As a Californian, I drive a lot, and I was always pretty confident that I knew the most dangerous time to drive in California. It had to be rush hour, right?
Tens of thousands of people take to the roads in the Bay Area alone during rush hour, and I frequently see fender benders on my own drive.
According to a new study, though, that’s not actually the most dangerous time to drive in California. The real time is surprising.
The Most Dangerous Time on California’s Roads
The real time to watch out for? 9:00pm to 9:59pm. We’ll explore more about why down below.
This finding comes from a comprehensive study analyzing data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), conducted by a legal company. The research covered fatal crashes from 2017 to 2021 across the United States, giving a detailed picture of when driving is most hazardous.
The results for California were eye-opening. During this period, the state recorded 18,137 fatal crashes, and a staggering 1,144 of these occurred between 9:00pm and 9:59pm. This accounts for 6.31% of all fatal crashes in the state, a higher percentage than any other time of day. This was contrary to my assumption, and likely many others’, that rush hour would be the riskiest time to be on the road.
But it’s not just California that sees this trend. Nationally, the study found that 6:00pm to 6:59pm is the deadliest hour to drive, with this time frame accounting for 5.91% of the total 177,409 fatal crashes in the U.S. between 2017 and 2021.
Why This Time?
If you take a step back and think about the results, they make a lot of sense. There are indeed a lot of crashes during rush hour in California. But most of them aren’t fatal.
As any Bay Area driver knows, cars move very slowly during rush hour! Yes, there are many little fender benders. But the slow speed means most crashes aren’t fatal.
As the evening wears on, though, tired people are driving home from work, California’s many rural roads get very dark, and substances become more of a factor. Even though there’s fewer drivers on the road, the risk of a major crash goes up substantially later in the evening.
So, as a Californian who’s on the road quite often, this data serves as a stark reminder that danger doesn’t just lurk during the busy rush hour. It’s there in the quieter hours of the night too, making it crucial for all of us to stay vigilant and drive safely, no matter the time.
The new Napa Deli is finally open near Rossmoor in Walnut Creek, California. We’ve been following progress since the new location was announced, and we were thrilled to stop by during the first week after it opened.
Napa Deli is a bright and airy store with high ceilings and an inviting, if simple, interior. It serves sandwiches, salads, side dishes like macaroni and cheese, and impressive-looking pies.
What sets Napa Deli apart, though, is the fact that its sandwiches, like the restaurant’s interior, are classic and simple.
Walnut Creek and the surrounding towns have lots of fancy sandwich places with high-concept sauces, farm-to-table ingredients, and more.
I love Mendocino Farms and Sweet Affair, and local fancy sandwich places like Batch and Brine in Lafayette are popular. But sometimes you just want a simple BLT, prepared well, served fast, and with little fuss. That’s what Napa Deli delivers.
Another nice aspect of Napa Deli? Reasonable portions.
Lots of East Bay places load up their sandwiches with so many exotic ingredients that they’re basically a dinner between two slices of bread.
Napa Deli, on the other hand, makes sandwiches that you can eat in one sitting without feeling like you need to go on a walk afterward.
In our visit, I tried the BLTA, which is a BLT with sliced avocado. It was delicious, with crispy bacon, fresh bread, plenty of mayo, and overall a light and reasonably healthy feel.
If you’re feeling like trying a somewhat less healthy option, Napa Deli also has pies that look amazing. Their Lemon Meringue is covered in so much fluff that it seems to spill out of the tin.
There’s a good amount of seating inside the restaurant, and several outdoor tables as well. Wait times seem long around lunch, so keep that in mind. When I checked their online ordering system, a sandwich was running 25 minutes.
The other downside is the price. Napa Deli’s sandwiches aren’t cheap. My BLTA was $13.99, and many of the hot sandwiches cost $15 to $16. That feels like a lot for a basic sandwich. Still, the quality makes up for the price.
Other people I spoke to felt the same way. I talked to a friend who also visited Napa Deli’s Walnut Creek location when it first opened. The conversation went something like this:
“Did you like Napa Deli?”
“Yes, great sandwiches. Pretty expensive, though.”
“Gotcha, so you wouldn’t go back.”
“Oh, no, I’m definitely going there all the time!”
