New activities, merchants and events are popping up around time, just before the rush of the holiday season. Some of them can help Alamedans prepare gift and other treats for the holidays, while others offer Islanders the chance to relax and take a break from all the hectic activities.

One new business in Alameda is celebrating its grand opening from 6 to 9 p.m. today: the Sewing Room & Style Lounge at 2434 Webb Ave., right off Park Street. The hosts are designer Desiree Salas and sewing instructor Jennifer Serr; refreshments will be served.

The two women plan to sell sewing patterns and locally made designer women's clothing at their shop. They will also feature sewing classes for both adults and children.

Over the weekend, students taking classes at the Starland Music Center on Park Street will share their talents at Rhythmix Cultural Works. The youth recitals include performances on a variety of instruments.

Coming up at Rhythmix on Nov. 2, is a show highlighting the music and dance of Bali, Indonesia. It will include a performance by the group Gamelan Sekar Jaya.

For Alamedans looking for some Thursday fun, SubPar Golf on Park Street hosts a miniature golf tournament each week from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The entry fee is $7, and there are plenty of prizes for the winners.

Over at Julie's Coffee (also on Park Street), Islanders are invited to stop by with their arts-and-crafts supplies from 7 to 9 p.m. every Thursday. Guests can knit, draw, bead, sew or engage in other artistic endeavors.


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For those looking to master a new craft, Redux Gallery on Lincoln Avenue will host a workshop on Oct. 27 dedicated to transforming plastic bags into eco-pouches, journals and other objects. Call 510- 865-1109 or send e-mail to astore@svdp-alameda.org if you would like to participate; space is limited.

On Oct. 31, Webster Street's Halloween activities are scheduled from noon to 4 p.m. There will be trick or treating for kids up to age 12 wearing costumes.

Coming up at the Alameda Free Library, jazz singer Jonathan Poretz will take the stage at 8 p.m. on Oct. 20 as part of the Live at the Library Concert Series. This is the second of three shows, and refreshments are available at 7 p.m.

On Oct. 22, a new six-month film series curated by Jeff Giordano will kick off at 5:30 p.m. with a showing of "Phantom of the Paradise." The film was released in 1974 by director Brian De Palma. The event is free, and those over 18 can attend.

The library will soon feature an exhibit by Gary Bukovnik, who has done art for the San Francisco Symphony posters for the past 35 years. His show in Alameda will include watercolors of flowers and landscapes. It is set to open on Nov. 4.

Janet Levaux also writes the Alameda Journal Blog at www.ibabuzz.com/alamedajournal.