Saturday, December 3, 2016

'With Populist Anger Rising, Italy May Be Next Domino to Fall'


'With Populist Anger Rising, Italy May Be Next Domino to Fall'

Jason Horowitz - New York Times - December 2, 2016

TURIN, Italy — Italy’s prime minister, Matteo Renzi, only 41, once seemed to have solved the riddle of how to survive Europe’s populist, anti-establishment tempest. But with a critical national referendum on Sunday, the populist wave is now threatening to crush him and plunge Italy into a political crisis when the European Union is already reeling.

From Washington to Brussels to Berlin, fears are rising that Italy may be stumbling into its own “Brexit” moment. What should be an inward-looking referendum on whether to overhaul Italy’s ossified political and electoral system has taken on much broader import. Financial analysts warn of a potential banking crisis, and pro-Europe supporters fear that a “no” vote in the referendum could accelerate the populist movement across the European bloc.

Italy is potentially the next domino to fall, partly because of the disillusionment of young voters. They have been swept up by many of the same forces that led peers in Spain and Greece to vote for upstart parties, the British to vote to leave the European Union, and Americans to elect Donald J. Trump. In France, President François Hollande announced on Thursday that he would not seek re-election — another establishment figure succumbing to the political moment.

Mr. Renzi’s supporters have taken to calling his opponents in the internet-born, populist Five Star Movement “Trumpisti.” They accuse their opponents’ numerous blogs and websites of flooding the Facebook accounts of young people with anti-Renzi, pro-Russian fake news. The referendum has essentially become a referendum on Mr. Renzi, who gave extra motivation to his political enemies by vowing to resign if voters reject the proposed political changes.

“A ‘no’ vote is a vote against Renzi,” said Matteo Roselli, 25, a liberal activist who spent a recent rainy evening in Turin handing out leaflets encouraging people to vote “no.”

With polls indicating that Mr. Renzi may fail, the possibility that he could resign, and force new elections or perhaps bring a caretaker government, has alarmed many leaders, including President Obama, who honored the Italian prime minister in his final state dinner in Washington and urged him to “hang around for a while no matter what.”

If Mr. Renzi does step aside, it could open the way for opponents who have threatened to carry the Continent’s fourth-largest economy out of the euro currency zone.

Such a prospect could destabilize the shaky Italian economy; have serious implications for Italy’s troubled banking system, which has been in crisis for a decade; and have a contagion effect around the eurozone.

“The problem with Italian banks is they are fragile and they are really big,” said Ángel Talavera, senior eurozone economist at Oxford Economics in London. “Banks of that caliber, as soon as you have any noise and rumors, it creates a really bad loop.”

Mr. Renzi, who captured Italians’ imagination by positioning himself as an outsider who would demolish an arthritic political system, is arguing that the constitutional overhaul proposed in the Sunday referendum would streamline government and create more stability in a country that has had 63 governments in 70 years. To speed up the often clogged legislative process, Mr. Renzi wants to drastically reduce the size of the Italian Senate and make it a mostly consultative body. Critically, the Senate would lose the power to bring down governing coalitions.

Critics say the proposal puts too much power in the prime minister’s hands. And Mr. Renzi is showing unexpected vulnerability among the young voters who helped propel his rise but now seem to want the same job protections and social benefits their parents had more than any opportunity Mr. Renzi’s changes might create. Much of the same dynamic has been playing out in Greece, Spain and even France.

The reversal has come despite Mr. Renzi’s image as the Coca-Cola guzzling, Apple-gadget-pecking embodiment of young Italians eager to modernize the country. According to a poll in the newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, support for Mr. Renzi’s changes is strong among voters older than 65 and weak among people younger than 45, a group that opponents of the changes lead by 20 percentage points.

The beneficiary of that erosion appears to be the Five Star Movement, with its ability to win voters on the left and right with a mix of social liberalism, economic populism and tough law-and-order talk. It has been led by Beppe Grillo, 68, a former comedian who last month called Mr. Renzi a “serial killer” and celebrated Mr. Trump’s victory as a blunt rejection of the establishment.

In recent years, the merrily vulgar Mr. Grillo has stepped back so that a new generation of less rough, but perhaps no less radical, young politicians could step forward.