That’s kind of how I felt too. Yes, you’re paying a lot for what ultimately feels like a smaller sandwich than you’d get at other local places. But still, the tastiness and quality of the sandwiches–and the nice environment and convenience of the restaurant–make up for the price. It’s pricey, but not overpriced.
The clientele seems to agree. When I visited, the restaurant was packed with groups that appeared to have stopped by from nearby Rossmoor. Especially with the closure of the Rossmoor Diner, Napa Deli looks set to become the new hangout for Rossmoor residents and their families.
Overall, I’m really happy to see a more casual–but still high-quality and delicious–sandwich shop arrive in Walnut Creek.
Yes, it’s a bit expensive. But I have a feeling that more Napa Deli sandwiches are definitely in my future. And maybe a slice of that pie.
On our Facebook community Bay Area Bites, we recently shared a meme about some of the Bay Area’s overpriced burritos and tacos.
It touched a nerve! Our readers started responding (sometimes angrily) with their picks for the Bay Area’s best and most authentic tacos–things that definitely don’t fall into the “$17 soggy burrito” trap.
Here are their top picks.
Guadalajara Truck, Fruitvale
Nestled in Fruitvale, the Guadalajara Truck is more than just a food truck. It’s a beacon of authenticity, offering a taste of Mexican street food right in the Bay Area. For those who value genuine flavors, this spot is a culinary treasure.
Lauded by one reader, Tacos Sinaloa is a name that resonates with taco lovers in the Bay Area. Renowned for its lively atmosphere and delectable tacos, this place is essential for anyone seeking the true flavors of Mexican cuisine.
El Paisa @ 46th and International, Oakland
Recommended by Hugo B, El Paisa, located at the corner of 46th and International in Oakland, is a hidden culinary gem. Celebrated for its authentic Mexican flavors, it offers a menu that goes beyond the ordinary taco experience.
La Trompeta, The Mission
A part of the Mission District’s diverse taco scene, La Trompeta is known for its unique take on tacos, blending traditional elements with creative twists that make each bite a new discovery.
You can take a culinary tour of the Mission to see local taco places, too.
La Alteña, The Mission
La Alteña, another Mission District staple, is famed for its adherence to traditional Mexican taco recipes. It’s the perfect spot for purists seeking a taste of classic Mexican cuisine.
El Taco Loco, The Mission
El Taco Loco in the Mission District offers a quirky and diverse menu that stands out in the Bay Area taco scene. It’s ideal for those looking to explore unconventional taco flavors.
Pancho Villa, The Mission
Pancho Villa is a name synonymous with classic, no-frills Mexican tacos. Located in the heart of the Mission, it’s a must-visit for those who appreciate the simplicity and authenticity of traditional tacos.
The Debate: Authenticity vs. Gentrification
A poignant aspect of our discussion was the impact of gentrification on local food scenes. One reader highlighted a trend where newcomers often overlook authentic spots in East Oakland or the Mission, missing out on the genuine flavors these neighborhoods offer.
But there’s also a tendency to say “Don’t share the good places, outsiders will ruin them!” It’s a classic pull between supporting local businesses and keeping amazing finds to oneself. We’re grateful to the readers who felt comfortable sharing their picks.
Embracing Local Flavors
Our guide is an invitation to explore and embrace the diverse culinary culture of the Bay Area. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, venturing out of your comfort zone to try something from a truck or a less-known neighborhood can lead to delightful culinary surprises.
In conclusion, the Bay Area’s taco scene is a vibrant tapestry, rich in flavors and experiences. Each spot on this list offers a unique glimpse into the essence of Mexican cuisine. Embark on a culinary adventure and discover your new favorite taco destination today!
Greta Gerwig, the director of this summer’s hit Barbie movie, was recently cornered on the red carpet with an unusual question.
As SFGate reports, Gerwig was in San Francisco to accept an award, and later made a big donation to the community. An SFGate reporter asked Gerwig what a Bay Area Barbie might look like, and Gerwig reportedly imagined a Berkeley, California themed Barbie doll.
The doll, Gerwig told SFGate, would be “a little crunchy,” capturing Cals’ vibes in the 1990s. She “has a little Go set,” Gerwig said, referring to the ancient game that many intellectuals consider harder than chess.
Gerwig added that a Berkeley Barbie would have “a lot of really dense theory books” and make “her own clothes.”
