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The Year in Review

We break down the East Bay’s best, worst, and weirdest stories of 2013.


Eric Smith



The Year of Fire

This magazine’s namesake and the East Bay’s most beloved landmark, Mount Diablo, was set ablaze September 8. The fire burned 3,111 acres, before being fully contained six days later. In March, the 42-year-old Berkeley restaurant and origin of California Cuisine, Chez Panisse, suffered an electrical fire, closing for nearly four months.


By The Numbers

6.4 - Cost, in billions of dollars, of the Bay Bridge’s new eastern span, more than four times the estimate made in 1997.

46 - Age, in years, of Pleasant Hill’s CinéArts “Dome” theater, which was demolished in May, despite cinephile protests.

261 - Dollars, in millions, made at the box office (as of press time) for We’re the Millers, the summer hit movie directed by Orinda-raised Rawson Marshall Thurber.

3,389 - Feet, in length, of the Caldecott Tunnel’s new fourth bore. The tunnel is 41 feet wide, with a 10-foot shoulder.

143,652 - Number of Oakland A’s fans in attendance for the three post-season home games, after the tarps were removed from the upper deck.

East Bay in the News

4/15 - Two bombs explode at the Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring 264, including Martinez 11-year-old Aaron Hern, who suffered serious leg damage.

6/26 - The U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the Defense of Marriage Act and Prop 8. Two days later, Berkeley couple Kris Perry and Sandy Stier are the first to wed in California.

7/1 and 10/18 - BART employees go on strike over pay and safety issues, halting train service and causing traffic gridlock across the Bay Area.

8/3 - Beloved actors Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen workshop their roles in Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land at Berkeley Rep, before taking the show to Broadway.


10/2 - Governor Jerry Brown eliminates STAR testing in California schools. Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla
(D-Concord), a former high school English teacher, wrote the bill.

Trend of the Year: Ice Cream

Ice cream is the new cupcake. This year welcomed artisanal Lottie’s Creamery and build-your-own ice cream sandwich shop C.R.E.A.M. to Walnut Creek, while Tara’s expanded to Pleasanton.

Tween Tweets

When boy band One Direction made a surprise visit to Pleasanton’s Stoneridge Shopping Center in July, the Twitterverse went nuts. Here are a few examples.

“Met One Direction today at Stoneridge Mall! Best day ever, I swear.”

“I could have met them, OMG. I’ve been at Stoneridge Mall, OMG. I’m crying. Why, why, why, OMG.”

Adrianna Decoteau“I want to cry. One Direction was in Pleasanton only like an hour away. Leave me to die here in Turlock.”

“I can’t process this. One Direction was in Pleasanton. I can’t process this.”

“Why does One Direction have to be in Pleasanton, USA. Like come on, I’ve never heard of that, and Ottawa is the capital of Canada.”


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