Here in Turin, Chiara Appendino, 32, beat Mr. Renzi’s favored Democratic Party candidate for mayor this year. In the election, she had the support of Mr. Roselli and many like him.

“Our voters are mainly young voters,” Ms. Appendino said after stepping out of the chandeliered City Hall chamber. “I believe there really is a generation of young people, and I feel in some way that I represent them, who have desire and ability, but who cannot get ahead.”

Ms. Appendino, who speaks German, French and English and is considered a rising star in her party, said that she did not consider herself anti-European, but she argued that the current European Union did not work.

Far from breaking with the establishment, Mr. Renzi had been co-opted by its bankers, bureaucrats and power brokers, she said.

Mr. Renzi is desperately trying to persuade Italians, a large slice of them still undecided, to back him.

“Today, we mustn’t get stuck in nostalgia,” Mr. Renzi told a crowd this week in Lingotto, the section of Turin that was once home to the automaker Fiat. “We must work for the future of our children.”

But even his young supporters worry that those words are wasted on the Italian youth, who as in so many other European countries are often unemployed.

In France, where the far-right National Front has emerged as a force, the youth unemployment rate is around 25 percent. And that looks good compared with Greece and Spain, both with more than 40 percent youth unemployment and strong populist movements.

In Italy, Mr. Renzi’s 2015 labor market overhaul, hailed by many investors, has so far failed to be the boon to employment his government expected. The youth unemployment rate is still around 35 percent. In the country’s south, where opposition to the change is solid, it is nearly 50 percent.

“The young are lined up against him,” Davide Giani, 20, said with a resigned shrug after an afternoon spent trying to hand out leaflets in support of a “yes” vote on the referendum only to see young Turinese turn them down. “They see this as an opportunity to lash out against the establishment.”

Back in the summer, Mr. Renzi predicted the gathering storm as he flew on the Italian Air Force One but nevertheless strained to see a silver lining in the unwrinkled faces of his new rivals.

“The good thing is that since we have come to power, there has been a generational leap forward,” Mr. Renzi said, adding that his likely opponents, Luigi Di Maio of the Five Star Movement and Matteo Salvini, the young leader of the anti-immigration and anti-Renzi Northern League, would be younger than he is. “Great!” he said. “A sign that something has changed.”

Some of Mr. Renzi’s older enemies across the political spectrum are latching onto the referendum to return to relevance. For them, the prospect of his premature exit has had the effect of a curtain call after a bloody opera, reanimating vengeful antagonists for a final bow on center stage.

Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, 80, mindful that Mr. Renzi needs moderate center-right supporters, reversed his previous support for the constitutional overhaul out of sudden fear of “authoritarian drift.”

In Turin, former Prime Minister Massimo D’Alema, a member of Mr. Renzi’s Democratic Party who has received little deference from the current leader, delivered a disdain-dripping speech to mobilize elderly liberals and former communists against the change.

“He presents himself like the one who wants to rejuvenate the country, but the young people are against him,” Mr. D’Alema, 67, said in an interview, in which he mocked Mr. Renzi as a Twitter-obsessed “oaf” who had alienated labor unions and destroyed the left.

Mr. Renzi’s young supporters shudder at the very mention of Italy’s former leaders. On a rainy evening in Milan, Alessia Giuliani, 24, sat in a field office for the “yes” campaign hunched over lists of phone numbers she had spent the day calling in support of Mr. Renzi’s changes.

She spoke optimistically about all the older people who, having lived through scores of Italian governments, proclaimed their hope and confidence in Mr. Renzi.

But asked if she had had any luck persuading young people, her smile vanished and her hand landed woefully on her forehead.

“In general, the young voters are disinterested or for ‘no,’ ” explained her colleague, Stefano Angelinis, 24. “Many young people are going for Five Star.”

Follow Jason Horowitz on Twitter @jasondhorowitz.

Jack Ewing contributed reporting from Frankfurt.