We couldn’t help but wonder how such a doll would look. So we used Midjourney, a popular AI tool, to create some pretend photos of Gerwig’s parody Barbie.
Here’s the first photo it made:
That gets Gerwig’s imagined vibe pretty much spot on! We get the homemade clothes, the shelves full of academic books, and a tabletop board game suggesting Go.
We’re not sure what the other stuff on the table is, but whatever!
Here’s the next image:
This time, Berkeley Barbie has something of a Goth look. The AI got the general vibe of Go correct (black and white little objects) but made them way too large and put them all over the table.
The last image follows a similar pattern. This time, Berkeley Barbie had some vaguely organic-looking shapes on her table. It’s not Go, but it’s something!
SFGate also asked Gerwig what a Berkeley Ken would look like. She said he would look exactly the same!
Barbie® is a trademark of the Mattel corporation. This is a work of parody–we are not associated with Mattel or endorsed by them in any way.
A new Tesla motor store opened at City Center Bishop Ranch in San Ramon, California. The arrival of the Tesla store, which is located on the lower level of City Center, was a bit of a surprise.
There was no apparent announcement – one day there were just Tesla vehicles in a storefront, and one blue Tesla car parked in the middle of City Center’s Square.
A spokesperson for City Center confirmed to the Bay Area Telegraph that the store is a holiday popup. It has big bows on top and a Tesla bot standing in the window wearing a Santa hat.
The Tesla vehicle parked in front of the store also appears to be set up to periodically perform a dance where it opens its trunk and a rock version of “Auld Lang Syne” plays loudly from the speakers.
If the store ultimately turns permanent, it’s a great fit for City Center. The San Ramon shopping center already has more than 10 Tesla chargers that are almost constantly occupied, and there’s a large Supercharger across the street near Target.
Tesla owners clearly already frequent this East Bay mall, and it’s likely they get some good sales there. We’ll be curious to see if the new store turns into something permanent or remains just there for the holidays. Either way, it’s a nice new addition to City Center in San Ramon.
When you’re stuck in traffic on I-80, or spending hours on the 405, both the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles, California can feel huge.
But in reality, which region is bigger, the Bay Area or LA? It turns out there’s a clear winner. It’s not even close.
Firstly, let’s look at the geographical size of both regions:
- The Bay Area:
- The Bay Area encompasses nine counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma, and San Francisco.
- Total area: Approximately 7,000 square miles.
- Los Angeles:
- The Greater Los Angeles area includes Los Angeles County, Orange County, and parts of San Bernardino County, Riverside County, and Ventura County.
- Total area: Roughly 34,000 square miles.
Region Total Area (Square Miles) Bay Area 7,000 Los Angeles 34,000
From a geographical standpoint, Los Angeles is significantly larger than the Bay Area.
Next, we consider the population of both areas:
- The Bay Area:
- Estimated population: Around 7.75 million.
- Los Angeles:
- Estimated population of Greater Los Angeles: Over 18 million.
Region Estimated Population Bay Area 7.75 million Los Angeles 18 million
Los Angeles has a substantially larger population than the Bay Area.
The economic power of a region is also a vital aspect of its overall ‘size.’ Let’s compare:
- The Bay Area:
- Known for its technology sector, particularly Silicon Valley.
- Home to companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook.
- Los Angeles:
- Dominated by entertainment, manufacturing, and international trade.
- Home to Hollywood and major film studios.
Region Key Industries Bay Area Technology, Finance, Higher Education Los Angeles Entertainment, Manufacturing, International Trade
Both regions are economically significant, with the Bay Area leading in technology and Los Angeles in entertainment and trade.
So which region wins? According to a recent study, the Bay Area’s economy totals $949 billion, but LA brings in $1.3 trillion. No contest!
In conclusion, while the Bay Area is a hub of innovation and technology, Los Angeles, with its vast geographical expanse and larger population, is bigger in terms of both area and population.
However, both regions are equally important in their contributions to California’s and the nation’s culture. This comparison highlights the diversity and significance of California’s major urban centers.
- The Bay Area:
There are a lot of strange retail stores in Northern California, but by far the strangest we’ve ever visited is Gentle Monster, located in the Westfield Mall in San Jose, California, in the heart of Silicon Valley.
It greets visitors with a massive contemporary art installation, featuring two animatronic donkeys staring at each other as they emerge from a futuristic portal.
