berkeley, Backgammon players meet at the Peking Express Restaurant, located at 2068
Center Street, on the second Saturday of each month at noon. Contact Ted Chee at 831-261-
You’ll also find a friendly crowd of mostly novices on Tuesdays from 6:30 pm to 9 pm at
Mountain Mike’s Pizza, located at 3612 Lone Tree Way in Antioch.
In Cupertino, local backgammon players meet for a tournament on the fourth Saturday of each
month at noon, at the Britannia Arms Pub & Restaurant, located at 1087 De Anza Boulevard.
On Wednesday evenings, play at the Garret, located at 1777 South Bascom Avenue in
Campbell. This club features a weekly chouette (a type of backgammon involving three
On Fridays starting at 3:30 pm, visit the popular Marin County Backgammon Club at the Mill
Valley Depot Outdoor Plaza.
The once agricultural county of Sonoma is nowadays bursting with opportunities for local performing artists to show their stuff. Here are some top rated open mics ongoing throughout Sonoma County.
The Black Cat Bar is an amazing music venue in Penngrove, frequented by many talented local artists. The predominant theme is a musical mixed bag featuring all kinds of bands, singers and songwriters. Call 707-793-9480 for further information.
Coffee Catz is a neighborhood cafe in Sebastopol featuring a rotating roster of live musicians. Call 707-829-6600 to ask about their open mic nights.
Visit the Forestville Club at 6250 Front Street for dancing, live music, and a regularly scheduled open mic night. Call 707-887-2594 to inquire.
Don’t miss Jasper O’Farrell’s open mic night at the pub in Sebastopol. Enjoy live music from the 80s, local college bands, and a popular open mic. Call 707-829-2062 for scheduled performances.
Get a strong dose of live Jazz, blues, and cabaret music at the Main Street Station open mic in Guerneville, on the second and fourth Sundays of the month. Enjoy the casual atmosphere. For details, call 707-869-0501.
Finally, hear excellent live music at the Willowbrook Ale House in Petaluma. The theme is primarily bluegrass and blues. Call 707-775-4232 to ask about their open mic nights.