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

San Francisco's new Salesforce Tower to be the secend tallest building west of the Mississippi - Part 2


Developer Hines, with a proposal by architect César Pelli, was selected as the winner of a global competition in 2007 to entitle and purchase the site. A seven-member jury of development experts assembled by the Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA) selected Hines over proposals from Forest City Enterprises and architect Richard Rogers; and from Rockefeller Development Group Corp. and Skidmore Owings & Merrill. In 2012, Boston Properties acquired a 50% stake in the project and in 2013 acquired most of Hines' remaining interest to become 95% owners of the project.

The site of the tower was in a dilapidated area, formerly used as a ground-level entrance to the San Francisco Transbay Terminal, which was demolished in 2011. The TJPA sold the parcel to Boston Properties and Hines for US$192 million, and ceremonial groundbreaking for the new tower occurred on March 27, 2013. Actual below-grade construction work started in late 2013. The general contractor on the project is a joint venture between Clark Construction and Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction.

César Pelli - Argentine-American of Cisalpine descent
The development was originally contracted on "spec", meaning the developer/owner did not have a major tenant lease secured beforehand. On April 11, 2014, announced that it signed a lease for 714,000 square feet (66,300 m2) on floors 1, 3-30, and 61 to become the building's anchor tenant. Previously known as the Transbay Tower, the building was renamed Salesforce Tower. The lease was valued at US$560 million over 15 and a half years starting in 2017.

The tower is expected to be completed in 2018 and will have 61 floors, with a decorative crown reaching 1,070 ft (326 m). The original proposal called for a 1,200-foot (370 m) tower, but the height was later reduced. It will be the tallest building in San Francisco, surpassing the Transamerica Pyramid by more than 200 feet (61 m). The tower is expected to become the second tallest building in the Western United States. The tower is expected to be completed in 2018 and will have 61 floors, with a decorative crown reaching 1,070 ft (326 m). The original proposal called for a 1,200-foot (370 m) tower, but the height was later reduced. It will be the tallest building in San Francisco, surpassing the Transamerica Pyramid by more than 200 feet (61 m). The tower is expected to become the second tallest building in the Western United States.

One Canada Square, London
List of works by César Pelli

This list of works by César Pelli categorizes the architect's work. Pelli has established an extremely prolific career in the span of four decades, and has designed some of the tallest buildings in the world. The following are some of his major constructions:


1966: Worldway Postal Center, Los Angeles International Airport
1967: Kukui Gardens housing, Honolulu, Hawaii

1969: San Bernardino City Hall, San Bernardino, California
1969: Century City Medical Plaza, Century City, Los Angeles, with architect Anthony J. Lumsden.

1972: US Embassy in Tokyo, Japan
1973: Commons Centre and Mall, Columbus, Indiana

1973: Eaton's Department Store, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
1975: Pacific Design Center, Los Angeles

1977: Wintergarden Arboretum, Niagara Falls, New York, USA (demolished in 2009)
1981–1987: World Financial Center, New York City, New York, USA
1982–1984: Herring Hall at Rice University, Houston, Texas

1984: Residential Tower atop the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York City
1984–1986: Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Mattatuck Museum Arts and History Center renovation, Waterbury, Connecticut
Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, Charlotte, North Carolina
1987–1990: Carnegie Hall Tower, New York City, New York, USA
Maryland Residence, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, England, UK
1988: Wells Fargo Center (formerly Norwest Center), Minneapolis, Minnesota
1989: Gaviidae Common, Minneapolis, Minnesota

1990: Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Headquarters, Tokyo, Japan
1990: Roy Nutt Mathematics, Engineering & Computer Science Center at Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut
1990: 181 West Madison Street, Chicago
A 50-story skyscraper thought to be inspired by Saarinen's second place entry in Chicago's Tribune Tower competition

1991: Key Tower, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
1991: 777 Tower, Los Angeles, California
1991: Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York

1992: Bank of America Corporate Center, Charlotte, North Carolina
1992: Plaza Tower, Costa Mesa, California
1993: Worrell Professional Center, Wake Forest University School of Law, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Cajasol Tower, Spain
1994: Physics and Astronomy Building, University of Washington, Seattle, USA
1995: Aronoff Center for Performing Arts, Cincinnati, Ohio

1995: 100 North Main Street (formerly Wachovia Center), Winston-Salem, North Carolina
1996: Edificio República, Buenos Aires, Argentina
1996: Residencial del Bosque, Mexico City, Mexico