The donkeys are incredibly realistic; they blink, wave their tails, and gently sway their heads from side to side. Most visitors initially think they’re real, until they realize the donkeys move predictably, as if on a loop.
Behind them, a giant metal wall slowly expands and contracts. For reasons that were probably clear to the artist, but no one else, they’re standing on the broken remnants of a Roman ruin.
What this has to do with sunglasses, which is what Gentle Monster actually sells, isn’t entirely clear. The massive art installation takes up the entire front of the store, and you have to carefully walk around it in order to actually see the merchandise.
Especially in a region with some of the highest-priced retail space in the world, taking up half of your store with animatronic donkeys is the ultimate flex.
Gentle Monster just gets stranger from there. Inside the store, there’s another giant sculpture with a robot arm. It slowly lowers several fabric-like appendages towards a giant rock, never actually touching them.
Deeper in the store, there’s an incredibly realistic sculpture of an older woman, bent over as if asleep, or perhaps deep in thought. Except when you look at her midriff, it’s a jumble of wires and metal. She’s an android!
Despite all this strange contemporary art, Gentle Monster does indeed have sunglasses for sale. They’re pricey, with most pairs ranging from $150-$500. On our visit, people tried on some of the sunglasses, but primarily ogled the art and took photos of it for social media.
Ultimately, that’s probably the point. In an era where most people buy things online, retail spaces are less about shopping and more about experiences. Gentle Monster’s store is less a place to buy sunglasses, and more a performance that gets people excited about the brand.
No one ever posted a picture of the exterior of a Sunglasses Hut on social media. But if you walk into a store and are greeted by animatronic donkeys, it’s worth telling other people about.
We’ll probably see more of this retail space as a performance trend as e-commerce continues to swallow the world. Gentle Monster’s donkeys may be strange. But they’re also a harbinger of retail futures yet to come.
California, a state known for its stunning coastlines, is also home to some of the most impressive bays in the United States.
Bays, with their unique ecosystems and breathtaking landscapes, are vital to both the environment and the local economies.
Among these, the largest bay in California stands out for its size, ecological importance, and cultural significance. But there are tons of bays in California that are worth visiting!
The Largest Bay: San Francisco Bay
- Location: Northern California
- Size: Approximately 1,600 square miles
- Major Cities: San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose
- Discovery: Explored by Gaspar de Portolá in 1769
- Development: Major port during the California Gold Rush
- Cultural Impact: Iconic landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge
- Ecosystems: Salt marshes, mudflats, tidal zones
- Biodiversity: Home to numerous species of birds, fish, and marine mammals
- Conservation Efforts: Protected areas and restoration projects
Comparing with Other Notable Bays in California
Bay Name Location Size (Approximate) San Francisco Bay Northern CA 1,600 sq mi Monterey Bay Central CA 600 sq mi San Diego Bay Southern CA 34 sq mi
Activities and Attractions
- Boating and Sailing: Popular pastime in the bay
- Fishing: Rich with a variety of fish species
- Wildlife Watching: Ideal for birdwatching and spotting marine life
- Alcatraz Island: Historic island and former prison
- Fisherman’s Wharf: Vibrant neighborhood in San Francisco
- Museums and Parks: Numerous cultural and natural sites
San Francisco Bay is not just the largest bay in California, but it is also a hub of cultural, economic, and ecological activity. Its vast expanse and diverse offerings make it a must-visit destination and an essential part of California’s natural heritage. From its historical significance to its modern-day allure, this bay continues to captivate locals and tourists alike.
AI is changing everything, from writing, to music, to sports. But today’s AI is also coming for another traditionally-human space: the kitchen.
No, robots aren’t doing all the cooking yet. But AI is already writing recipes, helping people get healthier, and even helping to stop food waste.
Here’s a look at some ways that AI is entering the world of food.
AI-Powered Kitchen Gadgets
The market is now teeming with AI-powered kitchen gadgets. Smart ovens that can recognize the food being cooked and suggest the optimal cooking method and time are just the tip of the iceberg.
There are also AI-driven blenders that can adjust their speed and duration based on the texture and ingredients, ensuring the perfect smoothie every time.
Personally, I use an AI-powered washing machine. When I throw in dirty napkins or aprons, it detects the fabric and knows the exact amount of time to wash my dirty kitchen items. We’re living in the future, people!
