Shall we keep dining on Water Street in Petaluma?
Would you like to see Water Street dining continue after the pandemic? If so, the Petaluma Downtown Association is asking for our input through a survey, the results of which will be presented to the Petaluma City Council later this month. Visit surveymonkey.com/r/VWFQ53D to take part.
The three question/one comment survey can be completed in less than a minute. The questions are whether you are from the Petaluma area, whether you would like to outdoor dining and public events expand along Water Street, would you recommend the outdoor dining experience along Water Street, and what would make your experience along Water Street even better.
Personally, I think the Water Street dining experience is great and is exactly what downtown needs. I would like to see this expanded to some other streets, if it were feasible. However, I sure would like to see them remove those terrible cobblestones and replaced them with a similar looking, but much easier to navigate pressed concrete. Sure, I love the cobblestones of old Europe, but those are installed by true craftsman. As Marco from Risibisi pointed out in a recent conversation, the nostalgia gets lost when the end construction quality is lacking. (These are not original and were laid down when Water Street was renovated a couple of decades ago.) For Petaluma’s elderly, handicapped and high-heeled, Water Street’s cobblestones present a bit of a challenge, but certainly take nothing away from the great recent outdoor, waterside dining options. One of the silver linings of the pandemic has been Water Street’s outdoor dining, which many would like to see stay even once restaurants are back to full indoor capacity.
Transhumance Festival 2021
If the name doesn’t sound familiar, the imagines of a large flock of sheep being herded through downtown Petaluma might. For the past couple of years, the Transhumance Festival has been held out on Steamer Landing Park, kicking off the festivities with a goat herd walk through downtown Petaluma. Transhumance is the historic tradition of physically moving livestock through the seasonal cycles to new grazing lands. The word comes from “trans” meaning across and “humus” meaning ground.
The festival’s goal is to reconnect people with the land that feeds them and is spearheaded by Guido Frosini, owner of True Grass Farms (Valley Ford) and a member of the Grazing Collective. This event is free to all and normally includes a day of “cutting edge discussions on environmental ethics, regenerative agriculture and watershed health; as well as an art exhibit, live music, theater, interactive educational activities for youth, a local artisan marketplace, and locally-sourced and foraged food,” according to the website. However, this year’s even has been scaled back a bit as far as presentations and marketplace, but will still offer “an open forum to discuss how to create an inclusive culture of place, while expanding our ecological lexicon to help nourish and renew our relationships to animals, land, water, climate, and each other.”
This year’s event will be Saturday, June 12, with the sheep’s arrival at Steamer Landing Park scheduled for 9 a.m. Once they are comfortably grazing, at 10 a.m., festival goers can help walk goats on lead to City Hall where at Guido Frosini, Petaluma Mayor Teresa Barrett and Stephanie Bastianon of Friends of the River will speak. At noon, the goats and crowd will head back to Steamer Landing Park for live music from the Burnside Band. Guest are encouraged to bring blankets, chairs and picnic lunches. At 1:45 p.m. guest will be able to talk to herders/shepherds and meet the goats. The festival ends at 3 p.m. Visit sassyandgrassy.com for more information and for a mesmerizing 4-minute video showing a recent transhumance here on our Petaluma backroads.
Meaty treats for Father’s Day
Azari Vineyard (azarivineyards.com) has added charcuterie sampling along with the normal one-hour wine tastings, just in time for Father’s Day. Tastings are $20 for just wine, or $35 for meat, too.
“We've partnered with a local butcher shop to bring you some of the finest cuts of salty, sweet and savory meats that will undeniably bring out the best in each of our premium Azari Wines. Feeling spicy? Feeling herbaceous? Feeling smokey? Come taste with us.” I don’t know which local butcher shop they are working with, but from the looks of it, they are not messing around. This looks like some serious charcuterie and will go great with Azari’s riesling, chardonnay, pinot noir and shiraz.