1996: Owens Corning World Headquarters, Toledo, Ohio, USA
1997: Expansion of Washington National Airport, Washington, D.C.
1998: Overture Center, Madison, Wisconsin
1998: Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
1998: Schuster Center, Dayton, Ohio, USA
1999: Cheung Kong Center, Hong Kong
1999: Zurich tower office building in The Hague, Netherlands
2000: Kurayoshi Park Square, Kurayoshi, Japan
2000: Boston Bank Building, Buenos Aires, Argentina
2000: KABC-TV, Los Angeles, California
2001: Citigroup Centre, 25 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London
2001: Bucksbaum Center for the Arts at Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa
2001: Athletic and Fitness Center at Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa
2001: The Investment Building, Washington, D.C.
2002: JP MorganChase Building, San Francisco
2002: Weber Music Hall at University of Minnesota Duluth, Duluth, Minnesota
2002: Former Enron Headquarters at 1500 Louisiana Street, Houston
2003: Gerald Ratner Athletics Center at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
2003: Two International Finance Centre, Hong Kong
2003: Center for Drama and Film & the Martel Theater at Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York
2003: 25 Bank Street, Canary Wharf, Docklands, London
2003: 40 Bank Street, Canary Wharf, Docklands, London
2003: Benjamin & Mariam Schuster Performing Arts Center, Dayton, Ohio
2004: Goldman Sachs Tower, Jersey City, New Jersey
2004 Campus University Siglo 21, Córdoba, Argentina

Kurajoshi Park Square, Japan
2005: Cira Centre, Philadelphia
2005: Malone Engineering Center, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
2006: Theodore Roosevelt Federal Building Eastern District Courthouse, Brooklyn, New York

2006: Science and Engineering Research and Classroom Complex at University of Houston, Houston

2006: Minneapolis Public Library's Central branch, Minneapolis
2006: Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa
2006: Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Segerstrom Center For The Arts, Orange County Performing Arts Center, Costa Mesa, California
2006: Thomas E. Golden Jr. Center, St. Thomas More Catholic Chapel and Center, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
2006: Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Miami
2006: Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Madison, Wisconsin
2008: BOK Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma

2008: One Park West, Liverpool, England
2008: Torre de Cristal, Madrid, Spain
2008: Repsol-YPF Building, Buenos Aires, Argentina
2008: St. Regis Residences and Hotel, Mexico City, Mexico
2008: Business Instructional Facility, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, Illinois

2009: Cooperative Arts and Humanities High School, New Haven, Connecticut
2009: Connecticut Science Center, Hartford, Connecticut
2009: Aria Resort and Casino, the central feature of CityCenter, Las Vegas
2010: Shanghai IFC, Pudong, sister project of Two International Finance Centre in Hong Kong
2010: Torre Mesoamericana, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Mexico
2011: New Airport Terminal Building (Phase 1), Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport, Winnipeg, Canada

2011: Iberdrola Tower, office building, Bilbao, Spain
2013: The Landmark, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
2013: The Theatre School, DePaul University, Chicago
2015: Cameron and Edward Lanphier Center, Choate Rosemary Hall, Wallingford, Connecticut


Monday, November 7, 2016

San Francisco's new Salesforce Tower to be the secend tallest building west of the Mississippi - Part 1

Salesforce Tower

Salesforce Tower, formerly known as the Transbay Tower, is a 1,070 ft (326 m) supertall office skyscraper under construction in the South of Market district of downtown San Francisco. Located at 415 Mission Street between First and Fremont Streets, next to the Transbay Transit Center site, Salesforce Tower is the centerpiece of the San Francisco Transbay redevelopment plan that contains a mix of office, transportation, retail, and residential uses. When completed, the tower will be the tallest in San Francisco and a defining building in the burgeoning South of Market area. With a top roof height of 970 feet (300 m) and an overall height of 1,070 feet (330 m), it will be the second tallest building west of the Mississippi River after the Wilshire Grand Center in Los Angeles.

