Oakland, CA

Happy Holidays in the East Bay! Last minute gift ideas, travel updates and Damion Lee added to Warriors COVID protocol

Refugio Garcia

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Last minute gift ideas from local East Bay shops

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(Refugio Garcia/NewsBreak)

Well, the holiday is upon us and like most of us, there’s still gifts to be procured before Saturday morning. Here’s a list of local shops where you’re guaranteed to find quality goods for folks of all ages.

Give the gift of words

Bibliomania at 1816 Telegraph Ave. Oakland, Ca. 94612

With a selection of over 90,000 titles, you’re bound to find something good for that special bibliophile in your life.

Dr. Comic and Mr. Games at 4014 Piedmont Ave. Oakland, Ca. 94611

Dr. Comics and Mr. Games has everything you need to put a smile on the face of any true believer huddled around the Christmas tree. Check their towering selection of comics, graphic novels, manga, toys, games and more – all curated for you by their friendly and knowledgeable staff.

Dark Carnival at 3086 Claremont Ave. Berkeley, Ca. 94607

With probably the most extensive selection of fantasy and sci fi in the area, Dark Carnival has some pretty fantastic gift options to choose from. If there’s a hard-to-find title on that special someone’s list, look no further, Dark Carnival probably has it.

Give the gift of Christmas spirit(s)

It’s safe to say that one of the best parts of the holidays is getting jolly with friends and family and there’s no better way to make gatherings more festive than with glad tidings and strong drink.

Here’s a few local breweries that will make your host happy they invited you:

Original Pattern Brewing Co. at 292 4th St. Oakland, Ca. 94607

Following extensive taste tests conducted by yours truly, I can safely report that the brews produced at the Original Pattern brewery are some of the best in the Bay Area. From lagers to stouts to pilsners and ales, Original Pattern’s beers are truly top-quality and super delicious. Pick up some four packs and spread the cheer!

Buck Wild Brewing and Tap Room at 401 Jackson St. Oakland Ca. 94607

I never thought I’d be into gluten-free anything but Buck Wild’s brand of gluten-free beers produced with alternative ingredients provide an excellent option for any party goer with dietary restrictions. And they taste pretty good, too! Pick up a four pack of their award-winning Kolsch or try their red ale. You won’t be disappointed.

And yes…Toys!

Christmas is the most magical time of year for youngsters and there’s several options in the East Bay if you still need to pick something up. “You’re going to shoot your eye out!” But not with anything you’ll find at these boutique toy stores that focus on quality products guaranteed to get the imagination churning.

Five Little Monkeys at 1819 4th St. Berkeley, Ca. 94710

Five Little Monkeys has a wide selection of toys, books and games for youngsters with a mission of providing high-quality and unique toys.

Mr. Mopps Toy Shop at 1405 MLK Jr. Way Berkeley, Ca. 94709

From toys and art supplies to brain teasers and spy supplies, Mr. Mopps has got it all. Stop by Mr. Mopps today or tomorrow between 12 and 5 p.m. and pick up something amazing for the youngsters this holiday season.

Toy Safari at 1410 Park St, Alameda Ca. 94501

A wonderful toy store on the island, Toy Safari focuses on providing children with “access to new realms of discovery, understanding, and engagement with the world.” And they’ve been at it for over 30 years. Toy Safari also buys and trades toys, creating a wide selection of new and vintage items to choose from.

Nearly 90% of pre-pandemic traffic expected to return to Oakland Airport over holidays

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Officials at the Oakland Airport anticipate roughly 370,000 travelers will pass through the airport between Thursday and Jan. 2, NBC reports.

The expected number of travelers over the upcoming holidays haven’t been seen since 2019 and are projected to be three times greater than levels seen in 2020.

Airport officials recommend that people planning on flying over the holidays check COVID restrictions and make sure to arrive at the airport early.

In addition, COVID testing is available at the airport and appointments can be made here.

Damion Lee latest Warrior to be added to the NBA’s COVID-19 safety protocol

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Warriors shooting guard Damion Lee is the latest player for Golden State to be added to the league’s COVID-19 safety protocol ahead of Thursday’s matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies, East Bay Times reports.

Lee now joins Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole who are in the protocol and will also miss Thursday’s game.

“It’s difficult, but we’ve all been through this the last few years to varying degrees,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr. “It’s much better than it was a couple years ago when everyone was terrified and the world shut down. At least we know more now, so I feel like there is less panic. Plenty of concern, but it feels like we at least know what we’re dealing with and we manage accordingly.”

The depth of the Warriors’ backcourt has now been reduced down to Chris Chiozza, Gary Payton II, Moses Moody and Otto Porter Jr., behind Steph Curry.

The Dubs have also recently signed a hardship contract with guard Quinndary Weatherspoon, who averaged 15.6 points in nine games with the G-League’s Santa Cruz Warriors.

“It’s a big deal, everybody is going through this stuff to varying degrees,” said Kerr, adding, “Brooklyn hasn’t even been able to field a team. Most teams have been relatively unaffected. We’re kind of in between with some guys out. The depth of this year’s team is definitely a big factor in allowing us to push forward in times of injury or anything else. Hopefully that continues.”

Lee will be able to rejoin the Warriors following two negative test results 24 hours apart, per the NBA’s COVID protocol.

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