AI is enabling a more personalized approach to nutrition. By analyzing individual dietary needs and preferences, AI systems can suggest recipes and meal plans tailored specifically to each user.
This personalization extends to smart refrigerators, which can track expiration dates, suggest recipes based on available ingredients, and even order groceries online.
I don’t think I’d want to know the expiration dates on some items in the back of my own fridge, though.
Cooking Assistants and Recipe Development
One of the most exciting developments is the emergence of AI as a cooking assistant. Voice-activated devices like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant are now capable of walking users through recipes, offering cooking tips, and even adjusting cooking times based on user feedback.
Moreover, AI algorithms are being used to create innovative recipes by combining flavors and ingredients in ways never thought of before, pushing the boundaries of culinary art.
Before you start asking ChatGPT for recipe ideas, though, remember that the tech is in its infancy. There’s no guarantee that a robot-created recipe will actually taste good. It’s still important to have humans cook and test recipes before letting AI chefs run amok.
Food Waste Reduction
AI also plays a crucial role in reducing food waste. By analyzing consumption patterns and predicting future needs, AI systems can help in managing inventory more efficiently, thus reducing spoilage at restaurants.
At home, smart composting devices use AI to break down food waste more effectively, turning it into compost for gardening, thus completing the food cycle in a sustainable manner. Some of these home composters can work their magic in as little as a few hours.
Challenges and Ethical Considerations
However, the integration of AI in kitchens is not without challenges. There are concerns about data privacy and the potential loss of traditional cooking skills.
Moreover, there’s an ongoing debate about the ethical implications of using AI in food production, particularly in terms of employment impacts in the culinary sector.
Once robots can manipulate more things in the real world, we might move from the occasional robot barista to robots that can cook full meals. Already, companies like Tesla are creating affordable humanoid robots that can complete basic tasks (see image at top of article.)
In that case, what’s the place for the human chef? Will we do away with jobs and skills that humans desperately need?
The Future of Food with AI
As AI continues to evolve, its impact on the culinary world is only set to grow. We can expect more personalized dining experiences, further advancements in sustainable cooking practices, and perhaps even AI-driven cooking bots handling entire meals.
That might be a good thing, or a disaster. For now, we’ll be keeping a watchful eye on this trend, but also celebrating the unique abilities of human chefs and home cooks.
Wine Spectator Only Honored 21 CA Wines On Its Top List This Year. Did Your Favorite Bottle Make the Cut?
Wine Spectator, universally recognized as the leading authority in the world of wines, has recently unveiled its much-anticipated 2023 list of Top 100 Wines of the Year.
California generally ranks well, but this year the top spot went to a Tuscan wine.
Still, California ranked #2–and took 21 total spots in the Top 100. That’s a solid showing, but given how many wineries and regions there are in our state, it means the winners are quite a selective list.
Some are pricey and fancy, but others are super accessible. Many are from right here in the Bay Area, including the Napa Valley and Sonoma wine regions.
You can read the full list here, but Wine Spectator was kind enough to share all the California wines with us. Here they are:
Rank Wine Name Region/More Info Vintage 2 Occidental Pinot Noir West Sonoma Coast Freestone-Occidental 2021 4 Raen Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast Royal St. Robert Cuvée 2021 6 Dunn Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain 2019 14 Kistler Chardonnay Russian River Valley Vine Hill Vineyard 2020 17 Margerum MS Santa Barbara County 2021 19 Martinelli Pinot Noir Green Valley of Russian River Valley Bondi Home Ranch Vineyard 2021 23 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2021 27 Ramey Chardonnay Russian River Valley 2021 31 Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc California 2022 33 Domaine Carneros Brut Carneros 2019 37 Diatom Chardonnay Santa Barbara County 2022 49 Saxum James Berry Vineyard Paso Robles Willow Creek District 2020 50 Alexander Valley Vineyards Zinfandel Alexander Valley 2019 55 Iron Horse Brut Green Valley of Russian River Valley Classic Vintage 2019 61 Frank Family Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford RHF 2018 65 Groth Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley 2022 68 Flowers Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2021 89 Pisoni Family Chardonnay Santa Lucia Highlands Lucia Soberanes Vineyard 2021 96 Ink Grade Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2019 98 Cathiard Family Estate Founding Brothers Napa Valley 2020 100 Morisoli Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford 2019