Cira Centre, Philadelphia
César Pelli

Born: October 12, 1926 (age 90)
San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentina

Nationality: Argentine – United States citizen

Occupation: Architect

Awards: Doctor of Arts, CTBUH Skyscraper Award, The Lynn S. Beedle Lifetime Achievement Award

Practice: Pelli Clarke Pelli

Design: Metallic, art deco-influenced buildings


Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur

Key Tower, Cleveland

Cira Centre, Philadelphia

30 Hudson Street, Jersey City

1 Canada Square, London

Riverview Plaza, Wuhan

Pelli in 2010
César Pelli (born October 12, 1926), founder of Pelli Clarke Pelli, is an Argentine American architect known for designing some of the world's tallest buildings and other major urban landmarks. In 1991, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) listed Pelli among the ten most influential living American architects. His many awards include the 1995 AIA Gold Medal which recognizes a body of work of lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture. Perhaps his most famous work are the Petronas Twin Towers, which were for a time the world's tallest buildings. He also designed the World Financial Center complex in downtown Manhattan.

Personal life

After studying architecture at the Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, Pelli completed his studies at the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He started his career in the New Haven offices of architect Eero Saarinen.

He emigrated to the United States in 1952 and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1964. He married Diana Balmori, a landscape and urban designer. They have two children: Denis, a neurobiologist and Professor of Psychology and Neural Science at New York University and Rafael Pelli, also well-known architect.

Pelli served as dean of the School of Architecture at Yale University from 1977 to 1984. His firm employs about 100 architects, designers, and support staff in New Haven, Connecticut.

Petronas Towers, Malaysia
Awards and honors

In 2004, his famous work Petronas Towers of Kuala Lumpur received the Aga Khan Award.

On May 15, 2004 the University of Minnesota Duluth awarded Pelli an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters.

On May 26, 2008, Yale University bestowed an honorary Doctor of Arts degree to Pelli for his work in architecture.

He received the The Lynn S. Beedle Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat in 2008 to honor his work in the field of tall buildings.

In 2012, Konex Foundation from Argentina, granted him the Diamond Konex Award for Visual Arts as the most important artist in the last decade in his country.



Project Designer, Eero Saarinen

      TWA Terminal Building, John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York    

      City, New York

      Morse College & Ezra Stiles College, Yale University

Director of Design at Daniel, Mann, Johnson & Mendenhall, Los Angeles, California

      COMSAT Laboratories, in Clarksburg, Maryland, 1967–1968 (with landscape

      architect Lester Collins)

Partner, Gruen Associates, Los Angeles, 1968–1976

Cesar Pelli and Associates, 1977, currently known as Pelli, Clarke, Pelli, Architects

Key Tower, Cleveland

1982: "Skyscrapers," Perspecta 18, pp. 134–151.

1984: Introduction to The Second Generation by Esther McCoy (Peregrine Smith Books)

1999: Observations for Young Architects (Monacelli Press)

2002: Foreword to Ralph Rapson: Sketches and Drawings from Around the World by Ralph Rapson (Afton Historical Society Press)

External links

Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Giovanni Berdondini - Chianti Sound (OFFICIAL VIDEO)


Chianti Sound – Giovanni Berdondini original piano song.
Composed, performed and produced by Giovanni Berdondini
Realized with the support of: project 100band within GiovaniSì - Regione Toscana

Piano recorded, mixed & mastered by Mirco Mencacci & Andrea Ciacchini at SAM Recording Studio

Video filmed by The Factory PRD
Video director: Stefano Poggioni
Dop: Claudia Cataldi
Drone operator: Lorenzo Hervatin
Makup artist: Audrey Biarnais
Hairstyle: Andrea Prischi
Assistant video: Elena Poggioni, Simone Petracchi
Pianos provided by Checcacci
Special thanks to: Castello di Poppiano Guicciardini

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It had always been amazing to me the similarities between Tuscany and the wine country of northern California, coupled with the long cultural link.


Friday, October 14, 2016

It Finally Happened: America Gave up the Internet to the UN

It Finally Happened: America Gave up the Internet to the UN

Wayne Levi Price - Tribulation Saints


Now we just have to play the waiting game. The nice fox is now in charge of the chicken house, and we are the chickens. Literally almost anything can happen in time as a result of handing it over to the UN. I'm still not clear as to actually how much power and influence "they" will have. The UN doesn't recognize any 1st Amendment rights. We've already seen some very inconsistent censorship, for example on twitter, where someone may be muted for something small and inconsequential while another person is simply allowed to call for violence against individuals. Americans are not aware that the Canadian government has, for twenty years, attempted to censor websites through threats to American-based internet service providers. Now that same government, and many much worse, will have a say on what will happen with free speech. Dozens of very powerful special interests around the world are just salivating at the possibilities.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Team of two women from Trentino-Alto Adige take silver in Olympic diving

The team of  Tania Cagnetto from Bolzano (right) and Francesca Dallapé from Trento (left) won Olympic silver medals in the Women's synchronized 3 metre springboard diving. Cagnetto, the daughter of two Italian Olympic divers from Bolzano, additionally won a bronze medal in the Women's 3 metre springboard. She is now retired from diving after having competed in five different Olympic games.

Swimmer Federica Pellegrini
Double world record holder retires from swimming

Federica Pellegrini from the Veneto has retired from the sport with the Rio Olympics. Although she didn't win a medal this time, she holds the women's 200 m freestyle world records (long course and short course), and won a Gold Medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. At the 2009 World Championships in Rome, Pellegrini became the first woman ever to breach the 4 minute barrier in 400 m freestyle with the time 3:59.15

USA-Italy: Gold medal game in women's water polo

Although it was projected  to be a competitive match between the two best woman's water polo teams, the USA won handily by a score of 12 to 5. 

USA totally dominates the Olympic games

Although for some years it appeared that other nations were catching up, the USA dominated the games. The USA had far more overall medals and gold medals than anyone else. If the two closest nations were counted as one, they would only have won the games by a small margin. Italy came in ninth, although they did come back to score a big upset over the American men's volleyball team, but ended up losing in the gold medal match vs. Brazil.

Diver Tania Cagnetto


Sunday, July 24, 2016

'Oakland mourns the looming closure of 90 year old Genova deli'

David DeVincenzi (right), son of Genova Deli owner Dominic DeVincenzi, helps customer Mrs. Gasparro, while his wife, Patti, kneels in front of a display case to help Joe Scodella (center), a deli customer since 1956.

'Oakland mourns the looming closure of 90 year old Genova deli'

Ethan Fletcher - San Francisco Chronicle - April 26, 2016

The vibe inside Genova Delicatessen on Monday afternoon had the feel of a living wake, with old friends gathering one last time to celebrate a loved one soon to pass.

In this case, that loved one took the form of overstuffed Italian sandwiches, homemade meat ravioli and softball-size fried artichokes, all of which longtime customers were loading up on one last time before this immensely popular 90-year-old Oakland institution closes for good on Saturday.

While the announcement was officially made late last week, the closure had been threatened — and for many locals, dreaded — since January. That’s when news leaked that owner Dominic DeVincenzi was considering shutting down his family’s flagship Italian deli due in part to a rent dispute with the property owners of Temescal Plaza, where Genova has been located since 1996. (It’s been in Temescal since 1926.)

According to David DeVincenzi, son of Genova Deli owner Dominic DeVincenzi, the family is continuing to work on finding a new location in Oakland.

“We’re working on a couple of places,” DeVincenzi said. Where that might be exactly, however, DeVincenzi was unwilling to divulge.

The Temescal neighborhood’s reputation has soared in recent years as a foodie destination — home to the likes of Pizzaiolo, Burma Superstar and Bakesale Betty — and as a hot spot for house hunters priced out of San Francisco. But the crowd inside Genova, packed with everyone from families to firefighters, felt very old school.

Customers pack Genova Delicatessen for their last orders and to say goodbye before it closes on Saturday after 90 years in Oakland.

Generations of patrons

Terry Barnes, 41, grew up around the corner and said he’d been coming to Genova since he was 4 years old, back in the days when it was located in a tiny Victorian on Telegraph Avenue, and lines would stretch out the door and down the block. He was waiting for his number to be called — which even at 3 in the afternoon was taking upward of an hour — to get one final Italian combo sandwich with extra dry salame and marinated cucumbers. “And a cannoli. Gotta have my cannoli,” Barnes added.

“My family, my mother and my grandmother and all my cousins, we all grew up on this,” he said. “My kids grew up on this, my kids’ friends and their cousins all grew up on this. Every girlfriend I ever had, I would take them here, and now I see all of them coming in with their kids. So it’s sad to see this happen because you would think this place would stick around.”

Genova’s factory and Napa store will remain open, and the property’s landlords have said they’re looking to keep the space as a deli. That seemed small consolation for many customers, nearly all of whom it seemed had been coming for decades and knew each other.

Another customer, Emmy Fearn, ordered three sandwiches — an Italian combo, a coppa and a pastrami. One was for her, one was for her husband getting treatment at a nearby hospital, and the third was for her husband’s doctor, who had promptly put in an order upon hearing the deli was closing. Like many, Fearn expressed shock that Genova was actually closing.

“At first I thought that it was just a play to get some leverage with the landlord,” Fearn said. “But now that it’s really happening, I think it’s horrible. I think it’s a terrible loss to the community.”

‘This is a real loss’

Inside, she ran into an old friend, Marge Gibson Haskell, a former Oakland city councilwoman who had worked with Dominic back in the 1980s to ensure that the deli remained in the neighborhood.

“Back then, there was hardly anything else around here, so you had to really hold on to what you had,” said Haskell while waiting for her Italian combo (light on the peppers). “That was really important for this neighborhood and to a large extent made it possible for everything else that came here afterwards. This is what started it all. … I think not keeping this here is a serious mistake.”

“This city has changed a lot over these last few years, some good, some bad,” said Haskell. “But this. This is a real loss.”

Similar sentiments were echoed by many inside Genova, where there was a palpable sense of unease among longtime locals at the speed with which the rapidly gentrifying city was changing and losing its ties to its past. And while it’s unclear to what extent any rent increase played in the store closing — Genova’s owners have cited the general cost of doing business in Oakland and not wanting to pass that on to the consumer as the main factor — there was plenty of blame to go around that something couldn’t be worked out.

“I understand you want to get fair market value and all that, but you can’t expect people to pay so much, especially in the restaurant industry where the margins are so thin,” said Lex Gopnik, loaded up with a big bag stuffed with Italian provisions. Gopnik said he has been coming to Genova since he moved to the East Bay in 1988. Genova has served as a touchstone for him, his wife and three kids, whether it was grabbing takeout to bring to an A’s game or as an easy dinner for a busy family of five.

“It’s indicative of what’s happening here in the East Bay and the Bay Area in general. I think they would have had to charge like $20 for a sandwich. So it’s sad to see them go, but I respect them for taking a stand and saying, ‘No, I don’t want to do that.’”

‘Things change’

Gopnik is more familiar with the industry than most. He’s been looking for space to open a Montreal-style deli in Oakland, but says news like this makes him reconsider whether he has a future in the city in which rising rents threaten the feasibility of the types of small, independently run businesses that make the place so attractive in the first place.

“I just don’t understand that mentality,” he says. “To me it seems so shortsighted.”

Brian McCabe, an Oakland native waiting for one last turkey sandwich on sourdough, took a more pragmatic view.

“I’ve been coming here for years, and it’s a special place,” he said. “It’s been around for so long, and there’s something comforting about that. But things change.”

Ethan Fletcher is a Bay Area freelance writer. Email:


Giovanni Beltramo, who opened a wholesale and
retail wine and spirits business in Menlo Park in
1882, in his vineyard. Photo courtesy Beltramo family.

'Menlo Park: Beltramo's closing after 134 years'

Melanie Wong - Chowhound - May 9, 2016

Whoa. Beltramo's ends 134 years in business this summer.


It would be worth it to click on the above link just to see the old photos, and there's a short interesting history. When Beltramo's opened, it was the El Camino trail with horses and carriages. The story of Beltramo's, the family originating from Piemonte, is everything our people have been about in northern California. I didn't realize that they were initially in the wine business. It was a truly great store. Why do I miss things most when they're no longer there...

'Beltramo's Wines and Spirits is closing its doors in Menlo Park' (history and old photos)

'Menlo Park's oldest business, Beltramo's, is a family tradition' (history)